Singular Charm

An apartment in Mumbai undergoes an overhaul in the hands of 4th Dimension, resulting into an elegant bachelor pad with a rustic edge.

Text: Alifiya Mehamdabadwala
Photographs: Prashant Bhat; courtesy 4th Dimension

The bespoke centre table in the living room is a chest specially made in Jaipur to suit the decor of the space. The look of the chest has been inspired by a vintage sandook with a finish of soft metallic leafing, leather patches on the corners and some unique hardware fittings.

The perception that single men are usually not bothered with the finer points of design and are content with living in a dingy, bare bones set-up is thankfully outdated. The modern bachelor pad is all about immaculate flair and is a reflection of the personality of its inhabitant — as one’s abode should be. The home we are about to unravel belongs to one such bachelor, Vijay Palande, who has been working as a make-up artist in the Indian film industry for 15 years. A creative professional, Vijay wanted his 1,000-square-foot apartment in Malad, Mumbai, to have a rustic, industrial vibe that was in tune with his lifestyle, passion and profession.

A common friend introduced Vijay to the principal architects — Rinki Kotak and Mihir Kotak — of Mumbai-based firm 4th Dimension who have an impressive line-up of projects in their portfolio. The first few meetings were spent uncovering the client’s personality and preferences to establish a corresponding design language. Vijay wanted a home that could easily be transformed into a party hub, a master bedroom with an attached bath and a small yet functional kitchen. “We altered the plan of this compact 2BHK apartment and transformed it into a bachelor pad with a living room, kitchen, powder room, dedicated bar space, a guest room cum entertainment area and a main bedroom with an attached bathroom,” says Mihir. “Since Vijay wanted a rustic yet charming home, we decided to populate the area with swathes of calming grey on the ceiling, floors and walls, with spurts of bold colours to draw a fine balance between polished and rugged,” adds Rinki.

The architects have created a niche in this passage for the bar by taking in the kitchen wall. The passage leads to the powder room on the right, the master bedroom to the left and the guestroom at the far end.

Warmth is added to the interiors through the concrete ceiling, self-textured flooring and doors in dark tones. The flat concrete wall finishes and plain upholstery complement the customized graphic drapery and blinds one sees in the guest room and master bedroom. Simple track lighting, recessed spots and tailor-made wall brackets are spread throughout the apartment to ensure even illumination alongside instances of mood lighting. Carefully-curated accessories and artworks make for conversation starters without being overbearing.

The spatial layout is simple. An electric blue door with a customized handle and nameplate opens to a living area that has been furnished with a tan sofa, a treasure chest that acts as a centre table, a bespoke TV unit and a couple of chairs. A glass door here connects to a well-equipped kitchen, while a passage leads to the master bedroom on the left, the bar and powder room on the right and the guestroom at the far end.

Since the guestroom was also going to be used as an entertainment area, the architects created a folding bed that can be easily tucked away when not in use.

The wall of the kitchen has been pulled inside to form a cosy nook to accommodate the bar counter that was requested. It has a black stone-finished flamed granite top with storage units on the side finished in blackboard paint. The client’s passion for cars is evident through the bespoke car front deck that hangs on the bar wall and the wall opposite is lined with framed inspirational quotes. Walk further down into the guestroom and you will find the same hues and materials on the walls and flooring which make a strong connection with the rest of the space. A foldable bed covered in concrete-finish laminate has been placed here to accommodate people when the client throws a party. The wardrobe unit too has been covered in the same laminate to easily camouflage the bed. An inconspicuous mandir and a TV unit are also part of the layout.

A distressed-finished wooden platform was created for the master bedroom. The warm brown creates an interesting contrast with the cement-finish on the walls and ceiling.

“Vijay wanted the master bedroom to look more like a personalized den,” inform the architects. Here a cosy platform bed with wooden rafters has been suspended from the ceiling and opposite wall. Instead of a headboard, the architects have created two niches in the wall with frames of vintage 3D paper cars embedded in it. The wooden wardrobe is reminiscent of an antique storage box and echoes the textures and finishes that dominate the room. Clear glass in the attached washroom creates a sense of openness. The space is finished with bold black matte tiles with the shower area covered in geometric-patterned highlighters.

Armed with their expertise in design and a motto to add value to each project by employing unique concepts, the team of 4th Dimension was able to do complete justice to the brief given by the client. What worked in their favour was the client himself — a creative person whose inputs inspired enthusiasm. At the end, it was Vijay’s comfort and approval that offered the best validation.

To convert a 2BHK apartment into a bachelor pad with a rustic and industrial vibe.

Flooring: Vitrified tiles
Ceiling: Fibreboard
Walls: Paint, textured concrete paint
Furniture: Wood, granite

Project: Studio Apartment
Location: Malad, Mumbai
Client: Vijay Palande
Area: 1,000 sq ft
Principal architects: Mihir Kotak and Rinki Kotak
Design team: Manali Bhambere, Hussain Kachwala and Viral Soni