Brushstrokes of warmth and earthy hues emerge in a Chennai home designed by 85isto15

MAR 12, 2024 | By Maheshwari Vickyraj
Photographs by Phosart Studio

A dwelling in the heart of Arumbakkam’s residential locale in Chennai sits poised as a modern sanctuary of serenity. Vaishali Srinivasan, Principal Architect of 85isto15 along with project architect Karunyaa Vijay, stitches a warm canvas where neutral hues swathe the walls and whispers of modernity dance in the air. 

The Creative Conundrum

When entrusted with the task of sculpting this 1,800 sq ft home for an entrepreneurial duo, “Our initial tête-à-tête on-site revealed a resolute vision — a space that seamlessly marries functionality and elegance, adorned with a sophisticated Indian charm,” divulges Vaishali and Karunyaa. From the onset, it was evident that this residence would be more than a space with four walls and basic amenities. In fact, it would be a place narrating the story of a young couple’s enterprising journey.

The living area features muted tones with pops of colour, including the couch and two lounge chairs; Photographs by Phosart Studio

The challenge was transforming a narrow foyer into an engaging testament to personal identity and shaping an alchemy that would breathe new life into a kitchen veiled in darkness and dominated by black granite. The designing duo’s resolve was clear, “Each stroke of our design brush aimed not just at aesthetics but at crafting an environment tailored to the unique rhythm of the homeowners’ lives.”

The lights were sourced from Olie while the crockery cabinet was hand-built ; Photographs by Phosart Studio

Views and Vibes

The corridor adorned with family photos and vibrant illustrations by Zainab Tambawalla meets a wooden mirror by Gunava Design and a nifty ledge for essentials. The dining area adjoined with a kitchen, boasts a reclaimed teak table with chic Olie lights and a bespoke fluted-glass crockery unit standing in company. 

85:15 crafted the 6-seater minimal reclaimed teak dining table with chairs exuding a stylish 60s modern charm to complement the ensemble. The artwork is by Kasvi Singh; Photographs by Phosart Studio

Strategically oriented for city vistas, the living area exudes muted elegance. A custom TV cabinet, a marble centre table and a floor lamp create a harmonious space, with the balcony veiled in linen curtains. 

All rooms get abundant natural light to keep indoor green planters. The artwork is by Kasvi Singh; Photographs by Phosart Studio

The master bedroom beckons with a fluted wood console and floor-to-ceiling wardrobes with woven rattan. A timeless king-size cot and custom-designed elements embody modern Indian aesthetics. The guest room showcases fabric-sandwiched wardrobe doors with jasmine embroidery on green silk, bridging heritage and modernity. The home office, echoing this theme, invites creativity with fabric-sandwiched storage and room for expansion.

A fluted wood console serves as storage, accompanied by a custom-built dressing table with a drawer unit to the left, and floor-to-ceiling wardrobes with woven rattan to the right; Photographs by Phosart Studio

Mosaic of Textures and Tones

Breathing a soft luminosity, beige and white palettes converge at this home, not as mere colours but as a sensory experience — and invite you to see, touch and feel the poetry of its design philosophy. Woven natural cane, a tactile whisper of nature, intertwines with the gentle caress of linen and the subtleness of Mul, casting an ethereal spell throughout this sublunary sanctuary.

The guest room, adjacent to the living area, showcases their signature fabric-sandwiched doors in wardrobe design, brought to life with custom jasmine embroidery on green tussar silk; Photographs by Phosart Studio

What 85:15 fell in love with

Navigating the creative currents of this project, the kitchen emerged as their cherished canvas for transformation. There was an equilibrium between demolition and redesign that unfolded while designing the culinary space. The walls gave way to possibilities, and the layout metamorphosed, birthing a kitchen that now stands as a testament to ingenuity and design flair.

The corridor is lined with family photographs on one side; Photographs by Phosart Studio

Explaining the genesis behind the living room, Karunyaa unravels the challenge, “The living area posed as our creative Everest. A narrow expanse demanding seating for five. An unconventional challenge indeed! With a daring departure from traditional layouts, we ventured into uncharted territory, refusing to be bound by  convention,” explains the duo. The living room, once a perplexing puzzle, now seamlessly accommodates both form and function. A narrow space was transformed into an artful dance, a sanctuary that not only defies the limitations but also optimises the breathtaking view from the tenth-floor balcony.


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