Desert Song

Ritu Kumar Home has collaborated with Atelier Ashiesh Shah for an exclusive home décor edition that picks up narratives and aesthetics from three regions – Amer (Jaipur, Jodhpur), Jaisalmer, and Kochi, paying homage to their unique cultural and crafts traditions. We speak to Amrish Kumar, creative director, Ritu Kumar Home and architect-designer Ashiesh Shah.

Ritu Kumar Home X Ashiesh Shah (Amer). Red Amer Fort Rectangle Cushion with Filler INR 3,200

How did you pick these three specific regions for the artistic collab with Ashiesh Shah – what are his aesthetics that you married with Ritu Kumar Home?

Amrish Kumar: Ritu Kumar Home is an offering based on exquisite craftsmanship and design; it is an homage to India’s design signature. Working with Ashiesh has been incredibly rewarding, he is well known for his modern interpretation of indigenous aesthetic and art form. He has drawn inspiration from three different regions and designed these collections keeping history, architect, and craftmanship of the place in mind.

  • Cochin is inspired by the lush greenery of Kerala’s backwaters; the collection is enveloped in tones of green and gold.

  • Amer is inspired by traditional Mughal paintings and their impeccable hand skills, and celebrates the grandeur of The Amer Fort and The Jantar Mantar.

  • Jaisalmer is all about the simplicity and earthiness of the unending dunes of the desert serve as the inspiration for this collection.

Ritu Kumar Home X Ashiesh Shah (Jaisalmer). IvoryBrown Jaisalmer Rectangle Cushion With Filler for INR 3,700 + Brown Jaisalmer Double Bedcover for INR 18,700 + Ivory Brown Jaisalmer Square Cushion With Filler for INR 3,000

When we think of the desert in India, Jaisalmer and its earthy colours, comes to mind – was it a trip there that inspired both of you? The sand dunes and architecture – how were you able to translate this into the soft furnishings and the crockery?

Amrish Kumar: Absolutely, this collection is inspired by the unending sand dunes of the deserts in Jaisalmer by capturing their simplicity and unmistakable earthiness. The topography of the dunes are represented through Kantha or the running stitch embroidery, traditionally practiced by the folk women in the remote villages of the state, paying homage to the local history and cultural craftsmanship perfected over the years. In addition to a textural and organic narrative, the collection is characterized by shades of beige, brown, and maroon to capture the essence of these regions and celebrate the versatility of its palette.

Ritu Kumar Home X Ashiesh Shah(Jaisalmer). White Jaisalmer Dinner Plate (Set of 2) for INR 4,900 + Red Jaisalmer Placemat (Set of 2) for INR 2,500

What materials have you used for Jaisalmer? Is there any reason why the crockery is so organic in shape?

Ashiesh Shah: The crockery encapsulates the essence of the desert, the earthiness of its dunes through its smooth curvilinear form and geometry.

Ritu Kumar Home X Ashiesh Shah (Cochin). Ivory Cochin Bolster With Filler for INR 2,900

The Cochin collection features the white and gold that is so typical of Kerala – have you used cotton fabric as for the Mundu saris for this? I love how you were inspired by the banana leaf for the crockery – why choose brass as a material, and has it been made by local artisans?

Amrish Kumar: The motifs have been derived from the leaves of the sacred banana plant and the subtle gold borders are paired with an off-white fabric paying homage to the Mundu sarees and the Kerala Kasavu. The elements within this collection are hand-crafted in Kansa, a bell-metal craft used traditionally in the households of South India.

Ashiesh Shah: Having been used traditionally in the temples and households of South India, Kansa, served as the ideal choice for the collection celebrating the philosophies of ‘wabi-sabi,’ through an organic, natural and perfectly imperfect connotation.

Ritu Kumar Home X Ashiesh Shah (Amer). White Amer Fort Dinner Plate (Set Of 2) for INR 4,200 + Blue Amer Fort Placemat (Set of 2) for INR 1,800 + White Amer Fort Veg Bowl (Set Of 2) for INR 1,800

For the Amer collection – what are some of the specific Jaipur royal references that you picked out, for example, the City Palace? The porcelain design has hints of the Raj Mahal and its stunning wallpaper... Also the bolster cushions resemble the antique bolsters in the Amer Fort…

Amrish Kumar: The quintessential pink walls with white line drawings across the fort walls of Jaipur are translated in the entirety of this collection through the essence of minimalism that they imbibe. Amer celebrates storytelling by embodying the richness and royalty synonymous with the historical-cultural heritage of the Royals.


Ashiesh Shah: Inspired by traditional Mughal paintings and their impeccable handskill showcased through their thoroughly detailed architecture, ‘Amer’ enveloped in pastel hues is a symbolic connotation of the iconic havelis of Rajasthan. ‘The Pink City,’ archivally, washed in a blush hue pairs seamlessly with the ‘blues’ of Jodhpur to celebrate the geometrical and symmetrical characteristics of The Amer Fort and The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur. From the narrative behind the textiles of the tents of Rajasthan to the edges of the repetitive arches that create unending perspectives, ‘Amer’ celebrates history and royal heritage with a contemporary flair.

Ritu Kumar Home X Ashiesh Shah (Amer). Blue Amer Fort Bolster With Filler for INR 3,400 + Blue & Red Amer Fort Double Bedcover for INR 22,000

What is the best way to mix up the collection – can one combine the pieces?

Ashiesh Shah: Certainly, all three collections exude a sense of neutrality very much in tune with our current modern lifestyle. The fluidity of the collection enables it to be mixed and matched with existing design objects. It is a quick way to spruce up one’s home or lend a new aesthetic to its interior environment


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

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A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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