This Seaside Apartment In Mumbai Is Tranquility Personified

  • 15 Feb '21
  • 6:18 pm by Nuriyah Johar

In the heart of a busy, pulsating metropolis like Mumbai, designer Nikita Pai carves out a space that is luxurious in its quietude – a soothing antidote to the fast-paced city life. The design of this quaint, two-bedroom apartment is a unique combination of several influences. Located in a small by-lane in Juhu, it is nestled amidst lush greenery and looks out onto the sea. Making full use of a view like this which is usually hard to come by, Pai designed the home to serve as an extension of its surroundings, making it one with nature. Further informed by her personal style as well as that of the creative young couple it belongs to, the space evokes a feeling of comfort in an understated way.

A hand-painted wallpaper with a striking vignette sets the tone for the house. Photograph Credits – Suleiman Merchant

The layout of the home is open plan, comprising a living, kitchen and dining area, a master bedroom, and a guest room which doubles up as a workspace. In order to bring in an abundance of natural light and further blur the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors, large bespoke wooden windows were fitted into the space.

Lime plastered walls and unpolished concrete floors seamlessly blend into each other. Photograph Credits – Suleiman Merchant

The Japanese philosophy of ‘wabi-sabi’ which ascribes to finding beauty within the imperfections of life flows through the home. Featuring a muted, neutral palette that characterizes even the art and decor used in the space, Pai consciously brings the element of the sensation of touch to the forefront.“The space is designed with a tactile materiality, evident in the lime plastered walls and unpolished concrete floors. Surfaces blend seamlessly into one another, providing an austere contrast to the timber joinery yielding much-needed depth and texture,” she says. “The use of exposed brick as the backsplash in the kitchen, and natural local stone in the bathrooms accentuates on the rawness while embracing the pared-back aesthetic.” Even the smaller elements like linen slipcover sofas, antique switches, and rustic pottery come together to weave a beautiful visual story that advocates restraint and intimacy.

An antique Naga bed carved out of a single log, forms the coffee table. Photograph Credits – Suleiman Merchant

In harmony with the stimulating coastal location, the interiors feature a Mediterranean-esque style of warm hues, natural materials and rustic undertones. This is reflected in the furniture too, a lot of which was bespoke in order to control costs. The bed of the master suite has been custom-made in wood with an intricate hand-woven cane detail, Pai tells us. A rare find for the living room, the coffee table is actually an early 20th-century bed used by the Naga tribes in East India. Another standout element in the home is a dramatic hand-painted wallpaper depicting a natural landscape, made especially compelling given its juxtaposition against the muted palette of the house.

Apart from the pieces which were custom made, Pai scoured both Indian and international furniture and decor brands to complete the home. The fabrics and soft furnishings are sourced from Nimishift, Sarita Handa, and Bharat Furnishings, whereas neutral pieces from Jaipur Rugs line the floor. A sleek, modern light from Gubi hangs in the living room, while the table lamps are Sarita Handa designs. Contemporary wall art by Balinese artist Toni Al hangs in every room, as a finishing touch to a timeless home – a bubble of calm amidst the chaos.

Handwoven cane detailing gives the bed a bold, rustic presence. Photograph Credits – Suleiman Merchant
The exposed brick detailing creates a compelling contrast with the white cabinets. Photograph Credits – Suleiman Merchant