A life-size Buddha statue, a K.S. Radhakrishnan sculpture of a woman at the centre of a water body and a brass Nataraja at the entrance to the house give you a warm
welcome to designer Payal Jain’s home on Radhey Mohan Drive, New Delhi. The L-shaped house sits on a manicured lawn and every space within overlooks lush greenery, as French windows run along all sides. “When everything is inside, it defeats the purpose of living with nature,” says Payal, who enjoys the feel of her Zen home.
“I always wanted a Balinese look for my home,” she says. “It look two years to build this. My hubby and I both take an interest in architecture. I, particularly, was keen on the high ceilings, which are a luxury!” In her growing-up years, Payal wanted to study architecture until fashion beckoned her. The similarity in her fashion line and the interiors of her home is quite effortless and not “overdone”, as she puts it.
All the art in the house is overwhelming – walking down the long corridor, you can’t resist gazing at the vertical panels of wood on both walls, with orange and pink artwork made of thread reels. At the centre of the high-pitched roof is a shell chandelier, which makes for a statement piece as it creates an ombré effect when lit.
Stepping down to the basement, there’s a TV room and a bar that was initially a support pole and needed to be camouflaged. “We chopped basic wooden rods used during construction, and then placed wooden slabs as barrests. It’s all recycled,” says Payal, sweeping her hands around to explain.
The look of the house is simple and understated. They have used as much of nature indoors as possible; there are abundant potted areca palms in the corners, and fresh lilies and roses in tall vases tell the story of green thumbs.
Among books on Picasso and other artists rests another interesting green jade head from South Africa, again bought during a holiday. The couple enjoys collecting accessories on their trips, as evident from the ones lying around the house. Every piece is tastefully chosen and has a story to it.
The living room has a massive beige sea rock that weighs 3,000 kg, imported from Bali. “It’s gorgeous, but we know what it took us to have it picked up and placed as the centre table. We were scared for the flooring, too!” adds Payal, recalling the experience.
Moving to the 12-seater dinning room, the detailing of the wood (from texture to colour) has been carefully maintained through every piece of furniture. The high-backed dining chairs made of linear wooden bars spell style and comfort. The crockery displayed is pottery of earth colours, of which Payal is a fan. Whether in her fashion line or in the interiors of her home, there’s a clean approach.
The abstract art panels are by artist Pradeep Puthoor and the third panel is in the master bedroom, which is connected by a passage to the main façade of the house.
A wooden four-poster bed with white muslin fabric wrapped around the four posts and criss-crossed at the top of the bed gives the room a royal feel. Pops of colour are seen on the printed bedspread. The fuchsia couch placed opposite the bed along the bay window offers a tiny sit-out with colourful cushions.
Other than that, only bare essentials lie around the room. “No clutter allows the energy to flow freely, something we believe in,” says the lady of the house. A narrow separation from the couple’s closet area brings you to the bathroom – another Zen space. There is a shower cubicle and two wooden stairs that lead to the glorious Jacuzzi!
Payal has twin boys and their rooms are right opposite each other. You can see their interest in football and team support through the accessories and posters in their dens. Payal’s aunt, who is a sculptor, also made a sculpture of the two that is placed in the garden opposite the dining room.
The whole effect is of clean, classy luxury. As Francis Jourdain, the famous 20th century interior designer, rightfully put it, “One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.”