A Deco Excavation in Mumbai

Photographs by Gaelle Le Boulicaut

Years since apartment was last renovated: 80
Owners: Cecilia Morelli Parikh, 31, store owner, and Rohan Parikh, 34, real-estate developer

Illustration by Jason Lee

“To be frank with you,” Cecilia Morelli Parikh says over the phone from the airport in Paris, as she gets ready to fly home to Mumbai post–Fashion Week, “our house looked so terrible when we first walked in I can’t even describe it to you.” But Morelli Parikh, the owner of Mumbai boutique Le Mill, explains that her initial dismay with the 2,400-square-foot apartment on Marine Drive was short-lived. Her husband, Rohan, grew up in the neighborhood—filled with stately Art Deco buildings—and had his sights set on an apartment in a sister building, next door, with the exact same layout. But when that place fell through and this one became available, they jumped at the chance—­despite the fact, Morelli Parikh says, “that the apartment hadn’t been renovated in 80 years.” She was quickly able to appreciate the great bones of this Art Deco three-bedroom: its Burmese teak doors (hiding beneath layers of white veneer from the previous owners), as well as intricate moldings and door frames that simply needed to be brought back to their original glory. They opened up the space in order to let in more light, which meant switching out the placement of the bedrooms (except for the master) to the rear, and the living room to the front, for the views of the bay. London-raised Morelli Parikh, formerly a fashion buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, opened Le Mill in 2011, repurposing a warehouse in an industrial area of Mumbai into a concept store where she and her co-founder, Julie Leymarie, have gathered an array of fashion and home accessories that focuses on bringing the skills of Indian artisans to a global audience (with a few Alaïa and Isabel Marant pieces thrown in). “Because of my background in fashion, I love natural fabrics and handwoven pieces,” Morelli Parikh says of her apartment’s muted décor. “Take the rug in our living room; it is so contemporary yet took the weavers over five months to make.” In addition to Indian-made furniture, Morelli Parikh picked pieces from New York–based BDDW and Milanese line Cassina, a nod to her Italian roots. “As much as possible, we wanted the furniture to be made in India—but I couldn’t have a fully Indian home, because that just wouldn’t reflect who we are.”

The new epoxy floor here was put down after poured concrete proved too heavy for the building. The dining table is from Cassina and the chairs, BDDW. Photo: Gaelle Le Boulicaut

Photo: Gaelle Le Boulicaut

The kitchen is the only room in the apartment that was totally redone”with imported appliances from Italy. Photo: Gaelle Le Boulicaut

The black-and-white-patterned floor of the master bedroom is inlaid marble, which was cut and installed on-site over the course of four and a half months. Photo: Gaelle Le Boulicaut

A Deco Excavation in Mumbai