The ultimate escape: India's Havelis
To celebrate the launch of our new homeware and sleepwear Haveli Collection, I thought I would write a journal entry about my love of these tranquil havens amidst the frenetic beauty of Indian life - they have become my home away from home in Rajasthan, where I reflect, design and restore.
Historically, a Haveli is a residential home or palace, much like a Moroccan Riad or Italian Palazzo. The word comes from the Arabic 'Hawali' - meaning private space. A family home for the merchant classes - focused around a central courtyard, offering a cool sanctuary from the desert heat.
Fast-forward to today and many of these historic homes have been restored and opened up to the public as boutique hotels - which is how I discovered them.
Often hidden behind unassuming archways on busy thoroughfares, they open out into gorgeous tiled courtyards filled with jasmine and pomegranate trees.
I have been lucky enough to stay in a dozen or so across Rajasthan and particularly, Jaipur. I love the cool shade of the courtyards, the architecture of the period and feeling of escapism from the dusty, sunbaked streets.
The Haveli complex is usually divided into lavishly ornate 'public spaces' where families would have entertained...
Then just around the corner, a simpler inner courtyard for intimate, family use.
The Samode Haveli is one of Jaipur's most famous - and each time I visit I remember how special the interior is. From the palatial gilded restaurant, to the hand-painted salon. I try and escape here for a meal or an afternoon each time I visit the city.
This season, I really wanted to capture that tranquility, escapism and sense of cosseting luxury in our new homeware and sleepwear prints. As with all our hand-block signature prints - they are created by our artisans to our designs in their studio just outside Jaipur.
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