Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Oriental Charmer (Home Tour)

The Gandhi's have assiduously forged an exquisite home in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) where refined Oriental collections are elegantly edited against a serene backdrop rendered in shades of neutrals. The off white color scheme is prudently punctuated with gleeful splashes of fuchsia keeping things fresh and cheerful. The young and dynamic couple who own this impressive home are Manisha Gandhi, the founder/owner of the online furniture boutique "Oriental Living Company" and Nikhil Gandhi, a banker by profession. They share this gorgeous three storied home with their two lovely daughters...The couple's keen eye for beauty, charm and the unique is evident in every room of the sunlight flooded residence.Talking about what a home means to her, Manisha says, "My home is my haven and it radiates warmth, happiness and tranquility. However, a well put together space in not only aesthetically pleasing but it also has to be functional – which is the essence of every home we have lived in."
By combining subtle Eastern design influences with urban functionality needs, the young couple has created refined interiors for a family-friendly home. A large, ivory tone sectional with clean lines and modern sensibility makes for plentiful seating in the spacious living room. Generously sprinkled with fuchsia colored pillows, the happy shade offers delight to the eyes and helps break up the neutral color palette. A contemporary style coffee table houses the couple's beloved collection of books and prized accessories. Fuchsia colored blooms in a woven bamboo basket brings a touch of the outdoors in and livens things up. With subtropical weather year round, wooden floors are kept bare except for a hand woven, block-print Kalamkari style rug that echoes the happy accent color. The couple's exquisite collection spans a time frame of 8 years, Manisha says,"We started collecting pieces for our house since we were married, almost 8 years ago, to make it what it is now. We love shopping for our’s a bottomless pot. But we ensure to take our time and bring home only those pieces that we absolutely love."
With the presence of innumerable windows in the room, creating wall displays is a decorating dilemma Manisha shares. However, the one wall that they had, they decided to go big and bold by incorporating a statement piece to adorn it. After scouting around for a while, Manisha and Nikhil, both decided on this Vietnamese gold lacquer painting by Vietnam's most well known artist Bui Van Hung. 
(This wooden sculpture depicting a temple procession was procured from Ubud in BALI. It was love at first sight says Manisha.)
Having lived in Hong Kong before their move to Vietnam, the relocation has given their imagination room to roam. With a lot more space at their disposal, the couple loves the airy and open floor plan of this gorgeous house, "The move has been liberating given that Hong Kong had such small living spaces, with Vietnam not having a space issue."
(Cushions from Good Earth and Goods of Desire (GOD) - HK dress up the neutral couch.)
When it comes to  deciding on furnishings for the home,  Manisha shares that it is almost always a joint decision. But there have been situations where issues concerning aesthetic beauty were involved and she has had the last word ! I now know why fuchsia seems to be the dominating accent color;) But I do love the subtle use of such a bold color. It does not say girly or feminine in any way! It just screams sophistication ! 
This decoratively crafted, standing Buddha in Mandalay style was a travel find from Thailand. The statue draws one in to take a closer look at the intricate pleats on the robe, encrusted with multiple colored glass stones that glisten in the sun light streaming in through the huge windows embracing the living room. Manisha shares that the Buddha´s slender right hand displays the Abhaya Mudra, a symbolic gesture of fearlessness and granting protection, one of the many reasons why this Buddha was brought home.

Every time Manisha looks at the Buddha he not only restores a sense of calm in her but also brings a smile to her face. Why a smile you ask? Well here is the story, "It was quite a tedious process to ship the Buddha from Thailand to Vietnam. So we decided to carry it along with us on the flight:) Yes, that was quite an experience. And the Buddha wouldn't fit into a taxi on our rides from and to the airport (with all our luggage and us), so we took a tuk tuk. So it was us with the Buddha in a tuk tuk :)" Now that is what I mean by every piece in your home should have a story to tell!
In the living room a pair of antique Horseshoe Ming Style Chairs in a warm teak tone, look at ease with the modern day sectional and hold the underlying theme together. I personally, love the simple curves and perfect proportions of the Ming Style chairs!

Manisha and her family love to travel and make it a point to pick up something from everywhere they visit. And it is not just a  pocket size souvenir that they are referring to. Most of the solid furniture pieces in the home is from  their travels to Hong Kong, China and the great Mekong !
A trio of hand made Iznik pottery from Turkey in shades of blue, turquoise, red and green, graces a wall in the formal dining room. On a closer look the pottery depicts stories of  nature's bounty and the iconic Whirling Dervishers.  Situated at the foot of the display is a mini Chinese trunk exhibiting a pair of the terracotta replicas of the famous "Terracotta Warriors". An intricately carved metal vase holds carnations in shades of red and pink to echo the accent color used in the decor.  
The couple love entertaining and wanted to keep the overall style in the formal dining space in sync with the living room. Furniture in dark tones with an accent color in a deeper shade keeps things looking cohesive.   

A beautifully decked dining table, awaits its dinner guests !
I was curious to know if Manisha  had been tempted to keep certain pieces for her home, from the ones that she sources for her store - The Oriental Living ? To which she answers, "Yes, I've been tempted a number of times. The Ming style chairs, a red lacquer TV cabinet, a Ming style sideboard and a red lacquer chest are here gracing my home on account of those temptations!"  
Comfort and functionality were the key considerations while furnishing the lounging room/entertainment room. The result is a no fuss, snug and kid friendly space where the family gets together at the end of the day to relax, unwind and watch their favorite TV show before retiring for the day.
The TV cabinet is one of the many pieces that Manisha was tempted to keep for herself from the Oriental Living Furniture line!
This is the couple's private retreat. The space is an ideal mix of sophistication, serenity and sensible design. The grand bed frame steals the show in the master bedroom. It took them a while to find the right furniture for their master suite. But when they came across this four poster bed, they had no doubt, it was what they were looking for! Textiles from Good Earth and framed posters from India Circus complete the simple yet elegant room for a restful night's sleep. 
(Manisha's  ingenuity is seen here as she uses sheer curtains from the Good Earth line to create an illusion of a canopy bed adding to the dreamy and romantic feel of the space.)  
If you adore Manisha's decorating style and would like to replicate similar vibes for your home, here is her design mantra,"Simplicity is the key element. When spaces are clutter free, there is a lot that can be done. Also given our Indian-ness, we love color. We add color in smaller items, like cushions, bed spreads, table mats and runners. Most important of all, make sure you invest in good furniture like you would invest in jewelry. Before buying, do consider your future needs as well . As this an investment that would last a lifetime!" 

With that we come to end of  yet another wonderful home tour. I hope you enjoyed taking in all the Oriental beauty and charm that exudes from this intimate space that Manisha and  Nikhil have lovingly put together. I'd like to thank the couple for being so gracious and letting us into their beautiful home! Wishing them health, happiness and peace.

As for you'll my favorite peeps, drop me line and let me know if you enjoyed our oversea's home tour this month. Watch this space for more on Oriental design inspiration coming up this month!
Have a wonderful day!

Images: Clicked by Manisha Gandhi. Please do not use without prior written permission. 
Images are the property of Manisha Gandhi and subject to copyright.


  1. Beautiful and charming home ... Loved it !!

  2. Beautiful! Bright and the color palette! I see a rain chaint too! How interesting to use it indoors! That gave me an idea :)

  3. Lovely home tour Sruthi! Loved the pop of fuschia everywhere and the Buddha statue. Very beautifully done up home. Great job Manisha.

  4. Beautiful home! Neat. Love the colors. Thanks for sharing, Sruthi.

  5. Always a pleasure seeing and reading your posts Shruthi :)
    The ingenuity of bed canopy stole my heart away. Truly your home is your haven, Manisha!

  6. Beautiful Home!!!! Loved the wooden sculpture a lot, it's actually as Manisha Said. Thanks for sharing, Shruti.


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