Our clients – a textile designer and her entrepreneur husband – were looking to convert a rather cramped 3-bedroom apartment into an open & bright 2 bedroom + studio setup. They wanted a conscious, warm and simple home with abundant use of natural materials & an earthy palette. So we started out, with the aim to create a comfortable, calm and thoughtful space responding to the needs and lifestyle of the people living in it.
Name of spokesperson/person to be quoted in the article: Sabyasachi Routray & Anisha Menon
Designation: Principal Architect
Name of practice: ma+rs
Design Team: Sabyasachi Routray, Anisha Menon, Indulekha Paul
Photographer credits: Ishita Sitwala
Their apartment is a 1281 sqft space in the heart of Bangalore city overlooking the Ulsoor lake, and fringed by lush green defence land towards the rear. With an unobstructed view of lush green on one side, the two-decade old apartment still seemed rather dimly lit. It was spacious, but compartmentalised, without an unobstructed flow of spaces. We knew instantly that tearing down some of the walls and opening out the spaces would help get in abundant natural light, which in turn would uplift the quality of the spaces, almost instantly.
The existing kitchen and bedroom was opened up, which helped to bring in natural light from the attached balconies connected to the living and bedroom. In turn, this also created an open living plan. We reconfigured the bedroom adjacent to the living – which had a large private balcony – to create the studio space, separated from the living dining space physically with a teak wood & glass partition, with folding doors.
Creating an open living plan brought in more natural light, and created a clear visual connect to the greenery outside at all times. We retained and re polished the existing white Indian marble flooring that stays constant in most areas, creating a feeling of seamlessly traversing through the space, and unifying the apartment with a muted base for all the other elements & materials to counterbalance.
The walls are mostly all white, with accents of smooth cement finish plaster in some areas. Extensive use of teak wood & rattan adds warmth and a homely touch. Brass accents, hardware & lights bring in a sliver of indulgence to the otherwise grounded palette. The kitchen has been treated as an element of pop – with the addition of sage green, serving as an offset for the entire space to draw from. All the other colours, patterns & textures come in the form of upholstery, soft furnishings, fabrics, artefacts, artwork & of course, the people themselves!
As designers, we’re always looking to create protective, warm, and calm space, where peace is palpable. This timeless neo-traditional space is the reflection of the same idea. Once the couple begin occupying this space, the space will surely shift, as and when its habitants bring in their own ways of living to it.