The houndstooth flooring in the lift lobby, the blue tie and dye sofa in the foyer, the green and grapefruit walls pretty much set the tone for the rest of this MuseLAB designed home in Pune. “Since this is a 7,000 square foot space, it's sort of treated like a villa in the sky,” Huzefa Rangwala tells us about the stunning 12th floor apartment in a new highrise in the city. He is one half of Mumbai-based design firm MuseLAB and dressed in a polka-dotted shirt and striped pants are very much the mastermind of the brand aesthetic that he has created and refined along with co-founder Jasem Pirani. Known for their expert layering with colour, texture, print, and pattern, such is the way of their reputation preceding them, even I picked my stripiest dress to wear to the interview. And it all feels apt when Jasem and Namrata Tidke (associate architect at the firm) walk in wearing stripes too!
The home, which belongs to a Muscat-based entrepreneur and his wife and three kids, works as a base for their visits to India. The houndstooth flooring in the lift lobby, the blue tie and dye sofa in the foyer, the green and grapefruit walls pretty much set the tone for the rest of this MuseLAB designed home in Pune. “Since this is a 7,000 square foot space, it's sort of treated like a villa in the sky,”. The house isn't driven by any architectural 'ism's' such as maximalism or minimalism. Every piece in the house, including the curtains and upholstery, has been customised to created something that the family can call their own. Take a tour with us as we visit this Pune home filled with an exciting play of prints and colours!
The three of them hit a kind of a jackpot with this home project - a blank slate and an NRI client who gave them complete free reign in designing the space. Jasem tells me that the five-bedroom apartment, with two kitchens and a pool is the biggest home they have worked on so far. “This single five bedroom is as big as four three-bedroom apartments in Mumbai,” he laughs. “We had to open up our minds because we were used to smaller Mumbai apartments and always working to create more space. Here it was about what do we do with all the space?”
The entrance foyer is defined with rich colours and patterns with a statement sofa and cement wall tiles.
MAKE IT LARGE
The home, which belongs to a Muscat-based entrepreneur and his wife and three kids, works as a base for their visits to India. When he met the designers, the only thing he put forward as his brief were a few functional requirements. “They did not enforce any aesthetic on us. We did make a presentation to them, but they didn’t give us a Pinterest mood board,” says Huzefa.
The classical palette for the formal living room is in ivory whites with a large metal center table. A dull gold wall art and chandeliers along with two indigo armchairs complete the look.
One of the main things the homeowner wanted to be the segregation of private and personal spaces. So one side of the home has the living and dining area, pool, guestroom, and a small dry kitchen. The other side has four bedrooms, a bigger kitchen, and a den. “If anyone comes to stay here in their absence, they have everything they need in one section of the house,” says Jasem. The family entertains a lot when they are in India, and the 900 sq ft living room is perfect for that. They used the large space to create smaller seating areas, besides a formal living area and a dining table that can seat 12 people. “The only other things he specifically asked for were lots of plants, lamps, a well-organised wardrobe, and enough space to move around,” says Namrata.
Designed as a happy space, the largish breakfast bar cascades down to form a basin counter.
The feature wall across the bed is highlighted in a dull blue colour.
The coral on the vanity contrasts beautifully with the sunshine yellow patterned floor tiles and the textured burnt grey subway tiles laid out in a herringbone pattern.
PLAYING IT UP
And then came the MuseLAB touch. A play of colour, texture, and prints has helped create unique spaces inside the large home. To just call the design quirky and playful would be to minimise the studied play of material and styles and the thoughtful detailing. Take for example the dining area, where the sleek 14-feet long walnut wood dining table has a cylindrical base in the concrete finish while the chairs in distressed finish have been furnished with romantic floral fabric. The multi-coloured credenza next to it is a stand-out piece. Designed taking inspiration from a stack of photo frames, there are no handles on it and the tactical experience of the drawers requires you to first find the opening.
A large 12 seater customised solid wood table in teak and walnut sits on a trio of cylindrical legs finished in concrete texture and glossy PU. The credenza next to it is inspired by a stack of photo frames.
Rich colours and patterns define every room, including the usually overlooked kitchen, bathrooms, and transition spaces. “We wanted to give each room its own personality. So, for example, we had planned a base colour pallet of blues and greens for the house but in the rooms, you'll see a burst of lime and orange too. So each room kind of has its own palette as well,” says Jasem. A customised monochromatic pattern created on back painted glass became the backsplash for the kitchen area while the breakfast bar is a soft pastel green. The den with its black marble flooring and chocolate veneers has been given a darker feel to create the experience of a home theatre. They even created specialised graphics for curtains in the bedrooms.
“If you look at a house, it isn’t driven by an “ism” in architecture, maximalism, minimalism… every piece in the house, including the curtains and upholstery, has been customised to create something that the family can call their own,” says Huzefa.
The master bedroom has accents of a grapefruit red and dark teak veneer while the bed itself is upholstered in a beautiful checkered fabric.
The master bath is designed as a colour burst of pinks, reds and whites with a Brazilian grey granite for a vanity that sits well against a customised picolo wall graphic.
The eldest son’s room has a palette of ivory on the walls, with accents of teals, greys and mustards. The graphics on the curtain drives the palette of all the bedrooms.
The teal colour continues on the vanity of the ensuite bathroom. The floor is a melee of picolo tiles in shades of blue, green and grey.
The daughter’s room is set in an ivory shell with a bespoke dresser unit and a study table media unit with shutters in a happy coral.
The accent colour in the younger son’s bedroom is a sage green which forms the backdrop of the bedroom wall.
The walls of this bathroom are in a glossy grey subway tile which contrast the mustard yellow vanity shutters and the teal blue tiles in the bathtub.
Envisioned as a hotel ensuite, the guest bedroom window overlooks the pool area. The furniture is minimal considering it is the smallest bedroom in the home.
Designed as a multi-purpose space, the furniture in the den comprises of re-configurable modules of deep loungers and pouffes to create a sack-out space.
This space is the formal transition from the den to the sleeping areas and mimics the elevatator foyer in terms of patterns and palette.
Transition spaces are often neglected, but her the designers have heroed the lift lobby with houndstooth patterned floor tiles in black and white Picolo mosaics.
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