Designed by Swati Seraan of By the Riverside, the apartment brings together traditional craftsmanship, Indian art and modern touches
Swati Seraan, founder at By the Riverside Design, was tasked with creating a cosy home in an upscale residential complex in Bangalore with the “essence of Goa.” The homeowners, artist Divya and her techie husband Suraj, hail from Goa and wanted the colours and vibe of the sunny state to reflect in their 3800 sq ft apartment.
“The brief from Divya and Suraj was straightforward—neither of them wanted a cookie-cutter home, and they wanted the look and feel of Goa to permeate the space. We call the vibe ‘Indian traditional contemporary’,” says Swati. We got the designer to give us a tour of the home and how she created this very specific aesthetic. Edited excerpts from the interview:
Swati Seraan: We took inspiration from Goa which you can see all over the house, from the handcrafted tiles to the custom furniture to the artwork. We made very minimal structural changes. The fourth bedroom has been converted into a media and recreation room, with a complete home theatre and some gym equipment.
We knew we had to play with bright and warm shades in many areas. You’ll notice a lot of earthy shades and rust, as well as a brick wall in the living area. We confidently went with deep shades because the natural light in the house is incredible. The bedrooms of course use more subtle colours, for a tranquil effect and to match the furniture.
SS: The kitchen design of this home blends warm, deep tones with a harmonious fusion of traditional aesthetics and modern technology. You’ll see glasswork on the utility doors and custom yellow backsplash tiles; but overall, the kitchen unit is very symmetrical, in shades of teal and blue. The chimney cover has been done in a traditional style, with an opening at the very top, where the family can display decor. This takes inspiration from old chimneys in Indian homes.
The kitchen island gives the family extra space to cook, serve, and gather. While the fittings and cover are branded, the sides have a jali door along with a warmer… so I would call the island a combination of craftsmanship and high-end tech.
SS: The wallpaper in the guest room is from the Nilaya by Asian Paints’ Sabyasachi collection. Our client Divya instantly loved this wallpaper from the Pichwai collection because of the Indian theme and motifs. Plus, the way we combined the wallpaper with a white teakwood handle wardrobe and white wainscoting really made it stand out. Divya wanted to retain an heirloom bed in dark rosewood for the guest room. We coated it with white to work with the overall aesthetic of the space, which she was very happy with.
SS: The media room, converted from the fourth bedroom, showcases exceptional interior design. Explore this distinctive space tucked away from the other bedrooms, thoughtfully linked through an aisle. This gave us an opportunity to design it differently. Suraj, the husband, was clear that this room had to be done up in his style. It took us a while, we went back and forth, and one day, everything just clicked—converting it into a media room, adding a mini-gym, the colour scheme, etc. You’ll notice the colours in this room are more dramatic and dark-toned, with a strategic mirror showcase along the wall. This den has been designed for family leisure time.
SS: The 10-year-old son had different needs and children usually appreciate modern taste, that’s the reason we made his room differently. We used subtle but eclectic shades of orange and blue to keep it playful. Like the master bedroom, the wooden flooring was left unchanged since it ties all the rooms together.
SS: Divya’s home is not only filled with custom-made pieces but heirloom furniture that we refurbished for a fresh look. The dining table comes from her sister’s home and we procured vintage teak wood chairs. The crockery unit was refurbished with remaining pieces from the pichwai wallpaper in the guest room, and we gave it an orange colour pop. The carved headboard and sideboards in the master bedroom are again custom-made to give a heritage feel to the room, along with the wooden hanging lights.
The bar cabinet is a personal favourite. It is eight feet long and imitates Indian jharoka arches and has a dual colour scheme, forest green and teakwood. I especially love it because of the wall set up, with Tanjore art from Divya’s personal collection hanging above it. It all comes together and amplifies the ‘Indian traditional contemporary’ vibe of the home!