Whimsy meets pristine hospitality at this fairytale-esque house in Chennai by AND Design Co.

APR 16, 2024 | By Paakhi Baranwal
A magnum opus in magnificence, the car sculpture designed by Manish Sharma of the Gallery Veda complements the black-laquered staircase beautifully; Photography by Karthikey Sharma
The family’s penchant for poker is epitomised with the stately poker table from Vismara; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

Bold. Balanced. Bequeathed but blended. At first glance, we couldn’t comprehend whether this abode the designers call the Plume of Paradise was a concept space or a home. Turns out, it is a bit of both. Through vivid hues and  eccentric elemental choices, it breaks away from minimalism and embraces whimsical maximalism. 

A concept guest house that serves the two-pronged purpose of housing this multigenerational family’s guests as well as facilitating carousing times, this 4,900 sq ft haven in Chennai designed by Archana and Rupesh Baid of AND Design Co., serves suave.

An iridescent apple amidst the sea of green strikes a memory of whimsical tales. The carpet is from Cocoon Fine Rugs, designed by Ashiesh Shah; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

Grimms’ Guest House?

Rarely does one find homeowners that come with such a sanguine sense of what they want the space to be about. That was never a concern with this property. It manifests every guest’s whims through experiential spaces that more than deliver on the eclectic fairytale-esque aesthetic. 

The faux library wallpaper from Wall&decò decks up the background of the poker table from Vismara. The dimorphic chequered lounge chair is from Enrich Company; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

The quintessential principles of geometry take the front seat in this multi-storeyed ride through a melting pot of proportions and patterns. 

The bar stools by Defurn and artwork by Shefali Wadhwa of Gallery Veda call for a night (many nights) of drinking up; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

Boasting a party floor and a terrace elevated with experiential spaces, contemporary elements and eclectic grandeur meld many times over through the works of artisans and designers both local and international to make the homeowner’s aspiration of making a statement come true. The structural framework of the original space was such that it gave the designers incentive to elevate features such as the standout staircase while working around the constraints of the compact footprint. 

Apple-shaped sculptures, a hidden pantry and more…

The triangular guest house opens with a parking and service space on the ground floor ensuring that every guest can unburden themselves upon entering. The bottom of the stairwell offers a piece de resistance with the apple sculpture that is a paragon for anomaly and sets the tone for the space, opening into the expanse of the dining and living room on the first floor. The antithetical nature of red and green makes for perfect contrasting compositions that forbid looking away.

The anomalous apple sculpture created by Bull & Stein for Andrew Martin by Portuguese artist Bruno next to the stairwell reads as the prologue to this book of epic elements; Photography by Karthikey Sharma


Relaxation takes reign in the second floor living room that beckons one in with the ostrich feather floor lamp from A Modern Grand Tour and a cocoon carpet by Ashiesh Shah; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

Prioritising pomp without compromising on practicality, the hidden pantry and powder room are tucked in without distracting from the sprawling card and poker set-up (the fake library wallpaper might be our favourite element). The second floor replicates the structure of the first floor in the sense that it is not devoid of living and dining spaces, but with its two cosy en-suite bedrooms and common kitchen, prioritises comfort and convenience.

The second floor living space breaks away from the crimson character of the haven, conducing down-time. The ostrich feather floor lamp is from A Modern Grand Tour and the carpet is by Ashiesh Shah; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

Coming to fruition with an al fresco space, the terrace with its plunge pool for kids is the last piece to this puzzle, enabling an entrancing atmosphere for the guests through and through. The expansive seating offers a conservational abode and a place to snuggle up through a night or even a day of relaxed rendezvous.

Shy away from colour? Never

“Standout pieces such as the dimorphic chequered lounge chair, red bar stools, and iridescent red apple added layers of depth and intrigue to the space, creating a dynamic visual experience for guests,” explains Archana Baid.

Across this dynamic landscape that enchants at every turn, art remains the thematic commonality catering to the homeowner’s desire for contemporary eclectic luxury.

Seating has never been so tempting as it is with the smart leather dining chairs from Medo Decor; Photography by Karthikey Sharma


A calming, private reverie away from the chaos, is this bathroom with sanitaryware from Duravit; Photography by Karthikey Sharma

Polarity finds a place within the space, through the primary colour palette of olive greens and crimson that stimulates the first floor, in contrast to the softer hues of brown and blue of the second-floor living area that exude a sense of relaxation. Our conventional understanding of luxury through subdued colours and softer palettes is taken for a toss with the dynamic blend of bold colour accents and lacquer finishes. 

Complementing the eclectic ether of the space is a rain harvesting system that facilitates water conservation and ample ventilation and cross facilities, making it less reliant on external inputs. Two peas in a pod, leisure and tranquillity find a home with a family that loves to entertain, both guests and themselves.

Now read: Oris Architects transform this Mumbai home into a stylist’s serene escape