HOMEMAQUETTE : 2010-2015-2020, is an era when kids from 90s are getting married and they often find themselves in a mess when it comes to home décor. Do you have some suggestions for them?
Shruti Tandon : Well, I believe, home décor is a process made up of many layers and one needs to understand each layer before putting anything for show or utility. The basic layers are to be given top priority that is the design of rooms, then walls and types of stone on it and hardware fittings. After this comes the personality layer. It takes years for a house to become a home and it grows with the residents of it. So be patient and trust your gut while doing your home décor.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Oh wow. Please elaborate more on your travels and collections?
Shruti Tandon : Well, I collect masks from wherever I travel. Kathmandu, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Dehradun, Mathura, Kerala, Bhopal and a lot more.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Any particular handicraft’s markets you can tell our readers about in these places you have travelled?
Shruti Tandon : Ya sure, the green point market in Cape Town is the hub of handicrafts and sculptures. Small markets near Buddha temples across Thailand are a collector’s delight. The sculptures you see in my garden are mostly procured from these markets. Then there is jade market in Chine where one finds not just green but many colors of jade. Alipi in Kerala is another wonderful place for handicrafts and artifacts shopping.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Like?
Shruti Tandon : Like plants, human sculptures, Buddha pieces (you will see a lot of them), sculptures of birds, animals. Anything that says “LIFE”. In flowers, I love champa because it comes in a lot of colors like red, pink, black, white and it is suitable for Delhi’s extreme climatic conditions as well.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Coming back to the interiors of your lovely home, please tell us about your fascination with diyas.
Shruti Tandon : Love for antique diyas comes to me inherited with love of home décor from my mother. Both mom and I were very fond of diyas. The bronze and brass diyas looks fine inside the house. During Diwali we lit every one of them up and place few with rangoli at the entrance of the house. It is a welcoming gesture for guests during festivals.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Modern or antique diyas and articrafts?
Shruti Tandon : Well old is gold, right? (She laughs). But honestly, the craftsmanship done in old times was much more detailed and designs were extensive and that too when it was done by hand. So when you pick up a traditionally done artifact there is so much to see in it and think and travel into time, which is priceless.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Do you buy antiques/heritage pieces for a pre-decide place in your home or for a specific place in your mind before you head out to shop?
Shruti Tandon : It is totally opposite. Like I said I buy stuff during my travels most of the time and when I have money I go to my few favorite galleries and shops in and around Delhi. So, I pick up art pieces depending upon their quality and how much I like them. I never have a predefined place in mind. In fact, some times, my husband asks me that where am I going to place this thing that I bought and I smile and tell him that place would come up, don’t worry. (She smiles). [Such a beautiful thought, we thought].
HOMEMAQUETTE : Then, what is the most important thing to keep in mind after buying such a piece?
Shruti Tandon : The placement of that piece in the house. One needs to keep a piece in different locations of house for few days and then decide which place is most apt for your purchase. House decoration is an evolving process and one must be very patient while doing it.
HOMEMAQUETTE : So ma’am, what kind of artifacts do you buy?
Shruti Tandon : Pieces that I can look forward to in future. Art pieces that puts a smile on my face during my dull days.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Please share an incident with us where you bought an artifact and it found its own place in your house.
Shruti Tandon : Ha Ha. Well, there is this one incident. I purchase this art from Mathura; an art form where a recycle paper is cut into fine designs and one can frame and use it to decorate. But I framed them in between two glasses. I made many such glass frames. But they looked odd on the walls with my paintings size over shadowing them. Therefore, we made doors out of it and it looks awesome now. Like I said, these pieces which you buy with so much love do find their place in the house even if you did not have a place in mind prior to making the purchase.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Any other art forms that you are fond of?
Shruti Tandon : Meenakari is another art form that I love to buy for my home. Metal or ceramic plates are painted with enamel paints with beautiful designs. Most of the plates you see on my house walls are made in Iran.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Few tips for young collectors and admirers of paintings?
Shruti Tandon : Develop an eye. This was the advice given to me by owner of Dhoomimal Art Gallery, Mrs. Uma Jain. For first few months, explore the different art forms. Develop a taste and an eye for meaningful art. Research well about the artist before buying a painting. But most importantly, develop an eye; this will happen with your continuous interaction with artists, visits to art galleries and research. One also needs to understand their personal taste which develops over years.
HOMEMAQUETTE : Does price affect your buying?
Shruti Tandon : When it comes to paintings, not. I have chosen paintings over diamond rings and I also have collected money for up to 3 years to buy a painting of my choice. So when it comes to paintings, money is not a factor for me.