Monday, October 5, 2020

Re-envisioning a place called Home (Home Tour)

Veshali Visvanaath (founder, curator and interior designer at the Singapore based antiques and furniture store Prakalyam Gallery) has an impressive portfolio of expertly designed and executed, residential and commercial projects. The latest from her portfolio is the 3,229 sq.ft. apartment in Singapore belonging to the beautiful couple, Kavitha and Irving. While the strong Asian aesthetic of the interiors compliments the couple’s aptitude to absorb the best from the cultures they are exposed to, the home is also reflective of the homeowner’s roots. Kavitha is originally from the South of India while Irving is from Goa. Veshali beautifully sums it up by saying, “It is always a lovely experience to be able to work with 2 cultures under one roof and to bring out the beauty in diversity.” 

Veshali tells me that Kavitha reached out to her after she had seen images of Veshali's other projects on TECD's Pinterest board. Hearing this gives me immense joy and brings so much satisfaction to what I do here on this blogging platform. 

Moving onto the topic of challenges faced by Veshali in the renovation of this project. She shares that the issues to be dealt with were very different when compared to any of her other projects. First, the COVID pandemic took a toll on the project deadlines. She confides saying, “The planning was in full swing when COVID hit and the work was stopped mid-way. The lock-down happened and in the next 3 months, we had almost forgotten what we had discussed with the client. Getting back on track after lock-down was a struggle but we were determined to make things happen and got the project back on track and had it completed in no time.” Second, the homeowners were moving to the same layout, a few floors above in the same building. The couple already had an enormous collection of art and furniture pieces. Veshali’s initial brief stated that she assist them in giving the home a fresh look with the existing inventory on hand. Veshali got down to it by using the pieces in a totally different arrangement and decided to renovate the space accordingly.

When it came to the renovations, Veshali saw to it that the home had an airy and spacious look. The seamless transition between the living and the dining is evidence of this fact and it lets the eye wander unchallenged and take in the treasure trove of art and collectibles that the homeowners have so lovingly amassed over time.


The neutral backdrop perfectly counterbalances the jewel tones used in the design scheme. It's the colors along with the art that add so much character to this space. 


An eye-catching cabinet with exquisite details anchors the space next to the couch. In addition to the collection of Buddha statues, different styles of painting and carved artifacts add the exclusive touches to the vignette.   

Along with upholstered seating options, I like how Veshali has casually introduced benches for seating. It makes things less formal and makes for a relaxed easy going vibe.

Another one of the bench style seating. This time its the versatile Charpai-look-alike bench that picks up the wheatish hues from the painting and the adjoining chair. The cushions and other accessories add the texture  and color to the little nook.

This beautiful cabinet has been converted to serve as the prayer alter table. Statues of Ganesha and  Hanuman along with a vintage painting of Mother Mary, all harmoniously occupy their rightful places at the alter. 

Another bright and functional corner with more seating and art. 
The couple has many unique pieces of furniture and art in their covetous collection. The ‘Howdah’ chair or sometimes called the ‘Elephant chair’ is one such elegant and refined piece. The adjoining bookcase lined with a collection of books beckons one to stay awhile and enjoy a good read. 
I've always admired Veshali's mastery at mixing colors and textures. You can see it first hand here as she beautifully brings this tablescape to life with a mix of  bright colors, ceramics and touches of fresh marigold.  
More incredible furniture, art and color on display in the transition hallway of the dining room. Fiery reds and intense blues definitely makes for a striking combination in this space.  

When one thinks of Goa, apart from the sea and the sand, its the bright and vivid colors as seen in Goa's Fontainhas Latin Quarter that comes to mind. Veshali decided to include these bold and vibrant hues to emphasize Irving's Goa association.  The couple were a little apprehensive about this but nonetheless, Veshali was adamant about her color choices. On seeing the final outcome, the homeowners were more than thrilled and it now happens to be their favorite hang out zone in the home.  
A close up of the farther end of the corner.  
Another angled shot of the balcony allows us to spot colorful portraits of Frida Kahlo. With that we come to the end of this wonderful home tour. Whether a new construction, restoration or renovations —  Veshali has addressed them all with experience, proficiency, imagination, and creativity. The resulting body of her work has always garnered numerous positive feedbacks from my readers and peers in the industry. I’m sure that this time too, you my lovely readers have enjoyed this exclusive home tour as much as I have enjoyed collaborating with Veshali in bringing this to you. Before I sign off, I'm leaving you with a lovely note from Veshali, "Kavitha was awesome to work with and she managed this home renovation  in the midst of presentation and submitting the final thesis for her PHD. As for me, I stepped out after the handover to the homeowners feeling completely satisfied. I was thrilled to see that they were admiring their old pieces all over again in  a new setting.  I take this opportunity to thank them for having me as part of this incredible journey. I would also like to thank you dear Sruthi as you have always been my inspiration. Gratitude for life!"  

Veshali the admiration and love is mutual. I'd also like to thank Kavitha and Irving for letting us take a virtual tour of their private abode. 

(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.)