Well, for me this 70th Independence day celebrations has been about analyzing India’s journey of rapid urbanization, growing awareness of western lifestyles, and higher disposable income. Ironically, certain aspects of global living came to fore, one such being cooking; as an increasing number of cosmopolitans are going back to soirees where exotic foods are paired up with fancy dinner and serveware as that has become a part of their conversations. So now, serving food tastefully is no longer the prerogative of only the rich and famous of a bygone era.
Janaki Kirloskar in 2016, after working for 12 years in her century-old family business, decided to make the most of this crevasse. Having revelled in a beautiful home with luxuries, she had travelled, fine dined and entertained extensively ever since childhood. This industrial engineer who has an eye for patterns and designs decided on making the most of her of her background with KIKA Tableware – an acronym which brings together two most significant forces of her life – her daughters, Devaki and Mihika. And with the onset of our festive season it seemed most appropriate for me to question her about her fairly new creative venture.
MD: What is your tableware’s USP?
JANAKI: KIKA Tableware aims to give its customer premium quality with 24k gold and platinum plated modern designs within an accessible price point.
MD: Which brands in tableware do you admire and why?
JANAKI: Wedgwood, Rosenthal, Noritake, Villeroy and Boch are few well-known international ones while Good Earth and Nishita Tableware are from our own turf. I think tableware is a wonderful expression of art and all of the aforementioned brands have managed to push the envelope by bringing creativity onto the dining table. Their designs have a global appeal with quality being the key. Infact, my family’s Rosenthal heirloom sets have been around since our grandparents’ times but still look as good as new.
MD: How does one elevate a table setting?
JANAKI: I follow a lot of international bloggers who create the most beautiful tablescapes. They accentuate tableware with accessories to make it stand out. At KIKA Pop-Up Shows we use fresh flowers and colorful accessories like candle stands, table mats, vases etc. to create an aspirational settings for our clients who could achieve the same at their homes. Nowadays, one could also use colorful cutlery in metallic and matt finishes which is a popular trend. The Indian food looks most appetizing on white or pale colored dinnerware as it does not take away from its richness. Large glass mugs and wine glasses are the best bets for an informal dining since anything can be served in them – from water to wine or soft drinks, offering a gracious and generous feeling. To add to that a dash of color with cloth napkins and tablecloths. One could put two napkins of different colors or patterns in a napkin ring for a twist.
MD: Which international bloggers/instagrammers would you recommend one follows for tablescapes?
JANAKI: @citysage by Anne Sage. The lady is a blogger and an author. She, to me is a master of low-key but startlingly beautiful tablescapes with lots of artfully wrinkled linens.
Another one is @eddieross by Eddie Ross who is a magazine editor and an author. He lectures on the living arts, from food and flowers to decorating, gardening, and entertaining. If you dream of being the person who can casually mix ikat with chintz, his feeds are sure to nourish your soul.
And @thejungalow by Justina Blakeney. She wrote New York Times best-seller – The New Bohemians. The blogger and designer gathered her tribe on this Instagram account devoted to rooms, tables, and vignettes that embody “jungalow” style. It’s relaxed, inspired, personal, and welcoming.
At the end Valentino Garavani‘s quote “When I entertain at home, I take time and pleasure in the small details that make all the difference” stood tall in my head.