This Jagger’s British invasion is about art, not music. Jade Jagger, painter, jeweller and interior designer, is in Mumbai with architect Tom Bartlett to design apartments–in Goregaon. The Lodha Fiorenza residences, four high-rises that will contain a range of two- to four-bedroom apartments and duplexes, are coming up in a formerly quiet old Western suburb, full of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) flats and sprawling patches of wild greenery, as well as some of Mumbai’s tackier malls.
But Jagger and Bartlett are delighted to be working in what they call an “up-and-coming neighbourhood”. It helps that it affords them a good deal of space, and that views from the towers’ upper floors encompass the Arabian Sea on the west, and the green enclosures of the Aarey Milk Colony on the east—a luxury few places in Mumbai afford.
They are planning for an entire imagined community, one that will cherish the sprawl of the place (currently under construction on the edge of the Western Express Highway), but also look for what Jagger calls “amenities”. So Fiorenza will contain its own social spaces, including bars, a rooftop lounge and an infinity pool.
In a dressed duplex, on show for prospective buyers, Jagger and Bartlett’s design looks lavishly patterned and textured, but doesn’t overwhelm the eye. “I love a bit of old-world glamour,” Jagger says, and it’s evident in things such as their geometric tiling, veneer finishes and the high ceilings (the plunge pool is a additional benefit).
“We always realize that we’re making spaces where you should be able to display your family stuff,” Bartlett says. “It’s for you to fill it with your life—we’re encouraging people to take this over and express themselves.”
Their label, Jade Jagger for yoo, has come to stand for distinctive glamour, but their own partnership allows them to understand that a family apartment can’t be designed too prescriptively. It has to have room for more than one person’s ideas—and things. “You can’t design a home that would look terrible if it was even a little bit messy,” Jagger says. She and Bartlett are both lovers of modernism, but she calls her inclination a “forgiving modernism”, one with space for the things she enjoys best. “My sensibilities are a bit more vernacular, more inspired by everyday life—whether it’s a hand-painted piece of craft, or a peacock feather.”
“That’s taught me a bit about design that’s a bit more,” Bartlett says and pauses, “touchy-feely”. He laughs.
Walls become shelf space and connecting corridors between rooms become studies, as befits apartments, even large ones, in space-conscious Mumbai. But it is part of their “touchy-feely” ethos, Bartlett says, to create these snug spaces. “We love doing things like adding a small TV room, or designing the downstairs bedroom for grandparents,” he says. “These are spaces in which people can have their privacy, and still be together.”
Their use of colour is bold and fun: The red dining table is a particular motif of theirs, and in India, it becomes a glittering, lacquered round table, dominating its brass-hung, off-white alcove. The kitchen is a clean, contemporary white space, with a streak of sea-blue panelling running along the walls. Jagger’s jeweller’s eye for bright colours, it seems, is in harmony with India’s own.
“Design here is so much more playful,” Jagger says. Bartlett agrees. “There are colours that work well in (European) lights, but here,” he widens his eyes, and laughs, “you need stuff to jump out.”
Bartlett is relatively new to India, he says, but Jagger has been coming here for years: She has a house and a jewellery store in Goa, and works extensively with Rajasthani artists. “After all those years exporting stuff,” she says, “it’s great to be bringing it in; to be integrating with the community.” She smiles. “We did our first apartments in New York City,” she says. “In Mumbai, it feels like we’ve come full circle.”