Private Quarters | February 2012
Overlooking the vast Arabian Sea in Mumbai is a home that exudes affluence, yet remains true to the guidelines of vaastu – thanks to designer Behzad Noshir Kharas of ThinkBNK Architects.
The interior designer plays several roles. Apart from styling a house, he sometimes becomes an educator, a mediator and a decision maker. Behzad Noshir Kharas, Principal Architect, ThinkBNK, played all these parts with aplomb as he designed a 2,000 sq ft vaastu-compliant apartment in an existing building. It was no easy task, but Behzad drew much satisfaction from the layout that balanced the client’s opulent tastes with the stringent rules of vaastu, the ancient science.
The red carpet
The 11.5 ft height of the house presented the first vaastu challenge, to meet which, the entire floor of the house has been raised by at least six inches. The lift lobby, hence, has a step to enter the apartment. But, the designer has turned this potentially unsightly feature into a fluid design element and has backlit the step for a touch of glamour.
A tall 9 ft solid wood door forms a dramatic entrance to the apartment. It opens into the brown and beige living area. Adhering to the brief of a modern yet rich décor, Behzad has derived a design based on the fusion concept. While modern ceilings with indirect lighting illuminate the area, silver work and motifs provide quiet accents. For instance, the door has a mother of pearl handle on which a floral motif laser cut in steel has been pasted to bring out an ethnic effect. The shoe rack is also an interesting piece that accessorises the space, yet gives no hint of its function, as is the cast iron chair designed with a floral motif, casually placed in a corner of the room.
Shine ‘n’ shimmer
Seeking to play up the almost double height ceiling, Behzad has used mica wallpaper instead of textured paint on the wall. The highlight of the room, however, is the sofa wall. Framing the entire seating area, this brown and beige composition brings the room to life.
Italian marble, which has been etched with a motif in different formations has been combined with veneer from ceiling to floor. A similar but more restrained design is repeated on the wall forming the backdrop of the television. This intricate wall involves alternate pieces and levels of backlit glass interspersed with champagne motifs.
The monotony of large copper coloured sofas with a leather sheen fabric and leather moulded tables has been broken with single seaters in crocodile finish. The soft furnishings for the entire house, which add to the exclusivity of the décor, have been specially designed by Shobhna Mehta from Kanchi Designs.
The dining area is a slightly narrow space attached to the living room. To enliven a dead wall here, Behzad has created mirror panels and diffused light through LED lighting such that one side of the room becomes metallic, and the other plain. An artistically sculpted POP base for the glass-topped dining table completes the picture.
A lot of furniture in this room comes from China. “Sourcing was critical for this project. The desired ambience demanded a perfect blend of elements,” says Behzad. In fact, harmonising the pieces from abroad with those customised in-house was quite a challenge.
Bedrooms with identity
Like the living room and dining area, every other room in the house has a unique identity. The master bedroom has mature brown tones with rich furnishings and an elaborate headboard. The headboard was created by sticking veneer over glass, with the grooves back lit. A similar design forms the backdrop of the TV unit.
The son’s room sets a futuristic tone with a bluish-silver grey palette and a headboard made of back painted and back lit frosted glass. A simple white console on the opposite side stretches to form a study table. The bathroom is clad in antique beige Italian marble, back painted glass and silver leafed motif.
The teenage daughter’s smaller white and pink bedroom is a cotton candy-meets-vanilla ice cream confection. A painting of Marilyn Monroe enlivens the wall, and the attached bathroom is in Italian marble with highlights of white Australian marble.
Understanding that every designer must translate the client’s desires – spoken and unspoken – in an aesthetic manner, Behzad has displayed great flair in fusing the client’s yen for opulence with function and modernity in this apartment!
Total Area: 2,000 sq ft carpet area
Total Cost: Approximately Rs 1.5 to 2 crore.
Text: Shanti Padukone
Photos: Sebastian Zachariah
Think BNK, 134/135, 1st Floor, Bayside Mall,
Opp Sobo Central Mall,
Haji Ali, Tardeo, Mumbai 400 034.
Tel: 022-6610 0313.
Meet the designer: Behzad Noshir Kharas
Firm: thinkBNK, founded in January 2005.
Firm specialisation: Design consultancy.
Design philosophy: Change is inevitable, and experimentation is the key to change.
Philosophy towards life: The world belongs to the brave.
Favourite architect/Designer: Santiago Calatrava and Raj Rewal.
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