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This Gurgaon home weaves a story with ethnic crafts

  • Interior Designs for Home
May 17, 2024
Pillars in the living room – Beautiful Homes

Gurgaon-based interior designer Aditi Sharma maximised the use of old-world crafts within a soothing neutral shell to create a home filled with memories and memorabilia

Enthusiastic clients with an open mind offer a positive start to any design project. As was the case with Aditi Sharma’s renovation of a two-storey Gurgaon bungalow. It was founded on a fun brief of vivid colours, ethnic crafts and a passionate reading habit, which needed to be maximised in one 3,500-square-foot duplex home. The interior designer, who set up her eponymously named Gurgaon-based studio in 2017, was excited at the idea. “It isn’t often that clients tell us that they are not scared to use bold colours. It is their willingness to try different things that allowed us to create such a vibrant space.”

 

Sharma, whose other passion includes concrete-made fashion accessories sold under the label Greytone, talks about enveloping colour and craft in soothing neutrals in this two-storey home within a gated high-rise. Edited excerpts from an interview:

Beautiful Homes (BH): How did you translate the homeowners’ requirements into the design?

Aditi Sharma (AS): The clients had a specific vision for this house meant for a multigenerational family of five. It had to convey a story of cherished memories, which would serve as a sort of cultural induction for the youngest family members. The homeowners are also passionate about ethnic Indian arts and crafts; they have a vast collection that they want to use around the house. We kept that in mind while planning the design. They also wanted every space of this house to be uniquely designed.

Wall paint by Asian Paints – Beautiful Homes

The furniture in the living room is largely custom-made; the wall paints throughout the house are from Asian Paints.

Formal living room design ideas – Beautiful Homes

The low table in the formal living room is custom-made for the house; the beige, micro-concrete flooring and white walls lend the space a neutral canvas.

BH: How did your approach to design play out in the context of this brief?

AS: Our primary focus in all our projects is to give timeless design solutions and enrich the human experience through the space. By that, we mean how one will feel and behave in the space. And to fulfil that purpose, the aesthetic and practical aspects have to go hand in hand.

 

For this space, we created a neutral base that would balance the client’s eclectic preferences. We then infused the space with Indian art, craft and colours. We added a touch of whimsy and lore while doing it. This design is a fresh outtake of the vernacular way of living in a brand-new context.

BH: How did your ideas for the space manifest in your choice of materials and colours?

AS: For the neutral base, we used micro-concrete in the common areas for a smooth and seamless finish and wooden flooring in the bedrooms. We chose materials that were long-lasting and easy to maintain, and complemented the furniture and the decor. Given that this space was going to be maximal in its colours and crafts, we chose an open-plan layout. Instead of walls, for instance, we opted for foldable screens and shelving partitions. We wanted to make the spatial movements fluid while offering soft thresholds and partitions.

Foldable partition designs – Beautiful Homes

On the ground floor, separated from the dining area by a foldable partition is another guest area features a teal sofa-cum-bed and an accent wall to match.

BH: How did you integrate the crafts into the space?  

AS: The art and artefacts used are visible right from the moment one steps into the house, with two Chettinad columns framing the entry into the living room. The more formal portion of the living room then gives way to an informal reading nook. There is art and craft on both walls. This includes Warli work from Bihar, Mandalas from Tibet, Prabhavalis from the south and a meticulously knitted carpet from Turkey.

 

We also leveraged their need for storage as a way to incorporate more art into the space. For the main corridor off the living room, we created recessed storage on-site with a collection of the clients’ pattachitras inset in the shutters and secured with glass. Then there is the first-floor guest bedroom; Rajasthani arches and floral motifs inspire the long art panel along one of its walls. Craft is very much a predominant element.

Storage unit with art design ideas – Beautiful Homes

The storage units planned along the passage leading off the living room were also used as canvas for art; the shutters were made on-site by encasing the homeowners’ collection of pattachitras on palm leaves.

Dining room design ideas – Beautiful Homes

The open-plan dining area receives ample natural light; the kitchen door fitted with fluted glass amplifies the space further; the maroon-coloured sideboard adds vibrant colour to the space.

BH: What about the clients’ wish for bright colours? 

AS: That, in fact, was very intuitive and also inspired by clients. We ensured every space was unique. The dining room, for instance, is a large, well-lit area with a foldable partition that divides it into two spaces—the second space doubles up as a cosy guest room with a teal sofa-cum-bed set against a similar-coloured accent wall. Then the grandmother’s room which has brighter shades balanced out by warmer ones. The master suite on the upper floor is a complete contrast to these spaces, and kept minimal, with a large custom bed as the focal point. This space was a careful balance of colour, craft and neutrality.

 

The family lounge is a microcosm of the larger design concept—it exhibits how contrasting elements complement one another and look harmonious. This junction of the house has a bar unit inspired by a colonial secretary desk, a robust rattan bookcase and an heirloom rocking chair. We opted for a contrasting colour scheme of green and pinkish-mauve for the walls so as to reflect the different personalities of the family members using it.


 

BH: What is a design highlight in this house according to you?

AS: That would be the bathrooms. The material, colour and textures are bold yet balanced. Like the master bath, a Moroccan-style space that uses a complement of pink and black to incorporate and express feminine and masculine energies.

 

 

All images by Ishita Sitwala

Family lounge design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The family lounge on the first floor combines colours and vintage furniture to echo the different tastes of the family of five.
Pillars in the living room – Beautiful Homes
A highlight is the pair of Chettinad pillars framing the space directly opposite the front door; the chair is a family heirloom; the rug is from Jaipur Rugs.
Bookshelf design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The antique bookshelf is from Sharma Farms while the artefacts belong to the homeowners.
Bookshelf in family lounge design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The rattan bookshelf in the family lounge is from Shymal Mandal Furniture.
Master bedroom design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The master bedroom has a custom-made bed with an elaborate rattan and upholstered headboard.
Guest bedroom design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The guest room on the first floor has a predominantly grey palette; the centrepiece is the long art panel by Bhupendra Singh Shekhawat, inspired by Rajasthani arches and motifs.
Dressing room design ideas – Beautiful Homes
This en-suite makes a bold statement in green and beige with an interestingly shaped mirror.
Pink bathroom design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The vibrant colour theme continues in the bathrooms with this one a complement of pale pink and black.
Bathroom design ideas – Beautiful Homes
The vanities and fit-outs in all the bathrooms are by Swastik Interiors.

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