This Weekend Home In Surat Embraces The Rustic-Modern Aesthetic

  • 26 Apr '23
  • 2:17 pm by Beverly Pereira

Of all the interior styles that have flourished over the years, few have been as enduring as the earthy, material-driven aesthetic of homes that convey a sense of place. Perhaps it is a kind of rustic luxury, the antithesis of urban dwelling, that many homeowners increasingly seek – or maybe it is as simple as the desire to reconnect with the natural world around us. Whatever be the perspective, there is a movement towards essentialism – be it in city apartments or at weekend homes. On the outskirts of Surat, Gujarat, a weekend home crafted by Neogenesis+Studi0261 conveys both a sense of place and a timeless design to last the passage of time.

Set in Awadh Kimberly, an upscale residential scheme in the town of Palkana, the 270 sq m home panders to the client’s desire for a retreat far from the madding crowd. Using a well-deliberated palette of earthy colours and natural materials, the two-storey home is grounded in tranquility and quiet elegance. The boundary between the leafy outdoors with swimming pools and the calming indoors is consistently blurred throughout the home – across three bedrooms, the living, dining and kitchen, and entertainment room. The team of lead architects from the Surat-based studio comprised Chinmay Laiwala, Jigar Asarawala and Tarika Asarawala in collaboration with Nikunj Patel.

A wooden louvred door customised on site using ply and fluted glass marks the entrance to this earthy home. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

A sense of warmth and earthiness fortifies the idea of barefoot luxury upon entering this weekend home. At ground level, the living and dining room is unified through the characterful pairing of fiery red Athangudi Agra stone and cast-in-situ terrazzo chips. Harnessing the rusticity of an assemblage of countrified natural materials retained in their pure state, the design of this home is modern, minimal, timeless and decidedly rooted in the traditional.

Decorative mud wall plates and an assortment of texturally rich woven furnishing fabrics all contribute to the rustic aesthetic. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

Wood and cane are the other cardinal materials used generously, starting with the imposing louvred main door, the living room’s jute ceiling and partial wooden slab ceiling, right up to the Sencillo Cane sofa, cane arm chairs and centre table by Tectona Grandis. Decorative mud wall plates by a local artist and an assortment of texturally rich woven furnishing fabrics paired with soothing grey walls all contribute to the rustic aesthetic that the design of this home embraces. The curtains and other linen in this home was sourced from the Surat-based Rowan Decor.

The use of traditional techniques like hand carving and weaving adds texture and cultural identity to modern spaces. This blending allows for functional, aesthetically pleasing designs that celebrate heritage while appealing to both traditionalists and modernists,” says Jigar Asarawala.


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Most of the furniture and all of the wooden accents were crafted on site. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

Sitting beneath a custom round wooden lamp, the dining space is well-defined despite the fact that it is nestled within the spacious and airy living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors drench both social spaces in ample sunlight, besides bringing in unobstructed views of the private pool and greenery beyond. Like the other wooden accents, whether functional or decorative, the carved dining table and an eclectic mix of dining chairs and bench were all crafted on site.

To complement the earthy color palette, we restored the ply to its original texture using a polish technique. This approach creates a cohesive look that celebrates the natural beauty of the materials while offering a sleek and modern feel. The result is a harmonious blend of old and new that is both visually striking and functional,” says Asarawala.

Custom teak wood and cane furniture brings in warmth to the dining room with its raw plastered walls. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala


The bedroom on the ground floor also serves as a casual area to gather and relax. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

Fluted glass and wooden doors designate each space, even as they offer a sense of continuity and visual connection to the next. In the first of the three bedrooms, a low-height bed sets a warm and cosy tone. “The bed’s low height serves a purpose beyond a typical bedroom. Instead, we intended to create an informal gathering area that connects with the living room. By keeping the bed low, it establishes a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that encourages socializing and conversation. The folding door dividing the living and the bedroom further helps in blurring the line between the formal and semi-formal space,” the architect explains.

Matte black tiles paired with a local stone adds to the contemporary charm of this bathroom. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala


The four poster bed was crafted in house using wood and brass rods. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

Upstairs, a second bedroom carries a beautiful fusion of soft browns and greys. Its lime plastered walls and ceiling, wooden flooring, soft furnishings, cane furniture and an accent wall covering work together to create a soothing private space. Sitting adjacent to the home theatre, this room is sparsely decorated—save for custom furniture like an interesting wardrobe crafted from wooden slats and beige fabric, a four-poster bed, and a side table. 


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The second bedroom is a picture of grace with an accent wall covered with wallpaper from Kalakaari Haath. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

The interiors of the bedrooms have been kept simple with lime plastered walls and wooden flooring, where the furniture adds volume and softness against the raw wall, say the architects at Neogenesis+Studi0261. The shell of this home has been crafted to reflect a certain rawness, so much so that the very neutral background allows the carefully curated bed linen and breezy choice of curtains to do all the talking. Every one of the lights in this home—from the bedrooms to the living and dining areas were sourced from Art Light.

A gorgeous pairing of red painted walls and glossy black-and-white tiles lends this bathroom a chic feel. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

The bathrooms have been crafted on the basis of different themes, explains the team. Whether it’s the textured green marble in the master bath or patterned Indian tiles and other plain coloured or clay tiles in the bathrooms on the lower levels, each carry a distinct look yet tie in with the rest of the home’s contemporary aesthetic. 

The home theatre carries forward the earthy aesthetic that runs through this home. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

Finally, at the topmost level, the master bedroom with its gypsum ceiling roof and plastered walls makes for a soothing, cosy space to unwind. A customized fabric painting, lights by Art Light, a custom wooden bed and a pair of armchairs upholstered in beige fabric prove that less is always more. 

Carefully considered wooden furniture adds volume to the soft and soothing master bedroom. Image Credits: Ishita Sitwala

Given the site was located on the outskirts of the city of Surat, transportation proved to be a significant issue. This challenge, say the architects at Neogenesis+Studi0261, was overcome through ample planning and management that convinced the client about design specifics. In the end, this weekend home set within a larger and incredibly leafy residential scheme exudes a sense of place with its contemporary design grounded in the traditional. 


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