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This Pune home combines the traditional Keralan aesthetic with modern minimalism

  • Interior Design
Dec 13, 2022
Grey Nilaya wallpaper from Asian Paints

CUBSPACES designed a family home that marries form and function with the personality of its inhabitants

Creating a home that caters to different ages, personalities and needs is no easy task. This 3,100 sq. ft apartment in Pune’s bustling Koregaon Park neighbourhood was a blank page that required some very specific detailing, for a growing family of four.


Originally from Kerala, the owners had some well-articulated wants: a Kerala-inspired home, heritage artwork and furniture, lots of rattan, and teak. It had to be clutter-free and minimal, considering their two boisterous children. The family also owns an enviable collection of books, so storing and displaying their tomes in an attractive way was important.


Plus, the young kids were adamant that they wanted fun, “non-boring” rooms… but from a practical standpoint, this had to be done without investing in kid-sized furniture that they would outgrow.


Pune based interior design firm Cubspaces founded by Lakshmi Satish, managed to integrate a variety of colours, textures and customizations to create a home that ticks all the boxes and comes together seamlessly.


Beautiful Homes (BH): Can you tell us more about the design philosophy?

Lakshmi Satish (LS): The homeowners wanted a mix of minimal and traditional: something that reflected their Southern roots, but with a clean and minimal aesthetic overall. This was the first time we got to work on a home drawing inspiration from the South. Being from there myself, the team and I got a chance to combine different styles: Southern, Colonial and Mid Century Modern.

BH: Were there any must-haves or non-negotiables from the client’s side?

LS: We had complete creative control but there were some non-negotiables. The owners were keen on a metal and rattan cluster coffee table for the living room, a heritage Kerala grandfather chair, and a large Kerala mural (chuvar chitram), a gift from their mother. They also wanted to repurpose their existing teak furniture that had been sourced from back home.


BH: What kind of shades and materials did you use for the living room?

LS: The layout of the home, with balconies on both sides, offers plenty of natural light. We wanted to keep the space free flowing and went with a “less is more” philosophy using neutral tones, textures, and finishes.

Home office cum family room

Ample light cascades through the home office that also doubles up as a family room.

Their older furniture is all teak, and the newer pieces are rattan, so we stuck with whites and beiges. Neutrals are easy to build on and white brings out the vibrancy of teak, another reason why we chose it. 

BH: How did you break up the monotony of teak and rattan in the living room?

LS: Since teak and rattan are a similar shade, the room would have looked too brown if we had left it at that—so we added colour and texture in other ways, using shades of teal and yellow, for wall accents and cupboards. We placed a custom fluted teal sideboard against textured Nilaya wallpaper at the far end of the living room to break up the monotony.

Cluster coffee table

The cluster coffee table is complemented by custom-made Swedish-inspired BOND shelves in black metal and teak, framed by black track lights.

Study-cum-reading nook

The master bedroom features a study-cum-reading nook in the corner.

BH: Can you tell us about the framed mural and how you placed it?

LS: The couple were clear that their mural painting had to be on display. A Chuvar chitram (which translates into “wall painting”) usually takes up an entire wall and becomes the centre of any room it is in. Because the mural is a bright, bold temple painting, using it as the focal point and designing around it would have made the space feel a little too traditional. We had to ground it with other shades.


Instead of placing it in the living room, we hung it in the dining room, above a blue-grey sideboard: prominent, but not overwhelmingly so.


The entire living-dining area has been crafted to balance an earthy South Indian vibe with a modern minimalist one. Even the louvered shutters in the entryway are a modern upgrade to a window style that’s commonplace in Kerala homes. It’s a classic design that has been given a new identity with Duco paint.



BH: Bookshelves are a prominent aspect of each room. Have they been custom made?

LS: Yes, each room has custom bookshelves which serve double duty as storage units and décor pieces. Books are a great way to add personality and brighten up a space when placed thoughtfully. Their collection was arranged by subject/author, but we wanted to colour code it. It took some convincing, but they agreed to arrange the books by colour. For designers, finding homeowners who share a similar aesthetic and sensibility make for a great working relationship. In this case, we feel the space has come together seamlessly… and it shows! 

Check out the best interior design services in Pune for your home!

Grey Nilaya wallpaper from Asian Paints

The clean teak and rattan surfaces are punctuated by a pop of colour, with a customized fluted teal sideboard resting against grey Nilaya wallpaper from Asian Paints.

Charpai drawer

A customised console with a charpai drawer along the corridor.

Louvered shutters

Charming louvered shutters add a touch of refinement to an otherwise mundane entryway shoe rack.

A mural painting of Kerala

The “chuvar chitram” or Kerala mural painting has been placed above a blue-grey sideboard from Gulmohar Lane to maintain a balance.

Chinoiserie wallpaper

Hand painted Chinoiserie wallpaper and a classic Chandigarh chair at the foyer.

Custom bookshelf in master bedroom

A custom bookshelf was made for the family’s growing library and is used for both storage and display.

Repurposed teak furniture

The balcony functions as an extension of the living room and features repurposed teak furniture.

pastel green almirah

The pastel green almirah resting against the yellow patch is reminiscent of the colourful lanes of Pondicherry.

Trove’s spindle bed

A spindle bed from Trove rests against custom floral wallpaper by The Wall Chronicles.

‘Under the Sea’ wallpaper

“Under the Sea” wallpaper in shades of green and blue in the older child’s bedroom.

Custom shelf with cubbies

The older child’s bedroom features a custom shelf with cubbies for toys and books.

Nautical cushions

Nautical themed cushions complete the underwater theme.

Space themed wallpaper

The younger child’s room was designed to echo the calm of a starry night, – with playful space themed wallpaper.

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