In the quiet suburbs of Chicago resides a vibrant couple, Rachel and her partner, Sheil, (@plantbasedartist), who have seamlessly blended their love for contemporary aesthetics with a deep connection to their Desi roots. The Shuklas' home is a testament to their shared passion for art, ceramics, cultural artifacts, and green living. Join us on a virtual tour of their cozy haven and discover the unique elements that make their abode a true reflection of modern Desi living.

Ceramic Delights from East Fork Pottery

At the heart of the Shuklas' daily life are exquisite ceramics from East Fork Pottery in Ashville, North Carolina. These cups and dinnerware, a staple in their day-to-day routine, not only add an artisanal touch to their everyday life but also carry the ethos of responsible consumerism. East Fork Potteryis a certified B-corporation that sustainably makes all products by hand. They also partner with local non-profits, grassroots organizations and individuals working toward racial equity and community reconciliation.


A Passion for Pichwai & South Asian Home Decor

The Shuklas' home tells a story of their travels, with treasures from India, Miami, and even a Chicago exhibit. The Gates of the Lord book on the center of their book shelf (below), is a memento from a Chicago exhibit they attended together on a date in 2015. This exhibit sparked their shared passion for Pichwai art. They now have a beloved Marble Lotus Pichwai painting - Lotuses and Colorful Lilypads displayed on their wall as well as Lotus Diyas, and a Chakla Belan from our store! 

This miniature painting below is handpainted and is from one of Sheil's trips back to India during college. The Jasmine plat grows gorgeously over it. Both these paintings are heirlooms that they look forward to passing down in their family for generations. 

Plants & Plant-Based India 

A prominent feature on the bookshelf is Sheil Shukla's authored Plant-Based India cookbookPlant-Based India is packed with over 100 nutritious and authentic recipes drawn from his culinary heritage. This culinary masterpiece not only reflects Sheil's expertise in the kitchen but also stands as a symbol of the couple's commitment to a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle.

They clearly have a green thumb as they manage to keep all their house plants thriving through the Chicago winters. A fiddle leaf, a thoughtful gift from a cousin, adds a touch of greenery and life to their dining space.

Desi Influences from World Market, Target, and Local Brands

The couple's aesthetic taste extends beyond their ceramics as is evident on their bookshelf.

  1. Monsoon Pottery, a local Chicago artist, finds a place of honor on the topmost shelf, showcasing the couple's commitment to supporting local artisans.
  2. Terracotta pot with lid is from India, Sheil used this piece in the cookbook 

  3. Indian Drawer, they found this on an aniversary trip to Miami in an Indian clothing store 
  4. The below wall decor is from World Market and the hanging bird decoration on either side is from India

A Home, A Story

The Shuklas' home is more than just a collection of furniture and artifacts; it's a narrative of their shared experiences, journeys, and passions. From the humble ceramic cups to the grandeur of Pichwai art, each element in their home contributes to the rich tapestry of their lives. In the heart of Chicago's suburbs, the Shuklas have created a modern Desi haven that beautifully intertwines tradition, contemporary living, and a commitment to a sustainable and culturally rich lifestyle.

Saundrya Mehra