After renovation, ‘Sudha Nilayam’ has transformed into a magnificent dwelling reflecting contemporary style.
Anyone who has been to ‘Sudha Nilayam’ a year ago would pinch themselves on seeing the stunning structure it has been transformed into. The little home with three dingy rooms has undergone a Cinderella-esque makeover, from a hardly 1,000 sq ft structure to a 2,950 sq ft beauty.
When Revathy and Karthik decided to rebuild their ancestral home located on a 20-cent plot at Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district, they had a lot of requirements. “It was not a simple renovation; the house had to be extended on all four sides, but we didn’t want to bring it down because we have a deep emotional attachment with the home,” recalls Revathy, a researcher at Rajiv Gandhi centre for Biotechnology in Thiruvananthapuram.
Since childhood, she and her brother Karthik had been living with their grandparents as their parents Dr Surendranathan and Sudha were away in Thenmala, busy with their career. Revathy says, “Our grandpa Retd Capt R.B. Nair leads a disciplined life and reads a lot. Now 91, he owns over 7,000 books and loves gardening. Our prime concern was to make the home comfortable for him.” They bestowed the task on a friend, Shinto Varghese, a designer.
Detailing the requirements, Revathy says, “The area from the kitchen to grandpa’s room was to be retained and the extension was planned on all four sides. We needed a separate living room, attached bathrooms and spacious rooms.” Then came the next hurdle: the whole renovation had to completed in eight months.
But Shinto, with the help of civil contractor Saneesh, worked round the clock with several labourers and on May 20, the family started living in their new two-storey home. All four bedrooms are spacious and themed according to the dweller’s taste.
The courtyard with a huge porch on the right and a landscape on the left has water-permeable grey flooring. Enter the home, and the real show begins. The living area, with three coloured sofas and multi-coloured cushions and grey flooring, oozes charm from all quarters. From the Buddha sculpture on the right-side wall to the ant-themed décor, it’s a room of delight.
“The décor was chosen by me and Shinto. I had my doubts about the colour combination, but when assembled, I realised that Shinto’s was the perfect choice,” she says. For the furniture and art works, Revathy hunted everywhere — websites to malls — to find the ones she loved. Shinto too helped with customised furniture. “The idea was a contemporary minimalistic style without completely shaking off the traditional element,” she says.
Unlike other homes, ‘Sudha Nilayam’ begins with the kitchen, placed behind the car porch. The modern, stylish grey-themed kitchen is the refurbished older one and extended from it is, a store room area and a traditional fire kitchen. The rooms are connected like branches from the long verandah in the ground floor. A dining space in the right and a TV area-cum-stairway in the left are where the passageway starts and stems into three bedrooms.
The first bedroom on the right — the grandpa’s — is equipped with a reading table, lamps, frame cots and book stands. The parents’ room has a TV space and Revathy’s has a huge full-size mirror and antique wall pieces. Karthik’s Boho-themed bedroom in the first floor stands out in style. In fact, everything about the first floor does. From the six-feet brass traditional lamp to the huge TV-watching-cum-reading space to the terrace area that serves as a laundry space to the balcony that overlooks the greenery of the area, the space is charismatic.
The Boho style room, like its uniqueness, was the toughest to work on. “From getting the vintage clock to bringing rugged look, it was a Herculean task. Bringing the worn out look was hard. But the final output is worth the effort,” she adds.
Each and every window offers a greener sight as the family dreamt of. Glad about the way things turned out to be, Revathy is excited that they get to live their dream, exactly as they hoped for.