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Step inside the house of curves

  • Apartments
By Prerna Makhija
9 min read
Jan 21, 2022
Sofa set to add comfort to your living room  - Beautiful Homes

As residential developers look upwards, new apartment buildings in metros across the country grow taller with even longer list of swish amenities. While these new homes offer respite from the busy city streets with enviable luxuries–there is no escaping the wave of sameness that’s washed over the blocky apartment layouts. And it’s not just the floor plans that are identical in new high-rises–when a builder hands over a home these days, it comes with value-added flooring, tiles and walls that are common to all the apartments in the building too.

 

While many surrender to these cookie-cutter homes, Chetan Lahoti, the principal architect at Mind Manifestation Design in Pune, decided to fight this urban cliché, one apartment at a time. For a three-bedroom apartment on the 16th floor of a new residential building, his team erases the straight lines and boxy layouts to create the “House of Curves”. Columns and beams are cleverly restructured as arches and vaulted ceilings, reeded materials with grooves are employed in unexpected ways and circles make a statement at every corner. Chetan takes us through his design philosophy with a quick tour of this unconventional apartment in Pune. Edited excerpts from an interview:

New homes and apartments on metros grow taller with even longer list of swish amenities. While these new homes offer respite from the busy city streets with enviable luxuries–there is no escaping the wave of sameness that’s washed over the blocky apartment layouts. While many surrender to these cookie-cutter homes, Chetan Lahoti, the principal architect at Mind Manifestation Design in Pune, decided to fight this urban cliché, one apartment at a time. For a three-bedroom apartment on the 16th floor of a new residential building, his team erases the straight lines and boxy layouts to create the “House of Curves”! With columns and beams restructured as arches, materials employed in unexpected ways, and circles make a statement at every corner we bring to you a quick tour of this unconventional apartment in Pune.

Beautiful Homes: How Would You Describe Your Design Philosophy?

Chetan Lahoti: Our design philosophy is rooted in creating functional spaces in an economical manner with natural materials. As far as possible, we like to work with naturally available materials and highlight their inherent qualities over artificial flourishes. There is a timeless quality to this approach. We also try to work with local craftspeople in all our projects.

 

Bh: Tell Us About The Project And The Brief You Received From The Homeowners.

CL: The three-bedroom apartment is on the 16th floor of a new high-rise with beautiful views of the city and the hills in the distance. We knew from the start that we need to enhance its best qualities–the natural light and the cross-ventilation that’s abundant in every room of the house. The family of four have a humble lifestyle and they were clear that they didn’t want anything too flashy. Since they also didn’t want to fill up the house with a lot of things like art or personal items, we could adopt a minimalist house design. A neutral colour palette, pastel tones of lime plaster on the walls and ample play of natural light make the overall Scandinavian-style approach warm, cosy and inviting.

Sofa set to add comfort to your living room  - Beautiful Homes

An otherwise cookie-cutter apartment in a Pune high-rise is transformed by interior design firm Mind Manifestation Design as “The Curves” house. Rigid columns and beams are softened with vaulted ceilings as well as arched entrances and alcoves.

Chairs to make your living room more elegant  - Beautiful Homes

A neutral colour palette, pastel walls in lime plaster, minimally designed furniture and ample natural light are key features of every room of “The Curves” house.

Jewel toned headboard for your lavish bedroom - Beautiful Homes

Circular geometry is hidden in plain sight such as the soft, curved corners of this jewel-toned headboard in the primary bedroom.

 

Bh: How Did This Apartment Transform Into “the Curves” House?

CL: When the apartment was handed over by the builders, the existing structure was made up of rigid columns and beams. With minimal treatment done on site, we could smoothen these columns and beams into arches and curves, changing the whole architectural envelope of the house. As you enter, an arched corridor runs across the length of the house to make the most of the natural light and ventilation. Elsewhere, the nooks between two columns have been smoothened with plaster of paris to create niches with curved corners. The vaulted ceiling in the living and dining area are a curved abstraction of the wooden rafters we’ve used in the terrace outside. We’ve incorporated curves in smaller ways too. For instance, the conical light over the dining table or the curved corners of the headboards in the bedrooms. Of course, the arches and curves in the house have different proportions so our main challenge during the renovation process was to balance these in a way that they complement each other. 

 

Bh: Can You Take Us Through Some Of Materials Used To Renovate This Apartment?

CL: One of the more distinguishing features of the house is that we haven’t used any paint on the walls. Instead, we opted for lime plaster with a few different colour pigments for different rooms of the house. It is an old-school approach, mostly used in Gujarat and Rajasthan but it’s well worth the effort because of its unique texture. Lime plaster is also more durable, it doesn’t stain, and it can be easily cleaned with a dry or wet cloth. It also lowers the room temperature by 2-to-3 degrees. We opted for a minimal and simple material palette for this apartment. There’s also solid wood and veneer that’s been polished and coloured in different tones across the house which we have paired with brass detailing. The builders had already made use of marble flooring throughout the house and wooden flooring in the master bedroom, both of which we decided to retain.

Ceiling design for an extraordinary  living and dining room - Beautiful Homes
Interior designer Chetan Lahoti introduces curves in the living and dining areas with the use of a vaulted ceiling design, cleverly fitted with recessed lighting. A lot of the furniture was built on-site with upholstery in a neutral colour palette. The framed artwork is fashioned from fabric by a local artist.
Corridor design to make your home more elegant and stylish - Beautiful Homes
A long arched corridor runs across the length of the house to make the most of the natural light and ventilation.
Chairs to make your living room more elegant  - Beautiful Homes
A neutral colour palette, pastel walls in lime plaster, minimally designed furniture and ample natural light are key features of every room of “The Curves” house.
Terrace design to make your home more stylish - Beautiful Homes
The terrace stands out from the rest of the minimally-designed house as terracotta bricks are used to create casual, amphitheatre-like seating. It can be accessed through a large window from the entrance corridor and through a sliding door from the living room.
Ceiling lamp design for the extraordinary dining room - Beautiful Homes
How many circles can you spot? Circles and curves are used liberally in the dining area – from the circular dining table and conical ceiling lamp to the miniature arched niches and the console with curved corners.
Dining table to add more style to your dining room - Beautiful Homes
The dining table with a conical base and round top has a brass inlay in the centre. Behind it, the small nook between two columns has been smoothened with plaster of paris to create an arched niche.
Jewel toned headboard for your lavish bedroom - Beautiful Homes
Circular geometry is hidden in plain sight such as the soft, curved corners of this jewel-toned headboard in the primary bedroom.
Wardrobe design to enhance your bedroom - Beautiful Homes
Curves even make their way onto the wardrobe in the primary bedroom by the use of fluted glass in the teak wood frame, finished with custom-made brass handles.
Gold finished headboard for your modern bedroom - Beautiful Homes
A statement-making headboard in gold-finished stainless steel is the highlight of this bedroom. Custom-designed handles for the wardrobe with brass-inlays are by SĀR Studio.
Foldable beds to make your bedroom more spacious - Beautiful Homes
A multi-functional guest bedroom with a foldable bed, ample storage and a study desk is designed minimally in all wood.
Wash basin countertop design for your modern home - Beautiful Homes
A multi-functional guest bedroom with a foldable bed, ample storage and a study desk is designed minimally in all wood.
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