This 2D Airbnb Celebrates India’s Architectural Heritage And The Magic Of Living Inside A Palace Painting

This Airbnb in Jaipur's C-scheme neighbourhood replicates the aura of Rajasthani havelis by fusing 2D paintings that pack narratives echoing the rich tradition of hand-drawn murals.

  • 8 Jul '24
  • 1:34 pm by Satarupa Datta

Upon entering the white and black-painted emotive canvas of the Shri Lalluji Suite in this 2D Airbnb in Jaipur, one is transported into a two-dimensional world, popularised by the Korean series, ‘W – Two Worlds Apart’, where characters are pulled into an alternate universe of a webtoon. Akin to this concept, the Airbnb super host Kapil Purohit and the interior designer Monika Sharma, craft a luxury suite honouring the ancient craftsmanship of Rajasthani havelis where innovation fuses with design art. 

Dark outlines on every mural and furniture combine to create a dreamscape that replicates a painting. Each mural depicts a story that takes us into the luxurious cloisters of the royal Rajputs and the many lives lived prior. Featuring an assortment of furnishings and artefacts that seamlessly blend artistry with functionality, this Airbnb Suite offers a multi-faceted experience united by one common thread—a 2D design that unveils the intricate layers of India’s design heritage in the opulent world of Indian paintings

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Stunning visuals of ‘Mihrab’ arches and ‘Araish’ patterns, which are decorative borders repeated throughout the paintings to celebrate the artistry of Rajasthani haveli architecture. (Image Credit: Shri Lalluji Suite)

The Art Of The Murals Takes A Playful 2D Spin

The frescoed palaces of Rajasthan, known for using natural paints on wet lime plaster were the inspiration for these 2D paintings. The black sheen of the 2D painting that is achieved using handmade ‘kajal’ or kohl as a medium recalls the simplicity and ease with which colours have been used in the erstwhile palaces, giving tone and originality to the work. “I aimed to design a pseudo palace, where travellers could immerse themselves in a living painting, explains Purohit.

The wall is adorned by a sophisticated rendition of Pichwai art where the sacred cow and flowering lotuses are closely tied to Krishna’s life. ( Image Credit: Shri Lalluji Suite)

The exquisite frescoed art adorning the havelis was skillfully crafted by the artisans known as ‘chiteras.’ Driven by passion and expertise, Purohit reveals that the intricate hand-drawn 2D murals are brought to life by the talented miniature painting artist Ratan Lal Kumawat. The striking monotone of black and white sweeps through the spacious living room in perfect harmony with the handcrafted sofa, curtains, black patterned cemented flooring, and terracotta clay white-washed potteries. The blend of raw minimalism and luxurious appeal catches your attention and encourages you to immerse yourself in the pristine 2D design landscape surrounding it.

The male tanpura with a deeper sound and the tablas used as props for the living room were sourced and designed by craftsmen from Miraj in Maharashtra. ( Image Credit: Shri Lalluji Suite)

Mise-en-Scène OF The 2D Luxury Suite Creating A Visual Symphony

Capturing the nostalgia of Jaipur’s glorious palaces while avoiding the cliches is no easy feat. Monika Sharma conceived the idea of painting murals that complement the architecture of Jaipur’s havelis without making the walls look cluttered. The living room is pictured as the King’s musical chamber and features handcrafted musical instruments to blend with the theme. The room boasts an exquisite ceiling adorned in floral motifs, paying homage to the intricate frescoed ceilings of Jaipur’s city palace. 

Also read: An Arresting Eatery In Udaipur, Which Is A Rajasthani Design Lover’s Dream Come True

The 3D illusion of a maze of arches aligns with the narrative, giving the impression that the archway leads to the King’s palace. (Image Credit: Shri Lalluji Suite)

Taking a closer look at the walls, you will see the stunning manifestation of a Pichwai painting that originated over 400 years ago in the town of Nathdwara near Udaipur.  Intricate and visually stunning, Pichwai paintings, made of cloth, depict tales from Lord Krishna’s life and this unique rendition of Pichwai on the wall stands out as an artwork. One wall depicts a warren of ‘mihrab’ arches with columns that give the illusion of leading toward the inner chambers of a palace. 

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The ‘Mihrab’ arch framing Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal beautifully captures the narrative of a king enjoying the landmark monument from his bed chamber. (Image Credit: Shri Lalluji Suite)

Artfully Layered Bed Chamber Honour  Indian Miniature Paintings 

With its abundant natural light and captivating design, the bedroom is stunning. The room opens into a patio, shaded by bamboo blinds. The ensuite bath comes with black-white Moroccan tiles and a high-end shower cubicle.  The graceful custom-made curtains, intricately carved beds, and striking murals create an ambience reminiscent of a royal resting chamber. The space combines a subdued material palette of natural wood, bamboo, handwoven rugs, pure linen, and cotton bedding bringing a modern aesthetic to the room.

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The intricate detailing of the miniature painting using fine brush strokes captures even the tiniest features of jewellery in great detail. (Image Credit: Shri Lalluji Suite)

The wall supporting the headboard features an imposing outline of a ‘mihrab’ arch, and the stunning rendition of Jaipur‘s Hawa Mahal appears inside. The illustrations drawn on the four-door wardrobe depict the royal attires of Kings and Queens, taking the form of a Mughal miniature painting. These miniatures showcase extreme detail and realistic perspective, giving figures a static appearance, frozen in positions that emphasize their two-dimensionality.

The space exudes an eclectic dynamism, adorned with 2D paintings that evoke romanticism and nostalgia. It effectively transports you into what can only be described as “living inside a painting.” Finding the perfect balance of heritage architecture with a contemporary perspective, this artistic apartment is a modern ode to craftsmanship. 

Book the suite now in Airbnb and experience the life-like illustrations of 2D painting that whisper tales of love and royalty