Filled with warmth and energy, Chitrangada Singh and Jyoti Randhawa’s Gurgaon villa takes one back to country living, finds SHELLY ANAND
Shielded from the glaring lights of the camera and heat and dust of the green fields, actor Chitrangada Singh and golfer Jyoti Randhawa’s home is a story in simplicity and understated luxury. Tucked away in a tranquil, resort-like location on Sohna Road in Gurgaon, the 1,000 sq yard villa is not just another brick and mortar structure. It is a property which reflects the personality of its owners, their likes and dislikes, and their values. A cosy abode—one that meets the needs of the people who live there and invites visitors in with open arms—it exudes warmth and good vibes that engulf you the moment you step in.
Spread over a basement, ground and first floor, the French country style cottage is a fashionable address with interiors that have a lived-in look. A foyer ushers one inside the home, which is full of natural light due to an open-tosky ceiling covered with thermo cooling insulation. A few steps away is the living room with glass windows and doors. This is divided into three sections with different seating
arrangements and done up mainly in cream, beige and off-white. It shares space with the dining area which sports a wooden six-seater dining table. Just outside the living area, a flight of stairs takes one to the first floor, which is again flushed with natural glow.
Unlike most modern celebrity spaces chock-a-block with ornate bric-a-brac, the couple’s turf, which they share with their six-year-old son Zorawar and Randhawa’s father, thrives on love and laughter. The reality of Singh and Randhawa’s life in Gurgaon is far more normal. “For me, home means comfort and ease. I always wanted to have a place which is not too formal and stark; but one which has a casual flavour and lots of energy,” says Singh.
That their castle communicates with certain eloquence and clarity is evident in the way rooms have been decorated with thoughtfully-chosen furniture like the floral-patterned high back chair in the living room
or the cane bed in the master bedroom, furnishings and accessories from places across the world, through use of textures for most basic fittings like doors and windows and the manner in which natural materials have been used to cover floors. With not a single hint of ceramic tiles, the floors in different sections of the house are covered in materials varying from concrete, sandstone, tumbled finished marble and brass. Even the doors are in solid Burma teak wood resplendent in their glory with no extra coating of polish. “Our idea was to give the villa a rustic look with lots of openness and air to breathe in,” explains Randhawa. To leave the doors without any layer of paint, for instance, was a conscious decision taken by the couple so that the raw look comes out in the form of grains and imperfections.
Before the family of four moved in to make the cottage their new address last October, structural modifications were carried out. Nothing short of a bare shell house, the villa’s DNA was changed to make it spacious. Like the two pillars which were there right at the entrance were removed, floors were levelled on the ground floor and the wall in the living room was broken down and instead a wall to floor glass frame was installed to let in sufficient light.
One thing both Singh and Randhawa were clear about from the outset was to ensure the rooms have an earthy look with lots of solid hardwood and teak wood and no over-the-top embellishments in any form. To help refine their vision of domestic bliss, they got interior designer Rohit Kapoor whom they met through a common friend to give shape and character to their villa. It took Kapoor almost two years to redesign and reconstruct the interiors and make the mansion fit for comfortable living in tune with the couple’s idea of a simple and classic hearth. “They didn’t want anything grand and were keen on decorative minimalism. Modifications, however, were necessary to bring the place up the mark, especially streamlining the awkward floor plan and other changes. At the same time, Singh had a clear and precise idea about the type of furniture and furnishings she wanted to have. So, you will find furniture pieces and décor accessories from international furniture brand Ethan Allen here which she picked up from Dubai,” explains Kapoor.
The relaxed look of the villa with its soft, beautiful, country interiors, and natural and muted colour tones, signifies that the house is all about juxtaposition— formal and informal, rustic and elegant, dressed up and dressed down. The master bedroom with its large bay windows and tiled hardwood ceiling has cream-coloured concrete floor tiles and sports a similar colour scheme when it comes to walls. An antique Ethan Allen creamcoloured cane bed with wooden frame and accompanying bedside tables and a floral upholstered couch in cream and red gives the room a calm and collected feel. Artworks in the form of three small frames and a huge horse sketch line the wall behind the bed. That Singh loves to pick stuff from her travels and is emotionally attached to them and the artworks is evident from the knick-knacks displayed in the house. Like there is a Lord Krishna Nadraj canvas done by hand by an artist from Jaipur which she got for the home; it is displayed on the wall outside the master bedroom. Similarly, a cluster of masks in different shapes and colours cover the wall outside the guest bedroom. Ask her what made her settle for this villa, and her eyes light up. She says, “The moment I saw the sloping roofs in the bedrooms, I decided that I have to have a house like that”.
Keeping in tune with the colour and design scheme of the master bedroom, the living room is also done in muted tones with hints of colour here and there in the form of accessories or single furniture seats. Ethan Allen’s presence can be found here as well in the form of beige coloured sofas and wooden coffee table. The horse sketches are a common feature in the cottage and they carry the story forward here too along with crystal and glass accent pieces and steel lamps. Randhawa’s numerous trophies are also neatly and proudly displayed here. When asked about the horse sketches, Singh says, “I love to sketch and these artworks are proof of that”. The one in the living room and in the bedroom for example, were picked by her from Madrid.
As they say, home is where your story begins. And Singh’s and Randhawa’s pad is where class and style share a happy space.
The living room with its cream and beige colour scheme exudes a warm and earthy appeal
Collection of different- sized masks cover the wall outside the guest bedroom ( left); wooden hardwood ceiling defines the master bedroom (below)
Down to earth and close to nature, the couple’s home is nothing like stiff, intimidating celebrity spaces
(Clockwise) Accessories in the shape of wooden framed mirror, animal-inspired figurine and a metal horse bell find their due place in the cottage