The living room poses a curious challenge to homemakers. As a lounge, it should be the comfy haven of family life – a retreat in which to relax and play. But it’s also the place where you welcome visitors and hope to impress with your interior design. These two purposes are not always simple to reconcile.
But there is one group of people who accomplish this feat in style: celebrities. India’s glitterati love to open the door to the press and reveal immaculate living rooms that are both glamourous and, well… livable.
These star homes are celebrity’s worst-kept secrets. But to benefit from the décor tips they expose requires closer analysis. So, SimpleGhar worked with designer Oleksii Komarov to create 3D layouts of seven living rooms owned by Indian celebrities based on the photos shared in the media.
1. Shah Rukh Khan (Mumbai)
As King of Bollywood, it’s apt that megastar SRK should live in a palace. He first spotted his present mansion in 1997, dreaming of it for nearly five years before he acquired it and renamed his new home Mannat: ‘a vow to the Gods.’ Mannat has all the glamor of 1920s neoclassical architecture and is regularly swarmed by tourists and movie fans. So how does Khan keep it real in the living room?
It helps that Khan’s wife, Kauri, is an accomplished designer. Along with curios and art replicas from the couple’s extensive travels, Gauri’s influence adds a personal touch to the regal décor. Flamboyant use of golds and yellows, figurative paintings, and thick, flowing curtains create a playful feel despite the lounge’s grandeur – and houseplants keep this elegant throne room from feeling like a museum.
2. Priyanka Chopra (Los Angeles)
Actor, influencer, and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra made headlines when she paid $20 million (Rs 144 crore) for a 7-bedroom family home with husband Nick Jonas. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench the room with natural light and draw attention to its sheer scale – as if you wouldn’t notice! The windows make the most of the setting, looking out over the hills beyond the Encino district.
The living room of the 20,000 square feet mansion is double-height with an exposed walkway crossing its breadth. Despite the scale, a muted palette of ivory floors, cream sofas, tan, wood, and stone prevents the space from seeming overblown.
3. John Abraham (Mumbai)
John Abraham’s Mumbai penthouse overlooks the Arabian Sea and is known as the ‘Villa in the Sky.’ The duplex was partly designed by the actor/producer’s brother as a two-floor conversion with a terrace. Positive energy flows through, thanks to adherence to Vastu principles, such as the neutral color scheme and use of rectangular wooden furniture.
The Bollywood hero’s healthy outlook is reflected in his preference for natural features, including driftwood and houseplants. “I am very proud to say that the carbon footprint of my house is really low,” Abraham told Friday Magazine. “We wanted to create a sustainable house that’s easy to maintain; clean and simple. I think a house should be functional and minimal, albeit attractive; but not a status symbol.”
4. Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai)
Whether “God of Cricket” or “Little Master,” former batsman Sachin Tendulkar is a living legend. Having retired in 2013, Tendulkar resides at his 1,600-square-feet apartment at the Rustomjee Seasons in Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai. He bought it for $936,000 (RS 7.15 Crore) in 2018. Singapore-based designer David Tay designed the interiors of the complex using a concept named “The New Age,” which allowed him to blend tradition and change, Indian and western influences.
The spacious living room is made cozy with earth tones. “There is an inner light in every one of us,” says Tay of his inspiration – although he could be talking about Tendulkar’s genius behind the cricket bat. “Guided by the power of light, an illuminated world of spiritual dimensions emerges from the dark recesses of our minds.”
5. Sidharth Malhotra (Mumbai)
Heartthrob Sidharth Malhotra has one of the more modern living rooms in our collection. The late-blooming actor prefers bold colors and geometric shapes for his lounge. These are best personified by the post-modern twin lamps beside the sofa, which call attention to the haute design of the room and create their own strong, angular shadows around the sitting space.
The walnut treasure chest table atop the monochrome striped rug delivers an outrageous combination of movie-style adventure and high design – and will no doubt be a focal point for any children who might one day make an entrance. It may not be the grandest Bollywood palace, but Malhotra’s bachelor pad is both super-cozy and Instagram-ready.
6. Salman Khan (Mumbai)
The eternal bachelor Salman Khan lives with his siblings and parents in the apartment complex where he grew up. Khan himself now occupies the ground floor apartment where his living room forms an L-shaped area with the dining room.
Khan’s secret, then, is to hold family close and cherish his memories of place – but to garnish these with the luxurious elements you might expect. His décor is chosen for its sense of tranquility, and the color scheme delivers a vintage feel.
7. Sonam Kapoor (London)
Sonam Kapoor and husband Anand Ahuja have brought a touch of India to their Notting Hill home through the design of Mumbai-based architect Rooshad Shroff. “We began with laying a foundation of rich textures and jewel tones together,” says Kapoor. “Anand and I decided very early on that I would take the reins with the design of our home. I saw us both growing in this space for years to come and that feeling informed the level of detail Rooshad and I have gone into.”
Antique rugs grace the solid wood flooring of Kapoor’s living room, but the rest of the room pops with color and twee modernity. A Calanque coffee table by Charles Zana, Allegra Hicks side table, and wildly decorative wallpaper from Farrow & Ball may be out of the reach of many of us, but they demonstrate how homemakers can use surprising shape and texture to add drama to the squarest of living room areas.
Life is for living, and the living room is the place where so much of it is done. Not everybody can afford a home with a giant lounge or to fill it with designer furniture – but as these Indian celebrities attest, the first step towards a rewarding living room is to honor your personal touch and keep your loved ones around you.