May 18, 2020

Saniya Kantawala Design Infuses Mumbai Restaurant with Color

The custom lighting fixtures are a collaboration with Nitant Hirlekar of Mutation Lab. Photography courtesy of Saniya Kantawala.

When Oye Kake, a restaurant in suburban Mumbai, conceived a six-color branding scheme, the team asked Saniya Kantawala Design a pivotal question: How to incorporate each of the hues, without distracting guests from the traditional Punjabi cuisine?

“Modern Punjab is very colorful,” Kantawala says, “but we go back in time and study the state, it included mud homes and white hand murals across the homes. That’s what we wanted to implement, using those shades and tints.”

A monochromatic palette of highly textured paint, jute, and oak serves as a backdrop throughout the 1,200-square-foot space, with vitrified tile floors and muralled mirrors. An open tandoor, lassi, and kulfi bar joins collections of ceramic and metal vessels.

But what about the half-dozen colors? “Punjab women wear a wedding ornament on their hands called a choora,” Kantawala says of the traditional bangle. “We bound almost 40,000 of them in those colors as a form of an art installation on the ceiling.” Spread across 1,100-square-feet, and fitted with embedded lights, it not only fulfills the colorful brief, but allows the restaurant to glow when night falls.

Anil Enterprises handcrafted the sconces, which mix with archival photographs and murals. Photography courtesy of Saniya Kantawala.
Internal storage compartments within the walls reference traditional mud houses. Photography courtesy of Saniya Kantawala.
Custom window blinds in jute reinforce the desi aesthetic. Photography courtesy of Saniya Kantawala.
A nude, biscuit-textured paint pays homage to the cultural heritage of Punjab. Photography courtesy of Saniya Kantawala.
Custom seating in oak and jute cane surround custom oak tables with flooring by Galaxy Marble. Photography courtesy of Saniya Kantawala.

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