Komal Vasa’s latest residential design venture is a 1280 sq. ft. space filled with a unique blend of natural and textural elements that in turn evoke different kinds of emotions, in a simple Gujarati setting.
On the fourth floor of a newly redeveloped building in Mumbai’s western suburbs is a 1280 sq. ft. home that has been brought to life by Komal Vasa’s Gesamt Design, a boutique-style design studio founded by her nearly five years ago.
Vishal and Jashvi, a Gujarati couple, wanted a layout that was different from the original, and for this the team opted for a gutted renovation. The couple was firm on not wanting “hotel-like interiors”. Komal provided them numerous samples of artworks and designs. Based on their feedback, she deduced that they were really “looking for a more textural and natural” design option, leaning towards their simple Gujarati heritage. At the same time, they were also taken in by powerful, monolithic figurines – something that Gesamt Design specialises in.
With two daughters, aged 10 and 5, Vishal and Jashvi are nature lovers, and self-proclaimed travelers and explorers. As a family, Komal observed them to be quite close-knit and bereft of any desire to spend time away from each other. This was a feature Komal wished to capitalise upon, and so the final design was along the lines of an open-studio.
Inspired by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, multi-purpose panels, rather than doors, were used to separate rooms, which doubled as movable bookshelves for musical instruments and books. An elegant armoire and daybed with projector flow openly into the living room, which in turn blends into the dining area. This is an open space, with simple white mosaic floors, whitewashed walls and ample natural light.
Despite its spaciousness, the living room is warm and inviting because of the old Indian seating known as bakda, complimented with a 3-seater sofa, elegant chairs, and ottomans. At the centre is a large light fixture tailored to the couple’s taste that highlights the room’s elements.
The dining room is an interesting coming together of Jashvi and Vishal’s preferences with banquet style seating, and a customised light fixture with a lovely lampshade completing the overall rustic simplicity of the room.
The kitchen is perhaps the most unique feature of the house. Being an amalgamation of both traditional Indian and contemporary elements, it boasts of contrasting details like patterned mosaic floors with coloured panel-work, and modern stainless steel details with textured kota stone counters. This, in more ways than one, brings out exactly what the couple wanted from the very beginning – a beautiful jugalbandi of the old and new.
The couple was keen on integrating a number of Vastu Shastra (traditional Hindu system of architecture) elements. Each layout that was shown to them was designed keeping in mind the couple’s stipulations. The north-east is considered to be the most positive and vibrant, and so this space was taken up by the children’s bedroom that had a large white board wall, as per the girls’ request, for them to write and doodle mind maps, along with another large soft board wall to display their works.
A long and functional study table connected the two walls; the floor was essentially soft vinyl, perfect for bare feet; a low platform bed and ample natural light made the bedroom quite a cosy haven, with functional storage space subtly blended into it.
The master bedroom with its sliding wardrobes with soft fabrics, rich hardwood floors and maximised natural light has a large bed as its central element. The bathroom panels, tinted in brown, augment the size of the room, and the simple organic lighting from the chandelier and floor lights provide a romantic setting. With only the master bedroom retaining its privacy, the rest of the house took on a more free and open-space for ballet sessions, as well as for special moments between father and daughter as they indulged their musical passions.
The bathrooms are just as unique and characteristic of Jashvi and Vishal as the rest of their home. Since the original bathrooms were small and dank, glass enclosures were used for the children’s and master bathrooms, giving it a spacious feel, with the external ducts freed to extend the space. Vertical green gardens were installed in the adjoining alcove. The third bathroom is a basic textural space with beige features on the walls, and a mini courtyard-like garden attached. All this was done, “without interfering with the square footage of the bathrooms”.
Indian natural stones and mosaic have been used predominantly as a contrast to the details of modern interiors. Several interior elements have been brought from Gujarat and have been placed within a modern setting to provide an eclectic reflection of Jashvi and Vishal’s roots. Even the tales of their travels have been transferred onto fabrics, which were then used for lampshades, runners, and cushions.
With natural light playing an intrinsic role in the design process, Jashvi and Vishal’s home is a masterpiece in terms of warmth, individuality, and a blend of both the modern and traditional.
Text By P riyanka S. Menon
Photographs Deepshikha Jain