Anyone who’s ever been to Mumbai will understand that space can be quite a hard find; and in the heart of the bustling city-that-never-sleeps, Anjali Karpe and her family have found a gorgeous space to call their own.
“It was a huge challenge,” says Anjali, “to not only do up a house that was for four opinionated adults of differing tastes… but to do it in 3 months! Luckily, our architect, Dhruti Vaidya, is not only an extremely talented designer, but also a dear friend who knows our tastes individually.”
Each bedroom in this spacious, brightly lit, Prabha Devi apartment has a central feature giving it a unique feel and style.
The master bedroom was designed around a single red painting that was bought years ago, on a trip to Vietnam. The rest of the room is simple and elegant with a few elements to compliment the red in the painting – a cabinet and a shelf in red lacquer and a crimson Turkish carpet.
Another bedroom is centered around a full wall of books that Anjali’s younger son, Neel, insisted on. “I was worried about the dusting and cleaning but Dhruti gave us a staggered bookshelf design that was just too beautiful to resist.”
One bedroom of an originally 4-bedroom flat was sacrificed to create a big dining area, done up with a stylish circular dining table and a stunning shelf-of-sorts, nicknamed “The Wall” by Anjali’s family and friends.
“The Wall” is an amalgamation of family memories, moments and history – old artillery shells presented to Anjali’s father, Lt. Gen. Ramesh Kulkarni, wooden figurines from Zimbabwe, heavy brass pots from their ancestral home and even a couple of idols retrieved from a fire when their village home in Maharashtra was burnt down in the riots after Gandhi was shot.
“Dhruti told me that I needed to make these special things visible. She told me to just put everything that meant something to me in a large box. Once that was done, we sat together and decided where each one would go.”
The same went for the numerous pieces of art that Anjali has meticulously collected over the years – they had to be made visible. To allow for changes and to avoid drilling holes in the wall, gallery style channels were installed. Now the living room walls are adorned with piece of art gifted by friends, bought around the world, found in old boxes, and even a few by famous artists like MF Hussain, Manjit Bawa and Jogen Chaudhry.
When asked if she had any favourite places to shop she said “No. Travel! Take a peek into the history and art of a specific place. Pick up a piece of the old; it’s far more vibrant than anything new. And hold on to family objects from the past, however insignificant. They always tell a story.”
In this flat, every wall, corner and tabletop has a story. It is a home filled with memories, done up with love, and carefully designed to reflect the people living together in it.