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What TV presenter Sohila Bajaj Parashar and chef Vidur Parashar’s now five month old baby girl is growing up with is a little piece of everyone who loves her right there in her nursery. “The space has a peaceful vibe and is filled with parts of us… I wanted everything in the room to mean something,” Sohila tells me. “My husband and I are mindful and sensitive; I hope my daughter imbibes these qualities from us, but at the same time is her own person. The nursery had to represent that energy and Romilla did a great job!”
Creative Director and Founder of Thinkcutieful, Romilla Tewari is lauded for her expertise in one-of-a-kind paediatric design and was the only choice for Sohila. “I had heard a lot of very good things about Romilla from her previous clients. They couldn’t say enough about her expertise, quality of work and work ethic. I’m so glad I chose her because we worked really well as a team,” Sohila explains. What this star team came up with is a warm, minimal, uncluttered room infused with a soothing palette and cute accents. “I didn’t want to go with the norm of colourful or busy. I feel a busy, cluttered space manifests a cluttered mind,” she continues.
They moved into their new home in early 2020, and soon after were expecting their first baby. Sohila knew exactly what she wanted from her nursery. Says Romilla Tewari, “We worked with Sohila’s only choice for a palette—creamy whites and soft greys mixed with pockets of pastels in a style that draws from classic
TV presenter Sohila Bajaj Parashar with husband, chef Vidur Parashar, in their daughter Aashti’s nursery designed by Romilla Tewari, creative director and founder, Thinkcutieful. Photography by Deepak Agarwal
minimalism.” To complement the colour palette, the duo worked in materials and fabrics to enhance the peaceful vibe. Romilla explains that light and soft materials in terms of textures and tactility like linens and velvets, were specifically chosen not only to bring a sense of calm but keeping in mind the baby’s comfort.
However, the stars of the show are a few key pieces, each with a unique story. “My daughter’s name Aashti is a combination of my husband’s parents’ names. He lost his parents young and we felt this was a beautiful way to keep their memory alive. We put her name up on the wall, surrounded by butterflies, a symbol which is very personal to me. I have a butterfly tattoo which, to me, signifies metamorphosis and the journey of life,” Sohila explains.
She goes on to tell me about the watercolour artworks on the wall she lovingly painted for her daughter during her pregnancy. Behind each artwork she wrote a little note. “Squash is very important to my husband, who is an avid player,” she continues. “His father and grandfather represented India in various tournaments. So, we have these cute little squash rackets that we’ve put on either side of the crib.” The piece that means the most to Sohila is the feeding chair with a big ‘Mama’ written on it. “I also had this stool from my grandfather who passed away years ago. We reupholstered it and now it sits next to my feeding chair along with a smaller chair with ‘Pa’ written on it,” she says.
While the nursery was designed and executed in a record time of eight weeks from start to finish during the lockdown, there was no compromise on functionality and making sure the room grows with the baby. “It’s important not to clutter the room and to keep it functional and minimal for future necessary additions,” Romilla explains. As the house was newly built, the room already came with double built-in wardrobe—perfect for long term storage. Romila added pieces that were handier to the present daily needs of a new-born. These key pieces were the solid wood crib with drop side rails, a chest of drawers with a built-in changing table, the feeding chair and ottoman as well as a cubby for toy and book storage.
A custom-designed wallpaper with a cute animal motif and floor lamp with a soft pink linen lampshade are those wonderful touches that complete the room. “It’s exactly what I wanted but also extremely functional. Romilla’s way of executing a design was the perfect marriage with my vision; not once was any idea compromised, she only made it better!” Sohila concludes.
One grey wall has framed floral watercolours created by Sohila when she was pregnant, interspersed with black-and-white pregnancy photographs. Butterflies feature quite a lot in the décor – from wall installations to drawer knobs – a symbol very personal to Sohila. Photography by Deepak Agarwal
Playing with a base colour palette of soft white and pale grey, the nursery was purposefully kept warm and uncluttered. Drawing inspiration from classic minimalism, Sohila wanted a soothing space filled with charming accents and pockets of pastel colours. The custom wallpaper by Romilla features cute woodland creatures and adds to the delightfully playful vibe while the custom-designed furniture is carefully arranged to maximise space. Photography by Deepak Agarwal
The piece that means the most to Sohila is the feeding chair with a big ‘Mama’ written on it placed next to a reupholstered ottoman that belonged to her grandfather. A custom-designed floor lamp encased in a linen lampshade complements the similar-coloured soft furnishings which are a mix of linens and velvet. The wall features ‘Aashti’ surrounded by handmade 3D paper butterflies Romilla picked up at a flea market in Goa. Photography by Deepak Agarwal
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