Rashmi Rajgopal turns to well-known architect and interior designer Ashiesh Shah for his take on the lots featuring in Elegant Design, Saffronart’s upcoming auction
Disclaimer: This is not a dining room
If not for that disclaimer, you’d probably be conjuring a very skewed image of someone’s dining room. Probably suggested by the juxtaposition of the drinks cabinet with the James Dixon & Sons tea service on the Art Deco dining table. And those Chinese ginger jars…?
But rest assured, it’s our Saffronart gallery all spruced up for the Elegant Design auction set to take place in four days.
You’re now thinking how lovely some of these would look in your home. But how are you going to pick and choose? Will the Art Deco table go with your existing set of chairs, or should you pick up our set of six European Lacquer chairs as well? You’re loving that Chinese canopy bed, but it’s pretty much a home in itself. Should you move in there instead? Don’t fret, we’ve got Ashiesh Shah to share his thoughts on some of our pieces.
Me: I’m going straight for the kill. Which of the lots did you fancy?
Ashiesh: I believe the set of ten art deco dining chairs are a great find. One could design a metal or marble-top table to go with these chairs. Very contemporary and chic.
Me: Now, getting specific with regards to one of our furniture pieces. Most people tend to go for sleek, compact designs when it comes to furniture, rather than the more ornate, bulky ones. How do you picture something like the Chinese bed fitting into a contemporary setting?
Ashiesh: Something as large and ornate as the daybed could very easily turn into the focal point of any home. In a traditional space, it would add an architectural scale. In a more contemporary setting though, it would become an interesting talking point. This bed could be placed in a manner that it faces a specific direction, perhaps overlooking a turf, or even a loch.
Me: How about in a city like Mumbai? How does someone negotiate around spatial constraints?
Ashiesh: It need not be in a small apartment in Mumbai. While talking about homes we often forget about larger apartments and the spacious bungalows one would find not just in the city, but in Alibaug and other vicinities. It’s very easy to achieve a de-cluttered look by placing it right in the centre of a room. But having said that, one has to obviously consider if the furniture they are choosing goes with the look and feel of their space.
Kutch silver tea cups. Yay or nay?
Me: Moving on to the silverware. What would you consider when it comes to silverware?
Ashiesh: The provenance is important. I would enquire about the kind of ownership the object might have gone through before buying it. It is an affirmation for its value and appeal. Something with a premium.
Me: How important do you think polishing any piece of silverware is? Would you prefer an aged look as testament to its appeal, or would you prefer it brand new and sparkling?
Ashiesh: If I were to speak of silverware, a patina-look would imbibe a higher sense of value and appeal.
Me: Clearly the selection process of lots in an auction is a completely different ball game for a discerning client. Thank you for chatting with me.