How this Mumbai renter turned her one-bedroom apartment into an award-winning home
For Spacelift 2.0, we look at how ingenious Indians are transforming rented spaces into living, breathing homes
“I have been living on rent all my life. Dad had a government job and postings came every two years. We almost never liked the quarters so we used to rent other places we loved,” says Rukmini Ray Kadam.
The award-winning decor blogger kicks off our second edition of Spacelift with her one-bedroom apartment in Mumbai, where she’s living on rent for Rs 28,000.
“My husband and I wanted an apartment that’s compact, has lots of natural light, at least one large balcony and a view. Also, I always prefer renting directly from the landlord,” she adds.
When living on rent, Kadam insists that one must choose good landlords over good homes and set honest expectations before jumping in.
The apartment that you see on her Instagram page is a far cry from what she first laid eyes on. “It was quite depressing, it came with a single light bulb, and a pigeon that called our washing area its home. But we saw potential.”
The common theme is the colour white. “I’ve been doing white decor since 2011, when the whole farmhouse and white aesthetics wasn’t a thing in India,” Kadam says. When moving into a rented apartment, she always keep a packet of white cement handy to fill holes that she discovers here and there.
The aesthete describes her style as inspired by life’s comfort and informalities. “I love decor that makes me want to cocoon, and slow down. Relax and rejuvenate. The living area is my favourite part of our house. Every single piece is curated and I love all of them.”
For their dining area, they chose a round vintage-looking breakfast table with English country legs and got modern Windsor chairs. “I choose carpets in a rough finish so my cats can scratch away to glory,” she mentions.
In the spirit of upcycling, French country style water jugs get repurposed as vases (she loves flowers) and old bottles get a coat of bright blue paint to become candle sticks.
The couple loves their TV time so they invested in a good console from Bevintagedecor.
“We also like to work together so we turned one wall of our bedroom into a full-on workspace.”
“I have always loved my home, and the lockdown has just reinforced what I feel about it,” Kadam says. “You know, how they say go big or go home like it’s the less-exciting alternative. I always thought going big has nothing on me. I’d rather go home, have a cuppa and be happy.
Are you living on rent and would like to share your beautiful home as inspiration for our Tweak family? Write to [email protected] with the subject line Spacelift 2.0 and you might just get featured.