Refresh The City

lee refresh your city






Our world is a changing. Our cities getting old,

stunted under the weight of our collective crimes,

most untold.

Not a breath of fresh air, not any deserted acre nor hectare.

Fair greys and browns of bricks and mortar,

just kids indoors on a play-station,

a sport they’ve seen no other

It’s time don’t you think, to get up and care for our aging cities,

to make up for the commotion and hate we’ve caused.

It’s time don’t you think, to stop waiting for the self-made gods of our democracy,

to bring back the smiles we so long back lost.


Refresh the city, in association with Lee is a campaign to bring about awareness about how we need to start looking at the way we function in accordance with our cities and at those who are a step ahead of us in this game. As part of this initiative, I had the opportunity to meet a few people who are changing things, starting from their home turf. People, who with a conscious mind chose to re-use and refurbish, rather than buy new furniture. The charm that old furniture holds is refreshing, different from the regular slaughterhouse leather and brand new walnut wood that everyone gushes over like an insufferable goof.



Here are three people, who have done up their spaces in a way that is quite unusual but so easy on the eye.


Nilma + Abhineet and Varun Sharma, the quirky ideas and living spaces respectively. Some items may have gone missing in the process of the shoot, just to be found at my new home eventually.

nilma abhi 2


Nilma and Abhineet organise weddings, parties and plan events. But unlike most planners, they reuse and recycle old products and refurbish them into usable props.


One such wedding saw them with a client who wanted a herb wedding. They jumped at the chance and created an entire set-up which did away with flowers and used herbs instead.


How did the herb wedding happen? As a concept for a wedding, this is refeshing from what I’ve seen before!

The theme of the wedding was decided by the bride who worked in the food industry and it was her vision that we turned into a reality.”


They grew herbs in their garden for months before her wedding and finally used them on the big day. “We got an old barrel from a distillery, cut it in half and used it as a planter.”

Even the decor elements saw fresh lemons instead of flowers and jute to wrap in the saplings. Here are some images from the wedding.


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Photo Credits: Abhineet


When I met Nilma and Abhineet to discuss the idea of featuring them, what caught my eye was their home, all of it. Not just at work, they’ve even re-used pieces for their home. I couldn’t help but shoot the various corners of their home as well.layou final

Varun Sharma had a speaker that I saw at his work desk a while back. I hadn’t seen one like that before and asked him about it. Turns out, he makes sound amplifiers from bamboo, so his phone music can play much louder.


Even though he didn’t have those with him anymore, his house has so many do-it-yourself corners and I went ahead on quizzing him. I found that he has built his own beds, sofas and lamps from recycled materials he collected over the years. “It took me over 6 months to finish all the furniture, more so because the carpenter can build not design.” Old bottles, mic stands, briefcases, scrap wood, have all found a place of choice in Varun’s home. “I used old bottles, tiles and crates to build lamps, wall shelves and a bar.” 


“Each of the sofas can be dis-assembled and turned into beds and each of the double beds can be re-arranged into single beds and side tables.” Now here’s a refreshing take on what furniture for young individuals should look like. I could personally relate to this and found it fascinating, when I went furniture shopping my my 2 square foot home, I barely came across anything that I could carry by self or fold in to save space. I now wish I had seen his house earlier! “It’s a space that no furniture company addresses, furniture for the young unmarried soul with smaller homes.”

varun 1

layou final varun


Lee, is also running a contest called Refresh the city, in which you can participate too and win! I spotted the contest on their Facebook page

Wardrobe courtsey: Lee

Photos by Sindhur Reddy



take a bow

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