A Hyderabad Apartment That Perfects The Art Of The All-Brown Palette
- 27 Aug '21
- 6:03 pm by Beverly Pereira
The colour brown can elicit particularly polarizing reactions. To the uninitiated, it is often considered difficult, even drab, to coordinate with home décor and design. Conversely, for the seasoned designer or those gifted with the art of styling, the many shades and tones of brown are a treat to work with. When used imaginatively and with care, the outcome can be luxurious, stylish and timeless all at the same time. This is just what designers Shamila Meeran and Faisal Vohra of F + S Designs delivered in response to a client’s request for a home that solely draws from a palette of brown. The colour reigns magnificently in the sprawling Hyderabad apartment, fittingly dubbed the Cinnamon Home, and yet manages to steer clear of sweeping entire spaces in single swatches of colour.
Spread across 3,000-sq-ft, the apartment has a light and airy feel, well suited to the lofty, sun-lit environs of the 34th storey. Swathed in a largely monotone palette of neutral colours like nudes, greys, taupes and dark oak browns, every space carries a conscious focus on tactility. The designers introduced materiality as a multitude of accents, be it in the three bedrooms or the living, dining and lounge areas. “When you move around different spaces, your visual palette is continuously being refreshed with different finishes and textures and no singular element overwhelms,” the designers explain.
There is also a distinct sense of lightness even as structure sits delicately alongside fluidity. For instance, the living room, bathed in natural light, is grounded by a discoid bronze coffee table and monolithic metallic side tables from Poliform. This room sets the tone for the rest of the home, despite the fact that it’s not the first space one sees upon entering the apartment. The designers at F + S Designs placed creamy leather Le Club armchairs designed by Jean-Marie Massaud alongside a sensuously curved Poliform sofa. Then, they harnessed a rug by Natuzzi in a colour much like that of the cloud-coloured St. Germain sofa to create a largely neutral base for a host of curious touches.
These range from blown glass objects by Klove and a lone Raphis palm, right up to the billowy wooden pendant light ‘Link’ fashioned like a mobius strip by Irish designer Ray Power. “The predominant palette of brown had to be balanced with contrasts that would allow individual items to flourish and help in avoiding the washing of the entire ambience in one colour. Also helping keep the visual frame fresh was the curation and use of items with curves alongside others with sharper geometry, or glossy surfaces contrasting with matte finishes — this helped in opening up further layers to the design that builds the entire cohesive narrative,” says the designer duo at the award-winning Hyderabad-based architectural and interior design firm.
Upon entering the apartment, a dramatic Cattelan Italia dining table paired with a sleek console of the same finish dominates the dining area. Browns are brought out in full force here too — from veneer doors in egg shell hues and walls treated with Casamance’s astonishingly velvety La Velour wallpapers, to the decidedly deep oak boiserie. “The glossy finish is tempered using leather on the chairs and artisan wallpaper on the walls,” say the designers. Nothing ever seems to fall flat, thanks to the many chic and luxurious touches that find their way into the home. There are Tati pendant lights designed by Arturo Alvarez suspended over the dining table and a bespoke art piece from F + S Foundry placed atop the console. But, it’s the glossy ribbed metal Carnaby sideboard from Cattelan Italia that truly commands all the attention here. A customised swing is the focal point of this space, a demarcation that blurs the indoors and the outdoors. Whether the family is dining at the table, cooking in the adjacent kitchen or ensconced in the plant-perfused balcony, there is always room for socialising and ample seating to aid it.
Throughout the home, one sees the unexpected interjection of colours, shapes, greenery and statement pieces at every turn. An abstract painting by Meeran is but one of the many intriguing bespoke objects that Meeran and Vohra have either designed or curated as part of F + S Foundry. As the name itself suggests, the Foundry seeks to become a melting pot of eclectic creative endeavours ranging from art of all kinds, furniture, décor, etc. “F+S Foundry is the new member to our creative process wherein we will release limited edition or single bespoke pieces (such as art) for sale into the open market. It’s a very organic process at this point of time, and we are really looking forward to where it takes us, and the people with which we start working,” they say.
Elegance continues to hold sway in the master bedroom. Soft white walls paired with accent walls covered in Casa Armani’s stunning grey Louvre wallpaper, and the deep suede headboard with leather trimmings provide the perfect backdrop for the undeniably chic Dream bed (Poliform) finished in a provocative combination of suede and leather.
In the bedroom designed for the son of the homeowners, a slightly different, more youthful look prevails even as it ties in with the contemporary style of the apartment. A charcoal band wraps across the room, bridging the west and east walls while counteracting any starkness that would have otherwise arisen. Here too, the designers carefully selected strikingly modern pieces of furniture like a floating bed from Lago, the Michel Ducaroy Toga settee, and a slick two-tiered taupe shelving system (Gamma) held up by burgundy leather straps.
The lounge carries a sophisticated, mature aesthetic that the designers achieved through the appropriate use of neutral colours like grey, fabrics like suede and materials like deep oak. It is intended to be a casual space by way of the functions it is suited to. It can be a space to work out of (an L-shaped work desk is set against a suave wall with suede panelling) or a relaxed place to laze around and read a book on the customised day bed. By evening, the lounge turns into a chic space to entertain, complete with sliding cocktail tables and a cushy Poliform sofa.
Enveloped in a profusion of browns played up by the clever introduction of neutral colours and accents, the apartment plays to the homeowners’ request to “to curate the ambience with a palette of brown”. The design vocabulary is also truly becoming of F + S Designs and the chic, contemporary direction the firm is known to take.