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An heirloom home gets a new look

By Elizabeth Eapen
8 min read
Oct 13, 2020
Living room design ideas with ornate moldings, cornices & botticino floors - Beautiful Homes

If houses could talk, who knows what stories they may tell. Of families that have left myriad memories. Of children’s voices and footsteps echoing through the corridors. Of games they played, of dips in the small pool that has been there as long as the house has, and which many of the older neighbours remember as well, of the family talking and laughing among themselves, of shared meals amid the comforting aromas of food emanating from the kitchen. Houses could tell many stories, especially if they have been around for half a century, as this one has.

House design in the traditional style of an 8,000 square foot home situated in Thrissur. The interior of the home has colonial décor that collaborates between east and west. To connect the house, there is a narrow passage, and the house is designed in complete wood in a traditional style. This house in Thrissur consists of a living room with a typical Windsor sofa and miniature paintings. The bedroom has William Morris wallpapers and parquet flooring. The house also has a smart bar with chesterfield sofas and woven baskets. The house have three bedrooms on the first floor. Check out the video for traditional style design and decor ideas for your home.

Renovations And Recollections

Situated on a two-acre plot in Thrissur (originally Thirusivaperoor and formerly Trichur) in Kerala, and sprawled over 8,000 sq. ft., the house in its original avatar was bought from its first owner by a family of jewellers. Current owner N B Lalsan is based in Bhilai where he has business interests, but was keen on having a home in the land of his ancestors, which they could maintain as a holiday retreat that the family, now settled in different parts of India, could visit as often as they wanted. He bought the house in 2000. “It looked completely different then”, recollects his son Tushar Lalsan, “and we knew we would have to make changes to suit us”. So, in 2002, for the initial renovation, they looked to Sudhir Vora, an architect they had worked with for their homes in Mumbai and Bhilai. 

 

As the needs and tastes of the family grew and changed with time, a second, more extensive renovation followed in 2015 by a Kollam-based firm, Architects Team Sandeep. The basic structure has remained the same, with a largely traditional arrangement of interconnected rooms, but some walls were broken to create a renewed sense of space and light. The old roof was replaced with Mangalore tiles, imbuing the exterior with that quintessential Kerala look, verandahs were extended, the wooden ceiling replaced, windows and doors and the front façade given a fresh, open, more modern look, and most important, a central courtyard or naalukettu, a core feature of many tharavadus or ancestral homes, and which did not earlier exist in this one, was created. This verdant heart of the house, open to sky and encircled by the interior spaces, was built around an old well, now covered over with a grill for safety. It was also Sandeep’s idea to have the driveway paved with  ‘krishnashila’ or black stone, mainly used in temples, etched in a parquet pattern. Krishnashila is porous and absorbent and when coated with oil retains a black sheen and is cool to walk on. 

Make a perfect design in the central courtyard of your home interiors - Beautiful Homes

An antique chest, plantation chair and a kerala bharani make for a perfect spot in the central courtyard of this home. Furniture and collectibles from Temple Town.

Reading room interior design wall hangings from Kashmir & furniture exclusively handcrafted - Beautiful Homes

Crewelwork wall hangings from Kashmir, a vintage chair ,the clients own and furniture exclusively handcrafted at Temple Town add a fresh subtle elegance to this reading room.

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A beautiful corner in the living room with miniature paintings from jaipur and Regency chairs in bold black and white.

Inside Job

For Thrissur-based interior designer Meera Pyarelal, the brief was right up her street. Her firm, aptly named Temple Town, specialises in customised interiors that seek to “combine our exotic traditional crafts with global cultures through a uniquely Indian perspective”. The Lalsans, who contacted her through a mutual friend, wanted their home to have interiors that were both elegant and luxurious, with an international flavour yet remaining true to heritage and location. “Given the brief, I thought a colonial theme would work well,” she says, “As that would offer a seamless connect between East and West. At the same time some contemporary elements have crept into the design as well.” While the colonial theme is a familiar one, the challenge was to make sure it all looked ‘together’ in the end. Italian marble for the formal areas, parquet wood for the bedrooms and terracotta for the outdoor spaces make up the flooring. In the main living room, with its ornate mouldings, cornices and Botticino floors, Indian miniature paintings and Fornasetti plates co-exist quite happily with a Grosvenor sofa and an old treasure chest. 

Opposite Attract 

The East-West theme continues throughout the house, with William Morris wallpaper, Wedgwood crockery and Indian art and artefacts carefully sourced by Meera. Tushar commissioned some unique pottery pieces for the outdoors from Clayfingers, an art studio in Thrissur that also has cottages that they used to stay in on their visits home, while the renovation was going on. All the furniture, mostly period look-alikes, has been handcrafted at Temple Town - nothing was outsourced or imported. The colour palette is simple but effective. She thought it would be best to have white and beige predominate, with bold outbursts of colour expressed through the soft furnishings, accessories and art work.  

White Bedroom Interior Design Ideas With Ornate Teak Beds - Beautiful Homes

The bedrooms are furnished with ornate teak beds,valet stands,and gentlemens chests,William morris wallpapers and parquet floors.

“For example, we opted for a black and white print in the living room but then we balanced it out by using warm tones of olive green and rust. This makes redecoration easy”, she says, letting out a trade secret, “if you feel like a change, all you have to do is just change the accents for an entirely different look”.

 

For All Seasons

Viewed from one end of the driveway, Ratna Vihar appears almost frozen in time like an old plantation homestead. Its Mangalore tiled sloping roofs, wide pillared verandahs and expansive grounds full of rich foliage, exude a serene, secluded charm, at the same time holding out the promise of surprises beyond. The house is quite a landmark in the area and in 2000 was even the location for the Hari Kumar film Swayamvada Pandhal. For the Lalsan family, business interests may keep them away from their hometown, but the evolution of this house into a haven for all seasons, thoughtfully renovated and beautifully re-designed, an heirloom to be passed down through generations, is reason enough to bring them home as often as time and circumstances permit.

 

Here are some décor tips from designer Meera Pyarelal:

1.    Juxtapose Indian art or a typically Indian artefact with a European sofa

 

2.    Break a monotone colour scheme with vividly coloured upholstery or a single piece of furniture that stands out. Easy to re-do and give a fresh look to the space if one wants a change

 

3.    Use foliage from the garden to embellish a dining table or other interior spaces instead of expensive flower arrangements

White Living Room Design Ideas With Ornate Moldings, Cornices & Botticino Floors - Beautiful Homes
The main living room with Windsor sofas, miniature paintings, classic antiques from Temple Town and cushions from Sarita Handa.
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The theme of the space was to use European styled interiors with an indigenous indian touch.
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The 12 seater dining table and chairs styled with timeless spode ware.
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A statement entrance with mirrors and demilune consoles.
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An oasis of calm ,in monotone soft furnishings and hand crafted furniture from Temple Town.
Beautifully re-designed bar interior design ideas - Beautiful Homes
Timeless Chesterfields, with cushions from The white window by Twinkle Khanna,a collection of black and white photographs from Italy and wall mouldings create the perfect bar.
Reading room interior design wall hangings from Kashmir & furniture exclusively handcrafted - Beautiful Homes
Crewelwork wall hangings from Kashmir, a vintage chair ,the clients own and furniture exclusively handcrafted at Temple Town add a fresh subtle elegance to this reading room.
Living Room Corner Interior Design Ideas In Bold Black & White - Beautiful Homes
A beautiful corner in the living room with miniature paintings from jaipur and Regency chairs in bold black and white.
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