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Designer Chanya Kaur weaves together a quietly luxurious home in Mumbai

By Ela Das

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When we talk about design—be it across fashion, interiors and even products—a word that is commonly thrown around is minimalism. Whether it’s the clean lines of Scandinavian style or paired down aesthetic of Japan’s wabi-sabi aesthetic, there’s plenty of inspiration from overseas. However, in India, it’s still tricky to find a designer who creates this style in an approachable way for the common homeowner.

For Chanya Kaur, this served as an opportunity when she founded The Pure Concept Home. Each piece created in her interactive design studio and décor store shares a common thread of quiet luxury, where a minimal number of materials echo a timeless sense of quality. As an interior designer, she’s now opened her doors to anyone looking to extend this aesthetic in their spaces, and walks us through one of the first homes she’s designed in Mumbai.

What was this home like when you first saw it?
The duplex apartment was spread across 5,600 square feet and housed a family of five from three generations. It needed to be planned in a way to bring everyone together, while allowing each member to have their own privacy. The kitchen and living room were on the lower floor, with the bedrooms and common areas built on both levels. While 20 per cent of the original structure was to be retained, the remaining majority of the home needed to be renovated to bring in more sunlight and have seamless continuity between each room.

What was the family looking for in their home?
The family preferred an open-floor plan that allowed for a decluttered space. They also wanted everything to be designed tastefully, while being easy to maintain. Each room also needed ample space for storage. Overall, the home needed to be opened up to receive an abundance of sunlight and ventilation.

What was your vision for the space?
I wanted to create a modern home that was minimalist without being too cold. To include elements of warmth, I felt pops of colour that weren’t overbearing paired with eclectic pieces of art would do the trick. As a designer, I first look to my personal aesthetic and design philosophy which is to always create designs that are timeless and pared down. Luckily, the clients were also design enthusiasts, which made it easy to blend their requirements with 

Modern home design having pop colours & eclectic home décor items - Beautiful Homes

To create a modern home that was minimalist yet warm, Kaur balanced pops of colour that weren’t overbearing with eclectic objects of design.

my vision.

What was the renovation process like?
The entire renovation took seven months. Besides the flooring, everything else (including the ceiling) was pulled down or gutted. One of the things I was keen to incorporate was a play of textures and veneers on the walls. All the old furniture, originally from Italy, needed to be updated or reupholstered. In every home, I’m always trying to pair something old with something new, which helps weave a story for the entire space, while maintaining a balance between opulence and humility. In one of the bedrooms, a four-poster bed that didn’t have a headboard now has an intricately woven cane backrest; while the coffee table in the living room has a locally sourced marble top. Besides the closet, all the furniture is now freestanding so that it can be moved around whenever a room needs a quick update in the future.
 

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Did you face any challenges along the way?
The entire family was living in the house while it was being renovated, which proved to be a little complicated. And we ended up needing to add an extra month to the timeline. If all the materials, upholstery and décor pieces are selected and organised before the renovation begins, you’ll be saving yourself a lot more time later.

How did The Pure Concept Home come into being?
I’ve been working in the furnishings space with The Pure Concept for over 15 years, and always been passionate about interiors. Textiles always brought me closer to furniture every day, which, as pieces, tie an entire home together. Three years ago, I decided to study interior design, which led to The Pure Concept Home being created to offer the overarching design philosophies of our upholstery brand in every aspect of a house. Similar to our fabrics, all our rugs, ceramics, art and furniture are designed and built locally by indigenous artisans. All our pieces are meant to weave a sense of affordable luxury. A stylish and tasteful home should always be accessible to everyone!
 

Chanya's home furniture is freestanding & can be moved easily for a quick home renovation - Beautiful Homes

The home’s furniture is now freestanding so that it can be moved around whenever a room needs a quick update in the future.

Niche in the wall is made like a vanity which doubles as a makeshift desk - Beautiful Homes

A niche in the wall has been cleverly transformed into a vanity, which also doubles as a makeshift desk.

Minimal Indian home interior design with functional décor elements - Beautiful Homes

For Kaur, a truly minimal Indian home is one that is extremely practical, functional and utilitarian, while also displaying strong heritage and character.

How would you describe the perfect home?
The perfect home immediately has to echo what a family is like when they come together under a single roof. A person stepping in should immediately be able to piece together the stories and journey of a family’s heritage. Every aspect of each space should be effortless without being too precious or trying too hard.

The Pure Concept Home is known for its minimalist aesthetic. What according to you defines minimalism in an Indian home?
Minimalism is often misunderstood as something that’s too straight-lined or empty. In India, with our rich culture and resources, it’s wiser to use materials that inspire us everyday, work better in our weather conditions and fit into the frame of our lifestyles. A truly minimal Indian home is one that is extremely practical, functional and utilitarian, while also displaying strong heritage and character.

Chanya Kaur’s tips for anyone looking to design their own home:
•   
Always start with a mood board, whether you’re designing your home on your own or with an interior designer. It will visually clarify exactly what
     you want to recreate in each space.

•    While it’s important to have lots of sunlight in a home, it’s also clever to include accent lights in each room. From chandeliers to lamps—you can
     create the most dramatic or quietly intimate setting in any space.

•    Avoid putting too much furniture. A lot of people love to design a home that’s “party-ready”, but it’s important to first create a floor plan that
     works for you, and then think about guests. In smaller apartments, it’s wiser to have more open space to be able to accommodate larger groups
     when entertaining.
 

Photographs

Neville Sukhia

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