Your Home May Be Colorful. But Not as Colorful as This Home in India

ELLE DECOR Editors
·1 min read
Photo credit: Fabien Charuau
Photo credit: Fabien Charuau

From ELLE Decor

Twenty-seven years ago, Srila Chatterjee and Mahesh Mathai walked into an apartment in a 1904 Indian Colonial–style building in a historic area of Mumbai—and they knew within minutes that it was exactly where they were supposed to be. The space, in a building once called the Castle for its turret, had been shoddily carved up into four separate flats. But Mathai, a filmmaker, and Chatterjee, a film producer turned interior designer who owns the lifestyle site Baro Market, were undeterred. They tore down extraneous walls, which opened the space up, and fixed floors that had been damaged by a leaky roof. Ten years later, they added an outdoor terrace.

Photo credit: Fabien Charuau
Photo credit: Fabien Charuau

The home’s exuberant decor has similarly grown organically as they have amassed pieces from near (pottery tiles from Jaipur, antiques from Mumbai’s Thieves Market) and far (a rug from Morocco, a pendant light from Turkey).

Photo credit: Fabien Charuau
Photo credit: Fabien Charuau

“My home reflects my upbringing—of being true to myself and what I believe,” says Chatterjee, who grew up in Calcutta. That unwavering authenticity has made her home even more comforting during a period when India has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is a time to reset and to think about how to make our lives more local,” she says. “Design needs to answer honest questions about how you really feel about something, rather than just following it because it’s the done thing.”

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Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

This story originally appeared in the November 2020 issue of ELLE Decor. SUBSCRIBE

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