by Anmol AhujaJul 15, 2021
The relationship between a designer and the client is a delicate balance between taste and desire. Especially when designing private homes, the space is not just a reflection of the architect’s viewpoint but rather an indication of their ability to translate the client’s desire to reflect their own aesthetical and spatial concepts. Iram Sultan Design Studio’s House of Memories in Gurugram, Haryana, is a 12,000 square foot manifestation of this balance. Interpreted as a story of the occupant’s desire, the home is imagined as a narrative told by Delhi-based interior designer, Iram Sultan.
Before telling the story, one has to establish the characters. During her early conversations with the clients, Sultan deciphered what the family wanted. “We discussed the quality of light that we wanted, the materials that made them comfortable and how they wanted a home that reflected the warmth of their personalities and felt welcoming. The design story was created to evoke that feeling of joy and belonging in their home,” she mentions.
Be our guest
Split across three floors, the perception of comfort begins the moment one enters the home. The entrance lobby is a large double height space with patterned brick walls that lead up to a custom designed metal and glass main door. This medley of material glows under the delicate light emitted by a large cluster of low hung silk lamps. The floor is covered in tumbled stone, finished in the same tone as the brick walls. Contrasting the natural terracotta hue is a black and white tile mosaic border that leads to an open lobby, with the main staircase and lift to create a connecting hub across the three levels of the house.
The black and white accent is a unifying element throughout the house, almost like a musical leitmotif, glimpses of which reveal themselves in the patterned wallpaper across the stairwell walls. Another story is hidden in the wallpaper. The imprinted text that creates the pattern here is a gesture to make the family’s young son’s love for books a part of the home’s aesthetic. Custom designed wall lights and chandeliers with faded black striped fabric shades are a repetition of the accent.
Across the levels of the home, the ground and basement level are gathering spaces to entertain guests, with one room for the eldest members of the family. The first floor consists of a more private socialising corner and the master suite, while the two youngest family members have their private quarters on the second floor. The large basement, which is also the main entertainment area, opens out into a small courtyard with a large tree that holds the space together. The brick walls continue from the stilt into the basement where a large wall is clad with aged bricks. Strategically placed brick arches soften the linearity of the courtyard and feature hand painted mural of trees.
Bold and Beautiful
The interiors are a symphonic play of textures and details. The basement is finished with oak wooden floors with black and white marble border, and the brick walls are accented by black stone corner junctions. Another gathering space is the dining table which is built around a structural column, which is clad in textured ivory and faded black tiles. The rest of the space is brought together through a collection of custom designed furniture.
Upholstered in shades of black that range from ebony, onyx, to charcoal, the colour story in these gathering spaces resonate with the family’s desire to create a warm and welcoming space. This is further enhanced by the lighting design that sees strategically placed lamps that are placed across the entire room to create pools of light. The floors are finished with linen toned Burberry grey marble and accented with deep jewel toned antique Afghani kilims, rich burgundy sofas and deep plum purple chairs. Paper art from young artists and lithographs from Pondicherry line the walls of the home.
Home is where the Art is
In the dining room, complimenting the black palette of the furnishing are a series of carefully curated works of art. Ranging from an all-black Sachin George Sebastian paperwork to Biraaj Dodiya’s intense acrylic on linen work. This is accompanied by a large canvas diptych by Rewati Shahani and one print diptych by Thukral & Tagra.
On the first floor, Nibha Sikander’s works serve as an inspiration for the custom cushions, while the Basist canvas serves as an anchor for the more private space, where they entertain a more intimate social group. The lounge is another double height space, which is flooded with light from two sides and the movement of the sun sees a play of light and shadow filtered through the massive custom-made bamboo and metal chandelier. This play of light and shadow continues at the sunset as the chandelier is lit. A set of custom printed fabric slip covered chairs are set around a table designed by Rooshad Shroff, which have dried flowers that have been sealed on a wooden base. The seamless flooring across this floor, the staircase, and the second floor is the same warm oak as the basement.
The entrance to the master suite has a Sumakshi Singh thread work which hints at the floral design carried into the bedroom. The private TV lounge has a custom oversized sofa which was designed for the couple and their two children to sit together and enjoy. The pale dusty rose ceiling, the blush pink sofa and a painting by Anju Dodiya in this space are the result of the client’s wish list that Sultan incorporated into her design narrative.
When asked what is the most significant aspect of the home's design, Sultan elaborated, “The number of varied as well as bespoke elements we have worked on. Hard finishes have been obsessively detailed, with material junctions and the balance between raw and polished, soft and hard, light and dark and all textures has been a delicate dance. Custom lights designed in collaboration with Arjun Rathi and Atelier Lumys, bespoke linen with Maison.15, custom upholstery by Peter D’Ascoli, are some of the elements. We cannot imagine a space without art and that journey of discovery in each project is one of the highlights of our experience. However, the best part of this project has been the feedback from the clients that they never want to leave their space and are happiest when home.”
Name: House of Memories
Location: Gurgaon, India
Area: 12,000 square feet
Year of completion: 2021
Interior Designer: Iram Sultan Design Studio: Iram Sultan, Mohit Kansal
Product brands: Peter D’Ascoli & Toile Indienne, Arjun Rathi, Atelier Lumys, Maison.15, Rooshad Shroff, Humming Haus, Obeetee, Jaipur Rugs, DeMuro Das, Paul Matter Lights, Sarita Handa Furniture, Bespoke Metal by Interior Craft, Coast to Coast, Vis a Vis, Light&you