Designer Rajiv Saini creates a stunning apartment overlooking the serene banks of the Tapti river

JAN 9, 2019 | By Meenakshi Shankar
An open plan kitchen with Crittal glass doors separating it from the dining area. The kitchen cabinetry is custom made in brushed stainless steel. The dining table top is a single piece of timber. The colour palette rests on shades of grey. The space plays hero to the textural elements; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah
A neon signage by Shilpa Gupta creates an interesting focal point; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah
The main living room is an effortless interplay of textures and accent pieces – a slip covered linen sofa and vintage Pierre Jeanneret armchairs create interesting pauses. Tribal African textiles inspire the custom-made carpet in hemp. To the right, beyond the glass partition is the veranda, which overlooks the river Tapti; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah
A desk and chair by Jean Prouve create a contemporary workspace in the living room. A Domus chair by Ilmari Tapiovaara provides a reading nook; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah
Deep green linen wall paper covers the entire length of the wall, running all the way into the entrance lobby; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah
In the bedroom, interestingly textured, ribbed glass doors lead into the bathroom, where a black and white patterned floor contrasts beautifully against the timber panelling; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah

A sprawling space opening to a stunning view of the Tapti river. Mumbai based designer Rajiv Saini, inspired by the hues of blue from the gentle river and lush green banks, created a sanctuary away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Resting on a cosmopolitan design sensibility, Rajiv says, “The sprawling 4500 sq ft apartment celebrates the concept of minimalism and was designed to bring in elements that weren’t distractive. As a second home, escaping the pulse of the Maximum City and the cacophony of the bustling diamond hub, the canvas was nurtured to life with the philosophy of building a space where design boundaries are gently crossed.”

The fourth bedroom transforms into a multifunctional room. The walls are covered with Japanese handmade rice paper. Moving away from being just an entertainment room, the designer creates a stylish den, reinventing the oversized Indian style ‘gadda’. Resting on the design brief of being curated as a getaway, the space is designed to welcome the family to bond over movies, board games and conversations; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah

Whilst designing the client’s primary home in Mumbai, this Surat residence was offered to Rajiv with a carte blanche for creating a home where comfort and well curated style were to play the high notes. “This freedom” Rajiv says, “Makes the design and the finish more relaxed.” Keeping the lines fluid, the home flirts with a contemporary palette – hues of grey peppered with splashes of black and a stunning green linen wallpaper tie the narrative together. Rajiv shies away from pinpointing the design to a particular language.

The iconic armchair by the Bouroullec brothers for HAY is the focal point of the bedroom. Light and shadow play off against the wall mounted iron and concrete sculpture by artist Rathin Burman; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah

He says, “When one is building a space, it is mood based. It needs to come alive and has to have the power to cocoon you. When it comes to designing a home, there is no right or wrong.” Walking us through, Rajiv says, “The house is an amalgamation of textures, raw in some corners, polished in others. I wanted to bring this tension of textures into play.” A plush glass and stainless steel kitchen opens onto a raw, wood dining table, a modern living room is offset with blinds in ‘chik’ material and more.

The master bathroom is bold with patterned tiles and a circular mirror; Photographs by Sebastian Zachariah

Completed in less than a year, Rajiv played with elements that effortlessly flirt with the design eras. Statement art and collectable objects like a chair from Jean Prouve; Domus chair by Ilmari Tapiovaara, and Pierre Jeanneret armchairs come together with custom-made Indian inspired designs like the ‘gadda’ mattress. “It’s the blurring of lines in design that makes the house a retreat,” he concludes.