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After living for almost a decade in Mumbai, when Srimoyi Bhattacharya moved into her new home in Delhi two years ago she was both flummoxed and in love. A layout that included a foyer with a living space on each side of it was something she was not used to after the apartments of Mumbai. “I was concerned about how I was going to bring the whole space together, not be cooped up in one side of the house and be able to move from one room to another on a daily basis,” she says.
Tour this home that is perfectly designed for both work meetings and parties with friends
She decided to make the foyer the connector of all rooms, so that instead of having it as a sitting area, it became part of their daily use. Her daughter and her friends hang out there every day. Placing a coffee table in the space makes it easier for kids to eat, do their homework and even come together for activities like drawing workshops. Plus, the library set up in the space allows anyone to spend time there easily. Today the room on the left of the foyer is the main living room. The one on the right is a casual dining room—the fireplace and cosy seating options mean that there is even more space to be used by family and guests.
In short, Srimoyi’s home is perfectly designed for hosting and entertaining. And host she does—as the founder of Peepul Consulting she often has clients over for meetings and entertains friends on weekends and holidays. “The wonderful thing about having these two different spaces is that I have the privacy to host a meeting and the main living room feels formal enough too. And because work is so personal, it feels quite lovely,” she says.
Now Srimoyi loves having the foyer because “another social area between the living room and the dining room means we can lay the table and have this dance of people moving from one room to another, and then bring them back in the living area when we’re serving dessert. So, we can receive differently, host differently.” Also, with the nip in the air, having the bar trolley makes it quite easy for the party to extend to their beautiful balcony.
Designer Gunjan Gupta’s Kursi in a printed fabric by IDLI next to the hand-scalloped brass side table by Vayu. “The library is a memory of our lives and travels, also with a display of small collectibles and photos,” says Srimoyi. The red border on the ceiling is her wink to the Bengali sari.
We asked Srimoyi to share her rituals of entertaining, so that you could borrow tips and ideas on hosting like a pro in this season of parties:
“Even our dinnerware is mix and match!” says Srimoyi. The chevron and polka dot plates are from Suite Number 8, the mat and napkins are from Paradise Road, Sri Lanka. The jug is from Gunjan Gupta’s new line called IKKIS.
1. CUISINE: “Depending on the size of the party, I pick a cuisine that we can easily cook at home. No guesses for our favourite food to serve... Bengali!”
2. SETTING: “I always like a chic and slightly formal setting, what makes it more casual is the mixing and matching of plates with colourful glassware.”
3. THEME: “Depending on the occasion and the mood, we like to have a theme, and of course, it’s mainly Bengali. The table setting is then mainly Kansa plates with a touch of red napkins and table mats.”
4. LUNCH SETTING: “If it’s a simple lunch, I will pick a set which looks more European. My favourite is a set that has these vintage style roses in various colours from Good Earth. It’s nice to have 3-4 sets to play with, and they can be mixed and matched for a bigger party.”
5. CHEF-AT-HOME: “For special touches, we’ve had a Chef takeover the kitchen. I love sneaking in to take mental notes of recipes. Funnily, so do our guests!”
6. CATERING: “For catered dinners, I start planning at least two weeks in advance, so that I can block a date for the right chef. My preference is a caterer who can come and cook in our kitchen.”
7. DRINKS: “Regardless of the size of the party, we always have a bar tender - glasses are hopefully never left empty and conversations can continue uninterrupted.”
8. SET THE MOOD: “A few minutes before our guests arrive, I always put on an essential oil and light a few candles (my top pick is one which reminds me of my favourite hotel in Sri Lanka, it’s called The Tintagel, and can only be found at the group’s home decor destination Paradise Road).”
9. MUSIC: “We like our friends to walk into a warm and inviting atmosphere; there’s always music on but never overpowering conversations. My husband and brother recently surprised me with singer Sanjeeta Bhattacharya performing for my birthday at a friend’s home. There’s nothing like live music, and that’s what I would like to organise at my place next!”
In the first part of the story, we took a full tour of Srimoyi Bhattacharya’s home and learned about her love for prints and colours. You can read about it and watch the video tour here
“This aqua and red combination makes the room joyous and cosy,” says Srimoyi. The red chairs are from Jaipur based French designer Thierry Journo. The two chairs on the right are vintage pieces acquired in Goa.
The burst of colours started with a carpet designed by Thierry Journo and hand-block printed fabrics from Serendipity. “The Iqrup+Ritz coffee table gives a contemporary feel and goes well with our mid-century furniture from Baro,” says Srimoyi.
The green sage accent walls are meant to connect with the outdoors, the brass and wood offset the bold colours in this room. "This room is about an easy way of life for a home with a growing child and a dog zooming around," says Srimoyi. The Art Deco chairs are from Serendipity, the coffee table was comissioned to The Lohasmith.
“Of greens and reds like old Bengali homes, the arch here is an antique piece from Gujarat we found in Goa,” says Srimoyi. Both paintings are from Saskia Fernando’s gallery in Sri Lanka. The three wooden dolls are from a thrift store in Nara, Japan. The red alms bowl is from design store Alexander Lamont in Bangkok.
A bistro style setting on the balcony by designer Preeti Knowles. “The black eye mirror is from Paris design studio Fleux, my go to every trip,” says Srimoyi.
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