Straight-lined, minimalist design, flowing smoothly from one area into the next, is what architects Anita and Sanjay Kataria (who run the firm LA Archplan) wanted for their home in Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi. “You don’t want your guests to view your bedroom the first thing when they walk into your house. So a good flow of spaces inside the house is essential,” says Anita, who also owns The Right Address, a lifestyle boutique in Delhi’s Soami Nagar.
The apartment, located on the first floor of a residential building, won the Institute of Indian Interior Designers award in 2007 for best planned large residence in the northern region. Spread over 3,000 sq. ft, it has three bedrooms, a family entertainment room, a living/dining area, a family lounge and an open kitchen. The entrance lobby links the dining and living area with the family entertainment room, a powder room and the kitchen. To the right of the entrance is the family lounge, which connects the three bedrooms and also houses a prayer room, positioned in accordance with Vaastu (traditional earth science) tenets.
The living room features a full-height wenge-veneered niche, highlighted by Pama Dandellion and housing tall vases from fcml, New Delhi, accentuated by recessed halogen lights.
Keeping it simple
“We follow simple, straight-lined design because that’s evergreen. If you try and bring out mouldings, it doesn’t last forever. Keeping that in mind, our priority is minimalist design,” says Anita. “Also, the more minimum you are, the more you can enhance with decor. We use very basic and earthy colours in design, so that you can bring out colours in other forms.”
A view of the red Corian counter inset which straddles the kitchen and the family lounge.
Illustrating this concept is the use of coloured veneers (all from Greenply) throughout the house. “In the entire house, we’ve highlighted each area with one colour... This helps to demarcate each space,” says Anita.
Painted in panelling
The focal point of the living room is a bright yellow veneer called Pama Dandellion. “We have created one corner that has panelling on the wall, with white oak veneer, which continues on to the ceiling and comes down like an inverted U,” says Anita. She draws attention to a full-height niche with wenge veneer, where she has displayed some tall vases (bought from fcml, Delhi), highlighted by recessed halogen lamps.
The open kitchen has splashes of red Italian tile to contrast with wenge panelling on the walls, and stainless steel cupboards veneered in white oak. The kitchen also features a high, red Corian counter, which extends into the family lounge, matching the bar stools and kitchen tiles.
In their son’s room, the couple used a khaki-coloured veneer called Lolo Mocha to go with the denim blue laminate flooring from Pergo. In their daughter’s room, they used a combination of lime green and mauve paint with white oak veneer.
Their daughter’s room features lime green and mauve paint with white oak veneer. The custom-designed bed features a mauve leather headboard created by Anita’s firm Artech Interiors. Niches in the panelling hold artefacts collected from various countries. Highlighted by recessed lights, they infuse colour into the decor.
For their own bedroom, the Katarias chose wenge and a veneer whose colour Anita likens to Irish cream. The bed and TV cabinet are clad in leather, but portions of the bed—such as the side drawers—use white oak veneer, stained to match the wenge veneer. The two huge wardrobes with sliding shutters are a combination of both finishes.
Wood above, wood below
Another important design element is the use of false ceilings, with recessed lighting. “We believe in ceiling lighting and not wall lighting, as that’s outdated,” says Anita. In certain areas, the ceiling looks like a continuation of the wall panels. In their daughter’s room, the wooden panelling continues from the bed and over the ceiling; in the dining area, there is a wooden ceiling panel of the same width as the dining table.
The apartment also has wooden flooring in the living room and the four bedrooms. All this wooden flooring and panelling helps absorb noise. “In summers, panelling helps the house to remain cool, and in winters, the warmth is retained. So we have a very comfortable temperature in the house,” says Anita.
Italian marble lines the floor elsewhere. The stainless steel inlay in the wooden centre table in the living room echoes a similar inlay in the marble floor at the kitchen entrance, in the lobby and near the main door.
However, the pièce de résistance is the floor-to-ceiling unit of niches along one wall of the family lounge, a vibrant display of all the veneers used across the house. Recessed halogen lights illuminate it, showcasing crystal from the couple’s travels.
And so, with variations on a simple palette of marble, wood and veneers, Anita and Sanjay have designed a sophisticated, minimalistic space that looks anything but bare and bland.
Project: Residence of architects Anita and Sanjay Kataria
Location: Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi
Area: 3,000 sq. ft
Design: Anita and Sanjay Kataria
Architectural design module: LA Archplan Pvt. Ltd
Interiors: Artech Interiors
Project duration: One year
Photographs by Ravi Dhingra
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