Shilpa and Sameer Balvally, co-founders of Studio Osmosis, talk to us about the redesign of a Mumbai living room , the kids room —and how building character is all about layering and details. For Studio Osmosis, character lies in contrast. The living room intent was to create distinct Living and dining areas, each with their own palette but seamlessly connected within the space. The original design of the living room was typical of the 1980s aesthetic: mahogany veneers, post-modern furniture. The first thing that the clients told us was that they wanted a complete turn-around of the space. They are very social and liked elegant yet modern aesthetics, and they wanted the space to represent the core of who they are. For Sameer and Shilpa, this meant not just livening up the space in terms of texture and colour, but also opening it up to accommodate larger groups of people and a much fresher look for the dining area nook.
The clients wanted to bring a sense of life into the space, and that was the driving factor for our entire colour palette. This living room needed a new life without much of civil work and the kids room needed a complete functional, planning and look change all in less time. The original kids room was made when the kids were younger and had a two level bed with a slide. With the girl and in her early teens and the boy about 11 yrs old, the brief was challenging and definitely needed a complete transformation. We needed to design their room which would personify their talent and their passion. The room needed to have a mature aura with that playful character. A space which respects and blends in with their occupant. Every space needs nooks that you can call your own for privacy as well as socializing. A place where you can focus, concentrate, ideate, ponder, dare to dream. We transformed the kids room, (for two) into a fun collaborative space. With a display cupboard flaunting all the achievements in sports or academia, it's motivating and fosters the need to be and do better.
Colours were used freely to engage the siblings in healthy discussions, open shelves for books that you can arrange and pick when you want to read. Having plants fosters a sense of ownership and an emotional connect along with lots of natural light flowing into the room through the sheery yet chic curtains. We accessorized it minimally with interesting art that related to their taste, quirks from Bentchair and let the space bring out the best in the children. We proposed a brighter and cheerful ambience. Neutral Grey's on the wall with bolder coral pink and blue elements on the furniture. The bed is custom designed with fluted backrest and it is detailed along with the study unit as a whole. The similar colour was used in the flooring in geometrical pattern that we worked with Bharat flooring making it a highlight, while the rest of the furniture was kept plain white. This was a fairly large room and hence we proposed that each sibling should have their own space. Which they can relate to and call it their own. It's important, as they are growing up, to respect their privacy, but at the same time to keep them inclusive in their activities.
Mirrors always enhance the space and adds depth too- It doubled up as a storage space for the games and other educational items that are tucked away. The blue and grey geometric patterned cement flooring is the highlight of the room and looks gorgeous with the lacquered white furniture. The living room had a chic and elegant makeover. The walls and ceiling have been treated in muted shades that match the beige Dyna marble flooring, and serve as a canvas for the colourful upholstery on the furniture. The existing sofa was reupholstered to brighten the space adding highlighter cushions that could double up as casual and formal sets. A contemporary rug from Merge Projekt in shades of blue completes the space. The concrete IDC textured wall by Asian Paints behind the sofa was the highlight and a backdrop of the living room space. We had the right pairing of soft furnishings, art and accessories which added life to the existing space from abaca and Blue loft.
Colour and personalization of any space to make it a home played an important role in the design of this project just like most of Studio Osmosis work and has a direct reaction to the people who would reside and use the space. Colour and its effects on the human behavior and psychology as well as moods was the inspiration for the room particularly keeping mind their ages too.
It’s important that renovation projects are planned smartly in terms of their timelines, phasing, material selections and detailed right from the go so that most of the decisions can be taken swiftly. It’s ideal and important to clearly understand the main reason that the client is going in for the renovation so that can be achieved to its best. Also, we prefer to get most of the furniture custom-designed and built out in factories or store bought to reduce the time on site construction and not hamper any other functions of the house if it’s a running lived-in home.
Photographs: Ishita Sitwala