home tour


Happy New Year everyone! No lists, no resolutions, I’m sure you’ve read enough of them in the past week. And no excuses either why this space has been silent. So, let’s just dive in and indulge ourselves. On a side note, it turns out I started writing this post on Nov. 21. Phew!

I was flipping through the Diwali (Nov. ’13) edition of GoodHomes, and I just couldn’t get past the Menons’ home in Bangalore. The home tours is by far my favorite section of the magazine. Earlier, I was quite fond of their recipe section too but ever since GoodFood launched, this section has become virtually non-existent. If you happen to a grab a physical copy of the issue and leaf through the pages, you’ll relate to what I’m saying about the Menon home.

But, what is more striking about the feature is the way Meenakshi Shankar describes the place. I’m sorry..I have to take that back; she has not described it; you can actually feel her experience as she walked through the home. The language is as ornate as the house; as free flowing as the decor.Every word aptly describes the royal treatment every corner deserves.  Having said that, it’s time for the tour.

Menon residence Bangalore

I’ve always wondered how the interiors of an artist’s home would look like? All walls adorned with paintings, no corner spared, color burst perhaps. you bet – this one is all of that and more!

Color burst


When I started writing this blog four years ago, I had one agenda in mind – to make it as informative as possible for our daily lives. DIYs, peeking into people’s homes, sharing organizing tidbits, and where to buy what was a means of achieving that goal. Over the years, I believe I’ve strayed away from that by showcasing too many pretty pictures. Styled homes do a great deal of good to our senses but I often wonder what lies behind that shiny closet, or inside the spic-and span drawers in a kitchen. If you are short on space, or looking for ideas on sorting your cutlery, these pictures do little!

One cloudy morning last week, I met Archana of Archana’s Kitchen to do a kitchen tour. Archana needs no introduction for foodies and wannabes. She wears many hats – food blogger, consultant chef, culinary trainer, and caterer in a previous avatar. Why Archana? Who better than someone who cooks 145837 different recipes in a week spanning  desserts to savouries with exotic to everyday ingredients from Mediterranean to Thai cuisines. The kitchen better be good to get all this done, right? You bet. Archana gladly welcomed me into her kitchen and was gracious enough to open up her kitchen, in the literal sense, and lay it bare for me and you to see.

All those mouth-watering pictures originate here.

First thoughts: Archana’s kitchen is a beautiful conconction of contradictions: dark wood but enough sunlight streaming in thr the east facing windows; modern appliances sitting side by side traditional utensils (think no non-stick cookware), thoughtfully organized to handle chaos, of a moderate size to cook for large numbers, and age-old dishes with a healthier spin.

Good morning! How’s the week treating you folks? I’m hoping you are reading this post on feedly or some other reader. How did you find the transition? As much as I like feedly, I miss Google Reader.

So anyways, early last month, after the numbers slowly started receding from my head, I spoke with Harsh Jain of Nestopia one afternoon. How about some prettiness first before we get down to business?

Doing up one’s home, or even constructing an independent house is still largely an unorganized space in India; largely done by word of mouth. There’s no credibility before you hire a contractor, or be certain you’ll see a home at the end of the year. Oh yes, the horror stories of contractors fleeing with lakhs after gaining your confidence are not fables.

Good Morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you happen to flip through the pages of GoodHomes’ March edition? The Real Home section featured Ramya, Anand and their son Aditya’s 1450 sq.ft Mumbai apartment. All that had to be said has been brilliantly captured by Pia Sinha. I’ll let these two pictures decide whether you should grab a copy or not. If you liked this home, I bet you will like the Jains’ 1,800 sq. ft upcycled home as well. It was featured in Good Homes. Image courtesy: BBC Good Homes India March ’13 Edition

Today I’m back with another home tour showcasing an apartment in Bangalore. I think it’s amazing when people throw open their doors, and let us take a peek into what lies behind it. It’s real for one with real people living in it; these homes are not staged or styled for a sale, and that I think is remarkable.

My post on paint color evoked a lot of responses; one of them was from Anitha who shared pictures of her home – Prashanthi. Prashanti means “peace” and as we step inside get a glimpse of the drawing room, every corner gives you that calming impact. Maybe it’s the magic of white …so shall we take a tour and see what’s in store? From flashes of light to an Indian version of Martha Stewart, you can see it all.

Living + Dining

Home Tour: Anitha’s Peaceful Abode in Bangalore

I asked Anitha how she manages a white sofa in dust-laden Bangalore and this is what she had to say, “Our living room colour was based on the warmth that the purple would give out when rightly mixed with whites. It took some time to convince my hubby about this colour. But, now he just loves it. These sofas are from Ikea and comes with machine washable covers. I bought two extra covers and it goes for wash fortnightly.”

Drawing room of an apartment in Bangalore with a rectangular mirror and open shelving.

Aakanksha and I schooled together for three years in a remote district in Northern Karnataka where our fathers worked. Then, she moved to Gwalior. And we lost touch for two decades. Thanks to FB, we connected again. If there’s one thing I still remember from those days, it’s how impeccably clean she was, and that shows in her home as well now..

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she is passionate about interiors.

This is what she has to say on maintaining a clean bathroom: “I m a cleanliness freak, and very particular when it comes to bathrooms.To keep it all parched n spruced up….I make sure that the water is wiped off the floors n walls after every shower. That’s not too cumbersome as it has to be done just once in the morning when everybody is done and seldom at night. It just takes 5 to 10 mnts in all.thats not a big price to pay for a dry n neat bathroom free of dampness & moisture which becomes quite  unwelcoming otherwise……”

Siddharth Sreekumar lives with his wife, brother and parents at his parents’ flat in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. We visited his parents one Saturday in January. I did not plan on shooting the interiors but after seeing the elegantly done flat I couldn’t resist asking.

You may wonder why I call it a haveli if it’s only a 3-BHK flat. Well, because that’s the feeling I got and I’m sure you’ll agree as you scroll down. They live in perhaps the most busiest part of Bangalore where it becomes impossible to step out of the apartment building in the weekends. But the house more than makes up for lack of outside entertainment. The pleasant interiors exudes a sense of warmth and the perfect atmosphere for the family to spend their weekends together after a hectic week.

It’s not a exaggeration when I tell you it took aunty over an hour to show me through the 3-bedroom flat and still it was far from over. Every piece of artifact and furniture has either been hand-picked or has been passed down generations. It was like a story unfolding in front of me with a tale behind every vase and chest in the house. For instance, can you believe the vase in the picture below is a artillery shell? Siddharth’s father used to serve in the defence forces before retiring. Hats off to aunty for carefully preserving memories and putting them to good use decades later in settings where one would least expect.

There is no room for modern in this house. The place oozes antiquity from every corner.

Home Tour: Sreekumars’ haveli in Bangalore

The view from the main door of the foyer and the drawing room. The aroma of fresh Rajnigandha was mesmerising.  The drawing room has a royal yet homely and cosy feeling.

The wooden oonjal is supported by intricately designed brass chains on four ends. It is flanked by equally majestic antique furniture set from Nosttaligia.Facing the oonjal by the side of the french window is a silk upholstered diwan.

Isn’t it so much better to be used than be stashed away in the lofts and forgotten forever? This laundry basket definitely looks stylish than the store-bought plastic or jute baskets. So on your next trip to your granny’s if it’s not being used, you know what to ask for :)

As promised, I’m back with a home tour of the Talrejas.  I’ve done many store tours in the past year and half but this would be the first home tour. As always, let’s start at the beginning. The Talrejas are old friends of my folks and had invited us for tea one evening during our trip to Bahrain. We went as you normally go over to friends’; it had been over 15 years since I last met them. I was no longer the skinny, college-going girl they knew, and neither were they young parents of  toddlers.  The years have given way to relocation, kids, grown-up kids, and grey hairs. I entered. I saw and I was floored. Seriously. You don’t plan on visiting someone’s home with the idea of capturing it in celluloid. I was lucky to be carrying my camera. This home had to be shown…so I asked the…