When I was planning my trip to India, it was entirely out of curiosity to experience a place I had never visited before.
My friend Naina Shah was all for it. She has a couture embroidery atelier in Mumbai and, along with her husband Abhishek Honwar, owns the gorgeous boutique hotel 28Kothi in the heart of Jaipur. At that time they were also working on a new hotel called The Johri and asked me for advice on the bed linens. It was an incredibly serendipitous offer (and opportunity) that I couldn't resist. I booked my tickets for March 9th, 2020...and of course, my plans were halted by the overwhelming spread of Covid-19. India shut down, America shut down - just as the Johri was about to open and I was about to sleep in the sheets I designed.
Luckily, there is such a thing as modern-day photography.
One look through the gorgeous Johri Jaipur’s Instagram page and you’ll see, no doubt, that it is a hotel of particularly lovely charm: one that blends and bolsters its rich historical and cultural history with eye-catching pastels, leafy palm trees, and ornate stenciled designs. It’s the perfect backdrop for someone’s soon-to-be honeymoon, vacation, or much-needed weekend away — and the bedding, I realized, would be an integral part of the time that was spent there.
We started with the practical things first. Planning bedding for a hotel is different than planning bedding for your family — you have to keep in mind that room residents will change weekly, if not daily, so bed sheets are sure to undergo constant washing, you have to keep in mind that washing, even of the most high quality of sheets, will eventually wear the bedding down, and you have to keep in mind that the accents people love to use to evoke luxury, such as extravagant frills or flange, will simply not retain their shape and vibrancy for as long as they should after daily washing no matter how gentle the cycle claims to be.
In the end, we went for a simple, more delicate type of sheeting. Made in India, slightly off-white, and with a single swooping line of embroidery flowing through to the pillowcases and duvet, it seemed to me the perfect complement to the hotel’s scalloped arches and the perfect juxtaposition to the hotel’s walls and walls of printed, patterned decor. The simplicity served another purpose as well: in some rooms, a single king bed could be converted into two twin beds — with a simple sheeting design, all it took to remake the separated beds was a quick switch of a duvet. It’s turned out to be quite a well done final product, if I do say so myself — even in photos, I can’t help but think that it’s one incredibly inviting looking bed, sure to comfort and caress after a long day of exploration and adventure.
So, if you happen to be planning a trip to India within the upcoming months, please feel free to step in and visit the stunning Johri Jaipur Hotel. Take in the sultry air, fill up on the delicious food, and then, once you’ve exhausted yourself of all there is to see and do in Jaipur, head upstairs and sleep on the expertly crafted, Stella designed sheeting.