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When your interest in something goes deep, you make as much space as possible in your life for it. Since she can remember, Saloni Doshi has been obsessed with art. She quit her first and only corporate job over a decade ago to launch Space 118, a gorgeous creative getaway in Mumbai where she provides residencies to Indian and international artists. But since a passion for art includes a proclivity to collecting, Saloni has also had to create as much room as possible in her home for her 300-plus art collection.
Saloni Doshi's home is a study in the importance of size and scale while planning your décor elements. Since she can remember, Saloni has been obsessed with art and all she wanted was a space where her favourite works could live and shine, and so her home is designed to do exactly that. Designed by Kavita Singh, the home exudes a drama, grandeur, and a sense of opulence. “This is my first home that has been done exactly to my taste and is completely a reflection of who I am,” says Saloni. Watch as we take a tour of Saloni Doshi's two-bedroom apartment in Worli, Mumbai, and understand how a patron of contemporary art created the perfect home for her collection and herself!
“Even when I was at my job, I was spending most of my salary on buying art. I was living with my parents then and at some point they got fed up of it and I had to start storing them in a warehouse,” says Saloni. Most thoughtfully designed homes have one or two core ideas behind them, and usually those can be described through broad feelings, functions or design philosophies. All Saloni wanted was a space where her favourite works could live and shine, and so her home is designed to do exactly that.
And what a dramatic décor idea that makes.
ART AT WORK
Saloni’s two-bedroom apartment in a quiet lane in Worli is a pleasant surprise. And not just because she has managed to find a quiet lane in this city, or even because she has dared to choose pristine white interiors while living so close to the ocean. It is the massive paintings on the drawing room walls of a standard-sized low-ceilinged Mumbai apartment you notice as soon as you enter. Three on first count, and then you spot one also in the hallway, then a life-sized wooden sculpture next to the sofa, and suddenly the wall murals in the corridor also start making sense.
There is a conversation piece wherever your eyes go, and deliberately so. Designed for one, Saloni’s luxurious apartment is indeed a showcase for her collection, and the fact that she lives alone helped – there is no other person and their choices jostling for attention and space.
‘The arrival of Vasco da Gama into India’ by N Pushpamala; ‘Joint Family Glitch’, a sculpture in sheesham wood by Nandan Ghiya. The salmon pink chairs are from Kavita Singh Interiors and the grey couch is from Colonial Collections.
When she bought the house it had not been renovated for 35 years. Besides working on the peeling paint and chipped flooring, she tore down a wall connecting the drawing room to the master bedroom. That room is now an extended living area while the guest bedroom is now her bedroom. “I entertain a lot, and I wanted everything in this house to be customised to my life,” she explains.
Drawings by Seher Shah and Shreyas Karle above the bed.
The balcony section of the bedroom.
The blue chairs are from Iqrup and Ritz; the white centre table is from Bo Concept.
FOR THE LOVE OF DRAMA
So, how do you design for a home where art is not an afterthought, and bought to match the sofa cushions and fit in with the dining table? Well, you first identify the best spots for each piece and then buy the couch. “I wanted to train the gaze of everyone who walks in, towards the art. It was important to me that people coming over should not be praising my furniture or carpets or bar, or the flowers or other things,” says Saloni. And so she brought in an expert to ensure just that.
Kavita Singh has been the doyenne of the Mumbai design scene for about three decades now and is a personal design hero of Saloni’s. Drama, grandeur, white interiors, art, mirrors, plants and flowers, Saloni loves everything Kavita is known for. “And the way she adds grandiose in a very structured way, not in the sense of opulence, you know, there is no bling here. I have learned how you can make the ordinary look extraordinary from her,” she says.
‘Studio Guests’ by Anju Dodhiya above the console; ‘Traumanauma – The City of the Gland’ by Jitish Kalat in the hallway next to it; ‘Left Spectrum Signages’ by Tanya Goel.
The choice of white windows, white flooring, white tables, white upholstery, even white curtains is to underplay everything in the interiors except the art and the plants. Plus, Saloni says she doesn’t love colour. “I'm not someone who loves splashes of color. And I am not a pop art person. If you notice, my paintings also have minimal colour.” A breathtaking canvas in pink and green by Tanya Goel, who is known for her abstract compositions, is the only spot of bright pigments you see in the home.
Saloni’s home is a study in the importance of size and scale while planning your décor elements. “It's not about how much you paid for the art. It is the way you style the pieces and where you place them that make it look so rich and impactful,” she says, giving full credit to Kavita Singh for her styling. Contrary to people’s fear of using big pieces in smaller spaces, it is these very massive paintings, besides the strategic use of mirrors, which add
depth and make a relatively small space look grand. Having said that, aesthetics and functionality are balanced perfectly. “I didn’t want people coming home to trip over things or be worried about breaking something.”
Saloni adds fresh flowers to her home every few days and her favourite are of course, white lilies. Having lived in three homes before this with her parents, and all of them done in beige and brown to their preference, she wanted to break away from that. “This is my first home that has been done exactly to my taste and is completely a reflection of who I am.”
Saloni Doshi is the founder of Space 118.
A photograph from Yograj Chitrakar series of Nikhil Chopra above the couch; Guldasta by Subodh Gupta on the side table; next to that is an abstract brick work by Teja Gavankar.
Saloni tore down the wall to create a larger living room. The vertical artwork in the corner is ‘Naughty Nighty in the Night’ by T. Venkanna and sculptures by Manish Nai on the shelves next to it.
Saloni’s bedroom is a light and calming space.
Wall murals in the corridor ‘Tropical Forest’ by Manita Singh.
The kitchen like the rest of the home has been kept pristine white.
The bathroom has been done with gold elements with a basin from Viya Home.
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