#EDLoves this petit Mumbai home by SML Architects for its subtle play on contrast and contemporary charisma

OCT 7, 2020 | By Aneesha Bhadri
The living room sofa is paired with a Pierre Jeanneret armchair made using old reclaimed teak and cane, and a custom teak centre table. On the wall is an abstract black and white artwork; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi
The second bedroom is designed with an inbuilt shelf for books under the platform bed. It functions on two levels, the upper or ‘sleep/rest’ while the lower one contains the wardrobe and the work desk; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Belonging to a trio of millennials, the Window Seat House is a 600 sq ft home in Breach Candy, Mumbai, which reflects the youthful dynamism and modern tastes of its inhabitants. “The clients were looking for an exciting and functional home that’s designed keeping in mind their age (all three in their 20s). But one that doesn’t compromise on the essence of warmth typically associated with a home,” says principal architect Mahek Lalan.

To the right of the main door is a little passage that leads to the living and dining area, beyond which lies the kitchen. Two bedrooms—the master suite near the kitchen and the other, opposite the main entrance—complete the linear layout.

“I like to design homes that are simple, thoughtful, well-articulated and extremely detailed, all using natural materials; homes which are a good balance of full and empty,” explains Lalan.

The living room sofa is paired with a Pierre Jeanneret armchair, made of old reclaimed teak and cane, and a custom made teak coffee table; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

Natural materials lend warmth to the modern apartment. The seamless flooring is a muted pink-pigmented, micro-topped surface, while reclaimed teak is seen consistently throughout the space. The attention to detailing comes through in the custom made furnishings, with door handles, knobs and clothes’ hooks crafted from rosewood.

On the window side of the sofa is a ficus plant. An abstract and minimal black and white artwork is partially seen; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

“For the last two years, we’ve been experimenting with hues of pink in our studio, testing how well they work with other materials such as wood and brass. The pink, micro-topped floor used here is tough and gentle at the same time. In a way, it contrasts the harshness of the city of Mumbai. I like to think that the flooring brings a sense of seamlessness, unifies the apartment and forms the material backdrop against which the lives of three millennials play out,” says the architect.

SML Architects design of the Contour Table is seen in the dining zone along with three, midcentury chairs by Hans Wegner, a suspended brass pendant lamp and an artwork; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

The modest layout rejoices in contemporary aesthetics, geometric nuances and contrasting tints. It celebrates the idea of “slow living”. In a world that thrives on working at the speed of light—fast cars, fast construction, fast music, fast food and faster Wi-Fi—it is imperative, insists Lalan, to take the time to appreciate artisanship, materiality, specificity and inner contentedness that good design can bring. As he says, “The idea is to create a calm and restraint aesthetic through an extreme paring down of the palette to a few basic natural materials.”

Scroll below for more images of this compact Mumbai home by SML Architects…

The Contour Table features subtly tapered central ‘leg’ that eventually flares out to become a circular dining tabletop; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


Top view of the Contour dining table designed by SML Architects against the muted pink, micro-topped floor; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


The kitchen uses shutters made of exposed plywood with rosewood knobs for the cabinets below and teak frames with fluted glass infill for the ones above; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


Three-sided platforms are built in black granite, while the muted pink handmade square tiles are from Piccolo Mosaic; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


The pink polished concrete floor characterises the entire home. Seen here is the entrance of the master bedroom; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


Floor-to-ceiling wardrobes take up the width of the master bedroom. Near it, on the circular jute rug is a teak and rope chair by George Nakashima; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


The bespoke master bed is placed beside inbuilt, wall-to-wall ‘window seats’—giving the home its moniker; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


Wardrobe shutters are made using fluted teak and custom, semi-circular door handles in rosewood; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


The two-toned master bath is rendered in muted green and dark grey. Indirect strip lights for the arched mirror above the washbasin lend a sense of quiet glamour; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


The second bedroom is designed for a voracious reader with an inbuilt bookshelf under the platform bed; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


This bedroom functions on two levels—the upper ‘sleep/rest’ level, while the lower houses the wardrobe and work desk. A transitional step in grey marble and a vertical slit in the wall for books add detail to the space; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


View of the work desk that can be folded back vertically when not in use and the wardrobe shutters with reclaimed Burma teak frames with fluted glass infills; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


A little bookshelf flushed to the wall in the living room next to the built-in window seat coupled with the armchair makes for a delightful reading nook; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


Another two-toned bathroom is rendered in grey handmade tiles from Piccolo Mosaic and muted pink, micro-topping on parts of the wall and ceiling; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi


View of the inbuilt shower bench in the second bathroom; Photographs by Yadnyesh Joshi

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