Since my childhood, I have always treasured dream about my own house. Before I tell you about that dream, let me introduce myself. I am Shibu Varghese, and I work for a firm in Technopark as a Sales Director. My wife Sangeetha is a Corporate Trainer. I have two kids – Nikita doing her higher studies at Manipal and Nathan, a 6th standard student.
A relative of mine owned a beautiful home that I used to frequent as a youngster. Every time I went there, the home attracted me and spoke to me in volumes. That was my dream home. Years later when I began to construct my house at Mananthala in Thiruvananthapuram, a friend put me in touch with Architect Chandramohan. That's when I happened to meet my relative and the owner of my dream home by chance. Surprisingly I came to know that the same Chandramohan was the architect of that house too! I believe God has a way of letting us into his plans for us in the most amazing of ways. This is one of such a plan.
Modern vs traditional
I wanted a modern home whereas Sangeetha preferred the traditional style architecture. But when she came to know of the benefits of the single level method of concreting, she agreed for a compromise. Our 5700 sq. ft. home is set on a 16 cent plot. We were sure about having a spacious front yard and hence the house was built by leaving the space for this.
We were particular about having a minimalist design in both the exterior and interior without going for any pompous or showy decor elements. The furniture including the lamp shades and accessories follow vertical themes throughout. I have travelled to more than 35 countries and this exposure has helped me a lot in making the choice of elements or materials required for designing the interiors.
Many appreciated the texture paint of the walls on both sides of the main door. The exterior predominantly follows a white and grey theme. It was the architect's idea to give a terracotta shade on the verandah walls to give an impression of depth. The living room is set on a level lower than the rest of the rooms. There is a reason for this. My dream home had a similar style living area and I loved the cosy feel it exuded. Inspired from that, I have given ample seating arrangements in the living room. The teak wood sofa has a 9-inch wide arm rest. This gives the guests enough space to comfortably place coffee cups or juice glasses. I wanted a wooden flooring for the living room. But the area being set on a lower level could attract termites and hence we opted for tiles instead.
We would have ideally wanted an open courtyard. But the architect advised us against this, keeping in mind the difficulties of unwanted water seeping in. A 3- storey high poly-carbonate sheet roofing has been done over the courtyard. As the roofing was done in a considerable height, the temperature is pretty cool inside the house.Mine and Sangeeta's parents often visits us. Climbing the stairs can be an arduous task for them and so we have added 2 bedrooms for them in the ground floor itself. There are calling bells in these rooms in case they require us for anything. The dining space opens onto a patio. We have planted bamboo in this area. Toughened glass windows partitions the patio and the dining area. There are no railings for these windows. Shutters have been given for security reasons. When there are functions happening in the house, the shutters are lifted up and the windows are left open. This gives the room a more spacious feel.
There are 3 bedrooms and an entertainment room on the top level. Nikita wanted Bay windows for her room. A single wall in every bedroom have been painted in earthy tones and this goes well with the colour themes of the house. Since both of us are working, the master bedroom has a separate area set aside as a work space. The lawn on the open terrace in the top floor is a highlight here. This is a favourite spot among our friends and family. When you look out from the terrace through the glass railings, you can see the lawn in the front yard like a continuation of the greenery here. The TV and the intercom connection is centralized in the house.
'Wind Chimes' – that's what we have called our home. What better name could we give a home where the wind hums beautiful, signature tunes! My dream home now, is no doubt, our 'Wind Chimes'! According to Shibu, 'A home should be for living and not something to show-off. Both my children and we were particular about not having any pretentious decorations or architectural elements.'