Johars Love Their Chic Duplex Apartment

The Story of My Home Dated:  March 26, 2014
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They say that even an ardently and expensively designed home doesn’t give that comfort and peace of mind that a functional home does. There is nothing else in the world to bother about when things are organized the way you want them to be. There are some who either neglect or tend to ignore the functional requirements when aesthetics are their primary concern. However, there are some who would choose functionality in the first place. But when I visited the Johars, I was completely bowled over! The Duplex Apartment has managed to preserve the ‘tasteful charm’ that every home strives hard to attain after a series of renovations and transformations. Also, when functional aspects were assessed, the house remarkably outdid several others in its neighborhood, thanks to the thoughtfulness of the Johars.

A short visit to the Johars’ was enough to see their total passion in doing the home! The interiors were calm and welcoming just like the family members who resided within. I would describe the setting as chic and elegant, with minimal exaggerations. You can say that the décor evokes a relaxed elegance with warm lighting and rich furnishings. The Johars knew very well what parts of the house needed attention right from the time they had set their eyes on it. Everything was well organized per se. The Johar couple has always envisaged their abode as a space that reflects their sincerity and warmth. And the interiors of this Duplex apartment do full justice to that desire.

The Living Room seemed with its vibrant colors seems to spring life and vitality. The rich wine colored tapestry and the front wall with lovely sea green texture from Asian Paints strike the right chord. Sarabjeet Johar, the man of the house went nostalgic when asked about the story behind the wall. He recounted how he had to spend his days and nights researching for the wall. Why wouldn’t he? Being a movie savvy guy, he wanted to highlight the wall behind his Television - this was a wall that he intended to sit in front of for most part of his stays at home and it had to be the piece-de-resistance! According to Jaitsri and her mother in law, green is the color of life in Vastu and it was a foregone decision for this lively family to use green. 

Another interesting aspect that followed my observation was the enormous windows. The windows, throughout the house were redone to a much bigger size as initially they didn’t allow enough light. After renovation, the windows not only looked better, but also became more functional, bringing in a lot of light and air.

My eyes wandered around the room and were fixed onto the décor accents – that have been collected over the years. The couple took a pride in visualizing things before leaping into the purchase. The décor pieces found their right place on their respective pedestals and blended perfectly with the semi-modern setting of the house.

As Mrs. Johar narrates, initially the wall was done, and then came the furniture and curtains, and lastly a final touch was given with the best lighting fixtures and handpicked decoratives from all across the city! Most of the furniture and accents were customized. They hardly picked anything off-the-rack. Customization had to be a necessity. Why not? At the end of the day, everything had to blend together for a perfect setting!

Why Duplex apartment? This time it was Mrs. Johar who came forward to recount a story behind this. She had always wanted to have a two storeyed house preferably a Duplex apartment, especially for the kids. She didn’t want them to be bothered or hassled while there is party going on downstairs. Well thought!

Then she showed me the dining room. The colors here were subtle and yes, the switch board went unnoticed. Usually in other houses, one could easily recognize a switch board. But this one was a special one. The wall under the staircase featured an array of wooden boards, which resembled an enormous chocolate. And yes, I would have mistaken it for a door or a random design on the wall if Mrs. Johar hadn’t opened one of them and showed the electrical clutter hidden inside. Now that is not just a brilliant use of space, but also very creative!

The Staircase

The lobby 

I took the staircase to march up to the first floor. There were LED lights on each step to show us the way, which the family had put taking into account the fact that young toddlers were going to toddle up and down the stairs all the time - day or night. And then there was an ethnic storage rack- polished in dark wood. Mrs. Johar claims proudly that this was her favorite piece in the house and she had infact brought it specially from her parents' home. The railings on the staircase had glass shielding the balusters to fill in the gap for safety purpose and also to ensure that the kids won’t throw stuff downstairs.

The Master Bedroom

The master bedroom had a large bay window for maximum light to enter and was east facing as per Vastu. There was a vintage style bed in the centre and a matching dresser rested on the left wall. The room opened onto a balcony which had creepers all over the place, to give that green and natural look and restore the liveliness.

Mr. Johar's walk-in closet in the master bathroom

The thoughtful family man, who is a pilot by profession and needs to get ready at the oddest of hours to go to work, has had a walk-in closet designed for himself in the master bathroom. So he can quietly get ready without disturbing his wife, kids or mom in the middle of the night!

The bunk bed 

The kids’ room was attached to the parent’s room so that the kids won’t feel lonely or if they wake up in the middle of the night they would just walk to their parents or call out for them. While the initial plan had a wall separating the two room, the Johar's had carved out a door in the wall to make it easy for them to tend to the kids at night. And Sarawjeet, the loving dad had done the room personally, with trinkets collected from his travels around the country and around the world. There was a vibrant bunk bed aligned to one side of the wall and a study table, chosen by Mr. and Mrs Johar, occupied the centre.

Study Table 

A blue study table for the boy of the home with macho characters printed on it and a pink one for the girl with fairy tale characters. The ceiling has a number of lightweight, colorful toys suspended from it making the room look so much like straight out of a Disney movie.

Starry ceiling 

The Kids' Bathroom 

With radium stars glued to the ceiling, the room exhibits a magical look when lights are turned off. A little wonderland, I call it.

Babaji's Room 

Pooja room was another extension of the lobby. Every Pooja room gives you that feeling of purity when you delve in closer; this one did the same. A pristine and holy look!

The lobby at the upper floor had a round circular pattern on the texture painted walls and matching round chandeliers and round lights to go with the pattern. A small cabinet built in an alcove just as you came up the staircase, served as the family's show rack. Above it an art piece adorns the wall. 

Johars' is a close knit family. And this shows. While in other homes, I would typically find a single family wall with pics of all family members, at Johars, I spotted a family wall in almost every room. 

When asked about their dream home, everyone had a different opinion - Mr. Johar’s mom’s dream was to have a home in the hills. She would prefer a place like Dehradun. She loves spaciousness and greenery and has even built a very green area just outside their home where she and her grandchildren enjoy early mornings and evenings.

For Jaitsri, this apartment is her dream home and she is perfectly at peace with the home and its surroundings, the security infrastructure and the openness. However, when pressed further, she said a more modern architecture and better maintenace of the complex would make the place even better. According to Sarawjeet though, the concept of a Dream Home changes with every phase of his life, which was quite an interesting answer. For now, he would prefer a home with a tennis court and a swimming pool as he is a keen sports person. But when he grows old and retires from his job, a studio apartment with all the modern amenities would be great. He would love a place where his kids can come from time to time and enjoy being there.

 What I liked about this family was their thoughtfulness, innovativeness and perseverence. They thought, researched and then executed their plan. There were several rounds of discussions for everything followed by thorough research on what to do, what to buy, where to buy, how to arrange. All these endeavors have finally made them adaptive and flexible to home renovation every now and then. Here is what they would like to share with every homeowner.

  • Give a good thought before buying even a small piece of furniture or accessory. One needs to be practical and conform to the actual requirements.
  • It’s not necessary to get stuff in bulk, it can be done in parts because every single piece in your home reflects the kind of person you are.
  • Nowadays buying a home has become an expensive affair so by the time you actually end up buying a house; you are almost out of money, so obviously you don’t realize until its late that you need to invest another 20 to 25% of that amount into doing up the house. So, one should not just blindly buy a big house. One should have a proper estimate of all possible immediate and future expenses that go into creating a home where you would love to live.

As the Johars went down the memory lane while narrating their décor story, I could feel their passion and endeavor as well as the challenges faced by them all the way. Their story, their energy, their liveliness, their enthusiasm and their passion for their home overwhelmed me. However, the story isn’t complete yet. It would never be. Home décor is a process that goes on and on. But yes, now, it’s time for every homeowner to take a leaf from the Johars’ book! 

Photo Credits: Riku Sharma

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