Two 2BHK apartments in North Mumbai have been cleverly diced, spliced and niced-up to meet a multitude of needs for a family of four.
You may argue all you like about Mumbai’s exploding population, its crumbling infrastructure and its growing mountains of filth; but once smitten, you too will brave all these and more for the opportunity to live and work in India’s most vibrant and business-charged metro.
Like the Kazi family, for instance, which recently met the skyrocketing real estate prices in Versova to acquire the adjoining 2BHK apartment in their building to add to their existing 2BHK apartment. Left with only a modest sum to carry out the civil work and interiors, the family approached Rushda Hamid and Rishita Das of Design Office to help re-organise and design their newfound space.
With an area of 1,300 sq.ft. at hand, the Kazis were keen to reserve 800 sq.ft. as a 3BHK apartment for themselves and utilise the balance 1BHK apartment, as a rent-generating investment. On the face of it, the brief appeared clear-cut and basic, though to quote Rushda Hamid, “The building structure and placement of columns made this an uphill task.”
Then there was also the unfailing request by the lady of the house to create lots of storage and then some more; to create ample space for guests; separate bedrooms for both the children and three attached bathrooms no less. All this in 800 sq.ft.! But who better than a Mumbai-based interior design firm to empathise with big dreams in small spaces.
Espousing the form-follows-function maxim, the design team took the straight path to practical design and offered the Kazis tidy, compact and comfortable interiors. Says Rushda, “We went about designing this space as a very livable home as opposed to being a show flat.” Yet, in an ironic twist, this apartment makes it to the pages of our magazine alongside luxurious and extravagant havens from across the world.
The renovated Kazi residence offers several handy ideas that can be easily mirrored in other small apartments. Speaking of which, mirrors have been used to great advantage here itself. The corridor leading from the main door is lined with bevelled mirrors on one side and glass on the other. It takes close inspection to detect the frames of two bedroom doors amongst all those mirrors.
“The mirrors reduce the clutter in this narrow area and also help expand the space”, explains Rushda. A patterned mirror in the daughter’s bedroom conceals the wardrobe behind it while also doubling up the space in its reflection. And mirrored cabinets in the bathroom helpfully serve dual purposes.
The vexing business of ‘storage’ is attended to with two lofts in the passage; floor-to-ceiling cupboards in the bedrooms and cabinets under the window ledges. “The ledges”, reveal the designers not only served to straighten out an asymmetrical floor line but provided additional seating area as well.
Sheer drapes and soft furnishings lighten the tightly-packed, utilitarian layout while sweet details like the hand-embroidered blind and organza appliqué blind appease a latent desire to be surrounded by beauty and nature, even if in a multi-storeyed building in the middle of a bustling metro.
While designing private bedrooms for both the Kazi children, the designers followed a ‘Manchester United’ theme for the son and a peachy-floral theme for the daughter. “The daughter,” recount the designers, “was especially thrilled with her private bathroom and the hidden storage space behind the mirror.”
In the end it is a happy family that inhabits this well-lit tidy, fuss-free space, demonstrating that even practical, simple space organisation can be pretty attractive.
Text By Christabelle Athaide
Photographs Abner Fernandes