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Transforming DDA

Tiru and Guneet Dhingra Murugan?s design acumen has enabled them to transform their drab DDA flat into an upmarket apartment.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2004 14:59 IST

Tiru and Guneet Dhingra Murugan’s design acumen has enabled them to transform their drab DDA flat into an upmarket apartment.

This is the story of how a drab DDA flat can be made to look like a swanky, upmarket apartment. Converting it into a virtual oasis in the midst of a DDA ‘desert’. While the credit for the transformation goes to architect-cum-interior designer couple, Tiru and Guneet Dhingra Murugan, the flat in question is their own three-bedroom home in Sheikh Sarai, Phase I.

The transformation cannot be seen from the outside — it looks like any other faded DDA flat. However, as soon as you step inside the Murugan’s home, you get the surprise of your life. Not only does the house look chic and elegant, but — unlike a DDA flat — it looks spacious as well. The flooring which is in Jaisalmer has a pattern in white and green marble in front of the entrance.

To the left is the living room that includes a large couch in a beige print, two fully upholstered chairs in beige, gold and black as well as two one-seaters in a green print. While a beige carpet graces the floor, a wood and cane lounge chair completes the picture. Lots of small side tables display a number of artefacts and antiques bought from the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. Paintings from Italy lend an artistic touch to the whole area.

However, it is the bay window at the far end of the living room that takes pride of place. Shelves next to it in fibre glass showcase a number of photo frames and other artefacts. Says Tiru, “The bay window was actually a small balcony, which we merged with the living room. In fact, all the small balconies in the flat have been merged with the respective rooms, whose extensions they were. They, anyway, never used to serve any purpose.”

Two floor-to-wall South Indian temple pillars make a grand entrance to the dining area as well as the living quarters. Brass lamps hanging from an arch, an open niche displaying artefacts and brass pots placed next to one of the pillars complete the picture. The dining room includes a four-seater, glass top wrought-iron table with chairs upholstered in a green print. The wrought-iron chairs as well as the base of the dining table are all hued in antique gold.

Two chairs — similar to the ones gracing the dining table — have been placed in front of a folding glass door that leads onto a tiled terrace. The terrace is home to an array of potted plants, a small mandir as well as a storeroom.

Next to the dining area is an informal seating space that basically serves as a recreation room. “It was one of the three bedrooms in the flat and we converted it into a TV room that also serves as a guestroom whenever required. Sporting a solid hardwood floor and blue textured walls, the room — otherwise open — has folding doors, in case the guest wants privacy. The room includes a blue sofa-cum-bed, a blue bean bag, a wood and cane armchair, a TV unit and blue curtains with white sheers. While a built-in cupboard serves as a bar, a window sil in wood makes a pretty picture,” says Tiru.

In a bid to make the corridor that leads into the two bedrooms look spacious, the wall has been mirrored at one end. And in a bid to conserve space, a built-in wardrobe has been incorporated in the corridor. The first bedroom is a story in peach. Right from the bedspread and the headrest to the curtains as well as an arched niche behind the bed.

The master bedroom, on the other hand, is textured in cream. The flooring here sports Jaisalmer and rust coloured ceramic tiles. Due to space constraints, two window sils make way for seating in the room. Bookshelves flank one of the sils. Making the best use of space.

First Published: Jan 23, 2004 14:00 IST