Shaiju and wife Shaji have been living in a flat in Edapally for the past couple of years. As their kids Sweety and Shanna grew up, they found the apartment too crammed and yearned for a spacious home where the kids could play free, Shaji could engage in gardening and Shaiju could practise the tabla without worrying if it would disturb the neighbours. After months of hunting, they found the perfect home they have been dreaming of - a 2,250 sq ft villa at Kalamassery in Ernakulam, Kerala.
However, Shaiju wasn’t pleased with the interiors and hence decided to take matters into his own hands. Inspired by several homes he had been to, Shaiju designed his home according to his wish. One look at ‘Shaiju’s’, you would know how strong the family’s desire has been to move into their own personalised space. The two-storey house, with its spacious four bedrooms and beautiful interiors, oozes charm and elegance.
Asked what prompted the businessman to turn into an interior designer, Shaiju says, “We wanted our home to stand apart. We had been planning many features we saw at other homes and wanted to replicate many of those in ours, but with a personalised touch. Our girls too are very keen on maintaining the beauty of the home and premises. So, instead of banking on a designer, we decided to do it on our own.”
The major attraction of the house is its monochromatic palette. The walls, decor, furniture, flooring, blinds and ceiling are all combinations of black and white, at a few places, milky white, like the cozy comforter in the living space. On entering the house one can feel a faint blossom smell that adds to the charm of the ambience. Smiling, Shaiju reveals that the scent comes from the special waterproof wall paint he chose for his dream home.
The ground floor has a bedroom, a living space, a show kitchen, a working kitchen and Shaiju’s favourite part – a customised bar counter with racks for 18 bottles, each rack adorned by spotlights of different colours. A fan above the counter emits eight colours, giving a peculiar aura to the spot, especially during the night. Except in the bathrooms, which adorn brown tiles all over, the flooring of the house is done in white tiles. The cupboards, shelves and counters are built using marine plywood with specially designed themed panelling on doors and windows. Doors made of teakwood have mica-laminated plywood as panels. The lights and fans are specifically chosen from places the family visits. The cylindrical and quirky-shaped remote-controlled fans with lamps are a sight to behold!
The show kitchen has an impressive six-seater dining table and a chandelier adding to the beauty. The black-and-white stairway leads to the wonderland in the first floor, but midway, a marvellous metallic decor amazes the visitor - a floral wall light which Shaiju fell in love with at Bengaluru and immediately brought home! Under the light rests his golden tabla.
One of the three bedrooms on the first floor is the Frozen-themed kids’ room where the Disney character Elsa adorns the walls, pillows and bedsheets, among the numerous dolls and toys. “This is the only room themed in blue, straying away from the general monochrome. The bunk bed was customised to suit the girls’ preference. The second bedroom is where Sweety’s piano is placed. The third one is the master bedroom where the surveillance TV has been installed.
The house is surrounded by lush greenery. Besides the indoor plants, there is a little orchard, which Shaji has been grooming in the backyard and it's home to over 400 plant varieties and rare fruits. The family is also planning to set up a terrace garden to grow vegetables.
Location: HMT Colony, Kalamassery
Plot: 5 cents
Area: 2,250 sq ft
Owner: Shaiju and Shaji
Year of completion: March 2020