Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cultivated Taste and Deep Passion (Home Tour of Surekha Patil)

Created with a strong sense of personal style and a keen eye, our today’s home tour will be marked as the 25th one on my blog shore, and a validation of the fact that peeking into real people's homes and being inspired in the process are still my readers’ first choice. Each of this home has been different, every home has been special and bonding with every home owner is the cherry on top. I hope to continue toasting more milestones and discovering ever more home tours and their fiercely individualistic styles in coming years. 
Coming back to our today's home tour, it reflects a dash of contemporary with a well-versed traditional taste

Weighing on a positive lifestyle of being an IAS officer’s wife, our today's home owner is thankful to her celebrated family life. Meet Surekha Patil, a woman of many talents. When it comes to home front, antiques are her madness, heirlooms are her method and traditional decor is her magic trick. 
Surekha has a distinctive flair for antiques and heirloom pieces and keeping the same intact, she has preserved everything beautifully made from the past than walking into a big-box store for her home décor. Her interiors are comprising of a unique essence of India through exclusively designed and developed artifacts. Be ready to be engaged, inspired and ready to decorate with her cultivated taste and deep passion. 
Nonchalant about brands and décor-trends, her style sense is mighty original. Passionately involved with great Hindu epic Ramayana, she gave her entrance the strength and definition of her culture. By placing ‘Ram-Parivar’ here, she ensured that every guest is instantly taken back to the glory of history. Surekha sums up: Without Ram Parivar, we can’t imagine our life. It is our culture and it is our part of life to remember Ramayana. We strongly believe that it protects the family from bad elements hence the Ram-Parivar is adorning our entry-way.” To seal off the entire look, Surekha used the back drop of a beautifully carved wood piece having Shiva-Parvati on the top ten headed Ravana. 
When it comes to decorating with antiques and heirlooms it has to be done with boldness, panache, and often a deep breath. Surekha’s one of a kind collection can be dubbed raid-worthy for all the antique collectors out there. While admiring the grandfather clock and the Victorian chair with a great cheer she clarified: Revolving VICTORIAN design chairs (very old & made in British times) are my family heirlooms and my prized possession. The grandfather clock is from the time when no China made grandfather clocks were available. It is custom made specially for us by Ajanta clock company, which they took one year to deliver.” The beautiful window called ‘Zarokha in Rajasthan is also custom made which Surekha uses as a place to keep her artifacts. Currently the place is occupied by ‘Natya Ganesha dancing on rat with his consort in the backdrop of  custom made MYSORE carving in white cedar wood.  
An enthusiast for all things vintage reflects the modish with traces of classic. According to Surekha, Gowri head is believed to be worshipped in all eight puranas of Hindu religion. This age-old silver Gowri head is her prized possession that she loves dearly. Her beautiful face and unique ornaments gave her pride of the place in home.
Figuring out how to use heirloom pieces in a way that fits in with the style of the home and the look can be really intimidating...she has rather thought of it as an exciting series of opportunities while placing them boldly in each and every corner of the home.  
The most auspicious and sacred room of the home is Surekha’s divinely beautiful temple. A celebrated Tanjore artist visualized the design Surekha was envisioning for her prayer room and carried her dream forward by making these Tanjore style painting for the door of the temple room. The sacred dream place is full of positive energy where Patil’s recharge themselves before getting paraded through the chores of daily life. A firm believer in God’s grace, Surekha loves to surround herself with inspirational icons. She has deepened her spirituality by reading lots of mythology books. On a variety of occasions and festivals, Surekha performs sacred acts and creates a relationship with the divine through her emotions and senses. The above collage spotlights on the different deities dwelling at royalty in her home. Krishna playing in the cradle on peacock feathers, great celebrations of Janmashtami at home or the most auspicious North East corner of the home along with other spiritual statues here are witness of Surekha’s spiritual soul.  
I was quite curious to see an actual chariot in her home. Asking about it Surekha chortled in joy: “The beautiful art in the chariot attracted me to the extent that I wanted to have a miniature chariot at home I pushed my hometown carpenter to make one chariot for me in teak wood. While designing the chariot one has to follow some rules and it is called ‘Agama Shastra’. Fortunately, the carpenter really worked hard for us and surprisingly made it for me. Now I proudly decorate this four wheeled chariot on festival days and pull it forward. I feel blessed to have this sacred piece of art in my home”. The home is stylishly cluttered with a great deal of personality and accumulation of chic odd and old utensils and vessels. By dotting them around the home Surekha has brought her own personal history into it as much as the history the item itself has on its own. Along with highly envious collection of spoons and ladles, ages old coconut scraper, mortar and pestle and big wooden lemon squeezer in the corners of her kitchen reminds her of the days when these things were greatly used in a joint family with main occupation of agriculture. 

Even though she moved to metro cities the idyllic days and pastoral settings remained forever itched in her mind and influence her decorating preferences. Surekha recalls: We have a village background but are now settled in metros. When I visit my native places I feel nostalgic. Now because of urbanization,  we have lost contact with our villages, which I dearly miss. In my urge to save the memories and to remember my ancestors, I brought all the interesting utensils of our great grandparents in the kitchen and started using them to decorate my home. All the appreciation and accolades inspired me to collect more and more. Each and every object is artistic and used to prepare organic food with them. I love my grandma's kitchen and their recipes which in modern days we call them dietitians. 
Under the protective arms of Surekha all the utensils have been purely kept up to date in the memory with all the affection.
Surekha was determined saying ‘no’ for having lost the precious tangible objects that tell the story of her family...rather she proudly placed them in her kitchen space with fond memories. Here in this picture collage are the long-forgotten pieces of a South Indian kitchen that tugs at the heartstring of Surekha. Recalling the past, she nodded: These are the very old wooden utensils used in the kitchen, long wooden stick is for making buttermilk and butter, belongs to my husband’s grandmother and the wooden pounder is to grind very soft grains in the kitchen. Red one is a popular South Indian spoon stand. In front of it is a brass stove for cooking in old days (used with kerosene before the gas was introduced). The little black stone is to grind garlic in the kitchen as Indians use garlic abundantly and the blue one is called Thirugai Chakra or (Chakki as many of us may know) as to make powder from grains to make rotis and other purposes. It is from that time when there was no electricity, ladies of the home had to prepare all attas with wooden and stone chakki for cooking for their families. I personally think, it was a good exercise for ladies and it was a natural gym for ladies ;)".
Another handsome standing master piece in the dining area is this envious door. Having lived in a culturally rich ancient British Bungalows ad King's Court during her husband's IAS services, she developed an attraction towards the chettinad doors and windows. As acknowledged by Surekha: "The huge arches, windows and doors of these magnificent buildings fascinated me. Discerning artist and collector in me achieved the knowledge and created the interest for the same and bought in chettinad doors to ornate and use differently in my home. One for dining backdrop and one for showcasing silver antiques in the same area."
Nod to both the historical elegance of the past and the modern necessities of today, hard-working combinations like silver and a frame of chettinad door are displayed in the dining area with pride. “That was the time, when silver was not expensive and that was also the time when people in towns had no awareness about the value for antique silver artifacts. When I compared to big cities antique showrooms, it always made me wonder at the difference because I had bought them for just the silver price from the local jewelry shops where people usually sell for their debts.” revealed Surekha.
Periodic details and traditional accouterments are often eliminated in the pursuit of contemporary city style but this home proves that your love of all things vintage can embrace the old while ushering in the new to achieve a sympathetic blend that’s suited to modern lifestyle of Patil’s. Here is a closer look at the workman ship of the chettinad door that honors the dining area.  
Can it get more vintage than this? The patina and richness of these humblest items are combined into an arresting display that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Colonial style teak wood tables are heaped with the pleasing display to maximize the impact of her family treasures. And oh yes, I am taking you to the art pieces of the home as no home is complete without a carefully curated art display.
Harking back to the days gone by, art-savvy Surekha recalls of being an ardent admirer of princely Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings. Revising the intrepid artist’s journey and inspired by an array of Raja Ravi Varma’s masterpieces Surekha recreated portraits of his art pieces for her own home. I told you, she is a woman of many talents. This particular oil painting of ‘Hansa Damayanti’ is done by Surekha some twenty years back and it actually took her 6 months to complete. 
Here is the painting in its full glory in an entirely ethnic ambiance of her living room.

Rest of the art pieces are displayed on the walls of bedrooms. Testifying about these art pieces Surekha says: "Since my childhood I am a great admirer of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings. I was attracted to these beautiful ladies with ethnic attires, and traditional jewelries in my dreams. With their expensive prices, purchasing and owning one was not possible. An actual house site was available in an equivalent amount of the art piece in our town. However, that didn’t dampen my spirit and my desire to ornate my home with Raja Ravi Varma paintings took me to 'Chitra Kala Parishad' to learn. Now I proudly earned and achieved these Ravi Varma’s replicas. It gives me an immense pleasure to see them adorning the walls of my home." 
Respecting heritage doesn't mean that you need to live in a historic time capsule. Traditional touches can work wonders even in the most modern living. These vintage furniture pieces are the most striking elements in her home. They have been passed through generations and are now mingling with her contemporary settings. 
With dignity and fortitude, Surekha has embraced the challenge of having an eclectic look following her own instincts and from various sources.  Patil’s home is a genuine reflection of its habitats and provides a backdrop for the historic story that will be told within it. The living room here holds sandalwood statues collection above the fireplace. They are the souvenirs for her husband’s 35 years of government services. Downloading the memories Surekha reckoned that: “I call this room as my ‘Gandhada Gudi’ in Kannada which literally means A temple of sandalwood.” 
She let the decorating ball rolling with one of a kind furniture throughout her home and settled them in the most effective places around the home. This Rajasthani style haveli zarokha was collected from one of the carpenter who belonged from a remote village in Rajasthan. This window cum gallery is from the times when ladies were prohibited to go outside of their havelis. They used  similar kind of zarokhas to sit for hours and take in the outside world. To complete the entire look she has placed brass statues of Rajputana king and queen. 

Just like Patil's, every beautiful home has a story somewhere. Warm and sophisticated interiors of our today's home tour, reveal the home owner's true Indian roots and a love for history and art.

As we end this tad-bit long home tour (I think it explains the reasoning behind taking longer than usual to publish) I would like to extend my thanks to Shobha Ramesh and Reshma Patil for sending me pictures and making it possible to bring it to you. A special thanks and shout out to Surekha for sending me tiniest of details. Your grand decorating is a reflection of your grand life. Thank you for considering my blog to showcase your beautiful home. Wishing you and your family lots of love and luck in coming years.

For you my dear readers, I have another grand home tour in the pipeline, so keep watching this blog or my social feeds until we meet again, toodles.

(Images are from Patil's home. Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 


  1. Superb ,her passion for all things traditional has been superbly presented by you pinkz and you have captured the very essence of her home and hearth beautifully .

  2. Fabulous home tour. Loved every photo of this magnificently decorated home. So true to ones roots . What a collection!

  3. A museum par excellence,hats off to u surekha for once again upholding PATIL, the brand !!!

  4. Thank you so much everyone for appreciating. I and Surekha both are happy with the lovely words and beautiful comments :).

  5. Jaw dropping antique collection and fabulous home. Awesome narration Pinky! This home is a true gem!

  6. Oh dear Paddy, thank you so much for dropping by and appreciating. This home indeed is a gem.

  7. thanks for share this wonderful blog of antique collection in home design it really help for us in interior design making keep sharing. thanks once again.

  8. Surekha has done a wonderful job overall! I personally admire the antique collection she has and really wish I could someday be able to collect such amazing antiques!

  9. thanks for share this wonderful blog of antique collection in home design it really help for us in interior design making keep sharing. thanks once again.
    thanks once again

  10. you has done a wonderful job overall! I personally admire the antique collection she has and really wish I could someday be able to collect such amazing antiques!