Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Smitten by Antique Charm (Home Tour)

The sprawling eight year old pent house of Air Marshall Prakash Pingale and Sonali Pingale in Pune, is the perfect canvas to their collection of antiques and treasures that has been amassed over a period of 45 years. Does the name Sonali Pingale ring a bell??? Well, you guessed right! She is the founder and lady behind the leading furniture and home décor boutique Sanskriti Lifestyle. Her connoisseur’s sensibility shines through the perfectly curated collection showcased at Sanskriti and also extends to their personal abode.
Sonali’s style is pretty much Indian with a contemporary twist. Sonali on her decorating style, “Travel and moving houses was inevitable with my husband’s job. We literally used to move every two years. As a result of which we lived in many houses, from roomy bungalows to pigeon-holes. The many challenges helped me in developing my own interior style - indo-contemporary.” And when you take a closer look at the home, you realize this style that she is referring to advocates passion for surrounding yourself with things you absolutely love, a style that experiments with pushing the boundaries of a look to its limits, a style that exudes an air of improvised appeal yet looks sophisticated in every way……Shall we get on with the home tour then? And Trust me when I say, you are going to have a lot of “where did she get that?” moments, as you read through this home tour that is filled with visual surprises! 
The dramatic entryway to the Pingale’s home is a mirror of sorts. It acquaints one with the home owner’s inimitable personality, individualistic style and their exquisite taste when it comes to decor. Antique jackfruit wood pillars from Kerala flank the entrance to the home, making it a grand welcome. The Buddha bust and framed Sreenath wall art came from Bali. A set of mismatched plates (some new, some old) collected from the Pingales various travels makes for an interesting collage. Sonali on the strong presence of antiques and vintage treasures in her style of decorating, “I like old and vintage pieces because I can relate to them. I grew up with these things around me.
As we make our way through the home, the transition areas which are normally the hardest of places to decorate have been given purpose by creating interesting displays in them. More ceramic plates, a beautiful carved console with a marble top, old south Indian lamps grouped on a side-board and a large antique traditional brass lamp from Kerala mingle happily together to create what is a warm and lived-in feel. 
Did your heart just skip a beat? Mine did too! When I first laid eyes on their gorgeous living room, I was completely captivated. Though each piece is a statement piece and can hold its own in a room, the way Sonali has found the perfect placement for each one of them, is pure genius! It all looks so cohesive together without each of them vying for attention. The Brahmin boy painting is a copy done by a local artist and framed in an old wooden door frame. The Devi riding the tiger is from Karnataka, and is an old piece made out of wood. The ornate rosewood chair is an antique and was sourced from Goa. Taking center stage on the coffee table is a bronze breastplate that is worn by the Theyyam dancers of Kerala to take on the female form. Now that is definitely a conversation piece, won’t you agree?
The Tanjore paintings that you see all over the house are 25-50 yrs old. Antique wooden finials have been given a renewed purpose as mini shelves. They display an assortment of brass statues. A crew of old copper pandaans (beetle-nut boxes) make for another wonderful grouping on the coffee table. 
The stairway leading up to the bedrooms, houses stone sculptures on the window sill and colored glass lanterns hung together at varying heights to make a pretty grouping. The delightful painting is by a new-age artist, Devidas.
On the landing of the stairway stands a Buddha from Bali and an old Tanjore glass painting above it. On the adjoining wall, are antique wooden carved kavadi panels that are very popular among Lord Murugan’s worshippers in South India. 
To contrast the mustard wall color, a pair of wooden Hanuman statues with a beautiful peeling patina of rust from Karnataka is teamed up with an over-sized mirror and console. Sonali on her decorating mantra, “My mantra is very simple really. It’s your home- do what makes you happy. Surround yourself with pieces you like. It’s your own private haven so don’t worry about what others have to say.” I totally second that!
Every arrangement points in the direction of Sonali’s discerning eye for beautiful things! Another vintage armoire in a distressed teal shade pops against the mustard walls. Perched on top of the armoire is an old Vishnu lithograph (thought to be more than 50 yrs old) and other wooden finds that make a fascinating display. 
As you can tell by now, Sonali is an advocate for the avant-garde decor style. The unusual pairing of old Christian icons with the Ganesha statue from South India set on a wooden trunk from Kochin, boasts of this very fact.
Another one of those happy experiments where Sonali has successfully put together disparate pieces in a stunning vignette. Antique Tanjore paintings are placed over a pitara from Rajasthan with a collection of antique lamps. The African figure that you see is originally meant to be a musical instrument.
The guest bedroom of this home is no different. It carries the same vibes as the rest of the home and is chock-full of found treasures. The console was custom made by using old carved pieces of wood. Hanging above the console is a painting by contemporary artist, Devsale. The art deco style armoire you see in the corner is over 60 years old.
The master bedroom is another well put together place. A refuge that is replete with more art, artifacts and distressed one-of-a-kind furniture pieces. This is by far Sonali’s favorite room in the house, “It’s comfortable and I can completely unwind in here.” The rooster art is an oil painting by an African artist while the painting on the easel is done by a local artist.
In the Pingale’s home, the outdoors receive as much attentions as the indoors. This is the sit out on the terrace with an old bench painted bright blue and an old continental brass bed. In the corner is an old altar from Goa. 
This was my 25th home tour and I truly wanted it to be a special one! And boy, the Pingale’s home is the perfect fit to celebrate this milestone. Thank you Sonali and Prakash for letting us tour your gem of a home. It would definitely be amiss if I didn’t mention the lovely Shalaka Pingale here. It is because of her, that this home tour came together so beautifully. Thank you Shalakala for all the effort, I owe you one.
As for you my readers, I know you would want to go back and take in every detail possible. So go right ahead but don’t forget to write to me with your wonderful feedback !
(Image Credit: Shalaka Pingale , The images may NOT be copied /used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written permission from the Pingales and TECD)


  1. Hey Shruti,
    My Treasured find is your blog..
    Your design sensibilities and choice of words are great.I started to redesign my home already after came across TECD.

  2. Awesome blog. I enjoy reading your blog specially this one.
    The 4th image in your last Collage the huge jug like, I have something similar to it. Do you have any information about it? Like what and where it is from.

  3. Love love love your blog Shruti. Please share your email with me, or maybe I can write to you on insta, I need some advise on decor.... I totally want to copy you. Sigh.


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