This 2,300 sq. ft, first-floor flat in south Delhi was in a shambles when Sunil and Suparna Chowdhary bought it. “We had to deal with everything from peeling paint to seepage,” recalls Suparna. They reworked all the basics, from plumbing to wiring, and used the best materials and fittings. “But I saved money elsewhere, by purchasing all the raw material myself, including cement. This impacts costs hugely,” she says. They converted the four-bedroom pad into a three-bedroom one, creating a large living area which flows into the dining space, enlarging the kitchen, increasing the size of bathrooms and creating a service area. It took the Chowdharys four months to complete the civil work, do the plaster of Paris, and move in. “After that I did things in instalments, depending on whenever I had the money.”
Sunil and Suparna with their son Parth
Suparna decorated the house in stages and preferred to keep a wall bare if she hadn’t found the right piece, or a lamp without a shade until the perfect one came along. This attitude is reflected in the uncluttered and relaxed ambience.
Suparna designs furniture and knows about finishes; she played with materials and experimented with wall and door finishes and came up with distinctive looks. The wall finish in the master bedroom was achieved after “staring at the wall day after day”. Suparna tried 15 combinations to get the desired effect: She finally had the painter mix putty and polish powder and apply it before finishing it with Touch Wood. Since she wanted the doors to look similar, she applied wood polish on the grains—they are medium-density fibreboards (MDF)—and had it wiped off with a cloth. They were also finished with Touch Wood. “I wasted two doors,” she admits.
Since the couple entertain a lot, the house had to be easy on maintenance. “My house looks neat because I have created a servicing area behind the kitchen for mops, brooms, ironing, etc., so the mess doesn’t spill into any of the rooms.”
1. The canopy bed with footstool serves as a comfortable sofa in the living room, while the frame functions as a partition to the dining room, allowing both privacy and flow of light;
2. The wicker and cloth magazine stand is stylish;
3. The living area flooring has matte finish tiles with a central wooden space as a highlight;
4. The Chinese day bed adds colour to the dining area, which is the family’s hangout zone, and the painting on the wall was bought from Sotohaus, Goa.
Photographs by Chandan Ahuja; Styled by Ragini Singh / Better Homes and Gardens
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