When the celebrity couple decided to embark on a renovation journey, they hoped to infuse their two-decade-old home with the spirit of an ‘aangan’ reflecting their globe-trotting adventures. As their dream took shape, it now stands as a stunning visual representation of their profound passions: the joy of cooking, the warmth of family and the adventures of travel.
In the concrete jungle that is Mumbai, discovering a small oasis of open space worthy of being called a balcony feels akin to striking gold. Possessing a 1,000 sq ft expanse of the splendid outdoors, enveloping every common area of the house is a veritable stroke of luck. Mini Mathur and Kabir Khan know just how fortunate they are.
The couple has called their Mumbai suburban apartment home for over two decades. It’s where they’ve raised their children, Vivaan and Sairah, and their magnificent husky, Blue Khan. It’s a place that is filled with cherished memories for them. “As we grew, we have added more space to the house,” says Mini. Until now, the vivacious TV host and her filmmaker husband had chosen not to employ the services of an interior designer, opting instead to decorate the space themselves. Describing the house, she says, “It was a collection of items we’ve gathered during our travels. Whenever we come across something we like, we incorporate it into our living space.”
Given her discerning taste, Mini had her eye set on Shabnam Gupta of The Orange Lane for her impeccable home design. “I’ve admired Shabnam’s work for quite some time. I had already made up my mind that if I ever decided to renovate my house, I would choose her because our preferences and styles align perfectly,” she expresses.
Shabnam recalls how they bonded instantly on meeting. “When Mini first approached me, it was for a swanky new penthouse they had liked. But after we visited the place together, we decided to revamp and extend her existing terrace apartment. I believed it had immense potential and possessed a charming, old-world personality,” says the interior designer.
The couple, originally from New Delhi, wanted their house to reflect the relaxed, natural ambiance of the homes they grew up around. “We wanted an earthy, colourful and rustic space with an outdoor area and plants,” says Mini, who believes Shabnam’s design style aligns perfectly with these preferences. “I told her to create a comfortable and welcoming space where people wouldn’t hesitate to relax and enjoy themselves without worrying about dropping things,” Mini says. Steering away from a modern, contemporary design, they were looking for the lived-in atmosphere reminiscent of an aangan, or traditional courtyard. “But also, nothing overtly Indian because both Kabir and I are world travellers and want our space to reflect that too,” she says.
A Home That Beautifully Mirrors Personalities
Shabnam reveals that Mini and Kabir wanted their home to be exactly an extension of who they are (read: unpretentious!) and wanted their home to reflect their personality, history and tastes. Down-to-earth and easy to work with, they were also very involved in the redesign; being from the creative field, they brought their keen visual sensibility to the process.
The family has several personal pieces — family heirlooms, sentimental objects and items collected over time — that hold special meaning and defined the theme of the redesign. “There was also a lot of art, some acquired, some gifted by friends, that played a significant role in the décor. For instance, a large canvas that takes centre stage in the living room is particularly special, as it was painted by Salman Khan, who is very close to the family,” Shabnam reveals.
The home beautifully mirrors the couple’s personalities. Kabir’s vision shines through in the master bathroom and walk-in closet, displaying understated simplicity with intricate details. On the other hand, Mini’s free-spirited nature infuses the home with a bohemian vibe while maintaining an air of luxury through vibrant colours and rich textures.
Fortunately, their shared preferences simplified the project. “That made things very easy for us,” Shabnam says of the couple who’ve been married for over 25 years. Their creatively inclined children also had many ideas and Mini made sure to incorporate them into the design of their home. “The kids love their bedrooms the most because they reflect their personalities,” Mini says. For Mini, it is the kitchen. “We are foodies and love spending time in the kitchen. I wanted an open, and not a very formal one, where we can play music, watch TV and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking,” she says. Another sanctuary is the den, which serves as their family room and is the hub for their activities, such as gathering together to watch films.
Timeless Terrace Living
The pièce de résistance of this home makeover project was unquestionably the terrace, which wraps around the house and serves as the focal point in its design. It evokes the charming essence of old-world verandahs. “It’s our favourite space,” says Mini.
For Shabnam too, the terrace was the heart of the project and all the colour schemes and designs were chosen with this central element in mind. Since Mini and Kabir like to walk barefoot and wanted the terrace floor to feel earthy, Shabnam sourced authentic terracotta tiles from New Delhi through Mini’s contacts. She harmoniously combined indigo blue with printed earthy cement floors, creating a smooth transition into the terracotta flooring.
This home embodies timeless terrace living, with spacious balconies and a terrace featuring cosy nooks and seating areas amidst lush greenery, which Shabnam considers special. There is also the bar which links all the terrace spaces together. “We used old-world wooden lattice work that can enclose the terrace space during the summer if needed, yet still maintain an outdoor feel,” she says. At night, the space undergoes a magical transformation, thanks to the large Moroccan lamps that accentuate its height. “This is undoubtedly one of my favourite aspects of the terrace,” she affirms.
The couple was delighted with their newly renovated home. As Mini puts it, “It was comfortingly familiar in a way, but it felt like a souped up, 2.0 version of what I’ve always had.” Shabnam introduced refined finishes to various spaces and reimagined the use of certain elements. While she didn’t extensively alter the structural layout, there were a few key areas where changes were made. “What she truly accomplished was infusing each space with a distinct design and personality. It certainly exceeded my initial vision for our home,” says the contented homeowner.
Interviews: Nayare Ali, Profile Shots: Shivangi Kulkarni, Coordination: Amber Tikari, Hair And Make-Up: Tulsi Solanki, Interior Shots: Fabien Charuau
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.