Krsnaa Mehta’s design philosophy epitomises bold experimentation helped along by an in-your-face use of strong colours and graphic patterns. Mehta, who evolved from an interior designer to a product designer, lives in a home that’s a study in vibrancy with his personal brand of design aesthetics making a bold statement. His vividly appointed apartment in the leafy bylanes of Mumbai’s tony Breach Candy area is all about desi-cool.
Quintessentially Indian, Mehta’s home is chic and high on rich materials like wood, velvet and silk. He has liberally used colourful ikat weaves and fabrics that bear nature-inspired motifs. The 1,000sqft, two-bedroom, fourth-floor apartment celebrates Indian aesthetic traditions that have been given modern twists, pretty much like his signature brand, India Circus.
He shares this colourful space with his two cats, Bailey and Google. “At the end of the day, I like to relax with my fluffy companions,” he laughs. The apartment is well-lit with natural light streaming in from the French windows.
It’s not hard to figure out that Mehta has the confidence to pull off shocking colours and contrasting textures. The palette for the walls is vivid and throws in bright red, orange, pink, purple, blue and even black-and-white stripes. He’s broken the colour overload with printed neutral blinds on the French windows. He says, “Colour blocking is a big trend and looks beautiful if done well.”
Mehta changes the look of his home every four months. He says, “I change the wall art, the cushion covers and move the furniture around.” Occasionally he changes the wall colours.
An avid collector, Mehta has filled the living area with paintings and wall-art, a lot of which is his own handiwork. While his living room has canvases by Jogen Chowdhury and Varunika Saraf, he’s gone with Gond and Warli art in the den. “I love paintings by tribal artists and keep adding them to my collection,” he says.
So, there are prints and poster art inspired by iconic images of typical Indian life. While a part of the collection celebrates Art Deco architecture and iconic Indian buildings, the rest features Indian street-life and enduring symbols like autos and black-and-yellow taxis to floral and funky motifs in bright colours.
Mehta has spruced up his home with furniture mostly from his furniture designer friend Srila Chatterjee’s store Highlight Living in Mumbai. A blue armchair, a two-seater couch and a foot-stool to match are placed near the living room window. Next to this is a chic blue upholstered, three-seater sofa with colourful wall art spicing up the red wall behind it.
Opposite this arrangement sit red Duco-painted (automobile lacquer) reclaimed teak, slat-back armchairs with bird-motif upholstery. “I love the old-world charm of the furniture,” he says.
The colour story continues into the dining area which is at the farthest end of the living room. While one wall is eye-popping red, another is clad with wallpaper with thick black-and-white stripes. A huge glass-top dining table is set up with candle-stands and flowers. Each dining chair has been upholstered in a different-patterned fabric. Behind the table is a green bookshelf-cum-glassware cabinet.
Mehta’s den on one side of the living room is where he spends most of his evenings. The den is outfitted with a retro couch, floor cushions and lounge chairs upholstered in bold prints and ikat patterns. He says, “This is my favourite hangout where I conduct design-related meetings twice a week in the evenings.”
In comparison to his living room, the master bedroom is sparsely furnished with just a low double-bed, a cabinet and his Duco-painted, red study table that’s placed in one corner. The bedroom wall is painted in warm purple and displays more art. He says, “It’s a private sanctuary used for sleeping and relaxing.” Two cane-backed chairs are placed near the window with a touch of green added by an indoor plant.
Mehta is obsessive about his prized possessions and ensures that these are well-maintained. He sums it up, “My home is a work in progress and right now I am happy at the way it has evolved.”