Singed wood and sand dunes: Neha Kachhara unravels a multigenerational Mumbai home embracing individualistic Wabi Sabi

DEC 11, 2023 | By Virender Singh
The black two-poster bed has a serene, hand painted backdrop to mimic the sand dunes; Photography by Sagar Mandal
Yakisugi treated coffee table and side table in the living room are understated masterpieces from Pooja Chamudiya’s workshop Selves; Photography by Sagar Mandal

In a bid to reclaim individualism and Japanese tenets of wabi sabi, Mumbai-based Neha Kachhara Interiors pieces together this 2,200 sq ft apartment from the unique creative inclinations of its homeowners, overlooking Mahalaxmi’s iconic racecourse.

Ameliorating four generations under one roof, a palette of black, white and taupe preserves an inclusive neutrality that can be moulded in any room to appease each family member’s aesthetic temperament. The homespun simplicity of veined marble, an artisanal predilection for carbonised wood and a free flow of sunshine are the core elements that project lead Neha Kachhara incorporated within her arsenal. “Not only have we collaborated with Indian craftsmen,” she asserts “But even the five-year old son was involved in making the space his own.”

Light by Olie extrapolates a visual narrative on a corner.  The walls are adorned with an abstract series ‘Transcendence’ by Shahanshah Mittal, the rug is from Jaipur Rugs and the vase by Eeshaan Kashyap; Photography by Sagar Mandal

A timeless modernism

Crossing the threshold under a semi-arched ceiling and billowy fabric lampshades, one can instantly parse a note of subtle refinement. An entryway bench carved out from charred timber with marble bolsters provides momentary respite while six frames of mesmerising wall art by Harish Ojha liven up the blank walls with textural intricacy. The living room unfurls as a central gathering area, with balconies on either side, bedrooms and kitchen branching out like spatial offshoots into the abode. A triptych of abstract pastels by Shahanshah Mittal imparts visceral iconography, offsetting an urbane counterpoint to the jet-black coffee table and accents from Pooja Chamudiya’s Yakisugi furniture workshop Selves.

The dining set includes a marble-topped table called Sirius Black by Iqrup and Ritz, chairs in bouclé fabric by Chesterfield and blinds from The Pure Concept. The watercolour by Shruti Nelson provides a cultural ambience for every culinary experience; Photography by Sagar Mandal

The dining ensemble includes an inky marble-topped table from the décor label Iqrup and Ritz, accompanied by chairs upholstered in bouclé yarn from Chesterfield Designs. However, nothing ties this visual experience together quite like an ephemeral watercolour by Shruti Nelson. In one of the balconies, its placement informed by Indian layout principles of vastu shastra, you will find an intricately chiselled mandir replete with Rajasthani tikri mosaic. This is where the entire household congregates, huddled on low seating, to spend quality time with each other in the presence of divinity.

Reclaiming personal taste

From doodling sea life and galaxies with stream-of-consciousness spontaneity on his curtains to selecting vibrant tile patterns, the client’s son was endearingly workmanlike in conjuring his own physical reality. The kid’s bedroom is bedaubed in mild hues of mushroom and white, featuring a bunk bed with its own playhouse turret. A yellow ladder leads up to where he hoards all his toys for the summer.

The son’s room is a fantasy land with a bunk bed, which gives him extra space to read, play and sleep in the same structure, the curtains handpainted by Zahabiya and the rug is from Jaipur Rugs; Photography by Sagar Mandal

A symphony of modernity coquettishly balanced with demureness echoes through the master bedroom. An obsidian two-poster bed with matching nightstands is framed by a rustic backdrop that reminisces upon the poetic morphology of windswept sand dunes. Even the black veneer wardrobe and ribbed floor rug exude a brand of subliminal elegance that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

The black veneer wardrobe and neutral colour palette emanate subliminal elegance, bed and bedside table is from ZJM exports, the pendant wall lights from Stem Design and the bed spread is by Sarita Handa; Photography by Sagar Mandal


A true haven of comfort and style, the master bedroom’s bold, well-balanced design exudes sophistication and modernity, bed and bedside table is from ZJM exports, the pendant wall lights from Stem Design and the bed spread is by Sarita Handa, curtains from Cottons and Satin and the rug is from Rugberry Carpet. The marble wall behind the bed is by Vinay Gawde and the artwork is by Bhagyashree; Photography by Sagar Mandal

The grandmother’s room ascribes to a more open, almost stately parlour finesse. With its glass partition, louvred closet doors, chequered makeshift sofa bed and vintage wallpaper, the supremacy of reliable utilitarianism reigns supreme here. The parent’s bedroom is characterised by a light-to-warm gradient, smoothened edges and reading lights that imbue a sense of comfort with an emphasis on civilised worldliness.

Eschewing perfection, Neha has doubled down on keeping a minimalistic scenography while allowing objects and people to tell their stories. Through dismantling the didactic urge to control one’s environment, her focus on locally sourced materials and the cohesion of veined marble and bituminous wood is gorgeously sensitive.

The custom-made marble mandir, adorned with magnificent tikri art, was sourced from Rajasthan, the table is from Crete-Kala Studio, NAGA planter base by Eeshaan Kashyap and the Large plant base is from Bonasila; Photography by Sagar Mandal


The contemporary kitchen is a testament to the restrained minimalism of Kachhara’s design philosophy; Photography by Sagar Mandal


Veined marble from Aakash marble, wall lights by Stem Design, the sanitary fittings from Under the roof and handpicked décor imbue the bathrooms with a timeless, personalised charm; Photography by Sagar Mandal

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