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A carefully curated artist’s abode in New Delhi

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Books, art and an enviable collection of heirlooms vie for attention in designer Sonya Sapru’s tastefully done up home

There’s nothing more we enjoy than books, good weather and a little music played out from doors from a faraway place. And one fine Saturday morning, we found ourselves in front of a stately wooden door that opened to soft light streaming in from windows in the distance, strains of melodic chants playing in the background and a whiff of fragrant mogras.

A graphic designer by profession but a yogi by soul, Sonya Sapru moved here in October 2014, after her stints with leading ad agencies including JWT in Kolkata and Mumbai. Her home, much like her, is a calm, meditative oasis. Filled with art, photographs, curios, and books – lots of books. In fact, almost every free surface, vertical or horizontal, serves as a bookcase. If you need to know how to decorate with only books, you just need to take a quick tour of the home.

We enter into the stepped hallway, which is a vestibule of sorts; acting as a connector between the guestrooms, master bedroom and the staircase leading to the living room below. A console with a murti of Lord Ganesh presides over the motions of the house. A chest with a collection of books, candles, a fish-shaped lock, and a brass Trishul sits on top of the steps just in front of a beautifully curated set of photo frames with photographs of family and friends. “The home is really a collection of furniture, artworks, curios and other little pieces that I have inherited mostly from my grandparents who were extremely well travelled, and my mother who kept one of the most beautiful homes in the tea plantations of Assam,” offers Sonya.

A morning person, she starts her day with yoga and meditation 

The home is a collection of furniture, artworks, curios and other little pieces that she has inherited from her grandparents and mother.

before work beckons. Her cosy studio is in the basement next to the living and dining room. You will find her flitting in and out of her studio, until late afternoon. “I think having grown up in the plantations I love solitude, my books, devotional music, and satsang with guru bhais... these are a big part of my life,” she lets in.

Sonya has used antique chests as coffee tables and accessorised it with brass accessories that one normally uses in a puja room.

Detail of fabric dolls on Sonya’s bed.

Art made by Sonya and certificates belonging to her daughter adorn the wall above the study.

“My daughter comes in for her vacations from her school in the United States. I hope this summer after her graduation she will be here for a longer time!” she adds. And for the time in between the visits from her daughter, Sonya opens her home as an Airbnb host to people from all parts of the world, letting them into her world filled with spirituality, art, beauty and a kind of serenity, just like she let us in.

“The home becomes a reflection of yourself in some way,” she trails off.


Pragnya Rao


Prachi Damle

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