A Loft By The Sea - Samit Basu's Home

It’s not immediately obvious, but spaces do have feminine and masculine qualities. Being a woman, I am always fascinated by interior styles that are a reflection of a man’s personality. It's far more defined when it’s a single guy’s space, as their style is unadulterated by the opinion of a second person. Which is why I was instantly hooked when I saw some pictures of the Loft house of Samit Basu, a fantasy fiction author and writer of Simoqin Prophecies, The Manticore’s Secret, and The Unwaba Revelations. His house is masculine, without any of the clichés associated with a man’s space. I knew I wanted to know more about this tastefully done, uber chic place with minimalist décor. 

Samit got the immensely talented designer trio of Married Single Mother – Anu Tandon Vieira, Shalini Dhawan and Jaya Peter - to transform this lovely space, and make a home out of it. An excited conversation with Jaya followed where she talked about the thoughts and execution that went into creating this inviting and stylish house.

This loft house, in Madh Island, Raheja, Mumbai comes with 260 degrees of stunning Arabian Sea views. It resides in utter peace, away from the chaos of Mumbai. The height of the ceiling is 20 feet, giving the overall space an airy feel, and making it the perfect playground for incorporating ample natural light into the interior design. 

The house has two floors and benefits greatly from a great location that allows it to enjoy panoramic views of the sea. The interior makes liberal use of colours inspired by the sea. There are tones of white, green and blue, visible on the sofas, and the long curtains on the windows are reminiscent of the sea as well, with a craftily done ombre. The living room and the kitchen are situated on the ground floor and they are mostly decorated with minimal furniture and accessories. The bedroom on the upper floor benefits from privacy and beautiful views.

The flight of stairs leading into his room has a sliding door which is treated like a page out of a graphic novel. After quizzing him on his favourite characters, the designers created a storyboard with an interesting array of characters. The black, white and grey railing leading to the door make an interesting graphic frame.

Samit’s wardrobe doors are not merely wooden shutters but a framed art work. Keeping his interests in mind, the designers proposed to him the idea of using ancient maps. These “maps” came out of his favourite fantasy fiction/ comics like Asterix ( Map of Gaul), Terry Pratchett’s Discworld map, and The Lord Of The Rings.

Samit loves gaming and is a loyal fan of Pacman. A surprise was in store for him as custom made Pacman lights went up in his home. The rest of the accent lights are custom made cones, and helmet shape lamps in various sizes. Getting readymade lights for Samit's space was nearly impossible, since the sense of scale in his loft house demanded really big lights or a cluster of different lights in varying sizes and shapes. A bit of trial and error was involved in hitting upon the correct cluster of black and grey lights that were conical and helmet shaped, as required by the designers. 

Hanging these lights and fans was yet another challenge, and a production in itself as long rods were needed (like in high ceiling churches) to hang the fans and lights at an appropriate height. 

19 feet tall blue ombre curtains cannot be bought in shops but had to be made to scale so that the point where the white moves into light blue, which further moves into indigo is at the correct place. Shalini custom made a print in which fishes move from one side of the ombre to another in the central panel.

Anu then got to work with some artisans from Rajasthan to achieve those perfect 20 feet long curtains, that add so much personality to the house. While spending time in the flat, the girls noticed that in the afternoon, the sunlight created nice shafts through the staircase on the wall. They decided to follow these lines and make a book shelf along that wall.

The furniture is very much in the Zen zone. The egg shaped dining table with its eclectic mix of chairs, the pull out day bed, the sofas with a hint of an upward curve all come together perfectly. The side tables have a detachable tray which can be carried to any part of the room. This is where they played with some colour and print. 

In the bedroom upstairs, Samit wanted his writing desk to look out into the sea, but the space in his room upstairs was barely enough for a bed. The problem was resolved through a Livinart custom-made space saver computer table that folds up into a décor element when not in use. 

So keeping the space masculine, with splashes of indigo, green, the team created an appealing and fascinating theme of a writer in residence by the sea.

About the Designers 
“Married Single Mother” is a team of 3 women Anu Tandon Vieira, Shalini Dhawan and Jaya Peter

Shalini Dhawan and Jaya Peter started Livin Art: Functional art installations that balance form and function, craft and design. They create home furniture made in organic shapes, fashioned from reclaimed wood which is vividly painted/printed.

Anu Tandon Vieira is the founder of The Retyrement Plan, an initiative that uses discarded tyres, textile waste, twine, bamboo and cane to create furniture. Anu has worked on a wide array of projects ranging from restoration and refurbishing palaces in Udaipur to art direction for feature films to creating textiles for the international market.

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