The plush tone is set from the entrance; a brass panel embossed with a damask motif by Delhi-based artist Gautam Dhawan adorns the front door which is flanked by a collage of pieces of tobacco brown Italian marble laid horizontally and vertically, interspersed with handcrafted Burma-teak panels. Stepping in, the impact of the black marquina marble trapezoid inlay in the white statuario is dramatic. Menon chose to reflect these forms in the ceiling lights too of the passage too. But the showstopper here is the large sheet of backlit lightening onyx stretching across the passage wall, which when lit up from behind resembles fissures of burning hot magma seeping out through cracks on the earth’s crust (or as the name suggests, lightening streaking across a stormy sky). The vantage wall at the far end of the passage draws the eye down the length of the room. Done up in textured silver leaf on marble from Italian brand Tempesta, the hues complement the grey streaks of the statuario marble flooring that continues into the living and dining areas to the right and left of the entrance lobby.
Menon repeats colours and motifs in a space to create a sense of cohesiveness to the décor. So the grey lacquered and faceted sideboard with a grey onyx top is adorned with customised dye-cast and gold-plated handles, while the Mezzaro chandelier suspended above the dining table has a 3½’ gold ring base. The warmth of wood and leather come together in the bar area which is to one side of the dining area. Wooden jaali panels flank the leather and animal-skin striped shutters of the bar, and in combination with the red lacquered interior, give an oriental look to the unit. Woven bent-ply sliding shutters replace curtains at the window, in what is recognized as Menon’s signature style in his global projects.
The living area on the other side of the room was kept simpler to balance out the space. Gold leafing on the centre table and straight-backed chairs, coupled with neutral tones of the furnishings add a sense of warmth to the otherwise largely white palette.
The kitchen located just off the dining area is an efficiently planned space with quartz stone counters, p.u. lacquered shutters, flushed handles and subway tiles on the dado picking up on the 60’s décor that Menon sought as inspiration in the guest room which was designed keeping in mind the client's daughter.
In contrast, the master bedroom was given a warm but contemporary look with a rich walnut floor and a wooden headboard stretched across the wall with a 3-dimensional trapezoid pattern repeated for texture. The large multi-drawer unit near the entrance shows Menon’s affinity for playing with facets and textures; the mirror is 3-dimensional and faceted and interspersed with a diagonally chequered grid of back-painted glass.
Menon shows clearly that no area of a project is too small to neglect. This makes him best interior design firm in Mumbai. Whether it is the base of the dining table, the inside of the bar unit or the intricacies of the bathroom decor – every inch of a site project gets an equal amount of thought and the same amount of attention to detail.