Sunday, October 6, 2019

Southern Exposure (Home Tour)

When homeowners Latha and Ganapathy began plans for renovating their 1,860 sq.ft. Singapore apartment, they had a clear vision of what they wanted to see in their finished home but found themselves inundated by the many possibilities. That's when they decided that they needed an expert on board. They turned to none other than Veshali Visvanaath of Prakalyam Gallery. Her expertise proved to be invaluable on the project as she's well versed with:
~ smart solutions for tight urban spaces, 
~ flawlessly combining styles and
~ a resourceful person when it comes to presenting traditions in forward looking light. 
The end result is a gracious and tastefully done up home that inspires and comforts. 
Over to Veshali to know more about the turnkey project, "It was one of the most fun projects till date. To start with, Latha had an extensive collection of art and artifacts that she had amassed from the her various travels. She has a great eye and picks the most beautiful pieces. A friend of the gallery even before starting the project, I was aware of her aesthetics and keen sense of style. I really wanted to do justice to her collection. On the other hand Gana, is a very practical person and had very specific requirements that the home be vastu compatible and every thing have a dedicated space. Hence, began the journey of renovating their new home where I had to balance it all.
Though the couple have lived in different parts of the world, they have a strong affinity to Indian culture. As both Latha and Gana originally hail from Tamil Nadu so it was a no-brainer for Veshali to  include strong South Indian elements into the design scheme. 
Starting with the private lift lobby area of the home, Veshali has seamlessly integrated old pieces into the fresh design of the home. The addition of the majestic looking pillars was intentional to bring in the South Indian feel. The flooring had to be changed due to demolition of the lobby so this gave them an opportunity to introduce the checkered effect making for a very unique and grand first impression.
The living room is a delightful combination of the couple's large personal art collection,  sentimental treasures from their travels and custom made furniture pieces as well as curated decor accessories from Prakalyam Gallery.   

It's amazing how every piece has a place of importance and complements the scene without being distracting. Multiple seating options including the oonjal (or swing) aids in creating a bespoke space for respite from the stress of the daily grind.  
The indigo wall is a brilliant explosion of color with the addition of the hand painted kolam strip at the top. The flawless fusion of the musical instrument (veena), masks and art makes for a very impressive gallery wall. (In the above image, notice how the Kerala kasavu has been used in the upholstery of the furniture piece.) 
A closeup of the gallery wall with all its beautiful elements! It's wonderful how Veshali included the Veena so as to make the personal interest of Latha shine through. Latha is an avid music lover and is in the process of mastering the art of playing the Veena. She wanted it in a practical and convenient spot that would aid her in practicing regularly, so Veshali came up with this ingenious arrangement!
Absolutely love the colonial and period furniture pieces with its ornate spindles and curved lines. Well edited vignettes are scattered across the room along with bright pops of color incorporated by means of fabric choices, rugs and fresh flower arrangements in brass pots. All in all, a very charming setup with that inimitable Indian feel.   
The Oonjal or swing makes its appearance yet again in Veshali's design scheme. To which she has to say, "I have to confess that it is not me but the homeowners who want it. Makes me wonder if they come to me only cos I have access to a wide variety of oonjal pieces at my disposal. On a more serious note, I love using them as well because they bring out the nostalgic element associated with them."
The floor to ceiling book shelf had to be custom made to house all the books and other curios that the couple own. It not only provides a glimpse into the couples interests and travel finds but also cleverly makes room for stylish storage. 
The furniture, bronze artifacts, brass pots and lamps were curated from the gallery by Latha. She was spoiled for choice from the wide variety of curated artifacts from the gallery but managed to pick just a few favorites that fit right into her style.
What I find so interesting about this home is that every corner has so much to offer visually. The dark wood tones and bold color decor accessories are beautifully balanced with the neutral color on the walls and off white tiled floors. Another wonderful feature of the home is the large floor to ceiling windows lined on one side of the living room allowing for ample light to brighten up the space. Veshali kept the drapes in neutral tones too so to not overwhelm the space as the accent wall was already sporting a very bold color.
Veshali took care to see that she met the vaastu requirements of having the Pooja mandapam being stationed in this particular spot in the living room. She cleverly camouflaged it in this beautiful custom made cabinet that effortlessly blends into the rest of the living room decor. The  doors of cabinet in a combination of ornate wooden carving with green colored glass peeking through.
Keeping it simple yet classy is Veshali's inherent style. The dining space reinforces this fact with its very functional yet good looking dining set in warm wood tones and bright mustard placements to contrast it beautifully.
If you thought a balcony lies beyond those white drapes of the living room you were wrong. To maximize livability space, they enclosed the balcony area to serve as an extension of the living room. 
When entertaining, the doors are thrown open to make it one big space for their guests. The dark wood tones bring organic warmth to this space. Together with the well chosen accessories and furniture pieces like the Kerala mural art painting inspired table, the space is grand, elegant and inviting all at once.
Functionality is well-served in the master bedroom. There's nothing fussy about the furniture pieces in this space. It's simple clean lines all the way. Adding personality to the space is the bright shades of ocher and red. I think I can confidently say that the couple is never going to complain of Monday morning blues waking up in this bright and cheerful space.
With that we come to the end of the home tour. It's been a while since a home tour got me so excited!!!! I'm sure you are going to be here for a while taking it all in as there's so much decor inspiration to take away from this home tour. 
And now for some parting words from Veshali, "I take this opportunity to thank Latha and Gana wholeheartedly for trusting me with their home. With months of planning and construction, the real pay off was the happy smiles on both their faces and when the compliments come so effortlessly. It is then that I step out of the house feeling content and knowing that I will be remembered happily by them every day. "

Thoughtful design and creative interior choices make this abode a private oasis for the couple. Thank you Veshali, Latha and Ganapathy for allowing me to share this beautiful space with my readers. 

(My Singapore readers, should you wish to visit Prakalyam, please make sure to book your appointment right here or call (+65) 9008 3979. You may also write to Veshali at for design consultation.)

(Photo Credits & Image Copyright: Veshali Visvanaath for Prakalyam Gallery; : The images may not be used for commercial or non-commercial use without the prior written permission of Veshali Visvanaath & TECD.)