The house of whispering hues — timeless design and functionality crafted by LADLAB in Nagpur
FEB 6, 2023 | By Ashna Lulla
LADLAB, a Nashik-based architecture and interior design studio, was engaged to design a home of calibrated simplicity for a family of four in an upscale neighbourhood in Nagpur, India. This 1200 sq ft apartment was designed and executed entirely during the pandemic over countless video calls and WhatsApp messages.
Unphased by current design trends, architects Saniya Jejani and Sagar Lohar ensured timeless design and function remained at the core of this home. An interplay between light and materiality manifests to create a modern family home.
A tight edit
“The apartment was a typical builder-flat; we had to work with tight spaces, large storage requirements, and still enough area to move around freely.” chuckles Sagar. LADLAB’s design intervention began with efficiently planning odd spaces and utilising every niche to accommodate concealed storage. Their keen awareness of light, composition and material came to the fore in designing this minimal abode.
The central spotlight — Living room
LADLAB uses colour strategically to evoke emotions of a gentle whisper across the space. Architects Saniya and Sagar worked with subtle tonal shifts across white, cream, and grey with hints of unusual pastels to create a calm, responsive environment. The apartment is a collection of soothing spaces to rest and entertain. The living, dining, kitchen, passageway, and master bedroom have large format milky-white tiles with grey striations.
The living room is the centrepiece of this home, around which the rest of the spaces convene. A cosy, contemplative place perfect for curling up on the couch and watching television together. Light grey textured walls complement a slender ribbed ceiling, cleverly concealing the general lighting in the apartment. The linearity continues onto the TV wall, emphasising the overall height of the space. “We paired a sand-coloured L-shaped sofa with a tan-coloured ottoman to break the monochrome palette”.
Every piece of furniture is custom-designed to serve the scale and minimal aesthetic of the apartment. A perforated wooden portal softly punctuates the light-grey walls, doubling up as a partition and bookcase. “For the dining, we found an abstract work of art whose colours were in tune with the sensibility of the overall apartment,” remarks Saniya.
LADLAB generates continuity in the home through clean lines and a repetitive colour palette. Ice-grey cabinetry and strong black accents frame the kitchen. The milky-white floor tiles wrap onto the backsplash, accentuating the volume of the kitchen. The kitchen is adjacent to a large balcony, flooded with natural light.
This airiness permeates into all three bedrooms. In the master bedroom, a curved dual grey-toned bed rests against a pale grey-panelled wall. Overhead, a crisp white concave ceiling adds texture to the space. Natural light bounces off the ceiling and wall, casting soft shadows. Neatly tucked into a niche is a study clad in warm veneer, which also wraps onto the wardrobes juxtaposing the cool palette with warmth.
The teen’s bedroom was challenging because the storage requirements were disproportionate to the area. Two single beds with curved grey tufted headboards soften the space. “We adopted a playful scheme and used gender-neutral colours: Mangrove green, pearl grey, and crisp white. Floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and study niches wrap the bedroom on two sides, green for the daughter and grey for the son,” remarks Saniya.
The tiniest room in the space had only one function: long-term storage. A bed is snug between two full-height wardrobes with ribbed surfaces finished in white PU, adding a soft textural quality to the room. The niche is painted in a shade called Young Berry, infusing colour into an otherwise all-white room.
A continuing aesthetic of ribbed panels, clean lines, concealed storage, and a soft grey-and-white palette characterise this apartment and demonstrates how minimal spaces can be designed in a manner that combats the cold and sparse associations with it.
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