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A Chandigarh home that’s a microcosm of India, and its rich crafts traditions

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There's something endlessly charming about muted spaces, and layering. Think quiet, neutral rooms paired with bashful, bold fabrics while pops of colours play hide and seek...a clean scape with careful, sometimes even restrained peppering. This is one of the reasons why this Chandigarh home design of entrepreneur Ila Kapoor Chaddah, founder, Ziba By Hand, stands out. But more importantly, what gives it its true identity is its deep connection to Indian crafts. The home is like a repository of local artisanship—from woodwork, cane weaving to indigenous textiles—every corner pays an ode to the best of India. "I have a corporate background, and I worked in the sector for about 15 years. It was only four year ago that I started Ziba By Hand—a brand that promotes everything handcrafted in India. We work with artisans from across the country. Naturally, my work influenced the decor of my house. We found this 4BHK home in 2020 and furnished it in six months," shares Ila.

Chandigarh home design of entrepreneur Ila Kapoor Chaddah, founder, Ziba By Hand, stands out with its neutral rooms paired with bashful, bold fabrics and pops of home colour design. The home is like a repository of local artisanship—from the woodwork, cane weaving to indigenous textiles—every corner pays an ode to the best of India. Right at the entrance are long, hanging deepams from Kerala; and a Krishna statue from Tamil Nadu. As you move inside, you’ll notice the poetic interplay of ikat prints from Hyderabad, with the bold, block prints of Jaipur. Intricately carved teak wooden cabinets made in Jodhpur are offset against cane baskets of Nagaland. The bright colours of Phulkari, ethnic art prints from Kolkata, work desks made by Kashmiri artisans, and larger-than-life wallpapers by Asian Paints coexist harmoniously, painting a serene picture as if, titled 'India Pride'. While a crowd of varied designs and ethnic influences converge in this fascinating home interior, each element finds its identity and has a pride of place. This is perhaps why the house design truly represents India—so vibrant, so different yet so truly together.


A PANDEMIC PROJECT

While the country was rapidly moving towards lockdown, Ila's home project continued, albeit virtually. She hired TBC Architecture, a local Chandigarh firm for structural and civil work. The firm converted a small side room into a home office; they even designed wall mouldings and niches. "A lot of the sourcing and buying was done online. I discovered vendors on Instagram, and I reached out to artisans over calls. Almost all furniture and artworks in my home were customised, and all communication, sizing, measurements and conversations took place virtually. It really makes you realise how much one can achieve, just with the click of a button," says Ila.

The children's bedroom has wallpaper by Asian Paints & a chair from Jodhpur - Beautiful Homes

In the children's playroom, the wallpaper is by Asian paints, and the chair is from Jodhpur.

The walnut wood study table & chair in the bedroom are customized - Beautiful Homes

The Pierre Jeanneret chair was made in Jodhpur. The table is walnut wood carved with motifs of chinar leaves, made locally in Kashmir. All specifications and executions happened over the phone.

The tv room has wall décor with plates & a carved wooden cabinet - Beautiful Homes

In the TV room, the wall plates are sourced from Heirloom Naga; the intricately carved cabinet in wood was made by artisans in Jodhpur.

AN ODE TO CRAFTSMANSHIP

Ila's home is a microcosm of India—the best of India. Right at the entrance are long, hanging deepams from Kerala; and a Krishna statue from Tamil Nadu. As you move inside, you’ll notice the poetic interplay of ikat prints from Hyderabad, with the bold, block prints of Jaipur. Intricately carved teak wooden cabinets made in Jodhpur are offset against cane baskets of Nagaland. The bright colours of Phulkari, ethnic art prints from Kolkata, work desks made by Kashmiri artisans and larger-than-life wallpapers by Asian Paints coexist harmoniously, painting a serene picture as if, titled 'India Pride'. "I wanted a lot of handwork to go into each piece of furniture. While the sofas and tables in the public areas are more straight-cut, the consoles and side tables are intricate. The fireplace is perhaps the most interesting place because of the artworks above it. These were all made by an artist in Kolkata who painted different cities of India like Lucknow, Kolkata, Patiala; some works also cover interesting parts of Indian history. Although the fireplace traditionally looks European, the artworks ground the design and bring it back to India," comments Ila. Other sections of the house that tell similar stories of ethnicity are the master bedroom with a custom, arch-style headboard which is reminiscent of Rajasthani palaces, and, the guest room, with small, arch-style niches on the walls with tiny bronze articles that too speak of the royal architecture of the Pink City.

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RECYCLE AND REUSE

While most pieces in the house were specially commissioned, a few others were given a fresh lease of life with clever re-upholstering and reuse. Take for instance the piano table in the children's bedroom, which once served as the TV console. The coffee table in the living room is another intriguing piece. Its Phulkari top was a bedsheet but with no new purpose. "I loved it because it's so typical of Punjab and so I used it on the coffee table and covered it with glass. This turned out to be a great idea because if you use Phulkari in upholstery (table linen or cushion covers), its silk threads tend to wear off easily. The glass protects it and showcases it well, and gives a different look to the coffee table," shares Ila.

While a crowd of varied designs and ethnic influences converge in this fascinating home, each element finds its identity, and has a pride of place. This is perhaps why the home’s interior design truly represents India—so vibrant, so different yet so truly together.
 

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