This modern abode by Untitled Design celebrates grounded Indian sensibilities of art, craft and recycling

NOV 26, 2020 | By Sonia Dutt, Amrita Guha and Joya Nadurdikar
The meticulously planned living room showcases a bespoke circular light by Unlimited Design, lounger and armchair upholstered with D’Decor fabric and a ceramic installation of Dashavatar by Vishakha Swaroop; Photographs by Amit Mehra
Close-up of the shola flowers in the living room centre table. A popular medium for decorations in West Bengal, these are actually made from natural dried reeds; Photographs by Amit Mehra
(L-R) Bookshelves in smoked veneer; A framed Sanjhi craft of Uttar Pradesh by Vijay Kumar Verma on the main door depicts the evil eye in the “Hand of Hamsa”; On the custom dresser is a bespoke brass lamp, Ostler lamp and brass utensils; Photographs by Amit Mehra
(L-R) Detail of the carved mahogany sofa and a lapis lazuli table with a brass pipe base; The window nook in the guest room uses D'Decor fabric on the sucupira wood walls; Close-up of a wooden Garuda from Bali; Photographs by Amit Mehra

Conceived as a three-storeyed space that blends private and public areas, this home is an amalgam of tradition and modernity. It is a 2,700 sq ft villa consisting of five bedrooms, a living area, family lounge and library.

We were looking to create a space that expressed our design beliefs and principles. Additionally, a deep desire to do something novel determined the strength of the aesthetic.

The idea was to experiment with techniques and materials using local nuances but applying a global feel, bringing back old school materials within a contemporary palette.

The dining room is anchored by an Ashok Acharya painting. It includes a rosewood table, console and chairs from Untitled Design as well as metallic dinnerware from West Bengal; Photographs by Amit Mehra

Having been greatly influenced by the art and crafts of our country, we wanted to incorporate a generous collection of collectibles acquired over a period of time. We wanted the final look to be a testament of this spirit of experimentation.

Beside the cantilevered, recycled wood staircase are artworks by Tapas Maiti. Above is a pendant light created in collaboration between Untitled Design and Klove Studio; Photographs by Amit Mehra

Sense and sustainability Despite the presence of artworks, installations and a play of materials, the common thread throughout is liveability through feasible, eco-sensitive design. All the interior work was designed and executed by the in-house team at Untitled Design.

The guest washroom uses a mirror frame from Jaipur, table by Gopal Namjoshi and lava stone basin from Bali; Photographs by Amit Mehra

The compelling uses of ancient techniques such as exposed concrete, terrazzo, natural clay plaster and inexpensive local limestone in cutting-edge setups is a step towards green architecture. But that’s not all. It is also an important move towards discovering the core ethos and positioning of Untitled Design as the chief articulators of a sensibility for an India willing to cultivate new ways of looking at its tradition.

The master boudoir features a bed by Untitled Design, linens from Shades of India, dhurrie from Dastakar and an organic wooden bench from Nagaland; Photographs by Amit Mehra

Old spirit, new shell Recycling has been our motto as much as possible. For example, reusing cork in the kid’s room was a fun experiment. Carrying forward the “reuse, recycle” motto, the old wood from the doors and frames of the demolished structure were utilised entirely in the cantilevered staircase and the library ceiling. Finally, local fabric in all sustainable forms—be it silk, cotton, dhurries and natural grass wallpapers—have been chosen over non-sustainable materials.