Home Sweet Home – Elena Tommaseo’s Reading Bed, East of Kaliash
A lady’s reading couch.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Hers is not a home filled with books. Not in the least.
But designer Elena Tommaseo, 55, has created a truly beautiful reading spot.
She’s topped a drawing room couch with an elegant Gujarati patchwork spread acquired from a handicraft shop in Paharganj, and with bookshelves on both sides that are stacked up with paperbacks collected over the 10 years of her life in this city.
The lighting is so discreet that much of the space is immersed in cool darkness.
Inevitably, visitors to her house in south Delhi’s East of Kailash are so drawn to this reading corner that Ms Tommaseo sometimes is obliged to hold “impromptu picnics” on what she calls her “reading bed”.
“This is the cosiest corner in my home,” she says. “What does the trick, I think, is the so very soft lighting, as well as the facing wall that has a hanging tanka.”
The lady goes on to say that some of her visitors “sit on the bed, some on the floor, and we then have wine and cheese and bread pakora” served on a trunk she bought six years ago from a shop in Bhogal. Ms Tommaseo has painted water lilies on the said trunk, turning it into one of the most beautiful pieces of art in her drawing room that is otherwise full of fresh flowers.
The good lady does her daily yoga, as well, on the hand-woven woollen Moroccan kilim carpet (purchased from Morocco in 1994) beside the reading bed. And this evening she lies down on the couch with a book to pose for a portrait.
But in fact Ms Tommaseo does her serious reading elsewhere: like most of us, in her bedroom.
A corner in the home