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This Mumbai apartment is a minimal, monastic den

Elsie Nanji puts together a serene, understated apartment that doubles up as a party pad


When hosting a party, we often struggle to rejig the furniture to accommodate all our guests. So, when she had to plan a space to be used primarily for hosting, ace designer Elsie Nanji kept furniture pieces to a minimum and pushed the rest against walls and niches. For instance, the sofa and the bookshelf have been placed between two pillars. She even created a ledge skirting the windows to provide seating from where one can look out to the expansive views of the sea.

the large living area

To create separate spaces within the large living area, Elsie sectioned off a part by creating a ring of seaters and pouffes. You can try the same with armchairs and sofas. For maximum effect, try your hands at mix and match seating options.

The main attraction though, is the Cabinet of Curiosities which stands against a completely white washed wall. Painted with a distressed effect, the cupboard houses heirlooms collected and passed down in the family. “When doing a house, the central idea is to make the space unique to the owners. One day, while we were discussing the house, the owner’s daughter brought out perfume bottles of her grandmother while the grandmother brought out badges belonging to the son. So, we decided to make it like a little treasure chest,” divulges Elsie.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own home, Elsie has a few suggestions for you too. “If you don’t want to use heirlooms, you can convert the cupboard into a puja room. Secondly, make optimum use of your window space by converting it into a seating area. Kids love it, and so will you.”

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