Colonial Yet Contemporary

Hitesh Shahanand And Malay Shah And Rakesh Adivarekar


In the salubrious environs of Panchgani, HS Desiigns have designed a functional bungalow with a contemporary aesthetic, and added touches of whimsy for good measure.

The low-maintenance material palette starts from the gate itself, which is in a cement sheet whose appearance simulates wood but resists wear and tear from constant exposure to the elements. The compound wall is low, permitting view of the surroundings.

The living room has carved wooden sofas with leather and fabric upholstery, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. A slatted wooden bench provides casual seating and doubles as a side board when required.

The dining room is a long narrow space with a double height ceiling with the flooring in an interlocking tile in cobalt and ochre providing the appearance of china mosaic. Light floods in from the floor-to-ceiling windows on one side of the room, which also provide a sweeping view of the garden. Down-lights run the length of the room on both sides of the dining table, while up-lights at the two ends set the upper part of the room aglow after sunset.

The open plan kitchen has a dado created from the same tiles as the flooring. Two tall vertical units flank the tall breakfast table, the mirror behind their Duco painted jaali creating an illusion of transparency.

The guest bedroom has a single wardrobe. The attached bath has a ceiling in interlocking wood plastic composite board. The inverted cone of the pendant light is hand painted, adding a bespoke touch.

The staircase behind the dining room has risers in handmade tiles. The wall at the top of staircase has a giant oval mirror. On the second floor, another living room has a sloping roof, terracotta and printed tiles on the floor and a wooden ceiling.

This home adapts comfortably to the requirements of a hill station in tropical India.