AdnD in their trademark style that embodies simple, uncluttered, minimal, but rich decor have rendered this house such that it speaks not just of spatial elegance but also of the home owner’s personality.
“East meets West” – that is how architects Shobhan Kothari and Anand Menon describe the concept behind AVS residence, an apartment where deep sombre wooden elements take centre stage. Principal duo at Mumbai based design firm Atelier dnD, has always believed in ‘decoding various trends of architecture that reflect the times we live in’. Their constant endeavour to juxtapose the current architectural language with the history of the past is visible in this 3500 sq ft space also.
The home’s modern layout includes a foyer space, an open plan that accommodates the living and dining areas, two bedrooms and a media room that also doubles up as a guest room. Throughout the space, the luxurious warmth of wooden surfaces emanates and works as a unifying element in the modern aesthetic.
“The client brief, apart from the usual also had to incorporate their cultural influences and experiences in the form of art and artefacts. We blended them into a modern western shell, and this juxtaposing of polar worlds resulted in an interesting brief for the project,” explains architect Shobhan Kothari to us.
Choosing a neutral colour scheme as the basic palette helped the designers establish a more harmonious flow throughout the apartment. Wood is the dominant material in the palette and all the spaces seem to take their cue from there. The designer duo cites ‘the warm aura’ as one of the main reasons of using wood in various expressions throughout the house.
Without altering the original interior plan of the house, the designer pair gave each space its unique identity by simply tweaking and enhancing the room separators. A large rectangular space has been neatly split into two pockets – the living area and the dining area, with a cantilevered bar console donning the role of a separator.
Architect Anand Menon further expounds, “We made a special niche atop the unit to accommodate the family heirloom. This unit also not only defines circulation, but also creates two pockets.”
The first space to welcome us is the living room, where the designers clad the wall in wood, highlighting the vertical lines, and thus lending a modern tone to the space. This wood clad wall also becomes a perfect backdrop for the rich ivory furnishing and artefacts, both old and new, like the Eames chair and a vintage pedestal fan.
Adjacent dining area is approached much more casually, with a grand chandelier which is a modern interpretation of cylindrical pipes and designed in conjunction with Klove studio, becoming the focus. The collector’s brass mask collection becomes a part of the uncluttered, minimal design where a perfect synergy happens between the neutral colours, wooden furniture and vintage art.
As we move into the house, the stately formal appeal ebbs, to be replaced by a decor that compliments the spatial functions of each room. In the media room, the design team has combined the regal look of wood with playful stripes of black and white to give an unusual visual illusion. One half of the room seems to be washed in diagonal bar code patterns of black and white, that drape the walls, upholstery and carpets while the other half, in bold contrast, sits sombre in large expanses of wood clad walls, bookshelves and a media console.
In the master bedroom, the design reflects the client’s personality, keeping in mind the book lover and the art collector facets of the client. The sedate appearance reinforced with wood clad walls and a neutral colour scheme is further enhanced by the lighting plan – soft ceiling spot lights and edge lighting which not only define the spaces but also shed an enthralling dull yellow glow.
Aesthetics take a youthful flare in the son’s room, complete in white and concrete and devoid of wood. Minimal trendy furniture that speaks of gen-next and decor that embodies the spirit of youth. Surprisingly, of all the spaces, the AdnD team claims the powder bathroom as one of their favourite areas in the entire house. Designers Shobhan Kothari and Anand Menon explain, “The space was very compact, hence the play of material as well as design was the key factor here.”
In the AVS residence, the AdnD team have not just found a niche for each one of a collector’s myriad treasures, but also created a space that celebrates everyday elegance at every corner. Through a simple but rich material palette, neutral colour scheme and simplicity in decor, the designers have found the perfect symbiotic relationship that eulogises the home as an entity rather than separate spatial units.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs By Sebastian Zachariah