Drenched in the hues of ocean, sunset and nostalgia—this Chennai home by Gayatri Gunjal is a sweet medley of modern and traditional

OCT 28, 2021 | By Pratishtha Rana
Draped in sober tones of beige, grey and brown, Nesavu’s living room seeks attention with the use of wooden and marble materials; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain
The dining area is bedecked with a grand marble dining table with neutral-hued fabric chairs; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain
A seamless transition is seen at play between the living and dining room; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain
The bedroom looks snuggly with hints of chic, thanks to the smart contrast of soft grey furnishing and dark brown wood wall panelling; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain
The bedroom furnishings are sourced from Tresorie, embellished with a dropped pendant light and a Ganesha sculpture on the side table; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jai
Separating the living and dining zone are the slender brown columns; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jai
The outdoor deck with an organised seating plan is where the dwellers treat their eyes to vistas of the ocean and cotton candy skyline in the evenings; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jai

A house, before it transpires into a home, often meets the sweet dilemma of being able to showcase the many personalities of its owners in the most harmonious way possible. This challenge was turned into an opportunity by Gayatri Gunjal, founder and creative director of YellowSub Studio, who artfully crafted a sublime home called Nesavu. 

Overlooking the scenic panorama of the Bay of Bengal, Nesavu is a 3,000 sq ft apartment on the East Coast road in Chennai. A second home for a Mumbai-based couple, this new address en-route Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry stands with an idyllic demeanour praising the sheer repose of the South Indian coastline, far from the blaring bustle of maximum city. 

Nesavu in Tamil means weaving. The brief demanded the home to weave together two contrasting visions of the clients. One desired modern elegance and the other sought traditional design traits, seeped in a rich concoction of materials, clean textures, sober colours and the marvellous skyline peeking in from the outside.

Flooded with ample daylight, one corner of the living area is styled with Moooi’s meshmatic chandeliers and a beautiful Garuda sculpture; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

The entire home displays a mesmerising spin on how Gunjal and Prem Kumar Srinivasan, Design and Execution Head, and Damodaran.M, Designer on project, have smartly designed it to look visually capacious and wider than it is in reality and in dimensions. “The clients agreed to a lot of the design that we proposed for them, hence it was a fairly enjoyable and smooth sailing ride,” says Gunjal.

An example of this enterprising design innovation is the wall between the living and dining was brought down to maintain an open plan for the house and increase its visual space.

A dark vertical louvered back panelling and a huge circular mirror welcomes the owners at the entrance, making the space look bigger and wider; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain


Entering the living room flooded with natural light, the sight meets the spectacular ocean views framed perfectly into the large glass windows; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

Stepping into Nesavu, a small foyer greets you at the entrance, panelled and mounted with a large circular mirror, forming a mirage-like effect for the space to look roomier. 

Before opening into the daylight-flooded living area, the foyer overlooks the guest room in the front. One of the most delightful corners of the home finds life in the living room, commanding absorbing views of the sea, encased in the picture-perfect frames of the large glass windows and speckled with Moooi’s meshmatics chandeliers from the ceiling above.

While a lot of furniture are custom made by Lifespace Home, an array of artifacts belong to the home owners, who collected it during their travels; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain


Dressed up in muted but captivated colour palette, the throw cushions in the living area are from Good Earth; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

To add to the design drama and kindle nostalgia, Gunjal carefully deluged the space with exquisite art works, collected by the clients during their travel escapades. At every turn, the eyes find unique wood sculptures, antique artefacts, brass deities, paintings and collectibles tracing the home. 

Not restricted to a theme, Gunjal kept the colour flow inside the home refreshingly neutral and neat, splashed with beige, white, browns and greys. 


A curved sofa with a D’Decor rug is nestled on the other end of the living room meant to serve as a cosy reading corner. A tall Chettinad column with hardwood fins peeks from behind; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

An inspiring confluence of marble, brass and wood bedecks the home, striking an equilibrium between traditional and contemporary. Behind the chic, neutral-toned sofa stands a handcrafted antique Chettinad-style Burma wood door. The room further leads the way to the dining zone, with a tall Chettinad column with hardwood fins placed quietly in once corner. 

A polished and sleek wooden wall unit in the dining area becomes a display space for the antiques and collectibles; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain


The kitchen speaks a language of minimalism with its white marble counter and backsplash; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

To give the artefacts their due spotlight, a large wooden wall unit lit with built-in lights is positioned facing the beautiful marble dining table and fabric chairs. The kitchen on the left breaks the long-running interior conversation between the living and dining area, with its glossy marble finish counter and backsplash.

Large glass windows and white marble walls edge the bed dressed with furnishing from Tresorie; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

Moving on to the section of the home where leisure finds its truest meaning—each of the bedrooms reveal a sensuous but sophisticated theme, playing with a serene palette of white, grey, beige and dark brown. The feet find aesthetic in the room’s deep wood finish flooring, while the eyes gaze at the heirloom accent wall mirror and the heirloom chair that delineates a corner nook for reading and seating. 

The interiors of this bedroom portray an easy melange of wood and brown theme, dotted with greens here and there; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

The home doesn’t see a dominating use of artificial lights. Hence, a few minimal statement pendant lights and chandeliers adorn the spaces. Thanks to the massive windows, abundance of natural light and views of the landscape outside, merge into the interiors of the bedroom and the rest of the home.

Vintage yet contemporary, this heirloom mirror adorns the bedroom wall, complemented with an heirloom chair and foliage; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

Plunging right into the bounty of the natural surroundings a little bit more, Gunjal reworked the terrace, removed the lap pool and assembled an exceptional outdoor deck with lounge seating that romances the vistas of the ocean and the dreamy sunrises and sunsets.

The outdoor deck is furnished with classy sofa, centre table, Ganesha sculpture and lights built in the walls; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

The interior elements in Nesavu exhibit a timeless quality seeded in the fact that a majority of it was custom made by Lifespace Home for the studio. Some pieces in Nesavu are also repurposed, while some are proudly passed down through generations.

Scroll down to enjoy a few more glimpses of this stunning home!

A striking play of brown and beige and marble and wood is seen in the dining section and the rest of the home; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain


Clean lines, polished textures and neat sections define the kitchen’s ambience; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain


A sophisticated white marble work decorates the bathroom, speckled with a little greens; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain


The bedroom radiates an elegant mood with warm touches of wood work and elegance of modern decor; Photograph courtesy Yash R Jain

If this enchanting home made you weave your own homely dreams, check out this timeless family home in Juhu by Tejal Mathur