Chettinad style home design: Karthik’s home in Bangalore

chettinad style home

Chettinad style home design

My apartment is located in a quaint neighbourhood of Bangalore known as Cooke town. The building has six apartments. It is eleven years old and was built by one of the leading architects of Bangalore, Edgar Demello. The house is 1420 sq feet with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, living room and 4 balconies. It has an old world charm to it which I want to retain.

chettinad design

Click on image to read the full feature on Karthik’s Chettinad style home

I belong to Chettinad, a region in Tamil Nadu that includes 74 villages. I have always been fascinated by the vibrant colours and kitsch mix of traditional South Indian, Eastern and European influences at family ancestral homes in Chettinad.I wanted to bring some of it to my own place. I was also very keen to try and restore as much of old antique furniture for my home to reduce the amount of fresh wood being consumed.

traditional indian home interior

The home design process actually started with the utility area. It was an open area with a wide open balcony and I instinctively sketched a sit-out for entertaining and relaxing with friends and close ones. The sketch had two huge European windows, with an arch at the top and stained glass, something that I had seen at my grandparents too.

I was fortunate enough to find exactly the same window at a college that was getting demolished, a gothic structure built in 1925 and one of the landmarks of my city. This piece of heritage includes two 7ft windows in Burma teak. All I needed to do was refinish the wood, replace the glass and colour the windows and grills.


I also made a seating in concrete and red oxide, that is typical of south India. This is called a ‘tinnai’, a place where one rests. The two chairs in the ‘sit-out’ are of rosewood and are again restored from a local flea market.


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Category: Interior Design India

Comments (27)

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  1. Asha says:


    I am residing at Bangalore, please let me know where to find the red oxide floor makers.


  2. prasanna nair says:

    SOS! Need help on red oxide flooring. building a house in bangalore. please help me with names of people that can do the flooring well.

    prasanna nair

  3. Mythili says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Myself and my husband planning to build a chettinad house,we say in chennai,please advise us with good constructors and what would the cost of the construction apprx.,

    • Ambily Hanish says:

      We arepllanning to build a house in kerala like traditional nalukettu.But im interested in chettinadu designs so i would like to aad some features.Kindly reply to the following quest



      Our plan is 2300 Sq.Ft.
      Hope you will reply to me


      • Vijayashree Sriram says:

        We are constructing a house in Cochin. The area is 2800 sqft. After a a lot of research decided to go for ethnic Athangudi tiles and last week have ordered for Athangudi tiles from Chettinad. Trust me, these tiles are marvelous and very unique. There are no dealers in Kerala for this. We are directly procuring from the manufacturer. The Athangudi tile manufacturer can send their laborers from to Kerala or any other state/site at extra cost. Due to their expertise, suggest you to use their skilled laborers to lay the tiles. This is not like laying granite/ceramic or vitrified tiles. Athangudi tile manufacturers do not recommend to use any polish for the floor. Machine polish should be completely avoided. Please send an email to me. I can explain their whole process. Thanks, Vijayashree

        • gayathri says:

          hi vijayashree

          we too are building our house and i am interested in the athangudi tiles. but i’ve been reading comments on the makers and suppliers and am not sure who a reliable source would be not only for the manufacture but also for the laying of tiles. How has your experience been and whom have you contacted? it would help if you could mail me the details. thanks in advance.

        • Deenanath says:

          Hi, We are contemplating to go with Athangudy tiles. would you please send some approximate prices that you were offered for this ? We were initially thinking KOTA stone, but there are complaints about pithing and therefore want to be a little risk-free. can you please advise deenanathbantwal at yahoo dot com

        • Dr.Shetty Jose says:

          Hi Vijayashree
          Really Nice to hear about Athangudi tiles, If you dont mind can you send me your mobile number ,so that I could clarify more doubts.My house consruction is going on (Cochin)Thanks Dr.S.Jose

        • anil kumar says:

          can u pls explain about this tiles,or can u pls give any links

  4. Nagaraj subramani says:

    i am interested in authangudi tiles flooring. please mail me
    the dealer name who can supply labour also

  5. Nagaraj subramani says:

    where authangudi tiles available with labour?

  6. Priya says:

    Dear Karthik,

    Love the way you have done your house.
    Did you use an interior decorator ? i am looking for a decorator who has experience in eco friendly designing, would be great if you can give me some leads in this regard.

    Also I am planning to get Athangudi tiles for my home, can u give me the contact for these tiles, did you buy them directly from anthangudi, did they come to banglore to lay the tiles?
    Would really appreciate any info in this regard ..
    THanks a lot

  7. Hariram says:

    Dear Mr Karthick,

    I would like to know about the durability and the life of Athangudi tiles that is supplied to the market when compared to those seen in Real Chettinaad Palace. Could you refer me any standard supplier of such Athangudi tiles Manufacturers..?


  8. Priya says:

    Hey Karthik,
    Wonderful job and really good taste! Happy to see the pics here.

    Was looking for your reply for many of the previous comments but could not find one. Even I do have the same questions…

    Thank u

  9. Balaguru says:

    Dear Karthik,

    You have showed me the house, which i had dreamed. Now i have plan to built a house. I want to go with traditional way.I love ur house very much.
    If you don’t mind, is it possible send your house plan to me. also the cost estimation of your house u built including all the antiques.

    Many congratualtions

  10. Jyoti says:

    Hello Karthik,
    First of all let me pass on huge congratulations to you. You have done a superb job with your house and anyone who sees these pictures can make out that it has been designed from the heart. Just loved the way you have executed it with attention to detail for each and every thing that has gone in. This house is a celebration of India culture. I am sure you are proud of it and so would your ancestors.
    I also wanted to ask you where you got the wooden columns from. I have been scouring the net on where I can get them, but no luck. Would appreciate if you could help me on this. Thanks!

  11. Raghavendran says:

    Hi Karthik,

    This is a great home style! Can’t believe this is an apartment – has a great homely feel! As I begin to explore options to set up my own house, this is great inspiration. Will appreciate if you can share details of the architect who helped you build this up – is that Edgar Demello you mentioned above? Will great if you could let me know ( Thanks, and congratulations on a great home!


  12. Naveen says:

    A beautiful home and a sustainable one at that. Wonderfully restored furniture I assume to go with the architecture. Could you share some contact details of skilled carpenters you used for this home.


  13. Pradeep says:

    its very nice & eco friendly,Good,even we are planing to built a house by using natural stones, wood & athangudi tiles.So pleace help in this. can i have ur contact number contact number is:9886340805,Bangalore

  14. vimala says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Totally love the way you’ve done up your home :-) We are planning to do something similar, wanted to check who was your contractor and would like some details on the same, its v.hard to get kinda guys who are willing to do the red-oxide flooring they did years back. In addition to this, we’re looking at a restoration architect for an age old home of hours to save it from being haunted:-)Would be great if you could share some details.


  15. Meera says:

    Very few middle class Indian homes have the character and personality that yours has. Lovely home. I like the fact that you have re-used a lot of flea market/antique stuff in your house. And like the unique Chettinad styling.

  16. swathi says:

    i think if iam not wrong i met u in bombay, iam not sure if u remember, anyway first of all aa gr8 apartment, iam also a great fan of chettinad architecture and antique furniture, i want to collect the tiles that u fixed on living room sofa table. pl let me know where they r available


  17. g.raja stanish says:

    hi karthik,
    as i am a antique collector,i really love concept is mainly tube radio and wall clock.

  18. What a beauty!! A real simple, elegant yet beautiful home. I will surely keep this home in mind while decorating my home…Wonderful furniture placement.

  19. sindhu jagan says:

    dear mr karhik,
    i saw your home in “better homes and gardens”
    , am really impressed with the flooring,
    i would like to know the availability ,durability,cost and maintainance of the same,,is it available in bangalore?Please let me know


  20. sindhu jagan says:

    Dear mr karthik,

    I saw your home in ” better homes and gardens”.Am really impressed with the Athangudi flooring. Even i would like to have the same flooring for my house,I stay in bangalore,,please let me know about the availability ,durability,cost of the tile in bangalore and maintainance o,,please message me,,

    Sindhu Jagan

  21. Vandana says:

    A treat to the eyes…the placement of furniture and knick knacks,the colour, everything adds to the aesthetics!

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