PICS: Ingenious Ideas from a 1,000-sq-ft Mumbai Apartment

Gretchen Ferrao-Walker

​At first glance, this Mumbai residence seems like an open book. On entering, its layout flows seamlessly, presenting just about every social spa​​ce in a single glance. This includes a living cum formal dining area; an entertainment lounge (an erstwhile bedroom) and a breakfast nook with the kitchen beyond. A closer look though, reveals many an ingenious design idea packed into the 1,000-square-foot apartment. Sahiba Madan, principal architect and founder of design studio Kalakaarihaath Inc, explains that the 3BHK apartment, situated in a 20-year-old building in the tony suburb of Powai, was gutted and re-planned to suit its residents’ needs. “Much like any other Mumbai home, every space was crucially sculpted to optimise storage and usability,” explains Madan. The interior design was overseen by her firm’s architectural arm, Insitu by Kalakaarihaath. 

While the primary focus was functional, the team drew on the parent company’s artistic expertise to include art in the design process. A restrained material palette of teak, Indian marble, terrazzo, brass and cane led to a home that radiates with a sense of warmth and nostalgia. Madan explains that all furniture pieces were custom designed; some were conceptualised as “a translation of artworks developed at Kalakaari Haath.” The reclaimed Burma teak rafters in the entertainment lounge, for instance, feature hand-carved lotuses. A customized wallpaper surprises you within a corner cabinet. The bed headboards have been incorporated with textile art. Completing the artisanal, old-world vibe of the home is a thoughtful curation of décor that includes macramé plant-holders, ceramic pickle bharanis, Art Deco lamps from Chor Bazaar, brass artefacts, etc.  

Click through the slideshow for ways to include some of these smart design ideas into your space.

Images: Studio Kunal Bhatia for Insitu by Kalakaarihaath Inc