Design Diary: What’s love got to do with art?

The answer is, a lot. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the past three decades of writing about people, art, food, travel, design and architecture, it is the interconnection between seemingly disparate arts. We saw it earlier this month at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, which was a celebration of the literary, performing, culinary and fine arts — a ‘thread’ of love binding them all, and each one feeding off the other.

If you visit Mumbai’s art district today, you could still enjoy The Sixties Show (till March 28) featuring legendary Indian artists like MF Husain, SH Raza and FN Souza at the Delhi Art Gallery — which is set in a century-old building lovingly restored by Morphogenesis.

Design Diary: What’s love got to do with art?

“The four-level building was abused and defaced beyond recognition; hence we were compelled to treat it like a heritage restoration project, whilst enough cues from well-preserved surrounding buildings were available for us to build on,” say the architects.

“The usage was contemporary — an art gallery, which, by its function, needs to be minimalist. The challenge was to recreate the heritage value, but not imitate in an anachronistic way. Adaptive reuse was adopted to achieve the right balance and was our primary design agenda.

Beyond that, the construction itself and the preservation of the original elements were challenging in many ways, as this building had been formed and reformed so many times on the inside that as layers were peeled off, more and more discovery happened. Eventually, it was very satisfying to reinstate its heritage value.”

Design Diary: What’s love got to do with art?

Good design, we all know, is a marriage between form and function — a fine balance that international fashion design brands like Ralph Lauren tread carefully, as we can see in their exquisite barware collection brought to India by Delhi-based Seetu Kohli Home.

The high-end architecture and interior design company known for representing some of the top global luxury brands in India, is well equipped to raise the style quotient of any home with this range, especially during times of celebration such as Valentine’s Day.

Top marks go to the Kipton bar box, which is inspired by the Polo Bar and features the brand’s classic saddle leather trimmed in brass hardware lined in its iconic Wexford Plaid wool fabric.

Engraved with the Polo Bar logo, it comes with accessories like the Garrett Polo Player 24% leaded crystal barware, a silver-plated Wentworth nut bowl, and two additions to the Equestrian Wentworth Collection: a jigger and bottle opener.

Watching a movie together at home is a great way to spend time with your Valentine, and luxury home interiors brand INV Home has an excellent solution — the Media Room. Embellished with state-of-the-art detailing to break the monotony of a standard media room, its blend of efficiency and luxury will meet the aspirations of the most astute movie lovers.

The display at INV Home in Delhi showcases a red-and-peach theme with dark-coloured furniture and draws inspiration from motifs of nature. A chandelier crafted in the form of a bunch of broken leaves is the piece de resistance of the décor, but the bookshelf and the wood-and-leather door give it stiff competition.

The Sassy Spoon at Nariman Point is the perfect place to head to for dinner with your beloved. Secluded from the city buzz and not far from the Marine Drive, it has great wooden interiors with an ingenious wall of suitcases that camouflages the door on one side, and a charming alfresco section on the other — but that’s not the only reason why.

Rachel Goenka, founder of The Chocolate Spoon Company, has curated a delightful Ruby Chocolate menu for February using the creamy and berry (sweet and sour) notes of the delicious ingredient to uplift not just desserts — but appetisers and mains too.

The sassy twist can be savoured in the ruby chocolate vinaigrette that dresses the salad; the Swiss chard and mushroom tart with ruby chocolate curd and spicy strawberry rose petal jam; spinach and feta ravioli with ruby chocolate velouté; creamy mascarpone and ruby chocolate risotto; crabmeat stuffed chicken with ruby chocolate and brandy cream sauce; and

Australian dukkah marinated lamb chops with ginger and ruby chocolate marmalade. Don’t miss the ruby chocolate tiramisu, ruby chocolate cheesecake or the smoked ruby chocolate ice cream; all artistically designed for a celebration of love.

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