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Second Empire Home of Indian entrepreneur  in Massachusetts exudes the grandeur of Indian, Napoleonic and Moroccan craftsmanship

From Mughal India and Napoleonic France to Persian and Moroccan arts, Manmaison, the Second Empire form constructed in 1865 by William R Jones embraces it all as it has been redesigned by Boston based designer Sashya Thind for Indian entrepreneur and a connoisseur of different cultures Krishna Gupta.

Located in the historic Harvard Square in Massachusetts, the project is accomplished  by Sashya Thind. Constructed in 1865 by William R Jones, it is among the forty homes listed on the National Register of Historic Spaces.

As per Gupta, all these cultures left an indelible mark on his life, both in terms of their accomplishment and for the heights of artistic, culinary, and cultural tradition.

Hailing from a culture where we embrace color, texture, and textile which fosters the the decision to build such a magnificent home. But there was a back and forth to push further and further.

In every nook, maximalism reigns in a surprising mix and match of influences: the Rambagh Palace and Rajmahal for India; Napoleonic grandeur for France; Nasir al-Mulk and Shah Cheragh for Persia; and Ben Youssef Madrasa and Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II for Morocco.

The amalgamation of these sources of inspiration is visible across the colorful home wrapped with velvets, silks, and rich wools, creating luxuriously tactile spaces. Thind opted for different paint colors and wallpapers to reflect the natural light.

The Salon de Napoléon features antique Josephine Swan chairs and Aubusson rug, Woodbridge coffee table, Arteriors chandelier and sconce, and a Napoleon bust from France.

The formal Persian one is arranged like a throne room, with its cream-colored Platner chairs placed on a rare orange Sarouk Persian rug. A hand-carved Anglo-Indian credenza with intricate jali work borders the rug. Created in a Provence-style with a sunny yellow palette, the more casual breakfast room is an invitation to sit on the Thonet chairs surrounding a wooden table.

Anchored by an antique Louis XIV table capped by Dionysus on each leg, the study reveals a green Persian Kerman rug that once belonged to a king in Rajasthan.

the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, specifically the Blue Room – features silver Indian bowls from Old Delhi and a functional clock from the Napoleonic era made to commemorate his Egyptian campaign and sourced in an antique boutique in Paris.

“Having spent considerable time with a Moroccan roommate, Gupta wanted to create a tearoom inspired from Moroccan arts,” says Thind. In this space, the divans mimic the height of Moroccan sedari (seating) and the depth of Indian ones. The exquisite ceiling mural was designed by Thind in collaboration with local artist Tasha Cough.

It represents a peacock, a motif present in nearly every room of this home in some form, one beloved by many Eastern empires and a symbol of Lord Krishna.

Several artworks, including Sleeping Prince by Lebanese/Bostonian painter Kahlil Gibran and Princess in Gold by Indian painter Arup Das in the Moroccan Salon – among other pieces – adorn the spaces where zellige tiles are also a work of art,  designed and manufactured in Fez and Marrakech, and then shipped over to be installed alongside a 300-year-old door from Fez.

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