Design Elements: Archana and Jayanth Paranji

Maison de Reve: The House of Dreams


Home is where the heart is, they say. Looking at Archana (better known as Archie) and Jayanth Paranji’s beautiful abode, we know the saying strikes a true chord. Deeksha Marur takes a walk through through their house only to find out that this beautiful home is the one place where the couple find absolute comfort and peace.

The house of film director Jayanth and event planner Archana Paranji will give you a glimpse into the kind of people they are – warm, loving and friendly, reflecting their vibrant personalities. Walk into this Jubilee Hills abode and the unique fragrance of damp earth, from all the plants in the surrounding garden and driveway, welcomes you. At the porch, you’re greeted for the second time by Doofus, their six-year old golden retriever, who sits wagging his tail holding a ball that he refuses to give anyone.
Once you cross the driveway and get up onto the porch you can see a stone carved statue of The Buddha’s head to the left, and by the door, there are lights, candles on the floor and small paintings that adorn the walls. The porch extends into a luscious garden where a Krishna statue is positioned right in the middle. Bird ornaments and wind chimes, as well as a string of lights, hang from the branches of the trees, which when lit look like fireflies in the night.

On entering the house, you get a glimpse of the informal and formal living rooms. To the left is a low table with pictures of the
family and three lampshades to the side that brighten up the passage. On the left is the informal living room and to the right
is the formal one. We enter the formal living room that is done up quite cozily. With a beige sofa set and one contrasting orange two-seater, this room according to Archana is her favourite. “All my meetings happen here. I think the room is really pretty.” The many elements like the brass tea light holders, the antique telephone and the wrought iron chandelier, make this a cute setup.

The Paranjis are enthusiastic connoisseurs of art, which explains why there’s a painting in almost every corner of the house. Archana says, “I pick up every piece of art with such passion because I love art and colour. Every corner of the house has a pop of colour and paintings on the wall.” In the formal room, they’ve got two miniatures by T Vaikuntam and one big painting by Ramesh Gorjala. In what is the family room-cum- dining and bar area, it is the bright orange wall that grabs one’s attention. Even more arresting are the mixed paintings of Lord Krishna and Radha done by G Subramanian, an artist from Chennai. On the same wall is a huge vertical Anand Panchal painting that stands out just as much!

Apart from paintings, you will notice that in every nook and corner of the house are different types of light fixtures. “Like I said,
I love playing with colours, so wherever there was a dull wall, I’ve added a splash of colour and some lights to brighten it
up,” says Archie. The family living room has a wooden staircase that leads up to the master bedroom and her son Shantanu’s
room, as well as her own workstation. The master bedroom has more paintings and a bright yellow wall with a television perched on it. The room is done up with lights just like the rest of the house, and by the bedside, is a cute little tea set
for Jayanth whose current obsession is Darjeeling tea. She says, “Jayanth came back from a trip to Darjeeling and he’s been obsessing over tea, he kept asking me to make him some and I refuse to make chai for him in the morning everyday… so I
got him this tea set, with a kettle, and small boxes for the tea and sugar. Now he makes his own chai whenever he feels like it.”
On our way back down, Archana points out that the wall behind the staircase is her “black and white” wall decorated with different sized paintings by various artists. “Apart from paintings, since I love lights, I’ve added candle stands wherever possible, like the silver stand near the stairs. There’s also one near the dining table below one of my favorite paintings, some on the dining table and some on the coffee tables,” Archana shows us. Going past the dining table is the way to another garden, a place
where they usually have get-togethers. There’s a make-shift bar by one side and the other has a division done up with creepers and plants. “I love greenery as you can see; this part of the house is where I let plants grow wild, because I like the fullness that it adds to this corner.”

On taking her leave, we ask her if anyone has helped her decorate the house and she says, “I’ve done everything that you see. I couldn’t get anyone else to do it. The house is exactly how I want it to be, the splash of colours, the kind of art, the lights and everything… it has our personality!”