A Magnificient Heritage Home in the Heart of Mumbai

Villa Rashmi is a one-of-a-kind over 100-year old heritage villa in Mumbai with over 50 rooms, located on a dead-end road in the heart of the suburb of Malad.

Villa Rashmi is situated in the High Security Military COD (Central Ordinance Department) vicinity. It is surrounded by over 10,000 trees on three sides. I think of it like a well-set solitaire on heirloom jewellry. And she holds a lovely secret close to her bosom.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Villa Rashmi  is a one-of-a-kind 100-year old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog

Villa Rashmi has an interesting history. Though privately owned, its history is deeply entwined with the history of Mumbai’s early development. And that is why I cannot feature this home without telling you first about this little snippet of Mumbai history. Villa Rashmi boasts of the most gorgeous architecture, beautifully restored spaces, and stunning interiors! So come along!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Verandah of old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog

History of Villa Rashmi

Manibhai, an architect by profession, came to Mumbai from Bhadran to earn a living and build an empire with real estate. He did not have much money to begin with and his ambitions were larger than life. Bhadran is one of the 6 villages in the Kheda district and Charotar region of central/ southern Gujarat, inhabited by landowners.. It was a close-knit community, and marriages happened within the community of these 6 villages, usually. However, Manibhai defied the norm and chose to marry a rich girl who was not from the 6 villages. Samjuben was the daughter of a rich Nagarsheth of village Panetha, who brought a lot of wealth with her.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Old antique clock with wall frames in black and white colors | TheKeybunch decor blog

Armed with confidence and his wife’s stridhan, Manibhai bagged a sub-contract for the reclamation of Marine Drive. After several failed attempts by others, including the architect who built Eiffel Tower, in 1912, the team led by Bhagojisheth Kher and Pallonji Mistry decided to award the sub-contract to Manibhai as he was confident of being able to reclaim the land with the use of Malad Stone and a total of 27 items from all over India. Besides, he funded the project himself and asked to be paid after 5 years – that’s how confident he was. He was awarded the contract . Construction of Marine Drive (then known as Kennedy Sea Face), began in 1915. It was named after Sir Michael Kavanagh Kennedy, an engineer who was Secretary of the Bombay Public Works Department, and a General in the British Army.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | An old pic of Marine Drive when it was called Kennedy Sea Face | TheKeybunch decor blog
An old pic of Marine Drive when it was called Kennedy Sea Face via

In order to execute this prestigious project, in 1912, Manibhai purchased a plot of land in Malad East, at a strategic location close to the railway station. Special goods trains were commissioned to run before and after the peak hours for Manibhai, to transport the material from Malad to the reclamation site near Chowpatty.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Beautifully restored spaces 100-year-old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog

He built a house on that plot of land, a beautiful villa, that he named ‘Bhadran Bhuvan’. Even in those days he knew the importance of a strategic home location. Today, Bhadran Bhuvan is known as Villa Rashmi, and continues to be well-connected. It is located within walking distance of the western express highway, the arterial S V Road, Malad railway station, the local bazaar, post office and the just a few metres from the railway subway that connects the eastern suburbs to the western suburbs.


The Grandeur of Bhadran Bhuvan

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Bhadran Bhuvan was designed on the lines of a Spanish villa with a high stone plinth | TheKeybunch decor blog

Bhadran Bhuvan was designed on the lines of a Spanish villa with a high stone plinth, solid Malad stone walls without any use of cement, wooden pillars to support the 15,000 square feet teak wood roof covered with Mangalore tiles. The flooring was Italian mosaic, designed like a carpet in each room.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The wood roof in the villa heritage has been covered with Mangalore tiles | TheKeybunch decor blog

Manibhai had specially commissioned the cast iron grills running across the entire first floor of the villa with Goddess Laxmi incorporated in the design.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The cast iron grills running across the entire first floor of the villa  with Goddess Laxmi incorporated in the design | TheKeybunch decor blog

It is believed that anyone who stays at or is in any way associated with the villa is endowed with success and wealth. There are plenty of examples proving this theory, starting with Manibhai himself.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Deval Patel with her dad Haresh Patel in front of the old family photographs | TheKeybunch decor blog
Deval Patel with her dad Haresh Patel in front of the old family photographs

The villa could host more than 36 families. Each family had an individual bedroom, bathroom and living room.As was the custom in those times, the toilet block was away from the main building, in the backyard. The kitchen was joint and managed by Samjuben herself.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Villa Rashmi  is a one-of-a-kind 100-year old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog

The current owner, Haresh Patel was born in this historical house. He is the youngest son of Manibhai and Samjuben.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Deval Patel with her dog sitting on stair | TheKeybunch decor blog

The private residence area of Samjuben was decorated with intricate colourful Italian mosaic tile work, that has been painstakingly preserved, and is in fact, for me, the most eye-catching feature of this villa.

Samujben standing in front of the newly constructed Bhadran Bhuvan.

The Defence Ministry of India requisitioned the Estate including the villa, in 1943 for the residence of senior army officers. It was only returned to the family as recently as in the 1987, in a state of disrepair. Haresh Patel started recieving calls from builders and politicians to hand over the estate to them at a meagre price. He also faced threats. Some wanted to convert the villa into a public school. He withstood all this pressure and harassment and maintained that he would protect and preserve this property because it was a blessing he had received from his mother.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Deval Patel with her dog sitting on stair | TheKeybunch decor blog

Deval Patel, his daughter has singlehandedly carried out the restoration of the villa, without engaging any architect or interior designer. Initially she undertook the project as a surprise for her parent’s golden wedding anniversary in 2017. Over 50 rooms of the villa have been renovated with different themes and colour palettes, keeping the heritage look intact. Work on the remaining rooms is still in process. And thus Bhudran Bhuvan transformed to Villa Rashmi, now named after Deval’s mother Rashmi, who was closest and dearest to Samjuben.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Rashmi the owner of the old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog
Rashmi Patel at Villa Rashmi

The villa now serves as a retirement holiday home for the enjoyment of the family. On other days certain areas are available for use by guests, photographers and film makers, who value and appreciate heritage properties.


The Architectural Elements of the Villa

Villa Rashmi has been carefully restored to its original state similar to when it was built in in the 1900’s. It has authentic Victorian antique furniture, high wooden sloping ceilings, spacious and bright rooms with heritage tiles, private balconies, large verandahs, courtyard et cetra, but fitted with modern amenities for today’s living.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Hanging flower pot plant in veranda | TheKeybunch decor blog


The property on which Villa Rashmi was built measures approx 40,000 square feet, about 1 acre of land. The floor area of Villa Rashmi is approximately 13,000 square feet, with two levels of 6,500 square feet each.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The stone used in the constriction of Villa Rashmi is Malad stone | TheKeybunch decor blog

The stone used in the construction of Villa Rashmi is Malad stone, obtained by Manibhai from a nearby excavation to prepare a mix of debris for his reclamation project at Marine Drive.

The architectural style is Spanish Colonial Revival Style (Spanish: Arquitectura neocolonial española) an architectural stylistic movement arising in the early 20th century based on the Spanish Colonial architecture of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | A restored bedroom depicting the lovely wooden sloping cielings at Villa Rashmi | TheKeybunch decor blog
A picture of a restored bedroom depicting the lovely wooden sloping cielings at Villa Rashmi

Typical elements include:

1. Arches and curves
2. Wooden sloping ceilings
3. One floor
4. Terracotta tiles on the roof
5. Intricately designed mosaic tiles on flooring
6. White stucco exterior and walls
7. Balconies
8. Ornamental cast iron and wrought iron work on gates, fencing and grilles
9. Courtyards and backyards
10. Arcades, verandahs.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Deval relaxing in the expansive backyard at Villa Rashmi | TheKeybunch decor blog
Deval relaxing in the expansive backyard at Villa Rashmi

The floor level of Villa Rashmi houses the office and the library

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The vintage-style solicitor’s office | TheKeybunch decor blog
The vintage-style solicitor’s office

Haresh Patel is an avid reader and has huge floor to ceiling libraries in each of his homes. His book collection spans diverse topics, such as law, medicine, music, politics, health, etc.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The office section at Villa Rashmi | TheKeybunch decor blog
The office section at Villa Rashmi

He calls himself a knowledge worker and you will rarely see him without a book with a reading light in his hand. Even when he is in a theatre… what if the show or movie is boring, is his logic! “If I can’t take my books, I won’t go,” he says while packing for holidays.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage books at Villa Rashmi office | TheKeybunch decor blog

He believes that a room without books is like a body without soul.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage books on old wooden shelf and Haresh Patel at villa office | TheKeybunch decor blog

The Tiles at Villa Rashmi

Villa Rashmi has beautiful flooring, original hand painted tiles, original Italian/ Spanish mosaic tiles with intricate European patterns, carefully laid with utmost precision in the designs.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Villa Rashmi has beautiful flooring, original hand painted tiles | TheKeybunch decor blog
A collection of the beautiful original tiles seen at the villa

While restoring the villa, the owner’s daughter has sourced handmade tiles from Athangudi Palace and tiles from Spain to retain the original look of the villa. It is impossible to replicate the mosaic flooring. Several artisans have been invited to see the flooring but none have the skills required to replicate the original work.

The Furniture at Villa Rashmi

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage ceramic set at glass display cabinet in the kitchen | TheKeybunch decor blog

Most of the furniture at Villa Rashmi is authentically antique, dating back to the early 1900s and from the private collection of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The furniture at Villa Rashmi is authentically antique and from the private collection of the Nizam of Hyderabad | TheKeybunch decor blog

Manibhai had contracted with the Nizam to design and build many projects, notable amongst which was the underground sewerage system of the old Hyderabad City and building of the new palace. New furniture was commissioned for the new palace. The wooden furniture of the old palace was brought to his haveli in his village Bhadran, by Manibhai. That furniture has found its way to Villa Rashmi.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Authentic antique furniture at Villa Rashmi | TheKeybunch decor blog

The story goes that the Nizam defaulted in payments and asked Manibhai to take some more of his furniture in compensation of a few of the instalments! Eventually Manibhai filed a money suit against the Nizam and he had to fight it before the Privy Council in London.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Villa Rashmi's room with wood decor | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The dog sitting at the door of the room in the verandah | TheKeybunch decor blog

The Backyard – the old and the new blend

A retro-metro look graces the backyard, sometimes making you feel that you are on a sit-a-while bench in an upmarket mall, and sometimes like you are at your grandparents’ homely garden. I love the use of natural material even in the garden -live wood seats, terracotta and stone art make it look earthy.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Seating area at the backyard of the villa | TheKeybunch decor blog

The lamp posts are absolutely gorgeous with the elegant charm of cast iron!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Owner of the Villa Rashmi heritage in Mumbai, India | TheKeybunch decor blog
Deval with her parents
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The backyard seating area at Villa Rashmi | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Old well at the backyard of the villa | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Haresh Patel sitting on wooden tree stump stool at the backyard of the villa | TheKeybunch decor blog
Haresh and one of the pet cats, Minnie.
This garden seating was made from an old tree that fell during the monsoon last year. (pic below)
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The tree fell during the monsoon | TheKeybunch decor blog

Where the family resides

The private part of the villa where the family resides, is tastefully decorated to keep as much as the old world charm as possible, in a contemporary setting. I love how Deval has managed to bring in pops of current decor into old-world spaces and make them magically fuse!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The beautiful wall decor, furniture and floor tiles makes the outdoor area more welcoming | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Wall gallery at the private residence entrance | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The private apartment was decorated with chairs, fresh flowers, books on the table and bed for relaxing | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The table runner was decorated with fresh white flowers and candle stand holder | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The private apartment was decorated with chairs, fresh flowers and books on the table | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Having refreshment at the private family room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Tea party in the verandah | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Indian antique bed, wooden cabinet, sofa chair and books, flowers on top of the table in the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The bathroom at the private bedroom at villa | TheKeybunch decor blog

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Indian antique bed and handpainted floor tiles at private bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
This modern print rug gives a lovely accent to the the other old elements in this space!
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Traditional Indian kitchen with table in the middle and wooden pillar on it | TheKeybunch decor blog
The kitchen wears a modern look

Other parts of the private residence have a more authentic old-world feel

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The beautiful collection of blue plates on wall | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Indian traditional bed, wall lamp and fresh flower on bedside drawer table | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Original old features on the doors | TheKeybunch decor blog
Original old features on the doors
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Antique chairs and brass idol on top of the table | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The private living area were the family inhabits | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Inside view of the private living area in the villa | TheKeybunch decor blog

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The private living room decoration | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The living room was decorated with green plants, wall frame and vintages at the corner of the room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Old vintage books on wooden shelf at the private residence | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The bedroom was decorated with family frame, wooden dresser and wooden reading desk at the corner of the room | TheKeybunch decor blog

The Themed rooms and suites at Villa Rashmi

Villa Rashmi has some beautifully-done up rooms and suites. Presenting three of the themed spaces here.

The “Green” house – A Suite of rooms within Villa Rashmi

Green walls adorn this particular suite, which is why it is called The Green House.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The sofa sets and vignette decor on top of tables at the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The living area was decorated with chairs, wooden shelf and wall frame | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Wooden partition between living room and dining area | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Rashmi with antique furniture at the corner of the living room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The corner of the room was decorated with decorative mirror frame, wooden cabinet, standing mirror and table lamp | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage books on wooden shelf at the reading room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Wing chair, vintage books on wooden shelf and console table at the reading room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The living room wall was decorated with wall plate and wall mounted kettle, and the ceramic plates on top of wooden cabinet | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Antique clock and collection of vintage ceramic decorated on top of chimney fire house, and decorative wall plates at the living room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage brass clock sand timer at the living room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Trophy and telephone on top of the table, and the floor was decorated with intricate colourful Italian mosaic tile | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Two sided table cabinet at the green bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Wooden shelf, antique wooden table and stool, unique mirror and wash basin at the corner of the kitchen  | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Hanging flower pot plant in veranda | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The green dining room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Table lamp and frames on top of the table at the corner of the room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The wooden cabinet, wall frame and table outside the room at the varendah | TheKeybunch decor blog

A South-Indian themed bedroom

Brass and wood dominate this large bedroom, and the wall colours complement!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage brass nautical ship wheel bell with brass hammer | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Traditional south Indian theme bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Traditional jhoola swing, antique furniture and wall frames in south indian traditional theme decoration | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The wall frames of various hindu gods and italian mosaic tile at the room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Hanging brass diya lamp and hindu god frame at corner of the room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Brass hindu god idols on top of the cabinet | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Brass hindu god statue | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Bedroom decorated in south indian theme | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Antique brass hindu god | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Antique brass chain for jhoola | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Antique brass chain for swing | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Brass peacock hanging diya lamp at the corner of the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog

Pastel Yellow Bedroom

Each image carries so much within itself. There’s a story that presents itself to us, there are details, and charming old-world touches that will fill us with wonder!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Traditional Indian bed with lamp on side table, wall frames and vintages decorated at the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Traditional Indian bed with lamp on side table, wall frames, wooden table and vintages decorated at the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Gramophone music player with brass wall decoration at the bedroom corner | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Decorative wall frames, wooden cabinet and lamp on side table decorated at the living room | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The bedroom corner was decorated with wall frames, vintages on top of wooden cabinet and brass nandi statue on top of the table | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Cute dog sitting on bed | TheKeybunch decor blog
Cooper on the antique bed
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Typywriter, table lamp and book on top of console table at the corner of the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Brass nandi statue, wooden brass antique telephone and brass jar box are on top of the table at the corner of the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The brass collection and frames at glass display cabinet in the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Brass gramophone music player on top of table at the bedroom corner | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage ceramic jar on top of the table at the bedroom | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Haresh Patel sitting at the living room | TheKeybunch decor blog

Some Sepia Charm

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Vintage old light switches | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Beautifully restored spaces 100-year-old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog

The Gardens

Vast and put to the best use, the gardens at Villa Rashmi provide colour, leisure and bountiful harvests!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The green and fresh vegetable at the garden | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The beautiful plants at the backyard of the villa | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Deval and a cute cat near the jack fruit tree in the garden | TheKeybunch decor blog
Deval and Mikkie posing next to a bumper jackfruit crop!

The Verandahs & Balconies

I love the romance of old world verandahs and balconies. I saved this set of images for the end, because they are my absolute favourites. The beautiful verandahs and balconies of Villa Rashmi will charm you!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Villa Rashmi has beautiful flooring, original hand painted tiles | TheKeybunch decor blog

Says Deval, “The Verandahs running through the villa are perpetual wind tunnels, possibly designed keeping the wind directions in mind, just like the verandahs of the Bombay High Court.”

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The green plants with rattan chair at the balcony | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The verandah decorated with wall frames and antique furniture | TheKeybunch decor blog | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Verandah of old heritage villa in Mumbai | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | The colorful cushion cover and cute cat on antique chair at the verandah | TheKeybunch decor blog

The cast iron grilles running throughout the Verandah on the second level have been specially designed by Samjuben and feature goddess Lakshmi.

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Old wooden rocking chair on the balcony of the house | TheKeybunch decor blog




Haresh Patel believes that his father had little or no money when he purchased the land and built the villa. He used his wife’s stridhan. But the villa proved so lucky for him that he landed many prestigious projects in Bombay and outside. He invested heavily in property and eventually became one of the largest individual landowners in Bombay.

A rainy Monsoon day at Villa Rashmi

Before we close, let me leave you with visuals of a rainy day enjoyed with bhajiyas and hot chai at this charming villa!

Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | A rainy monsoon day at Villa Rashmi | TheKeybunch decor blog
Villa Rashmi - A Heritage Gem in Mumbai | Enjoy rains with bhajiyas and hot chai at this villa heritage | TheKeybunch decor blog

With that, we bid goodbye to Villa Rashmi, and head back to the streets of modern Mumbai. Wasn’t that surreal? A warm thankyou to the Patel family who shared all these images, due to my inability to physically travel to Villa Rashmi to click images. Also for being so patient with me as I kept asking questions and begging for more pictures!

Pinterest these images away! You could head to our Pinterest page for Villa Rashmi and simply repin!

If you love old homes, you may possibly enjoy some trips back in time to these beauties we have featured on this blog.

A colonial house in Mangalore
A traditional Guthu House

90 Comments

  1. This is, by far, the most extensive coverage of Villa Rashmi, till date.

    Thanks Sharon, for the in-depth research and publication, the story behind Villa Rashmi adds more character to this historic home, belonging to my grandmother.

    • sharon dsouza

      Thanks Deval, I commend your perseverence in seeing such a mammoth restoration project to completion. Not many keepers of old homes have the will and energy to do what you have done!

  2. Himanshu Kapadia

    Very well articulated blog and the place looks so beautiful in the pictures. I can feel the positive vibes by seeing such lovely pictures and stories which make villa Rashmi a true home of wealth in happiness and joy.

  3. Hasit Jagasheth

    Loved the write up of Villa Rashmi. A lot of Effort Must have gone in its Restoration. A special salute to the Owner’s Daughter Deval for having Done a Fantastic Job in turning Villa Rashmi back to its Old Glamour. Very Few such houses exist in Modern Mumbai. Congratulations to the Patel Family for having done A Great Job in restoring the house and not Succumbing to pressures from The Land Sharks

  4. Khushboo Modi

    A beautiful write up and pictures of Villa Rashmi. Interesting history.
    Fortunate enough to have seen the place and a witness the hard work and love put in by Deval to make it what it is today.
    Very tastefully done, keeping the heritage value alive.
    It truly is a beauty! And would just sum up in one word..Magnificent!

  5. Kanan Shah

    Wow ! Very nicely described 📝 by Sharon DSouza . It was a beautiful journey in Villa Rashmi . The lovely pictures 🖼 made it more interesting and awesome 👌 . Any one will fall in love ❤ with Villa Rashmi . Congratulations 🤝 to you Deval for restoration and you have done it so well 👏👏 . Stay Blessed 🙌 always in the beautiful 😍 gorgeous Villa . 💖 😊

    • My dearest Kananbhabhi,
      Your enthusiasm is unparalleled and I always wish it rubs off on me so I never ever get tired!! Thank you for being so actively involved in my life. ♥️

  6. Deval what a mammoth task it must have been to undertake work of this magnitude single handedly. You have restored it authentically and intricately. Every detail is well thought of and well sourced. It’s impressive- both the villa and your efforts.

  7. Anjali Patki

    Dear Deval, this indeed is a labour of love. Without strong emotions like love and passion, it’ s just not possible to restore and maintain such a lovely property and make it a warm home. Tastefully decorated, exuding warmth and sofistication, Rashmi villa is iconic. Having personally visited Rashmi Villa, I can vouch for the minute detailing, labour and love that has made what it is today, cherry on top being the hospitality and comfort. Best wishes for future endeavours and many more treasurable memories at the villa.

    • Thanks Anjali.
      Every word you have written is a treasure and I will cherish your thoughts forever! ♥️

      • Surya Thanawala

        Beautiful photographs of a wonderfully preserved slice of rich family history and gorgeous architectural heritage. The way you have painstakingly restored this historical family home of over 100 years is a testament to your dedication and commitment. Very nice design elements and personal touches throughout the home. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Deval. Best wishes for continued success.

  8. Shashank Shah

    Have been to Villa Rashmi a few times. Deval, my close friend and a fellow solicitor, has nurtured the ancestral home by her sweat blood brains and funds.
    Most lovingly passionately and all by herself. It’s blossomed into a beautiful charming classic warm hearth. Right here in Mumbai.
    My fondest compliments to Deval and her dad for restoring beautifying and maintaining their legacy!!

    • Aww… thank you Shashank for the kindest words!
      I learnt from you that a Solicitor could also be creative!! 😁
      I do appreciate your making it (albeit late) at every RCBQN event at Villa Rashmi… even the picnic we had there 30 years ago!

  9. Tanaz Daruvala

    Absolutely stunning…it was a visual treat. Deval, Rashmi Villa made our QMS 1986 50th
    reunion extra special. Reading g the history of the place was so interesting. May you continue doing such great work.May you always be blessed in this beautiful home.

  10. Malay Parekh

    Once you get inside the gates of the magical Villa Rashmi , you will feel as if you are transported to a charming colonial place in Europe . This old world , contemporary house in the middle of mumbai is unimaginable . Apart from the beautiful restoration done in the house , I love the organic garden from where you get the most fresh vegetables – farm to home concept .large ancient trees adorn the front yard , providing shelter to a lot of different kind of birds and bestowing a sense of tranquility and calmness . Special mention to Deval Patel who has very patiently , laboriously and with a lot of love has slowly over 4-5 years restored the house from a completley debilitated state to its former glory as a special gift for her parents . Each artefact , tile, furniture , every single object has been personally restored or curated by Deval and it is due to her relentless dedication that Villa Rashmi is outstanding and very different from any house we encounter in a busy metropolitan like Mumbai .

    • Thanks Malay, for always being there… always! You have seen me going through the rough times more than anyone else because I would call you and vent out my frustration… like when the workers or my manager didn’t listen to me! 😄

  11. Alpa Dalal

    Dear Deval, Heritage properties are hard to find. Needless to say the maintenance and the effort that goes in has its own story to tell. You have nurtured this home with such love and care which stands so picture perfect!! Wishing you a lot of luck, strength and prosperity as you warmly continue hosting. ♥️

    • Mangal Monteiro

      Magnificent!
      Visiting a house like this would be a dream come true for me. Loved everything about it. The layout of the house, the outdoor space, the use of colours, antique furniture, and most of all, the beautiful floor tiles.

    • Thank you Alpa, for your encouraging words.
      I’m looking forward to our scheduled chat this weekend and seeing you in Mumbai sometime soon!

  12. Congratulations!You have also contributed in making Villa Rashmi what it is today. It was interesting to know about history of the building. Well done!Keep it up.

  13. Khushmund Mayani

    Deval, just by looking at your fabulous home, one can make out that a lot of time, effort, love and resources have been pooled to restore this thing of beauty! It is truly a magical experience to see each and every tiny detail which are in every room. It’s a place fairytales are made of but here there’s your warmth along with the beauty. Very few have the opportunity to improve on there grandparents work. Which you have done best. My daughters too were awestruck by your home👌 God Bless💕

  14. Kermeen Mehta

    Wow Deval… This is absolutely stunning. In the day and age of selling off old properties to make a quick buck, your family has chosen to build on it’s heritage. Kudos to all of you. What an amazing job you have done (and it sounds like so much fun). It’s clear that it’s a labor of love and that comes through clearly in the attention to detail. Good luck with everything. Please continue to keep us posted.

  15. Ferzeen Damania

    Great job, Deval! Can imagine how much effort you have put in to restore this heritage property of your family. It’s absolutely beautiful. I am so glad I could make it for our school reunion and see this beautiful home and experience your warm hospitality. Thanks

  16. Anahita Shivdasani

    Deval!!! It’s absolutely beautiful!!! It’s heritage, quintessential Indian, surreal but above all a labour of love. And how that shows, in every minute detail, colour scheme, lighting- I could go on and on.
    And of course like Anjali very aptly said – The Deval brand of hospitality- unbeatable combination!!!
    Missed it last time but really looking forward to it in the near future🤗👌👏👏👏

  17. Arshad Cazi

    Extremely tastefully designed and decorated. I was not aware that your place has such a rich heritage? Your grandfather has left a historical legacy and you seem to have inherited his skills. I shall consult you when I do the interiors of my place

  18. Mangal Monteiro

    Hats off to the owners of Villa Rashmi for breathing life into this awesome property.

    Well-articulated, Sharon. Congratulations.

  19. Gunjan Mukherjee

    It’s beautiful beyond words……..

    Dear Deval, You are lucky to have been born in such an illustrious family and in return they too are, to have you as the सुपात्र कि जिसके क़ाबिल हाथों में यह बेनज़ीर तोहफ़ा और भी संवरता जा रहा।

    बेनज़ीर=incomparable

  20. So it’s YOUR home that we’ve seen and marveled at in various movies!!! Truly beautiful. The reno has walked the line between staying faithful to the craftsmanship of the original I’m sure & modernizing it. Very cool.

  21. Reshma Gupta

    Amazing work, Deval🤗👏🏼
    Your love and commitment to your roots and above all, your parents – shines through 👌🏻
    Kudos to you for all the patience , thought and diligence with which you continue to care for your lovely home!
    Am excited and hopeful to experience your warm hospitality sometime … 😊

  22. Sheela.N.M

    Just took a trip around Villa Rashmi,fantastic,you have done lot lot more work on it from the time we last were there.Great,really enjoyed the article👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👍👍👍

  23. Debu Choudhuri

    I am speechless watching the current state of villa Rashmi.
    We were there just 4 years back and I can not imagine the amount of restoration / renovation work that have been carried out in between to give it the current awesome look despite all odds like pandemic and lockdown and ……

    It needed high voltage passion, grit and determination from you and your family members I am sure.

    It was so interesting to read the heritage history that I was glued from the beginning till end.

    My best wishes to you and your family members for further improvement of this property in future together with a grand and peaceful living for everyone.

  24. Nirav Sampat

    Exquisite article. Does justice to the villa & the family that built & maintains it. The photographs truly capture the vivid colours of Villa Rashmi.

  25. Priya Khandwala

    This mammoth of a project taken up by Deval as a loving daughter’s tribute to her parents and is clearly a labour of love.
    Was honored to be hosted there and wish the Patel family many years of continued happy memories in this gorgeous home.

  26. Alpana shah

    Wow! Deval! It is amazing and I am speechless ! And you restored the house to surprise your dad ! And did it without an architect! Proud of all the things you do !

  27. Shamitha Shetty

    Deval,
    Your house is gorgeous, Anahita has said it so beautifully
    The size and scale of the restoration would have daunted any normal, regular person

    Kudos to you for doing it all with your characteristic energy

    Missed on seeing the insides..,the rooms, the tiling, the furniture, the nooks and corners, would love to spend time absorbing those details some other time….what better legacy could u leave behind Deval… what better ode could you dedicate to your parents….you are inspiring at so many levels.

  28. Pravin and Nalini Modi

    What a transformation from military barracks of 70’s to Villa Rashmi of today.
    This villa has been well articulated by Sharon and presented with wonderful pictures and history of 100 years.
    High roof rooms with apt antiques and decor in each room and soothing environment make it more interesting for all residents as well as visitors.
    Deval, your untiring efforts of last decade has given fruits now to enjoy.
    Keep enjoying and continue improvising to make it most suitable site for pictures shooting site as well.
    Well done and keep it up.

  29. Ravi Uchil

    Absolutely awesome to see how years of your painstaking efforts have borne fruit. Villa Rashmi has been transformed bit-by-bit into a charming and elegant residence.

    Your penchant for detail combined with a keen sense of aesthetics is reflected in every element. .. And you did it individually – not with the help of any fancy interior/exterior specialists – who would say ! You could thus imprint your own vision of the house, while keeping budgets in tight rein… for which your strong technical and commercial acumen too helped, in no small measure.

    The malad-stone walls, teak wood on interior ceilings and on verandah columns and hand-made floor tiling are all returned to their prime-day glory – to name just a few. The garden with its charming water-well and airy cast-iron gazebo and its neatly laid-out vegetable patch and fruit trees are a delight to experience.

    That you started on this venture as a gift to your parents on their golden wedding anniversary is very noble and praiseworthy. They’ve so often expressed their happiness in residing in a beautiful home with an old-world charm while being within the city itself and close to the amenities it provides. Not surprising that you share your dad’s enthusiasm to entertain family and friends over the evening at the villa.

    Rashmi Villa is itself a wonderful award that you so richly deserve. Congratulations, Deval !

    • I couldn’t have asked for a better friend than you, Ravi. You have not just been there for me but also helped with your engineering skills to custom design some crucial elements like the extra-wide spiral staircase and the spacious garden gazebo. We made changes on the go (I remember you physically shifting the gazebo pillars) which made the design special, as compared to having outsourced the fabrication to a contractor!! It was fun too!
      Thanks for making this project easier for me and helping me make my crazy unworkable design ideas work out somehow!

  30. Friya D’Costa

    Awesome job Deval! 👏👏 Pictures of Villa Rashmi are a visual treat. Truly a labor of love. patience and tremendous effort. Hoping some day I can visit it.

  31. Swati Jajodia

    Dear Deval, Rashmi villa is a piece of heaven designed by you on this earth. Every bit of it is aesthetic as it can be. Every nook of the house and property reflects your taste. The house is a home built with tender care and love. Loved reading about its history. Stay blessed and May your beautiful house hold celebrations galore in the coming years ♥️

    • Deval Patel

      Thank you, Swati.
      May your words come true, I hope to make many memories at Villa Rashmi.
      Waiting for you to visit, too. ♥️

  32. Ferzana Pader

    My dearest DEVAL, RASHMI VILLA speaks the language of Love! No force can stop someone from doing what they have strongly chosen to. The fulfilment of that intent, then, does not depend upon the hurdles in its path, but on the power of single-minded focus. This is the spirit which is the foundation of RASHMI VILLA and lives on through YOU! RASHMI VILLA is a beautiful culmination of history, architecture, culture and aesthetic surrounded by bountiful nature. I have had the honour and utmost pleasure to experience your lovely home and warm hospitality. The depth of love is most evident in every corner. Stunning interiors. Giving us a chance to understand the perspective of your family and culture, including details about your heritage that are Paragon. Thank you dear! Keep up the legacy. God Bless!

    • Deval Patel

      Oh my gosh, Ferzana, your words are as beautiful as you! ♥️
      Thanks for being in my life and keeping me motivated, always.

  33. Hemali Khansaheb

    Deval, what a fantastic article. It was interesting to read about the history of this home. It is a great achievement by you to completely restore it and revive it. I missed seeing it at the reunion but the next time I am in India I will surely visit you.

  34. Marisha Talati

    It is absolutely delightful to have experienced Villa Rashmi in person. Special shout out to what you have achieved with your dedication and vision.

    The pictures here gives a glimpse into the splendour which needs to be experienced first hand!! Hope to visit soon.

  35. Vishal Agarwal

    The villa is really very beautiful such nicely maintained and take care of all the areas, really awesome and my previlage to be there for some time during our shoot.

  36. Kavita Kacheria

    Villa Rashmi is a labour of selfless love by Deval. I have known Deval from school and even though we lost touch in between we took off from where we left a few years ago and I know she wanted to restore this beautiful Villa to its former glory so that papa and mummy could enjoy it 😊
    I remember how the workers would harass her especially when the roof needed to be done !
    It is an architectural treat and one can just marvel at the beauty of the place once you enter the gates . My favourite place is the area near the swing where we sip chai and do gupshup! I have yet to devour the books in the library .
    Another favourite is the garden area which is incredible! No words can do it justice .
    This place is like having a slice of heaven right here on earth !

    • Deval Patel

      Thank you so much, my dearest Kavita, for all the days and hours you have spent with us … in sickness and in health… during doctor visits and celebrations… and sometimes just like that, at Villa Rashmi! ♥️ Your steady support means a lot to me.

  37. Wowwwww 🤗 It’s beautifully designed and pictures.l really loved it .Your villa is as good as people who live in it and going by that, your villa is the best!!!😍 Deval didi.

    • Thank you, my sweet Vaishali!
      You make our lives at Villa Rashmi so much easier. Everyone who has been to Villa Rashmi has experienced your loving hospitality as well.

      You have contributed immensely in making Villa Rashmi a warm and special home that we visit and never want to leave!!

  38. Mani Gautam

    Saw, read and enjoyed the article. Your home truly is a labor of love ❤️ I loved everything about your home 🏡 and hope to experience it in person. Two things I am waiting to savor- Uncles library and your Mom’s garden 🪴. I think your home is a piece of heaven on earth 🌍 Feel like I am in love again. Wish I was closer!

    • Yes Mani, you should’ve been closer.
      I miss witnessing your endless conversations with papa!

      Come to India soon and spend time with us. I need gardening tips from you too!! 🤗

  39. Monica Mehta

    Fantastic work Deval! 🎉 As always, you’ve put your heart and soul into the restoration of Villa Rashmi… and kept the heritage intact. Hats off to you… 😘

  40. You made some ԁecent points there. I checked on the net for additіonal informatіon about thе issue and found most individᥙals will go along with your views on this site.

  41. Surya Thanawala

    Beautiful photographs of a wonderfully preserved slice of rich family history and gorgeous architectural heritage. The way you have painstakingly restored this historical family home of over 100 years is a testament to your dedication and commitment. Very nice design elements and personal touches throughout the home. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Deval. Best wishes for continued success.

    • Thank you, Suryakaki.
      It is all because of my parents’ blessings and solid support.

      And I am a neat freak because you were the first one to put your hand on my head on the day I was born! 😄

  42. Dear Deval,
    Wonderful recreation of history of this building. Never knew all this. You have taken extreme painstaking efforts to recreate this home without losing its heritage. Hats off to you!

    You have been particular to restore every small detail starting from roof to interiors and exteriors. I am glad I was of some assistance to you in this project. This is a treat of learning for any architectural and construction engineering student. Think of arranging visits for them. Your parents should be proud of your achievement and so are we.

    • Dearest Tejas,

      You know how much I’ve relied on you for the structural strengthening… and you have always been there for me, made my ideas work. I couldn’t have continued the work without your ‘solid’ support!!!

      The entire project has been a great learning experience for me amd I am still learning every single day. I was confident because I believe that if I ever mess up something, you and Ravi would have my back! 😄 Thank you so much!!!

  43. Suryaben Thanawala

    Beautiful photographs of a wonderfully preserved slice of rich family history and gorgeous architectural heritage. The way you have painstakingly restored this historical family home of over 100 years is a testament to your dedication and commitment. Very nice design elements and personal touches throughout the home. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Deval. Best wishes for continued success.

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