A spacious Bengaluru home where every nook has a tale to tell

Thomas George and Shally Elsie Thomas, both in their 50s, were through-and-through Mumbai folk until work brought them to Bengaluru. The narrative behind their residence began nearly eight years ago, when the family and Aakriti Saraf, founder of Bengaluru-based Aakriti Saraf Design, were neighbours. The way Saraf had gently transformed her house into a home stayed in the couple’s mind. And years later, when it came to revamping their own home, a 4,200-square-foot apartment in a quiet high-rise in suburban Whitefield, Shally Elsie could think of no one else.

According to their designer-turned-friend, George, a chartered accountant, is known in his circles as a polite gentleman, generous to a fault and of keen eye. His attention to detail towards every aspect of his home—from electrical and carpentry work, to fabric and wall paint—is impeccable. Shally Elsie, an education consultant and an oil paint artist, is creative and a stickler for perfection albeit with an easy-going attitude that made the dynamic between her and Saraf so much fun. “This home turned out the way it did because the three of us trusted each other completely,” says the designer.

A spacious Bengaluru home where every nook has a tale to tell

The first steps

“I had a simple brief: clean straight lines, functional and low maintenance,” Saraf explains. “We were all mindful about the budget, so we worked backwards and invested first in things that added the most value.”

With the Thomas’s artistic bent of mind and obsession with detail, the conversations among the three were effortless. A few sketches on paper saw the advent of an elegant mood board that showcased modern sensibilities interwoven with soft and warm detailing with colour.

Different spaces, one theme

Saraf had to work around the challenge of varying ceiling heights with multiple offsets, and long, unending walls. It took some thought to plan the 800-square-foot living room, which spills into an open kitchen and a large balcony, because the couple wanted to go “cosier”.

To lend privacy to the study and maintain the individual charm of each space, Saraf designed an arched fluted glass partition that effectively separates the private and common areas. And to contain the openness, she created a hallway by assembling two horizontal full-height black pillars with a hidden lighting. She also set up a crisp fluted timber wall that serves as a sculptural focal point while lending an element of privacy.