Woman of Style and Substance
Sometimes it isn’t easy to introduce a person in just a few words. Especially when they are like the Multi Faceted and Multi Talented Tulika Bhatnagar. I started following her on Instagram a while ago and in the beginning it was just about seeing lovely pictures of her cute as a button daughter,Sayuri. But slowly emerged the many fascinating sides of Tulika’s life. I began to look forward to her posts. Her pictures are always so carefree, joyful and full of positivity. I always feel that she is living in the moment which is a quality I admire in any human being. To me style has always been about more than just being well dressed and beautiful. It is about how you live, the home you keep, how you entertain, your interests, your passions, how you engage with people, the way you carry yourself, your kindness, how gracious you are and bringing your personal style to everything you do. That is true style and to me Tulika truly embodies this. All this along with her Grace, Poise and a Calm Beauty is why she is our Woman of Style and Substance.
Tulika practised Clinical Psychology, while living in New York, before moving back to India, with her Husband, also a Doctor. Back in her hometown of Rourkee where both their parents live, they built their gorgeous home over two years ago and that was when their Home Furniture and Décor Products Company Parrot & Lily was born. Also a dedicated and devoted Mom to a little angelic 4 year old. You can follow her on Instagram here and also at Parrot & Lily here. Read on for more on her Life, Style, Home and how she does it all ….
A Typical Day
If we’re not travelling, we’re absolutely always home. A typical day for me is like a circus juggler who has hats and candles at the same time. From preparing my daughter’s lunch box and sending her off, to working out, managing my artisans, feeding my cute dogs – all before 9:30 am. And it just gets crazier from that point on. The good part is that we always have lunch and dinner together. I try to not work after my daugher comes back from school. So we play tea parties, paint & craft together. Believe it or not, if we’re not out for dinner, I get back to work again after putting her to bed at 8:30.
Staying fit & healthy is a very important part of my life. The one thing that I never do is eat fried food. I could be starving but I would not touch that fry. Apart from that, I’m not very finicky about carbs. In fact, I love my rice bowl, pasta & Paneer Paratha. I do work out in the mornings. Our trainer comes in for about an hour and mixes different fun routines from aerobics, cardio to tai chi. On days when my trainer does not come, I try to squeeze in workout while doing mundane things. Like while my daughter brushes, I’d do 50 jumping jacks. And living on a second floor really helps. I count it as a blessing.
I definitely watch what I eat and don’t believe in fad diets and the super foods like Kale, Quinoa or avocados. I feel a good mix of everything (except for fried foods) is the way to go. We love all the veggies and we love cooking together. So quite often, my husband and I cook our dinner over good music and wine ourselves (we have a very lucky cook) And a healthy diet of coffee in the morning & wine in the evening makes my world revolve. You would never find cookies, chips for the binge hours at my place, which is sometimes odd when someone stops by for a tea. But by now, my friends know me.
My style is very bi-polar. Either I’m in pyjamas, or going out in preppy sophisticated clothes. Most of my clothes still come from J. Crew. I know the courier guys in my city by name. For day or casual night events, I always go with Ted Baker & Michael Kors for dresses. And for the rare and dressy dinners, I choose Tadashi Shoji or my collection of Banarasi Sarees. Add in a healthy dose of good Pashminas & Rohit Bals and my closet is all sorted. And for shoes, I always trust Feragammo.
5 Must-Have Wardrobe Essentials
- My Dandelion Dreams PJs,
- Dior Bags
- Vara by Ferragamo
- My Rolex Oysterperpetual Watch
- A pure gold neck accessory that you can team with just about anything
So, This is bit of a contradiction. I don’t do too much make up. Maybe just a good lipsstick. There have been times when I’ve been to so many events with basically no make up at all. I do buy the occasional compact & eye liner, but most them die death by expiry. My beauty tip would be to always be sharply dressed, speak well & be nice to the people around you. For lip colours, I love Dior, Guerlain & YSL. I do love Forrest Essentials & L’Occitane for their gentle soaps & body creams.
In daily life, my evening glass of wine is how I unwind. Watering my patio garden plants – believe it or not, there is a passionate gardener hiding inside of me. But most of all, I look forward to travelling. In fact, we have set up our life in a way that we can travel every third month. When I don’t travel for three months straight, I get cranky and my thought process gets cluttered. For me there is no “Me-time”. It’s the hyper crazy mom, passionate creator of Parrot & Lily and an overachieving home maker that I alternate in. While my daughter is at school, I love talking to my dogs. And I find cooking therapeutic. My creative pursuit in fact apart from travelling is interiors. For two years, we have been incessantly furnishing our home, and it is still somewhere beyond the half line. My dream would be to have an entire manor to just decorate according to my taste.
Managing Motherhood, Home and Work
Honestly, I have always been very hyperenergetic. I like to multitask. The best part about my work is that I get most of my work done at home. I love the zero commute life. Also Sayuri is a lot into drawing herself. She gives me so much time while she goes through her books by herself or just paint. We enjoy doing simple things like making lemonade together. I honestly feel that if you love doing something, you would find the time for it.
Let’s see, I would say having breakfast with peacocks at Umaid Bhawan to eating sharifas on the roadside in Cambodia, waking up to the sea at Indonesia or driving around the Italian countryside, or sayuri playing with giant turtles in Seychelles. It’s hard to pick favourites. Every vacation is brilliant in it’s own way and that is the best part about travelling. Actually, the best part about traveling is finding your own self and having time for each other. I definitely want to make my way to mainland Africa, repeat a Taj Palace property in India and still find time to make it to Italy. I think this would be my 2017 plan if I don’t get distracted by another beautiful beach in Thailand !
I like things exquisite but still easy on the eye. I love a lot of attention to small details. I feel that what we see really impacts our mind. So I love harmony and uniformity. I like an uncluttered color palette. I feel that your home décor should be an extention and a manifestation of your personality. How you percieve your world. Home décor should be unique and very you. I find that a lot of home decorators & designers have a very cookie cutter plan for each and every home that they do. Whenever someone tells me that they like a décor style, but their interior designer doesn’t, I get confounded. Shouldn’t it work the other way around.
What I love about classic & French décor is its versatility. How it can be used even in contemporary settings like our home. The best part about classic décor is that it always maintains a symmetry, scale and perspective. I love experimenting within the eighteenth century décor style, particularly rococo, while still maintaining a contemporary apartment feel in my home. A simple testament to the versatility of Louis XIV –XVI décor is that it was loved and recreated throughout almost all of formal settings from Sweden, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Austria and is to this day so coveted.
Any specific decorating tips or points to keep in mind that you would like to share with our readers
Oh my God, there are so many decorating tips to share. First is obviously that your home should be your home. As I elaborated, if you hire an interior designer they should help you explore & conceptualize your style, not the other way round. Second, I would always suggest to keep a neutral palette. This way, you have the freedom to accesorize with some warmer textures and colours. Nonetheless, I stay away from the very pop accessories and colorbursts. The hot-pink chair might look brilliant in a thousand square feet café or in the store but imagine looking at it everyday at your home. Also, a neutral palette is always easy on the mind, in almost all seasons. Third, I’d always say that you should invest in good home décor, furniture & accessories instead of whatever might be “in” this season. It’s very tempting to get carried away and buy something everytime you visit the mall, but that runs the risk of being commonplace after a point. I don’t know if you remember, but five years back there was a trend of Mughal kings on pop cushions. Then it came on mugs, coasters, mouse pads and just about everything that you could see. And then it became passé. I’d say that a small silver candlestand kept on a dining table does so much more than putting five candles on a gaudily made tray.
Thank you Tulika for sharing with us a slice of your Life, Style and your Home decorating advice. Chic and Effortless wishes you and your family the very best and we look forward to many more gorgeous pictures from you.
Follow Tulika Bhatnagar on Instagram here