The art filled sanctuary of creative duo Monalika Namchoom and Amith Chhabra of Livin’ Colors Design is warm and eclectic

NOV 16, 2020 | By Sonia Dutt, Monalika Namchoom and Amit Chhabra
The music den, the couple's favourite, is used for entertaining guests. It houses cheery yellow tone of prints by Paul Gauguin, cushions and Chesterfield sofa from Sarita Handa and a Pierre Jeanneret reproduction; Photographs by Amit Mehra
The music room also features a mix of midcentury modern furniture pieces, assorted artworks and prints from the Picasso and Van Gogh museums, a blue line painting called Floor Plans for Fore Clans by local artist Saurabh Narang, a folding chair from Muji and a walnut-finished oak sideboard; Photographs by Amit Mehra
(L-R) The dining area has a bench made of recycled cork boards and MS legs, Kenyan Kikapu baskets used as planters, the Midsummer light by Tord Boontje from MOMA New York, recycled sleeper wood table, Dottie honey pot, wooden cheese platter from Anthropologie and floral mugs from Osaba Emporium; A bespoke desk and black leather Cab chair by Mario Bellini for Cassina from Poltrona Frau are seen in the master bedroom; The couple's beagles Lobo and Kenzo seen near ceramics from BoConcept; Photographs by Amit Mehra
(L-R) An Alexander Girard reproduction in the master bedroom; Kokeshi Japanese dolls from BoConcept in the main lounge; A yoga zebra from a souvenir shop in Nairobi is in the music den; Photographs by Amit Mehra

We’ve always believed that a space should have a soul—this is our design philosophy and so, when we finally had a chance to create our home together, it happened almost instinctively. While we didn’t go about decorating our abode with a specific theme or plan, all we knew was that it had to embody a lived-in, warm and eclectic feel.

What attracted us to this 5,500 sq ft house when we moved in over a decade ago was not its great design potential but the lush greenery and ample natural light.

While Amith’s parents inhabit the ground floor, we live on the first floor with two beagles and our newest housemate, our young daughter. Three rooms, a central lounge area, a cosy dining setup and a kitchen that overlooks the balcony, complete the house.

A reading corner is created with the help of a French chair, embroidered Sarita Handa cushion and a carpet from BoConcept; Photographs by Amit Mehra

A central lounge area, where we usually unwind, ties all the rooms together. An exposed, distressed white brick wall in this room forms a perfect backdrop to showcase assorted artwork. We love collecting prints when we travel and they are almost like souvenirs from our sojourns.

Against a botanical wallpaper from Cottons and Satins is the Moses basket; Photographs by Amit Mehra

Our favourite room is the grey music den that features a gallery wall with all types of framed art. Most of the furniture has been produced inhouse and these have been placed alongside iconic pieces like the Eames lounge chair and Cassina tables.

Red dominates the daughter’s room. Pictured here are a seagrass belly basket from IKEA, patchwork Turkish kilim from Sarita Handa, cuckoo clock from Muji, an Alexander Girard reproduction in birch ply, a mandala artwork made by a friend and a dog postcard from New York; Photographs by Amit Mehra

Additionally, various knick-knacks collected over the years create a diverse aesthetic that is a dominant theme running throughout the whole space.

This family often enjoys alfresco meals on the balcony outside the kitchen. The table, bench and planters are all produced inhouse using recycled sleeper wood; Photographs by Amit Mehra

To ensure a feeling of cohesiveness within the residence, the wooden oak herringbone flooring is used throughout. We wanted our abode to make us feel like we are on permanent vacation or rather, a staycation.

The kitchen comprises vibrant turquoise tiles from Keramos; Photographs by Amit Mehra

This led us to fashion a bedroom that has been inspired by the breezy vibe of Bali and includes a four-poster bed and sheer drapes. The baby nursery with a tropical theme for our daughter was one of the latest additions, at the time of going to print.

The master bedroom is inspired by Bali. Seen here are a four-poster bed in pine finish, an Alexander Girard replica on the wall, Sarita Handa’s quilted Botanical Spring bed linen and an amber crystal chandelier from Apartment 9; Photographs by Amit Mehra