Akshaya Mestry and Bhakti Loonawat’s collaborative design transforms this 80-year-old home into a vintage wonder

DEC 20, 2020 | By Vedika Nair
A neutral palette, wooden ceiling, colourful upholstery and lights from Voylite together create a bright and inviting living room; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar
The long balcony features a home office and a reading nook. It is decorated using works sourced from Art & Found and lights from Voylite; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar
A globe cluster chandelier by White Teak hovers over the dining table; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar
The previously panelled windows were opened to uncover railing details, which were repainted to offset their teak frames; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

In an ever-evolving world, we’re living a fast-paced life and constantly trying on the newest buzzwords. However, a trend that never goes out of style is #Vintage. And that’s exactly what Studio Mestry’s Akshaya Mestry went for, when she collaborated with Bhakti Loonawat, to breathe new life into an 80-year-old apartment in the heart of Mumbai.

Home to a family of four, this 1,500 sq ft space strives to emulate contemporary design in a vintage shell, through open spaces, natural light and towering ceiling heights. Taking into consideration the age of the edifice, only a few structural changes have been made.

A long corridor at the entrance is characterised by jack arches. On one end of the passageway are a living room and a home office. Meanwhile, on the other end lies the kitchen, bedrooms and powder bathroom.

The expansive living room uses reclaimed broken marble with terrazzo floor tiles on the sides and a foot high terrazzo skirting detail; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

“The living and dining room has to be my favourite,” says Mestry. “It’s a luminous open-plan space with incredible ceiling heights that are nothing short of captivating. Monochromatic and minimalist, the space is accentuated with wooden details, clean lines and pops of colour through the upholstery,” she adds. 

A black-glass dining table with patterned chairs makes up the striking dining zone; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

Enriched with wooden accents, customised furniture pieces and a monochromatic colour scheme, the abode features vintage wooden furniture and terrazzo flooring throughout with black granite accents. Chandeliers and suspended lights illuminate the abode with opulence. 

A reading nook is created in the balcony, where a work from Art & Found is placed; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

“The character of the home is determined by two factors—maximising the functionality of each space and the architectural quality and volume that is offset with handcrafted, mid-century modern furniture pieces, terrazzo and marble floors and bold fabrics,” says Mestry, explaining the theme of the abode. 

The contemporary kitchen comes with ample storage; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

A muted colour palette with white walls, a patterned monochrome floor and hints of ocean green cloak the home. We love how influences of old Burma teak and terrazzo tiles retain the home’s charm.

The other end of the balcony serves as a home office; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

A product of collaborative design, Mestry and Loonawat’s styles cohesively blend to create a beautiful vintage abode that feels like home. “We kept three important features in mind while designing the house,” shares Loonawat, adding, “An open-plan with ample natural light and ventilation, simplicity and materiality.”

Seen in the daughter’s room are tiles from Vyara, ceiling lights from Hatsu and wall lights from Voylite; Photographs by Aditya Warlikar

“Challenges provoke bold ideas and serve as an opportunity to push one’s own limits to design effectively. For example, the original design had terrazzo flooring but the client was keen on utilising marble that was laid out in the corridor and den areas. This drove us to design the in situ flooring in the living and home office sections,” she concludes.