Postcard from Ukraine : Indian Pink

My summer room wouldn’t be out of place in a Rajasthani village, but then again, there are elements of Ukrainian culture that have Indian and Persian inflections.

pink room

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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69 Comments

  • Kat: It’s a lovely room but I can’t help it the moment I saw that tilted pic my OCD kicked in LOL! I know there are good philosophical reasons for little imperfections but it would still drive me crazy. (I have curated exhibitions and I am currently preparing another one so you can call it déformation professionelle that I’m unable to see the poetry of the imperfect here.) June 24, 2016 at 8:17am Reply

    • Victoria: The explanation is simple. This house is made out of clay and reeds, and over time the walls sank and became crooked. The picture doesn’t hang straight. But it doesn’t bother me, since this house was built by my great-grandfather once he got home from WWII, without a leg but with two able arms. These imperfections remind me of him, and I leave my own OCD tendencies at the threshold of this room. June 24, 2016 at 8:24am Reply

      • Kat: Oh, I can definitely see why you chose to keep it untouched. I had to curate an exhibition in a house that is over 200 years old – not a single straight floor or ceiling in sight. So whatever you do it will look wonky. I leveled all the pictures and wrote a little poem for visitors with similar OCD tendencies explaining that the pictures are leveled and the house is crooked – so please don’t start correcting. But there are still folks who try! June 24, 2016 at 8:48am Reply

        • Victoria: I can imagine the challenge of working in such a space. On the other hand, old houses have their own spirit and ambiance, and that alone can add so much to an exhibition. June 24, 2016 at 12:14pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Love it, Ukraine is quite a melting pot isn’t it? Wearing one of your favourites today, Rien. Hope you are having a good time. June 24, 2016 at 9:07am Reply

    • Victoria: It really is. And that’s one of the reasons I love being here. June 24, 2016 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Jeanne: I like the crooked picture. I think it adds to a very charming room. The bed is beautiful, and room looks really cozy. June 24, 2016 at 9:49am Reply

    • Victoria: It does feel so cozy and serene. One of my favorite places for reading. June 24, 2016 at 12:40pm Reply

  • Jillie: That room positively glows with warmth and love! What are the flowers? June 24, 2016 at 10:02am Reply

    • Patricia: They are white acacias, aren’t they, lovely scent! Sadly, they are no longer in bloom here in southern Spain. June 24, 2016 at 10:14am Reply

      • Victoria: They finished blooming here too, and now we have lindens. June 24, 2016 at 12:43pm Reply

        • Patricia: I Miss lindens in bloom so much, I only can reach for La Chasse…Lucky you, lovely room, you can smell it June 27, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

          • Victoria: I didn’t have a chance to pick lindens this spring, but I could smell them when they were in bloom. June 30, 2016 at 3:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Patricia is right, they are acacias. I’m drying them for tea:
      http://boisdejasmin.com/2016/06/acacia-tisane.html June 24, 2016 at 12:43pm Reply

  • OperaFan: Oh what beautiful colors! Your photograph makes the room look like an oil painting…. Just love it. June 24, 2016 at 10:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! June 24, 2016 at 12:43pm Reply

    • girasole: I thought the same thing – a beautiful painting you can live in! June 27, 2016 at 2:41pm Reply

  • Sylvia: Victoria, thank you for sharing this.I have enjoyed your reminisce over your grandparents and Ukraine. Your comment about your grandpa building a home, though he was wounded, lifted my spirits this morning. How beautiful that your grandfather took courage in what he could do and built a home for his family! For me it is reminder to focus on what I can do-and then find a way to do that. Perhaps doing what we can do gives courage to someone else to do the same.
    I hope this finds your family in the Ukraine doing well.
    Blessings! June 24, 2016 at 10:23am Reply

    • Victoria: My great grandparents survived two World Wars, a revolution, and two famines before they managed to build this house. So, it must have something of their spirit and resilience. Being here reminds me of what’s truly important.

      Thank you for your kind words, Sylvia. June 24, 2016 at 12:45pm Reply

      • Notturno7: I love it! Amazing spirit and resilience!! Aren’t we blessed to have family members like that. Thank you for sharing ❤️ June 25, 2016 at 4:11am Reply

        • Victoria: Definitely blessed! 🙂 June 30, 2016 at 3:21am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I love it all…the pink color, the bed cover, the crooked picture, the little shelf, the wall trim, and most of all the background story. June 24, 2016 at 10:57am Reply

    • Victoria: The trim and color were different during my great grandparents’ time, but otherwise, everything else remains the same. June 24, 2016 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Ariadne: That IS a great color pink. Has the soft matte texture like milk paint has too. I M loving all your postcards. :+) June 24, 2016 at 11:33am Reply

    • Victoria: The pink was mixed into the white plaster base, hence the matte look. I have no idea how it came out this bright, but it works well. June 24, 2016 at 12:47pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: Love the colours! They make me feel very happy. For some reason, I am now craving a bowl of homemade strawberry ice cream, made with creme fraiche. June 24, 2016 at 12:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: Pink is such an uplifting color. I didn’t realize it until I started using this room. June 24, 2016 at 12:49pm Reply

      • Claire: I agree. And the pink of your room exudes joy. It looks warm and enveloping, alive. Nothing like the mauve or grayed pink often chosen for walls. June 24, 2016 at 4:13pm Reply

        • Victoria: Yes! I don’t like those either. June 30, 2016 at 3:18am Reply

      • Notturno7: I love the colors !! June 25, 2016 at 4:12am Reply

        • Victoria: I think that it wasn’t intentional, but I love the result anyway. June 30, 2016 at 3:22am Reply

  • Cynthia Lesiuk: I am loving this unusual shade of pink! More photos please! June 24, 2016 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Jackie Heslop: That is a truly beautiful pink.
    ….And a beautiful room, rich in history and devotion: the fact that your grandfather built it with only one leg and after all he and your grandmother had been through is truly moving and uplifting. Thank you for that. June 24, 2016 at 1:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Being here makes me feel that my great-grandparents are still around. June 30, 2016 at 3:10am Reply

  • Alicia: A room to read lyric poetry, or old folk tales with a peasant boy in love with a princess, a room to sing softly a Medieval ballad while embroidering mille fleurs. A room to smile, and dream. Happy dreams, Victoria. June 24, 2016 at 3:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: So beautiful, Alicia! You’re a poet. 🙂 June 30, 2016 at 3:10am Reply

  • Claire: It does have both Persian and Indian qualities: wonderful! Pink reflects so beautifully on skin. I had forgotten how beautiful pink walls could be. The ceiling border reminds me of the beautiful Indian ribbons and silk I saw in cases in Rajasthan, like gazing at delightful confectionary creations. June 24, 2016 at 3:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: Same here. Especially the vivid pinks like the ones popular in India. The best is when you get to a sari shop and see yards and yards of pink in different shades. June 30, 2016 at 3:14am Reply

  • Claire: When we did some remodeling to our 1920’s era house we discovered the same thing: Subtle and not so subtle settling over the years meant that few walls, windows, or ceilings made perfectly square angles. There were times you had to make visual choices! It was pretty crazy. We made jokes about the little crooked door in the little crooked house, etc. We did make some large adjustments, and I am a perfectionist in many areas, but for me many of the overall imperfections of age add charm and a depth of beauty I love. June 24, 2016 at 4:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: I used to be extremely particular about the right angles and properly closed cupboards. At someone’s house, if they had a cupboard door slightly ajar, I’d even get up to close it. A number of factors fixed this tendency: getting married in India, moving to another country for the second time and just growing older and more relaxed about things. But above all, it’s the realization that places have a spirit of their own, especially the old houses. They shape us even more than we shape them. Yours sounds wonderful. June 30, 2016 at 3:17am Reply

  • spe: Beautiful in its authenticity and simplicity. A cozy, sublime reading / writing. / thinking spot. Thank you for sharing. June 24, 2016 at 5:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s easy to write here. Or just dream. June 30, 2016 at 3:19am Reply

  • Annie O: I think we all wish your postcard was a portal so that we could pour ourselves into the room and look around, partaking of a place you’ve made us dream about. Old houses are really old souls, having a weight and a presence of whispers of times and people gone by. Our old family house is a favorite “room”, and if i am quiet, I can hear those whispers of the family ancients. What a loving touchstone . . . Thank you Victoria. Hugs to your Grandmother. June 24, 2016 at 10:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: You put it so well–old houses are really old souls. I also feel about them the same way. June 30, 2016 at 3:19am Reply

  • JoDee: I agree with the others. There is poetry in the details of this image. The dark frame, the bucolic picture, the joyful pink wall, the flowers and the simple white bed invite the viewer to daydream about the life lived in the room. And let’s not forget the light that seems to be pouring in from a window to the left of the image. So pretty! June 24, 2016 at 11:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re right–the light comes from the door and a small window. It’s diffused by the old, warped glass that gives it a soft quality. June 30, 2016 at 3:20am Reply

  • Kari: This looks like a glorious place to spend the summer. Such an inviting, warm pink with rustic charm. June 25, 2016 at 11:48am Reply

    • Victoria: A very spot on characterization–rustic and charming. June 30, 2016 at 3:22am Reply

  • Ann: Oh how lovely and inviting is that sweet bed! And the pink is so fresh and alive! June 25, 2016 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: And the bed is very soft. June 30, 2016 at 3:24am Reply

  • rainboweyes: The room is beautiful and it truly emanates happiness and serenity. I think a part of its beauty comes from the imperfection. I wish I had such a lovely summer reading retreat! I love this particular shade of pink which reminds me of raspberry sorbet… June 25, 2016 at 5:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: Raspberry sorbet is right! 🙂 Or rhubarb-strawberry jam. June 30, 2016 at 3:25am Reply

  • Mel: I love it. it’s a room to look forward to. Can you read in bed at night? b/c I don’t see a light. June 26, 2016 at 7:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: There is a bulb hanging from the ceiling, but it’s not in the frame. The light is strong enough for reading. June 30, 2016 at 3:28am Reply

  • Raquel: When you post pictures on IG I instantly recognize your beautiful room just because of this lovely pink color without reading Bois de Jasmin on the top. It has become a familiar shade of pink. June 26, 2016 at 11:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: A Bois de Jasmin pink. 🙂 June 30, 2016 at 3:29am Reply

  • Surbhi: Yes, this looks very much like rural rajasthan. Bed spread also resembles sheets and table cloths I had seen grandma’s attic. June 27, 2016 at 12:08am Reply

  • Lifestyle Lodestar: Beautiful rich pink colour, something about indian and persian designs that are so uplifting! June 27, 2016 at 5:33am Reply

  • Sara: There’s something so gorgeously bohemian about this room, is it just me? I love the influence of different cultures that bohemian decor tends to have and this just reminds me of that, even in it’s simplicity. Beautiful. June 27, 2016 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: It all came together slowly, but most of the interior is still the same as it used to be during my great-grandparents’ time. June 30, 2016 at 3:31am Reply

  • Aurora: What a charming room. It makes me think of the inside of a seashell. It must be wonderful to relax in it and I bet you sleep better in such a calm environment. Whenever I go to the countryside my sleeping patterns improve. June 28, 2016 at 5:48am Reply

    • Victoria: You know, I also have this feeling about it. It’s set slightly into the garden, away from the main house, so you can hear the sound of the wind in the cherry trees, birds, frogs and sometimes hedgehogs scratching against the walls. June 30, 2016 at 3:33am Reply

      • Victoria: Just remembered that occasionally there are visiting cats. June 30, 2016 at 3:45am Reply

  • Ayesha: Absolutely gorgeous pink. What shade is it??? Raspberry??? In such a slight tilt–the room gains its character. Love it:) July 1, 2016 at 11:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I have no idea how our painter came up with it, but we all think that it’s fantastic. July 1, 2016 at 1:02pm Reply

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