Fadd Studio’s Farah Ahmed crafts a colourful sanctuary filled with memories and nostalgia for her home in Bengaluru
AUG 2, 2021 | By Sharayu Shinde
“I am my worst client,” declares Farah Ahmed Mathias, who is the principal designer at FADD Studio that she spearheads with Dhaval Shellugar as co-founders. The EDIDA India Interior Designers of the Year 2019, have been instrumental in shaping the course of decor in India. Yet, for Ahmed, designing her own home was an immense challenge. “I am a perfectionist. Every inch matters to me. Designing my home was an interesting process as the space is designed around our habits as additions and changes transpired gradually, after moving in,” says Ahmed.
Born out of the designer’s fervent dedication to craft a perfect family home, this 7000 sq ft Bengaluru apartment is quaint, seeped in old school charm and peppered with contemporary sensibilities. The passion project was a two year long, intuitive process that has been driven by Ahmed’ and her husband Torun Mathias.
The design follows no particular theme, rather is a melting pot of memories and nostalgia. The designer began work on the house while pregnant with her second child. She now cherishes the many anecdotes and memorabilia that came of the process.
Ahmed, a native Bengaluru resident, acknowledges the city’s eccentric influence on the design direction. “I grew up in this city and a lot of things that I chose were predispositions in my mind; there were a lot of subliminal choices bringing in the nostalgia. The theme revolves around my favourite things and there is an undeniable element of tradition to it all.”
“There are no white walls in the house!” exclaims the proud designer. Perfected after a venturesome 36 samples of trying multiple shades in daylight, white light, yellow light and so on; the exquisite colour palette is indeed a work of art. Pastels weave magic into the earthy neutrals, all bound together with artful sprinkles of white and gold.
Characterised by a subtle colour block, the living room’s serene blue is offset by a preppy blush pink. A brass band demarcates the deeper shades on the low end of the walls. The structural nooks of the space are tactfully modelled into functional zones. Warm undertones of brown and a delicate peach set apart these crevices. The earthy tones break the monotony while also enhancing the depth of the surrounding blue.
Hand painted by native artist Vicky Venkatesh, the floral mural is the undisputed star of the main bedroom.The white marble floors and exposed plaster walls create a seamless canvas. The emerald headboard pops against the wall and the rustic wooden details highlight the mid century modern influences.
The kids’ rooms are pragmatic, dynamic spaces that intend to grow with the toddlers. A testament to the designer’s daring colour choices, all the walls in the daughter’s room are painted in soft hues of pink, green and grey; picked from the opulent wallpaper. A medley of greys and blues, distinct to only the most discerning eyes, spreads a whimsical charm in the son’s room.
One of the designer’s favourite spaces, the 3500 sq. ft palatial outdoor deck and garden, allows the family to get the best of the pleasant Bengaluru weather. Ideal for children’s playtime, hosting parties and quiet afternoons, the garden benefits from multiple planters that double as seating. An additional seating cluster under the white pergola is flanked by lush tropical greens. A rich, earthy pink inspired by the city of Jaipur, graces the outdoor walls. The intricate lattice and graceful floral print on the outdoor upholstery embrace the royal influence.
Ahmed concludes that designing their home has been a journey, not a destination. New ideas and fun innovations are always welcome. Sans the looming pressure of upsetting a client, it is her playground to undertake daring experiments, make mistakes and have fun. “As a designer I like everything, I have no favourite styles. So it is really hard for me to say that this is what I want, and this is what I want for the next ten years. Our home is an evolving design that will eventually grow with us,” concludes Ahmed.
Scroll to see more images from Farah Ahmed Mathia’s residence
If the evocative pastels tugged the strings of your heart, get ready to fall in love with The Grey House designed by (de)CoDe architecture