Thursday, November 29, 2018

A home rooted in spirit, sense and sensibility (Home Tour of Shanthi)

My blog has been dedicated for portraying homes in many dimensions, be it the home owner's strong tribute to art, exceptional collection of brass or deepest passion of DIY skills. Among all others, I have tried to present a kaleidoscope of homes that have shined through and deserve your attention and applause. In the process, my romance of bringing these home tours for all of you has only blossomed over time, even though I feature many homes, it hasn't faded or dimmed.

Taking you today to one such beautiful home of Shanthi's in California which radiates peace yet has a heart. 

While the world races into rushed lifestyles and similar décor takes over the spread of contemporary choices, there are people who are resurrecting the distinct signature of Indian design and traditional culture that the world appreciates. Despite using traditional home décor, our today’s home owner Shanthi has won to stay ahead of the curve.   
The real sense of care and love dedicated to the collection is apparent the moment you walk through the door. Being so rooted in her affections, Shanthi's home is a beautiful mixture of the pristine and very well ordered collection combined with the unusual and superlative art pieces.    
Classically elegant, relaxed yet refined with just a hint of modern home pays homage to Shanthi’s South Indian roots and tradition with a twist. Regarding the Buddha wall Shanthi shares reviving happy memories of the past: “I had been collecting Buddha for a while, some gifted, some bought. I have placed the Buddha on various walls and some on shelves. I have always held the Buddha in reverence. For me, he represents calmness and compassion. One day, while reading some Buddha quotes, the idea to create a zen wall took form. I started to doodle on paper about placement of the masks. I then transferred it on to the wall.”
A jaw-dropping impact has been achieved in this room with Shanthi's dedicated collection of vintage finds and one of a kind pieces. The dowry chest (antique damchiya) seems a rather incongruous addition here but the unexpected mix of objects surrounding does work exceedingly well. With a chirpy  note Shanthi coins about this piece: "We bought the console couple of years ago but before I bought it, I had seen it in a store on Rubylane. Very pricey, so I would wistfully look at it once in a while and move on. But like they say, when you really wish for something, the whole universe helps your wish come true. In my case, it was the seller dropping the price and of course, hubby dearest who obliged. It was being sold as a 200 year old Swat valley dowry chest, but I suspect it is more of an antique Damchiya. It has lovely mica behind the jali cut panels, which reflect light when the sun is bright."

Décor dial has been turned up with discreet touches of luxury - fine Indian furniture - bespoke art pieces but most of all her collection point to a fascinating multi layered journey of her life.
Sealing every corner with an eye towards variety and diversity in color and form, Shanthi has chosen objects that she loves and used them freely to fill every visual and physical spot in her home. Upon asking about the stunning elephant painting if she drew herself, she acknowledges laughing a little: "I am very much an amateur painter and still learning the basics. This painting is actually a reproduction in oils, the original painting is by a Japanese painter named Hiroshi Yoshida who paints using woodblock print style the original was painted on paper, smaller in size, but really stunning to behold. I fell in love with it, I wanted a big one and had got it painted back in India. Hiroshi Yoshida has also painted Taj-Mahal in six different moods using the same woodblock print style".
I truly believe that homes and souls like her are broadening the reach of Indian art and artists by establishing a stronger foothold for new generation. Her home boasts one such exceptional and admirable collection of Kutchhi textiles that Shanthi has been collecting for many years now. Let me draw your attention to the story behind the collection (or rather the love affair) which began something like this: “On one of my early trips back home, I came across a beautiful Kutchh textile quite by accident. The textile was faded but the embroidery was stunning. The shop owner of the quaint shop in Southern India introduced me to ‘Rabari’ embroidery. That was the first I had heart about them. I was intrigues, but it was the late 90’s and I couldn’t get much information. After about a decade, I came across Judy Frater’s book “Threads of Identify”. Needless to say, it opened up the world of Rabaris to me and thus began a love affair of sorts with their textiles. They live in an almost monochromatic desert, but create such stunning colorful embroideries to balance it out. Each Rabari subgroup have their own motifs. I have been blessed to acquire some on my trip back to India, some through online textile shops like Etsy and Ebay. On particular shop I would like to mention is ‘The Silk Road’ based in Australia also".
It is believed that color is a direct reflection of personality and these corners show the homeowner's bold and adventurous persona. I am in love with these charmingly simple vignettes punctuated by these fabrics in different corners with a sparkly new twist. 

A stroll through her home is an apt prelude to witness one of the rare and antique pieces of the historical eras. One such vintage piece she recently scored is Gattaji (Nakoda Bhairavji) in such good condition with great patina. When it comes to creating vignettes with these antique pieces, she doesn’t take it lightly. She lets her intuition guide her to pair them and turn into talking points. Saturated colors, intricate pattern and dark wood are all throwback to the old world era. There is something comforting in the richness of these details and something playful the way she weaves them together.

Along with rest of the accessories, plants and flowers are the comfort food of decorating in Shanthi's home, they look both indulgent and fascinating in every corner they are dotted.

One tip that she suggests while working on changing things around is: "I stop once in a while, take pictures in few angles. This actually gives me better perspective of which part of the arrangement needs to be moved or if I need to add or subtract few things". A virtual high-five Shanthi, that's exactly how I pull off my vignettes successfully ;).
This "not-to-be-missed" petite corner is full on with vintage charm. I loved the raw composing with just right amount of old vs new here.
Behind the elegance of every master vignette is the highest level of Shanthi's testing. However, it’s all spur of the moment and straight from the gut when it comes to making or pairing vignette.
Her home is a tribute to art in its various avatars but she herself is also an inspiring artist. Lately she has been dabbling in painting and finding it kind of challenging herself. Here are the two of her creations of Lord Hanuman & Lord Vishnu done with ink and gouache water colors.
Shanthi loves to incorporate all the vintage textiles, brass/bronze, paintings and wooden artifacts that have been collected over the time while creating any corner. She also prefers to give center stage to a "wow" piece and work around it. 
A home that is studded with things you love is a place where you truly belong, and it always feels good to come back to such a home. And with this beautiful image, I am concluding Shanthi's home tour. 

There are homes where homeowners give equal preferences to the life they live and also to the place where they live. I am honored to be featuring and bringing such people and homes  where love is in their heart but soul is in their home. 

Your home is truly one of a kind Shanthi, that is rooted in spirit, sense and sensibility in real sense. Thank you for welcoming us virtually in your stunning home.

Until we meet again with another home tour, stay connected, toodles!

(Images are taken by Shanthi. 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. Can't thank you enough for this feature Pinky. I can spend hours looking at the stunning images of this abode. Please convey my message to Shanthi that her Buddha wall has my heart :)

    1. My absolute pleasure. So glad you enjoyed the tour. I am sure Shanthi will be happy to read your comment.

  2. Absolutely beautiful and so peaceful ����☺✌

  3. Sooooo lovely and inspiring! Thank you for the beauty!