Man made

Man made
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First Published: Sat, Mar 08 2008. 06 27 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Aug 30 2008. 01 49 PM IST
After 18 months of living out of a hotel, Rashy Todd wanted a place he could call home. Todd, who moved from the UK to India with Audi, the luxury car company, to set up new showrooms across the country, had been calling the Trident Hilton in Gurgaon home ever since. After the move, he spent almost all his time in the construction and design of the first Audi showroom, on Golf Course Road in Gurgaon, and had little time to settle down. Besides, he says, he had trouble finding a place in Gurgaon that matched his tastes.
But, five months ago, he finally decided to buy a two-storey penthouse in Gurgaon that met at least some of his needs: “What we liked was the size of the place and that it had a completely separate floor for entertaining,” Todd says. “We didn’t like anything else about it.” There were too many bedrooms, the rooms were monotonous, and there were low ceilings. “We had to rip everything out and start all over.”
Todd hired designer Nitin Kohli, co-founder of FRN Décollage, New Delhi, to create an uncluttered, contemporary space. Kohli started out with two goals: To make the space liveable for the six members of the Todd family, and to create a place for the men to party.
The first job was to allocate rooms. Todd’s wife and daughter spend most of their time in London, visiting India only occasionally. Todd’s parents visit from time to time from their home in Chhattisgarh. Todd and his 23-year-old son, Mikey, work together and live at the Gurgaon apartment full-time.
The apartment, on the 12th and 13th floors of a building near the DLF Golf Course, is divided between the family’s main living space on the lower level, with a large room for a seating area, a television area, three bedrooms and a dining area. The first floor is a large entertainment room, with seating areas, a bar and a bedroom.
The master bedroom went to Todd and his wife. The second largest room went to Mikey. A smaller bedroom went to the daughter, who is a university student in London, and likely to visit only twice a year. Even though the second level of the apartment is dedicated entirely to an entertainment space, Todd’s parents have a small bedroom next to the bar. Todd’s father likes to have his last drink at the bar and then head to bed without the hassle of going up or down the staircase.
Once the rooms had been allotted, a theme became clear: The father and son would be the permanent residents, so the home would get a masculine look. Todd’s daughter and wife chose softer red hues to accent their rooms, but the rest of the house has hard lines, dark colours and geometric patterns.
Chocolate brown furniture and warm wood tones break up the white walls and floor of the high-ceiling space; fabrics in golds and turquoises, and paintings and accessories warm up the interiors. The upper floor uses black, greys and silvers to set off the sleek bar and lounge area that can fit around 40 people.
Open rectangles repeat themselves throughout the house. At the main entry, a wall divider broken into uneven rectangles separates the foyer from the rest of the house. In the foyer, wood beams in a cross-hatch pattern add to the large staircase.
Kohli added elaborate light fixtures and large vases with curves as accessories because “with all the straight lines, the house was lacking warmth”. The vases are from FRN Décollage and Good Earth (vases at Good Earth start around Rs1,200). They are all oversized, but because of the apartment’s large size, they draw attention rather than get lost within it. The main light fixtures—four chandeliers—came from Klove Studio (lights at Klove start around Rs45,000).
The most important space in the house had to be the entertainment room. “We like to relax here with a few drinks,” Todd says, adding that the bar was really important for the three men in the family.
They are yet to throw a house-warming party as the decks are still being completed, but the Todd men seem pretty certain that when it happens, it will be a great one.
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First Published: Sat, Mar 08 2008. 06 27 AM IST
More Topics: Video story | Insider | Job | Party | Lounge Area |