Rama Ananth’s Spanish style hacienda in Bangalore
We moved to Bangalore in 1986. In 1998, we decided to build a house in Whitefield, to move away from the noise and chaos of the concrete jungle that beautiful Indiranagar had become.
Ananth was a great fan of Spanish architecture, especially the white country style villas of Spain. It was his dream to build a Spanish villa, with white walls, arches, pergola and murals—basically a Spanish villa with a Moorish garden.
He shared the ideas that were slowly brewing in his mind with some of his business associates. We sought the advice of a very close friend, who is an architect and an interior designer. Ananth came up with the basic plan, and thereafter, architect Jyoti Dhingra took over.
All beautiful Spanish houses have some kind of mural in their gardens. We also wanted one, so we designed two arches in our garden, and gave the project to a young graduate from Chitra Kala Parishad, Bangalore. We told him what we wanted and based on that, he came up with the murals you see on the arches.
We wanted a Moorish looking garden with lots of arches(which we had already incorporated in our design), and also wanted our landscape architect to plant the kinds of trees and creepers suited to our plan. We wanted a perennial garden, which would not need too much water.
The result, as you can see, is a garden that has been practically the same from the time we started and generally low maintenance. He also designed the swimming pool area, and where there are many arches and a pergola.
On the whole, the house turned out so good thanks to the efforts put in by each and every member of this whole project. It is proof that just dreaming of a house is not enough, it needs the collective talent and dedication of an entire team.
We are really thankful to all our dear friends who helped and plunged into the project at hand with dedication and commitment. As a result, we could see our dream turn into reality in the form of this house which we have aptly named, “Buena Vista”, meaning beautiful view.
We wanted to use wooden rafters for the ceiling, but as wood was very expensive, our architect suggested we use bamboo instead, which turned out to be cheap, beautiful, innovative, and also perfect for the theme of our house. Our contractor had a bamboo farm, and he selected the right materials.
We decided to use terracotta tiles everywhere in our house—both inside and outside, with little diamond shaped dark green marble in between the tiles, to go with our theme of dark green painted doors and windows complemented with dark green bamboo rafters on the ceiling.
We did a lot of research before settling on this particular tile. It was earthy and inexpensive. The tiles give a nice cool sensation and are also very easy to maintain.
For furniture, we decided to go with cane furniture, as we felt it was cosy, comfortable and suited our country style Spanish villa theme. We chose different types of cane, we have a two seater and a three seater styled in the traditional wicker style, the others in a Japanese style.
Everything has lots of green and rust to suit the basic colour scheme. The wall is also terracotta colour on which we added a textured treatment using multiple tones.
We have a simple cantilevered staircase with wood planks and the steps just seem to float. Notice the beading on the edge of the steps that was added afterwards when our contractor suddenly got the idea that we could make use of such readymade decorative wooden beading strips available in the market to further embellish the staircase.
I believe he had seen something similar at the Mysore Palace. We added tiles to bring in colour and detail. Since hand-painted tiles were expensive, our architect suggested using regular ceramic terracotta tiles with the green marble in diamond shape. Not only did it look good, but also worked out fairly inexpensive.
In the bedroom, the idea to add yellow to the ceiling just flashed in my mind one day while I was lying on the floor (we had just shifted with no furniture and lot of work was still going on). The room had been painted all white with the green painted bamboo rafters on the high ceiling. I imagined the ceiling to be yellow and the wall behind the bed in a soft green. It seemed to work so well together, that I immediately called our painter and asked him to paint the ceiling and the wall in these colours. Both were given a textured finish, and it really looks great. All the walls of our house have a rough textured finish.
The big mirror was essential in our bedroom, and I saw to it that we got a mirror of that size without any joints. I decided to have the frame in green painted bamboo. I wanted the big mirror so that I could practice my aerobics in front of it.
Having lived in small congested rooms for a long time, we made sure that all our bedrooms were fairly large and airy, with lots and lots of natural light. We have three bedrooms on the first floor and one guest bedroom on the ground floor. The rocking chair is about about 20 years old, bought from “Poombuhar”.
The chair was in great condition and we just got it painted in a dark bottle green to match the rafters in our house.
Our son’s bedroom is completely different from all other bedrooms—in style, colour and design. He wanted a very modern bedroom with a loft, since his bedroom has a very high ceiling. He also wanted everything in steel, so we came up with idea of putting perforated steel rafters on the ceiling, and adding a steel ladder to reach his loft.
There is no clutter of furniture in his room, just a computer table and one black chair. The bathroom is airy and bright so we fitted his wardrobe and a big mirror in there.
The room has a combination of grey and blue walls, offset by white and the ceiling has blue/grey textured finish. The floor tiles had to be different, so we used polished vitrified tiles in grey with some dark blue border tiles to go with it. The bathroom has an infinity tile pattern in dark blue and orange. Orange was also used as a contrast colour in the loft.