Monday, 30th October 2017

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Home as a haven

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By Artist Kanchan Chander's apartment reflects her love for vivid colours, says Hoihnu Hauzel Photographs by Rupinder Sharma
  • Published 14.11.10

Imagine a home that’s located just a stone’s throw from multiplexes and is within touching distance of the most buzzing shopping malls of the city. So, all you need to do is cross the road when you want to catch the latest movie and hop across if you are in the mood to chill out at a cafe or fine-dining restaurant. How convenient is that!

Ask painter and sculptor Kanchan Chander who lives in a not-so-quiet colony in Saket. This south Delhi residential area is wedged between a popular PVR cinema complex on one side and Delhi’s favourite shopping spots — Select City Mall and DLF Place — on the other side.

Her only grouse: that she doesn’t have as much time to frequent these places as she would like. The fact that she practically haunted the locality before zeroing in on her flat speaks volumes of how much she loves this part of Delhi.

“For a movie buff like me, it was important to be close to a theatre. Often, I just walk across to catch a film. And there’s little chance of boredom setting in as all I have to do is stroll through the mall or meet friends in a coffee shop,” says Kanchan.

The latest gift to the area is the metro line, with the metro station located a mere five-minute walk from her home. Yes, that’s convenient enough to zip across to Connaught Place — Delhi’s shopping district — in just 20 minutes or less.

Four years ago, Kanchan invested in a four-bedroom, ground-floor builder’s apartment that’s a relatively roomy 2,000sqft. She and her son, Pallav, moved here from another south Delhi colony, East of Kailash, where she had lived for more than 30 years.

The builder’s apartment was partially done-up and came with marble flooring and basic wood-work. But she took few more months to do it up to her taste.

Her home is made up of objects procured from her travels around the world. The colour palette is bright while there’s plenty of art (obviously) that combines to give a contemporary look to her home. “For me, my home is a haven, a peaceful place,” she says.

The living room is adorned with vivid paintings — predominantly in tones of red, orange and yellow — that bear her signature. The sofas are covered with animal-print upholstery brightened with red and burnt orange cushions. Even the unobtrusive four-seater dining table comes with the same print. An antique table that once belonged to her mother has been placed in a corner of this room. This is one of her most precious possessions.

The living room is filled with souvenirs — like an onyx candle-stand and a fruit platter also in onyx — that she has bought during her travels around the world.

In another corner of the living room, a cabinet hoards her memories — ceramic plates, tea sets and books — each of which has a special significance for her.

The drawing room leads to the rest of the house. Her kitchen is a smart one that is not too cluttered and is functional but spotless.

Then a passage leads to her 20-year-old son’s room which is brimming over with his books and artwork. No surprise, as Pallav is studying art in Birmingham. A large window opens to the street that leads to their house. Another bedroom is reserved for guests and a corner here is dedicated to her work-space. This room doesn’t have a bed, instead there are burgundy upholstered sofas enlivened with cheerful thread-work cushions and a throw.

Kanchan is quite particular about the upkeep of her home. So needless to say, it’s always spick and span. And she loves to bring the outdoors in to lend atmosphere to the space.

For instance, a large glass wall in her own bedroom affords a view of the balcony where she has placed rows of potted plants. In winter, this is where she spends long, lazy hours sipping tea. “That is, whenever I have the time,” says the painter, who is currently working on a series of projects.