Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bohemian Rhapsody

Blogging works. It opens up your world, gives you voice- good. Gives you an audience- better. An interactive contributing audience- best. This post is proof of that. I wrote about Tribal Route- this most amazing store. And Nihar Mehta whose brainchild that was, called me up one weekend & said - there's this house I just saw, its interesting- maybe you want to cover it. Great! Infact, awesome. Numbers were exchanged & I called to hear this accented voice give me directions- she warned me it's not luxurious or anything-only colourful. I muttered something about- in a home, imagination & love is all that matters. And landed up. The door opens to show this seriously pretty firang in her terrace flat. Diana Linda turned out to be an Italian who works with 'Doctors without Borders' and has lived in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan & Pakistan. Wow.
I entered this colourful space which was rather bohemian & very yes- definitely kitschy. This home was a patchworkof collages, colourful curtains, Tibetan paintings & life sized illustrations of aliens. As I was moving around taking pictures, we got chatting & Diana told me that of all the countries she's lived in and says India gives her a 'buzz' -an energy like no other country.

This is for all of you out there who are renters, paying guests and generally people who can't drive nails & hang pictures on walls that can't be painted. Some neat tricks on how to make the space you live in, your own.

Diana's dressing table/box. She wore the most interesting jewellery & stores her collection in this antique jewllery box. The painted mini cupboard & the painted Tray are both local (Bandra) finds. The purse (diana is a huge bag collector) is from Goa.

Diana makes these super colourful collages. She told me she wanted to capture the colour, spirituality, modernity, tradition, Bollywood, Glamour & the various faces of India.

She also loves Tagore's poetry & picked this poster & the antique mirror from Delhi.

Another unique feature in this house is the way she has treated the floor. Vibrant patchwork quilts add colour. Aren't the Tantra coasters a brilliant touch? The floor pillows are from Zeba & Fabindia ( another fantastic place for contemporaty Indian fabrics & furnishing) The floor comes alive with various materials and types of mats, carpets & quilts.

Tibetan Mandala paintings are from Ladakh & this super kitschy sequinned bag is from Ogaan, Delhi adorn the walls.

And this is the idea that gets my vote. Diana is a traveller & has moved cities & countries more often than some of us vacation. She lives out of boxes. Literally. So what does she do? She paints them to suit her style- what a fantastic way to turn functionality into aesthetics!

The box right on top is the FishFry box in which came psychadelic sports shoes designed by Manish Arora (Diana loves this designer's colourful extravagant style) These photographed like a dream and you can see the results on my flickr.

Diana has herself designed this bag (which she doesn't carry around, but is a clever storage and decor idea!) & jacket which she loves to wear.

And these are the beautiful & beautifully adorned hands that created the colour & magic you just saw. I just HAD to photograph her hands. The jewellery is from Afghanistan & Rajasthan, India.


Arch said...


This is by far your best post till date.

I LOVE Diana's home and her style.
It is posts like this that I crave for...( something different, something unique)

Cheers and all the very best:-)

Anonymous said...

hi vineeta,

its arty zen.just now checked your blog.beautiful!!! so colorful.really bohemian,later i will check all your previous articles.really stylish.i always like this tibetian mandala bags and T-shirts.they look so ethnic with black skirts.keep up the good work.

A said...

kitsch is in !!

Long may It LIve !!

Vinita said...

Vineeta.. glad you are back. If you need to take your time and slow down we do understand. As it is , life is stressful and there are lot of priorities we need to take care of.. and blogging should be a place to relax and be your own.. not where you feel that you HAVE to post something. But I was just concerned because you always have such interesting posts without much gap in your postings.

Even though Bohemian is not my style I am always in awe of those who do have it. It is their sense of adventure, color , the keen eye which finds beauty even in old and ordinary things and the vision these people have to pull it off altogether . Its a theme without any limitations and boundaries.

Diana must have tons of maids :))with those rings and bracelet I wouldnt want to do any housework.


Bhavna said...

So eye catching the way she has done up her home!

And the hands...beautiful jewellery!

Love this post Vini :)

gunJan said...

omigosh!!! i can't believe somene actually lives in a home like this. dripping of richness, colour and kitsch. superly attractive post. i love the way u r journeying into these people, one by one, bit by bit... :-)

vineeta said...

Archana, coming from you,that's such a compliment :) thanx :)

arty zen, Im so glad to see you here! do drop by often, knowing your taste, you might like some of the things u see here :)

ezee as hell, what a pleasant surprise, do drop by once in a while- by the way i really enjoy your photostream :)

vineeta said...

Vinita, Thanx a lot for dropping in to check. Im really touched. Its no wonder that blogging is so addictive, cause its realtime feedback from real people.
Last week was a case of a bit of ill health- the rest of the days i wasn't at home. The topics for posts are piling up, but no time to post! But you do have a point & thats what i told myself- I needn't die if i dont post :)

Diana's style is amazing, yes it takes courage & it takes for you to be a certain kind of person to be able to pull off kitsch. Dont know about the maids, maybe i should ask her :)

vineeta said...

Bhavna, Thanx so much, will pass on the compliments- yes the hands were rivetting :)
Gunjan, Thanx so much, you are 1st hand witness to the joy & experiences this blog brings me :) Diana HAS to see all the compliments that she is getting :)

Smita said...

Your blog is amazing - such a great post

Peggy said...

Also one of my favorite posts. You've really outdone yourself here. It was pure magic reading and experiencing it. Thank you.

So much I want to say. Where to start? Since you were so kind to recommend Rilke, you now have me intrigued by Tagore. Do you recommend? Do you like Rumi?

This post has also made me want to add more purple/lavendar to my decor. I love its combination with fushia and royal blue.

Did you get any shots of the life size alien art? Would love to see.

I swear I can hear music as I look at this post. So inspiring.

Lastly, what poetry - "the beautiful hands that created..." Indeed.

Thanks for a lovely post.

Peggy said...

P.S. - Does she sell those marvelous bags?

vineeta said...

Smita thanx a lot, do drop by often :)
Peggy, as usual you are one of my biggest supporters. what do i say about Tagore. I'd recommend him to anybody :)especially to you :)havent read Rumi. Intend to.

I asked her if she sold those bags, she said no, she makes them for herself- when she has time :) I did suggest she should sell them, she would have a HUGE market :)

Anrosh said...

Can I print out the last picture and frame them?

vineeta said...

I feel so happy you want to frame it. But i think we must ask Diana whose hands they are :) I will pass on the message to her.So do come back and check what she has to say :)

designflute said...

Everything has been said & applauded! so I just want to say one thing-the way you do real work going out & reporting kind! thats what I want to clap for!!

Calie Anderson, C.I.D. said...

Hi Vineeta, I have to agree with the last comment. The way you go out into the world and do research then report back is fabulous. For those of us who are miles away from India we get a chance to see and learn about things we wouldn't usually get a chance to. Thank you for taking the time to share your learnings with us.


vineeta said...

Roma (designflute) & Calie, Thanx a million for saying what you did :) It means a lot to me to be able to see 1st hand and as u said- 'report' back to you my experience. I hope to keep it that way- for every post thats an internet research based one- I'm hoping to post a 'real' 1st person experienced one.

LADY LUXIE said...

Awwwww'..I waaaant them all!!..Lucky you to have seen all that!

prado said...

Maan. Thats a collector's thing. Ausome. How did you find her.

vineeta said...

Lady Luxie, It was an experience :)
Prado, if you read the beginning of the post I have mentioned how This Nihar Mehta from Tribal route recommended that i see her place :)

Claude Renault said...

Your blog is really very nice.
Love it. i'll come back

vineeta said...

'The' Claude Renault? flickr celebrity. Someone pinch me :) Claude, thanx for the compliment & dropping by.

diana said...

Hi Vineeta,
thank you a lot, you made it wonderful!thanks also to Nihar!:-) and to India of course, the country,who s inspiring me every day!

I am really feeling touched that you all like it.

Of course, Anrosh, you can frame the last picture.

For the bags, I never sold them, never thought about it, but maybe one day...

-by the way no, no, i don t have a lot of maids, because sometimes I remove the rings ;-)and sometimes I like to be alone also for reading,painting, working, listening music and dreaming!

vineeta said...

Diana, Thanx so much for dropping by! :) I was myself curious about the maids :))

swat said...

Excellent post Vineeta! you have captured Diana and her home so beautifully!! She is indeed arty with a great sense of kitsch but most of all a marvellous person.. a great blog!

vineeta said...

Thanx for stopping by Swati :) You must be Diana's friend. Im glad if I have been able to capture her quirky & kitschy art sensibilities :)

Dithi said...

what an interesting home, the artifacts (dressing-box, mirror, old mirror-worked spreads and the tagore poster) add such character to this space. great feature and Vineeta, thank you for sharing with us 'those hands with those jewellery', so pretty!