Vaishnavi Nayel Talawadekar is an internationally published architecture, design and art journalist.

Vaishnavi runs a sunny content studio called Mangomonk where she writes for brands and publications, big and small.

Latest Articles

This 650-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Was Upsized for a Mother and Daughter Duo

When Brett Masterson first became acquainted with the creative professional next door, he hardly could have imagined that their neighborly friendship would turn into a steadfast creative collaboration. “She was looking for someone to design her new one-bedroom nest, after having traded in her two-bedroom apartment in the same co-op,” says the architect, who helms Brooklyn-based Masterson Architecture & Interiors. As a recently divorced mother of a seven-year-old girl, and as someone who had live

4 women-owned decor brands that will usher nature into your home

Gone are the days of mass-produced fabrics and cookie-cutter tableware. With shoppers becoming ever more discerning, and Instagram becoming an ever-expanding cabinet of curiosities, handmade, nature-inspired novelties—from pressed flower prints and flora-inspired artworks to handmade pottery and ceramics—have taken the spotlight like never before. Here are four homegrown brands that are rewriting the rulebook for handmade products with a nature-infused edge. For Charmaine Sah, her home garden p

Ahmedabad: No two rooms are alike in this gorgeous bohemian weekend villa

"Each room reflects the personality of its occupant at this Ahmedabad villa," says Ashish, as we make our way upstairs. Only, the question that momentarily dominates my mind is: what, or whom, is the staircase inspired by? For with its kaleidoscope of wall hangings, sculptures, and 3D paintings, it could well be the home's tour de force. "It's really a reflection of each of their personalities, and draws a little from each member," says Nikhil. Also read: This Chennai home with modern amenities

Little House on the Quarry in Cumbria by Norman-Prahm Architects.

If you were to drive through the foothills of the English Pennines, you’d spot traditional Cumbrian longhouses camouflaged into their surroundings. But there’s one among them that stands apart—at least on the inside. “Pretty much everything in the house was collected by the client, who has worked at NGOs in the Middle East and East Africa. In many ways, the project was built to contain all the things she had collected over the years. But the house itself is an emblem of her childhood, of the pl

This Chittorgarh bungalow is an eco-conscious haven made of locally sourced materials

Chittorgarh-based Umesh and Rashmi Jain had always harboured dreams of switching to a low-energy lifestyle. So when serendipity came knocking, they could hardly believe their luck. "With a background in construction, they had been keen on building an environmentally-friendly farmhouse with a minimum running cost. But they had decided to wait until they found someone completely dedicated and true to this method of building," says Shreya Srivastava, founder and principal architect of Studio Shunya

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s Freestanding Azulejo Screens are an Ode to the Ocean.

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s latest is a set of three screens using the tin-glazed ceramic tilework tradition known as ‘Azulejo’. When French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance moved to Lisbon, the first thing that struck him was the diversity of tiled panels that dominated the city. It wasn’t long before he was hooked, and he knew he had to learn more. He soon discovered that most were by modernist artists, rendered in collaboration with artisan tile maker Viúva Lamego. And that the art form was ac

This Parisian-chic apartment in Bangalore is the ultimate his-and-hers loft

The home is a modish time capsule of mid-century modern chairs, Victorian moulding and foliated surfaces that whisper of faraway lands. There are textures everywhere you look: pinstriped fluting defines the living room, fluted wainscoting skirts the dining area, and cement tiles and geometric mosaics enliven the walls all around. And yet, on closer look, it’s evident that the drama is in the details—sheeny metallic upholstery, two-toned cornices, marble countertops, and a pair of gooseneck wall

Mumbai: A Desert-Inspired Home in the Mangroves

Situated amid Mumbai’s historic mangroves this apartment both reflects and resists its surroundings. The interior holds a mirror to the desert, with earthy shades, jute and linen textiles and oak and teak grains dominating the palette. ‘The home nods to the shifting nature of sand, suggesting a space that can evolve along with its inhabitants,’ says Nishita Kamdar, founder and principal architect of her eponymous studio, whose team was tasked with designing a minimalist home for a mother and dau

A Waterfront Weekend Retreat in the Hamptons by Sandra Weingort.

Airy, light and full of character, this waterfront Hamptons home holds a mirror to its natural surroundings. But as Sandra Weingort will tell you, bringing the home to life was nothing short of a (lockdown) miracle. “On March 26, 2020, when the owner contacted me, New York City, like much of the world, was under a pandemic lockdown,” recalls Sandra, admitting that she was terrified of the uncertainty associated with working remotely. “My first thought was that it would be irresponsible to take o

A simple and spiffy Mumbai home with understated elegance

When a young Chicago-returned couple bumped into Sahiba Madan at a mutual family gathering, little did they know that the chance encounter would turn into a life-changing liaison. "They had spent much of their lives travelling due to their careers and had finally decided to settle down in Mumbai with their two lovely daughters. They wanted their house to resonate with a certain youth without being perceived as too casual, in a hat-tip, of course, to their diverse past," says the principal archit

A Pune apartment that's a treasure trove of memories for a travel-loving couple

By the time they arrived in Pune, Anuj and Kanika Jain had already lived across Rajasthan, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai, besides a few other cities on the Indian map. So it was only natural that by now, they felt a deep desire to put down roots. But when it came time to design the house they had chosen, they knew they needed to call in the professionals. After all, fitting their gloriously peripatetic past into four walls was no small feat. After scouring design websites and poking around on Instag

New Delhi: A 5-BHK bungalow gets an extension to make room for triplets

Natasha Jain and Priyank Sukhija know a thing or three about renovating houses. When the co-founder of Bent Chair and the MD and CEO of First Fiddle Restaurants found out they were expecting triplets, they knew they needed to make some changes for their growing tribe. "We were looking to not only make room for our children, but also baby-proof the house while maintaining our aesthetic sensibilities," says Sukhija. The natural next step, the couple decided, was to add a contemporary extension to

This 768-Square-Foot Austin Bungalow Got a Cool and Classic Refresh

Charlie Rice is the sort of person you’d want for a neighbor. Not only because his bungalow is always brimming with joyful gatherings, freshly cut flowers, and the occasional swing band on the front porch, but also because—if you’re lucky—you might even clinch an invite to one of his famous five-course dinner parties. “A true-blue Renaissance man, he is a consummate host, entertainer, and bon vivant with impeccable personal style... Having a place to celebrate community and host dear friends was

[Print] Name to Know: Rochelle Santimano

By the time she was four, Rochelle Santimano knew that she was destined for design. “I remember my mother would hand me a colouring book and a box of crayons. I’d spend hours poring over the ivory paper, precisely shading in each outline. And then through school and college, I was constantly toying with design in various capacities,” Rochelle recalls. And yet, when it came to choosing a career path, architecture wasn’t the obvious choice. “But once I saw how it blended art and science, I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else.”

[Print] Stairway to Heaven

When Karan and Supreet Singh decided to remodel their triplex apartment, they could hardly have imagined that the staircase would emerge as the shining star. "We wanted an aesthetic that was colourful, yet cosy. Considering we already had another home in the building, we had a fair idea about potential layouts and structures. Still, the staircase, rather serendipitously, took on a life of its own," says Karan, who, along with Supreet, roped in Pooja Bihani of Spaces and Design (whose team included Anjana Chatterjee and Samrat Roy) to give the property a characterful makeover.

[Print] An Artful Abode

Having each grown up in traditional Kerala bungalows, Ashraf and Shahnaz knew one thing for certain — that their new home should be far removed from the familiar vernacular style. "We imagined an aesthetic that would help us reconceive the signature Kerala palette and experience a different side of life. With our parents' homes just a stone's throw away, we wanted something we could call our own," says Ashraf. And so it followed that the couple reached out to Mohammed Afnan and Arun Shekar of Kozhikode-based architecture firm Humming Tree, known for their contemporary design approach, to give their new abode a voguish overhaul.

Inside the Fantastical World of Izumi Kato

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity,” Alberto Giacometti once said. There is something about Japanese artist Izumi Kato's oeuvre that perfectly exemplifies Giacometti's quote, leading the observer into a neverland full of humanoid creatures with alien features, who, even, and especially, with their distorted guises, exude a fantastical spirit that is equal parts terrestrial and celestial. The artist’s largest-ever single canvas at auctio

A Beachfront Bungalow in Sorrento by Fiona Lynch.

With a wheat-toned interior and Italian Rationalist hallmarks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Sorrento House is located somewhere along the Positano coastline. Instead, it sits quietly opposite Victoria’s Sorrento Sailing Club, matching it in style and spirit with its pale timber forms, open weave linen curtains, pebble-like colours and earthy textures—qualities you would have missed if you had visited even a few years earlier. When Fiona Lynch jumped on board for the much-needed remod
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Interior Spotlight

This Parisian-chic apartment in Bangalore is the ultimate his-and-hers loft

The home is a modish time capsule of mid-century modern chairs, Victorian moulding and foliated surfaces that whisper of faraway lands. There are textures everywhere you look: pinstriped fluting defines the living room, fluted wainscoting skirts the dining area, and cement tiles and geometric mosaics enliven the walls all around. And yet, on closer look, it’s evident that the drama is in the details—sheeny metallic upholstery, two-toned cornices, marble countertops, and a pair of gooseneck wall

Mumbai: A Desert-Inspired Home in the Mangroves

Situated amid Mumbai’s historic mangroves this apartment both reflects and resists its surroundings. The interior holds a mirror to the desert, with earthy shades, jute and linen textiles and oak and teak grains dominating the palette. ‘The home nods to the shifting nature of sand, suggesting a space that can evolve along with its inhabitants,’ says Nishita Kamdar, founder and principal architect of her eponymous studio, whose team was tasked with designing a minimalist home for a mother and dau

This 768-Square-Foot Austin Bungalow Got a Cool and Classic Refresh

Charlie Rice is the sort of person you’d want for a neighbor. Not only because his bungalow is always brimming with joyful gatherings, freshly cut flowers, and the occasional swing band on the front porch, but also because—if you’re lucky—you might even clinch an invite to one of his famous five-course dinner parties. “A true-blue Renaissance man, he is a consummate host, entertainer, and bon vivant with impeccable personal style... Having a place to celebrate community and host dear friends was

Mumbai: A Celestial Apartment in the City

In Mumbai's upscale Hiranandani neighbourhood, this apartment is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. 'The client wanted a modern, minimalist aesthetic rooted in high function and low maintenance,' say Raj and Roshan Tatia, co-founders and principal designers of White Luxury Studio, who were brought on board by the homeowners to help give the property a facelift. With moon-inspired forms and artworks and pearlescent finishes, the home is characterised by cosmic references. 'The

Casa Cody, a 1900s Hotel in Palm Springs by Casetta Group and Electric Bowery.

Casa Cody has quite a history. Not only has it hosted legends like Charlie Chaplin, American opera singer Lawrence Tibbett and French-born novelist Anaïs Nin, but, as the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, its spirit has remained stupendously intact. Established by Harriet and Harold Bryant Cody (the former, a cousin of the famous William “Buffalo Bill” Cody) in the early 1900s, it became quite the hotspot amongst members of the arts community in its early years. Cut to today, and the hote

AD Visits: Singer Armaan Malik’s Mumbai home is halfway between London and Los Angeles

At 10 AM on a Sunday, the last thing you'd expect is for Armaan Malik to be crisping the edges of a frittata. And yet, that's exactly the sight that greets me as I step into his kitchen, a California-cool bolthole with a London-esque edge. "I love making breakfast and treating myself to a good spread," he says, drizzling butter on bruschettas. Dressed in a casual button-up and chinos, he looks like a laid-back version of his on-screen alter ego, who, as fans of The Voice (on which Armaan appears

Dream Weaver: A Spanish-style Casita in Darlinghurst by YSG Studio.

Perhaps it was the pandemic-induced isolation, or their newly minted status as empty nesters, but when one Sydney couple acquired a penthouse overlooking Rushcutters Bay, they were mainly enthusiastic about one thing—dialling up the pizzazz and making up for lost time. And dial it up they did, thanks to Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem of YSG Studio, whom they tapped to give the home a Spanish tapas bar-inspired spin. With larger-than-life landings, glass walls, deep pile bespoke rugs and hypnotic stone s

Taiwan: A Sanctuary-like Villa Near the Highway

Situated just off the thoroughfare in Tainan City, this home — named Eden Oasis — is well connected to arterial roads yet cocooned in luxurious nature. ‘The home is held in by a U-shaped glass enclosure, making nature a neighbour and offering the illusion of living in a forest as opposed to just off an urban highway,’ says Keng-Fu Lo, founder and managing director of Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute, who was enlisted by the homeowner, a young professional, to give the villa a san

Actor Sakshi Malik's Mumbai home is full of picture-postcard backdrops

With a smorgasbord of picture-postcard backdrops and multipurpose zones, Sakshi Malik's Mumbai home in Worli looks like an Instagram handle come to life. "That's the way we designed it," says Nikita Dhoble, founder and principal designer of her eponymous design firm, who, along with Meghna Kakar of Behold Design, was tapped by Malik for a comprehensive redesign. "For social media content creators, good backgrounds are par for the course. So we created distinct zones where she could film various

Content creator Kusha Kapila’s apartment in Gurugram is full of secret contraptions

Effusive and spunky, and famed for her disarmingly satirical Instagram reels, it's hard to imagine that Kusha Kapila could be scared of anything. "It's the dark," she declares. "That’s what terrifies me.” In the swell of morning light that fills her bedroom, I almost miss the sensor-triggered spotlights that flick on as she hops off the bed. “Those keep me excellent company when I decide I need a trip to the bathroom in the dead of the night.” Much like the lights, the rest of the house seems cu

Rooftop Glass Apartment in Berlin by Gisbert Pöppler.

If you were to fly over the heart of Berlin, more specifically over the borough of Mitte, you’d spy a 1930s apartment entirely enveloped by glass. From the sky, “you’d see a large glass cube with three rooms distributed like little boxes,” says interior designer Gisbert Pöppler, who was luckily on earth when he took up the task of renovating the property. For Gisbert, the project was a top-to-bottom job. “Only the glass shell remained,” he recalls. “Even the floor plan was completely revised.”

10AM Lofts: A Multi-faceted Creative Destination in Downtown Athens.

Five years ago, Eva Papadaki chanced upon a rarity—four apartments, one on top of the other, in a 1970s former industrial warehouse—all available for sale. Immediately, the Athens-based designer spotted an opportunity: To turn the apartments into creative boltholes, to be used as photography studios, film locations, event spaces or creative offices—either as individual units, or together as a whole. Recognising that it would take a village, Eva swiftly roped in two other design talents—Andrew T

Actor Alia Bhatt’s Mumbai Pad Is an Eclectic & Whimsical Wonderland

The aesthetic is muted, the decor minimalist, and within its restful confines, the homeowners far removed from the fanfare and footlights of showbiz. Inspired by the classic New York loft, this pad owned and shared by actor Alia Bhatt and her sister Shaheen is steeped in neutral hues and imbued with a charming old-world air. “Given that Alia travels a lot, hotels are a mainstay of her lifestyle. Thus, I envisaged a cosy home that would bring her back to her roots, yet be high on style and luxury. The house is designed for entertaining and spending time with family and friends,” says Richa Bahl, founder and chief interior designer of her eponymous design firm Richa Bahl Design Studio.

A House on a Cliff in Costa Brava by Marià Castelló and José Antonio Molina.

El Port de la Selva is one of those fishing towns that’s as swish as it is sleepy. With vineyards, golden coastlines, mountainscapes, and works of Salvador Dalí, the seaside settlement, nestled in the northernmost part of the Costa Brava, is nothing short of a Mediterranean postcard. But what’s most unusual about the town isn’t it’s picturesque setting, but the volcanic overhangs that fringe the town, appearing like lava lamps mid-motion. The only thing more striking than the outcrops, perhaps,

AD Visits: Actors Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan’s newlywed nest is a storybook come to life

At the door of actors (and newlyweds) Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan Seal's new Mumbai duplex, the nameplate is conspicuous by its absence. What is not is the cheery (LED) baby seal that takes its place, animating the wall and nodding to its namesake owners. “It's fun to watch people guess," says Anushka. "Those who get it, get it. And it makes for a great conversation-starter." But the unlikely sea creature isn’t the only thing setting the entryway apart—because if the peach-toned front door (a

Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel by Kelly Wearstler.

The corner of LA’s 11th and Broadway is a glittering pastiche of fashion boutiques, sports complexes and Deco architecture. So the fact that the Downtown LA Proper Hotel still manages to take pride of place here, is a bit of a minor miracle. Or not. After all, with design maven Kelly Wearstler at the helm, the 148-room destination hotel’s pizzazz hardly comes as a surprise. Still, the American designer has done justice to the building’s colourful legacy—from its state-of-the-art private club in

Barefoot Luxury Jackpot: Kisawa Sanctuary Mozambique by NJF Design.

Benguerra Island in Mozambique harbours many rare gems: Virgin shorelines, freshwater lakes, savannah and forest, tropical flora and fauna, and spectacular dive sites, to name a few. So when you find them all in one place, as in the case of the Kisawa Sanctuary, you know you’ve hit scenic jackpot. The 300-hectare beachfront resort, designed and owned by Nina Flohr of NJF Designs, is scalloped into the island’s coastal forest, with 22 bungalows spread across 12 cove-side and oceanside residences

Arctic Monkeys Drummer Matt Helders’ Home in LA by Corinne Mathern.

When Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders purchased this 1950s house in Los Angeles, it was nothing like the home he had dreamed up in his head. The mid-century architectural hallmarks were charming. The natural light, not so much. And so, to help achieve his vision—and some extra sunlight—Matt roped in Los Angeles-based interior designer Corinne Mathern (who subcontracted the project to Landmark Building), known for her balanced, collected aesthetic. For a property that would swing between stud

This Multi-Pavilion Celebrity Home Fits Together Like a Jigsaw

Gently enveloped between the Sahyadri mountain range and undulating open land, lies this earth-rooted family abode. “The structure is reminiscent of the forts on the horizon, and revels in its ability to become one with the land,” says Puran Kumar, founder and principal architect of Studio PKA. “It was designed as a weekend retreat for a well-known film industry personality and his family, to serve as a reprieve from their bustling city life. In this vein, we ventured out in search of a tract of land that would not only capture the essence of the place but also inspire, delight and satiate their creative endeavours.”

Bologna: Leopoldo Cavalli’s villa is an osmosis between brick and concrete

Wood warms the walls of Cavalli's studio, enveloping the observer in silent strands of contemplation. Glimmers of greenery peep through a diminutive opening behind the antique desk, created with the modules of the wooden bookcase. An area reserved for music takes pride of place, presenting a Larix piano bar and a Riverside sofa and ottoman in milk white leather. “The desk is one of my favourite pieces in the new house, and one of the very few items not created by Visionnaire. I found it in an ol

Architecture Spotlight

Casa Cody, a 1900s Hotel in Palm Springs by Casetta Group and Electric Bowery.

Casa Cody has quite a history. Not only has it hosted legends like Charlie Chaplin, American opera singer Lawrence Tibbett and French-born novelist Anaïs Nin, but, as the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, its spirit has remained stupendously intact. Established by Harriet and Harold Bryant Cody (the former, a cousin of the famous William “Buffalo Bill” Cody) in the early 1900s, it became quite the hotspot amongst members of the arts community in its early years. Cut to today, and the hote

Taiwan: A Sanctuary-like Villa Near the Highway

Situated just off the thoroughfare in Tainan City, this home — named Eden Oasis — is well connected to arterial roads yet cocooned in luxurious nature. ‘The home is held in by a U-shaped glass enclosure, making nature a neighbour and offering the illusion of living in a forest as opposed to just off an urban highway,’ says Keng-Fu Lo, founder and managing director of Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute, who was enlisted by the homeowner, a young professional, to give the villa a san

The home of the future may be hands-free. Here's how

We explore developments in the smart home industry that will fundamentally shape a new era of residential design. If you've experienced the joy of a bag of Cheetos®, it's likely you're familiar with the telltale orange dust it leaves behind on your fingers, rendering you temporarily handless until you take a trip to the sink. But what if the dust never left? What would it take to live a productive life hands-free? The answer, evidently, lies in a marketing experiment by parent company PepsiCo i

Goa: This heritage bed-and-breakfast enlivens a century-old family legacy

Like most old Goan homes, Casa Gracia has architectural features that nod to its colonial heritage. Its 2-feet-thick walls, built in laterite stone and mud and finished in lime plaster, are an unmistakable emblem of pre-independence Goa; as are the pitched roof profile and colonial-style red oxide flooring. So naturally for Santimano, retaining them was non-negotiable. "Lime plaster is a material that allows the home's mud-stone walls to breathe. And its imperfect finish only adds to the wabi-sa

Architectural Rebirth: Castle-Turned-Convent in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects.

The Convent Saint-François, located on the French island of Corsica, looks like a modern-day, Mediterranean version of The Sound of Music—with everything besides Maria and the von Trapp pack in attendance. Old it might be, but there’s absolutely nothing old-fashioned about this 1,000-square-metre castle-turned-convent that dates back to 1480. So much so, that a copper honeycomb veil sits over the structure like a second skin, channelling a fantastically outré flair. “It had lain partially ruine

In Hyderabad, an eco-friendly weekend home that defies conventional rules of architecture

In the backwoods of Hyderabad, on a downland of rolling grass, rests an A-frame farmhouse that appears to have risen from the depths of the earth. And yet, it's far from down-to-earth. Its contemporary arrowhead roof and triangular proportions could easily have you mistaking it for a tee-pee-style cabin in the Californian outback. “The most striking feature of this house is the roof,” says Simeen Quraishi, one-half of Hyderabad-based design studio Moriq, adding, "It is composed of two triangular

India Houzz Tour: A Home of Endless Windows and an Earthy Palette

With a decidedly earthy palette, plentiful greenery and free-flowing spaces, this home in Bangalore, India, designed by Greyscale Design Studio, embraces modern design while paying homage to its natural surroundings. “The couple wanted their home to be inclusive, with each space capable of being a gathering point. They were keen for the home to be open to greenery and that each material [should] have a unique significance,” says Ninu Ahluwalia, one of the principal architects who worked on this project.

In This Kerala Bungalow, Almost Everything Is Upcycled

In the heart of Trivandrum, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala, there is a small site that breathes fresh air. “It was being suffocated by other residential projects from all four sides,” says Vinu Daniel, whose firm, Wallmakers, inverted the home’s layout to funnel the interior flow into a central courtyard. Airy and luminous it may be, but those aren’t the only hallmarks that separate this curious home from its cookie-cutter surroundings. Its Rat Trap bond masonry and upcycled

Take a trip to the moon in this serene, celestial bungalow in Goa

A central double courtyard with a crescent-shaped pool acts as an arterial gateway to the various sections of the home, and presents a dramatic interplay of sunlight and shadows. “The house is divided in half by the pool; with the living room, kitchen and guest spaces on one side, and the bedrooms on the other,” says Kulkarni. Semi-open, louvred walkways fill the courtyard, subtly parlaying into the common and private spaces. “The layout of the home is inward-looking, since it was built on a tig

Design Spotlight

To Make This Bronze Sculpture, Huang Yulong Completely Lost Himself

Huang Yulong’s “Be My Side” series (2015–20) puts a whole new spin on the term benchwarmer. Each sculpture, available in a limited edition of eight, features a faceless bronze figure seated in a distinctive pose on an aluminum park-style bench. “I took half a year to ‘shape’ the concept,” puns the well-known Chinese sculptor, who uses a blend of bronze and crystals to conjure his anonymous marvels, speaking on a video call. “I was sitting alone on a bench one day, struggling with the idea of ​​

Maison Intègre's Debut Collection of Bronze Works Revives the Lost Wax Technique of West Africa.

Gleaming bronze finishes, gentle curves and a bygone quality that whispers of ancient traditions—Maison Intègre‘s maiden collection could easily belong in a museum. The Burkina Faso-based company’s limited-edition bronze work line—designed by founder Ambre Jarno in collaboration with French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, and handcrafted by West African master artisans—revives the country’s lost wax bronze technique. And now, for the first time, design lovers have a chance to get up close and

Ergonomic and Eco-Conscious – Sofas by Monde

Starting as a feel-good project during lockdown, Tilly Barber’s bespoke furniture brand Monde is rewriting the rulebook for modular furniture with a sustainable edge. Made locally in Melbourne with recyclable materials, each sofa is tailored to the needs of each customer. For Tilly, the lockdowns heralded a new chapter in more ways than one. Not only did it present a wellspring of new ideas, but it also freewheeled her – rather serendipitously – into a new career in product design. Her furnitur

These Soft Sculptures Are Childhood Imaginary Friends Come to Life

With her “Transitional Objects” series of soft sculptures, Gabriela Noelle has reconceived childhood imaginary friends as zany, swish avatars. She took their name from English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott’s term for the comfort objects held dear by young children. But unlike the companions he was describing, quickly outgrown by their juvenile inventors, Noelle’s creations have no expiration date. “They exist in an alternate dimension where they can only be seen and felt when liberated from th

Sanjyt Syngh, New Delhi's immersive interior designer

The New Delhi-based designer takes cues from darkness to create playful and immersive meta-luxury spaces As I sit across from him in his New Delhi studio, it’s hard to differentiate between Sanjyt Syngh the person and Sanjyt Syngh the designer. “It’s not a job for me. It’s a way of life. Even when I’m in bed, I have a sketchbook and my laptop at arm’s length. I am constantly designing. The best ideas come to me at 3am when I am curled up in bed and it’s all dark,” says the New-Delhi based desig

A designer creates the most close-to-reality dollhouse for her alter ego

The dollhouse was fashioned out of MDF; with individual pieces precisely laser-cut to size, primed, painted and assembled. The walls and floors were hand-painted to channel exposed cement and Jaisalmer flooring, and the wooden herringbone floors and bathroom tiles were printed and hand-embossed to mimic real tile patterns. In designing the furniture, Nambiar adopted a scaled-down, real-life approach. "All the couches and chairs were made like real furniture; they had wooden inner frames which we

This London-based studio’s product range is made out of marble waste

Mia Castenskjold, Klaus Weiskopf and Stefan Zschernitz never intended to start a marble product company. Yet, what started off as a passion project—a dining table made from salvaged marble offcuts—parlayed into an opportunity to discover and create more. “The table got some attention, and we received a considerable number of requests. In that vein, we decided to team up and start the company as a side project. Our main objective was to experiment and build well-crafted, unique objects, and most

London: This designer built a children’s dreamland by using Lego Dots

Walala's stylistic references are emblems of bold architecture, unbridled colour and flamboyant expressions. South Indian architecture, in particular, has deeply influenced her design ethos. “Some postmodern houses in South India are not designed by architects; the people there just like strong shapes and colourful facades. This type of architecture was one of the inspirations for the Memphis movement, which, in turn, has been the strongest reference point for HOUSE OF DOTS,” says Walala. Works

Eyes-Wide-Open: A Seoul-based designer creates furniture that is invisible

Seoul-based designer Hyukjoon Choi's invisible furniture range is an architectural feat that could comfortably masquerade as a magic trick. The series features shelving and storage units that seek to elude the mind's eye, coalescing into the background and providing its contents with a curious illusion of levitation. Choi's designs hold a mirror to the question, ‘what if furniture was invisible?' Characterised by indiscernible outlines and gossamer shapes, Choi's creations have a diaphanous qua

These products are rewriting the rulebook for ones with special needs

Envision a folding, wall-mounted contraption that masquerades as an on-demand shower seat to fill in for your wheelchair. Or a cup—bolstered by a base, coaster and lid—to guide your shaky arthritic hand from table to tongue. In a world geared towards conventional ability and accessibility, a clutch of emerging, innovative designers are catalysing a gentle revolution in inclusive design, introducing adaptive furniture, product and interior design concepts for the ones with special needs. Here are

Art Spotlight

Inside the Fantastical World of Izumi Kato

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity,” Alberto Giacometti once said. There is something about Japanese artist Izumi Kato's oeuvre that perfectly exemplifies Giacometti's quote, leading the observer into a neverland full of humanoid creatures with alien features, who, even, and especially, with their distorted guises, exude a fantastical spirit that is equal parts terrestrial and celestial. The artist’s largest-ever single canvas at auctio

French Ceramicist Grégoire Scalabre’s Latest Masterpiece Is Inspired by a Greek Goddess.

Gregoire making the miniature porcelain pieces for his sculptures. Photo by Fabien Jallot. Glazed and ready to be added to the larger sculptural form. Photo by Charles De Borggraef. The Final Metamorphosis Of Thetis by Gregoire Scalabre, presented at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. Photo by Charles De Borggraef. Made up of over 70,ooo of miniature porcelain pieces turned individually by hand, L’Ultime Métamorphose de Thétis (The Final Metamorphosis Of Thetis) by Gregoire Scalabre is a labour-in

Modern Muses, Enduring Icons of Beauty

In advance of Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction (27 April, Hong Kong), we take a look at a selection of paintings by modern art masters that celebrate the muses who have been the source of their artistic inspiration. Through these works, we sense the resonance and emotional response from the artists’ relationships to their subjects, expressed in a powerful statement of enduring beauty. The women of Pablo Picasso’s life were the fulcrum of his genius, essential to his creative and intellectual pr

Emerging Artists Who Will Shape the Contemporary Art World

Noted for her kaleidoscopic abstractions of floating moons, knobbly trees and effulgent sunlight, Shara Hughes's brushstrokes freewheel across the canvas in a smorgasbord of colour. The New York-based artist, who earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011, has a bold signature that riffs on dramatic tones and dreamlike manifestations. Hughes's oeuvre nods in equal spirit to the deeply saturated palettes of the e

Hôtel des Académies et des Arts in Paris by Lizée-Hugot

In the time capsule that is Montparnasse, art can be seen everywhere. On buildings. Inside them. On walls and ceilings and doors and windows. As frescoes and as freestanding displays. And in the case of The Hôtel des Académies et des Arts, in its past, present and future (you see, the building has served as a hotel for well over a century). The Parisian hotel’s cool new avatar is courtesy of architects Stéphanie Lizée of Lizée-Hugot, an architecture firm she co-founded with Raphael Hugot. Stéph

Delhi: An all-women show makes a splash at Vadehra Art Gallery

An ode to female artistry, with interdisciplinary conversations around the nature of self-building, will soon assume a novel avatar, in the way of an all-women group show christened (ME)(MORY). The exhibition, curated by Dipti Anand, is available for viewing at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, and features an eclectic collection of artworks by nine leading artists with a subcontinental presence. These include Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Anoli Perera, Bakula Nayak, Apnavi Makanji, Rakhi Peswani, Him

COVID-19 Relief: Artists create artwork plates for homeless New Yorkers

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the Coalition for the Homeless to eschew their annual traditional gala and auction in favour of new, innovative ways of fundraising. On 16th November, they launched a first-of-its-kind collaboration with 50 distinguished artists to create limited-edition plates; the proceeds from the sale will help homeless New Yorkers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative titled ‘The Artist Plate Project' mirrors the non-profit's time-honoured legacy of c

London: Get your hands on a Picasso original at Sotheby’s

Most art lovers covet a Picasso original, but bona fide artworks by the grand master are few. Soon, art collectors can look forward to a spectacular selection of Pablo Picasso's works from the private collection of his granddaughter, Marina Picasso. The auction, titled ‘Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale', was unveiled at Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Department, London, on January 5, 2020. Pieces will be available for public viewing from January 29, 2020. Pablo Picasso is one

Mumbai: Jamaat’s exhibition unfolds a sacred geometric language

Witness a sacred language of form and sound unfold on canvas. An art extravaganza christened ‘Yantra and Mantra' will be unveiled by Jamaat today, in commemoration of their 21st anniversary. The show is slated to run until 28th February 2020. The exhibition is an introspection into geometric shapes and proportions and their architectural symbolism in sacred worship and spiritual practices across civilisations. “There exists a belief that God created the universe according to a geometric plan. T

Make a date with Frida Kahlo in the Windy City of Chicago this summer

If you're an art aficionado, the summer of 2020 promises to be a season to remember. Frida Kahlo 2020, a one-of-a-kind, multifaceted exhibition hosting one of the largest private collections of original artworks by Frida Kahlo, is opening in Chicago between March and August 2020. Go on and satiate your soul with an art-filled summer. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist whose stylistic ethos seeded a powerful visual metamorphosis in 20th century art and culture. Kahlo was noted for her self-portrai