Almost two years ago, the old house with tiled roof in Kanjikuzhi in Kottayam, Kerala, remained unnoticed amid a bunch of trees on a small compound by the roadside. Change of seasons had already begun to take a toll on the weathered and worn out edges of the old house. But, Rachel Mani, the 86-year-old woman who belonged there, didn't even have the wildest guess that she would be living in a cute space of luxury in the same place.
She got the surprise of her life when she saw the dilapidated dwelling got transformed into a fabulous structure in a massive makeover.
Thomas Mani, one of her four sons, and who has since been settled in the United States, is behind the entire project. The renovation has been carried out based on the design sent by him from the US.
The design entailed a thorough revamp of the house. The wooden frame of the old tiled roof has been replaced by GI pipe frame. The new dormer windows at every corner, apart from providing an enchanting look, ensures ample flow of cool air inside. New concrete walls have been erected at many places to replace old ones and to make extensions.
The small courtyard, which was there earlier has been turned more elaborate. As part of beautification, mettle chips are paved over black polythene sheets. The garden, which has been set up around the house at the cost of 1.25 lakh, is yet another highlight. More than Rs 70,000 has been spent for the garden plants alone. The old traditional stone utensils have been retained as show pieces a spot in the garden.
The Wi-fi enabled CCTV cameras, installed all around the house, help her sons and grand children keep a vigil on her day in and day out. Besides, she is constantly in touch with her kin via phone as well as video calls.
Except for the front door, which was made from jack tree timber, all the doors and windows are the ones retained from the old house. Even the couch in the living room is an old one refurbished. However, the dining table is a new one made of teak.
The window blinds and the fibre door of the attached bathroom in one of the bedrooms have been procured locally.
There is a room in the house, that has been spared to keep electronic appliances like refrigerator, washing machine and so on. Kitchen is the place that has witnessed much of the repairs. However, the old pattern, including the cupboards and rack, has been retained. The work-area is spacious and has been created by enclosing the verandah, which was there with a half wall in the back of the old house. Besides, there is a vegetable garden in the backyard where the granny could get most of the vegetables she needed for the day.
The 1600 sqft house has a living room, two bedrooms, dining room a store room and a kitchen with an adjacent work area.
What stands out as the most lauded attraction of the house is obviously the wall paint on the exterior. Asian Paint's Apex Ultima L-103 gives it the charm that force many seek the details. The nut brown colour of the same brand on the roof add to magnificence of the abode.
Owner: Rachel Mani
Location: Kanjikuzhy, Kottayam
Design & renovation: Thomas Mani
Project supervision: Paulose P Varkey
Area: 1600 sqft
Year of completion: 2019