A Minimal Indian Home Is Inspired by Simplicity and Nature

published Oct 31, 2019

A Minimal Indian Home Is Inspired by Simplicity and Nature

published Oct 31, 2019
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Home Type
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Ella Garg, family
Location: Dehradun, India
Size: Featured section – 900 sq ft covered, 1600 sq ft super area. 5000 sq ft. 
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

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Earlier this year, Apartment Therapy toured a global home every day of the month in August for The World At Home. There were so many wonderful homes to tour around the world there wasn’t an opportunity to showcase all that were photographed for the series! This tour from India is one.

Shop owner Ella Garg lives in a wonderfully peaceful and nature-inspired home in Dehradun, India, the capital of the state Uttarakhand, near the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. My local contact and new friend Nitin and I arrived at Ella’s home in the early afternoon. The house is situated in a quiet residential street lined with fruit trees and plants. It was hot and humid. I was relieved to be greeted with homemade cake served on hand-painted ceramics from Ella’s interior design shop, Yellow Marigold Homes.

Her home is a living representation of Yellow Marigold Homes’ style—high quality and unfussy with a strong local focus. Most materials in the home are non-synthetic: pure cotton curtains, teak furniture. Even her favorite element, a temple painting, uses natural pigments. And though the interiors were lovely, the family element is what left the strongest impression on me. Ella is a single mother of a rambunctious little girl (who was napping with her grandparents during our shoot). Ella’s parents live on the ground level of the home while Ella and her daughter share the upper level. Of course this is a generalization, but as a mostly-New York based photographer, the homes I photograph are usually a couple, roommates, or a single person living in the city. It was refreshing to see the family unit at work, providing a glimpse into a culture I experienced for the first time. Thank you for opening your home to me, Ella.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Minimalism 

Inspiration: Functionality, Simplicity, Nature

Favorite Element: Temple art painting of ‘Dancing Shiva’ – “Creation, destruction and all things in between.”

Biggest Challenge: Not listening to random advice (one gets a lot of it in India for free) while designing the place and at the same time ensuring that no one is offended.

What Friends Say: Tasteful ensemble of handpicked beauties, cozy and inviting, minimal yet perfectly adequate. They love it!

Proudest DIY: The green seating by the window. It actually is a folded mattress. Whenever I have guests staying over all we do is spread it and we have a nice bed. And my little one loves that seating by the big window. It’s always been hers! That’s where she sits. The green chest of drawers with bookshelf was picked from the junk market and is refurbished and repainted. These actually are two different units, one kept on top of another. And the rectangular table. It’s totally functional. I work on it, I use it as working table for kitchen, and of course it’s the table where I eat my meals. 

Biggest Indulgence: The entire place is quite cost-effective. There was no indulgence per se. Everything is functional and exactly what’s needed without any compromise on comfort. I own a few paintings though. The big one is “Water” by Shafi Qureshy.

Best Advice: Keep it simple. Think about what you really need. Have a color palette. Making it is easy, maintaining it is work!


  • The grey sofa is from Pepperfry
  • Lights  — Philips studio 
  • Curtains and green seat covers are pure cotton. I picked up the material from the local market and got them stitched from a local tailor.
  • Wooden furniture (including the four-post bed in teak wood, and the teak wood dining table, dining chairs, and living room chairs — Designed by me and made by the local carpenter.
  • The green chest-of-drawers with bookshelf is picked from the junkyard. Refurbished and repainted. The bookshelf and chest-of drawers are actually two separate pieces, one stacked over the other.
  • The round carved table is old furniture from my parents. 

Thanks Ella!

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