Forty years ago, Greater Kailash was an unexplored unknown in the backyard of Lutyens Delhi. Today, its residential colonies are considered among the more upmarket ones, with land value escalation reaching unbelievable heights. In this maze of streets where parking is a nightmare and the natural landscape virtually non-existent, there are multi-level apartments on every road built into spaces where only one home existed a few years ago. In this urban jungle, there are still a few homes that have remained unchanged for the past three decades. The Kapoor residence is one such home, tucked between snazzy apartments and breathing the remnants of fresh air in the concrete matrix of South Delhi.
Home to three generations that have now moved on to other homes in Delhi, it is now occupied by Mrs Kapoor and her son. Over the past couple of years, they decided to refurbish their home to bring it more in sync with the contemporary environment. The essential floor-plan remains unchanged while decorative elements were used to change the décor ‘naksha’.
To carry out her plans she turned to an interior designer and gave a basic brief on aspects she wanted emphasis on. The rest was pretty much a blank slate given with an expectation that the work should be completed down to every detail.
Outside, the white building is fairly non-descript as a two-storey structure that is overshadowed by the imposing four-storey modern buildings next to it. But once you enter, you are in for a visual treat that wipes clean any memory of wear or disrepair and brings you into a world of elegance and detail, driven by décor elements that transform a bland space into a vibrant canvas of colour.
A striking example of how much can be achieved in the most basic space without tampering with the structure of a home in any way. The renovation and refurbishment aspects were restricted to interior elements and achieved over a period of two years, one piece at a time, in a manner that would not hamper the day-to-day activities of the inhabitants.
Creating a pocket of peace that would be aesthetically appealing in a contemporary mould was the only brief given by Mrs. Kapoor. “Every corner is filled with memories and while I wanted a change, I also wished that each memory be preserved,” she explains. Every single change was brought in after due consideration to need and design. The living space is well-connected and a open layout coupled with lighting used to define areas where interior modifications were not an option.
While there was no compromise on quality, Mrs. Kapoor made it a point to ensure that changes were within reason. “ My basic focus was on minimising clutter and catering for all kinds of concealed storage so that there was no need for heavy cabinetry and the home retained its inherent openness,” she says.
The dining niche houses the credenza with crockery and the round mirror faces the lawn bringing in light and a sense of the outdoors into the living and dining areas. The bold textured finish in the niche is balanced with neutral colour on the walls in cool mushroom tones.
The lack of natural light in the bedroom was a problem addressed by using dramatic textures on two walls and lots of ambient and accent lighting to add visual interest and open up the space by creating areas of focus.
A heightened sense of drama was brought in using bold colours and coordinated furnishings and art. Wall-to-wall wardrobes are integrated with the wall colour to minimise the impact of overbearing woodwork. High-gloss silver metallic finish is used on some of the cabintery to complement the black in other pieces of furniture. Colour serves as a thread of continuity.
Two adjoining bedrooms were converted into one by breaking the wall in between and removing the door. The bold red crackle wall texture serves as a visual separation between the sleeping area and the bedroom lounge.
The sofa-bed works well for a seating area and accomodates the occasional guest that the Kapoors have. The space opens up extending all the way to the back yard. The zebra print recliner is a great nook for relaxed reading.
The bathroom attached to the third bedroom was turned into a spacious powder room with all the bath and shower fittings removed. The idea was to create spaciousness where square foot area dictated otherwise. Muted palettes are complemented with bold accessories and detailing.
Read the full feature on Prismma Magazine