What are the ingredients for building a house? You need money, skilled masons and a permit to transport sand. Well, that’s what I had thought.
In fact, more than any of these, you need a bit of imagination and will power. Doubt me? Come to my house in Puthiyakavu near Tripunithura. You can see how I overcame the constraints of space and resources to build the 1,980 square-foot 'Kailasam' on 4.5 cents of land.
I have been a regular reader of Vanitha Veedu since 2005. I have collected all the editions since then, which made me understand the trends in home designs. I was attracted by the colonial style. I adopted that when I had to plan my house two years ago.
My friend, Chinju Gopalakrishnan, drew a plan. I did not employ a contractor, choosing instead to supervise the work directly, and that turned out to be the biggest challenge. I would go to the site every morning before going to work and every evening after work. I would also drop in at the site whenever there was a lull in the office. I think I have got results.
I had bought the square plot a while ago. I left place for a pathway around the house. An outer wall was clad in black tiles. It goes well with the white paint of the exterior. From the car porch we can step into the sit-out. Cladding is tried here as well.
Interior is very simple. My wife, Priya, designed it. As you enter through the main door, living area is on the left of the foyer. All furniture here is custom-made. I went for Italian marble but purchased it directly from Bengaluru. I paid Rs 220 per square foot. It would have cost me Rs 400 in Kerala. I had a deal even after adding up the transport cost.
We painted purple the wall on the right side of the foyer. Curios are displayed in niches on either side of the foyer. A painting of Radha-Krishna is hung on the wall in the living space, on a layer of veneer within a box frame.
Dining area is on the right side after the foyer. Kitchen and work area on the left. We designed a compact kitchen considering the space limit. Even the dining area is designed keeping in mind the number of family members. We covered the ceiling with wooden panelling. There is a pebble court below the stairway made of glass and steel. The adjacent wall is also clad in tiles.
One of the three bedrooms in the house is near the dining area. This is the parents’ room. The other two rooms are upstairs.
My son, however, has taken over the first floor completely. So we converted one room to a kid’s room, painted with shades and hues of green. There is also a study space for him.
At the housewarming ceremony, we got a lot of compliments from my colleagues, who had initially teased my concentrated commitment during the construction.
Three things notable
a) A Radha-Krishna painting placed on a layer of veneer within a box frame
b) Paintings on the glass of the kitchen door
c) The white cupboard made of multiwood where curios fit in
'Don’t listen to too many people when you build a house. If you think your ideas are right, just go ahead.'
Shine and family