Home owners: Sonalee and Hari
Location: Indiranagar, Bangalore
Type: 3 Bedroom Apartment
Styles: Ethnic, Contemporary

When Oriya born Sonalee Panda and her Malayalee husband Hari Menon were doing up their home together, they wanted elements that would reflect both their backgrounds. Sonalee, in particular, had specific ideas of what she wanted, and working with interior designer Manveen Sethi, she managed to beautifully blend different elements into an ethnic style apartment. “We just clicked” says Sonalee about Manveen. “I’d mention an element I had in mind and she would just figure it out and give me exactly what I wanted.”

Malayalee and Oriya elements combine

Malayalee and Oriya elements combine

The Oriya side is subtly represented in Konark chakras, stunning Patachitra paintings and Ikat bed linen. Blending perfectly into these, are Kerala urlis, and two beautiful pillars flanking the dining room, leading into Hari’s study.

One unique feature we noticed and loved was a wooden piping along the edges where the wall and ceiling met. This was installed all over the house to reinforce the strength of the walls, and stop paint from chipping as easily as usual.

Sonalee says she always loved the colour yellow, and wanted it to be a running theme through her home. The warm wooden floor in the living and dining areas changes to exquisite yellow Jaisalmer tiles in the master bedroom. The wardrobes have glass doors, lined with a mustard yellow fabric on the inside, and one of the bathrooms have splashes of yellow behind the wall shelves. The kitchen has a bright yellow wall carrying framed pictures, fondly called the Bruce-and-Phoebe wall, after their two furry family members.

The home features a beautiful study for book-and-music lover, Hari. Two full wall bookshelves, room for his keyboard and guitars, and a completely incredible gift from a friend on the wall – a musical manuscript using notes to map out the world that actually translates into a tune when played!


Artwork is featured on a couple of walls, carefully picked out – some from travels around the world, some from their hometowns, and one large, very interesting interpretation of the Dasavatar by a contemporary artist, against a patterned yellow wallpaper.

(L) Contemporary Dasavatar (R) Traditional Patachitra

(L) Contemporary Dasavatar (R) Traditional Patachitra

All the rooms in the house open into a garden that surround the entire one-floor flat, that Sonalee says is her favourite part of her house. This space, regularly maintained by a gardener, is perfect for the two dogs to run around, and, as Sonalee so well puts it, “…peacefully falling asleep under the stars”; their little haven in the middle of busy, bustling Indiranagar.

We loved this home – ethnic, inclusive, warm, colourful and thoughtfully done up – making for a perfect space for this couple to call home.