In India, most people do not have the luxury to follow their dreams. They invariably succumb to the never-ending rat race where only the rat who can call itself a doctor or an engineer gets a medal from society. Almost in all cases, Indian parents are responsible for pushing their wards into this cut-throat race. I’ve seen so many bright writers, artists, designers or photographers abandon their passions only to satisfy the burden of expectations imposed by their parents.
More often than not, it results in a seed of resentment towards the parents planted during childhood that grows into a tree of hate once the child becomes an adult. Even when they become successful doctors or engineers, they do not wish to share that success with their parents and the parents term them “ungrateful children”. This is a vicious generational cycle that has been commonplace in our country for far too long. So, you can imagine the heart-warming feeling I experienced when I heard of how an Indian architect not only followed her passion and made a thriving profession out of it, but also translated that into giving the fruits of her success back to her parents .
Nestled within Delhi's Golf Links behind huge neem and mango trees, stands a marvel of architectural brilliance, brought to life by the visionary architect, interior designer and beloved daughter, Shonan Trehan and all the craftsmen who worked tirelessly in bringing her creative vision to life. This enchanting residence transcends conventional boundaries, immersing its inhabitants in a realm where design and happiness intertwine effortlessly. Trehan's profound understanding of her mother's aspirations and her innate artistic talent converge in a home that exudes boundless joy — a testament to her exceptional skill and vision.
Prior to the creation of this remarkable residence, the architect's parents, Madhu and Naresh Trehan, had never truly experienced the embrace of a permanent home due to the demands of their respective careers. As a pioneering journalist and celebrated heart surgeon, their lives were consumed by round-the-clock work, leaving little time to settle into a place they could call their own. Their vibrant spirits and relentless dedication mirrored their fast-paced New York lifestyle, where the pursuit of professional success overshadowed the need for a rooted sanctuary. However, with the architect's deep understanding of her parents' longing for a connection to their Indian roots blended with a contemporary touch, this masterpiece emerged as a fitting tribute to their journey and the fulfillment of their heartfelt desire for a place to call home.
Stepping into this architectural marvel, a sense of awe and wonder envelops the senses. Trehan's masterful manipulation of space is nothing short of a symphony, harmoniously blending fluidity, vibrant colors, and meticulous craftsmanship. The residence unfolds with captivating charm, inviting exploration and discovery at every turn. Living spaces become a celebration of artistic fusion, where bespoke hand-glazed tiles and stained-glass windows take center stage. Each element, carefully curated by renowned artists Cyrus Jassawalla and Jaishree Karani, tells a story of passion and creative expression.
The kitchen is a culinary haven adorned with a turquoise-framed stained-glass window that rises above, casting a kaleidoscope of light and color. This captivating feature testifies to Trehan's ability to infuse artistry into the most functional spaces. The journey continues, where architectural poetry meets artistic precision. Terracotta brick walls, adorned with floral metalwork details, guide the gaze towards a spiral staircase, its teal hues gracefully juxtaposed against the warm backdrop. Here, architectural elements merge with a free-flowing language, creating a visual symphony that delights and inspires.
In the living area, a grape-colored sofa beckons, its inviting presence accentuated by playful aqua center tables crafted by Josmo. A carpet by Jaipur Rugs weaves its magic, offering a delightful tapestry of colors beneath one's feet. Conversations flow freely in this space, bathed in the soft glow of an antique French chandelier, the centerpiece of an intricately plastered ceiling adorned with cheeky hand-painted murals by Studio Hash.
The primary bedroom emerges as an oasis of tranquility, anchored by an enormous bay window — a perfect perch for morning indulgences. The island bed cocooned in an embrace of colored fabrics, rests atop a floorscape that echoes the ceilings' plaster vaults. Here, every detail is carefully considered to create an atmosphere of serenity and respite.
The architectural journey culminates in the writer's room — an intimate space where words dance, phonics flow, and rhythms come alive. A sweeping desk follows the gentle arc of the wall, adorned with stone inlay characters that pay homage to the written word. Three turquoise-framed arch windows frame verdant vistas, connecting the occupant with nature's timeless beauty.
Throughout the residence, Trehan's intuitive understanding of her mother's desires is evident. Hand-painted floral chinaware basins and ivory hand-glazed ceramic tiles with violet accents transform the bathrooms into personal sanctuaries, merging functionality with artistic elegance.
Trehan's architectural masterpiece defies convention, embracing experimentation with unyielding flair. In this sanctuary of design and happiness, Shonan Trehan has created more than a home — it is a testament to the transformative power of architecture. It embodies personal expression, a vibrant canvas that celebrates life's beauty and the pursuit of happiness. With each stroke of her creative exuberance, Trehan has crafted a symphony that resonates with the soul, leaving an indelible imprint on the hearts of all who enter this architectural marvel.
Follow the architectural designer, Shonan Purie Trehan here.
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