Reflection of taste


Reflection of taste

The house of Aishwarya Suresh and Srinivas is full of traditional paintings, brass and bronze artefacts. The study showcases the couple’s interest in movies, books and television. Sriranjitha Jeurkar takes a tour of the house.

Home: The word conveys so much more than just the four walls we stay within. Your home tells others about you, your tastes, what kind of a lifestyle you lead; where you come from, what you do...The house of Aishwarya Suresh and Srinivas in Frazer Town manages to tell visitors about all these, and tells it very effectively.

Ask her about the house, and Aishwarya immediately admits, “I am house proud. For me, things need to be in place. I am very particular about it.” And it shows in the way her house is decorated and maintained. The house has a classic look – teak furniture, brass and bronze artefacts displayed in the living room, and traditional art on the walls. “I am not a fan of the modular style of furniture and modern decor. I don’t like the look of leather and rexine either. I am very particular about what we use in the house, especially the wood used to make the furniture. And fortunately, my husband likes these choices too,” she says.

Deciding how the house would be decorated was not difficult as the couple had a fair idea of the furniture and decorations they wanted. “For each room, I had an intuitive feeling of what I wanted and what would work. We started differently, with the carpets and then decided on the other elements. This helped us because it’s usually difficult to match the carpets with the furniture. Everything else fell into place.”

A touch of art

For Aishwarya, who runs Banna Creations, an organisation that works with traditional arts and crafts, her interest in the arts and her work also influenced the decor.
“Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the choices reflect the work I do; most of the paintings are from art forms I engage with, like chittara, phad and madhubani,” she explains.

The different rooms in the house are decorated keeping the themes and usage requirements in mind. The living room has a nice cosy feel, with a comfortable teakwood sofa and a combination of wicker chairs and low folding chairs as well as throw pillows on the floor. The seating arrangement is highlighted by the hand-embroidered cushions in bright colours.

The centre of the room has a coffee table that displays some of the couple’s favourite curios – dokra art figurines, and lamps and bells made of brass. A side table with ceramic vases and containers from Pondicherry offers relief from the wood-and-brass combination of the room. The large French doors let in adequate light, and the walls are used to display traditional Indian artwork, and paintings made by Aishwarya herself.

The dining room and bedrooms are mostly functional, designed simply and for maximum utility and comfort. Even these areas have small touches that stand out: hand-embroidered table-runners, linen embroidered by chikankari artists, souvenirs from places visited, and family memorabilia. “My husband travels extensively abroad, and I travel within India, so we have a collection or souvenirs: porcelain from China, vases from Russia, dokra artefacts, bidriware, and other things we have picked up,” she says. These are paired with items handed down by her parents and grandparents – like a 200-year-old tapestry bought by her grandfather in Turkey, an ancient Tibetan box, Kashmiri carpets and brassware. The crochet work displayed on the side tables and dining unit were created by her mother.

For some comic relief!

The study – which is used mostly by her husband – reflects his interest in movies, books and television. A custom-made open shelf on one side has a huge collection of DVDs ranging from Bollywood to world cinema; there is a bookshelf, the top of which displays miniatures of the couple’s favourite comic characters: Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock, along with travel souvenirs; the room is also decorated with movie posters and caricatures.

In keeping with the overall feel of the house, the table and chair are classic in design, while the blue carpet and bright pillows bring some colour to the room.

Aishwarya’s workroom is a contrast to the study. It is done up in bright colours, with the easel taking pride of place. Bright bedspreads and linen give a cheerful touch. The balconies are green, and decorated with wind chimes, hangings and comfortable seating arrangements, making them the ideal place to spend the afternoons and evenings of pleasant weather.

Reading nook

Her favourite spot in the home, however, is the little reading corner adjacent to the dining area. A small cabinet has photographs and medals belonging to her father, who had been decorated for his service as an army man. Settling down on a chair beside the cabinet is ideal for when she wants to read, she says.

“I have to say that decorating a home is a constant process. Every three to four months, I rearrange the furniture and change the positions of the paintings to get a slightly different look. It is a constant process and you learn as you go, you figure out what is practical and what doesn’t work. I believe that whether you live in a rented or your own house, you should live well. And that reflects in the decor. I’ve now arrived at the perfect balance between having a beautiful home, and being able to maintain it too,” she signs off.

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