Smart Luxury

A 3-BHK apartment in Mumbai is given a complete makeover by interior designer Zenab Lokhandwala of Zed Designs. Clever planning incorporates the much needed storage and functionality into the simple and luxurious decor of this elegant and modern home.

Text: Alifiya Mehamdabadwala
Photographs: Prashant Bhat, courtesy Zed Designs

At the entrance lobby the walnut veneer-cladded panel beautifully juxtaposes with the concrete wall and ceiling wrap.

After living in the same 3-BHK apartment for years and facing issues such as shortage of storage and a cluttered kitchen, Vineet Bhatnagar, the Managing Director of Philip Capital India Pvt Ltd, was looking to revamp his home. Enter Zenab Lokhandwala, the principal designer of the Mumbai-based young and enthusiastic design practice, Zed Designs — who was immediately commissioned after being referred to Vineet by her ex-client. Describing the brief given to her, Zenab says “He wanted a complete overhaul of the existing space, with a specific requirement for ample storage, a functional kitchen and a living room that would accommodate a large group of people.” After studying the home and understanding the personalities of the client and his family, Zenab’s sole purpose was to fulfill the client’s requirements and create a tasteful design scheme through efficient spatial planning and the application of elegant material finishes and decor elements.

The apartment, spread over an area of 1,230 sq ft, is located in an old building in the posh locality of Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai. While no major structural changes were carried out, the existing structure required considerable repair, including the roofs of the window lintel. Also, since it was a terrace flat, the ceiling slab needed RCC and plaster reinforcement at various places. On further interaction with the family (the client, his wife and their young daughter), the designer decided to rework the layout more efficiently, resulting in a fully equipped kitchen and servants’ quarter along with additional storage spaces included and concealed within the limited bedroom areas and average ceiling height.

One is welcomed into the apartment through a grand full-height door integrated with modern electronic and sensor door locks and a camera. The main door leads to a passage that branches out into a dining and living space on the right and a guest room cum study on the left. A low-beam ceiling and grey concrete wall wrap in the foyer visually demarcates it from the rest of the living and dining room. The dining and living area is divided by a door portal covered in walnut veneer in the centre (of the left side wall) which discreetly camouflages the doors to the master suite and daughter’s bedroom. A tall white door that merges with the wall opposite the dining space leads to the kitchen and the servants’ quarter.

The installation in the niche next to the dining table has been designed by Zenab. It reflects the juxtaposed and blocked form of the Maximum City striving to balance and rise through layers of building infrastructure all anchored on the tip of sprawling land. The dining table has a grey granitilo marble top with brass inlay while the light above the dining table is a 3D-printed molecular abstract fixture designed in fibreglass using 3D printing.

“White lustre walls and white polyurethane finishes are the base shades used throughout the living space, broken only at the vaulted veneer-wrapped door portal which is the entryway to the bedrooms,” informs Zenab. Colourful furnishings, accent lights, carefully selected and sourced art and textiles add an eclectic flavour to this minimal scheme. The grey console on the rear wall, with abstract engraved panels in a concrete grey finish that extend to the ceiling, offset by the veneer panels on either sides, create great contrast. Each piece of furniture is customized to size, specifications and details of the space which lends it a unique character.

“The clients were really supportive and forthcoming when it came to trying a new layout, such as converting the guest room into a guest room cum study”, she says. Earthy tones were used here to transform the space into a warm and comfortable nook ideal for lounging and relaxing. An armchair on the marble-patterned floor makes a perfect reading corner in the room while the large bookshelf that covers the entire length of the wall is a bespoke design. A fold-down hydraulic bed unit has been attached to the couch on the opposite wall to utilize the available space efficiently.

For the daughter’s room, the designer decided to use the area near the window to create a cosy grey cocoon with a platform bed freeing up the entire floor space for movement. The accent turquoise slatted oak wood angular wrap in the centre of the room creates a layered look. Along with the large mirrors, these dynamic elements add depth. The doors to the cabinets are camouflaged with panelling and discreet handles, while the lights render a contemporary chic style to this bedroom. The master bedroom, on the other hand, exudes a rich, elegant aura, achieved through the use of an ivory and peach colour palette along with exotic Savanah blue marble highlights on wall behind the bed and fine brass details.

The master bedroom exudes rich elegant textures in an ivory and peach colour palette along with exotic Savanah blue marble highlights on the wall and fine brass metal details. All of the elements seamlessly blend to give the bedroom a holistic modern appeal.

Since storage was one of the most important criteria in the house, Zenab designed large pull out trolleys hidden in the walls next to the kitchen door, and thin cabinets for crockery storage behind large veneer panels with finishes that blended with the wall. Hidden storage and a pull-down study ledge were planned even within the large book unit in the guest room so that every nook and corner of the house was utilized to the maximum. Coupled with furnishings and accessories carefully selected from brands like Sarita Handa, Tranceforme, AA Living, De Furn and Atmosphere, lighting from Vis a Vis and artworks of artists MF Hussain, Akbar Padamsee, Sujata Bajaj and Jamini Roy (from the owner’s collection), the entire apartment ultimately becomes a perfect blend of functionality and contemporary design.

To give a complete facelift to the existing 3-BHK home, incorporate as much storage as possible.

Flooring: Michealangelo marble, CMC composite stone
Ceiling: Gypsum
Walls: Polyurathane textures, Royal lustre paint, Laminam surface skins

Project: Bhatnagar’s Residence
Location: Cuffe Parade, Mumbai
Client: Vineet and Rangita Bhatnagar
Area: 1,230 sq ft
Principal designer: Zenab Lokhandwala
Design team: Himanshu Mewada