R House in Bengaluru is a picture of sheer elegance. Farah And Dhaval Design (FADD) Studio drew inspirations from both neo-classical and mid-century modernist periods and filled this 3-storey house with a mix of floral accents and vintage forms.
The deep vintage charm of this home is inescapable. This is a space built to exude elegance, but of the non-suffocating variety. The white palette conjures up the most refined of European, and modern minimalist, sensibilities, which are carefully off-set by colourful props in some places, and more ornate accents in others. This home manages to fill the senses with engaging stimuli even while remaining breezy and roomy in character.
The R-House spans three levels, covering 6,000 sq. ft. Located in Bengaluru, and realised by city-based Farah And Dhaval Design (FADD) Studio, its design inspirations distinguish it from the rest in the built landscape while also positioning it as an ideal structure to receive the city’s mostly temperate weather conditions.
In a shell like this one, with its preponderance of grey and beige (the team from FADD calls it “greige”); verticality is an essential aesthetic partner, a factor that the team employs with flourish.
The most obvious specimen is near the arched mirror which stands adjacent to a tall, split window wall sheathed in dreamy curtains. The effect of grandiosity is lovely, and surprisingly simple, accentuated by the corniced ceiling and chandelier.
Another spot where this effect of straight, tall lines works magic is at the staircase. The primary colour reliance here is on pristine white and light polished wood, but the slim balusters, the transparent elevator shaft, and the patterned wall adorned with evenly-placed rectangular frames create a mini storm of geometric perfection.
The kitchen and dining areas could belong to 1950’s film set. Here, a lot of the verticality is blunted, taken over instead by the more intricate charm of Arabesque vintage floor tiles, an antique dining table set, and surfaces with a more pronounced teal colouring complementing the whites. The lighting scheme is simple, again leaning towards white and relying heavily on the natural variety streaming in from those dreamy curtains.
The pair of metal drum-like lamps hovering over the dining table is striking. The kitchen works a simple look, eschewing a central island layout in favour of a more linear spread bulwarked by tony cabinets. A teal side bench with a pretty coffee table is a neat little surprise, as are the framed works of art adding sprinkles of whimsy in the scheme here.
In a house this restrained, the living room is a hippie breakaway. The palette here does include white and some coral, but little else conforms. There is the floral coffee table, looking like a large puzzle piece wonkily put together. There are two side-chairs with cushions in a colour surely inspired by the classic, creamy strawberry ice-cream.
There are frames of abstract art on the main wall, the array split by a window draped over with a floral blind. A comfy dewan, a shiny steel-coloured floor lamp, a black-and-white foliage-printed rug, and individual can-shaped mini-tables for every seat add to the impish charm here. This room is a true delight!
The cumulative effect is that of a journey into a white castle which gradually opens up to reveal a more care-free interior.
Aesthetic restraint hits the peak in the bedrooms, but even here, the scene experiences classy interruptions by pieces of smooth olive coloured furniture, side-tables and bedsteads, and a storage-cum-display piece whose skin is printed like a wallpaper design catalogue. The bathrooms swing between different time periods, one preferring a pastel, bright scheme with minimal frills while another embracing beautiful, floral wallpaper covering and a slender-legged wash basin and vintage mirrors.
Likewise, the seating areas and family rooms keep juggling different looks, mixing everything from the beloved floral prints to broad stripes to vintage posters to shiny copper/metallic accents.
The children’s room is, arguably, the most modern; its layout establishes a cosy shared vibe in spite of the generous floor space available in the home. The striking colour here is a deep blue, its presence on the bunk bed, partition, and desk drawers exuding a mix of calm and solidity.
The rug here is a fun one, printed with large images of sneakers. The window drapes are in fact informative charts, and the night lamp duty is held by a golden film-set spotlight standing on a low tripod. This room remains one with the overall scheme – spacious and peppered with unique visual inspirations.
R House lays out palatial expectations right from its entrance and porch. One will find elegance and nostalgia for a bygone era writ large in every corner of this home. It is to FADD’s credit that the wide range of inspirations does not get muddled here; its elements instead manage to hold their own and yet stand unified even when the tenor of the rooms keeps changing.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Courtesy Shamanth Patil