Shrutika Raut orchestrates rustic symphony in a Pune home inspired by Van Gogh’s painting

JAN 9, 2024 | By Virender Singh
As you enter the living room, you can see a cosy setup with a very comfortable couch, rattan and wood armchairs that complement the chequered cement tiles from Bharat Flooring; Photography by Hemant Patil
The olive green of the lime plaster on the walls and ceiling creates a lively and fresh environment while louvred wooden windows modulate airflow, temperature and illumination; Photography by Hemant Patil
The kitchen is a triumph of bazaar pink cabinetry, GI windows with Georgian bars and ceramic wall tiles; Photography by Hemant Patil

Whether it’s apples, milk bottles or a tangle of wilderness laden with nascent buds, the old European creatives conjured up vignettes that could easily be transmuted into architectural reality. Dream-clad in the languid tenor of a Provençal countryside, this three-bedroom Pune home gathers inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh’s post impressionist painting Butterflies and Poppies

Captivated by its subtle warmth, principal architect Shrutika Raut of her eponymous firm srds | shrutika raut design studio deviated from the stereotype of contemporary abodes, instead bringing out an inimitable rusticity that tugs at your heart-strings.

Shrutika Raut
The Bloom and Berries home features wallpaper from Sabyasachi for Nilaya by Asian Paints. The lime plaster is from Lepan; Photography by Hemant Patil

“Looking at the painting, all I could take from it was the greens, the softness, the butterflies adding life to the painting, and the subtle warmth of the colours on the canvas. This was the starting point of our design process,” Shrutika muses.

Locally designed home linens and accessories from Fabindia, sofa from Ikea, cement tiles from Bharat Floorings and Tiles and rug from Obeetee instil homely warmth; Photography by Hemant Patil

Reclaimed teak roll-top desks, ornate porcelain dishes hung as wall art and a timber dado rail running along the perimeter of this 2,000 sq ft cove are marinated in the ephemerality of French cottage core. Nestled in the suburbia of Pimple Saudagar, this home titled Bloom and Berries underwent structural modifications, balancing the homeowner’s dichotomy between entertaining guests and retiring to a contemplative seclusion.

“Existing kitchen walls were taken down to expand the dining area,” reveals Raut. “The kitchen was then replaced by the study room (fourth bedroom), which created a nice separate corner.”

Shrutika Raut
Cement tiles from Bharat Floorings and Tiles, Ceramic wall tiles from By Shibani in the dining area. Table linen from Amala Earth, accessories from Fabindia; Photography by Hemant Patil

Blossoming in style

In accents of dark purple, black bean and vermillion, Shrutika Raut refracts a luscious colour palette that stands out with quaint intimacy against dark wooden tones of vintage decor sourced from local second hand markets in Mumbai.

This ‘Bloom and Berries’ theme rears its head first in the foyer, mauve panelling and a floral wallpaper simulating a baroque entrance. Sculpting natural light in moderate restraint, wooden louvred windows just above the eye level, ensure that the living room is drenched with a chiaroscuro of fickle shadows all day long.

Shrutika Raut
Century-old picture frames and wall plates add a certain charm of history to the decor. Vintage lights have been thoughtfully procured to add an elegant touch; Photography by Hemant Patil

 A stepped reading alcove underlines the clerestory, introducing nuanced dimensions and a quaint aura of intimacy. One marvels at chessboard cement tiles from Bharat Floorings in shades of cherry mahogany that imbue a reassuring nostalgia, matched by lime-plaster walls and the chamois of a roughly-hewn ceiling. A motley crew of Ikea bamboo armchairs, antique standing lamps and a hand-painted console table evoke memories of pastoral elegance. 

Shrutika Raut
The mauve wall panelling and the floral textured wallpaper separated by wooden moulding creates a long narrow passageway; Photography by Hemant Patil

Transcending the ordinary

An extension of the living room itself, the dining area is laid out like a Vermeer-esque banquet, featuring an eight-seater dining table illuminated by thoughtfully curated pendants while artisanal ceramic tiles embedded in the walls perpetuate a foliated motif with 18th century Delft unconventionality. Breaking away from tradition, the kitchen embraces white GI windows with Georgian bars, a timeless aesthetic for modern energy-efficient homes.

Shrutika Raut
Dutch style floreate cement tiles from Bharat Floorings and Tiles, white linen from House of Ekam elevate this bedroom with rustic allure; Photography by Hemant Patil


The butti wallpaper from Sabyasachi for Nilaya by Asian Paints, a white wardrobe with fabric curtains as a screen and metal frame bed complement the yellow walls; Photography by Hemant Patil

“You can see how minute details like the ceramic sink, the curtain below the sink and square wall tiles complement each other while having their own distinctive features,” Raut elaborates. A crockery cabinet in bazaar pink, staid wooden shelves and a gleaming marble countertop exude an irresistible charm.

Where life and art intertwine

As we walk down a labyrinthine hallway, the first bedroom is flooded with yellow paint above the skirting board and a stippled butti wallpaper overarching the dado that reminds you of Rajasthani brocade.

Shrutika Raut
The tri-coloured pattern flooring, tulip lamps and fresh white furniture in the master bedroom beckon you to unwind and refresh at the end of the day; Photography by Hemant Patil

Floreate hand-cast tiles of cement, a white wardrobe with fabric curtains, the metal frame bed and a strikingly damask escritoire harken back to the royal Dutch bungalow legacy. The next bedroom is far from basic, a pinstripe wallpaper enriched by century-old wall lights sourced from used furniture boutiques, while a rattan headboard piques visual intrigue.

The sage green of a lime finish wall from Lepan, profuse sunlight spilling in from the French windows and a dated four-poster bed preserve an inimical sophistication; Photography by Hemant Patil

“The wear and tear from the table, the roughness and squeaky sounds from the chair, the vintage picture frames all together create a nook of curiosity,” Raut illustrates. A cubist, almost holographic flooring revels in a mesmerising liveliness, the four-poster bed and organic upholstery keeping up an endearingly outmoded appearance in the master bedroom. 

En rapport with the homeowner

The ‘Bloom and Berries’ philosophy underlying this home is rooted in the use of sustainable materials and indigenous techniques — operational louvred windows for thermoregulation, reclaimed teak and breathable lime plaster — embodying a narrative that rejects categorisation. This dwelling stands testament to a mellifluous blend of creativity, trust and a commitment to crafting spaces “where every corner tells a tale and every detail is an experience.”

Terracotta-hued bed linen by Fabindia and the visually appealing rattan headboard make this bedroom anything but basic; Photography by Hemant Patil

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