Stepping into the foyer of the Rashinkar home, on Lalith Mahal Road in Mysore, we expect an ornate home, and so we are pleasantly surprised by a Zen-like space. The various Buddhas, the spa-like elements, bamboo shoots and small beds of snow-white pebbles, the subdued colours and decorative elements, all add to create a soothing ambience which exudes calm.
Minimalism is the theme and the operative word in this elegant house. Muted colours, mostly whites and creams, whether as reflected in the furniture and furnishings, the flooring and the silverware for the candle-stands and for dining-ware; and the sparse décor elements all contribute to this effect. Even the kitchen is done up in light colours and is as uncluttered as a much-used cooking area can be made.
The choice was deliberate, explains Vinita Rashinkar, a spa director and her husband Raj Rashinkar, textile businessman.
When the base is minimalist it gives them scope to work on it to create different moods, they explain. So, the couple can keep adding different elements to vary the appearance.
So, whether it is the throws, or cushions or carpets or flowers, they can use different accessories and in various hues to make the house look Mediterranean one day, or flamboyantly stylish and colourful another day or simply let it be the Zen-like space it usually is.
The only splash of colour in the drawing and dining areas are provided by the wall-mounted paintings and the rich maroon silk cushions which are from Shanghai. “I bought them for a song in Shanghai’s Yu Yuan market. They were unbelievably cheap. Sometimes during travel one stumbles on such lucky bargains,” Vinita says with a laugh.
The paintings were commissioned by the couple from a local artist and the pricey Venetian mirror in the foyer was also custom-made. Raj’s textile background came in handy when they were selecting the right material for furnishing in all the rooms, in fact for the entire aesthetics of the house. “He knows about the play of textures and colours,” adds Vinita.
Of tradition, modernity
For all the tribute to modern interior-design trends, the house is still very traditional in the sense that it is 100 percent vaastu-compliant as the couple believes in its principles. So, the direction of the entrance, and the various bedrooms, puja-room, the kitchen and even the position of the furniture including beds as also the stove, and the taps in the kitchen and bathrooms (fire and water are vital factors in vaastu), all conform to vaastu.
“The builder already made the flats largely vaastu compliant so it was easy for us to follow up with implementing the rest of the dos and don’ts,” reveal the couple.
The open-plan concept for most of the house allows for a sense of spaciousness as well as a free flow of fresh air and sunlight through the drawing, dining and kitchen areas which merge seamlessly into one another. This feeling of expansiveness is taken forward by the large mirror fitted to face the dining table. It adds a new dimension and creates a pleasant illusion of added space. Additionally, it was a vaastu recommendation. “If the food is reflected in the mirror, vaastu holds that this doubles your prosperity,” explains Vinita.
The daughter’s bedroom is simple but elegant though uncharacteristically neat and tidy for a teenager’s room. But then the daughter is studying abroad!
The sun-washed balcony facing the drawing room has a wrought-iron table and chair set. It is used for the occasional evening drink or for taking in the view of the spectacular Chamundi hills which it overlooks.
Facing this balcony is a throw in faux fur placed over a poof. This poof was actually a piece of Pilate equipment which Vinita was no longer using. So, she converted into a single seater for the drawing room.
The artificial lighting was chosen to make the house an evening place.
There are many such fittings of which the ones which stand out are the chandelier over the dining table and two paper lanterns in the drawing room. The couple adds: “The latter are simple accessories so we can change them whenever we want a new look.”
The yoga and TV room are rather colourful. This is where yoga and fitness routines are practised by Vinita. One wall has floor to ceiling windows and other is filled with niches stocked with books and knick-knacks bought during Vinita’s travels across the world. She explains that she always like to pick up things like this when she travels. “They remain fond memories of my journeys and they also become talking points when guests come over.”