When Saheer beheld the 15 cents of land near Deshabhimani junction in Kaloor, Kochi, several realities danced before his eyes. The plot, to be precise, was in the heart of the city. The prime location, its proximity to schools and hospitals and above all, its nearness to the mosque were factors, which made Saheer plumb for the plot.
The imposing 6,000 sq ft house, Valyaara, has been built to a plan after Saheer’s heart, with detail given to minutiae. Joining Saheer was his wife Sheena, who chalked out the plan in all finesse.
Saheer is into hardware business. The house was an all-consuming passion. Whenever he was free, he would jot down all the ideas, which popped up in his mind. In fact, the plan started taking shape five years ago. Saheer was keen on taking in all intricate details of houses he had seen over the years. So he was well prepared to take on the responsibility of building his home when the time was ripe for it.
Saheer hastens to thank Abdul Gaffar of Gaffar Associates who drew up the elaborate plan with such accuracy. The couple would be at the site every day to chalk out each day’s plan of action. One day, however, they were late to supervise the day’s work. The ladies majlis was next to the staircase landing. By the time they reached the place, work had already begun. But it had to be pulled down for want of accuracy in calculating the height of the place. That was the only pulling down during the construction, says Saheer.
As the rooftop was round in design, the concreting work was pretty arduous. Yet, it was completed well.
The interiors too have been done up as per Saheer’s wishes. He firmly believes that when the owner himself gives his whole to the work, a lot of needless expenses can be cut and the interiors stand to benefit.
The plot was raised to a height of three metres and the house now stands on this raised plot. A far-sighted Gaffar opted for this plan because he did not want the house to be in a pit if ever the road level was raised in future. Around 150 lorry loads of earth went into filling the land. The woodwork, especially of the furniture, enhances the style quotient of the house and the teak used is of good quality. Almost all the work was done in Muvattupuzha and they were brought to Kaloor.
The Italian marble, which covers the floor was selected and brought from Bengaluru. The glass pillar, which keeps the living and the family living sections as separate entities, was cut and designed by the owner himself. The glass partitions in the washrooms were also designed and cut in such a way that they did wonders to cost-cutting. The window blinds are attractive and can be taken off and cleaned to make them look as good as new.
Fold ceilings have been put up only in the living and dining rooms. The bedrooms were spared because the dust which fold ceilings collect and store can be harmful to one’s lungs. The frosted glass used for bathroom doors give them a classy look.
The house sports wide windows. As the window bars are of steel, the question of maintaining them with paint does not arise. The central window is of glass and is fixed permanently to the bars. The side windows can be opened to fill the rooms with an abundance of sunlight, air and breeze. The rooftop sports a glass covering, 12 mm in thickness. Imported GI sheets cover the whole rooftop. These sheets are special in that they can be remote-controlled to move sideways. One can gaze up at the stars and the moon, romance the night and watch the rain falling on the rooftop through the partition left when the GI sheets slide away. Want to watch a movie? The home theatre system upstairs takes you on a visually impressive trip.
As Sheena wanted a spacious kitchen, it was built accordingly with teak wood adorning the kitchen cupboards.
The swimming pool upstairs is the ultimate in luxurious living. However, a door keeps the pool out of bounds for kids. It prevents them from accidentally falling into the pool. A small opening by the side of the main door allows you to see and talk to those outside without having to exactly let them in.
The cladding combo of steel and glass for the walls outside are Saheer’s designs. He loves his house to be an open space where folks can walk in, relax and enjoy the rich ambience. Hence, Valyaara is in every way, a vast expanse of luxuriously cool living!