To have an interest outside one’s day job is not unusual. However, it gets rather interesting when the two are remarkably divergent. Munesh Khanna, a name in the investment banking community, is a fine example of that. When Khanna is not working on a big-ticket buyout, he becomes a home designer. His profession took him across the world, exposing him to contemporary design and architecture, and that’s how he was drawn into it.
In 2019, he started work on his second home. About 100 km on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway lies Karjat, and it became the base for what is now Khanna’s labour of love. “My appreciation for de-sign and architecture gave a deep sense of individuality and what one wanted from a second home,” Khanna says. The property, called One Tree Farm, has been designed from scratch with help from his wife and daughter, a student of architecture. One Tree Farm is at an elevation overlooking a riverbend. “The name comes from a peepul tree that was on the plot. We had to ensure every room had a view of it and the river,” says Khanna, who finished designing in early 2020.
The house, inspired by Scandinavian architecture, uses design elements such as merging the structure with the environment, integration of wood and natural materials, natural light, clean lines, neutral colours, etc. “We have used grey, a neutral colour, to blend with nature. There are lots of windows. The flooring is made of the cheapest Tandur stone from Rajasthan, with the only indulgence being an infinity pool and a Japanese onsen,” says Khanna, a chartered accountant by qualification. Also, although the house is built over two levels on an elevation, only the first can be seen. Talking about designing houses, he says, “You have to thank Pinterest. It can help you get anything, from designs to floor plans.”
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