Architect couple Reshmi and Nebu, who had helped lots of people fulfill their dreams of owning a house, were excited to design their own dream abode at Kattanam near Kayamkulam, Kerala. This minimal house built in just 1150 sqft has all the amenities that are required for a four-member family. “Keralites build homes foreseeing the comforts and requirements of at least two generations that are yet to come. Even though it might seem ‘envisaging’, this trend could actually prove to be a mistake. In the modern age, kids are likely to leave their homes, after completing their education, to build a life of their own. The aged parents would then be alone at home. That is when huge houses become a burden. Besides, they might have spent their life’s savings for building this house. It might push them into financial trouble, especially in the pandemic times. We decided to build a small house as we have seen lots of people going through such struggle,” says Rashmi.
The family had been settled in Oman for years before moving back to their hometown in Kerala. They were sure that they needed a single storey minimal house that is affordable and simple. The couple had designed their house that stands on a 13 cents plot, based on the ‘compact home’ concept. The elevation features a chic box style design. Interestingly, this design allows the family to build more rooms or an additional floor, if required, in the future.
Sit out was avoided as no one in the family has the habit of enjoying the beauty of the nature, sitting outside. The living areas, dining space and the kitchen are all part of the spacious hall. There are three bedrooms in this minimal house. One of the bedrooms has an attached bathroom. Besides, there is a common bathroom too.
The open interiors have helped in reducing the area of the house, thus making it easier for maintenance. Rashmi and Nebu are both employed and spend most of their time outside. They vow that they could clean the house in just 10 minutes as the spaces are compact.
A small house doesn’t mean that there isn’t enough space or facilities inside it. Rashmi says that they didn’t compromise on the facilities and comfort while designing the interiors. It was Nebu who designed the simple yet classy interiors of this amazing abode. Around Rs 13 lakh was spent for the interiors as high quality furnishing materials have been used. Besides, the structure was completed on a budget of Rs 15 lakh. Rashmi says that the entire house, including the structure and furnishing, was completed on a pocket friendly budget of Rs 28 lakh. She adds that an ordinary family could easily build a house for just Rs 20 lakh if they go easy on the interiors and furnishing.
Seeing the open kitchen that faces the dining area, many expressed displeasure that the odor from the kitchen would fill the dining area too. However, Rashmi says that they haven’t even used a hood over their stove. The excellent cross ventilation makes sure that the kitchen odor goes out through the open windows or the exhaust fan could be switched on. The kitchen has lots of cabinets for storage.
Two bedrooms in this house are kids’ bedrooms. Study areas and storage facilities have been arranged in these rooms. Meanwhile, there is a small library cum sitting space in the master bedroom.
“We have built a minimal house with an intention to lead a simple life. We are really happy spending time here. When you wish to build a house, you must also think whether your house desires you. You should think whether the house has any significance in the future too. As an architect, my opinion is that it is not right to splurge money and natural resources just for the sake of showing off, if you are not contemplating about the relevance of your house. We believe in the incredible charm and grace of minimalism,” Rashmi signs off.
Location – Kattanam, Alappuzha
Plot - 13 cents
Area – 1150 SFT
Owners/architects/designers – Rashmi Nebu and Nebu John
Stupica Architects and Interior Designers, Kayamkulam
Mob – 9846032157, 9544667106
Year of completion - 2021