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Suniel Shetty shows us how to add a natural aesthetic to a home

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Khandala has been coveted as a holiday home spot for many, especially those from Mumbai and Pune. And with good reason—the weather, the green cover and it’s not too far from either city. For film actor Suniel Shetty and his wife Mana their Khandala space was about creating a home almost inside nature, a self-contained biome on the edge of a cliff where the concept of indoors and outdoors seems redundant. “Both Suniel and I grew up with greenery and natural light, so we want to create that in any space of ours,” says Mana Shetty. 

In this sprawling house called Jahaan, there is clean air, lots of greenery, beautiful light, a sky full of stars. And certain things you don’t expect—a retractable roof that puts skylights to shame, life-sized boulders resting casually in the living area, and tall plants that you would generally see outdoors. “This house gets a lot of natural light, which allows the trees to grow,” says Shetty. Natural materials dominate the space whether it is the flooring or the exposed red brick wall in the room dedicated to the home theatre or the warm earthy colours throughout.
 

Suniel Shetty’s Khandala home is a true labour of love, rooted in nature, nostalgia and family. Surrounded by tranquil greens on every side, this home is a true reflection of all things that bring him joy. Inspired by his childhood memories in Mangalore, the space is peppered with earthy elements and textures that bring the outside in.


While this house may be aspirational and enviable, the elements that dictated its design can also be an inspiration, and applied, on a smaller scale, to any home. This is how you can make a natural and nature-inspired space work within a modern aesthetic:

INDOOR PLANTS ARE AN EASY SOLUTION 

The Shettys were able to play around with the number of greens they added indoors—and threw in a couple of boulders excavated at the time of building for good measure. For city-bound homeowners, though, while rocks may not be a good idea, indoor plants certainly are. Greenery inside the house is not just healthy for you, it is also a quick fix to add some colour and aesthetic appeal to your space. If you’re worried about your ability as a plant parent, find plants that are low maintenance and hardy enough to survive in the climate of the city you are living in. 
 

Foyer design ideas & wooden door design for your home - Beautiful Homes

Set the tone for your nature-inspired home by adding some indoor plants to the entrance or foyer area.

Indoor plants for the freshness & greenery in your home - Beautiful Homes

Adding indoor plants (local to your area) is the first and easiest element of incorporating nature into your home. Choose plants that you can handle, though, and ones that work well with the dimensions of your home.

Outdoor wall colour shades & verandah design for your home - Beautiful Homes

While this outdoor verandah at the Shetty home allows more freedom of using earthy palettes like this mustard yellow for the outdoor wall, in city apartments, such shades can be used in smaller formats, like an accent wall or even through furnishings.

LET IN THE LIGHT

One of the most staggering sights of the Shetty home is the incredible retractable roof and floor-to-ceiling wall of windows that, at the click of a button, open out to the sky overhead and a plant-drenched outdoor space. Floor-to-ceiling windows are a great element to add to city homes. If you have a balcony, that’s even better. But be sure your house has enough windows—small or large—and in the right direction so you’re protected from harsh afternoon light. Sheers or blinds are a good way to regulate the light that pours in.

OPT FOR SOME RAW POWER

Using materials in their raw form is a key factor in modern homes, and when used well, can add interesting detail to spaces. Shetty chose to go with an exposed-brick backdrop for his home theatre. Adding an accent wall clad in exposed red brick to your living room or study will help add some character to the space. You can also opt for exposed concrete if you want a more understated look.
 

PAY ATTENTION TO THE FLOORING

Get some organic material or natural stone underfoot and opt for unique flooring choices. While marble is a great go-to, forsake the Italian ones for locally quarried options. Or there are other elegant choices such as kota, sandstone (that comes in a variety of shades if you’re inclined to experiment), kadapa, Jaisalmer stone are natural flooring choices to look into. Find the ones that are locally produced. Then there is always hardwood flooring, which looks great especially in private areas.
 

INCLUDE WOOD INTO THE SPACES

Speaking of wood, no nature-related interior would be complete without wood in some form. If not flooring then wooden furniture is a universal favourite. If you have a compact space, use lighter wood. Do remember, though that wood can be high maintenance, especially in humid places. So choose wisely maybe opting for wood accents and lighter pieces.

ORGANIC FABRICS AND NATURE-INSPIRED PRINTS

To add that natural organic touch, the easiest way is through the fabrics you pick for upholstery and furnishings. Linens and cottons are by default the choices that should be top of mind. So find pretty colours and nature-inspired motifs (think flowers, leaves, etc) for the fabrics you pick.
 

Wooden furniture & accent pieces to design your home interiors - Beautiful Homes

Apart from considering hardwood as a flooring option (especially for private areas, incorporate wood through furniture and accent pieces.

EMBELLISH WITH EARTHY COLOURS

Earthy hues add warmth to a space but instead of going overboard with the warm browns, rust, mustard yellows and darker maroons, temper them with neutral beiges, creams and whites. Soft furnishings, pillows, upholstery for a statement chair perhaps could be canvases for an earthy palette.
 

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