There are houses you pass by and then there is 'Sreelakshmi', a charming abode at Asaan Colony in Alwaye that stands out. Full of positive energy and charm, this is one house that make you wish that it was yours.
A 'padipura' made of laterite stones lead us to a foyer. From here we step onto a beautiful and welcoming 'nadumuttom' or courtyard. The courtyard and the design elements here follow a 'Buddha theme'. On teapoy is a Buddha figurine made of wood. The wall art predominantly features different peaceful moods of the Buddha. Around the centre portion of the 'nadumuttom' laid up with brick tiles, the nine symbols of Buddhism finds a place. Antique chairs and an ancient style chess board forms part of the decor here. A low wall that has copper plating done on the top surrounds the 'nadumuttom'. The colour tinted glass that appear above, adds to the beauty of the 'nadumuttom'. This is not the surprise element in this house, though.
A double height wood ceiling over the 'nadumuttom' with some etching work done in the centre, is what you ought to look out for. Glass bits are used to cover the carvings. When the LED lamps on the corners are lit at night, these glass pieces look ethereal. This is the prettiest sight in the house.
While planning for a house, Manoj and his family was particular that their home should be unique in every respect. And thus, the laterite 'padipura' or the granite strewn front yard happen to be just a trailer of the various surprises that are yet to unfold throughout the house.
The seats on the sit–out are modelled after the 'pathayapetti' or the chest used for storing grains. On the left side wall of the foyer, there is an impressive wall art - a relief work made in clay of the Radha - Krishna duo. LED lights highlight this work by Rajani Pillai. The formal living area is set about 1.5 feet higher than the ground level.
A small swimming pool has been designed on one side of the 'nadumuttom'. The best interior design experiment can be found here too. The pool area has been done up like a room itself for privacy. The bars that act like a wall around the pool has been done up like blinds. You just need to give it a slight touch and they close up or open according to need. Vertically cut wooden bars were placed in different frames and set parallel to each other to achieve this effect.
The family living area is adjacent to the 'nadumuttom'. The interior design followed here is similar to that in the formal living area. A corridor near this leads to the kitchen and a separate wash area is also located next to the corridor. A wash basin and water tap made of copper are the star pieces here. An attractive gate like structure of wood acts as a partition here. The variety of colours used in the interiors is what makes the living room different.
The stairways leading to the top floor starts along one side of the family living area. There is a Rajani Pillai signature relief art on the wall here. A big Banyan tree with its branches spread out. Right below the common staircase is a bio-pool.
In most houses, there is usually just a single staircase leading upstairs, but here it is a different set up. A second set of stairs is given in the master bedroom. This spiral style stair goes directly into the library at the top floor. Adjacent to the bedroom is the daughter’s room. The room near to the formal living area belongs to the grandparents.
The rooms on the top floor have the same layout as those below. Two bedrooms out of the three here have private balconies. Apart from the bedrooms, there is also a party space and a home theatre on this level. The steps from the party area go up to a storage space above.
Unlike the commonly used Jackwood or Teak, the works of the cupboards and hand rails in this house is all of palmyra. Due to the shortage of labourers here, the wood work were mostly done in Tamil Nadu. Only the two-panel main door is of Teak wood. For those who love the new but still can't let go of the old; this house will definitely be a revelation. The delightful little surprises at every turn is the best part about being at 'Sreelakshmi'.
Project FactsArea: 5600 sq. ft.
Designer: Ramachandran MenonEngineer, Menon Associates, Alwaye.firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner: Manoj Kumar
Sreelakshmi, Asaan Colony, Alwaye
The exterior design style does give some hints on the surprise elements in the interiors.
The compound wall and the pillars of the porch are of laterite stone.
The design is a perfect mix of traditional and modern elements.