Class cannot be bought; it has to be practiced and inspired into elegant interiors and lifestyle. It is no cause for surprise that some of the most elegant Indian interior design today is inspired from our past. A time when restraint and discipline led to a wholesome enjoyment of rewards—working in the garden bore seasonal flowers, recycling furnishings led to a creation of curios, experimentation with shared cuisines led to years of family recipes and conscientious spending allowed one to buy tasteful objects that brightened the home and the heart.
Revisiting a project in Gurgaon recently, I noticed my client’s collection of boxes, bought from thrift stores over 20 years. They were hand painted, inlaid and carved in different styles by artisans across India. Each piece was chosen with careful deliberation by my client, refurbished and beautifully displayed around her home.
They speak of a time in India where it was normal to live a life of sustainability and elegance, interwoven and very much symbiotic. These boxes are reminders of that part of our heritage that naturally celebrates the value in the meek, the artisanal, the slow. They speak of a charm and manner that can never be instantly replicated; but one that must be cultivated.
Word: Sugandha Das and Shivani Dogra
Pictures: Shivani Dogra