Most Goan homes have a very 1970s retro vibe. They are often chaotic with carved, classical pieces. And I can’t connect with a really old house. My soul doesn’t fit in. I like a new house with old things, or an old house with new things,” says Goa-based fashion designer Saviojon Fernandes. So when he needed his own space, Fernandes decided to demolish and rebuild a unit adjacent to his family home. The result: a
two-storey pad that houses a living room, a kitchen, a workshop and a washroom on the ground floor, with a bedroom and balcony on the first. Compact and self-contained, this was “supposed to be my space, with no one telling me what to do”. At that point, the designer confesses he was going through a minimalist phase, so the house acquired a stark, industrial feel—a style he loves. “I wanted a space that was slightly deconstructed; it’s a technique I use in my garments too,” says the designer, who managed to get the look bang on. The home is truly reflective of the myriad influences that have honed the designer’s sensibility and adheres to his love for contrast. It has that raw, laid-back Goan feel on the outside, using a common red laterite stone you see all over Goa, exuding a no-fuss charm. “The laterite stone I’ve used is locally available, and it breathes. It’s porous. For the inside I’ve used simple grey kota throughout the house,” he says.
Space craft: (clockwise from left) The living room-cum-workspace doubles as a pad to ‘entertain on a quiet scale’; the typewriter, radio and glass paintings are from Chor Bazaar in Mumbai; in true Goan style, hammocks line the front of Fernandes’ home; the sun-kissed cottage sits in a garden planned by the designer himself. Photographs: Anay Mann; Styled by: Ragini Singh
But once you enter, you are transported—you could be anywhere, in New York, in London. Strains of Carla Bruni waft through the air, and you find yourself admiring how an old altar sits comfortably next to a digital clock, or how a plebeian pedestal fan blows air towards Hermès boxes which Fernandes has cleverly used for style and storage. The living room functions as a workspace and doubles as a pad to “entertain on a quiet scale”. The roof has terracotta tiles interspersed with glass (typically Goan) for sunlight. In true Goan style, the front of the house is lined with hammocks; the only furniture is an easy table and bench that Fernandes designed and built.
The house wows in its simplicity—the stunning industrial effect on the living room wall was achieved by just scraping the paint off and letting cement peep out—and in its wonderful fusion of the contemporary and the classic.
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