This three-bedroom apartment designed by KdnD studio LLP brings together just the right blend of contemporary and calm to create a space tailored for relaxation.
You already know a certain home is quite unique when it occupies its own floor and has its own private lift lobby. This three bedroom home in fast-expanding Pune is a contemporary home-owner’s paradise. The apartment was designed by KdnD Studio, which is a joint venture between Atelier dnD (Anand Menon and Shobhan Kothari) and KAPL (Kiran Kapadia).
This family home had its usual requirements – living and dining space, guest and media rooms and a clear demarcation of public and private spaces. But when you have the lift lobby opening directly into your apartment, how do you make even that distinctive?
Architect Shobhan Kothari explains, “The lift can only be accessed by someone with a card reader, which restricts the number of people using it. Keeping this in mind, we decided to open up the lift lobby into the living space, thereby expanding it.” The lift doors open into a space with informal seating, effectively restricting entry into the main living area.
A beautiful jaali screen further divides the dining area from the lobby and becomes a privacy screen. Artwork and plants create a ‘moment’ in a space that could have been a thoroughfare but is now so much more.
The L-shaped living room is spacious with several interesting features. A dramatic navy blue wall draws your attention immediately. Emphasizing the idea behind this, Shobhan says, “When you think of a feature wall, people usually try wallpaper or a contrasting colour of paint. We decided to do something different and went with fabric instead,” says Kothari. The indigo fabric is in a chevron pattern. Thin brass strips follow the lines of the chevrons, adding a hint of colour and shine.
Leaning against the blue wall, is an oversized painting, in white and blue. “We wanted great art in the apartment, but we didn’t want to do the typical thing which would have been to hang the painting dead centre over the sofa. Instead, we kept the painting leaning against the wall – it is not typical and therefore makes for an interesting feature,” adds Shobhan.
The dining area is decorated with classic overtones. A dining table with comfortable armchairs promotes lingering over a meal. Further emphasising the separation of public and private spaces, a niche behind the dining area leads to the bedrooms. Dressed up in rich brown with a Matador painting, this is an excellent example of camouflage.
“When you enter into a private space from a public one, you need to create a buffer. The bedroom doors are completely hidden from the dining room. Even with the doors open, one cannot look into the bedrooms, thus offering a rare sense of privacy and security to the home owners,” informs Shobhan.
The bedrooms are designed with the same thoughtfulness and muted colour scheme. “The perception is of creation of space,” says Shobhan. The master bedroom follows the pale trend with its soothing, clean lines and interesting textures and artwork. The guest room has suede panelling on the sliding doors, which is also echoed in the headboard. The room also functions as a study and workspace with open shelves on opposite sides of the room.
Interestingly, in the children’s room the calm décor continues its run. “Children’s rooms are traditionally decorated in bright colours and designs. We wanted to refrain from using colours that were age-specific and that the children would outgrow,” explains Shobhan.
They stuck to the palette of the rest of the house and used two simple ideas to make the space stand out. They took a nostalgic idea of school – specifically of ink-splattered clothes, and created custom bedspreads for the twin beds. For artwork, they worked with their memories of playing with catapults and turned that into art.
The canvas above the bed depicts a catapult and birds flying away. In a further 3D twist, origami birds continue their journey along the wall, appearing to fly out of the window.
The bathrooms in the house have also received extra-special treatment. The powder room is cleverly hidden away, and leads to the guest room. A sense of drama is created here, with the two-tone walls in veneer and black, and one big piece of art to provide a sense of colour.
The classic round Diesel mirror with its leather strap stands out against the black background. The other bathrooms are equally luxurious with wood-inspired floors and walls adding warmth and colour.
“We have kept the house fairly muted with subtle accents making their appearance in the way of accessories and paintings. There are no loud bursts of colour. We wanted the entire spatial quality to play out.” At the end of a day’s work, for this family, their calm home is their sanctuary, a welcome refuge from the rest of the world.
Text By Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Sebastian Zachariah