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Handicrafts stand out in the Pune homes of Jodi co-founders

  • Ideas and Inspiration
Dec 08, 2023
Gauri Verma and Karuna Laungani of Jodi Life - Beautiful Homes

Gauri Verma and Karuna Laungani like their homes to be filled with colour, quirk and personal memories

The Jodi girls, as they have come to be known, Gauri Verma and Karuna Laungani met at their fashion magazine job in Mumbai, which they quit soon after to start a business together. They launched Jodi Life as a label that distills the kitsch and stereotype from hand block printed garments, giving them a contemporary touch with stand-out prints and cool silhouettes. “Hand block printing was a great medium to explore, to see the craft bring our unique prints to life. What was really important to us was to have a fresh perspective and a fresh outlook to the craft,” says Karuna.

Know more about Gauri Verma and Karuna Laungani's Pune homes and the intricacies that play into their styling and decor. They launched Jodi Life as a label that distils the kitsch and stereotype from hand-block printed garments, giving them a contemporary touch with stand-out prints and cool silhouettes.


A love for Indian crafts and textiles gave them an avenue for entrepreneurship a decade ago, so it is no surprise that this thread runs through their taste in home décor as well. 

Same, Same but Different

 I feel like our work ethic is very similar, our value system is really similar. When you see our spaces, it's very, very obvious why we found each other. Aesthetically we're drawn to a lot of similar things,” says Gauri.

 

The process of decorating their homes has been more instinctive than planned. “I've seen how Karuna does her spaces up. And even with respect to how I do mine, it isn't like this is the base, and that's the second layer, and that's the third layer. It’s more like what is organically feeling right for this corner?” explains Gauri.

Simple bed design – Beautiful Homes

These painting in Gauri’s home are by artist C.Balasubramaniam. “His works largely feature women (mostly rural women) and I love the feeling of home these faces invoke in me.” Indigo is Gauri’s favourite colour and her home has many indigo elements.

Enchanting plates for wall décor – Beautiful Homes

In Karuna’s home, plates collected from all over the world. A mix from Istanbul, Mexico, India and papier mache tiger from Freedom Tree.

For Karuna, a beautiful home is one that tells a story about its inhabitants. “I love spending time at home, I have three dogs and I cannot imagine my life and my sofa without them. I don't like homes that look designed or cookie cutter,” she adds.

 

Growing up in a military household Gauri has lived in about 21 homes in her lifetime, which changed her idea of what it means. She associates a home to people and a feeling. “A home has to speak your language. Where I'm able to go into somebody's space and really see the life that they have lived, the knickknacks they collect over their lifetimes. As long as it feels welcoming and true to somebody's personality, it feels beautiful to me,” she explains.

Personalising to Bring in the Warmth

Scattered through each of their homes in Pune is a collection of things that brings them joy. “I absolutely love markets, so a lot of the things that I've picked up in my house are from various markets and most of them are handcrafted or handmade,” says Karuna. Her favourite space in the house is the reading corner with its cosy seat and the wall lined with her curios collected over the years, from Nagaland to Sri Lanka and Bali. “If you see our brand Jodi, it's also full of colour and craft and these are the two things that resonate with me when I'm buying something,” she adds.

Minimal living room wall décor – Beautiful Homes

Gauri has been collecting plates since she was 15. “I painted these birds when I was nine. I love keeping bits and pieces of what my journey in the arts has been. Reminds me of why I do what I do and love it so much.”

Woven grass wall hanging – Beautiful Homes

In Karuna’s home animal head from Bali, woven grass wall hanging from Nagaland, wooden sculpture and mirror from Goa and face mask from Sri Lanka.

Memories dot different walls and corners of Gauri’s home. Having moved out of her parents’ place at 17, there are mementos from various phases of life that she surrounds herself with. Like the wall in the living area that has art she made as a 14-years-old. “I was also completely obsessed with Gustav Klimt's work. It was the first time I feel like I understood the power of feminine energy. I made one painting because I was so inspired by his works,” says Gauri. The other special piece is a cupboard she bought from her first paycheck. “Everyone at home jokes about ‘how can your first purchase be this massive piece of furniture?’ But that's what I wanted. I wanted to lug around a cupboard with me all my life,” she laughs.

 

The one thing that brings the varied elements together is her favourite colour, blue. “I think it's because I spent a lot of my formative years in Iran, my home is kind of reflective of that Persian blue. If you look at my crockery cupboard, I just have so many blue ceramic pieces,” she says. An ever-growing collection of crockery, a DIY furniture painting project, bringing home a mix and match of textiles—for Gauri it’s all a way to express herself.

 

The New Mumbai Store

After years of being an online destination for fashion and design, the two recently opened their first store in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. “We started in Pune because we've got family there. It is quiet and gave us space to build a brand there. When it came to opening a store, south Bombay felt right. It has the culture and art around, and also has become a great hub with designers and galleries opening up here. 

One thing that is obvious as you enter the store is the joi de vevre of their garments that beautifully translates into the interiors of the space. While with their homes the intention was just to be free and instinctive, with the store it is important to be true to the brand. “We had a very, very clear idea about what we wanted to showcase. What was really important was the handcrafted aspect to it,” says Gauri. There are beautiful hand-painted murals derived from their prints and motifs. A section of the space is inspired by the mud houses of Kutch. The curtains are hand embroidered with applique and carpet is handmade by the artisans in Mirzapur.

Mural ceiling design – Beautiful Homes

The store has a mural on the ceiling, with motifs taken from JODI prints. “We wanted the store to be airy, bright and convey our love of craft, culture and print.”

Home is Where the Memories Are

Mind you, nothing in their house is meant to be perfect. Both women thrive in the chaos and imperfections of their homes. It is more important that the space feel lived-in and comfortable. “To me, the biggest compliment is when people come over and they see that they feel sort of really cozy and warm in my home,” says Karuna.


 

Images and Video by Rose

Karuna, the founder of Jodi Life – Beautiful Homes
Karuna Laungani, co-founder of Jodi Life.
Décor pieces for dining table – Beautiful Homes
In Karuna’s home, a mix of curios on the dining table, from Baku, Azerbaijan, Jaipur, Istanbul, Thaliland and Mumbai.
Wooden sculpture from Jaipur for home décor – Beautiful Homes
In Karuna’s home, wooden sculpture from Jaipur. Prints of Picasso and Paul Gauguin on the wall.
Mesmerizing Suzani design – Beautiful Homes
In Karun’a home, the Suzani is from Afghanistan, but sourced from Jaipur.
Gauri, the founder of Jodi Life – Beautiful Homes
Gauri Verma, co-founder of Jodi Life.
Simple fruit basket – Beautiful Homes
In Gauri’s home, glass fruits from Tehran and wooden fruits from Rajasthan.
Green wooden cabinet design – Beautiful Homes
“The pot is one of our first designs for Jodi home. The blue pottery is all pieces I’ve collected from Vietnam, Thailand and across variorums travels,” says Gauri.
Blue sofa design for your space – Beautiful Homes
In Gauri’s home, the glass lamps are a gift from her mother. “I love Indian textiles, so you see a mix and match of that through the space.”
Blue crockery design – Beautiful Homes
Gauri has Indigo/blue on all her crockery. “Plates passed on to me from my mum from Tehran. Some bought by me from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand.”
Stylish wardrobe design – Beautiful Homes
The cupboards in the Mumbai store are hand painted, and the overall design of the counter and style is inspired by mud houses of Kutch.
Elegant wall art design – Beautiful Homes
Hand embroidered curtains in the changing room of the new Jodi store in Mumbai.

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