Wednesday, April 26, 2017

When Less is More- Featuring Da Namah Design Studio (Home Tour)

Here at TECD, I plan on broadening the spectrum of design inspiration by shining the spotlight on my favorite India based, interior design firms and architects. I’ve showcased projects undertaken by Zero 9 on the blog and glimpses of projects by Rubel Dhuna Architects, Inner I and Shivaji Dogra on my Instagram gallery. However, I now plan to scout around for more talent like theirs and share frequent and elaborate features on their design process and portfolios. So who do we have today you ask? It’s Mumbai based “Da Namah Design Studio” (DNDS). Spearheaded by Namrataa Shetty, DNDS is a professional Interior design & turnkey solution provider with a versatile portfolio that covers residential, commercial and hospitality projects. Namrataa brings her design expertise which she had gathered working on projects spanning from medical training facilities, hospitality, large scale residential developments, corporate offices, education & film training facilities to high end luxury residences. 
Today we take a look at their northern Mumbai project designed for client, Vishwanath Shetty and his family. The project completed in a time span of 3 months required DNDS to develop, detail and construct the interiors of the Shetty home. 
LIVING ROOM & DINING:With a free reign to design the space, Namrataa set out to create a warm and welcoming home for her clients that had its design aesthetics rooted in traditional Indian elements with a blend of the contemporary. Straight lines, minimal but well chosen accessories are juxtaposed with bold punctuation of traditional Indian decor elements like arches, carved ceiling brackets, ethnic fabrics in jewel tones & royal motifs. Since the living room and dining flow into each other,  Namrataa chose to carry the same color scheme of rich hues of gold and red to give the space a larger than life  feel and preserve the openess of the space.
The 2 biggest challenges faced by DNDS while designing this home were, making the most of the 750sq.ft., 3.5bhk apartment and completing it in a rigid time span of three months. I like how, "the less is more" concept has been adopted to over come this challenge. The design firm has succeeded in creating a luxurious feel in the rangebound space by incorporating rich Indian textiles, luxe finishes imitating those seen in ancient palaces and marrying it with a contemporary vibe to bring a hybrid fusion design theme that celebrates the best of both worlds.
The most important aspect of interior design from Namrataa's perspective is that she has to restrain herself from overpowering the design adopted for the space with her own signature style. Instead she suggests that as a good interior designer, she gives primary consideration to the client’s personality, cultural preferences and personal interests.
The Highlight of this room as you can see is the back lit Tree mural, which forms the backdrop to the bed and reels in the regal look. To give the eye a more generous view in a restricted space, Namrataa has kept the play of colors to  minimum, while also keeping in mind the clients request to go formal in this private refuge. The brocade quilt from Namah  is a handsome complement to the royal vibe in the space. 

The richness of the room is enhanced by the two niches on either side of the bed whose form is derived from the arches of a traditional  Indian palace.
Namrataa has given a refreshing facelift to the wardrobe shutters  by replacing the run-of-the-mill laminate/veneer/wood options with rich embroidered raw silk fabric. 
The daughter’s bedroom demanded a youthful, luxuriously eclectic yet sophisticated design process.The concept adopted by DNDS was to introduce an eclectic mix of different cultures from all over the world to dress the room yet maintaining the teenage, hip, princess-like identity of the room.
Making the most of the space, the Pooja (Prayer) Room is also designed to function as the guest bedroom. The sofa opens up to be a full size bed when the Shettys have company. As for the deities, they are neatly tucked away in a customized handcarved mantap. 
Traditional Carved brackets on the ceiling, framed jewel tone fabrics, ornate mirror, louvered shutter wardrobe with carved handles, etc. were used to bring in traditional décor elements in this space.The colorful cushions and window blinds are from Da Namah Design Studio's in-house brand.
Most of the projects executed by Da Namah have been on-site consultations. However, they also offer virtual consultancy to clients who may require the same. You may reach them on +91 9769164766 or +91 8087360595. You could also write to them at To see more from their portfolio connect with them via their FB page.

I wish Namarataa and her Da Namah Design Studio team all the very best in their future design projects. I hope this tour  has ignited a few delightful design ideas of your own. Until the next feature, happy decorating!

(Image Credit/Copyright: The images are the property of Da Namah Design Studio and may not be reproduced or copied for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written consent from them or TECD)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Antiquated Charm (Mini-Home tour)

Today we go all the way to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to visit the home of poet and ardent reader of TECD, Aruna Patnaik. Aruna's collection of vintage artifacts and antiques is fascinating and so are the stories that accompany them. Isn't this one of the main reasons as to why we love a home tour? To hear the when, why and how of a particular piece being chosen and finding its way into the heart and home of its owners.
Let's cut right to the chase then shall we? Taking centerstage is the above vignette is a vintage, reverse glass painting of Gajendra Moksha. The painting, Aruna says is more than 80 years old and belonged to the royal family that once ruled a little hamlet called Mandasa in the Srikakulam district of Andra Pradesh. After marriage, Aruna had to move base to Mandasa where she up home in a bungalow that once belonged to a courtesan of the Rajah. Abandoned behind one of the doors in the bungalow, were 20 such paintings. On her first visit to inspect the bungalow, she heard a huge crashing noise only to realize that  someone's negligence had caused these lovely paintings to come crashing to the floor. Aruna could hardly believe what had just happened! She managed to save only two from the lot! After decades, it still has a place of importance in Aruna's home. Also seen in the frame above on the left, is an 18th century compass gifted to her by a cousin. Balancing it out on the right is an antique bowl weighing 3 kilos that Aruna managed to snag from a shop that sells steel kitchen utensils. The bowl was originally used by farmers to soak rice in butter milk that they ate for breakfast before heading out to the fields for the day. But now Aruna uses it to float flowers. 
At the far end, you can get a glimpse of the other reverse glass painting. This one features the Vaman Avatar.

Another lovely vignette where a collection of Kerala "Kindis" is arranged following the rule of height. Accompanying them is a traditional bronze lamp  that was got in exchange for some steel utensils.  
Now isn't that a fascinating antique bed? Infant, one doesn't get to see these anymore! What if I told you, that something as beautiful as this was going to be used as firewood?? GASP!!!!  Apparently, this piece along with a gramophone and a grandfather's clock were being taken away by some residents of Mandasa to be used as firewood. An acquaintance of the family, realized that this would be a hideous waste of such lovely pieces and brought this to Aruna's attention. Without a moments hesitation Aruna, decided to rescue them by paying for it. Now, they steal the show in her guest bedroom.
You know of my obsession with plantation chairs, don't you??? I absolutely love how striking this corner looks by combining a vintage plantation chair with a contemporary looking copper pendant light (a gift from Aruna's son from Habitat, London). As for the chair, yes it has a story.  Over to Aruna, "The plantation chair belonged to the same royal family of Mandasa who lost all their riches in time and were selling away things. It broke my heart just imagining the difference in their life styles. But little did they know about how valuable these pieces were. They asked for a Godrej cupboard instead in exchange for this piece!" 
Another score, an antique book case that belonged to the royal family. Now, its filled with Aruna's collection of books and a few other vintage brass artifacts. 

With that we come to the end of our mini-home tour. I hope you enjoyed the glimpses of this lovely home. Thank you Aruna for sharing lovely corners of your home with my TECD readers. We wish you all the very best!

(Image Credit: Aruna Patnaik. Please do not use the images for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior consent of the home owner or TECD)