Vaishnavi Nayel Talawadekar is an internationally published architecture, design and art journalist.

Vaishnavi works out of a sunny studio called Mangomonk where she writes for publications big and small.

Latest Articles

One Prospect Park West by Workstead

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The precinct of New York’s Grand Army Plaza is considered the bastion of pre-war Brooklyn style. After all, the history-rich, heritage-stamped neighbourhood is home to the triumphal Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch and a number of other pre-war relics, each with a past more storied than the last. One example is the circa 1925 residential building, One Prospect Park West. Original

Beachwood Canyon Treehouse in Los Angeles by Studio Keeta

Located in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, Beachwood Canyon Treehouse is every bit as theatrical as its location. The mid-century home, redesigned by Studio Keeta, is a kaleidoscope of playful colours, whimsical furniture, vintage finds and thoughtfully sourced staples from local makers and emerging artists. Situated on a serene lot at the end of a long driveway, Beachwood Canyon Treehouse is a sanctuary that sloughs off the stridency of the city. With the Griffith Observatory and San Gabrie

This 753-Square-Foot Apartment in Rome Is a Mediterranean Oasis

Italian interior designer Mirta Ottaviani is all for bringing a home into the present, but not at the cost of undoing its past, especially if said past includes framed vintage Vogue covers and a floor of entirely pink Portuguese marble. “Those are honestly the first things I noticed,” says Mirta of the 753-square-foot 1960s apartment in Rome’s Farnesina district she was recently entrusted to redesign, admitting, “I just couldn’t take my eyes off them.” As she later learned, she didn’t need to. T

Mount Alexander College by Kosloff Architecture - Issue 14 Feature

Mount Alexander College has had many lives. Founded in 1858 as Flemington National School and rechristened twice since, the secondary school has been reimagined once again by Kosloff Architecture in response to a surge in enrolments.

The new building, spread across five levels and 5,150 square metres, interacts with the surroundings through learning environments that keep nature close. The school’s compact, inner-city site served as the point of departure for the design, which was developed ver

Step Inside a 1920s Seattle Abode Reborn as a Soothing Sanctuary

Sometimes it’s a home’s past, rather than its present, that inspires a family to make it their own. Jaison and Jamie Robinson would be the first to agree. When the real estate entrepreneur and the founder of Electing Women Seattle (a network committed to engaging women in the political process and electing more women Democrats) first set foot inside this 1920s Seattle home, originally designed by architect Elizabeth Ayer—one of the first female graduates of the University of Washington’s archite

This 500-Square-Foot Trailer in Malibu Is a Warm and Woody Cocoon

Jason Osni, the founder of cannabis brand Old Pal, was never supposed to move into another trailer. The plan was to have his partner move into his old one, never for them both to move someplace new. “This is Jason’s third trailer in Paradise Cove, and he really only bought it because someone made an offer on his previous one,” says his partner, Amy Roberts, an editorial lead for a food and wellness company. Mind you, Jason didn’t initially take the offer seriously. “He told the realtor he’d only

This 5,000-square-foot villa in Tamil Nadu is designed like a giant ship

Come rain or shine, you can count on architects Vignesh Sekar and Shamini Vignesh to show up to a job site. Referencing their latest project, a villa in Tamil Nadu shaped like a ship, the co-founders of Madurai-based architecture practice STO.M.P quip, “come rain or rain is more like it.”

“We brainstormed over the summer, and tried executing over the monsoon. But construction and rain don’t go hand in hand. The nearby plots of the villa became swamps and sponges, and because of the stagnant wat

This 800-Square-Foot Basement Turned Into the Ultimate Weekend Hideaway

For many years, architect couple Jenny and Jeff Guggenheim dismissed the lower level of their Portland, Oregon, abode as an ugly (and unnecessary) appendage. “When we bought the home, we knew the basement was a huge asset but it was so far gone that we just shut the door and ignored it,” says Jenny, who makes up one half of Portland-based Guggenheim Architecture and Design Studio (her husband makes up the other). Designed as an apartment sometime in the late 1960s (complete with an indoor charcoal rotisserie!), the basement had lost its sheen over the years and largely stayed “out of sight, out of mind” for the string of homeowners that followed (it was mainly used for storage). That is, until 2020, when a major plumbing issue prompted the Guggenheims to pivot. “We realized it was a great opportunity to reclaim the space for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and turn what was a dark, dank space into an expanded living area for our family,” Jeff reflects of the space built along with the rest of the home sometime in the 1940s.

Wild Wild West (Coast): Bust'n B Ranch in California by Studio Caban and Sydney Ballesteros.

Remember the 1992 Clint Eastwood movie Unforgiven? It was shot on a 480-acre ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just outside the Canadian town of Calgary. But as one particular property in California proves, it doesn’t take hiking all the way up to Canada (or anywhere else) to experience Eastwood’s wild wild west. Bust’n B Ranch, located about ten minutes from Pioneertown, a historic Hollywood western set town in California founded in 1946 by legendary Western actors such as Gene Autr

This Washington, DC, Town House Dials It Back to the ’90s

For one Washington, DC, couple, both in their early 30s, being stuck at home during the pandemic prompted the making of some major life decisions. “Both our jobs went fully remote. At the time we were living in a small two-bedroom and wanted to have enough space for us each to have our own office,” says one husband, who works in employee advocacy. No sooner had the quarantine rules been lifted than they approached AD PRO Directory member and interior designer Zoë Feldman of her eponymous DC-base

Sydney: Poetica by Cox Architecture

Not far from Sydney Harbour, where the air still carries the faintest whiff of the sea, hides another ode to the coast. Poetica by Cox Architecture in North Sydney is a bar and grill that is as much for dining as it is for delighting, with equal references to people, place, past and present.

The interior nods to the legacy of such storied locals as the convict-turned-boatman William ‘Billy’ Blue and late artist Brett Whiteley by way of natural materials, lyrical artworks and theatrical flourish

Inside a West Village Apartment That Maximizes Every Square Inch

For one New York couple, finding the perfect apartment in the West Village was easier said than done. “We couldn’t find anything we liked,” says the wife. As she recalls, everything was either too old (hello dysfunctional layouts) or too new (think white here, there, and everywhere), and there was no finding an in-between. So when they chanced upon their current abode, a two-bedroom brownstone apartment in a time-worn building, they committed to look past its awkward laundry room layout, dated b

Cocooned in Calm: An Apartment in São Paulo by André Braz.

Bringing an old home into the present, for better or worse, means undoing a bit of the past. Or, if you’re architect André Braz, a lot of it. As he tells it, his latest project, a soup-to-nuts renovation of a 1970s, 134-square-metre apartment in São Paulo’s Jardim Paulista neighbourhood, was thanks to a stroke of serendipity. “The client contacted the studio as soon as she bought the apartment, so we were able to conduct layout studies during the purchase negotiations,” he shares, noting that th

Villa Stella at Cedars Mount View by Alexander Symes Architect - Project Feature

Secreted inside an idyllic valley at Mount View, a rural locality in the Hunter Valley wine region, Cedars Mount View is a 38-hectare habitat where wildlife and wilderness thoughtfully make way for mankind. The newly reimagined creek-side retreat, which features four existing villas, has recently been enhanced by a fifth by French hotelier couple Christelle Chardin and Gilbert Ponlot, who acquired the property in 2020. Christened Villa Stella after the Latin word for stars, the serene 100-squar

We Thought We’d Seen It All With Hidden Kitchen Storage, Then We Spotted This Sneaky Backsplash

Denver-based interior designer Kate Bendewald has a thing for hidden storage. So when she came across a photo of a secret spice cabinet somewhere on the Internet, the idea was burned into her memory. “Once I see something, it gets embedded in my cerebral hard drive,” says Bendewald, whose total recall came in handy during the recent redesign of an 1880s bungalow kitchen. Her clients, Tracy Talbot and Meghan King, loved the idea as much as she did. “All we had to do was figure out how to build th

This arts hub in the Rajasthan desert may look AI-generated but it’s very real—and useful

Occupying a built-up area of just 9,000 square feet, the space spirals like a swirling sand dune, a hat-tip to the surrounding desert, offering incremental square footage at each elevation and five times more usable space in all. It includes a 27,000-square-foot open auditorium and inclined rooftop gardens from where panoramas of the desert unfold in every possible direction. “The project exemplifies how thoughtful architecture can create expansive community spaces without a large footprint,” sa

This 1950s Los Angeles Home Is a Sanctuary for All Seasons

More often than not the best things in life happen when you least expect them. Or as one Los Angeles couple puts it: “when you’re out of town with zero cell phone reception.” Their current home, a two-story 1950s abode in the heart of sunny Brentwood, was a lucky find. “We never even visited. One of our parents went and saw the place for us and walked us through it via a spotty FaceTime. Lo and behold, we placed an offer the same day,” says the wife.

[Print] Brass Tacks: Vikram Goyal

Vikram Goyal never meant to pursue design, much less make a career out of it. “In a way, design found me,” says the celebrated New Delhi-based product designer, who has, in the past two decades, emerged as an éminence grise in the Indian design firmament. His oeuvre of brass works has found particular resonance on the world stage, speaking to a global audience while echoing, even amplifying, India's rich artisanal legacy.

They Didn’t Feel Connected to Their Virginia Home. A $165,000 Great Room Changed Everything.

As connoisseurs of fashion and art, one Virginia couple wanted their home to showcase their interests. When they bought their bungalow in Great Falls for $4.2 million in 2021, “it just didn’t feel like us,” says the wife, a professional photographer, 42. She and her husband, a retired engineer in his mid-40s, imagined something modern, with goth contrasts, rich materials and a Spanish Revival slant.

They worked with interior designer Ann Gottlieb, and tapped construction company Luxor Improveme

This Couple’s Colorful, Pattern-Rich San Francisco Home Is Designed to Last Forever

The thing about living in an old property with great (if worn-out) bones is deciding when and how to give it a new lease on life. For one writer-photographer couple in San Francisco, the tipping point was the near death of their kitchen, which, as interior designer Christine Lin puts it, was, “shall we say, nonresponsive.” The Shingle-style house dates to 1906 and the couple, empty nesters with adult children, have lived in one of its three flats for years. “They really love the place and it is

[Print] One Prospect Park West in Brooklyn by Workstead

The precinct of New York’s Grand Army Plaza is considered the bastion of prewar Brooklyn. The history-rich, heritage-stamped neighbourhood is, after all, home to the triumphal Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch and a number of other prewar relics, each with a past more storied than the last. One example is the circa-1925 residential building One Prospect Park West. Originally commissioned by the Knights of Columbus as a clubhouse for society elites, it changed hands several times before assuming its present avatar. Now restored and reimagined by Surface Design Group and Workstead as a 64-residence, 22-storey condominium complex spread across 169,000 square feet, the edifice borrows from the past while staying true to the present.
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Even before they had finalised their house, or decided who would design it, actor Aparshakti Khurana and his wife, events entrepreneur Aakriti Ahuja, had a chandelier picked out and stowed away in storage. "I had spotted it some years ago in Delhi and just knew I had to buy it," laughs Aakriti, and Aparshakti chimes in, "We had no idea what our future house would look like. Nothing was set in stone, except this big, blue bhaisahab." The bhaisahab in question now occupies a corner of their living

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AD Visits: Actors Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan’s newlywed nest is a storybook come to life

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