The actual concept of renovation is so much more than mere laying of new tiles or windows. Basic needs, its practicality and the aesthetics behind it are the three factors that rule the renovation thought process.
The owner of Chirayil House at Nadavaramba, Irinjalakuda was built by Shaseendran almost 35 years ago and that too with the precious savings of toiling in the land of deserts. This was mostly used only as a vacation home for the family’s short stays. On one side was a house in dire need of better facilities that were in tune with the times, whereas on the other side he was stricken with nostalgia for his beloved home, the first asset that he could call his own. Despite the confusion, he confidently handed over the house to architect Jayan Bilathikulam, and gave him complete freedom as well.
The new face
Both the interiors and the bedrooms did not require much work and all it needed was a coat of varnish and some modern touches here and there. A renovation plan that focused on beautifying the exteriors was thus drawn up. This was the area that called for the most attention.
A renovation project often turns awry when the house owner blindly follows a million suggestions from everywhere and tries to make all of that possible without proper clarity. The results will always be an eyesore when the renovation has been approached without proper guidance or direction.
Time and the elements of nature had taken its toll on the exterior, which once used to be of stylish contemporary style. The water logging on the sun-shades led to cracks being formed and there was leaks, and moss growth everywhere. All of this were repaired and taken care of as the first step and the car porch was done away with. This is where the actual makeover essentially began.
The house exteriors were given a western colonial style façade and this gave the house a complete facelift. The old windows that could not be opened were replaced with new four-panel ones. The decorative glass panels, the chimney and the ventilation spaces all came together rather beautifully. A small veranda and living space was added to make the living room appear more spacious. The beams were given a ferro-cement finish to make it look like wood.
The flooring was done with carpet tiles that cost Rs 50 per piece. Antique furniture and a piano gave the living room a special old-world charm. Décor elements that awaken nostalgia are timeless and one that could never go out of style. Both the old and the new generation have an affinity for such pieces.
No major changes were done to the top floor and to the rooms in the interiors. The metal roofing done took care of the heat in the interiors and also of the overall security factor. The roof tiles laid over this painted in green, altogether made the house picture-perfect.
A majority of the old homes can be renovated like this without demolishing. Even if the owner is ready to part with large sums of money for this, an architect should be able to advice on the more cost-effective and smarter options.
Renovation is a time-consuming and an expensive process and one that definitely calls for some amount of know-how and inspiration. Renovations and additions can greatly improve the livability and sustainability of your home only if it is done with careful planning and a thoughtful design.
Architect: Jayan Bilathikulam
Prepared by: Prakash Kurumapalli
Photos by: Diamond Paul