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A three-seater arm chair and two single armchairs by Pierre Jeanneret made out of old Burma reclaimed teak wood take the center stage in the living room. The natural materials give a sense of calm and reminsicence of yester years.

SML Architects has designed this 720 sq.ft two-bedroom apartment in Mumbai for a family of three. There a number of striking things about the home that keeps you riveted: the distinctive grey ceiling to begin with, the cane chairs, subtle use of powder pink in all the rooms, the monochromatic paintings, and finally the restraint with which this project has been executed.

Simplicity is often misunderstood for minimalism. But, I personally find it the most difficult thing to achieve — to know when to step back and give a space a sophisticated look. This, in turn, means that a lot of thought has to go in to every object in the room from the choice of colors and texture of furnishing to the wood used for furniture. After a long time, here is a project that got me excited. And, I’m sure it will do the same for you, too.

I’m going to exercise restraint in describing and let the pictures do the talking initially.

About the project:

Who lives here: Mr.Rajesh Samant with his wife and their 20-year old son

Location: Malad, Mumbai

Year built: 2019

Size: sq feet : 720 sq.ft. or 66 sq.mts carpet area

Type: 2 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms

Designed by: SML Architects

Photograph courtesy for the images: Sameer Tawde

Budget: 24 Lakhs

Layout of the home:

When one enters the house through the main door, one notices the dining space straight up. On entering, on the left is the living space of the house. Further ahead, on entering the passage on the left is the kitchen and on the right is the common bathroom/ powder room.

After walking further ahead in the passage, straight up is the sons bedroom and on the left is the master bedroom with attached bathroom.

Living + Dining

All of these items are tied together on the floor by a large rug made out of hemp.
 In the middle is a river finished black granite center table floating above the ground. A gallery wall of prints of cassette recorder, gramophone, camera, and typewriter is a gentle reminder of the years gone by, and a subtle reinforcement of the design aesthetics of those years.
On the window side of the 3 seater armchair is a large 7’ tall ficus plant. that adds a touch of green.
A closer look at the cane chairs.
The dining table is made up of reclaimed  Burma teak wood frame painted black and flame finished black granite table top.  The chairs are the iconic mid-century ‘Wishbone Chair’ by Hans Wegner.

Son’s Bedroom

Son’s room: Single bed on one side of the room and a study table on the opposite side of the bed. The wardrobe shutters made up of old reclaimed Burma teak wood frame with flutted glass infill.
Son’s room: The use of flutted glass for the large surface of the shutters adds a level of transparency and depth in the otherwise compact room. Large semi circular hand crafted wardrobe shutter door handles were finished with natural matt polish to reveal the natural grain of the wood.
A closer look at the headboard detailing and powder pink side table.

Master Bedroom

Teak frame headboard of the bed with handmade rope infill.
Behind the headboard are open shelves filled with books in an alcove acting as a library.
A closer look at the headboard.
A closer look at the wardrobe shutters made of Burram teak again. The wardrobe is made up of fixed horizontal louvers and a recessed wardrobe shutter handle carved out of the shutter frame.
The wardrobe shutters are fitted with large semicircular door handles made of Buram teak wood. The natural matte polish lets the natural grain of the wood shine through.
A minimalist study table by the window takes advatnage of the natural light streaming in through the windows. A set of monochrome paintings and a powder-pink tripod lamp complete the look.

Crafted from Shahabad stone and reclaimed burma teak in combination with either cane, rope or fluted glass, this compact family house utilizes its limited area to create spaces of tranquility, encased from the bustling city around. The intimate scale of the spaces allows attentive focus on the details and surfaces.


Designed for a family of three, each room of this house adapts to its inhabitants in a way that is both versatile and intimate. Overlooking a dense garden, this family house opens its windows to the landscape below and the skyline of Mumbai down the hill beyond.

The social spaces are arranged to offer casual comfort for daily use and generous hospitality during gatherings with friends and family. Its furnished with a combination of bespoke hand crafted pieces and iconic mid-century pieces designed by masters like Hans Wegner and Pierre Jeanneret. Bedooms are detailed with custom made furniture including floating beds with rope and teak frame headboard, wardrobe surfaces, door handles and storage cabinets.

From the initial meetings the architect had with the client, it became clear that they led a very simple life. This became the starting point for the design of the house and also selection of the materials. The clients were extremely open in letting the architects set the brief for the project. Unlike other clients in Mumbai, this family didn’t require a lot of storage space in the house. 

 The approach to design for this house was to achieve a sense of tranquillity in the home,           encased from the bustling city around with clean lines, simple design and natural materials.

When asked about the most challenging aspect of the project, the architect says, “

Practicing restraint. There’s a thin line between a little under, just enough and a bit much. And the attempt, is to always hit the balance and that for us was the most challenging aspect of the design of this house.

Resources:

Lights: Throughout the house, there are concealed spotlights of 9W which becomes the general lighting design for the house. Above the dining table are pendant lights. Table lamp for the side table in the master bedroom and on the study table in the son’s bedroom.

Paints: Asian paints – white colour on the walls throughout the house. Grey colour on the ceiling which binds the project together.

Furnishings: Natural handwoven cotton custom dyed (in pale pink and grey colours).

Sofas: Pierre Jeanneret Office Teak and Cane Armchairs (3-seater and 1-seater)

Dining table: The dining table is made up of reclaimed  Burma teak wood frame painted black and flame finished black granite table top, made on site by our inhouse team.

Flooring tiles: Shahabad (locally found limestone)

Rugs: Natural hemp rug from Akara Rugs

Furniture in living/family room: All handmade by our inhouse team.

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