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Style your home study with vintage finds from Mumbai’s iconic Chor Bazaar

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Thrift stores are usually looked at as bastions of kitsch, but they are chock full of very interesting décor elements, rich materials and finishes preserved from the past. For lovers of one-of-a-kind arts and artefacts, Mumbai’s historic Chor Bazaar is a flea market dream come true. With a history that dates back well over a century, its busy lanes are packed to the rafters with antiques and pre-owned delights. These lanes are a microcosm of Mumbai’s history; displaying items from different design eras that had a place in the city’s ancestral homes, some passed down from generations.    

One of the most famous and well-regarded stores here is Taherally’s, a great source of antiques, collectables and restored objects. Their extensive inventory includes exquisite glass lanterns and decorative lights, antique furniture and silverware, old books and posters, vintage curios, and fine art and paintings. Now, whether you’re an ardent collector or just like to pick up a few things along the way, you still want to display your precious thrift store finds in your home. Most of our homes have a contemporary feel so the idea is to find the right balance of modern and vintage.  Read on for our tips to create a contemporary study with strong rustic and vintage accents:

Style your home study with vintage furniture - Beautiful Homes

One of the most famous and well-regarded stores in Chor Bazaar is Taherally’s, a great source of antiques, collectables and restored objects. Photography by Madhurjya Saikia

A neutral canvas keeps things light
Start off with soft, muted shades for a base colour palette. This is the best way to ensure that the final look isn’t too heavy or stuffy. We’ve chosen a soft grey for the walls.

Balance is everything
To create a balance, choose more contemporary styles for bigger pieces. Even with the distressed look, choose a lighter or natural finish for the wood furniture. We’ve added a natural finish wood and metal dining table. The Mid-Century Modern style wicker chair, inspired by Pierre Jeanneret’s teak-and-cane Chandigarh Chair, features a beautiful fusion of distressed finish with sharp lines.  

Decorate with vintage and rustic elements
Now that you have created a light and airy canvas, it’s time to bring in the vintage showstoppers. Start with antique and vintage elements that work with the study. We’ve chosen pieces like a beautiful typewriter, a handmade vintage photo-album with hand-bound leather cover, a vintage magnifying glass with carvings on the handle, an arty table clock with baroque-style figures, and a train-shaped metal utility box. You can then add a few more vintage elements around the room to create an interesting vignette. We placed a collection of vintage walking sticks with intricately carved handles in a bright red holder. It’s a wonderful mix of textures, details and forms.

Add a few plants mixed with a smattering of glass and metallic accents
No matter what style you choose, there are a few accents that can uplift any space. Potted plants, glass curios and metallic accessories are sure shot ways to infuse life and warmth. We chose a huge glass vase with a pale green tint to display a touch of greenery. Matching the silhouette, we added glass dome showcases of different heights to emphasise precious antiques.  A hammered brass table lamp adds just enough metallic highlight to the table.

Don’t forget the walls
Work in a few interesting wall details; anything from vintage posters, newspaper and magazine cutting to antique drawings and sketches, record covers, and handwritten letters would work beautifully in this space. Remember to keep the frames smart and sleek.

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