Originally created 02/29/04

Family's heritage is focus of home decor



After two months of searching, Baren and Geetanjali Talukdar were sold when they walked into the four bedroom, two bath home in Spring Lakes subdivision in Martinez.

"We liked the layout of the house," said Mr. Talukdar, an engineer for Shaw Group with Savannah River Site. The couple and their two daughters, Nina, 16, and Runa, a recent college graduate, live there.

"And we liked the area. We thought it was a good location with good schools nearby," Mr. Talukdar said.

They bought the home 14 years ago. Since then, the Talukdars, originally from Kolkata, India, have decorated their home with various Indian cultural items and European accents.

Two years after purchasing, Mr. Talukdar converted the deck into a 760-square-foot dance studio for his daughters to rehearse and perform Indian classical and other types of dance. The room features a big-screen TV, chairs and a row of cabinets displaying trophies and other awards. Encased by lots of windows, the room is also a sun room.

In 2000 the family added kitchen space, a prayer room and music studio for Mrs. Talukdar, a professional Indian classical music singer.

"Whenever people come to our house they always comment on the kitchen," Mrs. Talukdar said of the now 600-square-foot area.

The kitchen features numerous windows, an island with a range and bar stools, an additional range near the oven, two microwaves, a glass table with a heavy, off-white dolphin base and six off-white chairs and lots of cabinet space with a built-in china cabinet. With amenities including computer, desk, a television and a bar with wine racks, Mr. Talukdar said there's something for everyone to do there.

"The kitchen is the nerve center of the house. Everything happens here; no one's going to feel left out," he said.

The prayer room, with candles, oil-burning brass lamps and pictures of Hindu deities, leads to the music studio. The small room with its professional sound system contains Indian musical instruments. Mrs. Talukdar, who has recorded five albums and made various radio and television performances in India, gives music lessons there.

The studio opens up to the dining room, which features a mahogany dining set and china cabinet and a gramophone that is more than 80 years old.

"We found it at an antique store in India. It still works," Mr. Talukdar said as he put a record in place, wound the handle, folded down the needle then listened as Indian music poured through the seashell-shaped speaker.

Also in the room are a grandfather clock, crystal chandelier and curio cabinet filled with international collectibles.

"We've traveled almost everywhere in Europe," Mrs. Talukdar said while looking at the curio's contents. Among them are Murano glass pieces from Venice, Italy, Swarovski crystal figurines from Austria, a Lladro porcelain flamingo dancer from Madrid, and a ceramic tea set and violin from Paris.

Pictures of the Talukdars and their family and friends are found throughout the home. Photos of Mrs. Talukdar with famous Indian and Pakistani musicians are in the living room, which features a vase of wooden roses from Amsterdam and a black grand piano.

The two full baths upstairs, one of which is in the master bedroom, each feature double sinks for convenience. Both of the sisters' rooms have a very feminine look, with pictures, stuffed animals and pastel pink, purple and yellow curtains draping the windows.

The paneled and stone-walled family room has a fireplace and offers an open view of the second floor. A chandelier hangs over the landing from a cathedral ceiling. Collectibles adorn the mantel in the room, which has gray leather couches, two corner bookcases, trophies and plaques belonging to each family member and a big screen television.

A separate staircase around the corner from the family room leads to a bonus room with a desk and foldout couch.

An intercom system for music or speaking runs throughout the Talukdar home. Indian items, from flavorful hot tea in the kitchen to figures atop a table in the foyer, run rampant inside.

"Music, culture and art have a very strong basis here," Mr. Talukdar said.

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.