There are various sayings about living in a glass house, but none of them quite fit Abhay Deol, an actor who quite literally lives in one. And while he may not be an entirely open book, he graciously welcomes HELLO! into his stunning North Goa home.
He’s even considering opening it up to the artistic community he holds dear. “I want to establish a centre for the arts and culture here and build a community around it,” he says, animatedly.
Dressed casually, Abhay exudes a serene and relaxed aura, perfectly mirroring the vibe of his home. The astute actor, who has skillfully balanced a life between two continents while maintaining his acting career, regarded Goa as a second home long before it became inundated with foreign visitors, beach-loving Indians and digital nomads. In 2010, he bought a 2,800 sq mt plot in Assagao, located towards the edge of the residential area, ensuring his forthcoming home would blend into the nearby forested area.
A visitor to the locale for nearly two decades, he had a clear blueprint in mind, and the property, popularly christened as ‘The Glass House’, was envisioned precisely as he had imagined. “I was clear that I wanted glass doors and no windows; I wanted to bring the forest’s ambiance indoors,” Abhay says. The actor, who was once a student at Otis College of Art and Design, provided the architect with a highly detailed brief. “Squares, rectangles and straight lines in every room. Each room should have a private space.”
Unlike most new age star homes that are designed to flaunt opulence, Abhay’s home resonates with his clean aesthetic, featuring only a select few unique and captivating statement pieces. “I have a huge mixed media artwork by Shilo Shiv Suleman. I love her work. My sister has also made a painting for me. Outside of these things, there is nothing of material significance or value to me here,” he says.
The actor shares that he intentionally kept the foundational materials simple. The flooring varies between black granite and dark wood in different areas, and the walls display a mix of painted, grey and textured surfaces. “At the moment, it’s intentionally kept minimalistic as the focus is on decluttering and connecting with nature.
Although I do entertain from time to time, there’s still more work to be done in terms of decorating the house,” he explains.
You can tell how much he values the outdoors when he emphasises, “But, more than the interior of the house, it’s the exteriors that are truly captivating, whether it’s the surrounding forest or the building itself.”
Interview: Nayare Ali; Photos: Tina Dehal; Creative Realisation: Avantikka Kilachand; Styling: Anushree Sardesai; Assisted by: Ila Parakh; Hair and Make-Up: Walter Doroiraj
This is an excerpt from an interview from HELLO! India’s October 2023 issue. To read the full interview, check out the latest issue right here.