Designed for an NRI family, this restrained, elegant space was executed in record time because of the implicit trust between designer and client
Undertaking a home décor project is a paradoxical feeling; it’s both exciting and nerve-racking. And here’s another condition—having your home designed in your absence. A situation of this nature could send many into a worry spiral. Not these home owners though. A family who visits India occasionally entrusted their home in the hands of architect Avinash Joshy of Studio Nirvana. With the looming pandemic and remote monitoring, their tranquil, monochromatic nest came to life, during peak lockdown. We asked Avinash about the project and the process to complete it.
Avinash Joshy: After working in Bangalore for a while, I started Studio Nirvana in the monsoon of 2015. We are a small team of designers and architects, and largely work on residential spaces. We believe in creating blissful and zen spaces.
Aj: This is a 1,200 sqft, three-bedroom apartment in located in Kakkanad, Kochi, Kerala. It is a second home for an NRI family, a place they can spend time in when they visit Kerala, their hometown. The idea was to have a minimalist design theme—one that would make the compact square footage feel more spacious and less cluttered. We wanted the residents to feel peaceful and warm in this family home. We decided to use bedroom design to open it up to make the common spaces larger. We used fabric partitions so that the space could be converted again, into a temporary bedroom.
Aj: The colours were kept neutral with half-black walls, eggshell whites, polished cement surfaces and wood. We finished the sofa and dining table in polished cement. We choose complementing colours of brown and smoked red for the furnishings.
AJ: A few of the furniture pieces were in-built like the black console units in the foyer and prayer area, which blend in with the black wall. We have a large cement finished sofa that runs along the entire wall. The dining table was tucked into a corner to open up more space in the public area. In fact, we planned the furniture in such a way that we could maximise open spaces.
Aj: While the idea was to keep things largely neutral, we did play with the possibilities of black and how it reacts to natural light.
Aj: It's interesting how this project was conceived. We met the clients for a design presentation, and once they went back, the pandemic took over the world, and they couldn't return to India. But they commissioned the project regardless, and while it's completed, they still haven't seen it or lived in it! It's humbling to know see they trusted us with their home, without physically being present. We proposed black walls, unfinished textures, and they were still on-board. We hope we get to work with such clients in the future.