At the door of the new Bombay duplex of actors (and newlyweds) Aditya Seal and Anushka Ranjan Seal, the nameplate is conspicuous by its absence. What isn’t is the happy baby seal (LED) that takes its place, animating the wall and nodding to its namesake owners. “It’s fun to watch people guess,” says Anushka. “Those who understand, understand. And it’s a great conversation starter.” But the unlikely sea creature isn’t the only thing that sets the entrance apart, for if the peach-colored front door (a nod to Anushka’s affection for English country houses) is anything Au passage, it is clear that the aesthetic idiosyncrasies only get better. I have little time left to think about it, for as Anushka gracefully holds the door open, my thoughts are interrupted by what lies beyond: a whimsical Enid Blyton-esque wonderland – if Enid Blyton had a weak for quirks and neon signs.
When Anushka and Aditya bought the apartment in November 2020, they had a tight schedule: they were getting married and only had a few months ahead of them. A social media search quickly led them to Quirk Studio’s Disha Bhavsar and Shivani Ajmera, whose sleek signing, combined with the promise of a speedy transfer, made the deal signed, sealed and soon to be delivered. “The brief was to create a space that was warm, full of light; with muted textures, colors and patterns,” says Bhavsar. “We were clear about avoiding accents that don’t resonate with me and easily messy furniture that would make customers feel uncomfortable,” adds Aditya. What followed was a commotion – a lot. The couple flew to Dubai with their respective mothers to buy furniture and items. “We were looking for rounder and softer shapes than those available locally,” says Anushka. Meanwhile, the designers got to the drawing board to conjure up an overall design plan. “Everything was on deck, from moodboarding to SEO to sourcing,” Ajmera recalls.