To understand the beauty of this house, one must dwell on all the carefully selected elements that were involved in enhancing the charm of the design scheme.
From the first step in, some homes fill you with awe with their vitality. This house in Pune, Maharashtra, is one of them. Designed on the meeting point between pop art irreverence and old Rajasthani opulence, the rooms here are as suffused with a zest for life as they are with colours and light.
Conceptualised and realised by Mumbai-based, Shabnam Gupta-led, The Orange Lane, the Gawande residence is a refurbishment-cum-redesign project that amalgamated the preferences of the clients and the aesthetic dedication of the design team seamlessly. Evidence is in the light flowing spaces, the remarkable furniture pieces and in the sense of belonging to a warm, welcoming place.
The team began work with a fairly straightforward agenda. “The client’s brief was very simple and clear. They wanted an eclectic space which enhanced the experience of a home, a happy, colourful space that one could relax in at all times.”
The home encompasses eight rooms split across two levels. The ground floor houses the living room, a ‘den’, the kitchen-dining room and the mother’s room. The study, bedrooms of the son and the daughter, and the master bedroom take up the first floor. The brief included a specification to cover up the terrace on the upper floor and turn it into a private den and study cove. Also required was a large library.
“The ground and first floor combined were the outcome of a close-knit relationship, with inputs from the client along with our expertise on eclectic living and innovative space design,” states the team.
Work began on a pre-existing house, whose entrance had to be broken down and shifted to comply with Vastu strictures. Statement-making bold colours became the fulcrum of the design process here, and form and material were decided to enhance the tenor thereafter. “Earthy materials with warm colours and rustic textures made this project homely and lived in,” attests the designers.
The backdrop became a critical element in a set-up where there was an abundant use of colour and The Orange Lane team chose well – cement tiles, river-washed Shahabad stone with granite borders, and wood, share duties in the flooring department.
The master bedroom’s bed is overlooked by a brilliant wall of exposed Bangalore bricks; a sunny mix of glass and Mangalore tiles adorns the roof of the private terrace; and the den outside the study has a spectacular terracotta colour-painted brick wall.
The lighting scheme here – bulwarked by beautiful lamps that conjure up visions of courtly palaces and antique candelabras – is a deft marriage of the bright and the mood-soothing. Dimmers were put in the living room and the den to help regulate the influx of light according to personal requirements.
To complete the design juxtaposing of new boldness and old elegance, jaali designs inspired by Rajasthan were infused into the spaces, complete with the archway-forms reminiscent of Islamic architecture’s most alluring representative. Indeed, the staircase door at the entrance was inspired by Iranian screens. The jaalis themselves were specifically fabricated in metal and wood at site.
All window and door frames received fresh coats of veneer and polish, while doors from the old structure were put back in use. The whiteness of the old BTC furniture again came to be as a way of enhancing the colour explosions around, while the more rugged antique furniture serves as a beautiful contrast to the walls and upholstery.
The Gawande residence is a remarkably attractive abode. Built for a Mumbai-based family, it exists within a gated community in the city of Pune and stands out like a shining beacon of vivacity.
It would have been rather easy for the design team to have slipped off the spectacular colour use track into a tacky, overdone quagmire, but it is to the family members’ credit that the home is, instead, a beautiful balance between the old and the new.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Courtesy The Architect