Eco-friendly, pocket-friendly and luxury. Is that a rare combination that seems impractical to balance for those of us who wish to transform a dream home into an experience by itself? Well not exactly. For, nature lovers Prabhul, and his wife, a teacher, chose to take an equal mix of the three to paint a picture-perfect budget luxury abode that has grabbed the attention of people passing through Koratty in Thrissur, Kerala.
This 3,000 sqft gorgeous 'earthen' house in sprawling 30 cents of land stands next to the couple's Kerala-style ancestral house that boasts of 100-year-old elegance. The strong emotional bonding with the antique structure, despite it showing signs of decay, has prompted the family to go for a brand new house to suit the modern requirement. Realising the couple's long-time passion for farming and intense love for nature, COSTFORD's Shantilal helped them materialise the dream for a sustainable residence, ensuring the cost to the environment is minimal.
The double-height exterior wall with a slanted roof lifts the aesthetics of the structure, giving the advantage of multiple facade effect from different angles. The double-height region houses the upstair bedroom topped with ceiling tiles. The rooftop above the ceiling is covered with roofing tiles on GI truss work. Natural stones dotted with lawn grass give the chic feel for the serene front yard that is graced by pepper vines and nutmeg, rubber, and fruit trees. Prabhul, who works with the health department, took maximum care to retain the trees in the compound during construction.
The eco-friendly approach is evident even in the selection of construction materials. The use of concrete has been completely eliminated. Traditional laterite stones were placed on top of each other using an adhesive of mud and limestone to build the walls which were later plastered using a traditional mix of mud, jaggery, fenugreek, and cow urine.
The slabs forming the ceiling are constructed using filler slab technology that makes use of clay tiles. The presence of an inner central courtyard and plenty of windows supports the cross-ventilation system and enhances the indoor air quality - a secret for the super-cool weather inside even on a hot sunny day. The lamps and fans are put to rest during the daytime, which accounts for low power bills for the family.
The ground floor houses a sit-out, foyer, guest living area, family living, courtyard, dining room, study space, kitchen work area, and three bedrooms, while on the first floor is situated an upper living library and a bedroom.
A stunning central courtyard with pillars defines the epicentre of the house. Other key areas revolve around the atrium paved with awesome white pebbles that glow in the sun rays seeping in from above. A draining channel is also provided here to divert the excess rainwater.
Apart from wallpapers, a set of murals painted by the house owner's friends lend an artistic bend to the interiors. The couple's two children have chipped in to add to the interior charm with their bottle artworks.
Stained glass of varying colours is widely used in the windows. They create a heavenly experience during the daytime with changing light patterns in sun reflection.
An attractive balcony experience is offered on the upper storey with laid-back seating space beside bamboo railings and window. The study space is judiciously placed next to the region. Urban architecture is reflected in the stairway that makes use of wooden planks resting on GI frames. A reading nook makes the space beneath the stairway more functional and creative, apart from the display shelf designed on the adjoining wall.
The bedrooms embrace the serene, simple comforts of just an attached bathroom and cupboard. The kitchen is also extraordinarily modest that allows the view to the rest of the area with the help of shelf partition.
The house owner was able to complete the structure of the 3,000sqft house and its furnishing in just Rs45 lakh, which in normal course would have stretched to at least Rs 60 lakh.
Prabhul who has a wider circle of friends has earmarked adequate space in the front yard for social gatherings. However, due to the COVID situation, the housewarming was held at the end of 2020 with limited attendance. Once the pandemic wave dies down, the family expects the living rooms to be alive with more gatherings.
Location: Koratty, Thrissur
Plot: 30 cents
Budget: 45 lakh