Pride of Place

MS Design Studio marry classic and contemporary design with rich textures and intricate detail creating a home in Vadodara that wholeheartedly embraces luxury and opulence but is immensely tasteful nonetheless.

Text: Carol Ferrao; Photographs: Tejas Shah, courtesy MS Design Studio

Architects Shivangi Patel and Manav Patel

Building your dream home is often a once in a lifetime opportunity, and when that moment comes, all your aspirations will fight for equal attention in the grand design scheme. How does one reconcile with that? Principal architects Shivangi Patel and Manav Patel of Vadodara-based MS Design Studio might just have the answer for us, or at least their recent residential gem — a palatial home for the Dogras — can be our guide. Here’s a project, filled to the brim with details, stories, intricacies that cast a sense of wonder at every corner of the house.

For client Dharmendra Dogra, the design brief condensed to the need for an elegant, different yet functional space. However, on the simplicity of this brief lay the dreams and aspirations of a family of six. Working with the client, who was involved throughout the designing and selection process, made the task smooth for MS Design Studio. “Dharmendra had a taste for materials and design and was very passionate about building his own house. It is unusual and rare but it becomes easy when only one person is involved in the decision-making process… and that’s the reason such a big house took only six months for architecture and six for interior execution,” mention the architects.

An accent feature in the informal living area, the ceiling clad in wood proudly displays the brilliance of Nilaya’s Sabyasachi wallpaper in the central panels.

In this home, the design concept marries the familiar with the new. It is your quintessential classic meets contemporary tale but told through the lush textures of Italian marble, yellow Jaisalmer stone, aged metal, wood and plenty of indoor greenery. The combination of these natural materials used in right proportion creates a wonderful ambience. Thus emerged a 5,500-square-foot home with each space given its own distinct spatial quality, from the grand living area on the ground floor to the four bedrooms in the first level.

There is a sense of warmth that greets you as you make your way into the home. At the entrance is a welcoming wall made up of wood and Corten steel, which is visible from the street. Engraved in it is a message of peace with a Buddha statue and carved wood detail that add an aura of calm and beauty. Inside, in the foyer, a gold Ganesha greets you as the black mosaic wall with patterned Jaisalmer stone alludes to the opulent nature of the home you are entering.

For a vibrant, classic vibe in the formal living room, the ceiling is partially clad in fabric and matched with a parallel wooden ceiling. The contemporary furniture, including the carpet and floor lamp, is sourced from China.

You are not let down by the promise of a grand narrative. In the formal living room, you are immediately drawn by the richness of the wall and ceiling textures: cement-finished paint and gold leafing on one wall, grey background and wooden panels shaped like windows inspired from vernacular architecture and finally, the striped fabric ceiling panels designed in harmony with a parallel wood-finished ceiling. These classical elements form a contrasting backdrop for the contemporary furniture, carpet and light fixtures, all of which are sourced from China.

It is the informal living area, designed with the dining and kitchen in linear succession that is the place to be in this home. If the ceiling clad in wood and Nilaya’s Sabyasachi wallpaper isn’t enough to wow you, the custom-designed metal screen between the dining and living definitely would. “The client wanted to be able to watch the television, which is placed in informal living, from the kitchen and dining area. So we came up with a partial rustic metal screen which is open in a circular form at the centre,” informs Shivangi. The double-height dining is charming, with its Italian marble table top, brass pendant lamps and creepers hanging from the first floor. It opens up to the ‘mystic area’, a serene gardenscape that is also connected to the informal living. “It gives a calming effect to the whole house since it is seen mostly from all common areas of the ground floor.”

One of the most challenging design features in the home was the metal screen, designed and fixed on site as a single unit. To match the rustic appeal of the screen, the TV wall is clad with neolith tile in a rusted metal finish. The garden, aka the ‘mystic area’, provides a serene aura to the home.

Moving up to the first floor, the lounge space — connecting the bedrooms and a home theatre/bar — is fashioned as an open library with ladder-style vertical shelves on either side. Beautifully lit by the skylight (and overlooking the dining and ‘mystic area’), it is marked by sleek furniture from China and an enormous custom-made wall clock of wood and metal. The home theatre and bar on this floor is another cosy nook to retreat to. Charcoal and fabric panels on the walls, along with the fabric-clad ceiling, not only provide the necessary acoustical advantage to the space but also give it a very distinct vibe from the rest of the house. The bar is distinguished with a contrasting palette of exposed brick laid in a unique pattern, metal pipes over the ceiling, industrial hanging lamp and grey overtones. “The materials are totally different than what we have used for the home theatre yet they gel well with one another and both spaces can be easily seen as one whole arrangement,” says Manav.

When it comes to the bedrooms, each exhibits an exceptional juxtaposition of materials. Take the master bedroom for instance where Belgium black Italian marble with yellow stone inlay adds a richness that is contrasted by Jaisalmer stone wall panelling as well as carved wooden strips placed diagonally over the bedside wall. A cast iron, wood and designer glass screen provides glimpses of a generous, linear study space — almost like a home office — designed keeping in mind the banker client’s need to immerse in financial research.

On the first floor, the lounge space is set up as an open library with books displayed on either side of the sleek-framed seating. A skylight covered with 12mm clear toughened glass floods the area — and the dining below — with plenty of natural light.

In the daughters’ bedroom, the design is minimal but vibrant. A wooden poster bed overlooks the balcony, the neutral shade of the Italian marble Saren Calin on the floor blends well with the pop of colour on the wall and the fabric-sandwiched shutters above the study. The client’s parents enjoy a bedroom marked with warmth. The bedside wall in particular is impressive, clad in various panels of wood and metal screens with a gentle illumination reflecting from the surface. A touch of tradition is provided through the central panels clad in Banarasi silk fabric.

For a home saturated with design features and intricate interventions, you don’t experience an assault to your senses here. Instead, you begin to appreciate the unique process of building a home that caters to diverse personalities. But more so, you acknowledge the innate desire of most Indian clients to surround themselves not with the overtly restrained interiors of the minimalist tradition but with warmth of the familiar Indian aesthetics — with the touch of the new of course.

To design a home for a family of six where classic and contemporary design meet through rich textures and an intense material palette.

Floor: Italian marble, wooden planks, leather finish black granite
Walls: Luster paint, neolith tile cladding, Jaisalmer stone cladding, exposed brick cladding
Ceiling: Wood, gypsum, fabric
Partitions: Metal, wood, glass
Furniture: Wood, stone

Project: Dogra’s Residence
Client: Dharmendra Dogra
Location: Sevasi Khanpur Road, Vadodara
Area: 5,500 sq ft
Principal architect: Shivangi Patel and Manav Patel
Design team: Ekta Kamdar, Deepika Khatri
HVAC consultant: Gayatri Trading (Jay Patel)
Automation: Lutron (Parth Shroff)
Contractors: Gopinath (paint), Pravin Suthar (stone work) and Sitaram (metal work)
Carpentry: Hiralal Mistry
Site coordination: Mittal Patel