A hymn of teak wood and cane: Studio SP_ACE conjures up a modern eclectic home at the edge of Bengaluru’s Turahalli Forest
DEC 29, 2023 | By Virender Singh
An amorphous, almost protean mist wreaths through Eucalyptus groves and long-stemmed liana vines in the Turahalli Forest. Every year, summer-blooming orchids bedaub the viridescent foliage with austere white tones — a poignant sight to behold in the lone stronghold of wilderness left amidst metropolitan Bengaluru.
Inevitably, when homegrown atelier Studio SP_ACE was commissioned to craft a 2,300 sq ft abode overlooking the deciduous timberland, a spectre of this seasonal transformation passed into their visual grammar. The founders and principal designers Priyanka Khandekar and Shubham Shingate, were eager to contextualise not just the geographical terrain but also their client’s nuanced cultural legacy.
Originally hailing from Gujarat, Thakkar was convinced that her home should be awash in the vibrancy of indigenous textiles, soaking in the nostalgic warmth of organic materials like oak and rattan without losing sight of down-to-earth functionality.
As soon as one steps foot inside this three-and-a-half-bedroom apartment, the living room emanates an eclectic charisma, awash in profuse daylight and vibrant patterns. Supplanting antiquated cream and off-white walls for an effortless ‘greige’ (a harmonious blend of grey and beige), the home stylists contrast this neutrality with a characteristic exuberance in their thoughtfully curated furniture, wallpapers and fabrics.
An ode to heritage craftsmanship
The flappable teak wood jhula or indoor swing divides the living room from the dining area, its ethnic roseate carvings on the back and front reminiscing upon the Royal Family of Jadejas circa 9th century, a formidable focal point that incontestably commands one’s attention. The eyes must pull away and regard another intriguing element, a Banjara toran with mirror work and flawless embroidery, framed as a piece of art instead of hanging from the doorway as is custom in vintage households of Kachchh.
A neutral beige three-seater sofa coupled with the geometric allure of ikat cushion covers, accompanied by an opulently printed two-seater in red and a richly detailed handwoven rug from Imperial Knots collude in seamlessness with each other.
Maintaining visual continuity
An array of wooden rafters hold up the ceiling, enhancing the sense of depth and dimension, while also a sensorial warmth in variance with the desaturated walls. “The goal at hand was also to create a cohesive identity that flowed uninterruptedly across the home, tying in each room to the overall design matrix,” Priyanka emphasised.
Consequently, a time-honoured fusion of cane and teak wood trickles into the vocabulary, manifesting here in a French wooden bench with cane work at the dining table or outside in another swing with brass accents that anchors the balcony. A grandiose full length standing mirror, framed in finely-wrought teak, reflects a striking terracotta hued sideboard that gatekeeps outside the kitchen. Thakkar had always envisioned a culinary space where a spirit of playful experimentation would inspire her to keep dishing out inspired meals.
The neutral full-body countertop, wooden shelves and kaleidoscopic Moroccan tiles accomplished just that when syncopated with an astonishingly green cabinetry. “The golden rule of the kitchen triangle was kept alive in the layout, creating distinct zones to optimise function,” reveals Shubham. It was crucial that the team of Studio Space pack in such purpose-driven interventions so as to not get carried away by the allure of decadent form.
A touch of drama
A spine-chilling mystique seems to linger around the fairy tale poster bed, a Kilim rug and an emerald chest of drawers with arabesque motifs, injecting vivacity into an otherwise sombre master bedroom. Cane makes a glorious comeback in the parents’ bedroom upon the panels of a veneer wardrobe, botanical print on the walls echoing a portent of Turahalli, while a soft blue printed cane chair and bronze light fixtures conjure up a balmy respite.
Discernible threads of bohemianism run through the guest bedroom, cleverly demarcating walls with wooden panelling in sage-green, the coral tinted headboard and spherical glass lamps casting a bucolic spell. The meditation room is grounded by white walls, featuring open wooden bookshelves and a sleek puja unit, exuding serenity that inclines one towards divine contemplation.
The confluence of tradition and modernity
In a bid to strike a stylistic balance between the old and new, Modern Classicism emerged as an unmistakable narrative voice, punctuated by episodes of transcultural décor enlivening this bare shell of a residence. Granted creative freedom by the homeowner, the design team of Studio SP_ACE have composed an architectural ballad that thrums with evocative bird calls from unyielding forests and Gujarati folklore.