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

Vaishnavi runs a sunny content studio called Mangomonk where she writes for brands and publications, big and small.

Latest Articles

This Pune home is inspired by the family’s holiday in the Himalayas

Most evenings, the family kicks back in the living room, watching TV, indulging in a friendly game of chess, or swapping stories from the day gone by. “It’s the heart of our home and certainly our favourite realm,” says Yashpaal. But the best part of the day, Khinjan avers, is dinnertime, when the balcony doors are slid open and the breeze takes a seat at the table. “The view is amazing and we wanted the balcony design to be such that it could be used often.” By the same token, the original door

This Gurugram apartment is a family venture that honours the environment

Neha and Jatin Kapoor had always dreamed of buying and designing their own apartment. In the years leading up to it, their brief had more or less remained the same: lots of natural light, good attention to detail, future-fit appliances. "A home that would evolve with our needs; with products that would elevate our quality of life—that's what we imagined," says Neha. But for a multigenerational family of six members, designing a home that matched everybody's needs was no mean feat. So when it cam

Secret Garden House by Kennedy Nolan.

Somewhere in Melbourne, beyond a mystical arched gateway, hides a secret garden that is the stuff of storybooks. Like its famous namesake novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it is big and wild, with birds and butterflies and blooms that come alive at magic hour. Only, unlike the book, this secret garden is beautifully tended, serving as a restful, sequestered sanctuary for its owners, who enlisted Patrick Kennedy and Rachel Nolan and their team at Kennedy Nolan to construct a home at its heart. W

This Houston Kitchen Isn’t Just a Place to Cook—It’s a ‘Calming Oasis’

When clinical psychotherapist Elizabeth McIngvale and her oil-and-gas financier husband, Matthew Mackey, both in their 30s, decided to construct a 6,000-square-foot home in Houston’s historic Houston Heights neighborhood, they knew their priorities. “We wanted the interior to be a tranquil haven far removed from the city,” says Dr. McIngvale. Soon after, the couple enlisted interior designer William W. Stubbs, in his 60s, who had served three generations of Dr. McIngvale’s family, and who had kn

Coimbatore: This architect's home borrows from her childhood memories

Of Sowmya Kumar's childhood memories, the most significant are those of her ancestral house in Kongu, Tamil Nadu. "Then, of course, are those of family holidays in the Nilgiris, and pilgrimages to my family's most revered temples," says the Coimbatore-based architect and founder of OWM Architecture. But for Kumar, the memories are special in more ways than one. "They stayed etched in my mind as architectural curiosities." So naturally, when it came time to buy and design her own home as an adult

Mumbai: This Dadar home tips its hat to the owners' Tamil heritage

When it came to the bedrooms, the Sankarans were keen on making each room as functional as possible. What followed was lots of reorientations: an antechamber was conjured up for guests, two neighbouring bedrooms were combined to create a spacious suite for the mother, and the guest bedroom was turned into a part-time home office. In addition, a multipurpose bedroom with sliding doors was created next to the dining room, "in a way that it could be closed away for privacy, or opened to meld into t

How Gideon Mendelson found his flair for whimsical design

The Brooklyn-based designer has a modernist signature that nods to his beloved late mother, eminent interior designer Mimi Mendelson Growing up in Scarsdale, New York, Gideon Mendelson was his mother’s biggest admirer. “She had impeccable taste. Everything she did was flawless. And while her personal style was traditional, she appreciated all types of design and could execute almost anything,” says the Brooklyn-based interior designer. So when he launched Mendelson Group in 2003, calling his mo

Ensemble Hyderabad is a stylish tribute to the brand's iconic Mumbai flagship

Also read: Glamour reigns at Falguni Shane Peacock's Hyderabad store, designed by Gauri Khan From the street, Ensemble Hyderabad gives little away. The facade is imagined as a grey monolith, with terrazzo poured onto the lower two levels and a punctured concrete screen on the second floor. The grey is nicely counterbalanced by pops of colour here and there: plants on the first floor, pristine marble framing the windows, and a large indigo double door that tips its hat to its sister stores. "The

Masseria Belvedere Holiday Residence in Puglia by Valari.

A centuries-old olive garden, sweeping vistas of the Adriatic coast, a hectare-and-a-half of land that unfolds unto the horizon—Masseria Belvedere looks as much a part of the landscape as the sky and the sea that ensconce it. And not without reason. When architects Nicolò Lewanski and Federica Russo—co-founders at London-based architecture firm Valari—first set sight on the Puglia property, it wasn’t much more than a stone ruin jutting out of a rockface. “It was this strong character that set t

Moss Manor in Moss Vale by Luke Moloney Architects.

Moss Manor has had many lives. Its glorious Victorian bones once housed the town’s council chambers, and now, in its present avatar, it serves as the Southern Highlands’s first art hotel. To say it has set precedents would be putting it lightly, so when Luke Moloney, founder and principal architect of his eponymous architecture firm, came on board to design the hotel, he was but destined to set another. In a bid to turn the hotel into a characterful showcase of Australian art, Luke tied up with

This seafront Mumbai home is a haven of glam, glass and gold

Rare are those homes that offer an equal view both inside and out. Even rarer are those that offer two. When Kunal Barve first stepped into the Mumbai home he was tasked to redesign, the twin views of the Arabian Sea and the Mahalaxmi Race Course were almost too good to be true. “We fell in love with it the second we saw it,” recalls the founder and principal architect of Interface by Kunal and Mihir, whose team also included co-founder Mihir Barve and designer Tanmayi Dhir. “The first thing tha

FUNFUN Gallery, Exhibition Space & Cafe in Hangzhou by lialawlab.

FUNFUN Gallery is exactly what it sounds like—fun, fun, fun, in big capital letters. Situated in an old building that once housed the Hangzhou silk printing and dyeing factory, the cultural and creative park-cum-gallery retains the factory’s 1950s industrial hallmarks—most notably its single-pitched roof, cement trusses and high daylighting windows. “The project is positioned as an integrated exhibition space for art and cultural exhibitions, as well as for multimedia facilities and services. It

AD Visits: Actor Aahana Kumra’s Mumbai apartment is a pretty-in-pink princess pad

In a building full of identical brown doors, Aahana Kumra's entrance is the only non-brown curiosity. "I absolutely love pink. It's my all-time favourite colour—that's why it's right at the front," she laughs, holding open the candyfloss-coloured opuscule as she ushers me inside. For Kumra, the home is a manifestation twenty years in the making, and one that nods equally to her Lucknowi roots and her life in Mumbai. "There are whiffs of Kashmir, London and Delhi too. It's a collection of all my

[Print] Name to Know: Golda Pereira

As a child growing up in Goa, Golda Pereira would summer at her dad’s ancestral home on the island of Divar, along with all her cousins. "We’d spend our days playing in the village, fishing, and walking through the dusty summer fields. At night, we’d sit together on a long dining table for dinner, and then convene in the balcao to exchange stories," she remembers. But the highlight of those annual vacations was a makeshift hut, or homti, that the cousins would build in the backyard, along with some help from their uncles. "Every year, we’d build it at the start of summer, and take it down before the monsoons arrived," she recalls, adding that as the years progressed, the homtis became more complex, and the cousins would try to outdo themselves every summer. "There was a feeling of excitement of having built it with our own bare hands. Today, my outlook on design comes from these experiences, besides the more obvious influences: Goa's heritage homes, our beautiful village lanes, rivers, and the environment where they coexist."

[Print] A Sunlit Sanctuary in Mumbai by Quirk Studio

When a 30-something couple approached Shivani Ajmera and Disha Bhavsar to design their home, they knew exactly what they wanted: something modern, something mid-century—with lots of sunlight and storage to boot. "The couple enjoys hosting and entertaining, and with a little toddler, they wanted a space tailored equally for family and friends," say Shivani and Disha, whom the couple found through mutual acquaintances.

[Print] Unwind: Den by the River in Goa

In the sleepy Goan village of Alorna, hides a villa where time takes a breather. "It was designed to be a little oasis that melds into the local landscape; a place where its Mumbai-based owners could escape when they needed a break from the Maximum City," says Kumpal Vaid, founder and principal designer of Purple Backyard, who, along with a team that included Rutu Mehta, Kunal Pawar and Anjali Jadhav, was brought on board by the homeowners to conjure up a colourful holiday villa.

[Print] Getting Candid With Sarah Sham

Born into a fourth-generation business family that specialises in collectibles and objets d'art, Sarah Sham had always been surrounded by beautiful things. So when she graduated with an art history degree from Duke, and spent a year away at Oxford studying 19th-century French art, many might have anticipated that she would pursue a career in design. “Hardly,” she guffaws. “I always thought of doing something in economics, finance or psychology. Interior design was the furthest thing from my mind.” But life had other plans for Sarah. Today, she is the founder and principal designer of Essajees Atelier, a Mumbai-based interior design firm that has completed more than 50 projects across the country.

A 75-Year-Old Japanese House Was Transformed Into a Zen Weekend Hideaway

When Giselle Go and Philippe Terrien—cofounders of Japanese clean beauty brand DamDam—began searching for a quiet pied-à-terre on the fringes of Tokyo, they had a checklist at the ready: access to the city where they primarily reside, great privacy, and a mountainside build. So, when their list remained largely unchecked even after several potential matches, they knew they had to reconsider their options. “We were introduced to this house by our friend and now neighbor Naoko Kawamura (who overs

In this minimalist pan-Asian Surat restaurant, the ceiling steals the show

Surat’s upscale Pal neighbourhood is one of those areas where the river and the farmlands and the malls and villas and bazaars take equal pride of place. So when the design brief for Soy, a pan-Asian restaurant, found its way to Chinmay Laiwala, Jigar Asarawala and Tarika Asarawala—co-founders and principal architects of AD100 firm Neogenesis+Studio261—there was much to be considered. “The interior design was rooted in creating holistic energies that would hold a mirror to the cuisine. It had to
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AD Visits

AD Visits: Actor Aahana Kumra’s Mumbai apartment is a pretty-in-pink princess pad

In a building full of identical brown doors, Aahana Kumra's entrance is the only non-brown curiosity. "I absolutely love pink. It's my all-time favourite colour—that's why it's right at the front," she laughs, holding open the candyfloss-coloured opuscule as she ushers me inside. For Kumra, the home is a manifestation twenty years in the making, and one that nods equally to her Lucknowi roots and her life in Mumbai. "There are whiffs of Kashmir, London and Delhi too. It's a collection of all my

AD Visits: Actor Aparshakti Khurana’s Mumbai home displays drama in the details

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

AD Visits: Singer Armaan Malik’s Mumbai home is halfway between London and Los Angeles

At 10 AM on a Sunday, the last thing you'd expect is for Armaan Malik to be crisping the edges of a frittata. And yet, that's exactly the sight that greets me as I step into his kitchen, a California-cool bolthole with a London-esque edge. "I love making breakfast and treating myself to a good spread," he says, drizzling butter on bruschettas. Dressed in a casual button-up and chinos, he looks like a laid-back version of his on-screen alter ego, who, as fans of The Voice (on which Armaan appears

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

At the door of actors (and newlyweds) Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan Seal's new Mumbai duplex, the nameplate is conspicuous by its absence. What is not is the cheery (LED) baby seal that takes its place, animating the wall and nodding to its namesake owners. “It's fun to watch people guess," says Anushka. "Those who get it, get it. And it makes for a great conversation-starter." But the unlikely sea creature isn’t the only thing setting the entryway apart—because if the peach-toned front door (a

Interior Spotlight

Step inside Tahir Sultan's bold and brooding Jaipur apartment

Tahir is a maverick entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses including Makaan, a concept store in Jaipur for artefacts and objets d’art. He is also known in the right circles for his pan-India gourmet catering business, specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine, which was born out of the much-loved dinners he would routinely host for India Art Fair’s collector circle at his apartment in Delhi. His community of friends in India is an eclectic mix of movers and shakers, who, he says, do a great job

This Parisian-chic apartment in Bangalore is the ultimate his-and-hers loft

The home is a modish time capsule of mid-century modern chairs, Victorian moulding and foliated surfaces that whisper of faraway lands. There are textures everywhere you look: pinstriped fluting defines the living room, fluted wainscoting skirts the dining area, and cement tiles and geometric mosaics enliven the walls all around. And yet, on closer look, it’s evident that the drama is in the details—sheeny metallic upholstery, two-toned cornices, marble countertops, and a pair of gooseneck wall

Mumbai: A Desert-Inspired Home in the Mangroves

Situated amid Mumbai’s historic mangroves this apartment both reflects and resists its surroundings. The interior holds a mirror to the desert, with earthy shades, jute and linen textiles and oak and teak grains dominating the palette. ‘The home nods to the shifting nature of sand, suggesting a space that can evolve along with its inhabitants,’ says Nishita Kamdar, founder and principal architect of her eponymous studio, whose team was tasked with designing a minimalist home for a mother and dau

This 768-Square-Foot Austin Bungalow Got a Cool and Classic Refresh

Charlie Rice is the sort of person you’d want for a neighbor. Not only because his bungalow is always brimming with joyful gatherings, freshly cut flowers, and the occasional swing band on the front porch, but also because—if you’re lucky—you might even clinch an invite to one of his famous five-course dinner parties. “A true-blue Renaissance man, he is a consummate host, entertainer, and bon vivant with impeccable personal style... Having a place to celebrate community and host dear friends was

Mumbai: A Celestial Apartment in the City

In Mumbai's upscale Hiranandani neighbourhood, this apartment is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. 'The client wanted a modern, minimalist aesthetic rooted in high function and low maintenance,' say Raj and Roshan Tatia, co-founders and principal designers of White Luxury Studio, who were brought on board by the homeowners to help give the property a facelift. With moon-inspired forms and artworks and pearlescent finishes, the home is characterised by cosmic references. 'The

Casa Cody, a 1900s Hotel in Palm Springs by Casetta Group and Electric Bowery.

Casa Cody has quite a history. Not only has it hosted legends like Charlie Chaplin, American opera singer Lawrence Tibbett and French-born novelist Anaïs Nin, but, as the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, its spirit has remained stupendously intact. Established by Harriet and Harold Bryant Cody (the former, a cousin of the famous William “Buffalo Bill” Cody) in the early 1900s, it became quite the hotspot amongst members of the arts community in its early years. Cut to today, and the hote

AD Visits: Singer Armaan Malik’s Mumbai home is halfway between London and Los Angeles

At 10 AM on a Sunday, the last thing you'd expect is for Armaan Malik to be crisping the edges of a frittata. And yet, that's exactly the sight that greets me as I step into his kitchen, a California-cool bolthole with a London-esque edge. "I love making breakfast and treating myself to a good spread," he says, drizzling butter on bruschettas. Dressed in a casual button-up and chinos, he looks like a laid-back version of his on-screen alter ego, who, as fans of The Voice (on which Armaan appears

Dream Weaver: A Spanish-style Casita in Darlinghurst by YSG Studio.

Perhaps it was the pandemic-induced isolation, or their newly minted status as empty nesters, but when one Sydney couple acquired a penthouse overlooking Rushcutters Bay, they were mainly enthusiastic about one thing—dialling up the pizzazz and making up for lost time. And dial it up they did, thanks to Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem of YSG Studio, whom they tapped to give the home a Spanish tapas bar-inspired spin. With larger-than-life landings, glass walls, deep pile bespoke rugs and hypnotic stone s

Taiwan: A Sanctuary-like Villa Near the Highway

Situated just off the thoroughfare in Tainan City, this home — named Eden Oasis — is well connected to arterial roads yet cocooned in luxurious nature. ‘The home is held in by a U-shaped glass enclosure, making nature a neighbour and offering the illusion of living in a forest as opposed to just off an urban highway,’ says Keng-Fu Lo, founder and managing director of Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute, who was enlisted by the homeowner, a young professional, to give the villa a san

Actor Sakshi Malik's Mumbai home is full of picture-postcard backdrops

With a smorgasbord of picture-postcard backdrops and multipurpose zones, Sakshi Malik's Mumbai home in Worli looks like an Instagram handle come to life. "That's the way we designed it," says Nikita Dhoble, founder and principal designer of her eponymous design firm, who, along with Meghna Kakar of Behold Design, was tapped by Malik for a comprehensive redesign. "For social media content creators, good backgrounds are par for the course. So we created distinct zones where she could film various

Content creator Kusha Kapila’s apartment in Gurugram is full of secret contraptions

Effusive and spunky, and famed for her disarmingly satirical Instagram reels, it's hard to imagine that Kusha Kapila could be scared of anything. "It's the dark," she declares. "That’s what terrifies me.” In the swell of morning light that fills her bedroom, I almost miss the sensor-triggered spotlights that flick on as she hops off the bed. “Those keep me excellent company when I decide I need a trip to the bathroom in the dead of the night.” Much like the lights, the rest of the house seems cu

Rooftop Glass Apartment in Berlin by Gisbert Pöppler.

If you were to fly over the heart of Berlin, more specifically over the borough of Mitte, you’d spy a 1930s apartment entirely enveloped by glass. From the sky, “you’d see a large glass cube with three rooms distributed like little boxes,” says interior designer Gisbert Pöppler, who was luckily on earth when he took up the task of renovating the property. For Gisbert, the project was a top-to-bottom job. “Only the glass shell remained,” he recalls. “Even the floor plan was completely revised.”

10AM Lofts: A Multi-faceted Creative Destination in Downtown Athens.

Five years ago, Eva Papadaki chanced upon a rarity—four apartments, one on top of the other, in a 1970s former industrial warehouse—all available for sale. Immediately, the Athens-based designer spotted an opportunity: To turn the apartments into creative boltholes, to be used as photography studios, film locations, event spaces or creative offices—either as individual units, or together as a whole. Recognising that it would take a village, Eva swiftly roped in two other design talents—Andrew T

Actor Alia Bhatt’s Mumbai Pad Is an Eclectic & Whimsical Wonderland

The aesthetic is muted, the decor minimalist, and within its restful confines, the homeowners far removed from the fanfare and footlights of showbiz. Inspired by the classic New York loft, this pad owned and shared by actor Alia Bhatt and her sister Shaheen is steeped in neutral hues and imbued with a charming old-world air. “Given that Alia travels a lot, hotels are a mainstay of her lifestyle. Thus, I envisaged a cosy home that would bring her back to her roots, yet be high on style and luxury. The house is designed for entertaining and spending time with family and friends,” says Richa Bahl, founder and chief interior designer of her eponymous design firm Richa Bahl Design Studio.

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

At the door of actors (and newlyweds) Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan Seal's new Mumbai duplex, the nameplate is conspicuous by its absence. What is not is the cheery (LED) baby seal that takes its place, animating the wall and nodding to its namesake owners. “It's fun to watch people guess," says Anushka. "Those who get it, get it. And it makes for a great conversation-starter." But the unlikely sea creature isn’t the only thing setting the entryway apart—because if the peach-toned front door (a

Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel by Kelly Wearstler.

The corner of LA’s 11th and Broadway is a glittering pastiche of fashion boutiques, sports complexes and Deco architecture. So the fact that the Downtown LA Proper Hotel still manages to take pride of place here, is a bit of a minor miracle. Or not. After all, with design maven Kelly Wearstler at the helm, the 148-room destination hotel’s pizzazz hardly comes as a surprise. Still, the American designer has done justice to the building’s colourful legacy—from its state-of-the-art private club in

Barefoot Luxury Jackpot: Kisawa Sanctuary Mozambique by NJF Design.

Benguerra Island in Mozambique harbours many rare gems: Virgin shorelines, freshwater lakes, savannah and forest, tropical flora and fauna, and spectacular dive sites, to name a few. So when you find them all in one place, as in the case of the Kisawa Sanctuary, you know you’ve hit scenic jackpot. The 300-hectare beachfront resort, designed and owned by Nina Flohr of NJF Designs, is scalloped into the island’s coastal forest, with 22 bungalows spread across 12 cove-side and oceanside residences

Arctic Monkeys Drummer Matt Helders’ Home in LA by Corinne Mathern.

When Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders purchased this 1950s house in Los Angeles, it was nothing like the home he had dreamed up in his head. The mid-century architectural hallmarks were charming. The natural light, not so much. And so, to help achieve his vision—and some extra sunlight—Matt roped in Los Angeles-based interior designer Corinne Mathern (who subcontracted the project to Landmark Building), known for her balanced, collected aesthetic. For a property that would swing between stud

This Multi-Pavilion Celebrity Home Fits Together Like a Jigsaw

Gently enveloped between the Sahyadri mountain range and undulating open land, lies this earth-rooted family abode. “The structure is reminiscent of the forts on the horizon, and revels in its ability to become one with the land,” says Puran Kumar, founder and principal architect of Studio PKA. “It was designed as a weekend retreat for a well-known film industry personality and his family, to serve as a reprieve from their bustling city life. In this vein, we ventured out in search of a tract of land that would not only capture the essence of the place but also inspire, delight and satiate their creative endeavours.”
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Architecture Spotlight

Casa Cody, a 1900s Hotel in Palm Springs by Casetta Group and Electric Bowery.

Casa Cody has quite a history. Not only has it hosted legends like Charlie Chaplin, American opera singer Lawrence Tibbett and French-born novelist Anaïs Nin, but, as the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, its spirit has remained stupendously intact. Established by Harriet and Harold Bryant Cody (the former, a cousin of the famous William “Buffalo Bill” Cody) in the early 1900s, it became quite the hotspot amongst members of the arts community in its early years. Cut to today, and the hote

Taiwan: A Sanctuary-like Villa Near the Highway

Situated just off the thoroughfare in Tainan City, this home — named Eden Oasis — is well connected to arterial roads yet cocooned in luxurious nature. ‘The home is held in by a U-shaped glass enclosure, making nature a neighbour and offering the illusion of living in a forest as opposed to just off an urban highway,’ says Keng-Fu Lo, founder and managing director of Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute, who was enlisted by the homeowner, a young professional, to give the villa a san

The home of the future may be hands-free. Here's how

We explore developments in the smart home industry that will fundamentally shape a new era of residential design. If you've experienced the joy of a bag of Cheetos®, it's likely you're familiar with the telltale orange dust it leaves behind on your fingers, rendering you temporarily handless until you take a trip to the sink. But what if the dust never left? What would it take to live a productive life hands-free? The answer, evidently, lies in a marketing experiment by parent company PepsiCo i

Goa: This heritage bed-and-breakfast enlivens a century-old family legacy

Like most old Goan homes, Casa Gracia has architectural features that nod to its colonial heritage. Its 2-feet-thick walls, built in laterite stone and mud and finished in lime plaster, are an unmistakable emblem of pre-independence Goa; as are the pitched roof profile and colonial-style red oxide flooring. So naturally for Santimano, retaining them was non-negotiable. "Lime plaster is a material that allows the home's mud-stone walls to breathe. And its imperfect finish only adds to the wabi-sa

Architectural Rebirth: Castle-Turned-Convent in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects.

The Convent Saint-François, located on the French island of Corsica, looks like a modern-day, Mediterranean version of The Sound of Music—with everything besides Maria and the von Trapp pack in attendance. Old it might be, but there’s absolutely nothing old-fashioned about this 1,000-square-metre castle-turned-convent that dates back to 1480. So much so, that a copper honeycomb veil sits over the structure like a second skin, channelling a fantastically outré flair. “It had lain partially ruine

In Hyderabad, an eco-friendly weekend home that defies conventional rules of architecture

In the backwoods of Hyderabad, on a downland of rolling grass, rests an A-frame farmhouse that appears to have risen from the depths of the earth. And yet, it's far from down-to-earth. Its contemporary arrowhead roof and triangular proportions could easily have you mistaking it for a tee-pee-style cabin in the Californian outback. “The most striking feature of this house is the roof,” says Simeen Quraishi, one-half of Hyderabad-based design studio Moriq, adding, "It is composed of two triangular

India Houzz Tour: A Home of Endless Windows and an Earthy Palette

With a decidedly earthy palette, plentiful greenery and free-flowing spaces, this home in Bangalore, India, designed by Greyscale Design Studio, embraces modern design while paying homage to its natural surroundings. “The couple wanted their home to be inclusive, with each space capable of being a gathering point. They were keen for the home to be open to greenery and that each material [should] have a unique significance,” says Ninu Ahluwalia, one of the principal architects who worked on this project.

In This Kerala Bungalow, Almost Everything Is Upcycled

In the heart of Trivandrum, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala, there is a small site that breathes fresh air. “It was being suffocated by other residential projects from all four sides,” says Vinu Daniel, whose firm, Wallmakers, inverted the home’s layout to funnel the interior flow into a central courtyard. Airy and luminous it may be, but those aren’t the only hallmarks that separate this curious home from its cookie-cutter surroundings. Its Rat Trap bond masonry and upcycled

Take a trip to the moon in this serene, celestial bungalow in Goa

A central double courtyard with a crescent-shaped pool acts as an arterial gateway to the various sections of the home, and presents a dramatic interplay of sunlight and shadows. “The house is divided in half by the pool; with the living room, kitchen and guest spaces on one side, and the bedrooms on the other,” says Kulkarni. Semi-open, louvred walkways fill the courtyard, subtly parlaying into the common and private spaces. “The layout of the home is inward-looking, since it was built on a tig

Design Spotlight

To Make This Bronze Sculpture, Huang Yulong Completely Lost Himself

Huang Yulong’s “Be My Side” series (2015–20) puts a whole new spin on the term benchwarmer. Each sculpture, available in a limited edition of eight, features a faceless bronze figure seated in a distinctive pose on an aluminum park-style bench. “I took half a year to ‘shape’ the concept,” puns the well-known Chinese sculptor, who uses a blend of bronze and crystals to conjure his anonymous marvels, speaking on a video call. “I was sitting alone on a bench one day, struggling with the idea of ​​

Maison Intègre's Debut Collection of Bronze Works Revives the Lost Wax Technique of West Africa.

Gleaming bronze finishes, gentle curves and a bygone quality that whispers of ancient traditions—Maison Intègre‘s maiden collection could easily belong in a museum. The Burkina Faso-based company’s limited-edition bronze work line—designed by founder Ambre Jarno in collaboration with French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, and handcrafted by West African master artisans—revives the country’s lost wax bronze technique. And now, for the first time, design lovers have a chance to get up close and

Ergonomic and Eco-Conscious – Sofas by Monde

Starting as a feel-good project during lockdown, Tilly Barber’s bespoke furniture brand Monde is rewriting the rulebook for modular furniture with a sustainable edge. Made locally in Melbourne with recyclable materials, each sofa is tailored to the needs of each customer. For Tilly, the lockdowns heralded a new chapter in more ways than one. Not only did it present a wellspring of new ideas, but it also freewheeled her – rather serendipitously – into a new career in product design. Her furnitur

These Soft Sculptures Are Childhood Imaginary Friends Come to Life

With her “Transitional Objects” series of soft sculptures, Gabriela Noelle has reconceived childhood imaginary friends as zany, swish avatars. She took their name from English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott’s term for the comfort objects held dear by young children. But unlike the companions he was describing, quickly outgrown by their juvenile inventors, Noelle’s creations have no expiration date. “They exist in an alternate dimension where they can only be seen and felt when liberated from th

Sanjyt Syngh, New Delhi's immersive interior designer

The New Delhi-based designer takes cues from darkness to create playful and immersive meta-luxury spaces As I sit across from him in his New Delhi studio, it’s hard to differentiate between Sanjyt Syngh the person and Sanjyt Syngh the designer. “It’s not a job for me. It’s a way of life. Even when I’m in bed, I have a sketchbook and my laptop at arm’s length. I am constantly designing. The best ideas come to me at 3am when I am curled up in bed and it’s all dark,” says the New-Delhi based desig

A designer creates the most close-to-reality dollhouse for her alter ego

The dollhouse was fashioned out of MDF; with individual pieces precisely laser-cut to size, primed, painted and assembled. The walls and floors were hand-painted to channel exposed cement and Jaisalmer flooring, and the wooden herringbone floors and bathroom tiles were printed and hand-embossed to mimic real tile patterns. In designing the furniture, Nambiar adopted a scaled-down, real-life approach. "All the couches and chairs were made like real furniture; they had wooden inner frames which we

This London-based studio’s product range is made out of marble waste

Mia Castenskjold, Klaus Weiskopf and Stefan Zschernitz never intended to start a marble product company. Yet, what started off as a passion project—a dining table made from salvaged marble offcuts—parlayed into an opportunity to discover and create more. “The table got some attention, and we received a considerable number of requests. In that vein, we decided to team up and start the company as a side project. Our main objective was to experiment and build well-crafted, unique objects, and most

London: This designer built a children’s dreamland by using Lego Dots

Walala's stylistic references are emblems of bold architecture, unbridled colour and flamboyant expressions. South Indian architecture, in particular, has deeply influenced her design ethos. “Some postmodern houses in South India are not designed by architects; the people there just like strong shapes and colourful facades. This type of architecture was one of the inspirations for the Memphis movement, which, in turn, has been the strongest reference point for HOUSE OF DOTS,” says Walala. Works

Eyes-Wide-Open: A Seoul-based designer creates furniture that is invisible

Seoul-based designer Hyukjoon Choi's invisible furniture range is an architectural feat that could comfortably masquerade as a magic trick. The series features shelving and storage units that seek to elude the mind's eye, coalescing into the background and providing its contents with a curious illusion of levitation. Choi's designs hold a mirror to the question, ‘what if furniture was invisible?' Characterised by indiscernible outlines and gossamer shapes, Choi's creations have a diaphanous qua

These products are rewriting the rulebook for ones with special needs

Envision a folding, wall-mounted contraption that masquerades as an on-demand shower seat to fill in for your wheelchair. Or a cup—bolstered by a base, coaster and lid—to guide your shaky arthritic hand from table to tongue. In a world geared towards conventional ability and accessibility, a clutch of emerging, innovative designers are catalysing a gentle revolution in inclusive design, introducing adaptive furniture, product and interior design concepts for the ones with special needs. Here are

Art Spotlight

Inside the Fantastical World of Izumi Kato

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity,” Alberto Giacometti once said. There is something about Japanese artist Izumi Kato's oeuvre that perfectly exemplifies Giacometti's quote, leading the observer into a neverland full of humanoid creatures with alien features, who, even, and especially, with their distorted guises, exude a fantastical spirit that is equal parts terrestrial and celestial. The artist’s largest-ever single canvas at auctio

French Ceramicist Grégoire Scalabre’s Latest Masterpiece Is Inspired by a Greek Goddess.

Gregoire making the miniature porcelain pieces for his sculptures. Photo by Fabien Jallot. Glazed and ready to be added to the larger sculptural form. Photo by Charles De Borggraef. The Final Metamorphosis Of Thetis by Gregoire Scalabre, presented at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. Photo by Charles De Borggraef. Made up of over 70,ooo of miniature porcelain pieces turned individually by hand, L’Ultime Métamorphose de Thétis (The Final Metamorphosis Of Thetis) by Gregoire Scalabre is a labour-in

Modern Muses, Enduring Icons of Beauty

In advance of Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction (27 April, Hong Kong), we take a look at a selection of paintings by modern art masters that celebrate the muses who have been the source of their artistic inspiration. Through these works, we sense the resonance and emotional response from the artists’ relationships to their subjects, expressed in a powerful statement of enduring beauty. The women of Pablo Picasso’s life were the fulcrum of his genius, essential to his creative and intellectual pr

Emerging Artists Who Will Shape the Contemporary Art World

Noted for her kaleidoscopic abstractions of floating moons, knobbly trees and effulgent sunlight, Shara Hughes's brushstrokes freewheel across the canvas in a smorgasbord of colour. The New York-based artist, who earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011, has a bold signature that riffs on dramatic tones and dreamlike manifestations. Hughes's oeuvre nods in equal spirit to the deeply saturated palettes of the e

Hôtel des Académies et des Arts in Paris by Lizée-Hugot

In the time capsule that is Montparnasse, art can be seen everywhere. On buildings. Inside them. On walls and ceilings and doors and windows. As frescoes and as freestanding displays. And in the case of The Hôtel des Académies et des Arts, in its past, present and future (you see, the building has served as a hotel for well over a century). The Parisian hotel’s cool new avatar is courtesy of architects Stéphanie Lizée of Lizée-Hugot, an architecture firm she co-founded with Raphael Hugot. Stéph

Delhi: An all-women show makes a splash at Vadehra Art Gallery

An ode to female artistry, with interdisciplinary conversations around the nature of self-building, will soon assume a novel avatar, in the way of an all-women group show christened (ME)(MORY). The exhibition, curated by Dipti Anand, is available for viewing at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, and features an eclectic collection of artworks by nine leading artists with a subcontinental presence. These include Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Anoli Perera, Bakula Nayak, Apnavi Makanji, Rakhi Peswani, Him

COVID-19 Relief: Artists create artwork plates for homeless New Yorkers

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the Coalition for the Homeless to eschew their annual traditional gala and auction in favour of new, innovative ways of fundraising. On 16th November, they launched a first-of-its-kind collaboration with 50 distinguished artists to create limited-edition plates; the proceeds from the sale will help homeless New Yorkers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative titled ‘The Artist Plate Project' mirrors the non-profit's time-honoured legacy of c

London: Get your hands on a Picasso original at Sotheby’s

Most art lovers covet a Picasso original, but bona fide artworks by the grand master are few. Soon, art collectors can look forward to a spectacular selection of Pablo Picasso's works from the private collection of his granddaughter, Marina Picasso. The auction, titled ‘Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale', was unveiled at Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Department, London, on January 5, 2020. Pieces will be available for public viewing from January 29, 2020. Pablo Picasso is one

Mumbai: Jamaat’s exhibition unfolds a sacred geometric language

Witness a sacred language of form and sound unfold on canvas. An art extravaganza christened ‘Yantra and Mantra' will be unveiled by Jamaat today, in commemoration of their 21st anniversary. The show is slated to run until 28th February 2020. The exhibition is an introspection into geometric shapes and proportions and their architectural symbolism in sacred worship and spiritual practices across civilisations. “There exists a belief that God created the universe according to a geometric plan. T

Make a date with Frida Kahlo in the Windy City of Chicago this summer

If you're an art aficionado, the summer of 2020 promises to be a season to remember. Frida Kahlo 2020, a one-of-a-kind, multifaceted exhibition hosting one of the largest private collections of original artworks by Frida Kahlo, is opening in Chicago between March and August 2020. Go on and satiate your soul with an art-filled summer. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist whose stylistic ethos seeded a powerful visual metamorphosis in 20th century art and culture. Kahlo was noted for her self-portrai