Maintaining a sense of synergy between the various spaces of the home is an important aspect while designing small spaces. Ali Baldiwala of Mumbai-based design firm Baldiwala Edge, shares the story behind the making of Mysiga Homu, where the design style seamlessly moves from one space to another.
Tell us a bit about this home – what was the client's brief and how did you incorporate your own ideas with their inputs?
It’s a 1,000 sq ft apartment in Mumbai, for the parents of a US-based client. They wanted a home that was easy to maintain, and the brief was to keep it simple. When you think of simplicity and minimalism, Scandinavian design is what comes to everyone’s mind. What we’ve used around this home – the wood, black frames, bonsais and materials like cane and jute – are all very Japanese in nature. Mixing both these elements together is a popular trend called Japandi. We chose this concept since they wanted a cosy, comforting home, with the challenge being in the material usage, to keep it maintenance free.
What are the materials and products you used and how did it all come together?
Layout-wise, everything was very well planned – it’s got two bedrooms opposite one another and the living and dining space in the centre. Structurally we didn’t change anything. The task was to have as much seating as possible with no compromise on design. The foyer has large chairs that stand out; they’re statement pieces created by a carpenter in Pondicherry. The centre table has a beautiful bonsai, and most of the lights are from the design studio, Paul Matter. The white marble from Greece, used also on the dining table top, is coated with chemical solutions to make it 90 per cent anti-porous, that also helps get rid of stains. Keeping with the maintenance-free brief, all the covers are cotton or breathable fabrics, and we used anti-fungal paint on the walls to prevent any mould.
The bathrooms flow with the rest of the home in terms of colour, look and style. Tell us a little more on this….
We’ve added the same white marble that’s used in the rest of the house, on the bathroom walls. The client wanted it for the floors too, but as marble is smooth and there are chances of slipping, we decided against it. In both the guest and master bathrooms, we used grey and dark grey anti-skid tiles that are a bit rough, and did a shadow skirting detail from where the marble starts. The master bathroom mirror has a lighting source from behind, as soft, indirect lighting works best for bathrooms. We used a white under-counter basin, and added a touch of gold with the tap and towel rack. When you use a lot of white and black, gold becomes a statement piece in the bathroom. The shower panel and rod are black, to go with all the other hardware in the house.
What are your suggestions on blending bathroom styles with the rest of the home?
Bathrooms shouldn’t be treated as a completely different entity at all as they’re the most important and personal spaces of your home. If it’s a bathroom that’s connected to the bedroom, I usually pick up materials from the bedroom and add them in the bathroom to make it uniform. It also makes the space seem bigger.
What kind of materials or fittings would help achieve this sense of sameness?
The colours used in the bathroom, taking off from those in the bedroom, need to be a bit subtler. Add towels or use accessories like the soap dish in colours that match the bedroom. You can do the same with materials too – if there’s a lot of wood in the room, use the same for a nice chevron look on the ceiling, and coat it with a finish to protect it from humidity and moisture. Make sure to also add soft lighting in the bathrooms. It could be as simple as a sensor light under the basin counter, at foot level.
Ali Baldiwala, Principal Designer, Baldiwala Edge, Mumbai
“I approach design with utmost respect for the unique dreams and personality of each client. I strive to achieve signature elements that are rooted in bold concepts, original ideas, uncommon experiments with materials and textures, timeless imagery and striking drama. As a matter of principle, I resolutely shun formulaic trends.”
Text: Compiled by The Blue Pencil Design Company
Images: Courtesy Baldiwala Edge