With a lot of color in the mix, this couple created a century apartment in Mumbai. A design entrepreneur and filmmaker created an immersive space that keeps dreams alive, even in times of challenge.
Twenty-seven years ago, Srila Chatterjee and Mahesh Mathai, visited a century apartment in a 1904 Indian colonial-style building in a historic area of Mumbai. When they saw the apartment, they knew from the first minute that it was exactly where they were supposed to be.
In the living room, in this century apartment, the sectional is by Baro and the chairs and ottoman are customs. The vintage Art Deco pendant is from the Mumbai flea market, and the rugs are Moroccan. The tiger sculpture is from Kerala. The room features artworks by Anjum Singh, Adeela Suleman, F.N. Souza, Sushil Soni, and Rekha Rodwittiya.
The space, in a building that was once called a Castle because of its tower, had been sloppy in four distinct apartments.
However Mathai, a filmmaker, and Chatterjee, a film producer who became an interior designer and owner of the lifestyle website Baro Market, were not intimidated.
The bed by Red Blue & Yellow is dressed with Anokhi linens. In addition, the chair is covered in traditional phulkari textile, and the teak trunk is vintage. The Art Deco chandelier is from the Thieves Market, the kilim is Afghan. Also, the artworks include pieces by Krishen Khanna, F.N. Souza, and Somnath Hore.
Mathai and Chatterjee got to work and knocked down walls, which opened up the space, and fixed floors that had been damaged. Ten years later, they added an outdoor terrace.
On the terrace, which boasts sweeping views of Mumbai, the table was made from a vintage wood panel engraved with Arabic calligraphy. The metal chairs are from Jodhpur. Moreover, a vintage Pichwai textile hangs behind the table, and the mounted vintage mask (left) is from Kerala.
Most importantly, the luxurious decor of the house has grown spontaneously in a similar way.
Firstly, they incorporated pieces of decoration from up close, such as Jaipur tiles and antiques from the Mumbai Thieves’ Market. Secondly, the decor did not end there and they also included a rug from Morocco and a pendant lamp from Turkey.
The bull skull on the wall is from Bali, the jars on the windowsill are from street bazaars. Further, the bull sculpture is from the Thieves Market.
The stair hall features their “wall of fame,” hung with photographs of friends and family; the walls are painted in Red Red by Asian Paints.
Chatterjee, born in Calcutta, admits “my home reflects my upbringing — of being true to myself and what I believe”.
Another view of the living room. The star-shaped bone-inlay tables are from Pune.
Therefore, this unwavering authenticity made their home even more comfortable and relaxed during a period when India was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mural was hand-painted by Prashant Miranda, and the embroidered artworks are by Kruti Thaker.
The dining table, created by the owners, features a glass top over two pieces of carved sandstone. The Baro chairs are upholstered in custom Meera Dabir fabrics, the vintage chandelier is from the Thieves Market. In addition, the artworks are by Jogen Chowdhury and K. Muralidharan, among others.
Above all, Srila Chatterjee says this is the time to redefine and think about how to make our lives more local.
Moreover, the designer Srilade argues that design needs to answer honest questions about how a person really feels about something, rather than just following it because it’s the done thing.
The sink was made from an Indian brass wok, the hand-painted corner cabinet is from Jodhpur. Therefore, the custom wall tiles are from Jaipur, and the walls are painted in Oriental Blue by Asian Paints.
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