A Rental Rowhouse in India Features Delightful Paint Surprises

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Living room with hand-painted wall art that says "HELLO" in large blue letters
The hand-painted "HELLO" sign greets you when you walk in. It was a bold and risky project that turned out so much more beautiful and striking than I’d hoped for. Also, it gives me that 'hello home' moment from "Saving Mr Banks" (the movie).

Name: Ryan Frantz
Location: Bangalore, India
Type of home: Row house
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

The master bedroom with an antique colonial headboard.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’m Ryan, a filter-coffee-drinking, beach-loving, canoe-paddling, deep-sea-diving ad man. I live in Bangalore where I battle traffic on a daily basis, gesticulate wildly at bad drivers, laugh at typos on restaurant menus, and grimace at badly-kerned name boards on local stores. I live in a Charles Correa-designed row house in Bangalore. I got the house in really dilapidated condition; the walls were a terrible shade of crimson, and there were dribbles of dust-stained wax on all the wash basins. Two days of elbow grease, hot water, and many bottles of cleaning agents later, the house was good to move in to. I live alone, but I LOVE having people over. [Pre-pandemic]

I had this sofa custom made to accommodate my 6'4" frame. It doubles as a bed when I have visitors and makes a cozy reading nook.

My philosophy for my home is that everyone should feel welcome, included, and have enough to engage them. There’s enough at home to keep most people entertained. I have books and board games for all ages and types of interests. Also, the kitchen is very easy to navigate — everything is clearly labelled and on display and not hidden away in cabinets. I also have a ready stash of biscuits, dried and fresh fruit, spreads, instant noodles for quick snacks. And there’s always a pot of tea or coffee for a cozy conversation or a bottle of champagne ready for any moment that should be celebrated.

My one true indulgence has been fresh flowers that I pick up every Friday evening, so I can enjoy them over the weekend. Bird of Paradise flowers top the list.

My friends have described my house as hopefully minimalistic, but hopelessly maximalist. My style is essentially colonial cottage with an infusion of quirk — like a granny who took a course in graphic design. My home is where all my interests come together — reading, gardening, cooking, painting, and entertaining. Visitors love interacting with the hand-painted, larger-than-life HELLO sign in the hallway. The house is sprinkled with reading nooks, and there’s a cozy terrace herb garden (where I grow a lot of peppermint for my peppermint tea) and the abundance of personal outdoor space. The loads of light and plants help keep me happy. I also love entertaining in the big upstairs veranda. 

The guest bedroom downstairs, with its kitschy DIY painted headboard

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colonial cottage with quirk

My terrace garden that's seen everything from intimate coffees for one or dinners for a dozen.

What is your favorite room and why? My favourite space is the terrace garden, where I have my cup of coffee every morning. It’s also my favourite space to roll out a rug and cozy up with a book on a lazy weekend, putter around with the plants, or entertain a small group of close friends under the stars.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I love foraging for quirky stuff in car boot sales and flea markets while abroad, and scavenging in “chor bazzars” and garage sales in India. I think my most treasured piece would be the limited edition Illy espresso cup designed by Anish Kapoor, which was purchased from illycups.nl

Any advice for creating a home you love? A home should celebrate you above everything else, so make sure you create a space that you absolutely love coming home to. My favourite design hack is to pick a colour theme for the home and have it present across every room in subtle ways, from rugs to paint colors to lamps and curtains. Oh, and resist the urge to give in to the trend of arranging your books by color. I also find it important to edit regularly. Happiness is probably inversely related to how much you own. And, the less junk you have, the easier it is to clean! Also, have assigned places for EVERYTHING.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.