Creative Connections: Karthik Vaidyanathan

I am back with a new Creative Connections post!

My first interaction with Karthik Vaidyanathan was way back in 2009 when I received a mail from him about a query related to our Bangalore penthouse home. He was in the process of doing up his own new home in a traditional style.

Few weeks later he sent me photographs of his new home which was featured in Rang Decor Readers Creative Spaces and till date remains on of the most popular posts on the blog.

Karthik Vaidyanathan works in the broadband and cable television industry but with great passion for interior design and Indian crafts. 
His home showcased his Chettinad heritage and the inclusion of various traditional crafts of India.

Soon Varnam, his creative venture took shape in the form of home decor accessories made of traditional hand-loom fabrics. 
Over the next few years he found his true calling in working with the artisans of Channapatna, a small town few hours from Bangalore which is known for it's wooden toys and lacquer work.

Varnam's philosophy, ' VARNAM (colours) is an ode to colourful India. Our attempt has been to bring our own aesthetic sensibilities and design philosophy to traditional crafts. The idea is to reorient our crafts to the modern context by ensuring that each design has a utilitarian value and thereby relevant today. There is a constant dialogue with our artisans on current market trends in terms of finish, utilitarian value, attention to detail, etc.  In doing so, we hope to enhance the sense of pride amongst our master crafts-people for their skill and ensure that these crafts continue to thrive. '

Today Varnam has a flagship store in a beautiful lush neighbourhood of Indiranagar in Bangalore and is a social enterprise interpreting the 200-year-old Channapatna toy-making craft in the home and lifestyle, women’s accessories space, giving tradition a contemporary twist.

My Creative Connection with Karthik happened over time while watching him make progress in this creative journey and his sincere attempt to promote a dying Indian craft.

Of all the years I lived in Bangalore I did not get an opportunity to meet him but as luck would have it, last year when I visited India, I decided to make a quick stop at his store and meet him.
So here is a store tour of sorts.

Kolam painted at the entrance welcomed me in…

Oh yes, we smiled a lot!


Beautiful carved details.

Some clever display of Channapatna knobs…

Owl Book ends

The best-selling Lacqer work bangles and cuffs. Inbam Series


Hanging lamps in vibrant colours.

Karthik's latest range of bow ties.

Goobie Night Lamp.

Meet Mr. Karthik Vaidyanathan.

Some interesting organisation in the store.

Flowers adding beauty everywhere.



Varnam has won many prestigious awards like the Kyoorius Design Awards 2013 in Design Craft and Packaging, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Design Excellence award for its ‘Oinkston tableware’ series 2013 and the CII Design Excellence award for visual communication and packaging 2014.
Award winning packaging design!

It was great to relive the memories of catching up with Karthik and taking you all on this colourful tour of his store.


Varnam has a whole range of new products and events coming up, so do connect with them on their Website Varnam
Varnam on Facebook
colorsofvarnam on Instagram

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)

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