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A compact flat in Mumbai gets a minimalist makeover

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Long lines, unusual pastels and well-chosen materials were the elements of choice for Tinu Jose, who undertook the designing of this two-bedroom designing apartment in Thane. A principal designer at Beautiful Homes Service for Asian Paints, she talks about what went into the making of this space and working with homeowners whose aesthetic synced so well with her own. 

Beautiful Homes (BH): What kind of space did you have to work with and what were the client’s expectations from the house?
Tinu Jose (TJ):
This was an empty shell apartment on the sixth floor, with a fairly straightforward 2BHK (bedroom-hall-kitchen) layout in a new development in Thane. In fact, the building where the apartment is located still has a lot of unsold or empty flats. The homeowners, an empty-nester couple, with their children settled abroad, had been staying in the western suburb of Santacruz and wanted a change. They were looking for a calm, serene yet thoroughly contemporary home. They were really into neutral colour schemes and a clean and minimal design. Another priority was to have a space that was really low maintenance.
 

BH: How would you define your own aesthetic and how did that translate in the design language for this home?
TJ:
I’m a believer in the ‘less is more’ axiom, so my style is minimal and understated. I’m a big fan of exposed finishes, white walls and large windows, and count traditional Indian elements like carved wood and textured stone as influences in my work. Fabrics, especially with bright summery shades and motifs, are a weak point.

As far as this space goes, it was easy to translate their brief as their thoughts matched my own design style. They wanted soothing tones, clean lines and nothing over the top. I kept the colour scheme very neutral and minimal. They weren’t into the usual pastels, so we chose a very unique and pleasing mauve for 

Sheesham wood chair to enhance your dining room - Beautiful Homes

The sheesham wood chairs upholstered in leatherette fabric were custom-made, as was the dining table, made from Italian marble and sheesham wood.

the master bedroom as the highlight colour. A refreshing seafoam green was chosen for their elderly mother’s bedroom and the living room had tones of blush pink. 

BH: Was there anything specific you implemented in terms of the overall design aesthetic?
TJ:
We were very keen on enhancing all the rooms of the flat to make them appear larger than they were; hence the decision of using vertical lines to draw one’s vision upwards. For example, one of the bedrooms, apart from its unusual colours, also has a floor-to-ceiling headboard. We unanimously agreed that fluted panels for the headboard would be a great way to draw the focus towards it.
 

BH: What dictated the decision for the material palette for the house?
TJ: 
The main pivot occurred when we started executing the design; one of them was diagnosed with a severe dust allergy so we had to immediately change all the fabric headboards to laminates and panels. We replaced the velvet fabrics selected for the sofa set and chairs to leatherette. Even the curtains were chosen keeping lint and dust accumulation in mind. The hard surfaces were all acrylic laminates in pastel tones. We tried to choose a set of complementary contrasts in every room—hard and soft, plain and textured, light and dark etc.

BH: What would you consider as some of the highlights of the space?
TJ: The use of lines in some form or the other all over the home tie the design together. The last-minute addition of a laser-cut ceiling design panel in the passage has become quite the talking point among visitors. And the clients love their living room wall, which they tell me, is reminiscent of a very European aesthetic.

BH: Was the furniture custom created or store brought?
TJ: 
All the furniture was custom-designed while the lighting fixtures were sourced from stores around Mumbai. The clients chose the fabrics, finishes, cushions etc, all of which were sourced from among Asian Paints labels.

BH: What has the client response/feedback been?
TJ: 
They really liked the process of shopping for and setting up the final touches, whether it is the choice of curtains or the designer wallpaper in the mother’s bedroom. And they are really satisfied with the functionality of their Sleek kitchen. They are waiting for their children to come home to show off the home that they have put together.
 

Photographs

Isha Shah

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