Dotted with heirloom pieces and nostalgia is this Chennai home by Vaishali Srinivasan of 85:15

DEC 13, 2021 | By Twinkle Tolani
The living room poses with a table lamp from Fabindia and a rug from Toran; Photographs by Yash R Jain
In the dining area, the lamps are from Olie and the antique rosewood dining table is sourced from Chennai; Photographs by Yash R Jain
While the bed is from Urban Ladder, the cosy floor lamp is by Fabindia Home; Photographs by Yash R Jain
Here, the bookshelf is a heirloom piece restored to its beauty and a handwoven scarf finds space on the wall as a frame; Photographs by Yash R Jain
The son's room showcases a custom built cement wardrobe with wood detailing; Photographs by Yash R Jain
The master bedroom exhibits custom made wardrobe and sliding doors, with bed upholstery from Anokhi; Photographs by Yash R Jain
The clean and minimal kitchen has built in appliances from Hafele; Photographs by Yash R Jain

Simple and straightforward, this home in Anna Nagar in Chennai has a predominant ‘70s feel with a modern and tropical underline. Vaishali Srinivasan, founder and principal architect of 85:15, has astutely given a new identity to this 3000 sq ft apartment. 

Inhabited by three generations of a family, finding a designer whose style matched their preferred aesthetic was crucial. “Our discussions revolved around creating spaces that have individuality yet blend well together when seen as one. We were asked to create a space that is thoughtful, easy to maintain and warm,” informs Srinivasan.

A lime plaster wall in a shade of green invites visitors into the living room as they enter. On the opposing side, a TV unit fashioned of an unpolished 14-feet long Kadappa top and wood and cane storage cabinets adds warmth. A cane sofa with floral upholstery poses a stunning contradiction. 

Open, roomy and filled with heirloom finds, the living room is picture-perfect; Photographs by Yash R Jain

A two-seater swing, a reclaimed bookshelf and two antique rosewood chairs, which were sourced from Pondicherry, encapsulate the living room space. Elements like an antique window sourced from Rajasthan, a marble top centre table and a ceiling-hung subtly introduce nostalgia to the space. 

The antique bookshelf stand quietly in one corner, sourced from a store in Pondicherry; Photographs by Yash R Jain


The restored centre table from Chettinad faces a 2-seater swing from Woodlabs; Photographs by Yash R Jain

“We loved designing the living room the most. The lime plaster for the accent wall was narrowed down after sampling almost ten different shades across 30 days. We learnt so much about the material—the way it reacts to light and air and the weather in this process”, reveals Vaishali Srinivasan.

 A teakwood and concrete arch leads to the reading lounge bracketed by two heirloom storage units. Two fun yet practical chairs and a wooden bench pave the way to a rustic aesthetic. Large, louvred Pondicherry windows looking onto the common garden add authenticity. 

The louvered window were handmade in teak wood on site, accompanying the heirloom console which was restored; Photographs by Yash R Jain


The green lounge chair is from Urban Ladder and cushions from Good Earth; Photographs by Yash R Jain

“Our favourite feature of the home has to be the louvred windows borrowed from the heritage buildings of Pondicherry. The carpenter’s hand made the windows on site from reclaimed teak, and it completely changed the mood of the entire house when they were installed. They filter daylight into the house so wonderfully. It brings in the old world charm we wanted the space to have”, gushes Srinivasan. 

The teak wood windows add a sense of warmth to the space; Photographs by Yash R Jain

A standard 6-seater made of rosewood and cane dating back to almost 70 years graces the dining area, where a wall is divided into individual sections for refrigerator, pooja unit and storage for cutlery. To the left, the kitchen and utility stand is modern and organised. All appliances, including an extra built-in refrigerator, are built-in that contributes to a generous work area. 

The teakwood stool is an heirloom piece that displays planters from Purple Turtles; Photographs by Yash R Jain


The mirror by Urban Ladder is teamed with a stool and console from Toran; Photographs by Yash R Jain

In the vicinity, the grandparent’s room adopts steadfast mechanisms like easy to use sliding doors for the wardrobes, which lock automatically with a slight push. Brass highlights in checked patterns on the wardrobe shutter are mimicked on the headboard too.

A long passage across the grandparent’s room leads to the other two bedrooms. In the son’s bedroom, wallpaper from the Nicobar X Nilaya Collection sets the mood. Cement shelves juxtaposed with dark wood impart a juvenile touch. 

The master bedroom accommodates a rocking chair passed down by the client’s grandfather; Photographs by Yash R Jain


The lime plaster accent wall brings the bedroom’s comfortable, warm mood out; Photographs by Yash R Jain

Srinivasan makes known, “There were technical challenges with the cement wardrobe with the teak shelves in the son’s bedroom, concerning cracks and finishes that were resolved through various permutations and combinations.”

The wallpaper is by Nicobar X Nilaya and the floating table has been custom-built to save space; Photographs by Yash R Jain


With the upholstery from Fabindia, the side table and seating area were custom crafted; Photographs by Yash R Jain


The Good Earth curtain fabric is sandwiched between the doors of the walk in wardrobe to let natural light in; Photographs by Yash R Jain


Louvred windows, a lowered cot and a fabric sandwiched glass door leading to the walk-in wardrobe make for the defining elements in the primary bedroom. A free-standing long mirror and a rocking chair perfectly complement the green lime plaster wall. 

The son’s bedroom displays a custom built cement wardrobe; Photographs by Yash R Jain


The vintage surgical washbasin is by Bath Material World and brass handles by Studio Made; Photographs by Yash R Jain

Although the home oozes the laid-back style of the French Heritage town of Pondicherry, each object has a story of its own. “We explored parts of Pondicherry, sourced furniture from Jaipur and lights from Bangalore, including restoring the dining table set we stumbled upon in an antique store. We wanted to blend antiques with modern functional objects, and we did!”, finishes Srinivasan.

If you enjoyed touring this picture-perfect heirloom home, do check out Ravi Machani’s Svasa Homes where South Indian heritage meets modern luxury