Breaking New Ground

While the design world is stripping the house down to bare essentials in the name of modern minimalism, architect Kapil Aggarwal of Spaces Architect@ka has found a solution to the contemporary conundrum. Using equal parts of creativity and clever decor ideas he gives an interesting spin to the Yadav residence in New Delhi.


Architect Kapil Aggarwal

Architecture is an index of contemporary culture; and our homes are a narrative about ourselves. So, if a few years ago Indian houses were steeped in tradition, it was because they took inspiration from colonial influences and cultural beliefs of that time. This worked both for and against us. However, in recent years, a distinctly modern Indian voice has crept up. Our earlier appetite for tradition is now accompanied with a thirst for eclecticism and experimentation. The result is a tsunami of innovative ideas, which has reshaped our living space. This is resolutely evident in the modern, minimal yet magnificent and fully automated Yadav residence in Pitampura, North West Delhi.

Architect Kapil Aggarwal of Spaces Architects@ka says, “My brief was to create a home for a family of five with ample natural light, while keeping in mind that they entertain a lot.” Spread over 250 square yards, the property is a complex three-storey house that includes a basement. The car porch, through the main gate, features two openings. One of these access points leads to the spacious dual-purpose basement. Inside is a library cum office, pantry, powder room and private cabin. A more secluded section of the area can be only be accessed from inside the house. The couple loves to have friends and family over at their place where the basement plays a crucial role while entertaining.

The water body with the Buddha stands out in the formal living room. To balance the drama of the water body, the rest of the space is neutral in tone.

A home theatre room sports comfortable sofas, a large projector screen, artificial bamboos and handmade dholpur stone tiles, layered one over the other to create a 3D effect. One section of the ceiling has been laser cut and back-lit as well. There’s a lounge that doubles up as a party zone. The highlight here is a wall with leather and mirrors on it; on its side is a sand-blasted granite stone with a laser-cut motif — together they are quite a sight. There are the servants’ quarters too, but with separate entry and exit point.

Instead of creating just a utilitarian space, where the family would eat their meal, Kapil has turned the dining space into a work of art. Marble on the floor and the walls with steel panels looks simple but spectacular.

The second entrance from the porch opens into a lobby through a double-height foyer. While on one side of this area is a staircase, the other sees a lift, both of which connect the basement to the terrace. On the ground floor, a triple-height dining area, formal living room, family lounge, the kitchen and a bedroom for the couple’s parents (when they come to stay with them), all open up to the lobby. As is evident, the Yadav residence packs in quite a lot of rooms. What sets them apart from each other is each space’s unique treatment. Though, clean-lined and simple in form, Aggarwal has given each space its own flavour. For instance, the architect has used high-gloss duco paint for the entrance lobby’s ceiling. With back-lit wooden panels, it evokes a warm and inviting feeling albeit stylishly.

Another view of the lobby on the first floor. An interesting element here is the colourful artwork on the landing, so that as you walk up, it’s the first thing you see. In one corner is a larger-than-life statue of Krishna with a laser cut tree motif on the wall.

The ground floor’s formal living room boasts wooden veneer octagons with cove lighting creating a beautiful focal point. A neutral theme pervades with comfortable cream, leather sofas and Italian marble flooring. This was deliberate because they did not want to take the attention away from the piece de resistance, a water body with a Buddha. Against a black granite backdrop, the figure made from laser-cut Indian white marble is accompanied by a set of beautiful suspended swans, to heighten effect. The wall opposite the water body has been clad in brown and beige leatherite to enhance the mood of the space. “Since the couple entertains a lot, I wanted the drawing and the dining areas to flow into one another, which is why the water body is visible from both rooms and a glass window has been created between the two spaces,” adds Aggarwal. Below the glass window is a back-lit onyx that adds drama.

The second floor lobby opens into the terrace garden. Comfortable couches, vivid artwork and ample natural light make it a perfect place to sit and read a book.

The nearby marble-clad dining space is truly a visual treat in its stunning stark simplicity. While the flooring is a light beige hued stone, the feature white-grey wall has a specially commissioned colourful artwork by Ajay Jaiswal leaning against it. The incorporation of stainless steel panels on this backdrop provides some contemporary pizazz. If the meal area is restrained in its colour palette, the family lounge is bright and beautiful. Yellow-gold wallpaper with a blue motif complements the white and blue sofas. The back-lit wooden panel above and the cove lighting, together mimic a skylight and ample natural light filters in through a large window. Rather than incorporating a balcony here, the architects have created a window with a border of laser-cut veneer and board panels that allow natural light to stream into the basement below.

Done in shades of deep blue and white, the guestroom is a contemporary space. To complement the silver foiling on the wall behind the bed, white marble flooring is used.

The guest bedroom (for the grandparents) continues with the laser-cut theme with an intricate motif on the wall above the headboard. The architect has utilised primarily shades of brown, beige and cream with the only burst of colour being an artwork of with a blue Lord Krishna. The attached bathroom plays with fascinating textures such as champagne gold wallpaper and handmade square-shaped assortment of Indian stones that create a dramatic 3D effect.

Up on the first floor, a small lobby is flanked by the master bedroom and rooms for the family’s two daughters and son. The former is spacious with chiefly beige tones introduced through the wallpaper, wall tiles and marble flooring. This creates a very soothing and relaxing atmosphere. “To maximize on the view, instead of giving a straight glass window, it juts out at an angle on the outside,” explains Kapil. The same colour scheme continues in the en suite bathroom.

In the guestroom, a modern pendant light highlights the simple seating comprising of two leather chairs below.

While the couple preferred subdued shades, the children on the other hand, wanted a riot of colours. The girls, who share a room, have a pink oasis with everything from the walls to the accessories in the shade as per their request. To give the room some edge, Aggarwal divided the ceiling into two parts: one half a false ceiling in pink with cove lighting, the other half in wooden veneer panelling. In contrast, the son’s room is done up in shades of green and blue with simple straight-lined furniture. Of note, is the array of colourful MDF back-lit panels that creates a pretty feature nook.

Above on the second floor, a small lounge has a terrace garden in the front and a gym, steam, sauna, storeroom and a guest bedroom at the back. A small lobby, connecting the various areas on the floor, has small steel pendant lights. The guest bedroom overlooks the triple-height dining area below (which has has a large replica of an MF Hussain artwork). The minimal yet comfortable space is and will be perfect for any visitor.

The best part about the guest bathroom is the jacuzzi. Besides this, there’s also a shower stall and a vanity that has an interesting mirror with an abstract shape.

There you have it, this huge house has several spaces each with a distinct personality. As American writer Herman Melville said, “Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound”; then the Yadav family’s journey is clearly complete.


To create a home that experiments with textures and creative niches; is simple, straight-lined and neat, while being warm and inviting for the inhabitants and their family and friends.

Flooring Various types of Italian and Indian marble, wood laminate Walls Different types of sand-blasted Indian stones (like jodhpur, dholpur, khareda), Italian marble, leatherite, leather, mirror, granite, wallpaper, wooden veneers, textured paint Ceiling High gloss duco paint, wooden veneer, MDF

Client Gajendra Yadav Location Pritampura, New Delhi Area 250 sq yards Built up area 7,000 sq ft Principal architect Kapil Aggarwal Design team Pavan Sharma, Chandra Kaushik Site supervisors Arvind Pal Singh, Dharmendra Kumar


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