A Thoughtfully Designed, Brown Hued Orissa Home

Who lives here: A 60-year-old lady

Location: Bhubaneshwar, Orissa

Year built: 2017

Size: 149 square metres (1600 square feet); 2 bedrooms; 3 bathrooms

Interior designer: Manmeet Arora of Left of Centre

What would be an ideal home for an elderly person? A calm, relaxing, warm, inviting haven and one that is easy to move around in, isn’t it? That’s what Manmeet Arora of Left of Centre kept in mind when designing this Bhubaneshwar home. “The client was moving from a bungalow into an apartment. She wanted an environment where she could host socials and her frequently visiting daughter. She also asked for a soothing palette which was not too shy of colour. Since she loves to cook and feed everyone, she hoped for an open kitchen that was easily accessible and a breeze to move around in,” Arora says.

The home opens up to a soft-toned, lightly accessorised living room. A Chesterfield sofa with two modern-style chairs opposite make up the minimal seating. On the right is the open kitchen, the dining room and a passageway that leads to the private rooms.

“The wooden herringbone flooring with a large durrie set the base for the eclectic furniture; we decided to keep all the seaters in grey and play with colour through accessories. We used a large blue artwork in the living room to inject the space with vibrance,” Arora says.

Behind the sofa is an unconventional photo pin-up installation made with a grid-style metal frame in which the client loves to change pictures. “Adjacent to it is a black metal trophy wall which was designed to store the client’s late husband’s golfing trophies. Both these elements give the room a warm and nostalgic quality,” Arora says.

Next to the living room is a small breakout space – this tiny balcony houses a comfortable black wicker chair and table, along with a few wall-hung plants.

The open modular kitchen, designed at the client’s special request, looks out to the dining room and ensures ease of movement. “This is the most interesting part of the home’s design – you will rarely find an open kitchen in Indian homes. The breakfast counter here doubles as a bar during social gatherings and adds a unique flair to a beautifully balanced living and dining area,” Arora says.

A TV area opposite the dining room is separated by a geometric Corian jali. “The white column around the jali holds storage. The handle-free shutters and white lamination are used to make this abundant storage feel light and coherent to the space,” Arora says. The light seats are flexible and can be moved around in the house.

The passageway leading to the bedrooms is one the most worked-on spaces in the home. Arora elaborates: “The architect of the building had placed a loft cast in concrete in all the rooms – it may have been a requirement by the developer. While we worked on this area, the loft was creating an obstruction in the passage ceiling that adjoins the living and dining space. The height was about seven feet and it felt like it was weighing down on the space. We didn’t get the permission to remove it so we decided to clad it with a tinted mirror. The reflective nature of the material lifted the height of passage and the copper tint added a certain chic element that has made this passage a focal point and a topic of appreciative discussion for every

Inside the master bedroom, delicate beige complements brown and blue, and conjures up a restful scape. “Walnut veneer panelling for the bed backing, large white laminated wardrobes with walnut wooden handle details and simple grey floor tiles give the master bedroom a modern and minimal structure. Rich fabrics and bright Tibetan-inspired artworks complete the look,” Arora says. Adjacent to the bed is a small study and a lounging area with a chaise.

The sophisticated, monochrome bathroom shows clean lines and minimal elements. “The space is predominantly white with black-and-white patterned tiles on the main wall, accentuated with brass and grey glass lights,” Arora says.

Though a small room, the guest bedroom is still given character and style with clever design. “All the wall surfaces are on the lighter side, with some woodwork to add warmth,” Arora says. Keeping to a minimalist approach to material and colour, the grey composite floor tiles are laid longitudinally, in line with the bed cladding. The wall behind the bed is painted the same shade of grey as the floor tiles to keep intact the sense of homogeneity. Opposite the bed is a TV, with a low wooden unit that offers a place to keep knick-knacks.

The guest bathroom glistens with a pop of colour – the red mosaic tiles behind the open shelving and in the shower area lend ample character to the space, as do the artistic lights next to the basin.

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