For Yatin Kavaiya and Jiten Tosar of Usine Studio, luxury lies in the understated. In a recently completed four-bedroom Vadodara residence, Kavaiya and Tosar played with tones of beige, cream, white and taupe—which served to create a clean yet a curiously dynamic sense of openness.
The flat is very small, so we’ve tried to do a minimalistic concept with straight linesKavaiya
“All patterns and floral elements are also geometric.” Ornamentation is minimal—most of the lighting is architectural and recessed, with only the occasional decorative lighting fixture, so as not to crowd the space. The color comes from the artwork—walls, upholstery fabric, and small living room artifacts livened up space—and this allows the clients the liberty to alter the tones of the apartment as they please, without making any permanent structural changes.
The entrance passage is long and narrow, so Kavaiya and Tosar placed a reflective surface on the wall to create a sense of openness. “We created this pattern with wood and mirror so it doubles up space and there’s a bit of a reflection of the living room as well,” Tosar explains. Hand-blown glass pendants suspended from the ceiling reflect the recessed architectural lighting to create an interesting play of color and shadow. A shoe drawer at the base of the entrance extends to a taller side table, meant to serve as a holding place for keys and other accessories. A recessed clock on the wall adds an artistic, yet functional, touch.
Taupe walls and beige Bellissimo Italian marble floors set the tone for a clean, minimalist aesthetic throughout the apartment. Plush Natuzzi sofas upholstered in Italian leather are arranged around a whitewashed matte glass centre table. A thick Segi carpet adds a touch of the client’s Delhi roots.
We didn’t want to have a pattern on the rug since we have a lot of colors on the walls and on the sofa. We wanted just a single, solid color for the rugKavaiya
The designers placed a few artifacts on the center table, and artwork on the walls, to add a pop of color to space. Metal side stands and a fabric floor lamp from the Dubai Marina complete the tableau. On the other side of the living room, patterned metal plates hang over a printed couch—a subtle visual break from the clean whiteness of the main area.
The living and dining rooms are interconnected, separated by a kitchen island that doubles as a bar. The wood base is cased in a cork sheet that creates a delicately textured inlay, while the onyx stone counter-top serves as a link with the taupe and beige floor tiles. The dining table from Lapis Lazuli assumes pride of place, while all kitchen units have been carefully merged with the wall to create an illusion of space. A crystal chandelier adds a touch of glamour to the room—it has three color tones that bounce off the onyx kitchen island counter-top to create a vibrant visual display.
The master bedroom is the only room in the house with wooden floors, with ebony wood veneer arranged in a geometric chevron pattern throughout the space. The wood paneling also extends to the walls and sections of the closet doors. A travertine tile headboard with linear patterning breaks through the white and wood. Similarly, a headboard in the daughter’s bedroom is a geometric construction in painted wood—a splash of color that is still muted in form. “It has different textures—a few are plain, a few have lines, and one or two have motifs carved into them,” Kavaiya offers. True to the aesthetic of the rest of the apartment, the designers bring color into the bedroom spaces primarily through upholstery and artwork.
“The bathroom is very compact,” Tosar explains, “so we wanted to give it a very clean look.” Grey William Italian marble clads the walls and ceiling, with the occasional triangular inlay in black glass. A custom-designed hammer tone metal lamp with geometric light sits against a corner—a decorative element that plays on light and shadow without overwhelming the space.
An extension of the living room, the balcony faces the west and is prone to direct sunlight during the latter half of the day. Sliding shutters allow you to diffuse the sunlight as required, without completely inhibiting the view. The rattan outdoor furniture pieces are all locally sourced, as are the wrought-iron planter shelves and large decorative candle stands. “We didn’t want to have really big plants, but we wanted to add a touch of greenery,” Kavaiya says, “So we have customized these shelves where you can change the pots and plants to get different looks or put some artifacts as well.”