When couple from north India chose Mumbai as their holiday home, designer Kumpal Vaid designed it as a soothing cocoon for them to retreat to
Cradled high above the bustling streets of Mumbai lies a contemporary oasis on the 73rd floor of a towering skyscraper designed by interior designer Kumpal Vaid. Surrounded by infinite views of the Arabian Sea, this cocoon-like apartment was skilfully transformed from a blank bare-shell canvas into a stylish yet soothing retreat in the midst of the Maximum City. The homeowners, a sexagenarian couple from North India who are both corporate professionals, surprisingly bought this apartment as a holiday home in the bustling financial capital. They enlisted Vaid, founder of the Mumbai-based studio Purple Backyard, after falling in love with her signature style for pairing natural materials with biophilic elements when they stumbled upon a house designed by her on Beautiful Homes. The subtle biophilic prints and fresh openness across every room immediately caught their eye, and they knew she was the perfect designer to bring their vision of a peaceful sanctuary away from the city’s hustle and bustle to life.
While the man of the house loved poetry and theatre, his wife was drawn to a vivid hue of emerald green, which she wanted to echo across this four-bedroom home spread across 2,200 square feet. “They would regularly visit Mumbai for work and play, were used to living in the best five-star hotels and wanted to make the apartment feel just as luxurious. But they also wanted the warmth and comfort that one feels in their own home,” explains Vaid, while walking us into this urban getaway.
Kumpal Vaid (KV): I wanted the home to feel as open and ventilated with a sense of flow to make it easy to navigate. Each space had to feel intuitive and functional to enhance the owners’ daily habits, while also carving out intimate corners for relaxation. I wanted each space to feel meditative, swathed in luxury while also concentrating on a sense of wellness.
KV: Our starting point for designing this home was definitely working with the wife’s favourite colour—emerald green—and also finding ways to not overcrowd any room. We didn’t want to end up with an overbearing house that was fighting with the view. We also wanted to create a layout that promoted an intuitive flow through the apartment. At our studio, we’ve always loved the idea of imperfection—so, while we wanted the home to flow organically, we didn’t want to see any rigid, structured symmetry anywhere. There was also a sense of tranquillity and balance that we were trying to achieve. Layering textures in similar tones was the key to making the home feel calm, which we paired with natural materials like rattan, wood and pure Indian stones.
KV: That’s become a part of our design DNA at Purple Backyard—it’s our signature. We are big on overplaying materiality and textures, and sometimes we even like to drench an entire home in one single tone to highlight a statement piece. We never want to see parts of the décor screaming for attention; it’s better when they come together to create balance. While we’ve used a striking hue of emerald in different elements across the house—such as the semi-precious green aventurine inlay sprinkled across the floor or the duo of upholstered armchairs in deep green and white—it still blends in like a symphony with the other soothing tones around it. And never takes away from the stunning view.
KV: This goes back to my personal journey of trying to write about my ancestral haveli in Rajasthan. While researching on it, I learnt more about the city of Makrana which is known for its iconic marble that built the Taj Mahal; and discovered other unique Indian stones, too. It made me wonder—why do modern Indian homes always want to use Italian stones instead of celebrating our own materials which are more beautiful and age better in our climate? It led me to marrying something that’s authentically Indian with a modern aesthetic. Homes are an emotion, and a special space where we can be ourselves. What could be more authentic in an Indian home than classic Indian stones?
KV: The living room was designed to frame the view as a focal point. When you sit on any of the couches here, it’s similar to sitting in the mountains. The surroundings melt away and you’ll feel like you’re taken into the view in front of you.
KV: Yes! The totem sculpture designed by Purple Backyard is an objet d’art beside the fireplace that spells the word ‘joy’ in Morse code. It quietly celebrates the couple’s personality and way of living.
KV: Probably the height of the building, which makes it sway a bit with torrential winds leaving the walls susceptible to cracks and weathering. Also, since the apartment is on the 73rd floor, clouds and mist gently roll in in the monsoon, which is so dreamy, but also brings in a lot of moisture with it. But we chose our material palette to complement this so everything would patina beautifully over time.