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Service areas can provide unexpected benefits for small apartments


Even the humblest of areas can prove to be a blessing in disguise in an apartment where space is an issue.

When asked to design the interiors of a Mumbai apartment, architect Kunal Barve faced a significant challenge – the owners wanted two bathrooms, but there was hardly anywhere to put them. A further restriction was imposed by local regulations prohibiting the alteration of existing structures.

"Somehow, I had to come up with a design for a powder room and master bathroom that would relate to the rest of the home, and be as efficient as possible, given the constraints."

With a mere 1.2m² of space available for the bathrooms, the architect was forced to look elsewhere. The solution was to borrow from the service duct area.

"We added a slab to the duct, making sure not to damage the original structure. All the changes were carried out in accordance with the regulations," says Barve.


The powder room is adjacent to the living room, and has a yellow and black palette that complements the tone and walls of the living area. To maintain the clean lines the owner wanted, and ensure there is no disruption to the plumbing in the building, the tiling on one of its walls can be opened for maintenance.

This bathroom also includes a concealed space for a washing machine, a geyser and a utility cupboard.

Another part of the duct space was utilised to create sufficient room for a wardrobe in the master suite.

The rich, white marble floor of the master bedroom extends into the master bathroom. The white flooring is offset by black marble with a white striped pattern. Utility cabinets and the wardrobe are finished in polyurethane for a symmetrical appearance, which adds to overall atmosphere of luxury and comfort.

First published date: 28 February 2011

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Credit List

Architect Kunal Barve
Bathroom Bath Shop
Basin Azzurra
Taps Bath Shop
Hardware Bath Shop
Shower stall Plano
Hot water systems Racold geyser
Toilet Villeroy & Boch
Bidet Villeroy & Boch
Tiling Italian marble
Flooring Australian white marble
Paints Asian Paints
Finish PU Shutters
Mattress Hush
Wallcoverings Elemento and Palate