One can’t have spent a month in India without commenting on the state of interior design there today. At first glance I would say it is non existent. However, I would like to edit that last statement and say that it exists, but only in little pockets, and primarily for the rich and, I suppose we should add famous to that too.
NICE SURPRISE: Upon returning to my Fire Island dwelling and reading through an old issue of New York Magazine, I came face to face with a lovely renovation of an apartment in the modern style in Mumbai…funny how you begin to notice other design articles you have passed over once your design-radar has been extended due to travel! I want to share this all with you today because I had the pleasure of visiting a beautiful old apartment in Mumbai when I was there, which reminds me of this story.
The apartment pictured is owned by an Indian real estate developer and his Italian wife. The wife owns a boutique in Mumbai called, Le Mill, which , unfortunately, I missed seeing when I was there. Oh, well, there is always next time! The apartment had been last renovated 80 years ago, so this was a major improvement/renovation & design project. Families tend to stay for generation after generation in the same apartment, as I learned from my friend Hemali Talsania from Bravo Bombay. Her husband’s family has lived in her apartment for 90 years! Rather remarkable, I would say.
These old apartments have great bones, and the owners of this one discovered all sorts of fabulous details…like wonderful Burmese teak doors surrounded by detailed moldings…that only needed TLC to be brought back to their original glory. Walls were moved, bedrooms and living room relocated and then a mixture of classy floors were added…think inlaid marble,epoxy, etc… and ‘the ugly duckling turned into a swan’, a charming apartment with a new contemporary look.
Exciting modern art and lighting fixtures, plus Italian appliances in the kitchen and voilà, we are entering the 21st Century in design. The owners finished the interiors by intermixing some Italian furniture from Cassina and fantastic designs from BDDW here in New York. Add to this an emphasis on Indian-made furnishings…a priority of the owners…they managed to reinvent a stunning and interesting home.
Wish I had had the opportunity to see the insides when I was there as it would have been so inspiring. As you can see from my other photos, contemporary design is happening in small pockets in Mumbai and I imagine in the larger cities of India. The whole world wants to be in tune with what is the latest and greatest now that the internet and travel has homogenized taste and design. Although I kinda like that, I think as a traveler I will always search out those places where design is still authentic to the region…at least while it still exists.
Here are some other quick snaps of what is going on in Mumbai design today:
Ciao, Ciao ’til next time!