An urban residence by Shabnam Gupta where each space within it has been designed to tell a different story.
“Each project has its own challenges and excitement. For me, the ideal situation is when the environment is charged and the focus is on design. That’s when I come up with my best work,” says Shabnam Gupta, chief architect of The Orange Lane Design Studio.
The Bombay residence designed by the team at Orange Lane echoes her sensibilities completely. Says Shabnam, “This space is home to a young family – a working couple with young kids so it had to be child-friendly. At the same time, they like to socialise and wanted their home to be a space where they could entertain.”
The design concept of the Bombay house has accommodated both these needs effortlessly. The entrance is stunning, created to evoke a ‘wow’ from the visitor. The antique gold walls of the entrance foyer combined with the light from the chandelier create a warm sheen. The metal and glass chandelier created by renowned artist Arzan Khambatta was specially commissioned for this spot. A stone statuette of Buddha completes the Zen-like ambience that has been conceptualised for this area.
The couple possesses an impressive art collection and was keen that their home showcases the same adequately. Keeping this in mind, the design element in the living room plays the second lead to the art that occupies the walls. The beige furnishings too become a part of the canvas except for some cushions and one pouffe which has been upholstered in a fabric reminiscent of the prints on Turkish kilims.
The dining section of the living area is dominated by the dining table crafted out of one piece of solid wood. The long wooden bench instead of chairs at the dining table lends an outdoorsy touch to a house within the dense cityscape.
The light fixture, above the dining table, was fashioned in-house with old brass bars and candle-shaped bulbs and gives a surreal touch to this space. “The metal legs of the wooden chairs and table along with the lamp imparts an edge to the understated elegance of the rest of the living area,” adds Shabnam.
The powder bathroom is one of her favourite spaces in the house. Different elements come together to create a dramatic visual. Himachal stone has been used to achieve a raw look. The look is enhanced by green metal lamps; light filters through the perforated design, and creates a play of shadow and light on the walls.
The brick wall and jail-like folding door gives it a rustic touch, different from the rest of the house. The folding door helps include or exclude this room from the rest of the living space based on need.
An interesting feature in the den is the storage cabinet above the desk. Names of cities have been etched and hand-painted on to wooden slats that have been inserted into the niches. Many niches remain empty; to be filled as the family explores more parts of the world. “The clients love to travel and we wanted this to be reflected in the den,” Shabnam explains.
The bedrooms are both distinct. The master bedroom is sparse and uncluttered. The colour palette is muted; the furnishings and art on the wall bring in some colour. The focal point here is the towering headboard which brings in an eclectic streak in the otherwise subtle décor. The children’s bedroom, on the other hand, is fun and lively. Their wardrobe is made up of hand-painted panels, each of which depicts a different scene.
Shabnam lists this as one of the projects she most enjoyed working on. She says, “I had worked with these clients on many projects earlier, so there was camaraderie and trust. Our tuning contributed to the easy flow in the work. Ask her about her design philosophy and she says it’s quite simple, “Hire a professional and then leave it to him.”
Text By Himali Kothari
Photographs Rajeshwar Mande