“There are two personalities that most people have,” says actor Boman Irani, Bollywood’s favourite character actor. He of the deep voice and towering presence whose comedic and villainous avatars have become iconic in the industry. “Most people are very different at work and when they are in their home surrounding… especially with their family. When you are with your family, you actually are rooting with yourself, with the real you.” And that space for Boman is with his wife Zenobia Irani, in their three-bedroom apartment in Byculla, Mumbai, which he bought around the time he started working on the movie Munnabhai MBBS.
In the heart of Mumbai, Boman Irani and his wife Zenobia have created a home that is their joyful sanctuary filled with the memorabilia of their life together.
When asked to describe his house, Boman proudly says that its noisy, full and loving. This home where they have lived for 14 years, is a microcosm of the life they have built together, of who they are as individuals and as a family. “Every single thing in this house Zenobia and I have bought together. We can identify the day, time and place we bought it from and on what occasion,” beams Boman, glancing at Zenobia. Perched on a couch with floral upholstery, the only beige piece in the living room, the two reminisce about how the home came together.
You can’t say the home has one style, but it certainly has a Parsi personality. From vintage decor elements to antique furniture, the ornate is paired with both classic and contemporary accessories, to create a space that has “old-world charm” and new-age comfort. The living room, where the family spends most evenings together, is a well-lit, colourful space. A bright coral couch pops against the backdrop of dusty blue walls. It took three different paint jobs before Zenobia agreed with Boman on the colour of the walls. Other seating in the space displays printed and floral upholstery that ties the room together. A glossy black piano sits in a corner; you can almost hear the sing-a-longs that took place here. Polished hardwood floors elevate the décor while an antique green and brass chandelier (suggested by Chiki Doshi of renowned antique store Mahendra Doshi Restorateurs, Mumbai) adds that finishing touch.
The bright sofa lends an air of whimsy to the living room.
Working in sync, both Boman and Zenobia have to agree on all facets of decorating like the artwork and curios around the home.
The piano in the living room, where the family spends a lot of time together.
“We completely work as a team. Suppose I love a painting but Boman hates it, or vice versa, it just does not come to this house,” says Zenobia. The passageway leading to the dining room is lined with row after row of family pictures and years of memories. The dining room, another space for familial bonding, has a strong vintage vibe. Powder blue walls with crisp white doors and trims lend a soft, airy vibe. A heavy dining set is complemented by ornate light fixtures and artwork. The large table is a testament to evenings filled with good food and big, noisy gatherings.
While the rest of the house is all about the close-knit family, Boman leads us to his den – “my quiet place” he describes it. The vibe here is a bit darker and moody. Deep-hued walls lend a serene feel to the well-lit room. Pointing to a comfy, printed window seat he says, “This is my spot where I sit and imbibe…I think, I write and I read here. I love my quiet little Parsi town view I have. In the middle of the night when an idea comes to my head, I come here and make notes.” This room also gives a peek into his love for the movies. One look at his vast DVD collection – the only thing he hoards – and the especially designed reclining chairs say it all.
“I truly believe that we work very hard…we spend our lives trying to build something that we can be proud of. But I also believe that it’s no point working so hard if you do not enjoy the fruit of that,” he says. You can feel the warmth in every room, see years of family memories in every corner, almost hear their laughter bounce off the walls, truly turning this beautiful house into a home. “What more can you ask for. The heart thumps with joy,” he smiles.
The dusty blue walls of the living room form the perfect backdrop for other colours and prints to pop.
Boman’s extensive DVD collection, one that he is very proud of, is on display in his den.
A carved wood dining set with a pop of turquoise and ornate light fixtures transform the dining room into a homely space.
The walls of the passageway are lined with family pictures.
Boman and Zenobia love spending time with the family in this warm and cosy space.
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