The loving home of two childhood sweethearts, who met at the age of thirteen,when they were in school. They now live in an apartment complex in Noida (a satellite town of Delhi), with their thirteen-year-old son and an energetic golden retriever named Aragorn.
I once mentioned to them that they remind me of the V of flying geese. Primarily because they symbolise what that is all about.
The swing is from their earlier home and was fitted in a corner of the living area and makes for a nice informal seating with a long bench placed next to it and a coffee table with lots of curios.
Sharing a common direction, a sense of community, and above all-a protective,nurturing attitude. They bring a sense of family into everything they do.
Venu is the Country Manager for an American buying agency, sourcing apparel and home goods from India to be sold in retail stores and catalogue companies in the U.S. As this involves working with garment exporters in India and the sub-continent, in addition to coordinating with buyers in the U.S, she travels extensively and has done so for two decades. Even on official trips she always make it a point to do something fun, which includes shopping for her family and home.
Vikram has been in the hospitality business for over twenty years. He used to be with the Taj Group and now owns My Way or the Highway- a restaurant and bar in Noida (a satellite town of Delhi), The restaurant reflects his vibrant personality.
Being strong advocates of practice what you preach, Vikram and Venu ensured that everything on the menu was something they liked—be it Indian, Lebanese, or Italian –the three cuisines offered in the restaurant. Their professional worlds of fashion and food integrate with the style of their home quite effortlessly and every aspect of their life finds a space for expression.
The armchairs and bar stools were custom designed and made for them. The antique clock ties in the turquoise blue on the seat cushions and the large mirror. The niche for the console called for an interesting wall treatment
“It is a place where we have put all the interesting things bought during our travels all over the world. “
But naturally, the living room had to be colourful as well. They could not decide between colours of semiprecious stones like turquoise, jade, emrald, ruby, sapphire, amethyst, or the vibrancy of orange and ochre. So, in the spirit of inclusion they created a space for both. Cushions in various shapes and tones were added for an extra zing.
“Vikram and I have literally grown up together!! Our 13 (going on 30) year old son, Vivaan, is creating his own world of football,rock and heavy metal music, and we are thankfully included in that.”
The Sheesha is from Dubai, bought more than a decade ago, long before Delhi pubs discovered it. The books and racks all over the house have some that are belong to Vikram’s grandfather. The interesting table is part of a camel cart that we modified with legs.
Both Venu and Vikram are voracious readers and everytime they add a book to their ‘Library’ Venu writes the date and where it was bought on the first page. The folding chair is also from an antique shop, as is the study table.
Their home is filled with curios and artefacts, picked up over the last 15 years, from all over the world, and somehow everything comes together perfectly. It is a reflection of their personalities as well – part traditional, part contemporary and filled with joy and expression. Antique pieces and several unusual items from flea markets have been collected over time. It may seem to be a museum of interesting things, but more than anything it is a haven that they love to share with family and friends.
The bar was entirely Vikram’s project. Since friends insist on cocktails made by him, the place is well-equipped for all tastes.
The focus of the home is the 1500 square feet basement, used as a living room, bar and family lounge. Being a very social couple, this space is the centre of activity and entertainment.
While setting up home, which took over a year to complete, they collected the various pieces of furniture one by one. Everything was stored at a friend’s empty apartment, so they had lots of time to scour markets and gradually put each element into place.
“We knew we were moving into a house where the basement was going to be the total opposite of the stereotype – dark, musty, never used. We decided that our basement was going to be a place where we would want to just relax and have fun. “
An antique door was used as the dining table top. We got the frame custom made and used two long benches and two wooden chairs to create an eclectic setting.
The floor above is the day-to-day living area with the bedrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining. Again, they have done something different in each space. The eclectic combination of an antique door as a dining table juxtaposed with the no-nonsense contemporary sleekness of a modern open plan kitchen is integrated in a manner that seems effortless.
The bedrooms are once again highly individualistic, and have maintained the personality of the occupants.The bed is an antique from Rajasthan that they reworked using their carpenter.A Kingsize bed was on their ‘wishlist’ when they bought the house and luckily the room is large enough to accomodate it. The painting was custom made by a close friend-Kajal Nalwa.
Vivaan is a rockhead at the age of 13 and wanted posters for his room. He wasn’t happy with anything he saw in the markets, so Vikram got him to choose the posters online and had them printed for him. Vivaan placed them as he wanted to and decided on the blue wall as well. Being a Chelsea fan he has lots of related memorabilia.The dragon kite is from Malaysia and the pirate one is from Hull, a beach town near Boston.
“We both love color. Vikram is the only man I know who wears washed red pants with a white linen shirt, or an orange belt and socks with blue jeans, or even Turquoise canvas shoes! And you will very rarely see me in grey, beige or rust.”
“I am a decisive shopper, I make a “yes/no” decision within 30 seconds of seeing something.”
“We get many compliments for the way we’ve done it up, but the best ones are when people say our house is a warm and happy home. “
Every piece of furniture that was not sourced from antique stores was designed and made in the house. To coincide with Vikram’s 40th birthday, they hosted a huge house-warming party.
It is a lovely home, which is a collectors delight, but the most endearing quality is the warmth that the family brings to that space. If you are feeling low on any particular day, head over to the Sharma home for a few drinks, great food, lots of conversation and laughter. And while you are there, enjoy the wonderful ambience they have created so painstakingly.
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