Designer spotlight: Purple Backyard

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Hello everybody! It’s Friday and time for Shopping Friday post which will be up tomorrow as I have an exciting designer to showcase today. During one of my many FB wanderlust (which has been cut short this week because of Chrome Nanny :(), I came across images of a beautiful, breezy, street-side cafe kinda setting. Digging further, it turned out this pretty place was a cafe in Mumbai called Bong Bong.

Bong Bong is a restaurant in Bandra famous for its plus-sized portions and hard-on-waistline food. It was designed by Purple Backyard, a multidisciplinary design firm founded by Kumpal Vaid and Aditi Kotak in Aug. 2011. A glimpse of Bong Bong  set the standards high and left me craving for more. I wasn’t disappointed; Purple Backyard’s  portfolio is as resplendent as their name. The restaurant, in its new avatar, opened its doors on November 7th.

A view of Bong Bong by night. This image spells warmth to me with its deep colors,hanging pots, casual seating in the verandah – in a word, welcoming! A place that looks like home and hopefully serves great food. Mumbai readers: just curious to know if you’ve been to this awesome looking place?

I got hooked onto Purple Backyard the minute I saw the picture below. It’s as if casual and sophistication got together in an effortless and unassuming way. It’s breezy, chic and rustic at the same time, intense and casual, and thoughtful with a  couldn’t-care-less attitude to it. But, most of all, the soft play of colors brought images of a Nordic street-side cafe to me. I don’t know why given that there are so many rich colors on exhibit here something one often doesn’t see there.



So, I asked Kumpal what was the mandate given to her by the client. And, she eloquently said,” The brief from the client was to make a space which is casual and warm with the the Bengali tea house meeting Parisian cafe feelit is a 30 seater. As you know it a small  space thus the challenge was to make it as spacious as possible and less jarring while dining .

The space looks more like a small Bengali house with the outdoor converted into a veranda and the inside into the living room keeping it very chic vintage with the use of sepia worn out walls, which instantly takes you back in time which is adorned with posters of 1960s, an old vintage radio, typewriter and many more knick knacks (old metal cigarette boxes ,worn out fan controllers and old almerah to house the merchandise for the eatery)  which make the space come alive..the exposed duct inside has been highlighted using a Howrah bridge line work mural. The outside veranda has a mural of hand pulled rickshaw which again makes you nostalgic.


The light for this space was very strategically planned keeping it very dim and minimalistic: old oil lamps, a glass chandelier all these pieces where hand picked from a flea market to keep in sync with the ambience greens definitely add and bring out the warmth of the space and make it look more Bengali house…..we have used the idea of highlighting instead of hiding for this project as the space demanded that.”


The first time I went to Calcutta was in July 2003. Got to admit had never seen a horse human drawn rickshaw before this  (although the regular rickshaws are there all over India) and wondered how did this even go on for so long. I’ve been visiting Calcutta more frequently over the past two years and don’t see any more of the hand pulled ones. But, from what I understand, this has been an integral part of the city’s transportation along with trams for decades now. So, it is reminiscent of the city’s past and any visual representation of the city would have been incomplete without it. On a sidenote : I LOVE Calcutta (ok ok, Kolkata). Whenever I am in the city, it feels as if life is not a drag, everyone seems to be enjoying it and not in a mad rush, and they take you along on the joy ride. God, do they love their food?

The picture below is from another project for an event agency called Pentagon Activation – a vintage bungalow converted into office space.


Purple Backyard undertake both commercial and residential projects. Though they are based in Mumbai, they execute interior and visual merchandising projects all over the country. So, if you are looking for someone to deck up your homes/offices aesthetically, you know who to get in touch with –

Thanks Kumpal for your enthusiastic replies. Looking forward to see more spaces.

Have a great weekend.

Image courtesy:

Purple Backyard


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