‘Vintage’ as a theme is re-invented by FADD Studio in a terrace office that reflects not just their design expertise but also their client’s creative sensibilities.
Whimsical, with lots of flowers, fresh colours and bright sunlight – stepping into La Vie’s office, is like stepping into one of Monet’s canvases, with his words, “I must have flowers, always, and always,” echoing in the background. The 1000 sq ft terrace office, designed by designer duo Farah Ahmed and Dhaval Shellugar, principals at FADD, a Banglore based practice in their usual ‘out-of-the-box’ style, is all about beauty and elegance.
La Vie is a company run by a mother-daughter team specialising in decor styling services, themed table decors, theme parties, personalised stationeries and wedding giveaways. Hence it was imperative that the space reflected La Vie’s design sensibilities and the magical experiences they promise their customers.
“A terrace garden office with a view is exactly what the La Vie designers wanted,” states Farah Ahmed, talking about the office location which is close to the Ulsoor Lake and has a magnificent view of it. We enter through a garden demarcated by a hedge and a white picket fence, quite reminiscent of an English cottage.
A prelude to the interiors, the small garden oozes vintage charm with its green turf, a small garden table and vintage wall lamps mounted on the dark walls flanking the corner.
The vintage theme lingers on inside in the office, which is not your typical workplace design with cabins, partition walls and desks; instead one large rectangular room is vaguely split into two zones, the director’s desk and reception/ visitors’ area with a custom made wooden screen. Like a manicured English garden, the space is a perfect balance of pastel colours and floral motifs, and a treat to anyone who loves the style.
“Birdcages and flowers are the most significant motifs, recalling elements of the La Vie logo.” shares Dhaval Shellugar. Bright floral prints cover the ceilings, selected furniture and also the screen; the remaining furniture and surfaces are coated in pastel shades of yellow, green and blue.
The feeling of open space achieved due to the glazed panels, mitigates the overwhelming vintage rhapsody, with some help from the walls and floor which deviate from the lingering theme.
The FADD team wanted to give the flooring a subtle ‘wow’ factor; so they stencilled a delicate customised French lace pattern, which was then given a fading effect to bring in the feeling of an antique space. The walls are allowed to fade away in an un-plastered raw finish; these highlight the ceiling and flooring around them.
The team believes that, “If the shell is done right, anything can look nice in it.” They have encased the office in clear glass panels, and devoid of opaque perimeters, there is endless visual continuity in space that flows out of the office, onto the open terrace and into the cosmos itself. Not only is there an illusion of largeness to the space, but abundant sunlight streaming in through these panels brings with it a sunny and pleasant vibe.
In the overall decor, the team has avoided dominant or bold elements, and alternatively allowed the whole space as an entity to have an understated elegance. Vintage furniture and accessories take centre stage as the main decorative element, engaging both as singular elements and together as a unit.
Farah Ahmed elaborates, “We have not cluttered the space with unnecessary accessories and furniture. The upholstery in solids, stripes and prints, is intentionally paired together to create drama.”
Drama is at its peak in the washroom, where we see a complete turnaround on the theme – bold stripes of black and white cover the wall, ceiling and floor. “It could be a page from Alice in Wonderland”, explains Dhaval Shellugar, “To break the binary monotony, we added in a vermillion vanity set against the striped surface and clad the opposite walls in a wallpaper that emulates the cross stitched fabric of the vanity”.
In all their projects, the FADD Team has given importance to lighting, textures and colour, which they feel is very important in creating a spatial atmosphere. At La Vie, natural light is a part of the design and brightens the floral space, while come nightfall, unique lamps in the quirky vintage theme lend their luminous glow. The hand painted wooden screen adds to the medley of light, colours and textures.
“A profusion of pastels and patterns” is how Farah and Dhaval describe the space that is exclusively La Vie and symbolic of its work. FADD’s design approach has managed to make use of every niche and corner of the small, compact space filling it up with endless detailing in an uncluttered and understated manner. It takes you to a magical land, just as promised by the designers.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Pallon Daruwala