Three Open-Plan Apartments Where Naked Walls, Homegrown Design, And Earthiness Are The Real Stars

  • 13 Mar '24
  • 12:56 pm by Beverly Pereira

Minimalism, neutral palettes, and sustainability through the clever application of material and colour can transform homes into serene spaces that transcend the passage of time. From a coastal-themed apartment overlooking the backwaters in Chennai and a minimalist Japandi-inspired home in Bangalore, right up to a warm, cosy apartment with raw wood elements in Ahmedabad, these apartments wholly embrace natural textures and hues. 

This apartment harnesses a muted colour palette, ample natural light, and the warmth of wood for its Japandi-inspired aesthetic. Image Credit: Nayan Soni

#1 A Small Apartment With Japandi At Its Core 

Located in Marathahalli, Bangalore a 450-sq-ft apartment stands deep-dyed in creamy tones and dreamy textures. Designed for a young couple by architect and interior design studio House of Ruya, ‘Unmei’ is a 1-BHK home that puts minimalism at the forefront– from the choice of materials and colour palette to storage solutions. The brief, says Aishwarya Govind of the Bangalore-based studio, was to design a space inspired by the concepts of Japandi and Wabi-sabi

To counter any sense of claustrophobia, the House of Ruya brought down a kitchen wall to effectively open the space connecting to the living room and bring in natural light. “The main challenge was to accommodate the needs of the client in terms of functionality within a small framework,” explains Govind, adding that the introduction of curved wall edges lent the space a larger feel. Drenched in grey lime wash texture paint, the home exudes a sense of lightness and openness, much like a calming sanctuary to counter the city’s chaos. Oak wood veneer and a concrete texture laminate are the only other materials used extensively.

A curved boucle sofa and custom light wood table paired with black chairs from Objectry speak the language of wabi-sabi in the living and dining areas. Image Credit: Nayan Soni

A creative collaboration between the House of Ruya and the client, the home employs the principles of minimalism as a design element, as opposed to solely relying on minimalism as an aesthetic. The design of the apartment is fluid with a minimal aesthetic setting the tone in the living room and adjoining dining area. The beautiful textures of a curved sofa crafted from boucle fabric meet the organic form of a black centre table by Lakkadhaara, a rug by Loops by LJ, and a cloud pendant light from Smartlights. Beyond providing cleverly concealed storage, the design team encouraged the clients to think of minimalism from a lifestyle perspective, thereby reducing unnecessary clutter. 


Also read: Embracing The Curve: Three Homes That Champion The Curved Furniture Trend

A suspended bar unit above the breakfast table becomes a space-saving focal point in the kitchen; arched doorways, a fabric-padded headboard, and a wardrobe mirror the minimalist design. Image Credit: Nayan Soni

“As the house focusses on minimalism and monotone, there weren’t many materials or colours at play. Warm grey with a hint of beige is the overarching colour, while tones of the colour were used in different spaces to create subtle variations,” Govind explains. At the entry foyer, a custom red dot art by Ishika Shandilya sits on the walls as the focal colour element in this space. 

Textured paint walls and ceilings flow into the apartment’s only bedroom accessed from an arched doorway at the foyer. A custom bed with a fabric headboard and bespoke lounge chair designed by the House of Ruya ties in with the soft language of the home.

A cluster of pendant lights by Length Breadth Height is the focal point of the formal living in this beach-inspired apartment in Chennai. Image Credit: Yash R Jain

#2 A Beach-Inspired Apartment Suited To All Ages

Along the eastern coast of Chennai where the sea meets the backwaters, is a coastal-themed 3BHK apartment. Azare Collective designed this open-plan apartment to suit the communal and personal needs of the homeowners and their two daughters. Social spaces in this airy sun-soaked apartment generously employ fluted paneling, patterns, arcs, curves, and a palette drenched in sandy tones. The fluid format of the open-plan social space gently demarcates three individual spaces housed within it. In the formal living room, an elegantly curved sofa from BAB Living sets the tone for the apartment’s soft, organic, and fluid aesthetic, while a cluster of pendant lights by Length Breadth Height serves as a focal point of this space.

The dining area is perfect for intimate gatherings, while the media room carries a more casual but cosy feel. Image Credit: Yash R Jain

Not far, the dining area is the crux of conversation and connection. A ten-seater dining table with a fluted base paired with fabric wishbones chairs by Villa 17 is where intimate gatherings take place. The coastal-inspired dining room is set against the natural textures of rattan and solid teak wood and comes with a stunning view of the lap pool and sea beyond. Design and nature meet with perfection here. The lighting fixtures above the dining table were sourced from Mianzi Global. Finally, the third social space, an informal media room demarcated by ceiling-to-floor rattan partitions, features a matte black wall for that much-coveted expansive theatre effect. 


Also read: Painted Against Silken Hued Skies, A Multigenerational Home Takes Shape In Ahmedabad

The master bedroom of this beach-inspired apartment carries a minimalist japandi style. Image Credit: Yash R Jain

When it came to the bedrooms, Zaibaa and Rehmat A K of Azare Collective crafted individual spaces fine-tuned to suit the individual styles of the homeowners and their daughters. “With daughters catering to different generations, the true design adventure unfolded in the bedrooms. We balanced desires, and let their styles bloom there,” say the designers. The master champions a minimalist Japandi style with solid oak furniture and sea-blue accents that complement the look. A bay window looks out onto the sea and is where leisurely cups of tea are best enjoyed.

The bedrooms perfectly cater to the needs of two daughters with splashes of colour and tropical imagery. Image Credit: Yash R Jain

In the second bedroom, a splash of onion pink adds vibrancy to an accent wall against which rests a bed with a rattan headboard sourced from NH 48. The third bedroom enlisted the artistic vision of Vicky Venkatesh to bring the walls to life. Featuring a nature-inspired mural, this bedroom for one of the daughters is evocative of setting foot into a tropical garden.

The foyer of this Ahmedabad apartment opens out into a connected living, dining, and kitchen area. Image Credit: Noaidwin Sttudio

#3 An Apartment With An Understated Earthy Design

 This apartment designed by Adhwa Architects offers an authentic living experience to homeowners who have a fondness for natural materials and rusticity. The 2800-sq-ft apartment perched on the thirteenth floor in a lush Ahmedabad township evokes a sense of warmth and cosiness through the generous use of raw wood elements, earthy tones, and natural linens and cotton. The project’s principal designers Ankita Jain and Dhwanil Patel largely relied on exposed walls, muted tones, natural textures, and well-considered décor elements to infuse the home with an understated aesthetic that speaks volumes.

Raw wood is one of the main materials used across this home. Image Credit: Noaidwin Sttudio

A steel grey canvas-finish granite floor served as the starting point for experimentation with materials. The rawness of limo-coat textured walls in the living room seamlessly pairs with the richness of teak wood accents and a deep colour palette. From a wooden architectural column in the living room that pays homage to the client’s Southern roots, right up to the introduction of a swing that effectively demarcates the dining and living spaces, the home reflects a functional and culturally informed blend of design. Customised bamboo pendant lights suspended over a rough-cut table top are the highlight of the dining area, as is a wooden mandala mural crafted from wood waste generated on-site. 


Also read: Inside A Sprawling Gurugram Home That Maximises Neutrals, Natural Light, And Nifty Storage

The design evokes warmth and coziness through the use of raw wood elements, earthy tones, and natural fabrics; exposed walls flow into the parent’s room for a sense of cohesiveness. Image Credit: Noaidwin Sttudio

“The approach was to keep the walls naked, play with pigmented textures, and give the home a harmonious feel by repeating textures,” say the designers who sourced lighting fixtures from Rhizome, Orange Tree and Hybec, and a slew of furnishing accessories from Fabindia, Sarita Handa and Boho Homes. The young son’s bedroom is the first of the three bedrooms adjacent to the communal areas. A corridor further leads to three more bedrooms. A self-grooved wall and exposed textures paired with neutral tones lend the parent’s room a sense of comfort and serenity.

A divider crafted from metal and wooden shelves separates the sleeping area from the workspace in the master bedroom. Image Credit: Noaidwin Sttudio

The largest bedroom of the house, the master bedroom, is strategically designed to include functional zones to ease the process of working or studying from home. A divider crafted from metal and wooden shelves not only becomes a display space but also separates the bed from the designated work area. Raw textures and a fluted bed headboard once again align with the apartment’s earthy, minimal aesthetic.

Perlina textured walls, wooden accents, and breezy linens turn the teenage daughter’s bedroom into a light-filled retreat. Image Credit: Noaidwin Sttudio

The daughter’s room carries forward raw textures on walls, yet subtly integrates a dash of colour through the use of perlina texture that almost feels like coloured grit plaster. Further, a comfortable seating nook by a French window proves to be the perfect retreat. 

All three apartments are a study in the fitting application of natural texture, material, and colour. Solid-coloured walls employed across these homes truly prove to be the ideal canvas to bring to life an identity unique to each home.