Space and harmony on two levels, and that’s Kayyalackakom for you.
The palatial Kayyalackakom is hard to miss. At first glance, it’s an overdose of grey — on the two gates, the compound wall, the roof and even the courtyard tiles. But the landscape, floral garden and clay décor on the walls are quick to distract. The beautiful three-storey home of Alex Augustine has hidden so many wonders inside.
The 3,700 sq ft home on 26 cents has a 3,000 sq ft attic and a cellar, a part of which is a 1,400 sq ft boutique run by Alex’s wife Anitha. Explaining why he chose a spacious house, Alex says, “Earlier we used to live in an apartment in Marine Drive where there was not enough place for our children to play. When we decided to build a home, we wanted it to have plenty of space for them.” The children — Miriam and Zarah — are very much in love with their home.
They decided to build a home in their ancestral property in Vazhakkala, but there was a small challenge. It was a slanting plot, but architect Jibu John had plans for it. He built the house in two levels and gave two entrances: one for the boutique and the other for the home.
“We had several requirements and Jibu made sure that all those were met,” recalls Anitha. They wanted a four-bedroom house with two dining halls and a connecting door between the master bedroom and the kids’ room. The master bedroom also has a separate office area. Another demand was that the house should be airy and well-lit. The nine-feet-tall windows and 11-feet-high ceiling help the inner spaces look vast.
A prayer area occupies a part of the living space and the skywalk above it gives a mystic touch to the home. The dining area opens to the lawn on both sides. The major attraction of the view is the beautiful feature wall that showcases clay horse figurines. “That’s Jibu’s idea. He has also hidden a well under the landscape. The opening to the well is covered using a pebble-laden iron door,” he says.
To resist heat accumulation, the house has a double wall protection between which the wiring and pipes are hidden. Elegant furniture and paintings adorn the walls in all rooms. All the four bedrooms have personalised décor and art works. The attached bathrooms are all themed in white, except for the girls’, which has blue walls and flooring. The kitchen is themed in white — the cupboards, countertops and even the walls.
The family’s memorable moments and trips have all been captured on the walls. Their love for travel is evident from the cute memorabilia collection from each trip. The walnut-coloured stairs, windows and doors are made of teakwood. The entire flooring is done using Jaisalmer marble. Everywhere in the house, life is brimming — as photographs, art works and plants.
The slate stone cladding on the exterior walls and lepothra tiles in the verandah add to the charm of the house. Anitha’s boutique consumes a part of the cellar and the rest of the portion serves as a storage space for the home and the business. The attic is spacious enough to hold a party. “We have other ideas too — like setting up a gym or a home theatre space,” adds Alex.