Architectural Digest India got the first tour of actress Alia Bhatt’s new house, which she will be sharing with her sister Shaheen: “(You're seeing my home) before my friends, before my family, even before my father!” she told the AD team.
It was during the shooting of the Vikas Bahl-directed Shaandaar that Alia Bhatt met his wife Richa (Vikas’s wife), whom she would end up asking to design her new house. Although there was no real brief, she was very clear about what she didn’t want. “I told Richa I didn’t want it to be too modern. I wanted it to feel a little old, with a New York loft kind of feel. And I didn’t want anything overtly glamorous, like chandeliers, or marble floors.”
Alia purchased the house two years ago, choosing it over two others she had seen, because of its closeness to her parents’ house. “It was really a no-brainer for me,” she said, with much more confidence than you would expect from a 23-year-old speaking of her first home.
The renovation took around a year and a half, and the space’s four bedrooms were reconfigured to three. Richa fashioned Alia’s dressing room into a separate space to ensure the rest of the house would be private, even if the actress was in the midst of fittings.
“You know, when she’s getting ready it’s not just her. There’s the stylist, the make-up artists, the spot boys, the ironing guys... it’s like a mela in there,” says Richa, in mild horror. A lobby now separates that space from the large living room, which has turned out to be a cosy mix of New York loft and Swiss chalet, with white walls, comfortable sofas, concrete-tiled floors and expansive windows that incongruously — though not unpleasantly — look out to Mumbai’s very tropical trees.
The palette here is surprisingly mature. Alia wanted the space to be as completely removed from the glamour associated with Bollywood as possible, and even the lighting is muted, in deliberate contrast to the harsh spotlight—literal and figurative—in which the actress usually finds herself.
The one thing the sisters insisted on in the house was a “tea bar”, because apparently, they’re both “really into tea. Just totally obsessed,” said Alia. It’s hard to imagine anyone (young or old) comfortably drink tea while perched up on a bar stool, but the hip flask on the bar counter that reads, “I didn’t text you, vodka texted you,” indicates that other beverages might be served as well!
The full text of this interview, and more photos of Alia's house are in Architectural Digest India's October 2016 issue. Click here to read more.