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.
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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.
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.