Inside Mona Singh’s Boho Chic Home

Actor Mona Singh’s turn as the gutsy feminist, Bulbul Johari, has been one of the many highlights of the new season of Made in Heaven. With the show, ...

7 min read

Actor Mona Singh’s turn as the gutsy feminist, Bulbul Johari, has been one of the many highlights of the new season of Made in Heaven. With the show, Singh has achieved what few actors have – recognition across Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

For many, Singh is synonymous with Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, the 2003 show that catapulted her into fame. Today, two decades later, Singh has also emerged as an important voice in the movement for gender equality and women empowerment.

She has been a vocal advocate for the importance of choice and the need for space. “It’s an essential element in the journey to finding oneself,” Singh says, “For me, my home is that space.”

 Having moved into her current flat in 2021, Singh has since gone about making it her own – a space where she can be herself, be inspired, and be able to thrive.

A sneak peek into Mona Singh’s delightfully unassuming showbiz home

As she welcomes us, the first thing you notice about Mona Singh’s home is the door. There’s no name plate announcing the owner of the flat but you’d instinctively know just which bell to ring. The blue main door is a happy break from the other, more conventional brown ones on the floor. It is, of course, an endearing reference to the movie, Notting Hill.

Besides this, though, there are no overt indicators of this being a showbiz home – Singh’s husband, Shyam Rajagopalan is a filmmaker. There are no obscenely large-screen televisions or home theatre systems. The trophies and the movie posters are not in your face in the living room but displayed thoughtfully in the couple’s office space. And there are no ugly Barca Loungers anywhere in the house. Monica Geller would approve.

What it does have is heart. You don’t need to spend a lot of time here to see that true luxury goes beyond just being fancy and instead values a design sensibility that brings together all the things that matter to you. It is evident that Singh has spent considerable time designing this space, filling it up with all the things she holds dear. This lends her home a welcoming air, and entering it is a bit like walking into a warm hug.

Liberating space

Located on a higher floor of a skyscraper in a tony suburb of Mumbai, Mona Singh’s home overlooks the mangroves, offering unrestricted views for miles. As a result, the home is windswept and awash with sunlight.

So, even though the first thing you see as you enter the home is a large wall painted in a dark shade of green with an even darker velvet-finish sofa against it, it doesn’t make the room feel small or crowded. If anything, the wall stands out and complements the living room’s bohemian vibe.

The home itself reflects Singh’s own free-spirited aesthetic, bringing together her and her husband’s diverse artistic expressions into an eclectic style. There is also a sharp emphasis on organic elements and nature that blend seamlessly with the design features of the house, creating a harmonious fusion of urban and natural elements that resonate throughout their living space. “We have some 65 plants in the house,” she says.

Some of these plants dot the living room, which is divided into three seating areas – the dining, the sofa, and the lounging space. All of these blend into each other in an effortless fashion while also leaving significant room for the pets to frolic around. The minimal furniture in the room also offers Singh the option of turning it into a dance floor on days she’s hosting her friends.

Reviving the living room: The magic of wall panels

Tonight, Singh is hosting one of her popular pre-Diwali parties. “We’ve been thinking about adding something new in our living room this Diwali and I’ve been going through several home decor ideas on my phone. And wall panels kept showing up in my searches.”

When Singh discovered that Urban Company also offered wall panel services, getting them installed was the easiest decision she’d made. Following a consultation, the Urban Company expert helped her select the panels and measured out the wall on which she wanted them installed. Today, just hours before her big party, Singh has decided to put Urban Company’s three-hour installation promise to the test.

The wall she has chosen is right next to her dining table, which tends to be the focal point of her parties. Drinks are mixed here, food served, and conversations had. Three frames hang on this otherwise empty wall. It’s easy to miss this wall but Singh also recognises its ability to stand out and transform the space it occupies.

“When I began seeing wall panels, I realised they could make all the difference. So I called Urban Company to install them and I can’t wait to see how it turns out,” she says pointing to the wall she’s decided to panel.

Wall panels are an easy way to add a vibe of understated luxury to any room. And Singh’s initial apprehension of whether they would go well with the boho vibe of her home quickly melted away when she saw the wide range of wall panels on the Urban Company app.

If there’s an easy vibe to Singh’s home it’s because she’s designed it herself. “We wanted it to truly reflect our personality and having inherited some of my mother’s designing genes – she’s a painter and a decorator – I believed I could bring our vision for the home alive on my own.”

Striking roots, making a home

Mona Singh cherishes the relationship she shares with her parents. They’ve supported her through her early years as she struggled to make it into showbiz and continue to remain an important part of her life even today.

 “My father retired from the Indian Army and settled in Pune with us. So, when I was auditioning during the early noughts, I’d often have to travel from Pune to Mumbai,” she recollects. “But when I landed Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, I had to move.”

 For the first year or so, Singh stayed alone in a city she’d only visited fleetingly, first as a tourist and then as an aspiring actor for auditions. “I was miserable,” she says. So, she did what most of us in her position would – she called up her parents and requested them to move in with her. “And they did! Lock, stock, and barrel!”

 Over time, the city became familiar. With her parents by her side, Singh felt more grounded. “I made friends, went out more, visited the Army Club over the weekends. It was like any other of my dad’s postings,” she says, “And just like that, one day I realised that this city had become my home!”

 So, when time came to buy a place, it was obvious that it would have to be somewhere close to theirs. “Which is why this neighbourhood and this house,” Singh says.

Singh’s mother’s painting occupies an important place in her living room as does her father’s gift – a vintage speaker that fills the home with music. Even as she is grateful for their presence in her home, every once in a while, Singh seeks reassurance. Conveniently, all she has to do is walk over to the bedroom and look out of the window from where she can see their home at a distance.

Versatile elegance

Mona Singh’s sprawling apartment is actually a four-bedroom flat converted into a three-bedroom setup. One is converted into a guest room, the second into an office space, and the third is the primary bedroom carved out by merging the remaining two bedrooms, which is where we are right now.

Like the rest of her home, Singh’s bedroom is awash with sunlight and breeze. The narrow passage dividing the centre of this massive bedroom has a writing desk that serves as a convenient spot to jot down notes or get some work done without having to walk all the way over to the office.

“I needed a large space that could double up as a bedroom as well as an open wardrobe where I could do my fittings and trials,” she says. Singh is committed to being minimalist so while she may have an entire room for trials, the wardrobe itself is just a single four-door unit that’s built into the wall. By any standards, that’s an achievement for an actor. “We make sure not to hoard,” Singh says. “And we give away to those in need. So we’ve never really felt it necessary to have a wardrobe larger than this.” The rest of this space is left open with a full-length mirror on one side and a vanity table on the other leaving sufficient space for Singh and her hair-and-make-up team to move freely as they get her ready.

The other side of this rather large master bedroom is the actual sleeping area. This area is marked by the presence of a single king-size bed and a TV in front of it and no storage space in the form of cabinets or cupboards. “Here’s where I spend the most time when I’m not working. I binge-watch TV shows and refuse to leave the room even for meals,” she laughs.

When it’s work though, Singh ensures it’s in her office.

The creative hub, reimagined

Singh’s office, like the rest of her home, is a bright, corner room with large windows making up most of the four walls. It offers her breathtakingly beautiful views and a space to think creatively. An iMac takes up most of the table space in one corner where Singh’s awards also occupy a place of pride. Movie posters, a necessary staple in an actor/filmmaker household, stare back at you.

A low seating takes up some of the floor space but the prized possession of this room is the Bombay Fornicator. The cheekily-named lounge chair is unique to the city’s reading rooms, libraries, and Parsi households and gets its name from the extendable armrests that facilitate exactly what you imagine.

For most part, though, the lounge chair is one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture lending itself wonderfully to a long reading session. Unsurprisingly, it’s also where Singh settles herself when she has to read a long script or research an upcoming role.

Just as it is easy to imagine this room as a creative hub for Singh and her filmmaker husband, it is also equally easy to picture an intimate group of friends gathering here for a movie night and a round of drinks.

 For the larger bashes, there’s always the living room, where the wall panels are now all but installed.

“My husband and I are often away for work so we rarely have the time to be around to get them installed. And it can be quite a tedious process –  sourcing the material, having to chase multiple contractors, and then cleaning up the mess they make,” Singh says. “With Urban Company, it comes easy because we’ve already used their cleaning services so we know how professional they are. And when it comes to wall panels, we also don’t need to coordinate with multiple people to get this job done. Just book an appointment and the experts take care of the rest.”

As you look around, you realise that this home isn’t merely a reflection of Mona Singh’s personal style, it’s a canvas that captures the essence of her journey and her passion for making every space uniquely hers. 

The living room wall has undergone a stunning rebirth with wall panels by Urban Company. In a space where the decor was once subdued and unassuming, the wall panels now tell a story of sophistication and style. The colour palette, carefully curated to harmonise with the room’s existing decor, fills up the space with an air of refined opulence, especially in the warm glow of the golden hour sunlight. Now, there’s an undeniable energy, a burst of fresh joy, reminding us all that sometimes even a simple transformation can bring immeasurable happiness. And that true luxury is not about excess but about the beauty of choice, space, and the power of a well-designed life.

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