TEXT: MANIKA DHAMA
Returning from an inspiring trip to Morocco and finding herself at her family’s haveli (a large home with a courtyard) in Delhi’s Jonapur Village, self-taught textile and furniture designer Kuldeep Kaur had a serendipitous moment. She had been working with home textiles and furniture for 20 years and the beautiful haveli, albeit rundown at the time, beckoned her to restore its splendor. Giving a new life to the mud-pit courtyard and chipped walls, the re-discovered arched columns and stained glass windows became the backdrop for her brick and mortar concept store, aptly named ‘Serendipity’, located in the Chhattarpur area in Delhi.
After finishing a Master’s in Spanish with a major in French, Kuldeep went on to do a second Master’s in business administration. Following her training in the garment industry she set up her own textile business under the label “Better Living”, designing luxury home textiles and furniture supplied to retailers such as Barney’s New York, ABC Carpets & Homes and Selfridges, among others. Her store Serendipity came soon after. What started out as an experiment soon metamorphosed into a curated collection of unique textiles and other design-led articles. The haveli turned store now houses seven rooms filled with curated and store-produced textiles, jewelry, furniture, apparel, among others. It also has a rooftop café to serve guests with delectable brews as they stroll around the classic interiors. The haveli, which had over the years turned into workers’ quarters, has now become what Kuldeep calls “an oasis of solitude” for events such as Sunday brunches, coffee mornings, musical nights, indie designer product launches, along with a store for either handpicked or designed textiles, clothing and home decor.
The clothing and home linen range at this travel-inspired store follows an aesthetic rooted in India, with hand-block printed Mughal patterns adorning the textiles. Soft cottons in pastel shades with floral motifs define the comfortable style of the store’s clothing line. Children’s collections bear colorful animal and playful motifs reminiscent of nursery rhymes and tales. The furniture also hearkens back to what was found in traditional homes, including luxurious diwans, four-poster beds, ottomans, wall hangings & hand-embroidered pouffes in traditional suzani work, a colorful embroidery that originally comes from Central Asia and bears imprints of nature (they were created by mothers to pass on to daughters after marriage as dowry). Reupholstered furniture and vintage décor decorate the rooms with the products on display being customizable, though a stroll around the haveli would most likely leave visitors desirous of simply replicating everything they see.
Kaur is a believer in the old ways of living, enjoying the lapse of time through activities that heighten the senses instead of being a race to the finish line. Her store reflects this philosophy not just through its environs but also in the way each room makes a visitor feel, inviting them to sit back and relish each moment. Blending a bit of Morocco with India’s colorful desert state Rajasthan, the Serendipity store presents the old world charm of large homes and lazy afternoons, all surprisingly present amidst a bustling neighborhood of the capital city.
See more at: www.serendipitydelhi.com