Cool HAVEN

Be­narasi brand Ekaya’s founder Palak Shah’s Delhi home is ideal for sum­mer as the fab­rics and ac­cents are rest­ful and per­fect for the sea­son

India Today - - COVER STORY - BY PRACHI BHUCHAR

THINK EKAYA AND IM­AGES OF Be­naras come to mind. It is a brand that has brought hand woven tex­tiles to the fore by rein­ter­pret­ing them for modern In­dian through its swathes of gor­geous tex­tiles un­der the Ekaya Thaan ban­ner and sa­rees that have been woven by mas­ter crafts­men. Palak Shah, 27, is the young CEO of the brand and is full of ideas and cre­ative en­ergy. She was in­stru­men­tal in giv­ing Ekaya its modern iden­tity when she and her fa­ther launched the first store in Delhi in 2012 and it is easy to see why the brand is so youth­ful de­spite re­ly­ing on some tra­di­tional mo­tifs that draw on Be­naras. When Shah moved to Delhi in 2011 to set up the store in De­fence Colony, she moved to a house which is a stone’s throw from this store and has all the mak­ings of a sum­mer re­treat.

The house, lo­cated on the third floor in De­fence Colony, re­flects Shah’s quirky per­son­al­ity and her de­sign aes­thetic as well. The front door of the house scorns con­ven­tion and is an aqua­ma­rine blue­green in colour; bright and invit­ing. The door opens to re­veal a land­ing area which is pop­u­lated by a large set­tee and an an­tique Ti­betan side­board. To the left of the side­board lies the pow­der room which has a brass, ves­sel-like sink and an over­sized en­graved mir­ror.

Shah has used ac­cents in­tel­li­gently and while most of the home uses rest­ful shades there are pops of colour that are wel­come. The liv­ing cum din­ing room has a six-seat round din­ing ta­ble that is done up in shades of yel­low and gold, rem­i­nes­cent of the sea­son’s first man­goes. Klove’s Pra­teek Jain and Gau­tam Seth have de­signed a hang­ing lamp that is made up of four gold-toned spher­i­cal globes with smaller brown domes be­neath them. This lamp which hangs over the ta­ble gives it a con­tem­po­rary look but is jux­ta­posed with a gold and brown Be­narasi print fab­ric that cov­ers the chairs.

The seat­ing in the liv­ing room is a mix of beiges and brown, ikat print cush­ions and a car­pet that has tones of brown as well. The cen­tre ta­ble is made of black

glass and has a gold edg­ing which makes the room look so­phis­ti­cated and chic. Two large squares that are ac­tu­ally pieces of beau­ti­ful stone work have been framed and oc­cupy cen­tral po­si­tion be­hind the main couch. The fab­rics used are a mix of Be­narasi tex­tiles and suede and vel­vet. Other in­ter­est­ing ac­cents in­clude a large, ir­reg­u­lar-shaped mir­ror, small tray-like pic­tures that Shah picked up on her trav­els through Spain and two onyx-fin­ished ele­phant tusks that rest on wooden stands. Shah has also got a com­fort­able, large iron­frame chair with thick cush­ions fur­nished us­ing a bright ja­mun colour and a ver­mil­lon fab­ric, once again from Ekaya Thaan.

The bed­rooms are more muted and per­fect for sum­mer and all three bed­rooms have cus­tomised beds with head boards clad in rich fab­rics and cush­ioned well. The mas­ter bed­room has a charm­ing bay win­dow with blue and white printed fab­ric on the seat­ing area and yel­low and white chics in­stead of cur­tains on the win­dows. A funky, modern lamp lights up the oth­er­wise calm, el­e­gant room.

While Shah says that she has al­ways been too busy to re­ally en­joy the house she adds, “Nowa­days I try and spend as much time as I can at home be­cause I have started lov­ing the idea of be­ing in a space that’s truly me.”

Pho­to­graphs by CHANDRADEE­P KU­MAR

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Pho­to­graphs by CHANDRADEE­P KU­MAR

3 SUM­MER HAVEN 1.The din­ing ta­ble is a bright spot 2. A chair up­hol­stered us­ing fab­ric from Thaan at Ekaya 3. The rest­ful guest bed­room

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