• 1500 Sq.ft Apartment In Chennai Has Art And Artefacts From Across the Globe | Studio Altara

    Crafted by Studio Altara, this 1500 sq.ft apartment in Chennai, ‘Dwaraka’, seamlessly harmonises timeless aesthetics with its owner’s undeniable passion for life and travel. Nestled on the first floor and shaded by lush greenery, every nook grounded in comfort is elevated by art and artefacts from across the globe.

    1500 Sq.ft Apartment In Chennai Has Art And Artefacts From Across the Globe | Studio Altara

    Design Brief

    To build a home is to build a sanctuary – a space to recharge, recuperate, and reinvigorate the mind, body, and soul. The beauty of this apartment in Chennai lies in the way it weaves the tapestry of the client’s life. It celebrates her lived experiences and artistic passions through carefully curated and immaculately displayed pieces of history and culture. Set against a muted colour palette, her collection of art, artefacts, and antiques deepens the home’s character. The house also elevates and reuses the client’s old furniture in imaginative ways that adapt it to her new abode. Studio Altara has designed interiors that balance vibrancy and near-maximalism.

    apartment in chennai

    Living and Dining Room

    Hanging adjacent to the main entrance, a soothing Pichwai painting welcomes visitors with the home’s distinct personality. Envisioned as an intimate yet semi-formal space, the open living and dining room one enters builds upon this first impression.

    apartment in chennai

    This apartment in Chennai features elegant and earth-toned furniture, including an antique rosewood table, and a selection of the client’s prized artefacts.

    Open Planning

    This open-plan space is anchored by an accent wall highlighting two Farhan Mujib paintings. The added delicate floral details on the wall and the strategically placed asymmetric Burmese brass finials further enhance this visual focus.

    However, there is more to experience in this space. Burmese offering bowls, traditional glass-front cabinets housing brass artefacts collected over 25 years, and console units featuring unique antiques build a global story from the ground up.

    apartment in chennai

    A Ravi Verma painting, a vintage mirror, and a wall mounted golden fan from Burma project this story onto the walls, amplifying the intrigue of the room.

    apartment in chennai


    The kitchen, on the other hand, embraces the grey of the flooring. Sleek and dark cabinets go hand in hand with open shelves and light grey backsplashes.

    Also deviating from the rest of the house are the balconies featuring rustic terracotta tiles. However, despite the difference in stylistic choices, these spaces feel like a cohesive part of the vision for the home.

    Study Area

    Somewhere between the quietness of the bedrooms and the busyness of the living space lie the design choices made in creating the study area.

    apartment in chennai

    apartment in chennai

    While the wooden furniture and the neutral colour palette seen across the house continue here, the Pichwai painting, the carefully selected carpet, and the diwan dressed in printed textiles add vibrancy to the room with their brighter reds, pops of orange, and contrasting deep blues.


    Diagonally flanking this hub of visual and human activity, are the master and kids’ bedroom. While these spaces adopt a more minimalistic approach, art and artefacts remain the focal point of their design.

    apartment in chennai

    A striking painting by John Tun Sein and a distinctly patterned and newly varnished teakwood TV cabinet act as eye-grabbers in the master bedroom.

    apartment in chennai

    Floral printed chairs set against a tessellated screen repurposed as a backdrop also foster visual interest.

    apartment in chennai

    Modern Details

    The rest of the room, including its modern details such as the bedside reading lights, complements these pieces and creates an oasis of calm.

    Like the master bedroom, the guest/kids’ bedroom also predominantly features wooden tones and exudes calmness. However, bright accent pieces and interesting furniture choices create a contrast that amplifies the room’s vibe.


    Studio Altara’s keen eye for detail, careful selection of colours, textures, and materials, and ability to seamlessly integrate the client’s art and furniture reflect a design approach that celebrates the client’s unique personality without compromising on elegance.

    With this project, the architects seem to have truly embraced designer David Hicks’ quote: “The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them.”

    Fact File

    Designed by: Studio Altara

    Project Type: Residential Interior Design

    Project Name: Dwaraka

    Location: Alwarpet, Chennai

    Year Built: 2023

    Duration of the project: 4 Months

    Project Size: 1500 Sq.ft

    Principal Architect: Ar. Hamsini KP

    Team Design Credits: Ayilya Anand & Washim Khan

    Photograph Courtesy: Pixels by Binsan

    Products / Materials / Vendors: Finishes – Wall finishes – Paint and Wallpaper, Kitchen Counter Top – Steel grey granite stone, Kitchen Cabinets: 1mm laminate / Lighting –False Ceiling Lights – ACE – bought from Chandan Lites, Chennai, Pendant Lights – Fab India / Doors and Partitions – Designed by Studio Altara and executed by the carpenter team finished with 1mm laminate / Sanitaryware – Grohe / Paint – Luster Paint from Asian Paints / Flooring – Living room, Bedroom, Kitchen Flooring – Marble tiles from Cosmo Granites, Toilet Flooring tiles – Bought from Allied Ceramics, Chennai, Toilet Wall tiles – Rome Blue and Grey Subway Tiles from Bharat Floorings / Wallpaper – Wallpaper in the living room from Good Earth / Artefacts – Farhan Mujib, John Tun Sein, Burma, Pichwai Painting

    Firm’s Instagram Link: Studio Altara

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