'Meghamalhar' is simple in every way, yet elegant. Built to suit Kerala’s climate and the lifestyle of every simple Keralite, the house was designed by architect Jayan Bilathikulam who believes in maximum utility from minimum material. The no-frills structure has no ornate or needless design elements. The stress on simplicity however, ensures that quality is not compromised with on any account.
The 2,600 sq ft, two storied elevation, stands on one acre in Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode. There are four bedrooms. An expansive hall upstairs is multi-functional and a unique design feature. The elevation is flanked by roads on either side. Hence the house has an L- shaped elevation and looks visually stunning when viewed from all directions and angles.
The European style exterior with tiles on slanting roofs and the cute dormer windows add to its charm. The rooftop has been done in steel truss with tiles covering it. The tiles have been painted in dull brown. As the roofs stand at least a meter away from the walls, they save the walls from being wet and mossy during the monsoon. This saves the owner the trouble of having to paint the house constantly.
The living room has a different décor in that large and bulky sofas have been avoided. Instead, there are chairs in solid wood with the stress on comfort than on looks. One of the reasons for avoiding sofas was the difficulty involved in cleaning them up. Whereas, it would be relatively easier to maintain and keep wood clean. The hanging lamps are not set too high up in the walls. These too can be easily reached and cleaned. Almost all the light in all the rooms have been sourced from Moradabad.
Not more than Rs 50,000 was spent on the staircase. GI pipes and wood have gone into the staircase design. Jali work with jigsaw cut in wood embellishes the staircase area.
Indian-made designer tiles laid in the dining room are what highlight the decor here. At Rs 40 per sq ft, the tiles look attractive. The dining table is totally uncommon. Two statues in zinc with a glass slab screwed atop them is what makes the dining table. Designer chairs to go with the style of the dining table are what set the space apart. Crockery shelves have been set on the walls which separate the kitchen from the dining space. Ceramic tiles well mistaken for wall paper have been laid below the shelves.
The designer has bid bye to veneer and plywood in the kitchen. All the cabinets are of wood. There’s nothing that boasts of expense here. Importance has been given to utility and durability. Ceramic knobs on cabinet doors and ceramic tiles on the cabinet covers make them very attractive. Designer tiles at Rs 45 per sq ft have been paved on the walls. The open shelves in the kitchen make cooking convenient.
There are no built-in wardrobes in any of the bedrooms. Instead wooden almirahs have been provided. They can be moved as per convenience. Designer floor tiles at less than Rs 40 per sq ft make all the rooms unique. The cornice work on the ceilings is all in ferro cement.
The open terrace atop the second floor has been converted into a stylish hall with tiles covering the truss roof. Inexpensive ceramic tiles have been laid on the floor here. But it’s high on aesthetics and looks extremely attractive and expensive. The colored glass for the windows is another style element. Such glass can be bought at Rs 40 per sq ft.
The designer has also done away with balconies which ultimately only serve in collecting dust.
Area: 2, 600 sq ft
Designer: Jayan Bilathikulam
Design House, Kozhikode
Year of completion: 2017
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