Jun 09, 2023

This Kochi home of a music composer and a content creator is drenched in shades of grey

By Vaishnavi Nayel Talawadekar

Photography by Shijo Thomas

In the Kochi home of award-winning music composer, violinist and vocalist Govind Vasantha and entrepreneur and content creator Ranjini Achuthan, colour is seemingly invisible. “As creatives with colourful professions, they wanted a space that would inspire them and leave plenty of room for thought,” says Avinash Joshy, founder and principal of Kochi-based Studio Nirvana. To transform their home into a wellspring of ideas, Vasantha and Achuthan set forth their vision: a home with a zen vibe, a minimalist aesthetic, and an abundance of natural light. And so, to realise all three without overwhelming the interior, Joshy decided there was only one solution: to keep colour relegated to the sidelines.

There’s something about the interior that feels almost monolithic—as if someone brought it to life all in one breath and chiselled it quickly into shape. Grey lime-finish walls and dark stone-finish tiles characterise the common areas, while the bedrooms flip the script with grey ceilings and plain vanilla walls.

“The idea was to create a zen atmosphere and open the apartment up to the waterfront beyond,” says Joshy.

The master bedroom plays host to a low-lying platform bed finished in lime plaster.

In the living room, the inbuilt media unit seems to grow out of the shell, thanks to the singular lime plaster finish that ties the two together. The muted cocoon serves as a backdrop for the finer details, such as the custom lighting, traditional fabrics, and blinks of colour that appear on the furniture, artworks, books, and accents.

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In some places, the apartment holds a mirror to traditional Kerala homes. Take the black aerial pots in the living room. Made of reclaimed wood and suspended by coir rope, they masquerade as decorative accents. And yet, with the flick of a switch, they turn into pendant lights, casting luminous haloes across the space.

The black pendant, conceptualised by Joshy and executed by Formave.

The living room parlays into the dining area, where a cantilevered dining table takes pride of place.

The ceiling light in the dining area is equally attention-worthy. A contemporary take on the nilavilakku (a traditional brass oil lamp used in Kerala and Tamil Nadu), the stem was created using wooden offcuts, while the lampshade was crocheted by a local weaver. Joshy conceptualised both designs and partnered with furniture maker Formave for the execution.

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The owners Govind Vasantha and Ranjini Achuthan.

Stop and observe long enough, and you’ll notice that not all the colour is invisible. It hides behind the scenes for those wanting to find it, and stays imperceptible for those who don’t. For Vasantha and Achuthan, it’s usually a matter of the moment.

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