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Jivi Sethi’s gorgeous abode is a vibrant potpurri of Portuguese heritage

APR 26, 2019 | By Viki Sardesai
(L-R) Following Coco Chanel’s advice, Jivi accents his home in red. The antique furniture and the mirrors with wooden hand holders in the dining room from Casa Goa. The table centerpiece is Venetian ; Closeup of the vinyl and rexin cushions from the Just Jivi collection ; A gold leafed angel rests on a peacock chariot from Uma Rao with traditional South Indian urlis from Tamil Nadu on the polished part of the Kotah stone flooring ; The gold leafed ecclesiastical wall, Persian tapestry from antique dealer Uma Rao and chandelier from Goa, make up the dramatic elements in the living room ; The retro pop look in the drawing room is supplemented by elements like the “Pancha Bhuta” series by Ravi Kumar Kashi, Bangalore, leatherite and vinyl furniture from the Just Jivi collection

Jivi’s homes have always been a surprise of enviable quirkiness and eclecticism. His sense of putting things together has no logical pattern, breaking all the rules of design training, transforming spaces into livable stage sets. His capacity to put the classic together with the contemporary, accented with kitsch is mesmerising in its effect.

His eye for detail in both selecting an object, be it furniture, a lamp or fabric; transforming it with an addition or subtraction, or just leaving it be, and then juxtaposing it with what would seem incongruous, is the secret to his unconditioned approach to products and interiors. For him these are canvases that are constantly changing like seasons…forever ephemeral. Vinyl mixed with the finest brocades and Persian carpets…bronzes placed against festive folk masks, set alongside a contemporary abstract painting, lit by a strangely alien lamp!

Held together by colour or form or the total contrast of these elements, they all seem like happy bedfellows in a constant game of musical chairs. While it seems that there is an ease with which he waves his creative wand, to put it all in place, it is also apparent that a lot has gone into selecting these elements to mix into his visually amazing potpourri.

Everything has been thought out, edited, worked on, transformed and then placed to create magic. It all seems effortless in its complexity and detail. And there are no holds barred in arriving at what he wants. He has an untrained eye for design that transcends all expectations and conventions. Nothing seems good or bad enough to use. His total disregard for obvious solutions is the key to his success and approach to design. And it is not with the intention of breaking any norms. It is a natural way of seeing things differently, that allows him to effortlessly stir things together and create his own exhilarating madness.

It is his uncanny way of picking ingredients that are both visually eye catching and mundane, held together with magical and invisible threads, that make his spaces a treat to the eye, and hedonistic in feeling. And yet he somehow knows where to draw the line…. And with a blink of the eye the spaces assume a different skin and proportion that sublimates its existence.