by Jerry ElengicalAug 04, 2022
Interior designer Eshita Marwah of /e (by e) has conceptualised the interiors of a 5,000 square feet residence in Surat, Gujarat, titled 'A Midnight Serenade'. The home designed for a family of three generations—grandparents, parents and children—is located on the 16th floor of an apartment building, and comprises five bedrooms that are named after jewel tones—Burgundy, Sapphire, Rust, Emerald, and the children's room is known as The Winter Castle. In this apartment, the open living and dining area take centrestage. The Emerald and Rust bedrooms are on one end of the living room, while the Sapphire and The Winter Castle are on the other. The Burgundy room’s door is concealed in the blue entryway of the house. Additionally, the living room also leads to a small prayer room, which features arresting gold accents.
The light-filled residential design is a marriage between classic and contemporary. It is designed to be aesthetically pleasing yet highly functional. "After a lot of back and forth with the client, we agreed on the language of the design. It had to be transportive, colour-coordinated, warm, welcoming and harmonious. The main idea was for the common areas to be comfortable but transportive, timeless but uncommon—an outer-worldly haven of sorts. And for the private rooms to speak of the individuals' taste and liking. To achieve this, all the bedrooms and bathrooms were replanned to accommodate wardrobes and walk-in wardrobes, making sure all the bedrooms were rectangular, with separate, comfy seating areas," mentions Marwah, the founder and principal designer of design firm /e.
The sprawling apartment also features thoughtfully curated furniture and decor accessories. Most of the furniture, lighting fixtures, rugs and even hardware was custom designed by Marwah. “About 90 per cent of everything in this home is custom made to fit the design narrative. There are a few pieces of furniture that we have purchased from other brands, and we have picked the artworks and accessories online. Other than that, almost all the rugs, lighting, hardware and furniture has been customised. For instance, the carpets that we got from Jaipur Rugs were customised and colour-coordinated to match the space they were going in. Both the living room rugs we designed ourselves and had a rug company in Mirzapur (Vasundhari Carpets) make them for us. Some lights were designed in collaboration with Hatsu, others we designed by ourselves and executed locally, and for two, more complex chandeliers we worked with Kapoor Lights. All the knobs in the home are made of stone and metal, which we have gotten made locally, again to work with the rest of the design," adds Marwah.
Moreover, this visually appealing and practical apartment is whimsical with elements of surprise. "There are also four concealed doors in the home. I believe that either the doors should be beautifully designed, or inconspicuous - hide it or highlight it! All the doors in this home are designed as highlights, except for the ones that were coming in the way of another design point in the area, and those have been concealed to look like part of the wall and hidden behind the wall mouldings. Defined by dramatic transition areas, elements of surprise (behind the various concealed doors), and all the custom made pieces telling a tale of their own while embracing each other, this transportive home is where functionality and aesthetics come together in comfort and harmony. This home is defined by its commonalities and its distinctions, the fact that all areas are very different yet have the sense of belonging to the same home. It all comes together even though everything has a very strong character of its own," remarks Marwah.
Guests are welcomed into the apartment by a black and white foyer made of piccolo mosaic and a blue vestibule area with white marble inlaid with black marble and luxe, brass accents. The foyer, with its black and white colour palette, potted plants and contemporary chandeliers establishes the mood of the home. The flooring of the apartment segregates as well as ties all the spaces together, where Belgian black marble adorns the larger common spaces, while a majority of the transitional spaces have patterned white, black and gold flooring.
The living room is an airy, light-filled space with custom made modern furniture, an earthy colour palette and sophisticated details such as panelled walls, geometric forms and abstract artworks. The sofas add an elegant touch to the space and the swing adds playfulness to the overall setup. The two seating areas are defined by herringbone wood flooring and bespoke rugs. The seating areas are divided by a striking credenza, custom made in quartz, wood and brass.
The living area leads into the dining area in an open layout that houses an eight-seater dining table made of black, white and grey marble and an abstract artwork. A concealed door leads to the kitchen with a large island. The kitchen features sleek, blue and white cabinets with ample storage, chic black countertops and marble flooring.
Moving on, the Burgundy bedroom primarily showcases black and white hues, with pops of burgundy in the artworks and the bathroom. The modern four-poster bed and the gallery wall with photographs and artworks are highlights of this room. "Adhering to my personal belief of spaces being extensions of who we are, while also being experiences that can inspire and brighten everyday life, I have designed each room differently, and considered its inhabitants, while maintaining a sense of continuity and a unified tone of voice across the home. This was achieved by using bold jewel-tone colours to define and add character to each room, using interdependence of elements in design, and working with a limited material palette in new, playful ways," mentions Marwah.
The contemporary Sapphire room comprises tan leather accents against a deep blue feature wall, a custom-made dressing table and bespoke floor-to-ceiling cabinets housing unique decor pieces. The Rust room is romantic and airy with mostly white furniture. A cosy reading nook by the window and rust hued decor pieces and artworks stand out in this room. Designed to be a quiet space, it has all the elements of a serene haven. The Emerald room comprises herringbone wooden flooring, with Baroda green marble skirting in parts, and soft neutrals to offset the deep shades of green. The four-poster bed is complemented by an ornate chandelier, a carpet from Jaipur Rugs and an emerald green wardrobe.
Finally, the children’s bedroom—The Winter Castle—is straight out of a fairytale. Inspired by castles from children’s books, the room features bunk beds evocative of a white castle, a canopy-covered dressing table and a central play area. The room has a terrazzo-type white vinyl flooring by Forbo, suited best for the children to play on, with a colourblocked mosaic tile skirting. The bathrooms and spacious walk-in closets of the home showcase the same design aesthetic as rest of the home.
This contemporary home combined with modern elegance and old world charm in India’s western city speaks of the designer's penchant for bespoke design, where aesthetics and functionality live in harmony.