My Favorite Room: Tiya Sircar brings Texas and India to her living room

"It feels like different parts of my life all put together in a mishmash," the Texas-raised actress, whose parents are from India, says of her living room.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
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In actress Tiya Sircar’s Hollywood Hills living room, Texas and India merge to create a unique design style reminiscent of home.

An open archway leads to this sunny enclave, revealing a conglomeration of objects and art including gold armadillos, a longhorn-skull bowl and various depictions of the Hindu deity Shiva, mirroring Sircar’s bicultural upbringing.

“My parents are from India, and I grew up in Arlington, Texas — so both backgrounds bring their own aesthetic sensibility,” said Sircar, who stars in ABC’s new series “Alex, Inc.” “It feels like different parts of my life all put together in a mishmash in one room.”


This diverse mode of decorating is itself a family tradition inspired by her parents, both professors.

“My friends used to joke and call my parents’ house the Sircar Museum — not because it was fancy but because there were beautiful things from our travels on display everywhere,” she said. “I’ve kind of adopted that.”

Sircar purchased the 1,500-square-foot Hollywood Hills hideaway at the end of last year and finished renovations in March.

Why is this your favorite room?

It’s the room I spend the most time in and feels the most me. It’s got bright colors, which I love, and lots of plants, which I love but hope to not kill. It just feels nice and lived-in, comfortable and at home.

What first attracted you to this space when you purchased it?


Definitely the archway to the living room and the wall of built-ins. And I loved the Brazilian cherry-wood floors.

What were some of the main things you changed?

The whole house was painted head to toe in a sallow yellow circa 1971, so I went with a cool, grayish-white instead. For the living room built-ins, I got rid of a couple of shelves and redesigned it so I can sneakily hide away the things I don’t want everyone to see but added the glass cabinet doors to display everything else.

You have some very interesting artifacts and art in here. Where do you collect most of them?

Practically everything in this room holds a memory from my travels or back home. There’s the mosaic lantern from Istanbul, an Indonesian version of Shiva that I bought for my parents in Bali (they prefer the traditional Indian version and told me to keep it), a replica of a Ming Dynasty vessel bought in Singapore and a thangka, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting from a trip to the Himalayas.


How has being an environmentalist and animal-rights advocate affected your design choices?

I don’t do fur, but I love the look, so I use faux alternatives like the chair cushion and rug. I would never be able to ethically put the bust of an actual animal on my wall, so the silver deer bust is a nice eco-friendly alternative. I feel good about it; I like the funky look, and it adds an unusual element.

What’s your most cherished possession in here?

It’s a piece from India called a Nataraja, which is the depiction of Shiva as the lord of the dance. It’s special to me for two reasons: one, I’m a dancer and I’ve been doing Indian dance since I was 2½. Dance is super-important in my family — my mom was a dancer, and my first teacher and choreographer. And, second, it belonged to my grandfather.



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