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Home > Gentle Colours & Soft Furnishings Add to the Serene Ambience of This Dharampur Home

Gentle Colours & Soft Furnishings Add to the Serene Ambience of This Dharampur Home

Karan Desai Studio Architecture + Design equips this pied-à- terre in Dharampur, Gujarat, with homely comforts, practical hacks and plenty of style

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Location: Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Dharampur, Gujarat
Plot size: 1,500 square feet; 139 square metres
Number of bedrooms: 3
Principal architect: Karan Desai, Karan Desai Studio Architecture + Design
Photography by: Pulkit Sehgal, The Light Cube Photography

The brief entrusted to Karan Desai, principal architect at his eponymously named firm, for the secondary residence of a Mumbai-based family was straightforward – it was to be a home away from home replete with the joys and familiarities of their first home. This home is located on the premises of the family’s spiritual guru’s ashram which is a mini township on its own, that hosts several other residential units. 

The living room

Desai says, “We wanted to keep the spiritual and peaceful atmosphere of the surroundings and envisioned the home to evolve as a gentle extension of it, yet offer the homeowners the aesthetics and comforts they were familiar with”. The main challenge was to ready the house circumnavigating the restrictions applicable to all residences in the township – of civil or plumbing works not being allowed. 

The chosen colour palette in the common areas was kept to a pastel hue that evokes a sense of tranquility. Solid colours, like charcoal grey and navy that define the bedrooms are offset by light-toned soft furnishings, thus keeping a balance. Since floors could not be replaced, Desai went with SPC flooring throughout the house, a type of rigid core vinyl flooring that can be laid on top of existing floors. He explains, “SPC is a great choice as it can be easily installed and requires minimum maintenance, especially since this area receives the highest rainfall in Gujarat”.

The ground floor accommodates the public spaces and a bedroom; the master bedroom and the daughter’s are on the first floor with an adjoining terrace. On entering, the kitchen lies to the left; going ahead is the dining area that stretches into the living space towards the far end – all the common spaces flow into each other seamlessly, making for convivial habitation.

Wallpaper: Sabyasachi from Asian Paints’ Nilaya; Carpet: Jaipur Rugs; Furniture: Karan Desai Home; Lighting: LIGHT-TECTURE

The living room is an oasis of calm, awash in a sea of pale coral. Since the family entertains frequently, Desai opted for two lavishly proportioned sofas – one in an L-shape and the other in a half-moon to break the monotony. The surprise here is the floral wallpaper where one would least expect to see it –  on the ceiling. Desai says, “By using what’s meant for the wall on the ceiling we introduce a feature that comes as a pleasant surprise and becomes the star of the space”. The patterned ceiling adds a certain exuberance to the mostly neutral environment. 

The dining area located just off the living room is separated from the kitchen by an island counter that enables easy movement. Sporting shades similar to the living room, the plushly upholstered chairs add a warm texture to the space while the sleek kitchen is all work and function with ample counter space, storage and cleverly camouflaged appliances.

Dining room furniture: Karan Desai Home; Kitchen: Kitchen Studio

The walls of the master bedroom are in dark charcoal and the daughter’s bedroom is in a combination of navy and baby blue. Describing the master bedroom, Desai says, “To offset the dark shade of the bedroom we have used a Barrisol ceiling, which is tuneable to bring in the brightness of sunlight.” (Barrisol is a stretch ceiling system that can be tuned or customised to accommodate various aspects, such as its appearance, lighting, acoustic properties and more.) The light grey flooring and white curtains also help in lightening up the atmosphere. 

Furnishings: Surprise Home; Furniture: Karan Desai Home; Balcony furniture: Vondom
A rolling study desk doubles up as a breakfast-in-bed table in the master bedroom.

The daughter’s bedroom is in refreshing dual tones of blue. Pale pastels are anchored by a strong navy while lush textiles imbue the space with warmth. The large mirror and acrylic study chair add reflective and transparent qualities, enlivening the ambience further. 

The daughter’s bedroom
The daughter’s bedroom

It’s a matter of pride to Desai that the project was completed in a record 22 days, partly made possible, he says, by the client “who could clearly articulate the family’s requirements, and also gave us some valuable inputs and ideas that helped us understand exactly what they wanted”.


Story by Vinita Kunnath


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