By Tejal Mathur

‘नीव‘ & The Monsoon Terrace…..Mumbai

When I met the young couple that were moving into their own home, it felt like they wanted to create their own identity and wanted a handcrafted dream in teak woods, cement walls and carefully picked pieces with a back tale of Indian kaarigari

The space is roughly 3500 sq ft across two levels with a large enough open terrace in a perfect spot close to the beach and sound of waves. “the bestiality of the monsoons would bring the place to a seductive lushness” was the first thought that flashed through my mind

We had to rejig a structure that was not well divided and give enough thought to the vantage views which went to the bedrooms.

My first instinct was to open up the narrow foyer into soft archways that peeped in just about right. A vintage mailbox in the vestibule greets you with hand painted ‘नीव’ or Neev that means deeply rooted and this was a reference to the bed rock of family core values. to lead you into an inner foyer of vintage collectibles.

Flanking it is the living room with accordion style charcoal screens that shield the kitchen. Thin copper toned doors allow the archways to shut off before entering the bedroom areas, both with a view of the Arabian sea.

Being Vastu sensitive, the living room spiritual corner was delicately designed by Kalaakari Haath and a hidden door leads you to a walkway with a guest room and the powder room beyond.

It was important to give attention to detail as one ascended the stairs to the terrace zone with a large entertainment area indoors for poker rats and game buffs. Vintage framed mirrors and dropped lamps dotted the narrow path.

You are greeted by a row of garden hares as if to lead the way to an open burst of sunshine swathing limestone walls with dense foliage to give the sun its due

Stone walls enshrine every wall indoors, save the ‘Purnakumbh’ textile motifs on light weight concrete and large span of doors lead to the outdoors.

It was imperative to protect the indoors from the monsoon fury and to heighten the tropical vibe,large champas surround a Kerala styled sit out seen through tall teak doors that create a now you see now you don’t

Most pieces and find were crafted in India which makes the endeavour special. Using a Chanderi sari as a shower curtain or small brass lettering of vintage apothecaries, to creating an assemblage of cast metalwork from the family’s factory in a playful depiction of a locomotive holding place above the master study, there was enough time spared to layer every corner with a soul and conversation.

It was necessary to impart the space with slow relaxed imperfect luxury to let the lazy afternoon breeze waft through the coconut palms dancing outside the windows.

Doing what I do, I derived my mojo from working on the 3 year olds room. Children are probably the most authentic users of a space and working on zones in a linear room to allow her to grow through the several activities she could do just here. The room allows for the mess of clay dough, to a swing in the corner above handmade cement tiles with fish that seem to swim towards the waves.