Coming from Delhi, I never felt at home in Mumbai; all the flats felt like pigeonholes,” says the 33-year-old television actor Shweta Kawaatra, best remembered as the evil Pallavi from Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii.
So when Kawaatra and her husband Manav Gohil, 34, set out to do up their Malad flat in Mumbai, like many of us they had no idea how to go about it. “But being confused helped me; I bought furniture books and went from shop to shop to find the right things,” says Kawaatra, who was certain she didn’t want an interior designer to do the job. “I was very clear about what I didn’t want, but I didn’t know what I wanted.”
Kawaatra and Gohil’s living room is dotted with potted plants in animal-shaped pots. Vikram Bawa
Popping in and out of stores helped Kawaatra zero in on the details—she knew she wanted to use wood, but was worried about it swelling in the rains—and that’s when she stumbled upon sleeper wood, which is preseasoned. The slats have been put to great utilitarian and aesthetic use as under-the-window benches in three rooms (with storage underneath).
Tiles are something Kawaatra always liked, and decided to incorporate in unique ways in her decor. Many of her tables have grooves where she has inserted bright tiles, all Keramos. “Tiles break the boredom of too much wood. I have used them in cupboard handles, as table bases, and even to add colour to a small nook in the wall, which serves as office space.”
Though the couple, who will soon be seen co-hosting a travel show on Zoom, are comfortable in their space, Gohil believes that “a house is a work-in-progress always”. His idea of having a cycle suspended from the ceiling was brushed aside by Kawaatra in the early days itself. While she has a passion for plants, Gohil admits to feeling slightly tortured by the 100-odd plants sprouting from pigs, rhinos and frogs all over.
a faux antique station clock that Kawaatra picked up in Delhi hangs in the corridor. Vikram Bawa
“Our tastes are completely different, and he wanted one room to be done up in his style, so I gave in, but then he would forget about it and I would go ahead and do my own thing,” says Kawaatra.
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