Pure white underpinned by colourful art, this Beautiful Homes Service-designed home exemplifies urbane sophistication
White, white and more white. That was the brief designer Tanmaya Varshney got for a vacation home in one of the Lodha Belmondo residential towers close to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. “The clients specifically wanted only white—not different shades of white, no panelling and no ornamentation,” says the Beautiful Homes Service designer. She did, however, convince the clients to go for subtle touches of colour that would not take away from the white theme. Varshney talks about how she navigated the brief and how she visualised the first vacation home she’s designed.
Tanmaya Varshney (TV): The clients, a high-powered corporate couple, had bought two adjoining units, each with a living room, a bedroom and a bath, on the 25th floor of Lodha Belmondo. They live about 40 km away, at the other end of the city and they wanted to use this space as a vacation home and a space to host guests.
TV: Initially, the clients wanted to connect the two units but then decided against doing that in case they chose to sell one of the units down the line. So we kept the connection very transitional. One of the units was to specifically host overseas guests and the other one was meant to be a private space-cum-activity area just for the family. They are hobby painters, and the space displays a lot of colourful artwork, which was created by the client’s mother. (Both her parents are alumni of the Delhi School of Art.) That was one of the main reasons they wanted an all-white house.
TV: The white theme was non-negotiable. As long as we stayed within that framework, the clients were very open to our suggestions and left it to us when it came to selecting paint, finishes and laminates. The brief also differed from the typical primary city apartment needs, which are more about creating functional spaces and space for storage. This was more from an ‘emotional’ standpoint. The clients wanted a space of comfort and we focused on creating the right experience of living here.
TV: They wanted white flooring as well, which I told them would be a hassle to maintain, especially in a vacation home. So I suggested some grey and black options and they eventually selected grey flooring. The other deviation was adding some light wood to contrast with the white and break the monotony. I was keen on this because even with the same shade of white, there is always a slight difference in the colour depending on the materials used. The white toughened glass used for the kitchen, for instance, is different from the white Corian counter, which is different from the wall paint. So we introduced these very thin wooden breakers between the points where the white shades subtly changed, which the client liked.
TV: The furniture is from IKEA and the lights are from The White Teak. We also used 3D dado kitchen tiles in the living room. This was something the client really wanted. We used it behind the sofa wall so that they look more textural—else kitchen tiles in the living area would have been a complete misfit.
TV: For the private-cum-activity unit, everything was pared back. There’s just one white louvred cupboard and a counter with a wooden ply surface. We lowered it from its original height for the clients to use as a space to work on their paintings and used washable paint for the walls. We also made room to accommodate a piano and a boxing bag.
TV: The budget shot up from the initial Rs. 13 to 14 lakh but the clients were fine with it since we changed all the finishes to premium ones, including the glass modular kitchen. As far as feedback goes, the clients were very happy. Given their busy professional lives, they were able to visit us only at the start and at the end (one visit in the middle was to finalise the kitchen). When they saw the space during the handover, they said it looked much bigger and more enhanced than when they’d bought it—and that it was all accomplished while sticking to the white theme.