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MUMBAI

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Siddharth Kothari shares this 3-bedroom, 2,000 sq. feet apartment in Mumbai with his parents, Pradip and Nila. Yes, you read it right. In Marine Drive, Mumbai. I wouldn’t be surprised if your jaws dropped on seeing the square footage. They have called this space their home for more than five decades. Needless to say, the home in its earlier avatar was crying for restoration and a style upgrade to keep up with the times. Livspace worked on the renovation of entryway, living, dining, kitchen, puja room, and the powder room. The before pictures would have made us appreciate the makeover.…

“Give me the blues to drive away the blues”. Said who? Me, of course. Blue for me symbolizes positivity. And, here’s a home that celebrates this exuberant color in its various hues, tints, and shades; add a Moroccan touch to it and you can assured of a stunner. This 2-bedroom, 1000 sq.ft Mumbai apartment with three balconies belongs to the Magos, and has been designed by Livspace. The apartment elevates blue to another level incorporating it everywhere from furnishings and wall color to furniture and artwork. Key takeaways from this project: Make space when there is no space: space need…

What are one’s choices for using a 150-sq.ft room? If you are imaginative, it can be multi-utilitarian: a study by day, guest room when you have guests, entertainment room by night.  The choices are endless when you flex your creative muscles as Sandesh Prabhu proves with this brilliant transformation of a study room in Mumbai. When it comes to interior projects, there are few things as exciting as a makeover project. The novelty that before/after pictures bring is unparalleled. Sadly enough, I couldn’t get the before picture for this makeover. But that shouldn’t stop us from deconstructing the constituents of…

If only looks could kill, I’d be dead right now. Yes, good design makes me go weak. And with a foyer as gorgeous as this, wonder what drama lies behind those arched niches. Presenting to you today the first home tour of this year. This home called “The Urban Retreat” is conceptualized and executed by Mumbai-based multi-disciplinary firm, Zero9. Just when you think you have seen all there is to see on teeny-tiny spaces, comes along one like this that takes you completely by surprise. About the project: Location : Juhu, Mumbai (western suburbs) Design Team : ZERO9 Prashant Chauhan…

Wondering where this beach house is? Want to know the name of the resort? Sorry to disappoint you. It is a 3000 sq.ft apartment on the 14th floor of a modern building in Mumbai . No, not Goa. It was one Friday night a few weeks ago when I was shortlisting furniture for our new home, when this designer’s portfolio caught my attention. Furniture short-listing went out the window and visual treat ensued for the next hour. That’s how I discovered Richa Bahl’s work. Most of her projects have all the characteristics to stand out from a hundred others. Her portfolio…

rafters

Discarded plywood as rafters on the ceiling; cement base seating in the living with sparkling white cushions for comfort peppered with blue pillows; open kitchen with a vertical herb garden; white walls interspersed with cool blue, minty green and the warmness of red in right measures. Already dreaming of a vacation in some remote island off the coast of Spain or Mediterranean? Well, this teaser of an image is right here in Mumbai.

Welcome to the Jains’ upcycled home, as featured in the July issue of GoodHomes. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve drooled over these images and shown to every person who has a remote interest in interiors. This is the best home tour I’ve seen in a long time, and I hope you’d agree. If you’d like to read the full story, grab a copy.

My respect for the Jain’s and Sehool Kapashi is tremendous today because of the harmony seen in this home. As someone going though the process of designing our home currently, I understand what it takes to find the right designer, conveying your vision, for the designer to be able to appreciate and execute it is no mean task. And this, for one, is not a run-of-the-mill home. It stands out enough for us to take notice and cheer.

I’ve featured a few designers in the past whose work we loved and appealed to our design sensibilities: deCode, Kaizad Dinshaw, Ayaz Basrai. Today, let us tour a high-rise residence in Mumbai designed by yet another talented duo: the Ashleys. How often have you looked at a picture and wondered: is it paint or wallpaper, what material is that? This home tour is different because it describes in great detail the materials used: be it for the partition, the head board, the wall cladding etc.

The 800 sq feet space spread on the 16th floor at Bandra, Mumbai; is a 2BHK apartment that breaks open to the alluring vastness of the sea. The first meeting with this client was elated when they spelt out the brief saying “We want to design our house as the Company’s Signature Style.”  The sea, as we know, gives an Impression of vastness, meditative, yet so energetic. Our project design too speaks a similar style through its detailing in simplicity.

Years ago, when we bought our first house, the thought of using the services of an interior designer never crossed our minds. Young, in our early 20s, perhaps the only thought on my mind was to just move into a house. If the space was functional and livable, it more than served the purpose than deal with an intimidating houseowner.

Who thought about aesthetics, space utilization, study, pooja, or color coordination? One night, I remember sitting on the floor by the door of our 2-bedroom rented home and complaining to my husband the project we had undertaken so early in life. With him traveling, the exhaustion of a full-time job, going around town looking for floor tiles on a scooty, and getting them transported across town caught up with me.

Fast forward to 2014. This week, for the most part, I’ve been sifting through pictures from the portfolios of interior designers. Anything that swept me off my feet? I wouldn’t be honest if I said yes.  But, may be that’s just me because I don’t like garish interiors with too much wood, false ceiling, a lot of accessories and such. But, there was one that stood out distinctly from over hundreds of images. I’m being methodical for a change with this project: going room by room looking at pictures and portfolios of interior designers. Coincidentally, the first picture I clicked for every room belonged to the same person: the Banerji residence designed by deCode architecture.

DeCoDe Architecture is a multi-disciplinary design practice specializing in architecture and interior design consultancy. With over 10 years of professional experience working for various offices in New York City and Bombay, the partners in the practice follow the adage: Keep it simple.

I’ll let you see the pictures and decide if I was biased in my judgement.

decode architecture - interior designer mumbai

Here are snippets of my conversation with Meghna and Prashant, the founders of deCode:

Personally, what drew me to your work even while scanning hundreds of pictures was the clean color palette, not over-the-top, minimal design. I noticed some recurring colors and themes as well: rocking chair, touches of aqua wall color, wood not being the focus point of a room yet there is enough storage. Correct me if I’m wrong. So, what is your design philosophy?

We follow the adage: Keep it simple. Our work  tends to be quiet, subtle and subdued putting the focus on the experience rather than the expense. We tend to design functional spaces that are free of physical and visual clutter. Our belief is that a home should be comfortable and a container for memories, light, space and art.

Ethnic elements - decode architecture

decode architecture - interior designer bombay

Good Morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you happen to flip through the pages of GoodHomes’ March edition? The Real Home section featured Ramya, Anand and their son Aditya’s 1450 sq.ft Mumbai apartment. All that had to be said has been brilliantly captured by Pia Sinha. I’ll let these two pictures decide whether you should grab a copy or not. If you liked this home, I bet you will like the Jains’ 1,800 sq. ft upcycled home as well. It was featured in Good Homes. Image courtesy: BBC Good Homes India March ’13 Edition

My son remarked this afternoon, “mamma, how does Google know all the answers?”  I replied, “yes, it does, provided you ask the right questions.” The past decade or so has made us believe that we can have all the answers in a click from supernova explosions to a drug prescribed by a hematologist to what’s so fascinating about a beluga whale; it has given us the confidence to experiment, get our hands dirty from carpentry to coding.

But, I believe certain things in life are best left to experts. Because their expertise in the field takes your breath away, even if only for a moment, it’s worth it. So, as much as I advocate DIY, I’m also an ardent fan of the professionals who know their work best. Here, we are talking of interior designers.

The Orange Lane is one such firm in Mumbai run by Shabnam Gupta. Her portfolio is incredibly impressive/creative in execution from the commercial ones to vast houses to studio apartments and bachelor pads.

Minus words, plus pictures – to take your breath away.