Keeping up with the Kalias

By Ailan Gates 2020-02-27 04:58:06

Interior designer and restauranteur Deepali discusses her family's journey to Shanghai while introducing us to her beautiful home

Before calling Shanghai home for the last 13 years, Deepali and Sameer Kalia were in Jakarta, Indonesia and before that where they hail from; Delhi, India. Along with their adorable 10-year-old golden retriever, Khufu, Deepali and Sameer also have two beautiful children, Sohail(24) and Arushi(19).

I was extremely excited to be covering the Kalia’s home having been told on numerous occasions by my eldest son Anthony that I would love it; you see Anthony and Sohail have been best friends since high school. As promised, I instantly fell in love with Deepali’s timeless, expressive, and elegant home, and her embracing hug and wet kisses from Khufu cemented it all for me.

Whilst sat in their beautifully lit dining room and unashamedly dipping ginger biscuits into a delicious cup of spicy masala tea (one of my most favourite things to do on a cold winter afternoon!), I intently listened to Deepali describing her life’s journey.

Deepali le Delhi when her husband, Sameer, accepted a position with a Japanese rm in Jakarta, Indonesia. But a er constantly hearing from customers who were looking for sourcing opportunities in China, Sameer and Deepali decided to leave Jakarta after ten years to relocate to Shanghai. Since moving to China 13 years ago, Deepali and Sameer have not only continued to run their interior design and textile business that exports to North and South America but also managed to open four exquisite restaurants. This entrepreneurial zest for life has even rubbed o on their children to the point where their son Sohail decided to open his very own restaurant, “Barrio”, after completing a Bachelors in Urban Planning in the UK.

When I asked why they decided to venture into the food and beverage industry, Deepali smiled and said it happened whilst walking around their compound one day with a neighbour who was by chance looking to sell his restaurant. Intrigued, Deepali and Sameer then decided to open their first restaurant ‘Bombay Bistro’; now located on 158 Julu Road.

The Kalia’s multi-story home, with its multi-layered spaces, high ceilings and wooden floorboards, is curated with the use of muted colours and so materials and contrasted with the occasional bold flourish. Everything about the house reflects its owner's warm and hospitable nature, from the Indonesian planter chair to the so ly lit candles and Japanese painting of a busy market.

Each room flows to create a different mood, atmosphere and timeless appeal, like the sitting room which has been cleverly designed to not only host guests but also be a place for daily meditation. So light streams through the sitting room window from a streetlamp which is exquisitely framed by their Indian chest and so pale pink chairs. While the dining room features a large Indonesian painting that complements Deepali’s white dining chairs and table perfectly thanks to its hushed colours and so strokes.

For me, the Kalias are more than entrepreneurs with a gorgeous home, they are explorers and adventurers; driven by passion, perseverance, discipline, creativity and determination. They have found their niche in this incredible city and will continue to leave a vibrant footprint for many years to come.


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