Creating luxury through minimalist design – Shalini Pereira

Shalini Pereira is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. Her motto is to push herself enough, never slipping into a comfort zone.

ShaliniShalini Pereira has always been interested in the creative line of work. From a tender age she was fascinated by the built environment.  “The idea that you could transform a space that was already built into something totally different, that you could give a space character, was a high that I couldn’t get enough of”, recalls Shalini.

Shalini pursued Bachelors in Interior design from I.E.D (Institute of Environmental Design), Vallabh Vidya Nagar in 2004 and followed it with an MA Design Innovation from DeMontfort University, U.K in 2006. In 2010 she set up SPDA as a boutique interior design consultancy studio with a focus on creating contemporary interiors with a sense of understated luxury. Prior to this she did two stints as Designer at DGA (Dipen Gada & Associates). “During my two stints at DGA I really cut my teeth as a designer”, reminisces Shalini.

Here is a Project feature on an apartment in “The Villas” having an area of 2200 sq.ft. shared by SPDA with Gallopper.

The client approached SPDA, who wanted a home that is luxurious, hip and with a very masculine feel, being a young and sworn bachelor!


The Concept : The idea was to bring in the ‘luxe’ factor by using luxurious materials like brass and Italian marble, but in a restrained and understated manner. This was a thought echoed by the client since he has a great love for marble and wanted to use it as much as possible, but didn’t want the outcome to be gaudy or too bling.

1The way the apartment was laid out meant that there was a long passage that bisected the entire apartment. Since there was nothing one could do about this, the designer chose to make this a major design element. They used back lit onyx to define a small lobby area and then ran the same Italian marble used in the floor, through much of the ceiling as well. At the end of the passage was a niche that housed a colourful sculptural horse that the client had picked up during his travels. They also created a metal jali that acted as a screen between the drawing room and the passage. The screen had elements of brass that added to the luxe factor.


The passage opens out into a drawing room on one side and the dining on the other. Distinctive marble architraves were created to define these two areas and add a sense of scale and luxury.


Most of the colors used throughout out the apartment were dark muted tones that were inspired from the marble itself, with varying shades of taupe running through most of the house and master bedroom. The dining room is spectacular with its grooved wall that acts as a backdrop to some artwork, and the black marble table top with peach coloured chairs makes quite a bold statement.

dark bed

light bedThe two guest rooms were treated slightly differently from the rest of the house, playing with a black and white concept where one of the rooms was light and bright while the other was dark and brooding and minimal. This was deliberately done in order to add a sense of playfulness and drama and lend a break from the Colors theme of brown that was running through the entire apartment.


One of the bedrooms of this four bedroom apartment was converted to a home theatre space with dark walls and ceilings. One of the walls had two giant portraits of Rafael Nadal and Usain Bolt commissioned especially for this space. What’s special about these portraits, aside from them being incredibly colourful, is that they are made from buttons! This unique piece of artwork is something that completely transforms the space and is quite a conversation starter.


The master bathroom is a very masculine space with a huge bed and a replica Eames lounge chair in faux cow hide that takes pride of place. The huge attached master bathroom is again done in a light Italian marble and a lot of detailing was done to create a herring bone pattern above the vanity to make use of some marble that would have otherwise gone to waste.

5There was a lot of detailing that went into the interior, from the grooved marble ceiling in the passage to the herring bone pattern in which the marble was placed in the master bathroom, to the mirrored paneling in the guest bedroom that took forever to execute because we wanted to finishing to be perfect.

As an interior design firm, SPDA believes in creating quality, bespoke, contemporary interiors with an international design sensibility. When it comes to their designs, they follow the “Less is more” approach and strive towards achieving an understated Luxe factor in all their designs with the emphasis being on the spatial experience for the end user. This quotation by Joe Vitale sums it up, “A goal should scare you a little, and excite you a lot”.