FADD Studio Team :
Principal Designers : Farah Ahmed Mathias, Dhaval Shellugar
Project Designer : Rishika Sutawala
Photography : Gokul Rao Kadam
Styling Assistance : Shohini Munshi
If one were to describe this home as a human being, “tall, dark, and handsome” would be a great way to begin. This is immediately seen as the lobby seduces with its bold concentric rectangles of black and grey marble combined with dark enigmatic walls, high ceiling and charming cane furniture. The charcoal palette continues into the inside of the house on the walls and the dining ceiling to create a feeling of intimacy and warmth. It is broken intermittently with dull-sage-gold vertical pieces; a design element used to conceal handles and opening to fulfil functions like the puja room, bar, kitchen entry etc.
Within this cozy shell, two life size boot sculptures steal the show as they sit in a prominent position holding up the bar counter. This commissioned sculpture represents the passions and profession of the homeowner.
This apartment is located in one of Bangalore’s most high-end residential areas in a very tall and apartment building with a very strict barrier to entry. Homeowners have a rigorous meeting with sellers before they can purchase the space.
There is one apartment for every level and the elevator opens into the private foyer of the apartment. The living and dining areas are colossal in comparison to the bedrooms. They open our to a private terrace garden which overlooks Bangalore’s’ greenery one of side and a hockey stadium on the other.
This stylish and dusky beauty with its charcoal palette and ubiquitous luminosity is a home to a young, energetic couple and their son who spend a lot of their time between Germany and India. Because of their life style, they wanted a home that felt international, contemporary, and elegant. And, because of their history of living in Germany for many years before moving to India, they requested that their home be very European in look and efficiency.
This meant that their whole experience – from the look and feel of space to the colour palette; from the design and function of their bathroom fixtures to the very textural sensation of their light switches and so on and so forth. They were particularly keen to make the openness of their very large common area feel more cozy, homely and intimate without actually making it smaller physically. Finally, the husband requested that there be some element of ‘shoes’ in his home. He attributed his success to his shoe manufacturing company and additionally, him and his wife were ‘crazy about footwear’.
Our biggest challenge was making this very large common space feel smaller and to make the bedrooms feel more functional as a lot of area was given to the make the living and ding very grand and open. We wanted it to be cozy but not in a log cabin way; we wanted it to be stylish but not in an intimidating; we wanted it to be trendy, yet timeless.
After much thought, we made an audacious move to use a dark charcoal colour for most of the walls and part of the ceiling. Initially it seemed like a precarious proposition especially for an Indian client but we took a chance and explained that a dark colour would instantly make the space feel more intimate and warm. We told them our plan of wanting to use as much indirect light as possible to enhance the charcoal walls that would be in a cement finish.
We would play with different levels in the ceiling and keep a large part of it white. The wife was hesitant but the husband was excited and we got a go ahead. This starting point along with the concept of the shoe sculptures helped us move to the next steps easily.
For the flooring, we began to pair together a serpeggiante marble (for the dining and study) with an aged wood (for the living) to bring in the contrast of glossiness and luxury with ruggedness and warmth. The two materials not only provide a visual barrier and passage between the dining and living, but they also beautifully carry the furniture that sits atop it and allow it to be the highlight of that area.
In the dining room, the walls are cement finished in charcoal to bring in a very delicate, chic and intimate experience. Sage green veneer pieces are decorative and functional, opening doors to a hidden bar, a puja space and a kitchen. In the living room, the walls continue but the ceiling is stepped and becomes white, again creating a visual divide for the two spaces.
The bar is supported by the boot sculptures that were commissioned to an artist who works with molten tar, coal, metal elements like nuts, bolts, washers, wires etc. The deep violet and navy shoe, like the midnight sky is the woman’s stiletto boot and the ember-y and fiery one is the man’s. The furniture was carefully chosen to complement these colours. Behind the bar, special hardware reveals the secret stash of bottles by the simple outward sliding of two doors.
A skylight with wooden slits provided beautiful linear shadows in the afternoon and softly lights up the cane cluster and a rare collectors rug. A textured olive stone partition divides the study from the dining. The study leads to the personal space of the family.
Bedroom Designs :
The sons rooms in in shades of blues and browns; the guest is light lilac and coral; the master in black and white; and the family in blue and brown again. The furniture is stylish, smart and comfortable but more importantly, it is functional. The hardware and switches were especially given importance in this project because of the keenness of the client for a hassle-free and smart lifestyle. .
To add to the sophistication of this space, carefully curated rugs, paintings, art and sculptures adorn the home in perfectly chosen spots. Elements of brass are used discreetly to add richness. Meticulously planned indirect lighting and decorative lights provide a constant glow in the home and dissipate a feeling of perpetual cosiness in a seemingly plush and stylish space. A patient walk within the space and the tall dark stranger quickly reveals it’s self and lets one uncover the gems of its interesting, mysterious, charismatic and irresistible personality.
About the Firm :
Specialities : Architecture, Interior Designs
Design Style : FADD Studio was founded in 2012 in Bengaluru by Farah Ahmed and Dhaval Shellugar. The Studio’s philosophy is a persistently shifting system that’s meant to acclimatize to the fluctuating state of the design world. Perpetually exploring and evolving new ideas, concepts, trends and fads, the studio’s name is—an acronym for Farah and Dhaval Design—a play on the word ‘fad’.
With this tenacious sensibility and desire to be original, they aspire not to create a unique style but to create an identity that is exclusive to their clients.
Design Motto : The duo believes that having a singular style defies the purpose of design which, in their own words, is “to push beyond what we know, achieve something novel and unique in every project, and be constantly propelled out of our comfort zone into a world where we not only embrace new concepts and techniques but also create fads of our own.”
About the Partners: Dhaval Shellugar, Partner, FADD Studio—graduated from the Rachana Sansad School of Design in Mumbai in 2006, and began working with Mika Designs. He then moved to Bengaluru and began working with Khosla Associates as a Senior Design Lead for almost four years. Farah Ahmed, Partner, FADD Studio—has an undergraduate in Photography and Political Science from Northwestern University. Farah has worked in advertising and produced, showcased and sold fine art photography as an artist based out of India. After working at Khosla Associates for over a year she headed to Milan to get a Master’s Degree in Interior Design from Istitutio Marangoni. Having met while working together in Bengaluru, Dhaval and Farah recognized that their design sensibilities were alike and decided to work together. The studio’s aesthetic is about revisiting decade-old trends and reinterpreting them in a contemporary way. Their projects range from residences to offices, and retail spaces to hospitality.