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Anushka Contractor blends colours, cultures and styles in an Art Deco inspired Mumbai apartment

JUN 18, 2021 | By Kashish Kaushal
An electric blue Chesterfield sofa made in-house, with cushions and armchair upholstered in fabric with hounds-tooth pattern, accompanied by a gold, black and wooden frame from The Golden Triangle adorn the living room. Art on wall from Sonal Vishwakarma along with a custom terrazzo hanging lamp from Harshita Jhamtani Designs and wood vitrified tiles from Cambay Stones tie the room together; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Mumbai is a fascinating city where tradition and modernity meet on the streets in the form of diverse edifices. Popular for its Indo-Saracenic architecture, the city also hosts the second-largest collection of Art Deco buildings across the world. Carrying this legacy forward, Anushka Contractor, of her namesake practice crafts a modern spin on Art Deco and French aesthetics in the apartment titled House of Solace.

The 490 sq ft apartment located in a heritage Art Deco building in Colaba, Mumbai, is designed to accommodate the needs of a singleton global Indian. The house is a concoction of white, black and greys with a smattering of electric blue and pop yellow.

“Since these were our parenthesis, we chose to customise most of the design elements- décor, furniture, light fittings et al. The background was meant to be warm to bring in the balance with the said colour palette”, elaborates Contractor.

White and wood console table from EK Design with a round gold and wood finish Beckon mirror from The Orange Tree adds a sophisticated touch to the living area. A black skirting with wooden detailing is an interesting addition; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Contractor has a penchant for creating hidden elements and blending them with a contemporary and definitive concept. A timeless French aesthetic infused with modern sensibilities forms the crux of this residence.

A TV wall unit with storage for gadgets and shelves to display curios picked up across travels connects the kitchenette to the living area; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Traversing the house, the main door gives way to a cosy living room doused in natural light streaming from a large window and a cute-as-a-button balconette. Tiles that resemble wood are laid on the floor, pre-cut into four pieces and organised in a herringbone pattern that sprawls across the studio and continues onto a feature wall in the living room.

The window with black detailing gives the illusion of length and was the best place for the custom made wooden desk by EK Design. Black mushroom lamp from The Golden Triangle and custom-made rug from Fench rugs impart a mature aesthetic to the living room; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Catering to the newfangled work from home requisite, a customised wooden desk with bright yellow drawers is placed across the window in the living room. The yellow brings in a pop of colour and warmth to the space that is largely decked in wood-finishes and blue.

Resplendent with natural sunlight, the balconette features furniture from EK Design, artefacts from The Golden Triangle and a planter from Passion Green. A ceiling light for when the sun fades from Harshita Jhamtani Designs can also be seen; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

An intimate nook is created in the little balconette for reading, a cup of coffee or both. An Art Deco chair, a side table, some indoor greens and a ceiling light decorate this serene spot.

The kitchen is flanked by a work top and appliances at one end and a built-in glass cabinet at the other; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Flowing from living area like a distributary is the kitchen. An island houses the cooking console with an overhead chimney and storage drawers beneath. The wall between the living room and the kitchen is demolished to open up the kitchen to make the living space appear larger.

At the foot of the kitchen is a compact round table with a seating for three from EK Design; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Throwing light on the challenges she faced while designing this area, Contractor shares, “We felt the island had to be relatively long with a hob and enough free space for cooking. We were debating with the length and concluded with an odd length size which worked just fine.”

The bedroom comprises of a tall mirror on the wall along which is a custom designed rug that flows into a two toned circular rug on the floor by Fench Rugs; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

A tall mirror on the wall is flanked by a custom designed rug in yellow and blue, flowing into a two-toned rug on the floor. The clean lines against the pristine white wall add visual interest despite the minimal aesthetic that is deployed in the space.

Blue & Green patterned cushion from The Golden Triangle and a Terrazzo wall lamp from from Harshita Jhamtani Designs create a beautiful symphony together; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

While the bedroom is richly hued in wooden finishes, the bathroom is bathed in light and cheery colours. Genteel shades of lemon add a cheery vibe while powder blue walls impart tranquility. The floor creates drama in black and white monochromatic tiles that are aptly complimented by the black fittings.

Monochromatic tiles from Cambay Stones and black sanitary and fittings from Modern Ceramics are used in the bathroom. Zeta Vanity Shelf and Fliss Planter from SPIN ensure a charming play of monochromatic colours; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Boasting of stunning aesthetics and low maintenance, Contractor has crafted a modern home with the charm of a timeless classic. Much like the city of Mumbai itself, it makes the best of minimal spaces to deliver high functionality. It not only metaphors the city’s tenacity to function optimally given any circumstance but also captures its intangible spirit and translates it to a slice of contemporary design.