The first impression I got when I saw this home of Mala and Murlidhar from the outside was that it was classy. The colour scheme of beige and cream interspersed with glass and the patches of green had a lot to do with my initial thoughts. Attention to detail is something that became very clear at the gate, when I saw the detailing of the handmade tiles embedded in wooden panels that set the tone for what to expect inside.
The stone used in this home is from North Karnataka’s Guledgud area. Creating a sense of colour without making it too obvious is a design highlight of this house. As I open the gate and enter the porch, I notice several elements that reflect the sensibilities of its inmates. The copper frame, the detailing of the landscape on the flooring or the cobbled patch of green and the bamboo shoots all make a pretty picture on the outside of the home. The thick wooden main door has interesting details like a brass handle as well as an interesting brass panel detail that breaks the monotony of the wooden frame. Architect Nita Kembhavi of Kembhavi Architects has worked closely with the couple to ensure that this dream home that took over two years to build to become a reality. The house is named Kalyani after a popular Carnatic raga and the residents of this home are also musically inclined.
Relying on light
What sets this 2,800-sq ft-home apart are two prominent curves; one that forms part of the façade and one on the inside that defines in a sense the character of the different aspects of the space. The Italian marble flooring and the same colour scheme of browns, creams and beiges continues even inside the home. The main living space is a slightly sunken area with dark brown flooring and has contemporary minimalist seating. What catches your attention is the textured stone wall offset with the wall unit that has been created with the same stone cladded and mounted horizontally with a butchered finish that creates a powerful visual impact.
Sky lights add to the dramatic effect of the space, whether it is during the day or night. This home relies heavily on a variety of lights, both natural and artificial. The small chandelier that hangs from the double-height hall, cove lights, fixtures and hidden lights makes sure that this space looks different and caters to the homemakers’ moods effectively.
The pooja room, kitchen and dining area are clearly demarcated from the living space though the colour theme and lighting scheme remains constant. Incidentally the dining area and the kitchen have wall paper used on the ceiling (yes, you read that right), which gives an interesting design element to the space.
A small sit-out area adds an element of green in the dining area. A utility area attached to the kitchen is a practical utility where all the washing and cleaning is taken care of.
The best part is that it is accessible via a separate gate. The guest bedroom is also on the same level. The duplex home has two rooms, another living space and a study on the first floor. The staircase itself has been done differently using glass and MS with metallic Dupont paint.
The master bedroom has a huge window below which an interesting wooden seating space has been created. The wall paper behind the bed and the silk paneled backseat add a dramatic feel to the room that is curved and widens around the sleeping area and narrows at the wardrobes. Skylights have been provided for, right above the wardrobe as well as in the attached bathroom to ensure this space has no dearth of natural light. Again the mirrors are paneled on the wardrobes which not just break the monotony, but help create a stunning visual impact.
The study not just has a library but also two separate tables for the couple’s school-going daughter and son to well, study! The only space that is a riot of colour, no prizes for guessing, is the children’s room.
The wall of this room is painted in vertical strips in shades of lemon yellow and greens giving it a wallpaper effect.
Whether it is the fan with cartoon images or the star lights in the roof or the airplane light, this space has the most colour in the home.
A bunk bed complete with pull-out draws and a shelf to hold knick knacks complete the room. Again the cupboards in the rooms use mirrors as panels to give a different appeal.
Quiz Mala on her home and she credits her architects. “We were explained that a space can open up and look large when light colours are used and we were pretty flexible in terms of their suggestions.
Apart from giving them a basic brief on the structure, we relied on their experience and the result is great and we have had very positive feedback from our family and friends,” says Mala.
The couple and the architects have worked together whether it is in terms of customising the furniture or selecting the upholstery of the home. The fact that the couple was open to new ideas and suggestions ensured that the architects went the whole way and made sure that each and every nook of the house has something to say in itself.
The beauty of this home is that it confirms to no standard norms and symmetry. Its charm lies in the curves and the interesting interplay of lights that come out from false ceilings and the fact that it is lived in by a simple family.
“It’s a good feeling to be in a place we call our home,” is how Mala sums it up and perhaps that’s where the charm of this space lies in.