Personal Harmony

Interior designers Moiz Faizulla and Caroline Braganza balance varied design elements — classic monochrome, religious influences and Greek inspirations — into a vibrant yet cosy modern bungalow in Surat.

Text: Diksha Jawle
Photographs: Ishita Sitwala, courtesy Studio-M Design

Interior designers: Caroline Braganza and Moiz Faizulla

A home is a reflection of one’s soul. And who better than a friend to help you replicate your persona while designing your humble abode? This is exactly what happened with interior designer Caroline Braganza when she set out to design her home — Kavender’s Residence — where her partner at design firm Studio-M Design, interior designer Moiz Faizulla, helped her execute the project. The firm is known for creating contemporary, functional spaces that reflect the personalities of the people that dwell within — in this case, it was Caroline, her husband John Kavender and her in-laws.

After the principle designers visited the unfinished site in Heena Bungalow at New City Light, Surat, they observed that though no civil changes were required, the spot demanded work right from scratch. The 2,400 sq ft bungalow owned by Caroline is two storied.  The ground floor comprises the living area, kitchen, a common toilet and the parents’ bedroom, while the entertainment zone, master bedroom and a guest bedroom occupy the first floor. Besides an arresting blue staircase, a lift connects the two levels of the house.

The living room features classic black and white flooring with a bespoke neutral sofa and bright red sofa chairs upholstered in velvet fabric with a floral print. The centre table has a vinyl graphic displayed on the top with wood framed moulding.

“Caroline, being a Christian, wanted some elements which would strongly reflect her Christian roots. She also wanted her home to be minimalistic and contemporary,” explains Moiz on the brief. The duo was also inspired by the Greek aesthetic. “The most challenging aspect of the Kavender’s Residence was to balance and simplify all the design elements into one home,” he adds. The harmony of these narratives, therefore, formed the core criteria in the design philosophy for the project. Caroline also wanted chequered tiles to serve as the main flooring of the house, which would complement the blue staircase. Enticing us, the designers describe their canvas: “A mauve coloured door welcomes you, followed by the black and white chequered flooring of the living space. It further terminates to a passage, thus bifurcating the kitchen area and the parents’ bedroom. The Greek-inspired (island of Santorini to be precise) blue staircase leads to the hangout space, the guest room and the master bedroom.”

Complementing the other blue areas of the house, the blue alter of Immaculate Mother’s statue in the living room is the first glance for anyone who enters the house.

The main door to the home has a custom carving in wood, which is coated with matte finish PU paint. While the flooring of grey matte finished tiles runs through the house, the living room reflects the classic monochrome pattern of black and white. These are complemented by a bespoke neutral sofa and bright red sofa chairs. Complementing the other blue touched areas of the house, the blue alter of Immaculate Mother’s statue in the living room is the first glance for anyone who enters the house. Adjacent to the living space is the kitchen having grey scale with a touch of wood on the overhead cabinets. The backsplash chequered tiles in the kitchen continue the living area floor pattern.

Right where the kitchen starts, stands the highlight of Kavender’s Residence — the blue staircase inspired by the Greek island of Santorini, which is the favourite place of Caroline and her partner. The duo used epoxy paint on the staircase that gave it a stunning look. It is further completed with a metal and wood railing. A bright yellow coloured barn door adds another splash of colour to brighten up the space.

The design highlight of the Kavender’s Residence is the blue staircase inspired by the Greek island of Santorini.

Upstairs, a minimal painting on the first floor introduces you to the next room. “The hangout room is an informal space in the house that gives out chill vibes with bright colour graphics and a chequered ceiling which breaks the monotony of the space,” inform the designers. The place has been made cosy with bean bags, exposed lighting, a fireplace sketched out on the wall, a yellow console, and a piped ceiling in blue. “Caroline always fancied having a fireplace but since that was not possible, we incorporated a fireplace mural by a local artist,” Moiz points out. Another fun element of the hangout space is the wall graphic and the customised projector which portrays the couple’s interest in movies and drama.

The master bedroom is accessible through the hangout area. A palette of maroon and blue — two favourite shades of the client — features here with the wardrobe in maroon and the ombre curtains in shades of blue. This combination of colours has been well-balanced with subtle wallpaper along the furniture in the room.

The hangout room has been made cosy with a mural of a fireplace on the wall, a yellow console, and a piped ceiling in blue. Another fun element here is the customized projector and the wall graphic that is a nod to the couple’s interest in movies and drama.

“Flamingo wallpaper was chosen as the backdrop for the bed further extending into the balcony place of the master bedroom, thus making it more connected to nature,” the duo explain. The attached bathroom carries the same wooden tile flooring that is in the bedroom and is done up in a composition of mint grey and maroon, which gives an earthy feel. While the parents’ room enjoys a woody touch with shades of blue in the pictures on the wall and a bed throw, the guest bedroom is a combination of mint green and grey with abstract paintings.

The successful coming together of various elements in the Kavender’s Residence is a testament to the collaboration between its designers. “In totality, we were glad we could built a home with some amazing bold colours, clean line furniture having customised fabric and the challenging yet stunning blue staircase,” concludes Moiz. Well, a friend in need is a friend indeed.

To design a minimal, contemporary 2,400 sq ft bungalow reflecting the client’s Christian roots with balanced Greek inspirations.

Flooring: Tiles
Staircase Epoxy
Door and wardrobe Duco
Furniture Veneer

Project: Kavender’s Residence
Clients: Caroline Braganza and John Kavender
Location: VIP Road, Surat
Area: 2,400 sq ft
Principal designers: Moiz Faizulla and Caroline Braganza
Civil: Jayraj
Carpentry: Jagdish Mistry