Bengaluru based partners Aniketh Bafna and Sonal Mutha are the creative heads behind bespoke design interior firm Studio Ipsa. We put the spotlight on one of their latest projects of an interior space on the 17th floor of a Bangalore high-rise, nicknamed Zephyr@17, an indication of the breeze that sweeps through the interiors.  By Amrita Shah

A few of us are lucky enough to figure out what we want to spend our lives doing at a young age. Some of us grow up with certain ideas, specialise in an intensive field of study for years, work for a while and then finally realise that we are in the wrong place before we course correct. I am talking about myself here, but Aniketh Bafna of Bangalore based Studio Ipsa underwent the same realisation.

After doing his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Biotech Pharmacy, Aniketh worked in the real estate sector for four years: walking potential buyers around a space, talking about its potential and running through looks with them as part of his sales pitch, before he realized he loved design. In 2016 he took the plunge into interior design and started a small home run practice.

In 2019, six months after moving into a 300 sqft office space and hiring Sonal Mutha (his first employee), Aniketh offered her partnership, and U and I Designs was born. Rebranded Studio Ipsa in 2023, this bespoke design studio is now synonymous with designing meaningful homes across the country.

The view from the foyer –the wallpaper on the far wall is framed by a series of arches

When Aniketh and Sonal were approached to design a home on the 17th floor of a Bengaluru high rise for a young family with a toddler, the duo proposed a modern yet tropical design aesthetic that would be the perfect compliment to the uninterrupted sky views from the apartment.

Soft curves, warm tones of teak, woven cane, an array of textures and a neutral palette complimented by teals and a sprinkling of lush plants were used to create this look.

Stepping in through the wooden entrance door etched with inverted arched arranged around a chunky round handle carved out of green marble, the eye travels along the length of the house. A black console stands ensconced in a niche in a greige wall against a delicately floral monochromatic wallpaper, and opposite it, the spacious living area.

The foyer continues as a wide passageway that divides the house into two distinct halves and culminates in a powder room opposite the main door. By creating a series of wooden arches along the corridor and treating this far wall with a tropical print wallpaper, the designers were not only able to conceal the washroom door, but also create a point of focus where the arches seem to frame the wallpapered wall.

The living space is divided into two distinct seating zones. A neutral colour scheme prevails in the area around the television dominated comfortable sofas and a carved media unit. In the primary seating area the designers used teal upholstery on cane armchairs and wood-back sofas to add colour to the space.

In combination with a centre table that emulates a tree trunk, a splattering of plants and a customised console designed to echo the lush foliage of Bali, the designers created a space with a distinct relaxed tropical feel. As a backdrop to the living space is the feature wall; moulded out of gypsum and treated as a curtain thrown into folds – an interpretation of the graceful flow of objects in nature – this wall continues into the adjoining terrace and visually connects the two spaces. Set into this curvy wall is a wood lined arched niche with shelves holding all kids of bric-a-brac from the family’s travels.

A wall in the entertainment area was inset from the passageway to create an altar in the heart of the house. The wall behind the pooja low unit is a textured charcoal slate juxtaposed with a floral carved motif set into an ogee arch. On the other side of the passage, the slate is used once more on the dining table that is placed opposite it, tying in the two spaces.

Wicker backed chairs, wood paneled walls, light streaming in through large windows, and cane pendant lamps create a crisp, airy look in the dining area which continues into the taupe and wood finished open kitchen beyond.

In the master bedroom the flooring was topped with cement micro-topping inset with marble inlayed squares, giving it a more rustic feel as compared to the rest of the marble floored house.  A low window seat dominates the room, and teak, cane and banana fibre furniture continue the Balinese vibe the designers set out to achieve. The toddler’s room was created especially for the little inhabitant – starting with a jungle theme textured wallpaper to engage her tactile senses. White wardrobes with a fluted blue wainscoting and handles fashioned after buttons, a low window seat, a hut style wooden bed and similar hut shaped chalkboard panels on the wall make for a playful space.

In the terracotta hued guest room the upholstered bed is complemented with a black chest of drawers with a engraved geometric pattern and a hand-painted mirror.

All three rooms are bright and airy as the rest of the house. It’s no wonder that the project has been dubbed Zephyr@17 by the design studio.


Fact File:

Area: 3200sq ft

Location: Bengaluru

Lead Designer: Logeshwari and Sonali Metri

Principal Designer: Sonal Mutha

Photographs: Courtesy Studio Ipsa