Here’s the story of how a structure was built to be a home as told by the owner himself. Here goes the narration:
“I’m Sebastian Joseph. Meet my mother Marykutty, wife Winnie and son Chris. This is our family and we wanted a house. Yes, it now stands in the heart of Kochi on nine cents of land. When it was being built, we were all abroad. We are pretty proud of the fact that we built it on our own without the help of an architect. We had a lot of concepts about our house and all we wanted was to give reality to the dreams we shared.
“Right in front of the plot stood a huge njaval (black jamun tree). We were particular about retaining the tree while building the compound wall. It was quite a daunting task. But we managed to retain it. This necessitated a sliding gate which juts out of the walls. A waste bin was fixed next to the tree. This set up enabled the waste to be collected from outside without anybody having to get in.
“It was a designers’ group, which helped us with the basic 3,000 sq ft structure. But as they were unable to get a feel of what we exactly wanted, a lot of undoing had to be done. The interiors have a strong resonance with the Western style. The furniture and all other wood embellishments are of teak wood. A first glimpse will give you the feeling that the living room has no TV for the simple reason that it lies concealed inside a table. When you feel like unwinding, you can grab the remote, raise the TV and watch the shows and once you’re done, you can lower it into the table. It was Kochi-based Naushad who built the novel unit at a very reasonable rate.
“The wood paneling in the Scandinavian-style wash area is another highlight of the place. Everything, all the woodwork, except that of the furniture is the handiwork of a local craftsman. The furniture came from the shops as we wanted to avoid any delay in getting them finished.
“As the theme and mood of the house is totally set in white, we did up a lot of woodwork to break the monotony of white. Almost all the rooms, including the kitchen are in the open style. The kitchen cabinets have been done up in acrylic. The countertop is of Korean stone. The family living lies next to the kitchen. You can step out from the family living-kitchen area. The door to the outside has been made secure with a shutter and it’s remote-operated.
“This space doubles up as a patio and is another highlight of the house. We have a beautiful seating here. Though everybody mistakes it for wood, it’s actually iron, wrapped in wood. The offbeat seating has well succeeded in blocking the view of the well below.
“The space outside the kitchen has been converted into the utility area. The area has been well utilized. Just behind the family living stands an area which in reality is our British pub style bar counter. The place is richly done up with teak wood paneling. As the pub is slightly elevated, you have wooden steps to go up. And there are storage nooks inside the steps. We have our cellar below the wood paneled flooring.
“We were a bit disappointed by the way the staircase railings were designed. They have been done in iron covered with wood. There are four bedrooms in total, up and down. The master bedroom sports a walk-in wardrobe. The flooring is in marble and granite.
“As we are a little short on land area, we have put up a vertical garden on the wall in front of the house. We have not compromised on our security. There are eight cameras around the place. SMS alarms are also there.
“My 1,500 sq ft office stands upstairs. We are planning to go in for solar panels to keep the whole house charged without electricity. We are happy today. We have converted the house to give us comfort, luxury, aesthetics and all other basic needs”.