Name: Shonali Mathias
Property: Apartment; owned, 1200 sq. ft. approx.
Location: Bangalore

Shonali Mathias bought her first home, a charming 2-bedroom overlooking Ulsoor lake, and lived in it for a year before deciding that she wanted to make it completely her own. Her primary objectives were to make the best use of the little space she had and to keep the apartment clutter free… forever!

Shonali’s design mantra was simple; white with lots of light. Her longish living room appears large and spacious because of its less traditional, non-obtrusive lay out. Shonali has very minimal furniture and plenty of seating room at the same time. Natural light floods the house and illuminates each corner, giving you access to every spare inch the apartment has to offer. She’s replaced the doors that lead into the common area with sliding panels. This immediately cuts down on space consumption.

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In her bedroom, Shonali’s ceiling to floor cupboards are painted the same colour as the other walls giving it a continuous effect and adding to the illusion of space quite cleverly. The earthy, cottage-style bedroom sets it apart from the rest of the apartment and almost makes you forget you’re in the heart of the city. Repurposed wood panels above the bed make for a beautifully rustic headboard and the elevated nook by the window is the perfect reading spot, especially for Shonali, who can go through four books on one week of vacation.

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One on One

What was your inspiration for this project?
The fact that I finally had a house of my own. I realised after seeing friends completely renovate their homes, what a difference it made to decorate the house in your own way and I wanted to do the same for mine. Style-wise, I wanted a cosy home for myself.

What is your design personality?
At the end of the day it’s minimal. White with lots of light.

Your biggest indulgence?
In terms of actual costs, the bathrooms. I replaced everything inside of them from ceiling to floor.

Your favourite element?
The bedroom. It’s just so comfortable and if I want a little extra sunlight I can just relax on the elevated nook.

What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?
I did the kitchen much before I decided to do the rest of the place and you can tell that it doesn’t quite fit. If I could change anything it would probably be that.

Your biggest learning during this process?
Stuff you might consider junk could become beautiful pieces of furniture with just a little work. You can reuse almost anything.

What is your proudest DIY?
The old window frames that I used to frame art.

What advice do you have for someone about to decorate their home?
If you’re buying a place of your own, do it up completely before you move in. Take your time but do it completely. It makes a world of a difference.

Your favourite sources?
Bangalore: Purple Turtles

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