bedroom with textured wood panelling
bedroom with textured wood panelling

Yin and Yang of Traditional and Modern

Keerthi Tummala of Sage Living designs her own  multilayered apartment in the heart of Hyderabad in dark, moody hues and a mix of old and new

Black, brown,, and grey all over. A bit drab, right? Actually, quite the opposite. For one, the large, airy space not only absorbs the dark, moody hues; it plays them up to perfection. Second, it’s peppered with carefully considered pops of colour in just the right amount to break the monotony. Third, and most importantly, it features an interesting mix of furniture, both old and new, complemented by an assortment of art and objects.

All the above combine to give a chic feel to Sage Living’s founder and creative director, Keerthi Tummala’s 10-year-old apartment in the heart of Hyderabad—a 3,100-square-foot, three-bedroom space, which she has renovated after more than a decade of living there with her husband, son, and mother.

Tummala has based the décor on the ancient Chinese symbol of Yin and Yang, encapsulating the duality of contrasting elements. Drawing from the Yin principle, she embraces the richness of history and tradition with cherished heirlooms, weaving a narrative of ancestral heritage and personal connections.

In harmony with the Yang aspect, she integrates modern elements, which bring in an essence of freshness. The living room, for instance, embraces her individuality, with the incorporation of furniture from her labels, WA Bespoke and Sage Living, adding a cool, contemporary flair.

“The approach blends the past with the present and speaks of our love for master craftsmanship. Over the years, we have collected art and objects, as well as antique furniture passed down through generations. We have tried to give them their rightful place, alongside a sprinkling of new pieces for individual expression,” she says. 

The seamless blend of old and new is evident from the entryway itself, where Oxford-striped walls and dark wood details lead into the living room. Here, a black and white trompe l’oeil of an ancient Roman cityscape is balanced by modern seating and tables. In the dining area, a vintage cabinet stands happily alongside a contemporary marble-top dining table and chairs, all in black.


The master bedroom is luxurious and relaxing with the brass patina of Sage Living’s Gloria bed acting as the focal point. It is complemented by textured wood paneling and jute elements. The restored desk and chair in black rosewood hold sentimental value as they belonged to Tummala’s late grandfather. 

To combine materials such as brass and marble with natural elements such as jute, stone, wood, and cane was a deliberate decision, she says. “The intention was to strike a balance between opulence and organic beauty,” she says, adding that the design choices not only evoke visual intrigue but also emphasize variation, depth, and character within the space.

But, nothing prepares you for a bolt from the blue in the kitchen. Accentuated by a teal backsplash and bright blue cabinets, it acts as a bright break from the fifty shades of grey that dominate the home. 

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