Home is where the change is

Accepting change is always difficult. More so, when a stranger tries to change the way your home looks. So my heart was in my mouth as Dipika Singh pushed an antique statue from one corner to another. The fragile doll in the glass box seemed to be groaning in agony as she placed it in an adjacent corner. And why shouldn’t it? After all, it had just been dislodged from a corner it was occupying for the last 20 years.

Dipika Singh reorganises the furniture at writer Tunali Mukherjee’s Churchgate residence. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Minutes earlier, Singh had walked into my living room and identified three problem areas. Hailing from Delhi, Mumbai’s matchbox-sized living areas came as quite a shock to her, but this former Kingfisher Airlines employee chose to take the space crunch as a challenge and came up with a setting that was beautiful and yet, opened up a lot more floor space in my apartment.

“I’m not an interior decorator,” she said, as she swapped the red cushions from my antique sofa with the yellow ones that were strewn on a leather couch opposite it. “I’m a home stylist. I don’t make structural changes, but give me what you have in your house and I will play around with it and give you a whole new look.” Singh specialises in making do with what we have at home, but don’t quite use to its fullest potential.

So your empty balcony may make a cosy sit-out under her guidance, while a dip platter will turn into a flower and candle stand. That awkwardly empty passage will turn into a personal photo gallery. She’s flexible with her working style, so if you need help to pick up those perfect curtains for your room, she’ll do that as well — for a price, of course. Back in my living room, things began to look different. Years of laziness and clutter, in the form of unplugged, unused speakers revealed themselves, and were promptly chucked out for that welcome sight of free space.

A flower vase that looked slightly overbearing in one corner was just what another wall needed and a problem table turned into a functional, yet eye-pleasing table set near the TV that one could keep their remotes on. What your eyes skip over due to over familiarity of your home space, promptly catches Singh’s fresh perspective, and you’d be surprised with all the junk, dead and non-functional areas an exercise like this
can reveal.

There’s one problem however, and it doesn’t lie with the styling. Change is tough, especially in a space as personal as this. So if you think you’re brave enough to handle someone come and turn your house inside out, only to redecorate it again, go ahead and fix an appointment. Dipika Singh can be contacted on 9167791934 or on the Magical Homes group on Facebook. Services cost Rs 3,000 onwards, depending on the scope of the project. 

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