A 600 sq.ft apartment in Mumbai

Big things come in small packages. And in this case, extra small. 

Studio TAB architects were commissioned to redefine the spatial quality of a 600 sq.ft. home located in the heart of Mumbai. A home that has been standing for over two decades. A home that needed to keep up with the changing requirements of the family.  With meticulous planning, they made room for a 2 BHK by redesigning this apartment that is beautiful and maximizes every sq. foot of the space.

Architect Antara says,

We stripped down the house to its shell and then began layering it with compact zoning. Shredding the concept of dedicated space for each function, we instead adopted a multi-functional approach that helps adapt each space to various functions over the course of the day.

Working on a shoestring budget, we aimed at adopting reclaimed and local materials largely without comprising comfort and usability. Tight budgets also give way to innovation. We used all the extra plaster pigments available at our studio, to create a stellar ombre wall in the master bedroom!

All along, we stayed true with the ethos of the wonderful residents- a music lover, a sitar player, seafood chef, sports lover and our favourite of all – Lola, the friendly Labrador. 

About the project:

Location: Andheri -Mumbai

Year built: 2020

Size: 600 sq ft

Type : 2 BHK apartment

Designed by: Ar Rahul Das Menon and Ar Ojas Chaudhari of Studio TAB Architects and Interiors 

Project lead designers: Ar Antara Jha & Ar Abdul Kadir Habib

Photograph courtesy for the images:  Nayan Soni Photography

Budget: 25 Lakhs

Architect Abdul continues,

Having been invited to their old place for dinner to discuss the project and in between the smooth single malt, Kerala fish curry, melodious soul stirring sitar session and Lola cuddling near us, we were sold to take up the project.

After all, it’s not every day we get to design for a family with so many passions brewing.

A Warm Foyer

A distressed wood finish door welcomes you into the house. The architect created a series of spaces looking into each other to enhance the visual depth.

Foyer of a 600 sq.ft. apartment in Mumbai

Living Room with Minimal Walls

A living room with minimal walls is what we all endorsed for this project. 

The living room encompasses within it a TV viewing zone and an informal zone without a barrier demarcation. The TV viewing zone is a palette of ocean blue & white brick walls and an eye catching pastel pink couch. The pink couch adds the right amount of dash to the space.

A close friend said, “You don’t always see a pink couch”. To which we replied, “We don’t always meet such clients either”.

The TV zone and informal zone are stitched together by the ocean blue walls and rustic live edge wood panels. These live edge wood panels are reclaimed wood and have been used to serve as ledges and counters.

Redesigned Living room of a 600 sq.ft. apartment in Mumbai

The L shaped diwan seating serves as a multifunctional seating zone for congregation, sitar sessions and a cozy reading nook.  They add oodles of rustic charm to the space. The informal zone is an interesting play of space. The live edge wood ledges framework encompasses a raised diwan seating. This seating accommodates spaces for resting the sitar underneath and below which are shoe baskets.

Formal living room overlooking the dining room. Renovated 600 sq.ft apartment in Mumbai.

A Versatile Kitchen Befitting for a Chef

The kitchen is compact, fully loaded one. “Owing to the tight nature of the space and our lady chef’s long list of requirements, we had to make sure we utilize every little nook optimally.”, reminisces the architect.

To minimize the mass quotient of the kitchen storages, we introduced fluted glass shutters. The under counter storage is designed with MS frame works. Within each frame, the client can pick and choose which storage module can slide within. None of the under counter storages are fixed and thus gives a flexibility to plug, add and play as needed. 

A breakfast nook and bar in the 600 sq.ft apartment in Mumbai.
A nook in the kitchen.
 A terrazzo counter top + bottle green ceramic tiles add the required freshness to the kitchen. ever nook is made used of in this kitchen.
A terrazzo counter top + bottle green ceramic tiles add the required freshness to the kitchen

Master Bedroom in Refreshing Shades of Blue

The chequered glass and wood panel door leads one into the master bedroom. The first thing one notices on entering this space is the stunning ombre wall. This wall has been one of our DIY exercises. We are big fans of lime plaster colour pigments. So much so that over the course of a year, we had accumulated a large inventory of these pigments.

When this project came by and since budget was a constraint, we thought of using most of our inventory in creating something delightful. Armed with long hours of Youtube learning and hyper-ventilating enthusiasm, we invested a weekend in getting this wall up. The end result is something we are head over heels with. 

The rest of the room is a play of muted, natural tones. Cane mat wardrobe shutters and similar adaptation on the bed completes the space. This is also the room for our favourite Lola. To help her paws grip on the floor, the flooring is a hardwood floor. On the far corner of the room, is the little place of worship. A humble setting made out of bamboo mat and MS bars. 

An ombre blue wall in the master bedroom -a DIY experiment that became a stunner using lime pigments.
An ombre blue wall -a DIY experiment that became a stunner using lime pigments.
Shades of blue in the master bedroom.
Shades of blue in the master bedroom.

A Guest Bedroom That Comes Alive With The Sounds of Music

In similar vein to the master bedroom, is the guest bedroom, albeit a little smaller. To make up for the scarcity of space, this room has a foldable mattress bed that serves as a diwan seating during the day and a double bed at night. Sid’s sitar practice sessions happen here. This room is a simple juxtaposition of minimalism and wood.

A foldable mattress that serves as diwan seating during the day
A foldable mattress that serves as diwan seating during the day
A compact arrangement to make up for the small spatial footprint.
A compact arrangement to make up for the small spatial footprint.

The use of reclaimed wood is seen throughout. The flooring is rustic grey tiles to create a contrast to the other materials and also to help give Lola the perfect grip while walking. The lighting is largely indirect. Very little ceiling lights are used. Most of the lights are wall lights and floor lamps.

The house celebrates raw beauty. We never desired to achieve perfection but instead worked towards retaining the natural tones and textures of each and every material. Each material has its own distinct touch, feel and sight. We chose to respect it. 

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