The founders at Amoeba Design designed this family home around the feeling of bliss
Design briefs often start with colours, textures, materials and ideas about how a space needs to look. But with this project in Pune for a family of five, architect duo Pashmin Shah and Satyajeet Patwardhan had a different brief—to create a home around a word and feeling: Ananda, bliss.
The clients, Roshan and Reena Taunk, had spent several years in Delhi and were looking to move back to Pune. The multi-generational family of five (Roshan, Reena, their daughters, and their elderly mother), had a simple ask: a home that must be named Ananda.
Satyajeet, founder at Amoeba Design says, “Since we were working our design around an emotion, we had to understand how they functioned as a family.”
The Amoeba team describes the family as dream clients who radiate positivity and a sense of happiness, peace and contentment. And this permeates every aspect of the project. The clients wanted simplicity married with traditional elements, but most of all, a home with plenty of room for the things that brought them their ananda: entertaining friends and family, cooking together and celebrating life’s little moments.
Keeping this in mind, Pashmin and Satyajeet chose to work with natural and traditional materials, paired with a warm rust shade. Says Pashmin, “The idea of happiness and celebration… when that was coined, we introduced the rust colour at the entrance. We used rust on the ceiling and wall, making it the spine of the house. The corridor connecting the living area to the bedrooms faces west, and when the evening light hits, you experience different tones of rust.” Satyajeet adds, “And the living room walls are done in lime plaster, which adds texture.”
The rest of the home follows the same muted and warm colour palette, with pops of colour: a mustard yellow sofa in the living room, a pastel green wardrobe in the elder daughter’s room and a peach lime plaster arch in the younger daughter’s room.
Pashmin and Satyajeet say they had complete creative freedom to design and execute the home to create the feeling of ananda the clients were seeking. The living, dining and kitchen together makes for one big, connected space reflecting the joy of bonding over food and conversation, while the bedrooms reflect the personality of the occupants.
Since the living-dining area is vast, the Amoeba team decided to use pillars and custom furniture to break it up and create spaces within a space.
The clients were initially worried that pillars would make the room feel small, but the Amoeba team convinced them otherwise. The teak pillars create a cozy and versatile screen. “There are so many ways to use a column. It’s about how people interact with it, and the moments that happen around the column… leaning against it and reading a book, kids running around it or playing a game,” says Pashmin.
Furniture has also been used to define the space, like the yellow sectional sofa, which acts a separator from the formal dining area. And the rug in the living room offers a warm and soft balance against the beige bareness of the floors.
Arches and rounded edges have been used liberally throughout the home, in the furniture and along the walls. When asked if it’s a signature Amoeba touch, Satyajeet says it’s more about what an arch brings to the space. “There are certain forms that bring in character. And an arch is one of the most stable structures, where none of the pieces are under tension. There is a degree of stability and confidence.”
And according to Pashmin and Satyajeet, the homeowners are like that: comfortable and confident about who they are and how they live, so incorporating arches seemed like a natural fit to bring in the emotion of ananda. “You’ll see that the arch reflects in a subtle way in other rooms as well,” he adds.
9 The family loves to entertain, cook, and eat together so the kitchen is the heart of the home and much more than a prepping station.
This is the only room in the house where Amoeba made structural changes, knocking down walls and removing the ceiling. The floors were redone as well. Says Pashmin, “Black and white tiles have an old-world charm and it fit the client’s sensibility: they have a great appreciation for the past and all things traditional.” The sleek marble tiles are a departure from the flooring in the rest of the house and evoke the timelessness of a Parisian cafe or Rajasthani palace.
The kitchen also has a tall wooden island, ideal for prepping food, eating together, or a chat with a cup of tea. The family loves traditional cookware and utensils, so the hardware in the kitchen is done in copper to complement the traditional copper containers and canisters on display.
Pashmin describes the Taunks as a family with great taste, who appreciate art. The walls are dotted with works of SH Raza and MF Hussain.
And in other spots, the furniture itself is the art (all of which has been custom-made by Amoeba). The arched bar unit in the living room is made from fluted glass, with retro detailing and plenty of depth—but it’s been designed to be discreet and understated. In the dining room, the run-of-the-mill sideboard is done away with. In its place, Amoeba created a custom arched wall inspired by cross-stitch patterns and crafted from classic mosaic tiles.
The master bedroom console has been crafted with black and white tiles inspired by bone inlay, while the Colonial-style four-poster bed adds character and a feeling of height and openness.
And the almirah is a work of art: tall and arched, in a mahogany finish, with large copper handles. Since they couldn’t use too many copper fixtures in the kitchen, Amoeba decided to use it in the bedroom. “Every bedroom reflects on the age, personality and impressions of the individual, where you find various influences such as Indian miniature art, marble mosaic and bohemian style, interpreted in a contemporary manner,” says Pashmin.
Satyajeet says, “It’s always a challenge to understand and transform a client’s personality to their home. It’s never a single agenda—it’s about how the project evolves.”