Surrounded by green environs and located inside a premium development, this architect’s abode doubles up as a model flat. Architect Rajendra Chandorkar designed this charming duplex, a rare blend of luxury and intimacy, for his vibrant family of six.
In Maximum City, away from the crowded streets where brown dust fills the humid air, far from the cacophony of trains where a moment paused often means a moment wasted, Oberoi Green City spreads an emerald carpet for its residents.
In this neighbourhood, Rajendra Chandorkar’s duplex residence exudes an understated character much unlike a typical model flat dominated by bright shades. Whether it’s the choice of muted wall colours or furnishings, it’s obvious that the preference is minimalistic. “It’s our home,” shares the architect. “And when we come back home from work, bright colours are hard to look at day in and day out.” The soothing effect of the grey walls against the beige, brown and subtle blue works a magical charm.
Initially, the architect in Chandorkar leaned towards natural materials such as concrete. However, to retain a wider appeal to customers who visit the project, he decided on Armani marble flooring for the lower level of his residence. This brown-finish marble lends a natural yet classy outlook.
The lower level has a double height living, dining, kitchen, two bedrooms and an expansive deck overlooking vast green lands. A ribbon-styled sleek wooden staircase bordered with thin metal railings takes you to the upper level. Chandorkar describes the staircase as “minimalistic, almost like a sculptural piece.” It’s simple and stylish, yet comfortable and safe for everyday use.
At the level above are the master bedroom, the children’s room and an open study space. “One of the things we believe in is that a person should get different spaces for different activities that he might want to do in the house. So, we’ve consciously carved out spaces, depending on whether you want to cook, play, paint or relax,” says Chandorkar.
The study room at the upper level is one of those special areas in the house. It’s a multi-purpose area fit for a plethora of activities – for an avid reader, this is a blissful space with its long arrangement of bookshelves on the wall. A beautiful study table at the centre also converts it as a spot for children to do their homework or for the architect couple to spread out and examine their large drawings. Sometimes this room transforms into a painting studio and sometimes a corner to just relax.
Another room that has a similar quality of transforming to the mood of the hour is the guest bedroom at the lower level. When not used for guests, it becomes a fun playroom. “We wanted a space where the children could have fun with their friends without worrying whether it’ll get messy or not. So, we designed this room, separate from the kids’ bedroom,” explains Chandorkar.
In every bedroom, there is an effort to carve out exclusive resting spaces. While the children’s room and the guest room have window ledges as reading corners, the master bedroom is extended into an L-shaped suite. In a separate corner of the suite, away from the bed, a plush sofa with comfy cushions sits in front of a television. This informal seating and dining feature creates an opportunity for the family to bond over food and drinks.
When there are young children aged ten and seven, it becomes important to design spaces where they can express themselves creatively, laze around or just be goofy. The deck adjoining the huge living room is one such area perfect for creating memories. Here, the children and even the adults in the family get to enjoy fresh air and sit on the floor old school style, to relish a home-cooked pizza.
Sometimes, a simple element can introduce unexpected joy and charm to a residence. Here, the open kitchen counter does that job unpretentiously. “It’s just one small counter, but has become a central piece when guests come over,” shares Chandorkar. The children, too, use it to experiment with baking. With the oven opening up to the living room ensuring there is no interruption to the activities in the main kitchen, the two daughters make merry by baking cakes and playing with colourful icings.
It is hard to pick a favourite element in this residence – it could be the rug in the living room bought from Jaipur or the overhanging lights carefully positioned to facilitate conversations or the clever planning of indoor and outdoor spaces to stimulate creativity and individualistic expression. Any of these could be a winner, however what’s exciting to observe is how all these facets of design come together to tell a story, a unique story that belongs only to the residents of this house.
Text By Ramya Srinivasan
Photographs Courtesy Sebastian Zachariah