BY DESIGN

COLOUR IS LIKE OXYGEN

Colour, I've always said, is like oxygen, it lets you breathe! Glamour can be infused into the everyday routine by introducing an intriguing piece that in itself is a conversation starter. Set against a monotone background, a rich colour vocabulary incorporated through home accessories and incidental furniture pieces can uplift the mood of the living space, and provides the much needed visual rest. Translating original graphics onto a variety of materials is a trend that endures beyond periods. It could be tile, textile or even papers. A great way to infuse art with your living place is through wallpapers; hesitate not in using strong graphic prints and colours to emote the soul of the space. A great compliment to wallpaper is textiles and fabrics. From orange sunsets and Mediterranean blues to the verdant palms and striking pink flamingos, each shade conveys an emotion as rich as the décor it is set in. The mood is young and effervescent graphic rich India!

RASEEL GUJRAL ANSAL is the Principal Founder & Creative Director of Casa Paradox, a design and retail brand.
LUXURY IS ABOUT ENGAGING THE HEART AS WELL AS THE EYE

The number of ultra-high net worth individuals globally continues to increase and they are more likely than ever to be self-made individuals rather than inheritors of family fortunes; probably younger and grown up with technology. In developing concepts for luxury apartments, villas and penthouses in India or for Indians abroad, we have dubbed these new purchasers of luxury “metropolitan connoisseurs”. They are as familiar with the haute couture of Milan, the literary scene in New York and the art shows in London as they are with the aesthetic and cultural traditions of the cities they live in.

One of the most interesting things about working with Indian clients is that many of the families are multi-generational. They buy adjacent apartments to each other and get them linked in a way to allow family time together, but at the same time allow privacy to the older and younger generations. One of the clients in India had bought a painting by a famous contemporary artist they had long admired and we had to design an entire room around it. Another Indian client who has bought a historic building in London wants to restore the grandeur and charm of the building, but at the same time bring in some Indian touch by adding colour to it. Wet kitchens and puja rooms are other unique features of Indian homes!

It is often said that in our busy, crowded world, luxury is space and time. It is also about engaging the heart as well as the eye with thoughtful design that creates layers of experiences.

NATHAN HUTCHINS is a partner at The Gallery HBA, London and has worked with a number of private clients and developers in India.

LIGHTING UP YOUR HOME WITH A HANDCRAFTED CHANDELIER

It is important to know the story, which goes behind the crystals, glass and sparkles of a chandelier. What period is it? How has the design changed over centuries? What is baroque? What happened in Art Nouveau? Even today, a chandelier continues to be a statement of power, luxury and affluent lifestyle. A chandelier is like really expensive jewellery or a sleek car – it exhibits decadent wealth. Classical and modern trends have stayed and ruled for years. People have begun to mix and match things according to their liking and taste. For example, minimalist interiors with straight lines can have a beautiful classical chandelier to complete the space. Or maybe the house will have antique furniture but have glimpse of modern art around it. My own artistic sensibilities form a figurative bridge between classical design and cutting edge modernity. It is important to review the height of the ceilings, the furniture and lighting. If there are staircases, then from every angle, the chandelier must have the same finish. No matter where you look at it from, it must take your breath away. One of our pieces for example is inspired by the sea urchin skeleton. The famous spines of the crustacean give way to semi-precious stones that scatter light. It immerses us once again in a quasi-scientific universe, a continuation of previous collections that visit the cosmos. This time it is the world under the sea that inspires. The sea urchin’s generous roundness, the lightness of its graphic crown and fleeting shadows. New lighting techniques, echo in blooming shades of pink and gold and brown citrine cover the delicately chased sea urchin, dressed in its finery of over seven hundred precious stones. Breathtaking.

REGIS MATHIEU is owner of Mathieu Lustrerie, a French lighting brand, known for its impeccable restoration, accurate re-editions and poetic creations.

BODY & SOUL

MATCHA

Exotic food appeals. There’s no doubt about that. And when one hears of a food that is seemingly doing super things for the health of people in faraway lands, it’s natural to want some of it too. Right! Matcha, a special kind of green tea is one such buzzing superfood that’s caught everyone’s attention lately. In fact, folklore has it that ‘this’ is the secret ingredient that helps Zen monks live long, stress free lives. But before you take cue and ditch java in favor of Matcha (means powdered tea) learn more about it.

Matcha is apparently an even more potent source of nutrients than green tea. It has only three calories per serving, has 7 times more antioxidants (compounds that that help neutralize free radicals and provide protection against heart disease, hypertension and cancer, and prevent aging) as compared to dark chocolate. Then it has EGCG, a polyphenol that helps boost metabolism, which translates into better weight management and contains a lot of easily-absorbable dietary fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar. Apparently this grassy tasting (actually it’s a bit like spinach) also contains five times more l-theanine - a compound induces relaxation without drowsiness - as compared to regular green tea.

To make a Matcha cuppa, a teaspoon of Matcha powder is mixed with about one-third cup of hot water (heated to less than a boil) and then whisked with a bamboo brush until it froths. It is also infused into cocktails, whipped into lattes, dusted atop savory dishes, and mixed into sweets like macarons, cakes and doughnuts. Interested? Then you might want to know that best Matcha comes from southern part of Japan.

KAVITA DEVGAN, Nutritionist, Weight Management Consultant and Health Columnist.
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