Pune-based Manali Mitra balances her career as Creative Director for a UX technology company with running her personal studio called Keeva. A self-proclaimed ‘hoarder’, born in the 70s, Manali loves vinyl records, 70s style art, movies, and books. Through Keeva, she attempts to create home decor products that remind her of her favourite era and help her to connect with likeminded people.
For Manali, vinyl records are some of the most difficult things to throw away. So, she found a way to incorporate them into her modern three bedroom apartment. “As a child, I was so attached to LPs, I would spend the whole day listening to them”, she revealed. “I have kept covers of my old LPs. I find that the old designs have a certain charm. I never listen to CDs.”
Her living room wall is decorated with several Andy Warhol prints and old record covers. Manali also designed her own storage space for stocking away her still functional vinyls and LP player that she often uses after a hard day’s work.
Some of her old vinyl records, hoarded for several years, were found to be beyond repair, but Manali even managed to find a place for them. She made a chandelier out of some and up-cycled her original Beatles record (that crashed many years ago) into a wall clock. The tabletop clock was made from an original Elvis Presley vinyl record. “Some of the LPs I have are 60 years old. I have even hoarded some of my favourite old Bollywood hits like Sholay.”
“If you come to my house, you will find that the space is actually a reflection of who I am. I am a lover of surrealism and Dadaism and, not to forget my favourite, which is pop art. I just love it!” Her biggest artistic indulgences are from her trips to the MOMA store in New York, where she picked up several outofthebox curios.
The kitchen required a lot more work. Because of the size constraint, she had a wall removed and a portion of it replaced with a mini bar to stock her favourite wine.
Manali also has a love for creating lamps out of different things. Empty bottles of vodka were recycled into hanging ceiling lamp shades with string lights, just above the mini bar. Old water kettles and 5-litre glass bottles sourced from flea markets were transformed into unique lighting in the living room.
When asked if she had advice for people doing up their home, Manali says “Your home is a reflection of who you are. I do not advise people to go to tinsel shops and try to copy what they are doing. You have to be yourself so that when people see your home, they see you.”
Great advice, we’d say!
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