A few weeks ago Arpan and Aarushi Patel, co-founders/designers of Kassa, a wonderful leather goods label and a couple I only knew online posted a link to an Airbnb in Jaipur. It was cute, well priced and I was headed to the city on a documentation trip so I booked it immediately. (I love living in houses and I’ve only had happy experiences with Airbnb. I’ve mostly forgotten to blog about them but here’s that delicious one in Avignon).
The Airbnb (it turned out) shared a floor with Arpan and Aarushi’s own apartment in a building owned by their family and was managed by Arpan’s brother Tarpan and his French wife Saskia.
The apartment looked great online but I was delighted when I saw it in person. It was the perfect size, bright and airy, and filled with natural light. The bathroom was massive and luxurious.
Saskia, a photographer by profession was responsible for decorating it. “My father in law [renowned sculptor Ankit Patel] had a big collection of antiques and I just had to pick and choose the pieces I liked best.”
The decor was thoughtful. It had leather chairs that were upcycled to look more contemporary, printed textiles and several kooky bronze sculptures. “I wanted to give the apartment an Indian feel for visiting tourists so I chose to display mostly Indian antiques. I am especially fond of the collection of lunch boxes. The other sculptures and artworks are by local Indian artists.”
The boys’ father Ankit Patel also has a lovely gallery on the floor below it (request a visit!) and some of the artworks and the hanging light fixture is by him. I loved the story behind the coffee table. It is made of live edge slabs of sheesham from a tree that he bought over twenty five years ago from his friend and paid for it in instalments.
One of my favourite pieces in the house is Arpan’s wooden lamp that employs a similar technique to traditional stencil carving techniques of the Chhipa or Rajasthani block printing community. You can see more of the Chappa and Chhipa collection in the Kassa store diagonally opposite.