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Without any major redesign, Tony Kordolia of Josmo Studio has used basic elements like plants, lights and DIY furniture to create a warm home for himself
From MTV Roadies to industrial design to making furniture; from Armenia to Pune to Mumbai to Goa—Tony Kordolia has had an extremely interesting life trajectory. He seems to have done it all including a few years as a stunt double in Bollywood, a role brought on due to his love for riding and fixing motorbikes. But today he peacefully resides in an enviously green part of north Goa going to work every day at Josmo Studio, which is designer Anjali Mody’s Goa-based brand.
In India for about 30 years, Tony moved to Goa from Pune five years ago. He looked at close to 40 homes before finding his current bachelor pad. “When I came here, I started looking for houses. Because even in Pune I had a nice little bachelor house, that I had slowly done up. And I liked the old Portuguese houses here. But for many different reasons I just did not like anything. I remember once seeing a house where there were two bathrooms, they were right next to each other and one was blue, and the other pink,” says Tony. He eventually called his friend, Goa-based artist Saffron Wiehl, who offered him an apartment on her gorgeous property in Arpora where she has her house. “At first, I didn't pay any attention to it and I kept on looking for houses. But I just came and saw this place once, and looked at the bathroom. And I immediately told her I am taking it.”
We spoke to Tony about what made this bathroom so special, how decorating a home is a life-long process and why DIY is the best way to keep your home stylish in a budget. Edited excerpts:
Tony Kordolia: One of my favorite spaces in this apartment is the bathroom and one of the main reasons I actually moved in here. I like outdoor bathrooms and showers and this is the closest representation to that that I could get in Goa. I have filled up the space with many different plants. My friends like to come here and use the shower because it's really green and calming, it's a nice spot to be first thing in the morning. I spend a lot of time in there!
TK: I liked the entire structure because I prefer rustic design and elements. And because of the architecture with raw stones, I saw a lot of potential in this place. One of my favorite parts about this house and one of the reasons I chose it is also the Portuguese roof, the tiled roof styled that is common here. When I first moved to Goa, one of the first houses I moved into was a very typical new age apartment with false ceilings, the bathroom had RGB lighting inside it with these insane showers. But as much as I tried to give that house some sort of a soul with plants and art, it just wasn’t working. This place has that soul. I have just been slowly, one wall at a time, one corner at a time, doing the space up and making it my own.
TK: I remember telling the landlord I'm going to come here with a lot of stuff. And I landed up with many boxes and a lot of plants that I moved from Pune with. So, I started with hanging up my art and placing my plants and moving things around. I had a few pieces of furniture and the house came with some pieces. I stripped the dark polish off the chairs I found here and now they look perfect. I was setting up the Josmo factory at the same time. I would do that all day and then come home in the evenings and style one corner at a time. One of the first things that I did in the house was change all the white lights to warm yellow lights, which I think is one of the most important things to do to make your interior design neutral and calming when you walk in. Once I do up a space I sit and look at it for a while and see if I want to change it around again or then sit and just envision the next spot. That’s how the space has been evolving for the last few years.
TK: One of the nice things about living alone, especially if you're in the creative field, is that you get complete autonomy in terms of how you want to set up your space. This home represents me in so many ways. I'm not an open book but if you come in here, you start figuring me out piece by piece with what you see here. I'm an artist, I've always been creative. My folks say that I've been making things since I was about four years old. I've been working with my hands, and it's never stopped through life and I can't sit still. So, every day when I come home there is an element that I will add or change within the house on a daily basis and I enjoy that.
TK: Most of this house is DIY. The bar in the drawing room was just cut from a piece of wood that was left from the first workshop that I set up in Pune. I just put it together within this space. I recently made a shoe rack with whatever cut wood I found in the factory. I didn't put a lot of processes into it. It's like there is some material that I have and boom, boom, boom I just put it together. If anybody wants to do this you could just get on to YouTube and find videos and basic tools to put it together. And you can buy so many nice things cheaply on Amazon now. This house is a representation of what you can do with a really small budget—with just some plants, little DIY projects, accessories and some warm light you can really transform a space.
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