Home is where the heart is
Home for me is a very personal space, where I can return at the end of the day to my family, pets, my son Shohoj and all my near ones who stay with me. In fact, at my house I want all my guests to feel at home also. I want them to feel comfortable and at peace. I have not even put up a nameplate outside my apartment, it just reads ‘Home’. I bought my first home at the beginning of 2016. I did not get any designer to do this place, everything in this place has a personal touch to it and took me a long time to do it. Shohoj and I did it together.
My outdoor terrace balcony is one of my favourite corners and I take my breaks there. I decorated it my way with more than 100 potted plants and a small seating arrangement. My bedroom is completely in a monochrome theme. People told me that I shouldn’t stay in black, following Vastu and other rules, but black is a suitable colour for me. I feel at peace in my bedroom. There is a favourite curtain full of badges and it is one of my hobbies to collect them. I have a small library of my own too. I can’t tolerate clutter, so I have made a lot of customised furniture with hidden storage. It keeps my place tidy even if I don’t always have the time to arrange things. My home is filled with a lot of greenery, lots of recycled items and flower vases that my son and I painted together. Most things are hand-painted.
My doors are all made of chalkboards, one can write and draw on them and erase it too. So, the place is very kid-friendly too. As a person who works better with a to-do list, I have filled my passages with whiteboards, where I leave a message for my son before leaving home and his task is to find it and answer it. It is a game we love to play at home.
Home for me is a place where my family is, it means comfort and, basically, everything. I don’t like doing up my home with too many furniture. I keep it simple and light, that’s the way I like it. For my interiors, I have chosen shades of white and ivory. I really like my wardrobe, it is a favourite furniture item at home. My window and my terrace are my favourite corners at home as it gives me a beautiful view of the scenery outside. The way I got my terrace garden done is a special addition to my home.
Home to me is family. Wherever my family is, I can call that my home and it feels like home. Also, I am very lucky to have three different homes. My in-laws’ place is also home for me and the place where Gaurav (Chakrabarty) and I stay at present. It is the first home we bought together in 2017 before our wedding the same year.
It is very special and gradually we made this place our home, right from the renovation, buying the furniture and setting up the place... we did it all by ourselves. It is the most comforting place for us and very close to us also. What attracted us most about this home is the fact that it is like a penthouse with a big open terrace, where we love hosting and entertaining people. My sofa in the living room has to be my favourite corner. For both of us actually. We spend most of our time there and specially did so during the lockdown phase, from binging on our favourite series to even eating our meals, which is not a good habit of course! (Laughs)
I like to keep my home very simple in tones of white, grey and light wood mostly. I don’t like too many bright colours. Another very special thing in my house is my oven because I love baking. I bake a lot of cookies and cakes.
In the profession that we are in, we often have to spend a lot of time outside home for work and stay at different hotels and that increases the desire to return home even more. For me, home is a place where my loved ones stay and to whom I would always love to return after my day’s work. There is a kind of desperation to return to them, there is peace and familiar comfort. Home food, the familiar washroom or to sleep on the familiar bed and have the morning tea after waking up — all these make up home for me. Home is not just about the things, but also about the people who stay there of course.
I am very particular about keeping my place nicely arranged no matter how small the place is. I bought my first house in 2017 and what attracted me was the price. It was within an affordable range for me. There is a bedroom here, where there are two large windows and the other side of both these windows are totally open. It keeps the room very breezy throughout the year and it is my favourite. I love to sit there on summer nights before going to sleep or in the early morning too. It gives a good view of the neighbourhood lake too. My bookshelves with a laptop tray and an L-shaped sofa that can be used as a bed too, custom-made by my carpenter, are my favourites at home. I have framed a lot of pictures too, but are yet to put them up. Most things at home are very close to my heart, but there is a rack where I have displayed the awards I have received for my acting, that is very special. Most things that I have here have some memories associated with them.
Gourab Chatterjee and Devlina Kumar
Gourab and Devlina tied the knot in December last year and are staying together in Gourab’s ancestral house.
“Home is where the heart is, it is my own place, where I want to come back at the end of the day or the place I start my journey from every day. Rather than buying a new place, I wanted to have a place that belonged to my forefathers and I have been able to acquire that and remodel it. It is a part of my ancestral house and belonged to my grandfather. I wanted to renovate it as I am deeply connected to my roots. I wanted to keep the look very old-school. The inside looks exactly how it is supposed to [compared to the outside of the building]. After marriage, Devlina didn’t want to redo the place, she liked it the way I did it. She just wanted to change the lighting of the house and we did that. I like my interior to be very clean. There are photo frames and a big wall, which I really like. It is very European. I am very fond of the European brick wall. The fan, the lights and the switchboards are a little old-school. I wanted to keep it a bit classy. The dining table is my favourite corner because I can make my instant coffee there. That’s the place where I can sit and think a lot while having my coffee. I love cooking so that ought to be my best place,” said Gourab.
“Home is a place where I want to come back after a day of heavy work and have a good sleep. In my college days also, I always had to come back home at the end of the day. I am a very homesick person. It means a lot of peace. I was gifted a house of my own by my father about 10 years ago. I have never lived there, but have a room. I have transformed it into a dance school, a place I like. The place is opposite my father’s house and my mother was really interested in that place as she didn’t want me to stay very far from her if I ever decide to stay alone. In the house I am living with Gourab now, the living space is my favourite. We have a TV here, which I only got as I am still very much a TV person. When I live in this house, watching TV is like my me-time. The only suggestion I had for this place was to keep more warm lights. But now after I started cooking during the lockdown, I realised the kitchen space should also be modified, I feel I need a little more space. (Laughs) I went out for two weeks for a show and Gourab surprised me after returning home with a mirror that has perfect studio lights and drawers to keep the make-up. That’s my favourite new addition in the house,” said Devlina.
For me, home needn’t be too perfect, then it will feel like a hotel. It should give me a sense of peace, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I enter the house, leaving behind the work stress outside. The atmosphere of home should be homely and peaceful. My favourite colour is white. I like keeping the interiors of my home in a typical shade of white with wooden furniture. I really like wooden floors and glass for the interiors too. There are long French windows too, those are my favourite. In general, also, I am not a person too fond of colours. I don’t like too many colours in the interiors and I don’t like designs on my walls either. I like it a little peaceful, elegant and classy like the British interiors. My interior is very basic and neat. I really like the concept of a balcony with the hall. But my favourite corner is in my room, where I have a white leather sofa and, beside that, I have long windows. Whenever I sit there, I feel like clicking selfies, which I don’t feel like anywhere else. In my new flat I wish to make a collage with pictures of my family, close friends and some of my favourite pictures. It will have all my childhood memories and pictures of my grandparents too. That will be very special to me.
Home is by far my favourite word in the whole world. Sometimes it is not just a place, sometimes it is a person, but wherever I have tried to buy a place, I have at least tried to make it a home, so that at the end of the day I come to a place that feels comforting, supportive and feels like me. The place should have an essence of me that is very important to me. The first time I got my own place was in 2015 and my criteria were to have nice windows, balcony and a place within my budget. Though it was difficult initially, after searching for a while I found something amazing.
My desk at my present Calcutta home makes me feel very alive and nice. I love to sit and work there, and it is decorated with miniatures, action figures, plants and a Van Gogh painting. Earlier it used to be the huge purple armchair in my balcony where I used to sit, read and enjoy my me-time with a cup of tea and watch the sunset. I am really obsessed with my house. As a home decor junkie, I keep decorating and redecorating my house. That’s a plus of having my own house, I can do anything at any point. Whenever I travel abroad or within the country for shoots, I like collecting collectibles for my house like miniatures, wall plates, action figures or any wall decor items like a window maybe, I just pack it and bring it back home.