Tussle of minimalism, vintage and modernity emerge in a Mumbai home designed by Aashni Kumar

SEP 27, 2022 | By Maheshwari Vickyraj
The master bedroom features a chest of drawers, bed, and ottoman, which have been custom-made on-site, while the rose-coloured armchair has been designed and built in collaboration with Arjun Gujral Design Studio. The ceramics are from Ware Innovations, the decorative cushions and throw are from The Calico Guild, with the carpet from Venjara Carpets. Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

Function and fluidity converge with a sense of harmony and poetry in design at this Mumbai residence carved up for a joint family.

The living room is bathed in neutral tones with armchairs, a coffee table, and side tables crafted in collaboration with Arjun Gujral Design Studio. The console table is a custom design by Aashni Kumar’s furniture division. The carpet is sourced from Venjara Carpets, ceramics from Ware Innovations, vases from Modern Quests, and decorative cushion from The Calico Guild; Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

Three distinct homes, 1,000 sq ft each, are nestled comfortably in a luxurious skyscraper at Lodha Parkside in Lower Parel, Mumbai — one for parents and the other two homes for the sons and daughters-in-law. Taking up the onus of creativity for these dens floating in the sky is Aashni Kumar of her eponymous practice.

The bar unit along with the dining table is custom made and is dominated by neutral aesthetics.Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

The Curious Brief

The brief was clear, anchored on the need for three idiosyncratic spaces that would narrate each family’s individuality and aesthetics. Aashni elaborates, “This seed of thought gave birth to the design concept, where each nuclear unit’s home served independent expressions and needs, but the homes would look harmonious and have a thread of poetry running through them from an aesthetic point of view,”

The passageway that transports to the private quarters of the home with the console table defining the way is custom-made by Aashni Kumar’s furniture division and is placed on the Bottochino marble flooring. Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

Tour every turn of the home… 

 For the first house, Aashni employed a continuous juxtaposition of circular forms with rigid geometrical details and abstract designs with balanced treatments. As you promenade indoors, the panelled wall extends, inviting one to the living room, then on to the dining zone and a custom oakwood bar area. 

 The living room serves as a gateway to the home’s private quarters, which include a study, master bedroom, and bathroom, as well as a walk-in closet. The master bedroom has cladded wallpaper that is designed to be an oasis of calm and relaxation, which stimulates all senses. A customised bed is placed in the centre with a rose-coloured armchair next to the window, the fluted cabinetry, rose gold fittings, a cylindrical mirror with hidden storage, and oakwood accents set off a white marble bathroom.

The powder room of the home has cabinets and a mirror, which is custom made, along with rose gold fittings from Kohler, the basin from Aquant, and the wall and floor tiles that have been sourced from Cera Casa. Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

 The second home was ideated to emphasise the city’s skyline which would set the mood for a minimal maximalist home. Defined by monotone walls, the living room has dark wooden flooring with a large window that allows the room to be immersed in natural light. A coffee table finished with quartz marble sits in the corner with an L-shaped dining booth highlighted with mauve upholstery. A modern fluted lighting accent is an addition that gives it a cosy nook.

 The master bedroom achieves the goal of providing a warm space without being overbearing. White thin curtains hang from the ceiling over a four-poster bed that has been stripped of its classical elements. The custom-made nightstands and chest of drawers feature a linear grid pattern and two classical features in eggshell white and mushroom beige. Respectively, the children’s bedroom is an extension of the rest of the home, whilst infusing character of its own.

The master bedroom is designed to create a serene and peaceful environment that would engage the senses for rest and rejuvenation. Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

 Designed for parents who are in their sixties, is the third home. The living room’s creamy marble floor and white walls model striking contrast. The panelling’s geometric, gridlike moulding elements and the furniture’s round, soft curves give character to the space. The master bedroom was planned as a minimally furnished, modern retreat, with vintage wall treatment and modern accent pieces. A splash of olive green and some black accents livened up the otherwise muted colour scheme.

The four-poster bed, chest of drawers, and bedside table are custom-made. While the walls of the room have been clad with wallpaper, the bed-back wall is finished in Asian Paints Royale Paint, set against engineered wooden flooring. The mid-century modern armchair and footstool have been designed and built in collaboration with Arjun Gujral Design Studio. The ceramics are from Ware Innovations, the decorative cushions and throw are from The Calico Guild, and the carpet is from Venjara Carpets. Photograph by Suleiman Merchant

The hallmark of this home is the den, which has a commissioned piece of art based on Elif Shafak’s bestseller, “The Forty Rules of Love,” which includes poems by the renowned poet Jalaluddin Rumi. 

Ideas to bookmark – colours and materials

The apartments were all thematically oriented toward a serene colour palette of greige hues, khaki tones, earthy browns, serene taupes, and greige tones, with touches of dusty rose, muted blue, and sage green. Oakwood, teak wood, and marbles in white, beige, and grey are mixed with black open grain wood, black, rose, and dull gold metal finishes to create a complex colour scheme. Aashni chose this palette for the three homes’ to flow into one another just like a single unit.

A four-poster bed has been stripped of its predictably classical details to form a stark figure that is decorated with white sheer curtains. Linear gridwork and classical details on custom-made bedside tables and chests of drawers are finished in egg-shell white and mushroom beige colours. Photograph by Suleiman Merchant