Habitat homes need no preface. That is the degree of fame this builder has achieved among Keralites. Dr. Saji James, a professor at Loyola College, Sreekaryam, Thiruvananthapuram, was fascinated by their unique brand name when he decided to build his dream home.
“Building 2200 sq ft home in seven and a half cents of land would have definitely cost me an additional 20 lakhs”, Dr. Saji’s words justify the reputation of habitat homes. Come, let us see what makes this home unique.
Small and beautiful
You will not get a clear picture of the house when viewed from outside. The plot is almost triangular in shape. If you want to get the real shape, you need to see the living room. Confused? We shall elaborate on it later.
After buying the plot, Dr. Saji had made some concrete attempts to add value to the plot by leveling and building a compound wall. He had planned that there must be enough free space in the front yard to park at least three cars. The plan was executed by positioning the house at a corner. This, in turn, resolved the parking issue.
Leaving the bricks exposed without plastering the outer walls is the unique 'habitat' style. The stone cladding enhances its beauty. Pavement tiles are paved on the road as in the courtyard. The doctor repaired the road which lay dilapidated with the assistance of some neighbors. Car porch was constructed cost effectively with polycarbonate sheets.
The interior will thwart all your preconceptions, because it is designed so differently from the usual. It has an outright new generation look. Children’s taste was given prominence in its designing, says Dr. Saji. Let us begin with the living room. Here I reveal that surprise I hinted earlier. That secret is in the double height ceiling, which is designed in the exact shape of the plot! A classy white – gray theme is applied to the interiors. This color code is maintained through curtain, furnishing etc.
Most of the furniture was newly purchased. A small pebble court is set in the corner of the living room. It was designed by Chrysal Group spearheaded by Benny and Cheriyan, brothers of Saji and Ansaari, his friend.
The house is designed in open style. Living, dining and kitchen are interlinked as in a string. The advantage is that the housewife standing in the kitchen can chat with the guests sitting in the living room. This design is a breakaway from the old concept that kitchen must be hidden from the guests. A small curio shelf and cupboards are placed on the wall between the living and the dining.
The wall opposite to the shelf is embellished by stone-cladding. A small family area is set adjoining to this wall. It is a prudent decision not to have allotted too much space for dining space. Dining area occupies the central position of the house. Kitchen is close at hand. It is interesting to note that the kitchen has no specific shape. A breakfast table set between the kitchen and the dining plays the role of a separation, if you want to call it so.
Marine wood is used for the frames of the cabinets. Shutters are made of multiwood. A pergola is set on the top of the staircase. Plenty of light filters down through this, during daytime. There are four bath attached bedrooms on the ground and first floors. The bathrooms on the first floor have shower cubicles. Cupboards, coated with white paint, have an elegant look.
Saji did not prefer the interior walls to expose the bare bricks as done in the exterior. Therefore, the interior walls were plastered with gypsum, making the surface smooth. Paint was directly applied on the surface without putty coating. Dr. Saji believes that toxin-free food is equally essential as a strong house for a good life. So, he has grown a vegetable garden in the backyard of the house.