Bollywood inspired posters sit comfortably next to contemporary accessories from Good Earth in this earthy, India-proud home
Are you a risk taker or safe player when it comes to your home décor choices? And how far are you willing to go out of your comfort zone? We? We are guilty of sticking to whites on walls, on most days. So Jasleen Singh’s home in New Delhi with its expansive grey walls most definitely caught our eye. A contemporary Indian home, it feels not too trendy, while staying within the realm of timelessness. Jasleen moved into this apartment around 12 years ago with her husband, Raj, and two sons, Angad and Nihal, now 19 and 13 respectively.
Just like most DDA apartments in the capital, this one too was a conventional three-bedroom apartment where the front door opened into the living room with a small lobby. “The layout seemed closed and limiting. My husband and I decided that we would forego a bedroom. Most people told us that it was not a smart decision, but we went ahead anyway,” explains Jasleen as she shows us around the lovingly decorated home.
Jasleen has a warm, earthy style and it is quite evident in the pieces that she has collected from various thrift stores. She has spent years collecting those little trinkets, and the larger pieces too. For her, the home has evolved with the needs and choices of her family. “I bought some furniture, like the coffee table and console, from Fabindia years ago, but I picked the other pieces like the dining room sideboard and distressed bench from markets at Amar Colony,” she divulges. We had been eyeing the plush sofas, “I got lucky with the two couches, which I got second hand from expat sales at throwaway prices,” she laughs with a twinkle in her eye.
The living room sofa is framed by two tungsten bulbs fashioned by her older son, Angad, who hung them from wires, which he wrapped in jute rope dipped in glue. “Recently, my husband recreated a light fixture using iron pipes that I saw on Pinterest while my younger son, Nihal, spray-painted it black,” she explains. We discovered it now lights up the bathroom. “Creating something beautiful does not necessarily mean spending a lot,” says Jasleen.
“Grey is my favourite colour! I love wearing it and it’s the preferred neutral for my home as well. My boys love it too. My husband had initially opposed the idea but now, he likes it too. The darkest grey is in the living room. It helps that this area is well lit and so, it never appears dark,” she elaborates.
There are two things that the family is crazy about, Bollywood and food. And their love for all things filmy is quite evident in the collection of posters, coasters, and prints peppered around the bar. “It came to a point where my kids started pointing out to posters that involved alcohol or Bollywood, both of which, didn’t really paint a great family picture for outsiders,” laughs Jasleen.
Given that everyone in the family is a foodie, it’s hardly surprising that the dining room is in the centre of the house. “I spend my evenings here with endless cups of coffee while supervising homework. It lets me keep an eye on my younger son who loves experimenting in the kitchen, and from the bench here, I can see most of the apartment so it’s my vantage point,” she explains.
The home, much like Jasleen, is all heart. Warm, inviting, and urging you to stay back, for just one more cup of coffee.
The sofa in the living room was a lucky buy from one of the expat sales. Two tungsten bulbs fashioned by Jasleen’s older son, Angad, frame a series of artworks.
Jasleen Singh with her younger son, Nihal seated in their living room.
Once a staid lobby, it is now a contemporary sitting area with exposed brick walls.
The master bedroom is finished in a light cement colour with stencilled coral floral patterns on it done by Jasleen.
The wall dividing the living room and the terrace is painted a dark shade of grey, and makes a perfect backdrop for Jasleen’s collection of plants and a couple of colourful prints of 18th century paintings of the Red Fort complex.
The dining room is at the centre of the home, and sees much activity through the day.
The family’s obsession with Bollywood is evident in this handwritten dialogue from a movie, painted strategically on a column in the dining room that divides the space.
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