Clean lines, minimalist decor and earthy shades – all set on a white backdrop: this summarises the apartment designed by Design Office where warmth and elegant opulence feature in a simple understated design.
‘Luxurious compact living’ – this is how Mumbai based firm, Design Office introduce the apartment they designed in Pune, for a young couple who was looking to maximise the space they had in hand. Fusing minimalistic details with a neutral colour scheme, principal designers
Rushda Hakim and Rishita Das have accorded this chic apartment, an aura of elegant opulence.
Design Office has always made sure that all the spaces they design, reflect their client’s individuality, but rendered in their distinctive design narration. Stepping inside the apartment, it is easy to see the same principle resonating in the understated and stately decor composed of the brown hues etched against a pristine white background.
Rushda Hakim tells us, “The owners wanted to increase the space in their master bedroom. This required some major civil changes and knocking down walls.” The designer duo began by razing the kitchen wall, thus dispensing off the boxed entrance space to get an open layout that accommodated the living room, dining area and kitchen in a singular entity.
‘Quiet Minimalism’ being their guiding mantra, furniture and accessories, in mahogany shades and white, follow the linearity and the proportion of the room. Wanting to both separate and connect the disparate spaces, the architects used distinctive decor and lighting features for each zone. Muted textured wall surfaces break the monotony of white walls in the living room, and glass ceiling lights define the dining space.
Devoid of walls, the combined space in the muted material and colour palette has ensured a feeling of extra space in this common volume, and also an informal aura. Leading us from the living-dining space into the private chambers is a passage, the central point into which all the doors open.
Sticking to the mahogany colour code, mirrors in the passage aggrandize the small windowless space, conceal the multiple portals and all the while, stabilise the delicate balance of the veneer cladding and wooden flooring. The addition of a chandelier to the mix, reflecting the mirror and consolidating all openings, is like switching on the magic button, entrancing everyone who passes through.
Textural surfaces, mahogany shades and unique ambient lighting features are a common thread that makes the transition from one space to another, natural and continuous. Supported by a material palette dominated with veneer, along with tiles, mirrors and leather; the volume imbibes the understated allure the designers were looking for with ease.
A similar decor vocabulary echoes in the bedrooms that take the minimalist style a notch higher. Points out Rasika Das, “The brief required us to add a walk-in wardrobe and expand the bathroom in the master bedroom. Some major civil changes were put in. We levelled the common wall between the two bedrooms, to provide a walk-in-wardrobe, and reduced the passage space to elongate the master bathroom.”
Taking an unconventional approach, the designers have used glass walls as separators to define the bathroom space and walk-in wardrobe within the bedroom, thus contriving a boundless and uncluttered setup. Complementing the wooden decor and flooring, is the leather clad headboard wall that lends a theatrical nuance to the room. In the adjoining guest bedroom where the minimalist style and ecru palette are retained, the designers have employed simple detailing that italicises the accessories and invokes a modern hotel vibe.
Strong believers in ‘a good choice of materials are the key to getting the perfect spatial balance’, designers Rasika Das and Rushda Hakim have used a rich but restricted palette to achieve their desired intention of “a no fuss, minimalist and straight lined look”. They expound, “Our main aim was to keep the expansive look without overdoing the elements.”
Working on a tight budget and short time span, the designers have used textured surfaces, art and lighting features to inject drama into the quiet, sober space. The illumination features, materialise as chandeliers, ceiling lights and corner pieces, don not just the role of a functional element but also as an art piece that defines and accessorises the artistry of the room.
Keeping the design mostly simple, Design Office has made an exceptional use of space, using earthy shades and rich materials in an approach that has steered away from trend-led approaches. The decor and elements used to accessorise, work in harmony and do not break the spaces too much, instead create a warm and welcoming home. Rishita Das and Rushda Hakim, in their trademark youthful style delivered a home that epitomises the client’s requirements and their core concepts in a single platform – the ‘no fuss minimalistic space’.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Abner Fernandes