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5 Inviting Summer Tablescapes From India

by Garrett Fleming

The sun’s out, and the birds are chirping. That can only mean one thing: time for a summer soirée! If you’re anything like me, the first thing you think of when it’s time to host isn’t the menu. My head goes straight to what the look of the party will be. Decorations, accessories, the ambiance: they’re each just as important as the meal itself, I say. Sometimes the inspiration simply doesn’t come to me, though, and the idea of not hitting it out of the park can be a bit of a downer.

When I hit a creative-brainstorming wall like this, I try and not go back to the same well of inspiration. But where to go? Luckily for us, Indian fashion/craft publication and agency Border&Fall is here to save the day. They’ve helped us put together five summer tablescapes by five of their favorite designers that are sure to make your next summer shindig a hit. Raw Mango’s tablescape pays homage to India’s heritage while showing off natural elements. Shift’s interpretation puts an often-overlooked staple front and center. Rashmi Varma focuses on materials, en Inde celebrates the farm-to-table movement, and Atmosphere’s look is all about the details.

While each is unique, they all embody the same ideals. They all strive to promote a forward-thinking India, one ready to redefine its design standards and blaze a trail towards a modern look. Click through to take a peek at their work and get ready to click “bookmark.” Their tablescapes are that good. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Praatika MehraPranoy Sarkar, Sonal Sood & Atmosphere

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Textile designer Sanjay Garg of Raw Mango pared back his tablescape to reflect the modern India, a place he says is steeped in heritage but isn't over-the-top or too stylized. His party would be a mashup of the formal and casual, where guests can either roam around and chat or sit down and enjoy their food.
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The color palette of Sanjay's table came together organically. He simply let the outdoors tell him what to decorate with. Unpolished, raw elements drive home the Earth-conscious look as do the stunning 200-year-old, naturally-dyed statues.
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Glassware and cutlery by Paradise Road. Spoons and butter dish by Jaipur's AKFD Studio.
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Nimish Shah, founder of Mumbai-based brand Shift, let the twilight hour inspire his "chic, industrial after-hours" party. "Mumbai has the most [beautiful] after-hours light, a perfect setting for a grownup cocktail party," he says. Nimish anchors the table with Gulmohar. It's a very popular tree that's found all over India, but it's one that somehow is never given center stage. Carpet by Merci.
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"Shabby chic" accessories from Good Earth, Skitch and PURE Home + Living decorate Nimish's table.
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Akanksha Himatsingka and Maria Alapatt, Managing Director and Sr. Designer for Bangalore's Atmosphere, have been immersing themselves in intricate illustrations as of late. The influence of these detailed, gilded graphics came to life in their table's look.
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The Atmosphere team says uncovering the unexpected is the key to an interesting dinner party. "Design is all in the details. Small patterns and interesting plays of patterns, color and texture are keenly noticed. An intimate setting is about delightful discoveries for the guests seated at the table," they tell us. Those discoveries are a mix of Calvin Klein goods, Arte Italica pewter wares and Danish trays.
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Designer Rashmi Varma uses "simple and humble objects in terracotta, stainless steel, glass, cotton khadi and copper" for her tablescape. These elements, all of which are a part of India's "everyday design language," make the look extremely accessible.
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A white tablecloth, of Rashmi's own making, lets the accessories' natural colors shine. The accompanying copper vase is by Tiipoi, and the terracotta pieces are from Kamala.
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Sonal Sood and Anupama Sukh Lalvani, Co-Founders of en Inde, create a green and clean summer table with a focus on farm-to-table foods. Their inspiration was the Manet painting "Le Dejeuner sur L'herbe."
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Green elements highlight the goods we need to thrive, yellow ones honor the summer sun and black ones provide "gravitas." Furnishings by en Inde.

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