Of archways and fluted walls: Tesor Designs transforms this 200-year-old Belgaum bungalow into a modern Art Deco restaurant

JAN 26, 2024 | By Virender Singh
As you step into the indoor area, a stunning archway adorned with a custom-made jali design greets you. British-style sconce lights by Ashoka Electricals and a captivating geometric patterned floor add drama to the space; Photography by Nayan Soni
Handcrafted planters by Studio Palasa and framed pieces from Mumbai-based Stanza Art break the monotony of muted walls; Photography by Nayan Soni
The outdoor seating is illuminated by enchanting fabric lights from Lumi; Photography by Nayan Soni

Our contemporary phenomenon of retrofitting heritage property into fine dining often has to balance on a tightrope between baseline interventions and completely superseding the original structure. There is a risk of losing the building’s nostalgia and cultural significance if its fabric succumbs entirely to the whims of a modern aesthetic. 

Bengaluru-based practice Tesor Designs, however, skillfully avoids such pitfalls. Their Roaring Twenties-inspired Art Deco visual narrative lives and breathes with originality inside the 4,500 sq ft Champa Bungalow, gracefully integrating its 200 year-old-history into a new multicultural restaurant called Pink Verranda. 

At night, the fabric lights by Lumi steal the show, twirling enchantingly from a series of retractable rafters; Photograph by Nayan Soni.

Sprawling uncannily in the suburban locale of Belgaum in Karnataka, a surreal culinary experience such as this one would have been hardly encountered before. Infused with pink hues, patterned tiles and the British homeliness of polished veneer, the design team was going for “a vibrant yet inviting atmosphere.” Intentionally subdued, white and wood accented interiors reminisce languidly upon summer holidays spent in hill stations, serendipitous touches of Great Gatsby flamboyance ooze hedonism from every corner.

An invigorating blend of greenery, sustainable materials and profuse daylight trickling in through antiquated windows rounds off this odyssey.

The outdoor space is demarcated with a subtle sophistication. The seating area is clad with Kadappa tiles while the passage is paved with natural stone and pebbles; Photography by Nayan Soni

An oasis of calmness

Nature is a tricky interloper here. We notice an assemblage of health-giving planters lining the walkway, while an arbour pergola paved with natural stone and pebbles, efficiently keeps out the oppressive tropics. Under an extended awning of rafters and banana fibre lanterns that shimmer like fireflies during the twilight hours, we find ourselves in an open pizza section clad with smoky Kadappa tiles. For principal designers Akhila GM and Nandana NR, the outdoor seating, particularly the L-shaped layout and the open area posed a great challenge. “To shield from the heat, we enclosed the open seating with glass and adjustable blinds,” they clue us in. 

A custom-made chandelier exudes uniqueness, carefully arranging lights in a captivating hierarchy. The indoor flooring features a grey border framing a trapezoidal black-and-white tile pattern in between; Photography by Nayan Soni

The innocent smoothness of durable cement seating stands out in tactile contrast with the rope and fabric chairs and stolid wooden tables, a hand painted mural adorning the feature wall where the gate initially used to be. Children’s silvery laughter echoes from the play zone, as we pass by a reception that cries out to be included in our selfies, onwards into the bungalow itself. 

The designers have embellished the fluted wall panelling with glass lights by Ashoka Electrical that reflect hexagonal patterns. The seating area is elevated with vibrant green and pink furniture, adding a playful touch to the space; Photography by Nayan Soni

Honouring the past

Embracing the worldly sensibilities of Tesor Designs founders Rajesh Kudlu and Supriya SV, classic trapezoidal black-and-white flooring intrduces us to the bolder side of luxury, while rust-brick coloured sofas huddle around wood-toned tables with the intimacy of a vintage American diner from the 50s. Swinging open the traditional doors, fitted with glass centrepiece lites, we saunter through a countrified English corridor. Gabled roof, pristine white windows and the sensuously dark floor are complemented by accents of gold, while chairs crafted from beechwood make this a private nook you can retire to in pursuit of undisturbed solitude. 

Preserving its heritage vibe, the Tesor Design team kept the original doors, enhancing them by adding a glass centrepiece; Photography by Nayan Soni


A statement-making staircase leads guests upstairs, its black baluster against the charcoal stone flooring, bringing out a solemn contrast to neutral walls. An arresting chandelier procured from Ashoka Electricals reprises a metallic sheen; Photography by Nayan Soni

A stroll through opulence

Crossing over to the other end, we explore individual antechambers elegantly appointed in salmon and mint-green furniture, cheeky dashes of pop culture robustness breaking through. A motley assortment of sconce lamps illuminate the gold-and-white fluted dado panels, reclaiming vertical space to give us this more palatable interpretation of Parisian Art Deco, tempered with modern restraint. Everywhere the signature zig-zag and diamond shaped floor prints, coupled with striking fabric choices, perpetuate a cohesive undercurrent of Jazz Age exuberance.

The passage is redecorated into a private seating nook while keeping the original structure intact, enhancing it with whites, touches of gold and warm wood accents. The designers kept some such spaces intentionally subdued, aiming to evoke the tranquillity of an oasis; Photography by Nayan Soni

Hints of dramatic flair

Coming full-circle, we reemerge on the other side of this romantic veneer and sleek PVD coated archway that assimilates a latticed jali grill, to segregate itself from the main foyer. 

Custom-made chandeliers arranged in a captivating hierarchy, booths draped in sumptuous velvet and artisanal chairs with gold plated legs compel us to relive a time when rules were nonchalantly broken and parties raged on into the wee hours of the morning. The guiding philosophy of the designers is succinctly captured in their own words: “Creating spaces that feel like home is our passion. We are drawn to using abundant greenery and maximising natural light in our designs, particularly in open spaces.”

This space was renovated by breaking down the entire wall and inserting arches with a sleek metal frame and glass in line with the indoor theme. Inside, you’ll find a cosy rust-brick coloured sofa paired with a wooden-tone table, the pendant light by Ashoka Electrical adding warmth and style; Photography by Nayan Soni


Inspired by the art deco theme, the designers have crafted this arch with a grill design featuring a sleek PVD coating and veneer accents on the sides. Fluted wall panels, dark green linear seating and the patterned flooring are all in thematic synergy together; Photography by Nayan Soni

All elements in harmony

A consistent palette of green, wood and beige reverberates throughout the Pink Verranda. Sustainability takes centre stage through readily available materials, indigenous thermo-regulation techniques and a prevalence of uplifting verdure. Preliminary interventions, such as the installation of I-beams in the 200-year-old building to ensure stability, do not overshadow the original foundation but bolster its strengths. Tesor Designs’ blush-toned, Modern Deco flourishes ingeniously kindle new life into a specimen of vernacular architecture and repurpose it into a bespoke restaurant for the ages.

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