Meet Anjalee Wakankar – artist, designer, dreamer and a spirit so alive that it bounces off the walls of her home. Having lived in houses all over the world – Singapore, Hong Kong, Nepal, Cambodia, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai – she and her family now find themselves in their 19th home, tucked away in a little corner off Residency Road in Bangalore.
When asked how she does up each home to reflect herself and her family, she says, “In terms of design, I want to do things entirely different each time, but there is a comfort in known things. Discarding doesn’t come easily to me and I don’t want to let go of things or people or experiences. I simply need to be fair to a space and to my family…and somehow, it just happens.”
There are several striking features about this gorgeous penthouse apartment. So much so, that we weren’t sure where to begin. A stunning ochre floor made of traditional Jaisalmer stone (that Anjalee says stole her heart straight away) guides us from one room to another. All the doors are made entirely of glass allowing every room to open into the next. “My favourite thing about this house is that it seems to welcome you in,” she says. “When someone is sitting in the living room, their eyes head inwards towards the kitchen and dining area, and from there into one of the bedrooms. There’s an energy flowing through the space!”
An artist and designer herself, Anjalee has spent many years working with artisans from all over India. Her passion is to find ways to integrate ethnic and folk art into an urban setting and as a result of several years towards that dream, her home and its walls are filled with artifacts that bring out the best of both.
Coffee tables, chairs and a large dining table done with motifs of leaves and butterflies in delicate wooden inlay are distributed through the flat. A large lamp sits in the corner of the living room, made of an uncut piece of Neem wood, intricately painted by artist Jangaad Singh Sham in the Gond folk art style. A large Sanjhi (folk art of paper cutting) cabinet can be found in one corner, a Balinese piece of two dancers occupies another, and a big Kalamkari tapestry adorns a brick wall in the sitting room.
The walls are covered with paintings of varied kinds. When asked how she chooses her art, she says candidly, “Until very recently, I had never bought a painting. I only display the work of artists I have met, so these are all gifts, or works of friends and family.” In fact, every piece in Anjalee’s home has a story.
Look a little bit more and you’ll only find more artifacts from around the world – colonial French-Cambodian furniture, Kalighat paintings, Oriya bell metal pieces and more. But what really impresses us is that the vastly different styles come together so organically, that you’d barely realise how much diversity you’re looking at. When asked how she managed, she says, “I choose one broad theme in a room that will tie different things together – perhaps a colour, or one central element. Then I work around it, moving things about till it sits right.”
Sometimes, it’s hard to put a finger on why something looks right where it does, why a certain colour works in a certain place, or why a certain piece speaks to you while another doesn’t. But Anjalee Wakankar’s home is full of the right decisions – proof that being true to yourself and the things you love is always the right way.