This young family-owned Colaba apartment has a timeless wabi-sabi aesthetic
It was a refreshing experience for Aarti Somani and Kruti Sheth of A&K Design Studio to design a 3,000 square feet Colaba apartment, without the client wanting to stuff it with furniture, arts and artefacts. “Moreover, it is flooded with natural light, has views of Alibaug and Marine Drive, and the kitchen has a view of the Arabian Sea,” says Al Somani.
The clients – a couple with a five-year-old son – didn’t want anything fancy or overdone. “They were reluctant to use marble and were happy with the wabi-sabi look,” Sheth says. Walls with a distressed finish abound. The monochromatic palette consists of beige, grey, off-white and dark grey, with some black accents. There are no pops of color. Stone, concrete and terrazzo make up the material palette. “The wood chosen is oak, because of its lighter color compared to teak,” says Somani. “Optical flow connects the spaces. The client did not want different themes in different areas, which might make the rooms appear separate.”
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The 30-foot-long corridor is treated with an arched ceiling, adding softness to its linearity. Throughout the apartment, custom pendant lights abound, reminiscent of mushrooms…and even clouds; They are made by local designers and artisans using fibre, clay, stone and concrete. With an organic aesthetic, some look like they could have “grown” like Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
This 650-square-foot living room features a warm taupe color with white and gray upholstery and a black-and-white print. In many places, curves replace right angles. “That’s the nature of wabi-sabi,” Sheth says. “We added a fluid form to the room, curving the walls, using soft curves for the sofas and sills, and introducing amoeboid shapes to the coffee tables and rugs – most recently from Hearty Muse Atelier.” Mushroom-shaped fiberglass lamps are hung in the middle of the living area. A gray rope swing hangs in the corner, while the stone bar has Bykanchi bar stools standing guard.
In the master bedroom, the bed is located in the middle of the room. The large window at the back contains a seating area from which to look at the view or read a book. “The room is long…and the TV viewing distance would have been completely impractical if we had placed the bed at one end of the 375-square-foot room. However, to get the recommended viewing distance, we had to hang the TV on a bar that ran from ceiling to floor.” “The two chairs in front of the TV provide an additional option for watching favorite shows; the rug is from Hatsuo,” says Sheth. “The placement of the TV also ensures that the view from the three walls of French windows, all of which overlook the Arabian Sea, is not blocked. “The fourth wall between the bathroom and the bedroom has It has a large glass window, allowing natural light into the bathroom while simultaneously framing the view.” The room has an uncluttered look. “There’s only so much you can fit in a bedroom,” laughs Al-Sumani. What makes the space feel larger is the fact that it doesn’t have Walls – glass separates it from the adjacent bathroom as well.On the other hand, the 175-square-foot dressing room is an enclosed space with no windows.
The son’s bedroom was designed to grow and develop with him. “Just removing the games and changing the artwork is enough,” Sheth says. “It wouldn’t take a whole room to be renovated, with a neutral theme.” The rug is designed by Hatsuo and the paintings are by Sarita Handa. The reading alcove is surrounded by shelves for books and toys. The long study table overlooking the sea features decorative lighting. The attached bathroom has a touch of mustard yellow on the countertops, with custom-made terrazzo from earth-toned chips covering other areas. There are beige strips on the walls, ceilings and storage cabinet.
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The guest room can be used as an informal lounge area. There are two sliding doors installed in a section, opening the room to the corridor that connects the entire house. Located near the entrance, it can also be used as an informal living room. There is a Murphy bed hidden in oak paneling behind the sofa. Storage is provided in sliding wood and cane shutters, while the mandir has an antique beachway as a backdrop. Lights by Harshita Gehamtani.
“The den is a concrete structure with dark wood blinds, black stone cladding and gray veneer panels. The flooring is by Bharat Floors. The custom-made terracotta lights by Shailesh Rajput are in amoeboid shapes depicting water, air and earth. A large L-shaped hugging linen and leather sofa Walls.
Resisting all passing fads, Somani and Sheth created a simple and timeless apartment in Colaba.