Tucked away in one of Mumbai’s most sought after addresses in the city’s Worli neighbourhood is a residence that encompasses the quintessential aesthetic of interior designer, Ashiesh Shah. Infusing his distinctly elevated aesthetic with a wave of Eastern influences, the interior of this home, situated in a towering apartment complex with sea views, illuminates tranquillity amongst the notoriously cacophonous tempo of the Indian metropolis while infusing corners with unexpected chromatic and aesthetic flair.
Beginning the project in the early days of the pandemic, before global workarounds and special finagling enabled some semblance of business as usual within a day-to-day trajectory, the interior designer was tasked with the distinct challenge of creating a space as distinguished as his other projects leveraging materials, art, and design sourced within the borders of India itself.
India has long been known globally for its expansive catalogue of artistry and skilled craftsmanship, but in many facets, these storied, multi-generational techniques are overlooked for a more celebrated name internationally. Shah, however, embraced the challenge and utilised the opportunity to celebrate the labyrinth of talent available within the subcontinent. Fulfilling the brief through targeted and specific collaborations, Shah was able to complete the entirety of the four-bedroom property (less one Moroccan rug import for the living room) by leveraging domestic talent only.
Receiving a brief best described as carte blanche, the couple gave relatively little direction, desiring a neutral palette, no hard wooden floors and, as art connoisseurs, plenty of space to showcase their collection both now and in the future. Setting out to work, the mastery of the interiors is showcased through the more nuanced elements that create dynamic textural layering and subtle chromatic contrast rather than large, overt statements. Utilising varied materials, patterns, and fabrics, not a corner remains that isn’t obvious in its deliberation and consideration.
The evidence of India’s prolific design history is nestled into every corner. An exquisitely detailed custom wooden bar wraps boldly along a wall of the living room, an oversized semi-spherical lamp hangs above the sitting area directly above a circular coffee table (a shape that Shah is partial to). In the performance-grade kitchen, bright yellow stools rest in contrast to the tonal backdrop of the otherwise monochromatic space, while the bathroom is adorned by marble parquetry flooring. Accentuated by noteworthy art – including a series of paintings by Idris Khan adorning the walls of the dining room and a large piece at the entryway by Rana Begum – the home largely became a tribute to the power of harnessing the unexpected.
Each room, from the restraint of the entryway to the expansive double living room and the muted kitchen, carries a particular binding element. Despite the disparate forms, there’s a confluence of approach, all tethered by Shah’s commitment to ensuring his spaces look like they’ve been built over years and seasoned with heirlooms.
Shah’s approach always emits an inimitable, effortless quality, and this home was no different. Formed by the refinement of his craft, yet tethered to the indigenous works and tailored collaborations, the space lends a lesson in creating native contemporary interiors.