Up in the hills—The confluence of nature and art makes this lavishly appointed villa, planned by Tushant Bansal Design Studio, a restful getaway

JAN 20, 2023 | By Sonia Dutt and Tushant Bansal
A monochrome installation by Shah graces the front wall; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja

Nestled among chestnut and pine trees atop a hill in the outskirts of Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh is a luxurious, gated residential development of 35 villas. It has been developed by Nitin Bhayana along with Siddharth Gupta, Jaiwant Daulatsingh and Siddharth Sharma; and sold exclusively to close friends. Except for the one featured here, which belongs to Nitin. It is shaped by architectural firm Morphogenesis and designed by me, Tushant Bansal.

The lounge cum library displays numerous art and auction catalogues, along with books on architecture and design. Jeram Patel’s artwork is mounted above the fireplace adjacent to the Eames lounger; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja

Since Nitin is a renowned art collector with a strong aesthetic sense, his brief to me was crystal clear. This led me to a simple design that would emphasise the natural setting, which is very much in line with my own approach. We worked on a simple methodology of governing by reduction rather than excess. The idea was to create a home that is understated, minimal, accommodates a number of artworks from the homeowner’s collection, and is a tranquil weekend getaway, where one can also host and entertain guests.

The entryway holds a customised table by Tushant Bansal and a Praneet Soi artwork; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja

For art to be the main focus, we worked backwards and designed everything around the prized possessions. This included ensuring that the consistent walnut wooden flooring is used throughout the villa (with the exception of the foyer and staircase) to serve as the ideal backdrop. Within the holiday home, Nitin wanted to accommodate works by artists such as Atul Dodiya, Jeram Patel, Manisha Parekh, Mithu Sen, Ayesha Sultana, Seher Shah, Nataraj Sharma, Suhasini Kejriwal, Zarina Bhimji and Praneet Soi, among others.

Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh chairs flank the fireplace and another Praneet Soi canvas is above it. A coffee table and an upholstered sofa from Iqrup + Ritz rest on a Hands carpet; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja

This 3,500 sq ft home is spread across two rectangular floors—one of its long sides runs parallel to the lush valley of Kasauli—connected with an A-shaped stairway. On the ground floor, the foyer leads to the living, dining and kitchen areas on the right and a master bedroom with a traditional brick fireplace on the left. Each room is conceptualised such that it opens to picturesque views.

The artwork above the sofa is by Manisha Parekh; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja

Transporting you to the most gorgeous corner of the house on the upper level is the double heighted staircase. It is actually a study with bay windows, which lends a sense of floating in space… especially on foggy days, when the clouds move through the house, blurring the boundary between the inside and outside. It is truly magical!

Close up of earthy tabletop accessories; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja

Aside from this corner, the upstairs has a lounge cum library and two bedrooms, each of which open onto outdoor balconies, one of them with a laid back breakfast table setting. Whether it’s for these little cosy corners or for covetable pieces such as the Pierre Jeanneret seaters (bought, back in the 1990s, by Nitin) and objets d’art—the home’s relaxed aesthetic is undoubtedly inviting.

The minimalistic dining area in this Kasauli home houses an AKFD table on wooden flooring from FCML. A console from BoConcept holds metallic and wooden accessories from Tushant Bansal’s Brianna Collection below a Rajendra Dhawan piece; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja


Metal candlesticks from Bansal’s Brianna Collection are placed on a foyer table. Under it are a copper planter from an antique store in Jodhpur and a floral rug from Shivan and Narresh; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja


Natural light streams in through the bay window at the landing, where a BoConcept desk, and other storage systems from Bansal’s Brianna Collection are placed. The framed drawings on the desk are a gift from Nitin’s friends; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja


On the upper level in this Kasauli home, an Alok Bal canvas is mounted on the wall by the stairway; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja


A Pierre Jeanneret bench sits flush against the wall at the landing near a canvas by Suhasini Kejriwal; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja


One of the bedrooms on the upper level in this Kasauli home opens up to a breakfast nook with a view, the table top is decorated with BoConcept candle holders, napkin rings from Shades of India and Pure Home’s white ceramic tableware; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja


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