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When Remo and Lizelle D’Souza moved into their apartment, there was just one major requirement that the director-choreographer wanted. “His main thing was that when he walks into the house, it should be home. It should not be a film set,” said Lizelle on the Asian Paints Where the Heart Is episode that focused on the warm tones and cool vibes of their Mumbai house. Using that as a design lodestar, the couple went about creating a house that is a pretty perfect expression of that vision. Light walls, warm wooden flooring, comfortable furniture and appropriately restrained splashes of colour, everything has been chosen to make this house into a home. “Everything in this house, the decor, furniture, detailing has all been done by Lizelle,” says Remo. This space is just what they wanted out of a home—a place of comfort, work, play, exercise, rest. “There are elements of him, elements of me, and everything together is [this] home,” says Lizelle. And if the inviting vibe and rather prominent pool table is anything to go by, then it is also a great place to entertain. “I love playing outdoor games, and we have a lot of friends and acquaintances who come over who challenge me to a game of pool.”
Remo & Lizelle D’Souza’s sprawling apartment is a complete dream home. With stunning views, this quintessential Mumbai home is symbolic of their journey and success. Full of warm tones and comfortable corners, the home is filled with positive energy and good vibes.
Over the last two years, the one thing we learned was that home truly was every place: office, gym, sanctuary. What it wasn’t was a place of entertainment. Now, as we slowly come out of the pandemic and its isolating consequences, and open our doors to friends, this home offers up some great tips to decorate your space as the go-to home for get-togethers.
One of the most useful layouts you could opt for if you’re the kind who enjoys entertaining at home allows for seamless fluid movement without doors and walls getting in the way. An open-concept living area that moves uninterrupted into the dining space facilitates the casual, friendly vibe you’re going for as a host. It’s about making your guests feel comfortable and welcome and move around easily. It also ensures that as a host, you are not isolated if you pop into the kitchen for host duties. The wooden flooring that runs through the D’Souzas’ living area further ensures that sense of free-flowing space as well, which is a good tip to keep in mind.
This is one of the most useful pieces of furniture to invest in if you
Multiple, and comfortable, seating options with complementary upholstery that invites your guests to sink into that sofa or armchair is essential to get the right vibe in your house party; layer on accessories and elements that can serve as conversation starters and you’re set.
enjoy hosting parties. A bar cart takes up little space, so if you have a compact home, it is a better option than a bar counter. More importantly, it allows for a casual vibe where guests can prepare their drinks and you don’t have to be stuck behind a counter.
Half the battle is won when you go with an open-plan living area. The lack of walls ensures you have more floor space for furniture. But do ensure that the furniture pieces you choose aren’t heavy. That could end up eating up all that free floor space you covet, which allows guests to move about comfortably. Instead, bring in lighter, moveable furniture pieces, apart from the occasional accent chairs that make the right statement. You can pick out a three-seater sofa instead of a two-seater one that’s visually light with slim legs and doesn’t overwhelm the space.
If you feel your relatively compact living room won’t be able to accommodate too much furniture, then pick out pieces that are multifunctional—nesting stools that can be pulled out of coffee tables as seating, a couple of ottomans that can work as seating. Try and create smaller group seating arrangements too—around the dining table, a corner of the sofa and a couple of chairs, even thrown in some large-sized pillows and bolsters on the floor if it’s a casual gathering. The options are numerous.
Remo and Lizelle D’Souza’s dining area is perfectly turned out for guests, with the adjoining wall adorned with wall plates and an ornamental frame for the mirror; the plush look is enhanced by the textured dining table and beige-gold chairs.
Apart from good food and great company, a house party is all about setting the right mood, and key to getting that perfect is the lighting. Choose a mixture of cove and spotlights along with decorative table lamps, floor lamps (if you have space) and wall sconces. You can even opt to indulge in a little relaxing aromatherapy by placing pretty-looking, slow-burning scented candles on open shelves; they add to the decor even as they set the mood.
Also, be sure you have a sound system handy, maybe as part of your TV unit, to play some mellow music.
If you have a balcony, regardless of its size, make the most of it. Add in some comfortable seating there—a cane chair, wooden bench or even a swing for one—and some upholstered stools if you have the room. This creates yet another group seating. And if you have plants decorating it, then there’s nothing like some vibrant greens to add a refreshing vibe. You can even string some fairy lights across your balcony railing to enhance the mood.
If you are in the habit of entertaining friends at home, it is a good idea to make sure your living space is not too cluttered. In that sense, a minimal aesthetic is the go-to route to take. Too much clutter will just end up getting in the way. But do make sure you have interesting pieces placed around the room—bold artworks, statues and figures (if you have the room) that can be conversation starters, souvenirs from trips, even a statement chair or coffee table to enhance the space. Make use of any vintage pieces you might have to lend interest to the space. If quirky is your thing, then don’t hesitate to let it come through in your décor choices.
The D’Souzas’ at-home pool table is great if you have space and enjoy the game. But if you don’t have the room, board games that can be stowed away in cabinets also work well. If you have some room and interest, a foosball table will ensure there’s never a dull moment. A dartboard in one corner of a room is also a good idea but make sure the backdrop is resilient enough to bare marks from stray darts.
Director-choreographer Remo D’Souza gets comfortable for the Asian Paints Where the Heart Is episode that turns the focus on his sprawling Mumbai home.
Bright art, patterned sofa, golden-hued wallpaper—create an interesting and cosy seating nook for guests for at-home get-togethers.
Make sure your décor choices are an expression of who you are, your tastes and your personality.
Remo and Lizelle D’Souza focused on curating elements with warm tones and cool vibes to create an atmosphere that didn’t look like a film set.
A large-sized dramatic artworks are offset by a toned-down aesthetic of warm wooden flooring, which balances the bold with the warm and lends an inviting vibe to the space; while the D’Souzas have added quirky cushions and art to their bedroom, you can replicate the idea in the living area to make give it a house-that-hosts-parties look.
If you have the space to go all out in your balcony, then do so; greenery, some decor in the form of busts and figures, and a cosy seating area will win over your guests.
If you have a balcony, make the most of it; add in seating and spruce it up with the right furnishing; indoor plants will only serve to make the space more welcoming; the balcony is a great place to create yet another nook for seating for guests.
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