What’s old is new again

What’s old is new again
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First Published: Fri, Aug 03 2007. 11 58 PM IST

Modern accents: Gautam Seth (left) and  Prateek Jain redesigned Prateek’s family home.
Modern accents: Gautam Seth (left) and Prateek Jain redesigned Prateek’s family home.
Updated: Fri, Aug 03 2007. 11 58 PM IST
Prateek Jain, founder of the Klove Studio home accessory store and an interior designer, loved the home his grandfather built in South Delhi’s Green Park neighbourhood. But “it did not look like a home somebody who designed homes should live in”, says the reticent designer.
Unfortunately, his parents were against any changes.
For six years, Jain plotted what he would do to the house if he had the chance. When his father finally relented on a bathroom renovation, Jain said he saw an opening and “it just snowballed from there”.
Six weeks later, after a flurry of activity, the interiors of the home are almost unrecognizable at first glance. What was a dark, traditional-style Indian home now has dramatic light fixtures, empty white walls, shiny white furniture, black fur fabrics and gold accents adding just a dash of colour. But a longer look will reveal that Jain and his partner, Gautam Seth, have created a modern tribute to
Modern accents: Gautam Seth (left) and Prateek Jain redesigned Prateek’s family home.
his family’s home.
Jain said that he loved the structural elements of the home and wanted to keep major aspects of these in place, while introducing his and Seth’s unique style. So, for example, they closed off the front entrance and made the back entrance the front door. In part, it was for the back stairwell, which Jain “loves for its symmetry”. They took out the walls blocking the stairwell view, so the architectural lines could be seen from the new front lobby.
The duo also took inspiration from the Jain family’s furniture. Some pieces, such as the dining-room table, a couch and his bed, were simply repainted a stark white colour and they added small accents—such as stainless steel trim on the bed or a glass top to the table—to update the look. “I liked the furniture. I realized that a lot of the stuff looked ugly because it didn’t have the right polish or fabric,” he says.
Other pieces, such as a writing desk that came in his mother’s trousseau, inspired the look of furniture Jain and Seth made. Two small side tables mimic the curved legs of the writing desk, which the men use as a washbasin.
Jain even kept the old flooring of the home in the bedrooms. By pouring concrete over the tiles, the old pattern remained, but the texture improved and the look became more industrial and modern, going along with Klove’s signature style.
Jain says that at Klove, known for its glass sculptures and mesh light fixtures, the duo love to combine modern materials with older shapes to create a whole new look. The materials Jain uses in his home are very forward-looking: concrete tiles, silky furs, or shiny black lacquer paint. But he uses these on pieces that hearken back to baroque shapes.
Jain prefers to have few artworks distracting the eyes, so most of the walls are white, but he loves to use dramatic light fixtures to double as sculptures.
In the new entryway, a chandelier—“almost an installation”, says Jain—hangs down from the ceiling two flights above and is a torrent of gold teardrops. Excitement lights up Jain’s youthful face when he talks about the light, consisting of 100 of “these golden grapes hanging over the entrance”.
A black crystal chandelier dominates the dining room, with the lights reflected in the glass of the tabletop. And another chandelier lights up the bathroom.
Jain says the bathrooms are his true indulgence. “That’s where I put the most luxury. People pay Rs5,000 for a day spa but, with my bathroom, I can just sit in the tub and listen to music and sleep.” Jain custom designed a solid concrete, circular tub for his personal luxury.
After his six-year wait to get his hands on his own home, Jain is very pleased with the result, both because he is putting his personal imprint on his home, and because it is his chance to show what he and Seth are capable of. “It shows the kind of work we can do. It can double as our showroom now.”
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First Published: Fri, Aug 03 2007. 11 58 PM IST
More Topics: Homes | Klove Studio | Lounge |