Bitasta Samantary‘s home is, according to me, her masterpiece. What I thought was a beautifully renovated colonial style home, in actuality is a home built around 12 years ago. Bitasta and her husband took 3 years to build this home on an empty site. As I walked through the rooms of this approximately 7000 sqft residence in Pondicherry, I noticed the careful thought that has gone into creating each and every corner. The placement of the windows, the muted colour palette of the stone floor and the plants – all meticulously planned.
The house has 6 bedrooms, some of which Bitasta also lets out through Airbnb. Most of the rooms are on the first floor along with a dining room and a kitchen. The ground floor has a private sit out that faces an inner courtyard garden. The wooden staircase is majestic with its deep warm tones contrasting with the white walls. The garden seems as if from a fairy tale with its tall pillars and ivy creeper covering – a tranquil haven for the city sick soul!
The home is seemingly inconspicuous even though it is in a busy lane next to Pondicherry’s most happening promenade.
Bitasta, a designer and an artist, is inspired by her father, a reputed artist from Shantineketan. Her father’s work with cane and reed transformed into benches, wall hangings, and murals are beautifully displayed in alongside her own DIY projects.
Like her father, Bitasta’s creativity is expressed through the glass doors of the vintage wooden cabinets. She has used vegetable dye block prints on the shutters and the reed blinds for the windows.
Reed mats have been used extensively – from the hanging headboard in the master bedroom with its thin sheet of painted bamboo mounted on a woven reed mat to the reed mats that frame her black and white photographs.
Bitasta’s daughter, Bidhisha, also an artist and designer, has redesigned some of the vintage furniture by incorporating interesting paper artwork for the side tables. The wall mounted bedside lamps in the master bedroom, likewise is the fruit of her creativity and ingenuity.
The corridors are flooded with natural light. Most of the several well-placed windows look into the garden. A huge bird house, roughly 8 feet tall stands in the garden providing a home for nesting birds.
I spy many an original collector’s items, such as a Lazarus cabinet, an exquisitely tiled mirror, and wooden camphor boxes. Bitasta explains that these boxes are ideal for storing bed linen and clothing due to the camphor smell and are functional as bedside tables and benches. The antique Brahmin’s cot has been cleverly modified into a 3 seater.
Bitasta, along with her daughter Bidhisha also run a store in Pondicherry called LivingArt Lifestyles Pvt Ltd. Check out their work here. And that’s not all! Bidhisha’s home itself is a piece of art. Don’t forget to visit it here.