A charming Mumbai rental on a budget

This charming mid-century modern themed apartment is home to a tax collector, her writer husband and their ginger cat

The best kinds of homes are the ones filled with objects that come with their own back stories. In the home of tax collector Daribha Lyndem and comedian and writer Adhiraj Singh, this is a fact that I am reminded of, again and again as I look at the charming objects that surround them in their home.

Once we have spent an appropriate amount of time sharing taxmen jokes, I take a tour of this two bedroom rental apartment that this recently married couple call home.

The two spent enough time battling dank, airless rental PGs and apartments, to know that the 18th floor apartment that they were shown while hunting for an apartment, was the proverbial real estate pot of gold they had been searching for. It had ample sunlight streaming in from the east.

Daribha, whose Instagram bio clearly owns up to her ‘hoarder’ status, wanted to do up their apartment in a mid-century modern theme. “I love mid-century modern design and the art deco aesthetic so I made sure I got furniture that fit that theme,” she says.

A chartreuse couch anchors the décor elements in the living room, flanked by an upholstered mid-century modern chair and center table that Daribha bought from Mumbai’s Chor bazaar. A wing back chair in turquoise green with a three legged stool piled high with books, serves as a reading nook that any literary fiend would take pride in.  Daribha added a small rug on the wall to give this corner a boho chic twist.

Armed with sufficient inspiration from online décor blogs that she loves to follow, Daribha created a gallery wall, in true DIY spirit. The prints themselves have all been painted by her over the course of the last few months, except for the quote print which is from her favourite Charles Dickens novel.

Two pieces of furniture that came with the rental apartment were almost discarded until Daribha saw some potential in them. A neglected shoe shelf and an old cabinet were both adapted to fit the mid-century modern theme. She added a white carved mirror on top of the shoe shelf and used the cabinet to store the couple’s precious collection of books. A bunch of quirky, personal objects on both are total eye candy and a session of “where’s this one from” ensues.

A wild-eyed Young Frankenstein vinyl doll on the cabinet is one of the first things to catch my eye. “We got that one because on our first date, we bonded over how much we loved that film and Mel Brooks. So this was a reminder of that,” shares the couple.

Daribha loves plants and has carefully scattered a collection of indoor plants around the living room. Their cat Purcy, who ignored us for the entire duration of our visit, has ensured that the chairs in the living room have been marked by his sharp claws.

As I prepare to leave, I ask Daribha what makes this space feel like home. She answers, “This apartment has been home since we got married this February and we love it. It’s a place where we can unwind after a tiring day in this very hectic city. I made sure that everything in the house evoked a sense of comfort and calm, where we can just relax over a cup of tea and talk about our day.”


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