The design of this airy home, with its many storied furniture pieces, was inspired by a colonial and vintage Indian style.
The living area, which extends into the study and opens out into the spacious balcony, is where the couple entertains frequently. The sofa with cane weaving is from Prakalayam Gallery, while the two Bengal librarian chairs were purchased online at The Calcutta Restoration Co.
Stepping into the home of Surojit Mundle and Jayne Kuriakose, you feel a sense of ease in its casual yet chic resort-meetstraditional- colonial-style interiors. The home’s abundance of wood and cane furniture is complemented by light fabrics, and occasional shots of bright colour. “While the overall look is colonial and vintage Indian, there are also elements of other styles,” says Jayne, who grew up in India and wanted to infuse the apartment with memories of her childhood. The different furniture styles include a dowry chest from China that was converted into a sideboard, vintage rugs and traditional antique furniture. The couple have been living in Singapore for 10 years, but this condominium unit, located amid the greenery of Mount Faber, is the first home they own here. They chose to do up the place themselves, with the help of contractor Louis Lim of Homeland Design.
What inspired you to design your home?
I already had a lot of design ideas in my mind – I used to buy a lot of design magazines and Pinterest also helped. Because it was our first place, I wanted to be a bit more involved, in terms of the look. And we felt confident about designing it ourselves, with a good contractor who has good ideas and technical knowledge
What did you have in mind?
The starting point was to give the space a sense of comfort and childhood nostalgia. I borrowed elements from things I like, such as the black and white colonial houses here. We like modern design, but wanted more of a vintage and colonial-style look as it links both old Singapore and old India. We were also inspired by resorts in South-east Asia..
What ideas, materials and colours did you incorporate?
For the living area, we wanted wooden furniture with cane and wicker work. I’m conscious about using recycled things, so a lot of the furniture was custom-made using recycled teak. The study has a brick wall, inspired by the school I went to in India, which was built completely with red bricks. The red brickwork also hints at the New York loft style, which I like. If I want to change the style of the apartment later on, such as to a modern or industrial scheme, the red bricks will work, too! We wanted an old Indian vintage style with colonial elements, for the master bedroom. The curtains and cushion covers for the bay window were made using my grandmother’s old silk saris. The vintage-style wallpaper is by Sabyasachi – a famous fashion designer in India – for Asian Paints. As for the guest room, it has more of an English cottage style, as we wanted to keep it fresh and different. But it still has a bit of an Asian theme, with the blue-and-white ikat-print wallpaper.
Do you have a favourite spot at home?
I love my balcony. Most condos don’t have balconies as big as this one, which is sheltered and has a planter. We wanted to make full use of the space, so we shifted our dining area there. We socialise a lot – we have friends over and our parents visit quite often – and everyone loves sitting and eating al fresco. It’s very breezy in the evenings. I also like the bedroom, for its unblocked view of greenery thanks to the wrap-around bay windows. The bed, a late-19th century antique colonial French cot acquired from Karaikal in India, was the last piece we bought for the space.
Where did you find the furniture?
The vintage Persian and Pakistani rugs in the master bedroom and study, and Pakistani rosewood dresser in the master bedroom, bar and secretary desk in the study – all with brass inlay patterns – are from a shop called Brasswoods.
We also bought a lot of pieces from Prakalayam Gallery, such as the vintage Plantar chair in the master bedroom, the Burmese teak French cot bed in the master bedroom, and rosewood Rajabari chair in living room. That piece is inspired by the kings in India, has three reclining positions, and is traditionally used for relaxing on the verandah. You can find a lot of these chairs in Kerala. There is also a website called The Calcutta Restoration Co, where I got the two Bengal librarian chairs in the living room and the Edwardian swivel chair in the study – they are reproductions of vintage styles, with a seven step pattern weave made with cane from Assam. Another great online source is Anthropologie, where we got the Terai folding chairs (in the balcony dining area), with Kantha stitch details and hand block prints. Also, Ikea – many accessories such as the baskets, as well as the guest room bed, are from there.
Peranakan inspired tiles with a bold pattern and attractive colours were specially selected for the balcony, as the homeowners like Peranakan tiles.
The al fresco balcony dining area is bordered by a planter filled with greenery, which helps to provide shade and create a relaxing environment.
The couple had the wall separating the living room and study area demolished, and installed folding doors in its place. The extendable bar and secretary desk, both made using Pakistani rosewood and feature brass inlay patterns, are from Brasswoods..
Above the sofa in the living room, a folded and framed sari that belongs to Jayne’s family makes for an interesting art piece.
One of Jayne’s favourite furniture pieces, a vintage rosewood Rajabari chair that can be manually adjusted to three reclining positions, is a rare find.
A cottage-style bed from Ikea complements the blue-andwhite ikat-print wallpaper from Graham & Brown.
The 19th-century antique colonial French cot bed made of Burmese teak, from Prakalayam Gallery, is another of Jayne’s favourite pieces. Its design was inspired by the Renaissance, and was acquired in Karaikal.
The vintage Plantar chair Jayne is sitting in, which is in the master bedroom, reminds her of the tea plantations in the Nilgiris district in South India. It was acquired from the region.
The couple can enjoy the greenery of Mount Faber, from the luxurious and serene bathroom.