Matters of art: In this Mumbai apartment, designed by Ali Baldiwala, the owners’ prized art collection sets the stage for their next chapter

OCT 30, 2023 | By Vaishnavi Nayel Talawadekar
A live edge bar table by Wood’n Design and high stools by DeMuro Das attract second glances. Overarching the setting is a Nappe hanging light from Masiero and pink vase from Arjun Rathi Design. The Oak Borgo herringbone flooring was sourced from FCML; Photography by Talib Chitalwala; Styled by Samir Wadekar

On the twenty-third floor of a Worli highrise sits a 3,700 sq ft home that channels Back to the Future—if Back to the Future took a detour from the past. The part-trad, part-tony aesthetic is no small coincidence. “Far from it,” smiles Ali Baldiwala, Interior Designer and Partner at Mumbai-based Baldiwala Edge, who was tasked with facelifting the home’s living room, dining room, kitchen, den and four bedrooms.

The living room features a rug from Isfahan collection of JJ Valaya for Cocoon Fine Rugs, a marble-tiled column executed by Raw Steen, and artworks by Gopal Adivrekar. The Grace chaise is by Tianu, while the upholstery and curtains, and the cushions, are from The Pure Concept Home and Pottery Barn respectively. The sideboards with brass, ash wood and teak shutters and a cabinet with chiselled teak wood shutter are designed by Wood’n Design in collaboration with Baldiwala Edge. The sideboard’s right-hand-side counterpart is highlighted by objets d’art including a stairs artefact by Mahendra Doshi. Makia and Napoleon marbles from Elegant Marbles are used on the floor; Photography by Talib Chitalwala; Styled by Samir Wadekar


Ali Baldiwala
Against the backdrop of Asit Patnaik’s artwork is the Ice Berg dining table and blue chairs by Timothy Oulton. The stairs artefact is by Mahendra Doshi while the candles were picked up from Cottons and Satins; Photography by Talib Chitalwala; Styled by Samir Wadekar


“With three generations under one roof, the main challenge was honouring each member’s tastes and preferences,” he suggests of the family, composed of a 50-something couple, their grown-up children and the husband’s mother. So much so, that the brief he received wasn’t a brief at all, but rather individual memos from each member, describing what they wanted for their respective space. Despite their aesthetic differences though, the family was united about one thing: that their art and collectibles be given pride of place. “It’s the very first thing they mentioned to me, so I knew we had to plan the house in a way that let their collections shine,” he shares.

Mumbai Home
Both the Camaleonda sofa and the coffee table in the den are from B&B Italia, sourced via AuxHome. Vase and artefact on the centre table are from Lalique. The rug is by Studio PKA for Cocoon Fine Rugs, while the wood and gun metal side table were picked up from White Domus. Paintings by F. N. Souza, sculptural plates by Subodh Kerkar, wall mosaic from Elegant Marbles and a work by Bhartti Verma adorn the wall. The chandelier and red branch wall shelf are by Arjun Rathi Design and Idli by Thierry Journo respectively. The Infinity wall mirror is by Timothy Oulton. As for the artefacts on display, they are a mix of pre-owned pieces and new finds from Phillips Antiques. The cushions are from IKEA; Photography by Talib Chitalwala; Styled by Samir Wadekar


Mumbai Home
A live edge bar table by Wood’n Design and high stools by DeMuro Das attract second glances. Overarching the setting is a Nappe hanging light from Masiero and pink vase from Arjun Rathi Design. The Oak Borgo herringbone flooring was sourced from FCML; Photography by Talib Chitalwala


His words echo in the way the home unfolds like a cabinet of curiosities. The living room, for example, with its marble-tiled columns and kaleidoscopic antiques, looks like it could have enjoyed a past life in an old-world travel museum, as does the dining room where a monolithic iceberg-like table by Timothy Oulton takes centre stage. The aesthetic is echoed in the den, where artworks and artefacts preside the walls and shelves, playing a role just as important, if not more, as the television. The home’s true pièce de resistance, however, isn’t an artwork or an artefact: it’s the undulating pistachio wall that connects the formal living room to the den, uniting the two rather than dividing them.

Mumbai Home
TOP A quirky spin on an NYC loft, the son’s bedroom stars exposed brick tiles from Bombay Tiles and wooden flooring from Havwoods. In the reflection of the mirror by Rasika Garware, you can spot a carpet by Cocoon Fine Rugs; Photography by Talib Chitalwala


Ali Baldiwala
In the son’s bedroom, the DeMuro Das chaise wears fabric from Elemento, as does the buttoned headboard. The wall sconces, curtains and circular end table are from Abbas Antiques, The Pure Concept Home and West Elm respectively. The bedding is by Sarita Handa; Photography by Talib Chitalwala


That there are new surprises in every room is none more evident than in the bar. And yet, if you were to drop by on the average weekday evening, you would hardly know it was there. “It’s invisible,” declares Ali of the straight-out-of-the-60s watering hole that hides in plain sight. “The clients didn’t want the bar to be visible all the time, but rather just be on display during weekends and parties,” he reveals. What followed was an exercise in clever optics. Special hardware was sourced, pocket doors were installed and a secret speakeasy was conjured up behind the undulating pistachio wall. Ahead of it, Ali arranged for a high-top table and whimsical bar stools that serve up the perfect perch for evenings of high spirits.

Ali Baldiwala
A haven of Versace Gold marble from Elegant Marbles, the primary bathroom is illuminated by ceiling light from FLUA and the Litolier wall sconces above the vanity. Flanked with a wardrobe from Jap Modular Furniture, the bathroom displays gold bath fittings from Kohler while the mirror is designed by Baldiwala Edge; Photography by Talib Chitalwala

With decidedly distinct aesthetics, each bedroom is a world unto itself. “Well, a country would be more accurate,” muses Ali, referencing the smorgasbord of influences that define each room. While the primary bedroom whispers of the Orient by way of a wallpapered half-moon headboard, the daughter’s boudoir could have manifested from a French chateau. The son’s bedroom, meanwhile, has none of the opulence of its neighbourly counterparts. It instead sports industrial-style fixtures and exposed brick finishes à la an NYC loft. Of course, in a home so diverse, the challenge lay in finding the middle ground. “Wood seemed to be the obvious choice to tie it all together,” says Ali, who sourced accents and artefacts in natural wood grains, in addition to introducing several structural interventions including wooden rafters (fashioned out of existing beams) within the son’s bedroom.

Ali Baldiwala
Cabinetry by Lavish Hardware Collection and backsplash with tiles from C Bhogilal breathe freshness into the kitchen. The wall plates are souvenirs from the owners’ travels to Turkey; Photography by Talib Chitalwala

Most evenings, the family likes to unwind back in the den, watching TV, indulging in a friendly game of cards, or swapping stories from the day gone by. “It’s easily our favourite space,” they suggest, adding that they always wanted a family room that was cosy and secluded from the rest of the home. Even with the objects d’art on display, the room exudes an abiding lightness—a metaphor, perhaps, for more memories in the making.

Ali Baldiwala
The foyer features chairs with brass arms from Kerf Furniture and the EDIDA winning Scuba table by Nama Home. The main door was cast in brass by Rasika Gaware while Bombay Paints stepped in to give the storage rack a metallic sheen. The aluminium wall carpet, christened ‘Binded’, is by artist Richa Arya. The floor resembles piano keys with Italian marble tiles from Elegant Marbles; Photography by Talib Chitalwala

As for Ali, the project was always written in the stars. “After initially approaching us, the clients had gone ahead with a different designer, only to eventually change their minds and find their way back to us. What’s meant to be will always find a way,” he signs off, smiling.

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