Indian Splendor

by Rohini Wahi

As I have been delving deeper and deeper into trends within Indian design for this column, I’ve been excited to explore a side of modern Indian design that doesn’t get a lot of airtime: well-designed luxury.

While these goods may come with higher price tags, I feel like more of us are buying less these days and focusing on investing in speciality pieces, whether that’s from independent design studios or vintage pieces. These Indian design studios provide a visual feast of materials, jewel-like colors, blown glass, mother of pearl and all the good stuff you can imagine. These are the sorts of pieces that are definitely worth admiring and investing in when and if the time is right. –Rohini

These oversized bell-shaped pendant lights from Viya Home are inspired by the bells which hang large and low inside the temples of India. Finished in beaten brass and antique verdigris, these have gone straight to the top of my ultimate wish-list (along with an ultimate house). I would hang one low in a large, darkly painted hallway so it can cast a magical golden glow.
Delhi-based Studio Klove specializes in luminous blown glass statement pieces inspired by Indian jewelry and motifs. The brand has become synonymous with Indian luxury housewares with beyond original wall installations, like this majestic Peacock Mural made of brass and handblown glass spindles. Stunning!
This beautiful beaten metal and blown glass wall installation by Klove reminds me of brightly colored boiled sweets! It's in fact inspired by a piece of Indian jewelry worn on the forehead.
Striking and delicate chandeliers and iridescent pendant lights inspired by traditional "Jhumka" earrings.
Delhi-based Viya Home offers a range of luxurious, highly crafted products rooted in classical Indian aesthetics with a slick, modern update. I want each and every one of this cluster of cocktail tables in the shape of lotus flowers, decorated with undulating brass patterns and inlays of abalone, lapiz lazuli, malachite and tiger eye.
The delicate designs of Ira Studio are reminiscent of the aesthetics of old Indian architecture. This Dome Light is hand-beaten out of a single sheet of brass with pretty, quintessentially-Indian scalloped edges.
I love how luxurious but accessible these warm and minimalist Tekku stools are. In covetable starburst and linear patterns, they are adorned with hand-embossed brass plates using a traditional sheet metal technique. Also by Ira Studio
I don't think I have ever seen anything more graceful than these glass bell jars from Anantaya Decor. Made of white marble and scientific glass with stunning turned Shisham wood handles.
Reminiscent of the "Tava" vessel for cooking food by Anantaya Decor, this ingenious lamp turns the hand hammered brass vessel on its side to create a stunning sculptural installation.
I love this playful occasional table/objet d'art by Gunjan Gupta, inspired by traditional clay water urns. These are made of red-sandstone and topped with solid copper.
I love the mix of prints and silhouettes on this super cute Potli Chair by Gunjan Gupta, which references the iconography of India.
This delicate, kaleidoscopic shawl by Andraab is made using a painstaking and hugely skilled technique called "kani," woven using wooden needles. These shawls are akin to pieces of art, and have been a favorite of Mughal emperors.
These intricate wooden lamps and shades by Arpan Patel are carved using the same technique as is used to make Rajasthani block-print blocks.
Hand Block inspired wooden lamps and shades by Arpan Patel
Wooden lamps and shades by Arpan Patel
The metallic silk threads on this cushion by Leah Singh looks so subtly luxurious. The intricate geometric pattern is hand-embroidered using the Nabha Phulkari technique typically used to embroider shawls for a bride's trousseau.
This modern and graphic throw by Leah Singh is embroidered by women artisans in Kashmir using the chain stitch technique native to the region.
These teardrop-shaped cast metal mirrors mounted in soild brass frames from Tiipoi are almost magically created using metal that is polished by hand for a number of days, using only oil and water, until there is a transformation from the rough metal to mirror!
I love the rough edges of this version by Tiipoi.

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  • hi Rohini, so glad to see Indian culture being featured at Design Sponge. With this one post you introduced so many spectacular Indian design studios that even we living in India often miss out on..waiting to see more in this column..meanwhile I just found you have a personal blog..heading there :)

    • Hi Jeslin! Thanks so much so great to hear my content is striking a chord. I am learning a lot from readers here too – please do feel free share any studios you think we should take a look at. Rohini x