SPACES / HOME
Inside Ravi Vazirani's Bandra Abode
Renters in Bandra are notorious for getting the short end of the stick. A cubbyhole they call a studio, a phone booth they call a one bedroom, a landlord who insists on leaving their own belongings in the cupboards, who asks you not to put art on the walls. Not Ravi Vazirani.
The self-taught interior designer is one of those rare creatures with the luxury of a little courtyard, a breakfast nook and a rental that feels finished, like it's really his own. Though he's quick to maintain it's ever-evolving: "It never ends and I like it that way."
Before he ever moved in, he Instagrammed the leafy entrance to his building calling it "the Bandra I want to live in" and now, he does.
What is your personal decorating style? Do your clients ask for the same?
My personal style is eclectic, which is what you see in my private space. I don't buy anything because of the price, it doesn't work for me. Things get mixed up and I enjoy that. Many clients ask for my style, but we are a young studio. So for now, when it comes to projects, I like to experiment and I prefer not to define my style. We are still growing up.
What advice would you give somebody who would like to start collecting art?
Buy what makes you happy. Price points don't matter. If it's expensive and you like it, starve and save up. If it's cheap and you like it, buy it. Surround yourself with things that make you happy.
I can see so many pieces of art by people we both know. What's a really special piece for you?
A photograph by my friend Yamini Namjoshi. It's printed on fabric. I liked it so much, I pretty much just walked out of her house with it when she didn't get the hint that I wanted it. You gotta do what you gotta do.
How do you typically spend your weekends here?
Sleep. Read. Eat. Repeat.
Renting in Bombay sucks. How does one find a good apartment?
Karma baby. Have you seen my studio? [This would make a very bad pick up line].
You're throwing a brunch. What's on the menu.
Pimms. Roasted Chicken. Quinoa burgers. Zucchini chocolate cake. You know the kind of things you eat and then instantly crave a double cheese burger from Indigo!
What is in your bar? Go-to drink?
Some of my favourites actually. Personally, if the heat isn't killing me, it's a single malt all the way. If not, then a gin and tonic.
What is the best vintage/antique bargain you have gotten.
A goose neck light for Rs 65. YEAH!!!!
Where did you find your chairs?
I make them. Perks of being an interior designer aye. What I cannot make, I starve, save and buy them. Case in point, my Carl Hansen wishbone chair.
Recommend a book for me to read from your bookshelf.
I picked the first one I reached for, Delicious Bengali Recipes. Umm, have fun? If I had to make a recommendation, then it's The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami.
What is the thing in the centre of the table next to the dining table?
It has a name, it really does, but I can't remember. It's a gift from someone, sourced from the Kochi antique markets. I call him Mr Iyer.
Where all do you keep your medicines and why?
I have medicines next to my bed. In the loo. In my car. Emergency pack in my bag and at work. Hypochondriac. Allergies. You know the drill.
Can you name a few pieces of art/furniture and tell me who they are by.
Art is mostly photographs by close friends. Photos by Shahid Datawala, Neville Sukhia, Anirudh Goel, Kaamna Patel. Drawings by Rehaan Engineer. Furniture is mostly made by me, if not then pieces are sourced from Chor Bazaar.
Slightly morbid question. In a natural calamity, what would you save from the house?
Oh god! I've never thought of it. But now that you ask, maybe nothing. I'm teaching myself to detach. So far, hypothetically, I'm doing very well.
Three best things about living in Bandra.
It's Bandra babe. Everything is awesome, except the traffic, of course. My top three things are:
- The sea. Nothing like a quiet morning on Bandstand, before all the crowd trickles in.
- My Gym. I Think fitness. Great vibe.
- The bars. Everywhere. Walking distance. Love it.