Design by intent

Design by intent

To create this Mumbai home, graphic designer Durva Gandhi and her banker husband Kumar combined two smaller apartments into one, breaking superfluous walls and taking in balconies, including converting one into a sitout overlooking the sea. White walls, limestone flooring and large glass windows are deliberate design elements that provide a backdrop to all the art that fills the spaces—works by Laxma Goud, Jogen Chowdhury, Kiyomi Talaulicar, Jayasri Burman, to name a few. “We wanted a home that would be a retreat," says Durva. They seem to have achieved that

Perfect Pad:1. Durva Gandhi at home in what she calls ‘a space conducive to meditation’.

2.This specially created alcove with interesting tonal variations features an antique wooden temple door from Kerala, a cement Buddha statue on a roughly finished ledge, a Tibetan bell and an ‘urli’, also from Kerala (traditionally a heavy brass vessel used for cooking). The white cement Buddha is from Paradise Road, a lifestyle store in Sri Lanka. “This is one spot in the house where I can just sit, and be," says Druva. “It inspires me."

The doors visible here, leading to the master bedroom, are unusual, with a commissioned, site-specific work by Prabhakar Kolte. “There are two images that can be viewed from either side of the doors, but they are actually 12 separate paintings that have been sandwiched in glass to form two large doors." Furnishings in bright colours offset the softer tones around.

3. The master bedroom’s wardrobe doors are embellished with black and white photographs by Durva sandwiched in between glass and backed with Fabindia fabric panels.

4. One of the five balconies which have been converted into sitouts—this one is a favourite,because of the view.

5. The coffee table in the living room has been crafted out of an old temple door. All the low seating areas have in-built storage. The painting is a richly textured work in reds by Gattani. “I deliberately chose white upholstery to offset the painting," says Durva. She has also acquired, over the years, paintings by Sheetal Gattani, Kiyomi Talaulicar and Yashwant Deshmukh, black and white figuratives by Souza and Badri Narayan. “I feel the space has to accommodate the energy of all the art I collect and like to display."

Fact file

Area:1,500 sq. ft

Location: Colaba, Mumbai

Architectural consultant:

Meenaxi Mirajgaonkar

Project duration: Six months


Flooring: Limestone, Jaisalmer, Australian marble, handmade ceramic tiles

Furnishings: Fabindia, Atmosphere, Krsna Mehta, Zeba, Chunnilal

Furniture: Custom designed pieces by Meenaxi Mirajgaonkar, chairs from Red Blue & Yellow


Accessories: Sourced from Paradise Road (Colombo), Auroville (Puducherry) and Dhoop (Mumbai)