Saiju Kurup has seen many ups and downs in his career, since the release of his debut movie Mayookham, 14 years ago. Meanwhile, many Arackal Abu fan clubs were formed after the super hit Aadu franchise hit the screens. Now, the talented actor is exploring the nuances of cinema by essaying unique and interesting roles. It’s been only six months since Saiju and his family moved into their brand new flat at Panampilly Nagar in Ernakulam. The actor talks about his career and also about his dream dwelling.
It was 9 years ago that Saiju moved into a rented flat in this building. Later, the family purchased a small flat in the sixth floor and shifted. They lived in this flat for six years. When the couple had two children, they decided to move to a new flat which is more spacious with better facilities. So, they bought their new flat in the seventh floor and moved in, and gave their old flat for rent.
Saiju credits his wife Anupama for designing the brand new flat in such a beautiful way. “Anu had lots of interesting ideas to decorate the flat. She planned for months and roamed around countless shop to choose the décor and other stuff for the flat. Every show piece in this house bears Anu’s signature. So, it is Anu who should speak about the flat,” says Saiju.
When Saiju bought this 1700 sqft 3 BHK flat, it wasn’t furnished or the interiors weren’t designed. They had furnished and decorated the flat as per their likes and tastes. “I had worked in the corporate sector for years. I quit my job only after my second son was born. I am quite interested in interior designing. We became confident after we decorated our first flat. It was a contractor called Johnson who had furnished our old flat. We entrusted them with the refurbishment of this one as well,” notes Saiju.
The interiors are spacious with no unnecessary walls that separate the spaces. The family wanted their brand new flat to have a unique look and feel that is quite different from the regular designs. The interiors are designed based on the British – colonial theme. However, one could easily spot the features of the traditional architectural style as well in the flat. Saiju says that they had referred to countless home and décor magazines to zero in the styles and designs for their abode.
The spacious living – dining hall, designed in the open style, is what welcomes you once the entrance door is opened. The classic fire place that is seen in the colonial bungalows is the highlight here. Two glass doors are installed here to create the model of the fire place. This space would look exactly like a fire place if electric flame lights are fitted inside it. The walls on both the sides are highlighted used stone claddings.
One could enter the quaint balcony from the living area through a sliding glass door. There is a small vertical garden here that adds a hint of greenery. The cool breeze could be welcomed into the interiors if this sliding door is open. Roller blinds are installed to block the hot sunrays.
The English households are usually decorated with lots mirrors. The reflections of the spaces would make the areas look vaster and brighter as well. This feature is used in Saiju’s flat as well. The mirrors, the clock and the ceiling fan are inspired from the classic colonial theme. Unique lightings are installed to suit the design of each room. The warm tone lights make the interiors look extremely pleasant and comfortable. False ceiling is not installed in the main areas; instead it is done only in the bathrooms and the work area.
Most of the furnishings and décor are in the wooden theme. Wooden flooring is done to highlight the living and the dining areas and the master bedroom as well. The tile flooring in the rest of the house is retained. A wall has been turned into a photo wall by highlighting it in orange hue. Curios in brass add a rustic charm to the interiors. A traditional mail box, lamp and a Buddha statue are eye catching décor items.
There is a master bedroom, kid’s room and a guests’ bedroom in this flat. The master bedroom is spacious and bunk beds are arranged in the kids’ room. The cots in the bedrooms have in – built storage spaces as well. The bath attached bedrooms have wardrobes in wood and glass combination. The wardrobe in the master bedroom is a regular one while there is a sliding wardrobe in the kids’ room.
The kitchen is designed in the off white and cream colour combination. Nano white glass, which is sturdy and easy to clean, is paved on the kitchen and the bar counters. Wall tiles in rustic finish are pasted on the splash back. The work area is designed by giving prime importance to storage. The wash area, concealed cupboard and the sink are all arranged here.
“Whenever Saiju got a few days off, both of us would go shop hopping to buy the lights and other curios to decorate the flat. We roamed around quite a bit to find our favorite pieces,” says Anupama.
Saijus’s daughter, class 9 student Mayookha and son Aftab who is in the kindergarten would be excited whenever their father is home. This beautiful flat on the 7th floor would then become lively with songs, dance and laughter.