It was a warm welcome by three huge tail wagging dogs as I entered Bidhisha and Leonardo’s home in Pondicherry. It is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. The front garden is eye-catching with its stone boulders, succulents, square pond and tree lined path right up to the front porch.
The couple has renovated this old house to create an exquisite expression of themselves. The entrance to the porch has been retained with its beautiful wooden pillars and colonial edge borders on the roof, which run all around the house. The front porch wall is a showcase for Bidhisha and Leonardo’s quirky collection of masks – a collection they intend to fill the walls with over the years.
Placed at the entrance is a colonial table along with a centrally placed circular mirror, perfect for hanging umbrellas and a quick dekho before stepping out! Antique furniture along with a striking green bench constitute a comfortable evening sit out. The wooden front door is embellished with elaborate motifs and traditional carvings. Set towards the back of the porch is a dining table with a set of chairs made from what looked like recycled plywood.
The living room is combined with a small open kitchen. A breakfast counter in between is ideal for Leonardo, a chef, who believes that entertaining has to be accompanied by mouth-watering delicacies. Bidhisha, a designer herself, has a more minimalistic yet contemporary approach to her interiors. The centre table is her masterpiece with drawers on all four sides and surfaced with recycled textured paper set beneath a glass sheet.
A quaint wooden rocking horse and traditionally made leather lamps decorate the living room side tables. The modernistic cushions add an unexpected vibe to the whole atmosphere. The TV cabinet is very unusual with its vegetable dye prints on patterned brown paper shutters, a lovely DIY project done by her mother, Bitasta.
The kitchen, though minimalistic and simple, exudes rustic charm and has ample storage space.
The bedroom presents an artistic balance of colours with a blue painting of a couple taking the centre stage, swaying your attention away from the beautiful wooden cot that lies just beneath it. The piece was created by an artist alongside a music performance. The movement and swirls of the paint echo the lilting notes of the music!
A woven bamboo foot bench made by her grandfather, an artist from the reputed Shantineketan school of art, coupled with blue and grey curtains from Bidhisha’s own design studio create an atmosphere quite unique.
Their residence, which was originally an old Tamil style home, is singular in the fact that it marries the old with the new to create a harmony so perfect!
Bidhisha also runs a store in Pondicherry with her mother, Bitasta, called LivingArt Lifestlyles Pvt Ltd. Check it out here.