This beautiful house in Cuffe Parade, designed by Molt Design Studio, proves that a warm, luxurious home can be built using non-fussy materials, and some smart use of colours.
The brief that Molt Design Studio, led by designer Radhika Jobanputra, had for this home in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, was fairly straightforward – the family wanted a space that was simple and clean-lined yet luxurious. But the simplest of demands can hide many a subtle hint within.
The inhabitants of this flat, like in most families, were set apart by many years in age, and so naturally, in inclinations towards colours and aesthetics as well. No wonder then that the design team took great care in selecting the hue and shape of everything that went into this house. In spite of the divergent demands, the result has still been of a cohesive and uniformly warm house; something that satisfied the ‘ask’ totally.
The tenor of this home is very Indian, with mild flourishes of external inspirations brought in to break the neutrality. Right near the door is a long passage whose highlight is an ethereal corner with a golden metal panel sporting lotus and holy cow motifs. Soft white light fills this column, and on the floor is a font for flowers, to help send out slender colour streams up the shiny wall.
In deference to the family’s demands, the colour tone of the house, especially on the walls, is devoid of any loud hues. All is mostly neutral white and beige brought alive by white light. This whiteness is countered by bright frames, as is evident in the drawing room. This large space’s effect is of slickness, with the couches and the chairs standing in planned perfection. In the midst of this geometric co-ordination are large wall hangings, side tables with interesting, non-uniform shapes, and a black shiny centre-table graced with a supine foliage motif.
This subtle balance of the traditional and the bold marks the character of the whole house. The dining area joins into the drawing room at one end, and is accented by more wall hangings, though this time not as colour-soaked. The dining chair cushions are an unusual pink here, and even more unusual is the presence of a low bench created out of an antique wooden panel. Hovering above this space is a bell-shaped beauty of a lamp.
The kitchen too ascribes to the low-on-frills, but high-on-substance ethos. It is filled with clean, wooden drawers and cabinets, and the de rigueur granite table top. But this regularity is swept away in the middle by a chequered wall detail made of shiny red tiles. Again, on display is the need to add that wee bit of pizzazz in an otherwise disciplined spread of familiar things.
The bedrooms belonging to the daughter and the son of the family had to have their own distinct characters. So the team went about playing with the popularly established pink-and-blue and stripes-and-flowers divide in gender sensibilities.
The daughter’s room is pop-artish in colour leanings, and also has the floral detailing of a hippie hangout. This charming space’s totems are its funky chair with its cushion sporting swirling prints and the slime green side-table that looks slender and edgy at the same time.
The wallpaper is emblazoned with flowers; there is that signature lamp of probable antiquity hanging near the curtains; and a wicker basket on the floor for utilitarian purposes.
The son’s room on the other hand is more modernist, with geometric shapes peppered around it. The wallpaper on one wall is interesting, with blue-white-brown horizontal stripes as details. The show-stealer though is the pale green book shelf that seems to take after the shape of a prickly plant in a desert. The settee here is a lovely sky blue, and even the rug is colourful.
The small size of the bathroom here posed a challenge to the design team. But the best way to make a small space distinctive is to add sparks of radically contrasting details – here this is achieved by juxtaposing the plain white walls with an electric blue wash basin and a door.
By carefully placing lamps and furniture pieces around, the design team has walked the fine line between warmth and luxury. The ultimate reward is that this residence in Mumbai manages to look classy without compromising on comfort, or individuality.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Pankaj Anand