Cover The wall art and the paint splatter pattern on the sofa add a boost of creativity in the living room

Interior designer Jannat Vasi took inspiration from the Memphis movement to create this striking family home in Mumbai

Jannat Vasi’s design hallmarks are hard to miss. “My signature style is a modern aesthetic with a balance of bold colours, embossed textures and unique surface treatments,” explains the Mumbai-based interior designer. Vasi founded her eponymous firm, Jannat Vasi Interior Design, in 2013 after working with various acclaimed architects. “I personally love to create eclectic and textural interior spaces with a provocative vibe.”

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The owners of this three-storey dwelling in Mumbai’s Peddar Road suburb—an area filled with beautiful gothic and neo-classical heritage buildings—could have easily chosen a more traditional look. What these clients requested, however, was a unique and colourful home that reflected their needs and personalities. They were happy to grant Vasi the freedom to make unconventional decisions and leverage her entire range of skills.

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The clients are three brothers from a reputed family of mill owners in Mumbai. Following the local practice of joint family living—common in large industrial houses in India—the brothers decided to live together in the same property with their wives and children, with each family occupying their own floor.

While the structural elements and facade of the building were retained, the internal layout and walls were completely rejigged to suit the new design. “The windows are all intact and the services were concealed in ducts to maintain the existing old-world charm,” says Vasi. The new layout features seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two kitchens, living and dining areas, balconies, and walk-in wardrobes.

For the interior scheme, Vasi proposed a combination of chromatic patterns and colour blocking. “I believe that a space should be a true reflection of the client and their personality, so this project was driven by the iconic pop art and rare collectibles that the clients own,” says Vasi.

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She took inspiration from the Memphis design movement as well as the work of Italian architect Ettore Sottsass. “The family is fond of collecting limited-edition art and books. Many of their collectibles have been accumulated over the years from their travels,” she adds. “In this project, we have several sculptural display systems weaved into the design to showcase their beautiful pieces.”

Vasi’s studio often takes cues from the fashion runway; this project was no different. “The use of bold colours is prevalent in today’s luxury fashion brands such as Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Off-White,” says Vasi.

Although the home features plenty of colour and pattern, neutrals still have their pride of place. “Balance is key when designing any interior space,” elaborates Vasi. “I have a particular fondness for white in my designs, as it forms a clean palette for incorporating bold elements. It also draws light into a room, which visually maximises the space.”

There’s no better place to see this interplay in action than in the main living room, where a colourful sofa upholstered in Pierre Frey fabric mingles with wall art by American painter David Kracov against a bright blue wall. The colours are offset by a grey marble floor, gold wall panels, and a white dining table set.

For decor, she selected pieces from some of her favourite brands: surfaces from De Castelli and Pierre Frey, lighting from Moooi and Seletti, furniture from Christopher Guy, Edra and Kartell, and accessories from Tom Dixon and Jonathan Adler. The designer also picked out several Scarlet Splendour pieces, including the Animagic Ciuco cabinet in the garage and games room.

The living areas are among the many spaces where the family likes to gather with friends. “This family is very social and they love entertaining,” says Vasi. “And having a home of this scale in a dense city like Mumbai makes it a perfect place to have guests over at.”

In addition to the living rooms, the garage also doubles as a games room, gym and bar. “The garage is an ideal space for the clients to host their frequent parties and to display their prized collection of cars. It’s also used to show movies and hold group workout sessions,” explains Vasi. 

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The work of Italian designer Matteo Cibic, the donkey cabinet features buttons as knobs that open up to spacious compartments. Another statement piece is the Vanilla Noir Playhouse cabinet in the master bedroom, also designed by Cibic. “It’s an iconic piece that’s part of the Vanilla Noir collection, my favourite line from Scarlet Splendour,” adds Vasi.

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The end result is a whimsical abode that the family was happily surprised by and eager to move into. “The entire project is like a unique journey; each space is a new experience ready to be explored. We developed a coherent and authentic interior, based on a thorough understanding of the occupants,” says the designer with pride.

The June-July 2020 issue of Tatler Homes Singapore is available with our compliments on Magzter