INSPIRED BY GOA, SARAH SHAM FORMS A TROPICAL HOLIDAY HOME FOR ISPRAVA WITH A LUXE FEEL!
Tranquil, stylish and inspired by nature, this is without a doubt, the best residential project we’ve seen from Esaajees Atelier, the design house founded by Interior Designer Sarah Sham! We’ve always referred to the designer as the delicate minimalist of Indian design, and this bungalow in Assagaon, Goa is visually just that…minimal, delicate and oh-so-soothing! Sarah’s penchants for designing with nature is inspiring. We’ve seen that in all her work where she’s always asked herself, “how best to introduce greenery into a narrative?” And here, in this stunning, sunny project, Sarah has designed in tandem with mother nature. Every room, every window, every tile, every accessory…it is all here to celebrate and further accentuate the flourishes of the outdoors! Afterall, this home enjoys is surrounded by lush and thriving greenery, further driving home the fact that this is Goa!
“Nature is really important to me and is very close to my heart. I am obsessed with plants and I incorporate greenery in all my projects. Take for instance my apartment in Mumbai…it’s tiny, but we have around 30 odd plants, of different sizes. When I was approached to design this project in Goa, it was no surprise that I wanted to incorporate nature in all the elements. This time, I went a step further…my team and I decided to use natural materials in the built, and also sourced a lot of the materials, accessories and curios locally. We also used a lot of forms that mimicked nature – so, you’ll see a lot of curved forms, and shapes that lend a gentle disposition to the narrative,” Sarah explains, as we laud how well she’s nurtured mother nature in this 3000sqft home, with three bedrooms, a pool and a stunning landscape outdoors.
Sarah was approached by Isprava, the luxury property developers to finesse this home. The project was already sold to a couple with a naval background, and they had two grown-up children. The designer reveals that her love and admiration for Goa was another factor that played a role in this design. “The biggest inspiration for this project was Goa. I wanted to recreate the feeling of holidaying in Goa. And I wanted to bring to this home, the luxuries that city life cannot afford most of us.” For Sarah that meant rooms with bright colours, a lot of greenery, tons of open windows, and playing with the design concept of layering as in a holiday home a cosy vibe takes top precedence.
A very important point to note here, the original structure didn’t have too many windows…but Sarah’s vision for this modern-day haven was that it should have the typical elements of a Goan-Portuguese home. And in pursuit of that, she colluded with the site architect and broke down a major portion of the façade to incorporate large and several windows. The result is a home with an open and breezy indoors, that brings the outdoors into the very heart of the living!
In the living room, Sarah has kept things light and bright. She opted for a neutral colour palette with small pops through the accessories. Next to the dining table, she used an upturned boat as a standing bar unit for the homeowners. Our imagination gets the better of us and we can almost see fishermen hauling in their daily catch and retreating to the local tavern (in this case the bar of this home), and sipping on some feni. Okay, back to reality: The sofas are all in neutral tones and the rug as well is in a simple grey. And again, the plants…there’s a smattering of plants, and as natural light floods in, this combination lends the living room a very holiday vibe.
For this home, Sarah has stepped out of comfort zone. She infused dramatic touches in surprising and avant-garde ways. In the powder room, the designer wanted to give the homeowners a little something extra, so the tap comes out of the ceiling, and not your normal counter-top. She also took on the herculean task of landscape design, this is a fairly new exploration for the confessed green thumb, and one she’s aced.
In terms of collaborations, Sarah joined forces with Bharat Flooring, to introduce patterns and drama through surface finishes in subtle and clever ways. For the daughter’s bedroom, Sarah used a pink colour, for the son’s bedroom Sarah combined two geometric patterns in blue, and for the master bedroom, the designer used BFT as a sort of carpet below the bed…. In terms of the architecture, Sarah worked with Sapna Thanawala Architects for the vernacular approach to the design, who were inspired by Portuguese-Goan structures. While most of the furniture was locally sourced, Sarah also sourced from Gulmoharlane. Furnishings is a mix between Fabindia and Freedom Tree.
The overall tenor of this home is so welcoming and although it’s stylish and sophisticated in its design language, it exudes warmth and comfort. We directly relate this to the headspace Sarah and her team found themselves in, whilst doing up this project. “In terms of the design approach, we just wanted to have fun! We celebrated with colours, textures, and played around with the possibilities this project offered us. My team and I didn’t take our selves too seriously and didn’t take on any additional stress of executing so many ‘firsts’ here. We wanted everyone’s first feeling to be one of calm.” Oh, we are calm alright! We wonder if the naval family would mind a few shipwrecked souls here (us, if you hadn’t guessed who!).