At the end of a quiet street in Kalkaji, built on an area of 2,000 square yards and complete with a sprawling garden, stands the house of fashion designer Prerna and her husband Rahul Khetrapal. Nestled in the south of Delhi, we take a tour of this delightful home that communes with nature and also reflects Prerna’s artistic instincts beautifully.
Tucked away in Kalkaji, not far from the hustle and bustle of south Delhi, stands a beguiling three-floor house that has been a labour of love for the Khetrapals. A mix of Victorian and contemporary interiors, complete with envy-inducing doors and windows, the house has a sense of period and warmth that would have perhaps even made Jane Austen feel at home. Since Prerna’s a fashion designer, she took most of the interior design decisions. In creating a look, the Khetrapals wanted to keep the sense of it being a Victorian property. “We wanted the theme to be modern Victorian, which is a blend of modern and classic design that reinforces the house’s charm. Furthermore, it should provide a series of flexible and relaxed spaces without losing the elegance of the original home,” Prerna said.
Collaborating closely with La Sarogeeka in Emporio, Prerna decided not to have too many elements in the house, so that every surface becomes important. “Our requirements were that of a place with historic characters, at the same time contemporary in appearance (we’re a laid-back family,) and the designers at La Sarogeeka got that right away,” Prerna explained.
To begin with, the colours are terrific – subtle but not too dreary, strong but not raucous. The living room is the first room to be addressed. “The cream scheme seemed the right colour – the area needed warming up,” says Prerna. As you enter the house, there is a crystal, floor-length chandelier that goes well with the neutral backdrop almost allowing the space to sing. “The living room is the core of the house, we have a stunning mirrored bar with an appealing bar console and stools and a door to the beautiful balcony,” Prerna adds.
As much as the designer loves to shop and create designs for her wardrobe, propping out her home was equally as exciting. The fashion designer kept it grand when it came to furniture and accessories. The living room is furnished with some intriguing vintage finds. An L-shaped sofa and armchairs upholstered in old rose, champagne, and beige harmonise with the wall, as do the Victorian stone-top dining table and stylish buffet counter, their warm neutral colour echoing the beach. “Our style is elegant, mostly with Italian and French influences. Needless to add, I love shopping, so whenever we’re on holiday, my husband and I often mooch around flea markets,” she says.
Back in the neutral zone, the master bedroom is deeply chic in white and gold tones, and is equipped with an imposing bed inspired by Turkish era. Along with a floor bed and toys, Prerna then added a lot of colours and prints in her daughter’s bedroom. The third bedroom is a simple guest room. However, the true heart of the home, Prerna says, is the sprawling garden. While the interiors showcased elegant design, the Khetrapals grew a bunch of flowers and trees in the garden – proving that both the details of the exterior and interiors were equally important.
“It is lovely if your house feels like a farmhouse,” says Prerna. “But it’s even better if you can recharge and reboot there. In fact, everyone who visits us says it’s so calm here,” she concluded. With all the natural light, Victorian furnishings and subtle pops of colour against a serene backdrop, Prerna’s three-bedroom house is a continuation of her ability to layer textures and colours – and she’s pulled it off beautifully! - Anisha