La Maison Sereine | The Design Chapel | Mumbai
Like Albert Radley rightly said, “The essence of Interior Design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for meaningful well designed space not about trends or what is in or what is out. This is not an easy job.” We at The Design Chapel take this job extremely seriously and that is what inspires us to create and curate spaces that touch, move and inspire its occupants.
La Maison Sereine, in French means a home that exudes serenity. It is so named due to the desire of the clients to have a house that emanates peace and tranquillity. This was the brief given by the clients to Preshita Shah Gupta, the principal designer of The Design Chapel when they approached her to design their newly bought house.
A few months ago former neighbour and close friend, Sreejesh literally dreamt of buying a new house and getting the interiors done by us. We all took it in jest and thought it will be a couple of years before this dream of his actually becomes a reality. But just in a few months Sree called us with the good news and gave us their new bare shell flat to be transformed into their dream home.
The apartment is a 2 bedroom apartment in Raheja Vistas, Chandivalli, Mumbai overlooking lush green plantation of trees and foliage. The residence is in an extremely quiet neighbourhood in the otherwise noisy Mumbai. The brief was to allow this peace and silence of the green around drift inside, into the house.
Any home is much more than a shelter. It is a space which should lift us emotionally and spiritually. As John Wildsmith rightly said, ‘We are either in our house or in our shoes and so it pays to invest in both.’
The main aim hence was to create a comfortable, calm and thoughtful space, while keeping in mind the needs and lifestyle of the people living in it. There is abundant light that filters into the space and we wanted to design the house in a way that maximises the incoming light which in turn uplifts the quality of the space. The overall design concept was to use colours and textures that generate calm with punctuations of bright and brilliant colour. Deep rich greys are used alongside soft pastel blues and greens.
Each room, each space was given a unique identity of its own which was developed through certain furniture pieces that the clients wanted to bring in from their old house or through some stories that the clients wanted to weave into the design narrative. Our effort has been to weave all these distinct identities into a single story.
The living room was designed to maximize the floor area, with a custom designed and built L shaped sofa in one corner and the dining table in the other. The large back wall in the living room has been panelled with mouldings that evoke a tactile feel on touch and go elegantly well with the otherwise contemporary design. The Lommarp console, our favourite from Ikea India stands proud in front of the panelled wall. A versatile piece of furniture here becomes a bar unit for the clients.
A sleek Ikea TV cabinet brought in the Scandinavian sophistication needed to offset the textured and grooved grey wall panelling behind the TV. The dining wall has its upper wall finished in mirror panelling and the lower half becomes a backrest finished in printed geometric fabric. The dining bench has been custom designed and made on site along with the dining table which has emerged as one of our most loved designs in the recent years. The dining table is made in polished teak wood with a grey terrazzo top. The dining chairs and centre table have been sourced from Westside home.
For the living, kitchen and the son’s room we adopted a grey, pastel blue, mint green colour scheme with a white and wood base sprinkled with a healthy dose of chrome yellow.
The kitchen with its hexagonal patterned pastel dado tiles immediately adds in the spectacle. These tiles were balanced with beige and mint green shutters for the kitchen cabinet highlighted by gold handles.
The son’s room has minimalistic white and grey furniture which provides the perfect base for the wallpaper with race cars chosen by our youngest client himself. The layered superhero art by Kreative Cultures 9o21o really adds pop to the grey wall and is a perfect balance to the white teak wood console.
The master bedroom on the other hand was designed around the existing wooden flooring, a chest of drawers and t.v unit made in pure teak wood which the clients wanted to retain from their old house. This room was therefore designed to have a beige and brown base while all the drama was brought in by the beautiful tropical wallpaper with African hornbills peeping through green foliage of different shades.
The existing wooden flooring was retained as it matched with the existing heir loom furniture pieces, we added leather finished beige and brown laminates and dull gold curtains to complete the look. The pink headboard fabric used as an accent colours brings life into the otherwise monochromatic room.
A beautiful textured teak wood side table with brass accents from the West side hoe store is kept on one side of the bed. The Nila Vilakkus ( Brass pooja lamps) which are a constant in any Malyalam household are flanked by a generous amount of green and placed in the far corner of the room.
The Master Bathroom was conceptualised to be in black and white patterned tiles with terrazzo as a balance against the darker and more colourful Master Bedroom. This house was an exercise to achieve rhythm, harmony and a kind of subtle balance amongst the different spaces.
For Preshita, the brief was met when the clients said they feel at peace when they enter the house after a day in the chaos that Mumbai city is. There is a sense of calm and tranquillity that La Maison Sereine has brought into their lives. There could be no greater testimony to our design ethos than this.
If we as interior designers can create spaces that can nourish one’s wellbeing than we have been successful in what we set out to achieve. We at The Design Chapel want to be mindful that our designs are sensitive and responsive to all dimensions of body, mind and spirit.
Spaces should be able to communicate about the people that made them as well as those who would occupy them. They should have the freedom to evolve with time. A space which can stimulate human emotions and memories through the passage of time is in my opinion a successfully designed space.
Project Name : La Maison Sereine
Design Studio : The Design Chapel
Principal Designer : Preshita Shah Gupta
Design Team : Preshita Shah Gupta, Kajal Kamath and Kanksha Dixit, Earlene Rodrigues
Client’s Name : Mr Sreejesh Krishnan, Mrs Pooja Sreejesh
Project Location : Mumbai, India
Carpet Area : 900 sq. ft.
Photography Credits : Biju Gopal, Bizou Photos
Text Credits : Preshita Shah Gupta