A charming mix of the old and the new, Pepper Trail in Kerala offers inspiration for tropical interiors
Meticulously restored, the interiors of Pepper Trail glorify the history of the 200-acre coffee and spice plantation from the early 1800s within which it is set. The boutique property has two suites housed in a 140 year old Colonial-style bungalow ‘Pazhey Bangalaav’ (translated from Malayalam to mean ‘old bungalow’) and two treehouses perched nearby about 40 feet above the ground. An abundance of wood from surfaces to furniture and clear glass form the main framework of the décor.
Owner Anand Jayan turned the old plantation bungalow into a charming oasis, holding on to original elements like the Basel Mission’s tiles covering the gabled roof. Abundant natural light pours in from every side; French doors open out on to a columned porch on the ground floor and casement windows run the length of the façade of the first. Brass and glass wall sconces and pendant lamps add to the colour palette of the soft furnishings – warm orange, red and olive green in some rooms and cool blues, greens and pinks in others.
The Malabar suite has hard-wood flooring, crisp white walls and wood-panelled ceilings as the perfect backdrop to the family heirlooms, handpicked antiques and colonial furniture that fill the room. In the Mackenzie suite, antique furniture and soft furnishings are kept to a minimum, letting the floor-to-ceiling wood panels do most of the talking. Similar in style are the treehouses which give one the sense of a luxury wood lodge. A simple four-poster bed, a few pieces of antique furniture and a tree growing through the room make up the décor while huge glass doors open out on to a wood railed porch overlooking jackfruit trees and coffee plants.
In the living room, cool colours complement the wood and crisp white surfaces.
An abundance of natural light pours in through the casement windows on the top-floor Mackenzie suite ensuring the floor-to-ceiling wood surfaces aren’t overpowering.
Furniture and furnishings are kept to a minimum in the treehouses but it’s the jutting tree that’s the talking point.