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Reinvent: Ajji:Lightweight but solid; airy but warm; finished, with artfully unfinished edges. Lekha Washington’s desire for a transformative multi-functional space in suburban Mumbai found just the right expression through Asian Paints’ textures and finishes.

Lekha Washington - Designer & Founder, Ajji

When Lekha Washington, founder of product and furniture studio, Ajji, saw it, she knew it had potential to be so much more than it was. Located in the charming Ranwar Village in Bandra, Mumbai, the space had everything that the artist-cum-product and furniture designer-cum-performer needed it to be: A sense of community, the cultural eclecticism leftover from the past, and a vibrant creative hub.

A modular wall with the Royale Play ‘Stucco’ (front panel) and ‘Archi Concrete’ finishes (back panel). The flooring was finished in Woodtech ‘Aquadur Wood Stains’.

A concealed permanent storage unit with the Royale Play ‘Stucco’.

AI3_21_2017_4_18_59_AM_Ajji_MainImage.jpg
Lab 17 Mar 2017

Reinvent – A Clever Camouflage featuring Ajji

Lekha Washington’s desire for a transformative multifunctional space in suburban Mumbai found just the right expression through Asian Paints’ textures and finishes.

Pushing the boundaries of creativity, experimenting with design, stepping out of the comfort zone and reinventing one’s aesthetic. They are the touchstones of a designer’s ability to be flexible—and courageous—to stay ahead of the curve and evolve a new design language. Architectural Digest and Asian Paints join forces to give 10 creative professionals from the world of design a unique opportunity to do just that, with Asian Paints Reinvent. Using finishes, wallpapers and textures from the brand’s three iconic collections— Royale Play from the International Designer Collection, Woodtech Insignia and Nilaya—the designers reimagined existing products, created new pieces and refurbished studio or showroom spaces.

Reinvent: Ajji:Lightweight but solid; airy but warm; finished, with artfully unfinished edges. Lekha Washington’s desire for a transformative multi-functional space in suburban Mumbai found just the right expression through Asian Paints’ textures and finishes.

Lekha Washington - Designer & Founder, Ajji

When Lekha Washington, founder of product and furniture studio, Ajji, saw it, she knew it had potential to be so much more than it was. Located in the charming Ranwar Village in Bandra, Mumbai, the space had everything that the artist-cum-product and furniture designer-cum-performer needed it to be: A sense of community, the cultural eclecticism leftover from the past, and a vibrant creative hub.

The first floor of a 150-year-old building in Bandra, Mumbai—it was just what Lekha Washington, founder of Ajji, a product and furniture studio, wanted for her varied interests and passions—furniture, functional art and large-scale installations. Washington, along with partner Suresh Venkat, spent 8 months restoring it around three years ago before they started operating out of the glorious space. The last thing left to do was to give it a much-deserved facelift, while preserving its charm and personality, yet infusing some edge. She turned to Asian Paints’ textures and finishes to add that final layer of pizzazz, augmenting the brilliant transformation. But this reinvention needed to be subtle in order to support and provide a suitable backdrop to her products which are very big, bright and bold. It was all about less is more.

A modular wall with the Royale Play ‘Stucco’ (front panel) and ‘Archi Concrete’ finishes (back panel). The flooring was finished in Woodtech ‘Aquadur Wood Stains’.

The reinvention addressed two overarching needs—one was to create a storage space because “I had a lot of extra items that I needed appropriate storage for”. Washington chose to create a concealed structure with the Royale Play ‘Stucco’. This assimilated rather well into the space so it looks like it’s barely there and yet it gives a great amount of storage.

The second one was to transform any corner of the space by creating exciting backgrounds and cosy areas, yet keeping it clean and understated. Washington had built two modular walls and used two contrasting finishes on either side—the Royale Play ‘Stucco’ and the ‘Archi Concrete’ from the International Designer Collection. These walls on wheels provided the flexibility to Washington to play around with her space—from where the walls stand to which texture and colour is showcased— complementing the transformative nature of the entire space. 

A concealed permanent storage unit with the Royale Play ‘Stucco’.

Then came the finishing touches— painting the entire space a stark white, and the flooring, which took the Woodtech ‘Aquadur Wood Stains’ finish. This was a reinvention that stayed in the background, but enhanced the existing aesthetic, making it seem like nothing much had changed. That, of course, was the grandest statement of all.

A version of this article was published in AD India’s Nov-Dec. ‘16 ART ISSUE. To catch all the action and watch the videos where the designers went about creating, transforming and reinventing, just log on to www.architecturaldigest.in/reinvent.

Email colourpro@asianpaints.com to start your reinvention.