Mint Indulge | Editor’s Note
By Sidin Vadukut
In this special issue on Spaces, we decided to focus on luxury real estate, home automation and one of the greatest homes of all time, among others
Blame my NRI-Malayali roots, but luxury real estate for me can mean nothing but an independent house built from scratch by craftsmen on a sylvan plot of land framed by coconut palms, jackfruit trees and some of those hardy box hedges that all the posh Gulf-return NRIs like to crisscross their little estates with.
There is something about poring over blueprints, floor plans and samples of marble and teakwood that elevates the idea of procuring a home from a financial transaction to a labour of love and a work of art. There is a certain intimacy and warmth about this often-bewildering process that sitting in a shabby formica-laden developer’s office in Gurgaon and handing over post-dated cheques cannot match. (Read more)
The Chanel apartment: Parisian splendour
Indulge showcases Coco Chanel’s apartment, one of the most glamorous living and working spaces in the world
In 1910, Coco Chanel opened a hat shop called Chanel Modes at 21 Rue Cambon in central Paris, just a stone’s throw away from Place Vendôme, the heart of Parisian, and indeed world, fashion. As business boomed, Chanel took over the whole building at the nearby 31 Rue Cambon and converted it into a combination of a boutique, reception room, studio and her private apartment. Today, 31 Rue Cambon is a shrine to this pioneer of the finer things in life. And the gentle inspirations and legacies of these rooms can be seen in Chanel products to this day. Indulge showcases Coco Chanel’s apartment, one of the most glamorous living and working spaces in the world. (Read more)
Luxury space: In demand despite the odds
By Devesh Chandra Srivastava
The headwinds buffeting the overall real estate market don’t seem to be evident in the luxury segment. But developers are under pressure to differentiate their offerings in a niche that is getting highly competitive
Recently, a top executive of an IT company bought a 2,950 sq. ft four-bedroom flat in Mumbai for an astonishing Rs. 29 crore. Why did he pay so much? The location. The flat is part of an exclusive complex of 175 apartments and 10 bungalows at Cuffe Parade, each apartment and bungalow enjoying a spectacular view of the sea. For that very reason and the exclusive services that come with the deal, the apartment was sold at a rate of Rs. 1.11 lakh per sq. ft.
Around 1,500km away, the country’s largest developer DLF Ltd is developing around 40 ultra-premium apartments in south Delhi under the names King’s Court and Queen’s Court. The developer plans to sell these at a rate of around Rs. 40,000 per sq. ft. While Mumbai’s property market remains the most expensive in the country, Delhi-NCR, too, is picking up fast.(Read more)
By Pradip Kumar Saha
Abhishek Lodha and Giorgio Armani talk about the ambitious World Towers project in Mumbai
Mumbai-based Lodha Group announced in February its new luxury residential project in Upper Worli, Mumbai. Known as the World Towers, the ambitious project comprises World One, which the builder claims will be the world’s tallest residential tower at 117 storeys, and the World Crest, one of India’s tallest towers, soaring over 700 ft.
The World Towers will have three- and four-bedroom residences; villas, with a private pool; and duplex mansions with a private pool, gym and personal lift.
Lodha has partnered with several industry leaders to bring the project to life. For example, Armani/Casa is doing the interiors, Pei Cobb Freed and Partners is the design architect, Ken Smith Landscape Studio is doing the landscape design, and Quintessentially is providing concierge services. (Read more)
By Pradip Kumar Saha
When it came to creating the Spirits of India series, Valencia-based Lladro began by getting the hang of Indian iconography
At its outlet in a Gurgaon mall, Lladro, the Spanish makers of high quality porcelain figurines, has redone a corner to give it a similar look to the office Raul Rubio has in Valencia. There is a photograph of the picturesque City of Porcelain on the wall, and on the desk in front of him, packets of plastilina clay (plasticine, a type of modelling clay)—all to make him feel at home.
Rubio was in India for live demonstrations in four cities to take Lladro customers through the intricate process of creating some of the brand’s remarkably detailed, nuanced porcelain works of art. Of particular relevance to the Indian market is the fact that Rubio is one of the sculptors working on the Spirits of India series and the creator of the Rama and Sita pieces—the latest and perhaps most iconic works in the series. (Read more)
The art of grilling
By Madhu Menon
Chef Madhu Menon takes you through the grilling minefield, and teaches you how to make awesome grilled food
Grilling food has probably been with us for a few hundred thousand years; ever since one of our ancestors called Steve (not his real name) accidentally dropped some meat into a fire pit and discovered a delicious new way of enjoying food. Steve started jumping with joy, singing an Akon song, and was made tribal chief for his discovery. And thanks to him, we continue to enjoy a wonderful way of cooking food.
Grilling is essentially a method of cooking over a form of intense dry heat, often in the form of heated charcoal or wood. The grilling surface is at a distance of a few inches above the heat source, so the heat transferred is through thermal radiation, not direct conduction. The intense heat causes browning of the food surface (technically called the ‘‘Maillard Reaction”) and creates lots of tasty flavour compounds. Of late, with rising middle-class income, people have rediscovered grilling. Home grills are now readily available and don’t necessarily cost a lot. (Read more)
Pizza, Prada and foreign makaan
By Shashank Khare
The ongoing global economic malaise has created an opportunity for Indians to own prime residential real estate
When buying Indian real estate is complicated enough, foreign real estate must seem positively daunting. But is it really?
The ongoing global economic malaise has created an opportunity for Indians to own prime residential real estate. The domestic populations of countries such as the US and UK are still working off the loans they took during the boom. Anaemic domestic demand has led to declining house prices. As the balance of power has shifted towards buyers, foreigners have exploited this opportunity to own residential real estate at fairly reasonable levels. The scope of the opportunity in some markets can be seen in chart 1. In most countries, the decline in house prices following the global credit crunch has left them at levels where they were five or more years ago. The exceptions being Canada and Australia, which are yet to see any meaningful decline. (Read more)
By Joel Harrison
Joel Harrison gives a rough guide to investing in whisky. If you are looking to invest, go for bottles that are ‘limited edition’ or ‘single cask’
We all work hard; at least I’d like to think there is a good, solid work ethic among our readers. You’re all not taking international holidays all the time, are you? Laid out on some sun lounger somewhere, while an attractive local serves you exotic cocktails made with the juice of handpicked fruits that only grow atop a mountain known locally as ‘‘The Mount of Certain Death”...
And, as the wage of sin is death, the reward for hard work on this planet should be a nice pay-cheque, or, if you’re really well looked after, a nice big bonus.
At Indulge, our job is to give you pointers on the luxuries in your life—the watches to wear, the cars to compare, the suits to suit you. See us as your sat-nav to splendour, your guide to gratification, your adviser to affluence and your leader to luxury. (Read more)
Smart homes: The plugged-in life
By Madhurima Nandy
Home automation is the one of the latest marketing buzzwords in the Indian real estate market. But do buyers care?
Inside a spacious, 6,000 sq. ft, five-bedroom apartment of an upscale gated community in a Bangalore suburb, its inmates can put on the music, draw the blinds, and dim the light—all with a few touches of a touchscreen. The mother can quickly check on her child playing in the garden, while sitting on her couch in the living room watching her favourite TV show.
These are some of the features of a demo flat at the Mantri Espana project in Bangalore, developed by city-based real estate firm Mantri Developers Pvt. Ltd. And the company, pleased with the results, wants to emulate these smart-home automation features across its residential projects. (Read more)
Innovations have been added over the years and a simple coffee brewer has become a smart gadget. Here are some tips on how to select a great machine and some of your best options
The coffee machine has gone through its share of design changes in just over a century. Innovations have been added over the years and a simple coffee brewer has become a smart gadget.
Dhananjay Chaturvedi, managing director, Miele India Pvt. Ltd told Indulge about five points one should remember before buying a coffee machine:
1. Capacity: Check for the capacity of the coffee bag and the water and milk containers. This will give you an approximate idea on how frequently you will need to refill the machine. Also, check if the machine has a separate chute for ground coffee. (Read more)
The eureka experience
The Fountainhead VibrAcoustic brings cutting-edge design and comfort to soothe your troubles away
The Fountainhead VibrAcoustic from Kohler combines sound vibrations, music and chromatherapy in four preset compositions to provide a soothing effect.
The soft pliable material and segmented design provide versatility and comfort as it rolls up to support the head and neck of the users. It also provides the users means to rest their necks as they float in the bath. (Read more)
ALSO READ PREVIOUS MINT INDULGE IUSSES
• Volume 1
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• Volume 7