Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Fresh Take (Home Tour)

It is believed that there are three responses to a piece of design - yes, no, and wow! Our consistent reaction to Veshali's designs have always been : WOW! Each of her renovation and interior design projects always tell a heartwarming and authentic story. In this Singapore based apartment belonging to Prashanth Nair and Manorama Singh, Veshali yet again successfully translates "their" story through her design process. To give you a brief on the young couple -  Prashanth is from Kerala while Manorama hails from Rajasthan. Veshali has incorporated subtle touches of both these Indian states throughout the 1,980 sq.ft. home without overwhelming the space. The end result being a home that creatively portrays the young couple's India connection while the finished look of the apartment has a decidedly modern feel. While it was a fun turn key project for Veshali, the 20 year old apartment came with a lot of challenges and guidelines. It not only required a lot of work in terms of changing the layout and the finishes but the most demanding client requirement was adhering to the rules of Vaastu Shastra. But Veshali worked closely with the homeowners and catered to every aspect to the extent that even the colors used on the walls were Vaastu friendly.  
Veshali as we know is adept at giving small spaces a big presence with bold, uncompromising design elements that get noticed. The entryway is proof of this fact. A beautiful painting was commissioned by the couple from Mona Biswarupa Mohanty popularly known as MonnerismsTogether with the Asian 4 door lattice cabinet it creates a strong focal point. The shade of azule was chosen to fulfill vaastu requirements and is the perfect backdrop for the fascinating painting that symbolizes the beautiful couple and the welcoming hand gesture of Namaste. To balance it all, Veshali teamed it with a pattern rich rug that emulates the happy colors in the painting.
The living room combines timeless style and modern comforts. It is anchored by a beautiful Kerala mural that was commissioned by Veshali through her gallery. To create the perfectly paired look, she has pulled the colors from the painting onto the Rajasthani glass work cushion covers. (Design Tip: Find a great piece of art and then build your colors around it.)
 The shade of poppy on the wall truly energises the space and balances the otherwise neutral setting. The oonjal (swing) that is so very significant with Veshali's south Indian decor style makes a comeback in this project. It is not only the couple's favorite spot to hang out  but is a huge hit with family and friends when they come to visit. The TV unit is another find from Prakalyam Gallery. The other furniture pieces in the living room were sourced by the couple in consultation with Veshali. Notice how the Kerala lamp and the Rajasthani turbans are a salute to the home owners roots. 
The coffee table was custom made by reusing the vintage doors from the home. Loving how stylishly livable this space is. By having off-white walls and a neutral floor, the details in the furniture  and the colors used in the space, really stand out and can be better acknowledged for their dramatic dimensions. 
As one can see, there are a lot of beautiful textures at play. The details of the oonjal can be better appreciated from this close up shot. Veshali excitedly adds, "The Oonjal has become synonmous with the gallery. It has been such a pleasure to see more and more homes in Singapore, incorporating the Oonjal. I am trying my best to avoid duplication of the designs and find myself experimenting to keep things fresh. This oonjal too was designed by yours truly to reuse a vintage panel as the back rest. I love how it has resulted in a contemporary feel to an ethnic piece." We couldn't agree more on how skillfully Veshali has elevated the look of the basic furniture piece with the beautiful details.
The grand doorway to the pooja/prayer room with the stained glass and intricate carvings was designed and fabricated by Veshali to match the original vintage doors of the house.  
If there's one word that succinctly describes Veshali Visvanaath's decor style, it's "Desi-chic." We can see the dining room undoubtedly echoing this individual style. There's brilliant use of textures in this room. From the woven blinds to the woven cane chairs, it all adds visual dimension to the space. Here too we see subtle references to the couple's individual roots. The Kerala boat is customized to serve as the light fixture while the Rajasthani block prints are framed to serve as wall art. She has managed to keep the look simple, intimate, functional and sophisticated, all at the same time.  
Another close up shot of this space from a different angel so that you can take in all the details. The framed art gracing the wall is a palla from a saree that belonged to Prashant's mother. What a beautiful way to personal a space and preserve a heirloom piece for generations to come! 
This beautiful functional corner is a clever combination of the very authentic Kerala urli used as the sink and  an ornate Asian mirror (that on first glance resembles like it was one picked from Rajasthan). The addition of the carved cabinets is cherry on the top.
The kitchen is definitely the zone where Veshali has pushed the boundary to include color and pattern. She tells me that Roma was always encouraging  when it came to the use of bold colors. The use of printed tiles in a combination of ocher and chestnut hues makes the kitchen a lively  and vibrant space like the rest of the home. 
Veshali in unison with Roma, decided to use glass to connect the kitchen and the dining areas together. The use of glass keeps the visual appeal light and airy. As for the decor accessories, the traditional Indian pickle jars, the Kerala "para"  (rice measuring container that is now used as a vase) and a few colorful ceramics (picked out by the couple from their travels) add the finishing touches to this space. 
This home has this charming quality where one could stare at it for a long time and find something new to love with every glance! Quoting Veshali's as we come to end of this beautiful home tour, "This was yet another home that paved the way for a tremendous learning experience. As always, loved the journey in creating a vibrant home for a lively and ever enthusiastic couple."

If you too wish to have your home designed by Veshali, you may reach her at (+65) 9008 3979 or write to Veshali at for design consultation. Should you fancy to visit the gallery, please make sure to book your appointment in advance. You could also connect with them via Facebook and Instagram.

(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.) 

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