Hardesh and Monica Chawla Interior The Luxe Life

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In the often fickle world of interior design, Essentia Environments is legendary. Yet as every pro knows, you’re only as good as your latest effort. And in the case of a dazzling 4BHK apartment overlooking Golf Course – with rooms sweeping enough for Audrey Hepburn, and a kitchen to make Julia Child swoon – the design firm proves that when it comes to serving up warmth and sophistication, interior designer duo Monica and Hardesh Chawla are still the champs. This is especially the case when they team up with a smart-as-a-whip builderM3M India. You & I chats with Monica and Hardesh to find out more about this Gurugram residence.

With a compassionate eye that is capable of understanding the logic and nuances of modernism, the Chawlas have artfully turned a four-bedroom apartment into a modern living space, “We didn’t want any clutter; we wanted a sense of timelessness and calmness – but still functional,” says Hardesh. Situated on the sixth floor, the residence boasts a number of entertainment rooms – a powder room, an informal lounge, a study den, a dining area and a formal living room – in addition to the more private spaces. There’s also a kitchen and a pantry room adjacent to the dining area, where the smoky business of stir-frying can take place without intruding on the living area.

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An amalgam of everything one could ask for, the house has spacious rooms that can open fully so that light, not noise, passes through. Entering the house is like stepping into a pool of light. A perforated metal jaali separates the foyer and the 11-seater formal lounge that connects to the outside balcony. Here the Chawlas opted for simplicity. Next, with curtains in beige and gold, an upholstered sofa, a coffee table, several upholstered lounge chairs – the living space echoes luxury and design. The apartment takes on a more informal attitude as one progresses. The marble-floored entrance hall leads to the eight-seater dining area. There is a framed mirror over the credenza on the wall to the right, while convenient balcony access brings in the fresh light and air.

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The master bedroom – an oasis of beige and brown – is accented by a glossy wall that adds the warmth to the space, a bed panelled with leather and metal strips, and a dresser that has its shutters done in Asian walnut and crown-cut veneer finished in open grain matte finish. The kid’s bedroom is a cool statement in shades of purple, enlivened only by beige carpet, a bed along with a side table, and a simple study desk. And then, of course, there’s the common area between the three bedrooms, the study den, which also has a fixed window overlooking the view outside. There’s a sitting area, done in military green to bring in colours and brightness into the room.

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Using furniture to cultivate structure, focus and line, the Chawlas prize this apartment for the scrupulous set piece it is, “All the furniture fits together; we have contemporary sets to complement the interiors. Most of them are custom made at Essentia’s in-house production unit in Manesar, Gurgaon,” recalls Monica. The furniture may be beautiful, but the designers don’t simply use them to create a gallery. “To suit the apartment’s size, the realistic and abstract furniture was designed and produced to give a light and relaxing feel to the house as opposed to bulky and huge,” she adds.  And with layered furnishings glossy enamelled PU mirror-like surfaces, it’s obvious that the hallmark of clean-lined luxury doesn’t detract from the spaces.

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Incorporating a harmonious palette with subtle changes, the main aim for the designers was to keep it quiet and serene, conferring an almost ecclesiastical sense of colour to the interior. The formal areas have Botticino cream marble with dyna strips on it. Strips of dark stone scattered onto the floor of a light beige stone in a geometric pattern adds to the charm and breaks the monotony. The bedrooms and the study den have dark hardwood flooring, creating a warm look. The bathroom boasts travertine stone with Statuario marble. “The fixed interior has a neutral colour palette with tones of beige, champagne and greys, accentuated by hints of rose gold. Plus the furniture adds the required vibrancy to the house, with its pastel military greens, blues and greys,” adds Hardesh.

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In the end, it is not just the apartment’s visual serenity that’s impressive. Monica and Hardesh’s brilliance with the modern and clean furnishings, light fixtures, and designs gives this space a lovely calm – something we all fancy!         – Anisha