Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Masterful Mixing (Home tour)

Antique Indian décor elements, contemporary furniture and paintings by new-age Indian artists find their collective groove in the Bangalore based residence of Giri and Sangeeta Subramaniyam. Innate passion for their Indian roots integrated with their laid back personal style has translated into a space that is both aesthetically engaging and is a haven for relaxation and comfort. 

Surrounded by lush greenery, the entryway to the home is as impressive as the interiors. The main door is flanked on either side by antique finds that creates an arresting first impression. A distressed window panel draws you in to take a closer look. The weathered texture of the panel creates an almost abstract art in itself. On the opposite side is a Kalakuruchi Ganesha fastened to the wall and bordered on either side with traditional Indian style wooden corbels with brass diyas hanging from them. 
On entering the home you are met with a delightful personal scene. The long hallway is brought to life by a collection of favorite family photographs.The frames though disparate in terms of color and style all come together to make a perfect display of happy memories. 
Sangeeta says that she often finds herself stealing a minute or two every morning to look at these beautiful photographs. The other side of the wall is adorned with an antique ornate mirror that magnifies the effect of the display.
The Subramaniyam's living room is a space used for many different pursuits - it serves as the lounging room, media room and the family room. Their two sons are often caught playing video games or wrestling in this space. Giri points out that no room is off limits to the boys, "We strongly believe that a home should not be treated like a museum. But that being said there is no reason why one should compromise on style."
The Subramaniyams have introduced vibrancy to the neutral backdrop by welcoming pattern and color into their decorating scheme. India Circus cushion covers, patterned rugs and paintings of monks (sourced from a vacation overseas) present an opportunity to introduce offbeat hues in the living room.
Giri does not shy away from the fact that he is house proud. He says that his design aesthetics have been heavily influenced by his dad. Having grown up in a home where traditional Indian design elements had a significant role to play in the decor and architecture of the house, Giri found himself gravitating towards ethnic Indian style for his own home but has intelligently mixed  it in with a touch of the contemporary. 

Just off the living room is the formal dining. A space that is both functional and warm - the perfect place for entertaining. Adorning the windows are custom made natural woven roman shades that have been given an ethnic feel by using borders from Sangeeta's mother-in-law's sarees. I think that's a fresh and original way to use remnants of vintage sarees !
A section of the dining room has been dedicated as the pooja corner. An antique wooden Ūyala (cradle) has been innovatively used as a pooja shelf. 
With the carved spindles of the cradle providing an opportunity to house glass slabs, Sangeeta came up with this brilliant idea to transform the cradle into a wall mounted pooja unit. The family's deities are lovingly placed on the shelves and decorated with fresh flowers everyday.
Making the most of this wall space, a marble top carved pedestal console is married with an ornate metal engraved mirror from Saharanpur to create a one of a kind furniture piece. A serene looking brass Buddha and fresh palms in terracotta pots bring this corner alive.
The kitchen is utilitarian, bright and uncluttered. Giri's perspicacious eye for antique finds and his ability to put a personal spin on things has resulted in this delightful unit that helps define the kitchen area from the dining. He used a 100 year old grain storage unit (a family heirloom piece) together with a shelf that he scored at an antique store and had it restored to create this unit that provides additional storage. 
We are yet again introduced to Giri's unique ability to rummage for pieces that have had a previous life and turn them into functional pieces or architectural elements. Giri decided to frame this niche with 3 different antique wooden panels, making it an eye-catching architectural feature.  
As a tribute to Indian Mythology, an imposing piece of art titled "Krishna" by Avik Chakraborty brings mystical drama and a shot of color to this space. Fitted with a low-lying chest from Sunri, the bar also provides a display surface for a Manjushri weapon from Tibet, an antique wooden corbel now serving as a plant holder and the lucky bamboo bringing in a touch of green to this niche. 
A Realistic Oil on canvas by artist Anand Bedrala  takes center stage in the master bedroom. A calm and quite retreat with neutrals and dark wood tones balancing out this space. Splashes of red is used but in a very restrained way to add interest to the off white tones. The rolling secretary desk is more than a 100 years old and has been with Sangeeta since her college days. Being sentimentally attached to it, Sageeta has it adorning her master bedroom corner. Working her magic again on the roman shades, Sageeta has added zari borders in shades of red to the natural roman shades to tie it in with the rest of the room.  
The guest bedroom is deliberately kept simple with a  Rajashekar Parameshwaram painting  titled "The Real Beauty" as the key anchor. Placed on a console that also serves as the night stand is a Madhubhani painting sourced from a local Arts and crafts sale.  An antique bench with  an inlay of Chettinad tiles graces the guest bedroom and provides a quick seating nook for the guests to put on their socks or glance through a magazine before calling it a day.   
A floor to ceiling study unit in the children's room was put together by re-configuring a number of cabinets and a desk. Now that's one unique piece of furniture that brings a whole load of personality to this space !
Before we conclude this home tour, a few snapshots of the lush green corners of the balconies......

The Subramaniyam's home is a testament to the fact that if you are looking to create a home that is an authentic  representation of your personality and style, then don't be afraid to make unlikely alliances in your displays. As you can see, their home is the result of their creative instincts and outlays in terms of  time, energy and imagination. I'd like to thank this wonderful and gracious family for letting us tour their beautiful home and wish them luck, love and health !

I'm sure this home tour has got your creative adrenaline pumping. So go ahead and decorate with confidence and don't hold back on those unique ideas - they are what make your house a home!  

Photography : Sruthi Singh,  Images belong to Giri and Sangeeta Subramaniyam and  may not be used without prior written permission from the home owners.


  1. Thank you for your lovely blog that I came upon by chance. I love the interiors that you have showcased. It is nice to create a desi sanctuary especially when you live abroad- I will definitely use some of your tips. Inspiring and cheerful! I look forward to more :)

  2. One of the most beautiful homes I've seen! A home which not only reflects the beautiful roots but also the beautiful people behind it.
    Stunningly beautiful!!

  3. I would call this home a paradise on earth. Perfect blend of modern and traditional decor style. What I liked the most is clever use of cradle as a pooja unit, pedestal console with brass buddha, use of beautiful carved antique wood here and there and what not. Stunning home. Kudos to Sangeeta & Giri. Thanks to you Sruthi for showcasing such a beauty :)

  4. Beautiful home! This is a style I relate to most......antiques and art in a contemporary uncluttered space.

  5. Sruthi, Absolutely beautiful home. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lovely home, every corner of the house is beautiful. Thanks for bringing it to us.

  7. What a Wonderful blend of modern and antique styles. Kudos to owners and Sruthi for showcasing their home

  8. Absolutely gorgeous and elegant...what a beautiful home. Thanks for sharing Shruti :) i just love their marble top console, i am particularly looking for small size console and this one is perfect :)

  9. loved it! amazing style and loved all the pretty antique shelves.

  10. A home that one cant wait to go after a long day at work. Love it

  11. your home has everything style,elegance,warmth...cannot take my eyes off...I love the Krishna painting ....how can I order that one any information please share will be very helpful...we will be moving to mumbai soon...right now we are in canada...all the information will be very helpful

  12. Beutifully done! I loved the use of antique pieces appropriately.

  13. Nice home Sruthi .. !How did you put that wooden pillar on the ceiling. Even I was thinking of doing this for my home but dont want the construction to be damaged. Can you share what technique did you adopt for this one.

  14. So intricate and beautifully designed.reallyy in love with the marble top elephant table at the entryway. Can you please put littele more details about the same?


  16. Beautiful home Shruthi. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Beautiful home decor. I loved the partition in the living room. Is it glass with MDF design cut out? Could you please provide more details on the partition?

  18. Beautiful......nice collection.thanks for sharing

  19. A beautiful home...Stylish amalgam of traditional and the new aesthetically arranged. Thanks for this experience.


Thank you for visiting The East Coast Desi. I'd love to hear from you.