A functional haven with earthy roots— Ketaki Poonawala incorporates the opposite personalities of the dwellers in this Pune home

MAR 15, 2023 | By Suhaani Rai
On the left is the dining room that lies adjacent to the living room and open kitchen. The living room on the right is a contemporary visual with sheer curtains from The Pure Concept X Nilaya by Asian Paints; Photographs by Kuber Shah

It is scientifically and romantically proven that opposites attract and when it comes to building a home it should be an embodiment of the contrasting personalities of its owners. Ketaki Poonawala, the founder of her namesake practice manifests that perfectly with this home.

This simple earthen abode for the homeowners— a pilot husband, a professional baker wife and a daughter who is a national-level badminton player is a 1400 sq. ft. home in the lush neighbourhood of Pune overlooking the serene Arai hills and adjacent to the National Film Archives of India (NFAI). 

The dining room is furnished with upholstery from Azco and complementing elements suiting the theme of the house; Photographs by Kuber Shah

The curious brief

“I love to create spaces that are timeless and never stick to a particular era. Thus I always love to blend the design elements adding a touch of the client’s personality to the space since they have to feel comfortable in the space they use and it should be their own. Thus I can say that the blend of design elements in this home showcases my signature style of design,” says Ketaki. 

The husband wanted a functional modern home whereas the wife who had grown up in a stone masonry bungalow with antique furniture and artwork wanted a home which made her reminisce about her childhood. This property fuses functionality with traditional roots while echoing the individuality of its homeowners.

The entrance features a wooden console, an upholstered bench and a cane partition separating the lobby from the living room; Photographs by Kuber Shah

Tour every turn of this home

A console and wooden bench upholstered with block print at the entrance are separated from the living room by a cane partition. Mid-century sofa set, cane chairs and a black centre table constitute the living room, overlooking the kitchen. 

The breakfast bar and an open kitchen are designed in sage green to metaphorically incorporate the essence of the modern woman who dons many hats. 

The breakfast bar conjoins a sage green open kitchen. The breakfast bar forms a communication point for the wife to talk to her family and friends while baking or cooking; Photographs by Kuber Shah

Matching the contemporary aesthetics of the living room, the dining area is crafted with traditional barni used as a vase and wooden chairs with block print upholstery. A concealed door in the partition opens to the parents’ room. The room is a subtle combination of powder blue upholstery and light curtains to enable ample daylight. 

The JJ Valaya tiled partition wall from FCML India has a concealed door opening to the parents’ room; Photographs by Kuber Shah

The master bedroom has a panelled wall and a tufted headboard. The theme of the room is in harmony with the personalities of the homeowners— simple and earthy. The daughter’s bedroom has a tropical wallpaper, adding colour to the overall white canvas of the room. 

 The deck with rustic wooden tiles and chevron inlay overlooks the tranquil hills. A full-fledged bar unit that opens to be a part of the living and dining room for friends and family who frequently gather for the wife’s delicacies and sports matches.

A tropical backdrop and furnishings from Altrove enhance the neutral tone of the daughter’s bedroom; Photographs by Kuber Shah


Multicolour tiles by FCML embellish the bathroom wall; Photographs by Kuber Shah

Ideas to bookmark

The partition wall was broken down to maximise the space, hence the lobby, living room and dining room are kept free flowing with the design elements blending with each other and following the theme of modern meets traditional. Neutral shades and pastel tones are commingled with mid-century and cane elements to incorporate the simple and earthy vibe in the home. 

“The entire space was a challenge to build together considering the diversity of elements, but the outcome was an absolute delight for us as designers since it all blended together well. The intent was to keep the furniture elements functional and easy to use and combine it with materials and fabrics that have a variety of textures and tones,” concludes Ketaki.

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