The Sen Home in Mumbai Is an Immersive Design Experience

The architecture of home, or in this case an artful interior, is sometimes referred to as the third skin. Each layer – from flesh to fashion to facade – is in some way an expression of the person inhabiting it. For the Sen residence in Mumbai, India, it is a fully immersive family experience designed by Saniya Kantawala of her eponymous practice Saniya Kantawala Designs (SKD). Playfully gilded, the design is a particular reflection of Shubhra Sen, an acclaimed Dubai-based jewelry designer and mother of Bollywood’s Sushmita Sen.

A warmly lit entrance with a nameplate above a doorbell and intercom.

The customized entry to the Sen residence.

Modern living room interior with large windows, sheer curtains, and contemporary furniture.

Artworks and metallic flourishes are layered in the luxurious, double-height living space.

The sprawling 7,500-square-foot, two-story penthouse comprises four bedrooms, five bathrooms, communal spaces engaged in a richly layered, voluminous open plan, and a long central spine created by opening the main area to accentuate spatiality. The living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms are on the lower level, while the upper features a lounge and two more bedrooms. Left of the main entry is the kitchen camouflaged with a grid wall, which extends the space into the living room and makes way for dining. And on the right side of the main gathering area is a balcony that runs the length of the apartment. Notably, each space reads like a chapter within a greater design narrative representative of the family. Bedrooms in particular speak a language of comfort and aesthetic finesse curated to emulate the occupant’s wants and needs while harmonizing with the interior scheme.

Modern living room with gold and beige tones, featuring a geometric wall design and contemporary furniture.

The main living room is designed in collaboration with Italian designer Ugo.

Modern dining room with geometric wall paneling and minimalist furniture.

A long central spine has been created by breaking down a wall near the dining area.

Elegant interior corner with golden-paneled curved wall and sheer curtains.

Ample storage space is concealed behind a custom grid work of cabinetry with gilded detailing.

“If we were to liken the metal accents to a particular accessory, they would embody the essence of a timeless watch,” Kantawala says. “Just as a watch seamlessly combines functionality with elegance, the metallic accents in the penthouse strike a perfect balance between practicality and luxury. They serve as subtle yet striking embellishments, elevating the overall aesthetic of the space with their understated opulence.”

Modern kitchen interior designed with refrigerator and countertop, featuring a window with blinds.

Sliding windows separate the kitchen from the living area.

The son’s and granddaughter’s bedrooms on the primary floor are conceptualized as private boudoirs. Awash in muted tones, a scalloped paneled wall provides a backdrop for the bed with a hidden walk-in wardrobe in the son’s space, while the focal point of the granddaughter’s bedroom is a bespoke mural symbolizing transformation. The en suite bathroom features meticulously crafted terrazzo and stone – every triangular tile has been cut and plastered by hand to create an organic pattern.

Modern bedroom interior with neutral tones featuring a padded wall panel, and contemporary lighting.

A cozy bedroom corner with a concealed door seamlessly integrated into the wall paneling, next to a neatly made bed with textured bedding and a small side table.

A cozy bedroom corner with a concealed door seamlessly integrated into the wall paneling, next to a neatly made bed with textured bedding and a small side table.

An accent wall was created to make space for a walk-in wardrobe.

Modern bathroom design with marble finishes and herringbone tile pattern.

A bathroom that features an interesting interplay of patterns evoking interest.

Modern bathroom design with marble finishes and herringbone tile pattern.

Modern bathroom design with marble finishes and herringbone tile pattern.

A bedroom with a large butterfly and floral mural above the headboard.

The focal point of the granddaughter’s bedroom is a bespoke mural symbolizing transformation.

Modern bathroom featuring colorful patterned tiles, glass shower enclosure, and white fixtures.

Made from terrazzo and stone, the daughter’s bathroom features triangular tiles that have been cut and plastered by hand to create a unique geometry.

Modern bathroom featuring colorful patterned tiles, glass shower enclosure, and white fixtures.

A discrete elevator brings visitors to the upper level lounge area drenched in vibrant hues of maroon and pink in a playful contrast from the rest of the home’s ambient, neutral color palette. Quietly making its presence known is a small mandir with foldable shutters and lotus motifs transforming the unassuming corner into a spiritual sanctum. This floor accommodates a guest bedroom with a neutral color scheme, sage and white checkerboard pattern flooring, and modest lighting fixtures. The primary bedroom is a graceful solution marrying elegance and functionality. Feminine touches grace the space in elements, like a mural-wrapped column, custom-made French panels leading to a fabulous walk-in wardrobe, and pink marble with a fluted tile wall in the ensuite bathroom.

A modern lounge space featuring a pink velvet sofa, a wooden bookshelf, and an ornate marbled wall panel.

Shifting from the neutrals to highly saturated magenta pigments, the lounge has a bold aesthetic.

A modern lounge space featuring a pink velvet sofa, a wooden bookshelf, and an ornate marbled wall panel.

A small mandir with foldable shutters and lotus motifs offers a spiritual sanctum.

A small mandir with foldable shutters and lotus motifs offers a spiritual sanctum.

Modern interior with an art, contrasting magenta accents, and a sleek dining area visible down below.

From the lounge, a passageway leads to the bedrooms.

The design vocabulary is best expressed, though, in the open living quarters. Form, function, and luxury conspire to create a cozy, personal haven for its multi-generational homeowners – tying all the individual vignettes together. Made double-height, freed from columns, and flooded with natural light, this interior space is enhanced in collaboration with Ugo Concept Studio as seamlessly integrated storage is hidden through a grid work of cabinetry embellished using metallic inlays. These elements imbue the residence with sophistication and glamor reminiscent of fine jewelry without feeling ostentatious.

A bedroom interior featuring a bed with patterned pillows, pendant lights, and a vase of orange flowers.

The guest bedroom has a neutral interior design scheme juxtaposed with a sage and white checkerboard pattern flooring.

A serene bedroom at dusk with a turned-on pendant light and a vase of orange flowers on a bedside table.

Modest pendant lights illuminate the guest bedroom at dusk.

Elegant bedroom interior with neutral tones, decorative paneling, and nature-inspired accents.

The primary bedroom reflects feminine grace with a subtle color palette embraced in every detail.

Modern bedroom interior featuring elegant decor and a plush bed.

Modern bathroom with pink marble surfaces and gold accents.

Pink marble lends a distinctly contemporary flair to the bathroom, complemented with a fluted tile wall.

Modern bathroom with pink marble finishes and contemporary fixtures.

Modern vanity area with decorative mirrors, a stylish stool, and elegant lighting fixtures in a chic closet space.

A doorway leads to a closet and vanity area in the primary suite.

Photography by Aspire Studios.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.

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