Name of Project: Neelkanth

Location: Juhu, Mumbai

Type: Residential

Project Size: 700 SQFT

Context: A compact, one-bedroom apartment located in the dense suburb of Juhu, Mumbai, where every square inch is very valuable. The client, a young couple who had a 18-month-old baby, had inherited this apartment through the pagdi system. The pagdi system is a common Indian rental model, wherein the tenant is co-owner of the property, along with the landlord.

Due to the small size of the apartment and the growing nature of this family, it was clear that residing in this apartment was a stop-gap arrangement till a larger flat could be purchased in the future. The brief was to enlarge the space, maximize storage, and make it viable for guests to be entertained.

Constraints: The clients had a fraught relationship with the landlord regarding ownership, which had led to friction over water supply. Despite the fact that it was a one-room apartment for a family of three, it had to be designed to accommodate potential guests, like parents and in-laws, to stay overnight.

Constraints: The space was originally dark and gloomy, with almost almost no source of natural light. Structurally, the house was crumbling with traces of cracks and leakage present throughout. Although the house had medium sized rooms with large bathrooms and balconies, the space as a whole felt cramped for five people. Furthermore, the budget was tight.

Our approach: We treated this project as a challenge to most best utilize the space — every wall, nook, and cranny was designed to offer aesthetic and functional uses.

Walls between rooms, which were dispensable and non load-bearing, were replaced with narrow cupboards which stored tableware, crockery and doubled up as a bar. All the doors were designed to appear concealed and invisible to the eye when shut, adding to the illusion of space, and avoiding the feeling of the rooms and passages being cloistered by doorways.

Strategically placed mirrors added a design element to different parts of the house, while multiplying light and expanding the sense of space.

To tackle the issue of water supply, we installed a large overhead tank above the dining table — a strategic choice to place it between the kitchen and the bathroom. This was concealed with veneer panelling on the ceiling, which not only beautifully camouflaged the tank, but also helped create a spatial demarcation between the living and dining area.

In the living room, we created a sleek, concealed bar carved out of a wall. A comfortable, but sophisticated sofa-cum-bed in the living area allowed the room to double up as a second bedroom when guests stayed over.

A floor-to-cieling wadrobe unit was created along one entire bedroom wall, to offer ample storage. We played with the aesthetic of this to amp up the design element of the room, and created a geometric panel design accented with metal details, and custom made concealed handles. A teal coloured satin headboard was designed for the bed, which added luxe softness to the room, while complimenting the geometric language of the wall unit. The bedroom was also designed to have enough open space, so that the little one could move around and play freely.

We used the good old wooden fins to create hidden doors and make the space feel more like a room than a large passage.

The custom-designed chairs for the space gave the user an erganomic back suport, while not being bulky.

The Jaguar floor standing unit with a reflective pattern wall made it a showstopper piece.

We gave them a concealed sorround sound system connected to local set top box and DVD player controlled via a smart TV

The breif required us to maximise the storage posibilites aswell as creat the best possible television experience.

The brass and fabric shutters concealed the wardrobe grooves beautifully.

We treated the wardrobe shutters as a design focal point.

A Travertine and Golden Markina Marble combination with a black granite counter made the client fall in love at first site.

Custom made conceal handles added to the camouflage.