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Home > An Expansive Mumbai Apartment That Epitomises Quiet Luxury in Monochrome

An Expansive Mumbai Apartment That Epitomises Quiet Luxury in Monochrome

Unbox Design Studio conclusively proves that a black and white combination used in thoughtful repetition of materials and patterns is a timeless classic

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Location: Mumbai
Size: 3,800 square feet; 353 square metres
Number of bedrooms: 3
Principal architects: Hemal Kothari & Apurwa Pandit, Unbox Design Studio
Photography by: Yadnyesh Joshi, Endless Forms

Hovering over the Mumbai skyline and spread over 3,800 square feet, this spacious apartment came to Mumbai-based Unbox Design Studio as a bare shell. It was to serve as the permanent residence of a couple, returning to India after living in the  United States for many years. They wanted their home to retain the essence of both the countries they had lived in.

The living area features furniture from Bo Concept and accessories: West Elm
The living area

Extensive discussions between principal architects, Hemal Kothari and Apurwa Pandit, and the clients led to “an amalgam of subtle western monochromatic palette and modern Indian minimalism”, Kothari says. He adds, ”Our design approach for this apartment falls in perfectly with the architectural and luxury design trend known as ‘quiet luxury’ – a concept that emphasises understated elegance, timeless appeal, and the use of high-quality materials.” The result is a home that exhibits a design language that is big and bold in intent, but subtle and elegant in execution. The designer duo chose a black and white palette throughout, the monochrome scheme serving as the perfect canvas for a thought-out repetition of design elements, materials, colours and textures.

Since the lift opened directly into the flat, the challenge at the outset was ensuring the seamless integration of security and privacy without compromising on the design aesthetic. Unbox Design Studio found a balance by using double laminated bevelled glass panels in the arched entryway that marks the transition from the narrow lift lobby to the living space. The passageway features Victorian black and white marble checkered flooring, while the ceiling is defined by a bold black beading.

The entryway
The living area

Past the arched entrance lies the living space straight ahead with the dining to the left. Since the couple entertain often, the need of the hour was for uncluttered spaces that were high on functionality but not low on style. 

Pandit explains, “The design approach here embraces a minimalist furniture layout, allowing for free-flowing movement and creating a sense of openness.” Plush grey sofas are complemented by side tables and a coffee table in black. A large crystal chandelier suspended overhead adds a touch of opulence to the understated simplicity of the setting.

The living area
Carpet: Jaipur rugs; Furniture: Bo Concept

Each area has different tones from the same palette. The dining table is simplistic in form but with a glamourous, polished table top in black; it is flanked by chic chairs in deep grey.

Within the living area

An expansive balcony runs the length of the living and dining spaces, separated from the indoors by glazed doors. The colour palette is tone-on-tone, with visual distraction coming in the form of mixed-sized squares used for the flooring. The walls and the bar are clad in natural contoured stone that was locally sourced.

The balcony
The bar area within the balcony
The kitchen features stainless steel shutters and drawers by Kuche 7; Flooring by Casa Mia

 The passageway leading to the bedrooms is defined by small black tiles in a sea of white marble. The right wall of the passage cleverly camouflages the doors of the utility areas with strategic panelling, while the left side is adorned with mirrors and artwork. 

Inner passageway

First in the passage is the study – entirely dipped in black with hints of grey, it is a departure from the usual colour scheme. A wall in geometric panelling, monotoned furnishings and a transparent acrylic chair make for an artistically powerful space. The dark palette is offset by light streaming in from the adjacent balcony through sheer curtains. Kothari describes the room as “a captivating ambience created through rich hues and contemporary allure, exuding the essence of Western life.”

Carpet & furniture: West Elm; Furnishings: Drape Shoppe

The guest bedroom is an oasis of minimalist contemporary style. The ivory wardrobes with fine detailing and the walls clad in crepe wallpaper stand in contrast to the dark grey channel fabric-clad bed.

Guest bedroom
Side tables inspired by Crate & Barrel

At the end of the passageway lies the master bedroom, boasting an immense walk-in wardrobe and an ultra-luxurious bathroom. The Wyoming king-size bed with its tall Chesterfield headboard flanked by tall nightstands are American-inspired in their design. The ebony oak distressed wooden flooring adds to the sense of opulence permeating the space. The wardrobe is in black and white with fluted glass for shutters.

The master bedroom features a walk-in wardrobe
The master bedroom

The pièce de resistance of this apartment is the master bathroom. Overlooking the city through wall-to-wall glazed windows framed in black, the humongous bathroom is dressed all in marble shot with black veins, with a vanity console for two and a spacious bathtub.

The bathroom within the master bedroom

The apartment is an experiment in the intricacies of scale and dimension that successfully creates an infinite sense of space that is enhanced by monochrome colours. Pandit says, “In our pursuit to amalgamate two worlds, we chose to fuse Western formal colour palette with Indian details. Therefore, a collage of monochromes interspersed with neutral colours, predominantly featuring shades of beige, white, black, and grey was chosen, to create a sense of timeless sophistication and versatility.”

Floor plan


Story by Vinita Kunnath


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