One of the most highly-regarded couples in India, Dhara and Falgun Shroff are credited with bringing opulent Italian home solutions to India. Eighteen years ago, when the market was nascent and homeowners weren’t as open to splurging on customised interiors, they established Tessera India, a pioneer in bespoke, luxury home décor today. Tessera is the official India partner for Sicis, a world-renowned mosaic brand that’s become a mark of luxury in high-end homes, as well as Jacuzzi, which denoted the Shroffs’ venture into the wellness realm. With so much to offer, the energetic couple was always optimistic that they’d be able to win over even their most conservative client.
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“We were eventually able to convince our customers, as we highlighted the top-quality craftsmanship and sustainability these brands had to offer. These are not only aesthetically appealing but also define skill and craftsmanship,” says Dhara, leading us into the conversation while husband Falgun observes.
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Geared up to attend Salone del Mobile, the furniture fair in Milan, in June, the two appear in sync with each other. Evident between them is a tacit understanding that comes from being married to each other for years — which is also the reason they work as well together as they do.
“We’re both quite secure in our own space and try to strike a balance between work and home life. I think the biggest advantage of working together is that we enjoy our job, and it also helps nurture our relationship,” Dhara adds. “Forging a creative career requires an enormous amount of energy, investment and belief that the future will bring you closer to your goals.”
With over two decades of experience in the luxury furniture business, Falgun has served as a bridge between the leading European design houses and discerning Indian clients. Dhara, on the other hand, is deeply rooted in the industry, with her name attached to the finest luxury design brands from across the world. Together, they lent their name to several prestigious commercial properties and private homes, too.
While the Shroffs tend to gravitate towards designing homes, Dhara believes that “designing is more than just a process”.
“It opens up an opportunity to understand our clients’ requirements and offer creative solutions. So whether it’s a home or an office, it does not matter.”
Their design expertise unsurprisingly extends to their dream home, which they built during the pandemic months. While most homeowners may have struggled to find workers during such turbulent times, the Shroffs completed their labour of love in just 10 months! The end result was a stunning four-bedroom duplex, spread over 3,800sqft in the neighbourhood of Andheri West in Mumbai.
“It was one of the most challenging projects we’ve had to tackle, considering the numerous ideas flowing through us. We went completely berserk initially!” Dhara recalls. “But with Hiral Jobalia designing the space and Falgun’s expertise in luxury brands, we figured out which labels to settle with, and that made the process simpler.”
Their home radiates a contemporary yet minimalist vibe, done up in subdued, sophisticated tones amid an affinity for dull golds, greys and wood finishes. The artwork on display are eye-catching, black-and-white portraits merging with colourful paintings across the walls. The paintings are, again, quite muted and blend with the décor. Greys and blues intermingle to lend the living room a cosy ambience; colourful lights, pale pinks, golds, blues, browns and greens all flow into each other, not one shade overpowering the other.
“Colours and emotions are closely linked. Some colours add warmth to the environment, while brighter shades exude happiness. Art not just adds colour to the room, but it also introduces a tonne of texture.
So whether you opt for a decorative wall panel or practical piece of art, it will bring the whole room together quite effectively.”
A modern home with clean lines, the duplex flows like the poetry a mathematician would truly appreciate in geometry. There’s symmetry and balance in the décor, with the only indulgence being their bathroom, inlaid with marble walls and gold fittings.
While designing their home, the couple divided the spaces to avoid creative conflict.
“The living area and entertainment room, which doubles up as the family room, were entirely aesthetically planned by Falgun, while I designed the master bedroom and the kids’ rooms with a more practical approach,” Dhara explains. “We chose delicately carved contemporary furniture, natural stone flooring, rugs, chairs and a clay hearth. We hand-picked every piece in the house. It was quite challenging, given the strict Covid restrictions in place in the society, but we pulled through!”
In their spare moments, Dhara and Falgun love to spend time together in their family-cum-entertainment room to play board games or binge-watch their favourite movies. Though both have their individual special spots in the house.
“The corner that has my heart is the balcony with a swing. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea while watching the sunset. Falgun’s special spot is the pooja area; it’s Zen and just radiates positive vibes.”
Photography: Ryan Martis; Fashion Editor: Sonam Poladia; Junior Stylist: Anushree Sardesai; Hair & Makeup: Sandhya Aggarwal
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This has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s July 2022 issue.