It is often said that the design and decor of your home should be a reflection of your personality and an expression of your unique self. Vinithra Amarnathan’s home which she shares with her husband Subhasis, and children Neev and Nila, is a perfect embodiment of this statement. Chic and understated, Vinithra's home reflects her design philosophy which is all about being personal, affordable, stylish and elegant. As Beautifulhomes.com tours her four-bedroom apartment which she moved into this June, she recounts how the purchase of this house was totally unplanned, done for personal reasons and how she managed to transform the space on a tight budget.
It is often said that the design and decor of your home should be a reflection of your personality and an expression of your unique self. Vinithra Amarnathan’s home which she shares with her husband Subhasis, and children Neev and Nila, is a perfect embodiment of this statement. Chic and understated, her home reflects her design philosophy which is all about being personal, affordable, stylish and elegant.
Beautiful Homes (BH): After having designed so many houses, what was the inspiration for your own house and how did it all come together?
Vinithra Amarnathan (VM): Honestly, this was not easy, because when you try to do something for yourself, it is not as ‘effortless or free flowing’ as you may think it is going to be. But what set the tone and perspective for this house was the fact that it was a total surprise; we had never thought of investing in a house at this point. But the best part about the apartment was that it was bare, and I felt we could do it up the way we wanted. We were clear that we were not going to make any major structural changes and the focus was on making it a neat, functional and chic space using the best of materials.
How would you define your house design aesthetic?
Casual, modern and relaxed, with high-quality textures and finishes for an elevated presence. Nothing is over-the-top in terms of design nor cost and hence it is a space that is cosy, comfortable and very welcoming. Every room has a unique look, and it is a canvas for all the things we love like collectibles including art and rugs which we have gathered over the years.
How is this house different from your previous house?
We had a lot more colour previously and pieces that were modular and heavy. We have now toned down a bit, have included pieces that are lighter and have stuck to a neutral palette. So, we have a lot of white, black and lighter wood for warmth and airy vibes. Also, I love the whole gallery look so we have an extensive gallery wall in the living room and the hallway in this house. Also, the storage in this house is customized to our requirements and in sync with our design philosophy as opposed to what was already existing in our previous rented home.
Tell us a bit about the storage solutions in the house
Storage was a crucial aspect in doing up the house as I am someone who does not like a lot of things strewn around the house. I need to have a sense of space where I can freely move without being constrained. So, we have extensive storage in the utility, bedrooms and the kids’ room made from BWR commercial grade plywood which is laminated from the inside and painted from the outside in white for seamless and sophisticated look.
Vinithra's home reflects her design philosophy which is all about being personal, affordable, and stylish.
Is all the furniture custom-made? Also, there is a mix of contemporary and vintage furniture along with the use of natural materials, can you tell us more about this?
Yes, most of the furniture is custom-made and have been with us for many years. Every piece has its own story which gives the house a unique character and a collectible vibe. I love natural materials like wood, cane, bamboo and hence have used a lot of cane and cane weaving in my furniture as well as light fixtures. I do like to mix up things and hence we have a combination of the old and new to balance aesthetics and functionality. I have used high quality anti-stain fabric as my upholstery.
A mix of contemporary and vintage elements in the master bedroom with the use of plenty of natural materials.
How do you think a space and furniture can grow with you?
As a person I am not someone who likes to overhaul everything at one go. I like to source, collect and grow with things. I firmly believe that if you pick pieces you love, they will stay with you forever. I have no problem when anything is aged, if wood cracks or the marble top develops a patina, it is symbolic of things well used and lends it a different personality. I always prefer to reuse and repurpose things I already have and making it work in my new space.
With time our tastes change and so I like to make some minor changes to give things a new look. I have re-stained and re-polished several pieces of furniture to perk them up in the new
house which for me is an important aspect of sustainable living. We have reused a nursery changing table as additional storage in my daughter’s room. We had bedside tables in the guest room which became side tables in my son’s room, we have painted them white now. The furniture we have chosen for the children’s room is simple and light so we can replace them with whatever they like as they grow older.
Similarly, I love collecting rugs and keep changing them with time and according to the season. This helps me relive the little chronicles associated with when I bought them. We also keep adding paintings and frames to our gallery wall which has evolved with time giving us a chance to reflect and travel back in time, as it were. So, everything in the house is not just an “item” or a “piece of furniture” but has a much deeper meaning and its own narrative.
Any specific challenges in designing the house and your favourite spot or room in the house?
The main challenge was the budget and fitting everything we wanted within a limit. My favourite spot in the house is my sun-kissed living room as we spend a lot of time together as a family here. The gallery wall in the living room has our favourite pieces of art and prints we have collected and preserved over the years. So, it has a lot of memories and I love the vibe of this space.
The kitchen cum dining space - aesthetic yet functional.
Vinithra's love for art is evident in all her spaces.
A view of the entertainment room: a perfect space for the entire family to relax.
The gallery wall serves as a canvas for memories galore.
Custom storage - an intrinsic part of Vinithra's design.
Comfortable and child friendly, the kids' room is bright and elegant.
Storage done in shades of white for a sophisticated and seamless look.
Vinithra's living room replete with chic and eclectic vibes.
A dreamy, flowery, soft setting that looks straight out of an old-world English romantic novel - you have to see it to believe it
Using principles of traditional architecture, the designer turned a moody flat into a bright family home that looks like it’s nestled in the trees outside
A home in Thrissur combines traditional architecture and international design
Beautiful Homes Service helped an NRI family build their dream home in India from afar