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The homeowners’ personal style gets perfectly reflected in this Kolkata home

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The responsibility of designing a space for someone is a big one. It involves being careful about respecting a homeowner’s personal tastes and translating their vision into how they imagined their home. But for this fifth-floor apartment in Kolkata, Mitra was tasked with creating a house for a couple who knew exactly what they wanted. The principal designer at Beautiful Homes Service speaks about walking the tightrope between balancing different design styles, working within a specific brief and literally creating a house design straight out of the client’s imagination.

Beautiful Homes (BH): In terms of the space what did you have to work with?

Sreejata Mitra (SM): This was a three-bedroom empty shell of an apartment approximately 950 square feet in size in a posh neighbourhood of Kolkata. It was to be designed to house three people—the couple and their mother.

BH: Did the homeowners have a ready style in mind when you met them to discuss the space and what could be done with it?

SM: They did actually. These homeowners were rather unlike many customers I typically come across. They had done a lot of research and were very clear about their tastes and preferences, the colours they wanted in their house and so on. In fact, they had a partiality towards neoclassical-style furniture as well as a taste for ethnic home décor and English hues.

BH: Did your approach to the house design change in any way given that the homeowners were quite well versed in design knowledge?

SM: This house, which had a living, dining, kitchen, as well as an open balcony, both in the living area and master bedroom, did not need any structural changes; hence, there was no breaking down 

Informal diwan with accent chairs for your living room to create a cosy look - Beautiful Homes

Another part of the living room has an informal diwan with accent chairs to create a cosy look.

of walls involved. As far as the interior design and décor went, we had a very precise understanding of the homeowners’ needs; they have particular preferences and a clear idea about aesthetics and design. They had done a fair bit of study about the different design styles, so when we began working, we knew we had to match their expectations. Whether it was colour or furniture—even its placement—the entire process was very collaborative.

Furniture for guest-room-cum-study & sky-blue colour palette for furniture - Beautiful Homes

The guest-room-cum-study has custom-made as well as store-bought furniture. Sreejata Mitra went with a combination of a sky-blue colour palette for the furniture and a grey-white tone for the wall; the soft furnishings are by Asian Paints.

BH: How did you execute this very specific design brief that they had?

SM: When it came to the furniture—some of which was customised and some store-bought—we went with a mix of neoclassical and minimalist style, in terms of the structure by sticking to slim, clean lines and visually light pieces. We also used a very characteristic English sky-blue shade for some of the furniture pieces, apart from the brown wood tone.

For the colour scheme, the clients wanted a neutral palette, so we stayed within the spectrum of off-white touched with some grey. And to break the monotony, we used the sky-blue colour as an accent. The dark brown shade was incorporated to add that touch of ethnicity.

BH: What kind of materials did you choose?

SM: We chose to use mostly ply, veneer, Duco paint and wood for some of the furniture pieces. One very interesting piece is an open shelf made out of GI (galvanised iron) pipes and ply with laminate used for the shelves. Though GI has a bit of an industrial look, we balanced that with the use of ply and laminate. The result is a very prominent piece of statement furniture.

BH: What would you consider as some of the highlights of the space?

SM: That would have to be the window seating with storage on both sides of the window and a folding study table in the guest-room-cum-study.

BH: How was the experience like working on a project where the clients knew just what they wanted?

SM: It was an interesting task for us to match what the client asked for and stay true to their very clear vision for the house. They had already imagined how the space would be; it was our responsibility to understand that and provide a reality that matched their imagination.

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