This Mumbai apartment is testimony to the power of imagination and space management – the designer has used inexpensive materials to create an elegant and ornate space that still retains pockets of cosy privacy.
This is one room that belies all perceptions. With its carefully constructed regal look and brilliant manoeuvring of light and shadows, it will make it easy to believe that it had a generous budget at its disposal. But this master bedroom, built for a newly-married couple, is the smart product of customised furniture pieces made from mostly inexpensive materials.
When Mumbai-based designer Noorein Jumani was handed this assignment, she took a few essential details to heart and stuck by them with determined tenacity – the couple had a strong leaning towards elegance, and their 350 sq ft room in Colaba had to stand testament to this commitment. “I wanted to build a mini castle; I was going for a classic look as opposed to a modern one,” says Jumani. The end product has turned out to be just what she and her team had set out to achieve.
The owners’ ambition was to turn this typical house in a space-crunched city into an example of a luxurious suite. They wanted a posh look, and Jumani designed with this one purpose in mind everything from the curtains to the linen to the bathroom. Most of what went into making the room was built on site, and very few items were bought ready-made. This was coupled with imaginative contouring and accenting. A column in the middle of the room could have made for an irksome obstruction, but it was used to create two small rooms within one, and the interiors to mirror each other.
The room’s regal appeal is in its colour tone, enhanced by the chandeliers and other lamps. The embellishments were all picked up from not big and fancy stores but from accessible chor bazaars. It is to the team’s credit that the ultimate effect is so good that the source does not matter, and will surely not be questioned. The wooden floor, made of teak wood, was built on site, and the designer chose to work with Dholpur or mint stone instead of marble to make sure the budget and sensibilities were not tampered with.
Every furniture piece was built in Jumani’s workshop. The wooden wardrobe is beautifully accented with glass with crunched cotton cloth (bought at Crawford market) backdrops.
The room is a happy swirling vortex of the herringbone design and jali work, of coy floral prints and delicate sheers. There are cornices on the ceiling, and all the linen in the space has been carefully picked to complement the main design plan. Each light used can be commandeered on dimmers, suiting the mood of the occupants. “I believe in using different accessories to accentuate furniture,” says Jumani.
The side tables better reflect the mix of designs that were squeezed into the room. These low furniture totems are all pleated fabrics and golden legs, French tufting and some tassels – overall make a statement of being inspired by the old but are tailored by the designer to fit in with the new. “If you see, this room is not just Indian classic, it is Indian with a blend of French,’ Jumani affirms.
The bathroom, though small, doesn’t break the revelry of the main room. Shining in an efficient white and golden light, it is both cosy and luxurious. Mini chandeliers light up this space as well, while a bath tub occupies one whole corner with aplomb. A lot of glass, a gold Eurobond ceiling, customised brass handles, and sweeps of Australian marble make this space superbly regal in look.
It is obvious that Jumani, 25, relies heavily on instinct. But this instinct is driven by a sharp eye for detailing and loving concern for comfort. The frames of the doors in this room go beyond the borders, making them look larger than life. This is one detail that no owner would be able to demand, but it is delivered nevertheless.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Courtesy The Designer