This spectacular abode named Sopanam, in the enchanting countryside of Vettukad in Thrissur, Kerala, stands out for its bewitching traditional style. The owner who had worked abroad for years has now returned to the warmth and love of his hometown. He has always wished for a simple yet beautiful abode that is just perfect for his small family comprising of his wife and a daughter. Moreover, he wanted to build his dream dwelling on a pocket-friendly budget too.
The family is enjoying every moment in their new house that is built in a 4-acre land filled with lush greenery. The house is inspired by the fabulous design of the old naalukettu households in Kerala.
The family didn’t want their house to be visible from the road as they wished for privacy. So, the structure is built away from the main road and is conveniently hidden behind thick foliage.
The tile paved roof is what grants the exteriors the much desired traditional look. This ensures a cool and comfortable ambience inside the house. Meanwhile, truss roof has been installed above the flat roof of the sit-out.
A spacious sit-out, formal living area, dining space, courtyard, kitchen and three bedrooms have been included in this charming house that has an area of 1486 sqft.
The structure is built using laterite stones, adding an earthy charm to the elevation. Moreover, the exposed style outer walls give a very rustic look too. A wall in the formal living area has been highlighted by leaving it exposed. Design features like this truly exude an old-world charm that excites nostalgia.
The pillar-lined long verandah is the perfect spot from where the fabulous views of greenery could be enjoyed. In - built storage spaces on the half wall here is a smart addition. Wooden-finished tiles have been used for flooring. Meanwhile, beautiful terracotta tiles are used in some areas.
The courtyard is the highlight of the interiors. A sliding glass door is what separates the courtyard and the dining area. This area is also accessible through a door that connects to the backyard of the house. Cool breeze, warm sun shine and the gleaming moonlight sneak inside through the open ceiling of the courtyard. The ceiling, meanwhile, is secured with grilles for added safety. The thulasithara (a traditional platform where Holy Basil is grown) here completes the traditional look of the area.
The windows in the dining area open to the courtyard. In – built sitting spaces and the storage spaces below makes this extremely functional. Moreover, space-saving features like this ensures that there is enough sitting space for the guests whenever a gathering is hosted in the house.
One of the three bedrooms is used as a study area. Interestingly, this could be turned into a guest bedroom whenever required. Two bedrooms, meanwhile, are bath attached. Besides, there is a common bathroom too. Full-length wardrobes make the bedrooms space-efficient. Besides acting as eye-catching design features, the unplastered walls in the bedrooms helped in reducing the expenses too.
The open dining area and the kitchen make the interiors look and feel vaster. A quaint breakfast counter has been arranged in the kitchen.
The solar plant installed on the terrace, meanwhile, ensures that the house is run on clean and sustainable energy.
Usually, traditional naalukettu houses are known for their elaborate and exquisite timber works. However, alternative furnishing materials have been used here to keep a tab on the expenses. It is truly commendable that such an incredible house could be constructed on a reasonable budget of Rs 30 lakh. The construction of the structure and the furnishing were covered within this budget, especially during the times when the cost of the building materials are skyrocketing.
Among the various factors that helped in keeping a check on the budget, limiting the use of timber for furnishing played a vital role. UPVC has been used to make the doors and windows. Leaving the walls un plastered not only adds a rustic charm to the house but saved the painting costs too. The interiors are open and spacious without any inner walls that separate the spaces. Alternate furnishing materials like veneer, plywood and laminate, in wooden finish have been mostly used in the interiors.
Location – Vettukad, Thrissur
Plot – 4 acres
Area – 1486 SFT
Owner – Manoj Nair
Architect – Mahesh Ramakrishnan
ViewPoint Designs, Poonkunnam, Thrissur
Mob – 8606531611
Year of completion - 2019