How have you been? I got a much needed break from work and home and spent a better part of the kids’ summer vacation travelling and I will be out with another travel blog soon. Travel more often than not inspires me to try something new, to be adventurous, to meet new people, and well, to get…a different perspective. I am conveniently ignoring ‘Kid Situations‘ during travelling here 😉 (Read: tantrum queen, fussy eaters, argumentative sibling etc etc). Our new home tour today is a testament to how travelling can inspire you in terms of architecture and home design.
Meet Roopa and Hari, residents of namma Bengaluru, who have immortalised their travel experiences into their beautiful abode, tucked away in a quiet lane of HSR layout. Roopa, after having lived in the US for almost two decades and with the clarity of settling down in India post their stint abroad had been scourging through Pinterest for three years for ideas on building a home from grassroots, when their travel to South America in 2012 opened up new vistas for them. They were privy to the world of gorgeous Spanish villas and landscapes dotted with stunning lanai(s)*, bougainvillea and creeping rose bushes, and terracotta tiled roofs which left a profound impression on their minds. *lanai – A Hawaiian term, which includes a porch (an entrance to a home) or a patio (an paved/concrete outdoor space adjoining the house) or a veranda (a deck with railings and a roof);
Their home is a true embodiment of the Spanish Revival Style, an architectural style that became quite popular in the US between 1915-1931; This kind of architecture was a result of an exciting potpurri of Panama-Californian styles that took place around the time. Spanish villas are conspicuous with some distinct architectural elements –
- Elegant arches: Curvy steps and archways around both doors and windows normally lead to the main entrance. You can notice how Roopa’s home has perfectly captured the essence of the arches.
- Hand painted tiles: Spanish hand painted tiles were being extensively used in churches for the longest time, before making their way into home interiors (courtyards, indoor patios, kitchens, floors etc). While earlier the tiles were made in all kind of vivid patterns, it was only due to the the Islamic-Moor influence that the tiles later were coated with metallic and glass oxides making them durable as well. These tiles were named as Talavera tiles, after the Spanish ceramic town of Talavera de la Reina in Northern Spain. Roopa has used similar tiles from Bharat Floorings as stair risers in her home.
- Terracotta roof tiles: Now who doesn’t love the sloping dark red roof tiles glistening in the sun? Not only do they elicit a bucolic imagery, but also evoke an earthy charm, keeping the home cool during summers.
- Elaborate grilles: This style was marked with beautiful wrought iron work on windows, gates, banisters, and even lanterns. Roopa added an element of colour to the grilles – that of the hand-painted tiles! Take a look:
Roopa and Hari’s prior experience of building homes came in handy during the blueprint stage, as they had been collecting ideas from architects all over the world on how to make a home beautiful yet practical; and from there on it was a matter of executing their plan, which was efficiently accomplished by their architect who transformed a piece of land into their dream home. Roopa’s abode is literally a ‘Green Home’ not just because it sports a charming, lush garden brimming with bougainvillea archways, vivid flowers, and perennials, but also because it operates on solar energy. The house is powered by a 3.5 KW solar panel unit on one part of the terrace which considerably reduces the entire power consumption of their household.
So, while we have been going gaga over the Spanish inspired archways and the detailed grilles, the interiors of the home are a different story altogether. Roopa was keen on having the traditional Indian interiors, whereas her husband wanted a bit of contemporary. End result: An exquisite traditional home with an exciting modern melange of different cultures – Indian, Oriental, European, and of course, American. Take a look at their living room below and you will know what I am talking about. The Spanish arches have made their way here as well, as cute display showcases of their travel spoils. While the leather couch exudes luxury all the way, the rug on the wall, the carved wooden panel, the Tanjore Krishna, the framed Rajasthani paintings, and the colonial style armchairs breathe an element of old world Indian-ness into this space.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that their home is a Collector’s Nest. Roopa mentions, “Since we were travelling a lot, my collection of things as souvenirs were mostly things that I could use at home. Our home has a collection of things from around the world. We have memories attached to every single object. We remember where we got it and it probably has a story to go with it“. Her most prized possession is the Tanjore Krishna painting (resting on the mantle) which was gifted to her Grandfather by his student almost 50 years ago.
I love how she has juxtaposed this typical American architectural feature (mantle) with Indian brass/bronze idols, Pichwai prints, and woven baskets picked up during their travels to South East Asia, and of course, a generous hint of green with this potted Philodendron. Its masterful mixing of different cultures. Did you notice how a carved wooden panel has been perfectly amalgamated into the mantle?
While one may notice the understated elegance of this space almost immediately, the entire story lies in the details. Once you start moving your eyes around, it becomes crystal clear that the thought and effort behind this home is the couple’s penchant for perfection combined with their unwavering attention to detail. For instance, these details on the carved wooden panel above the arches is just WOW!
The living room, in fact the home in its entirety, does not sport any false ceilings and the light streaming in through the arched French windows gives a sense of space and while the Central Asian Ikat inspired curtains add an extra dimension of colour and height.
The other end of the living room sports a gorgeous hutch cabinet (filled with books of course!) and an alluring assortment of wall decor pieces from the Devi masks (from Kumbakonam) to antique hand mirrors and panel from Gujarat to the set of Teppanom statues on the wooden chest.
The dining area is flanked by a set of absolutely gorgeous antique Chettinadu pillars sourced from a Pondicherry based vendor. The details on these pillars and the arch above are a true testament to our country’s wonderful craftsmanship. Wood is one major element which in all its richness and intricacy anchors everything else around itself – from the metal hanging lamps to neutral walls to art on the walls and the vibrant tiled floors. Roopa also sourced a few richly carved wooden panels from Dhakshini Antiques in Bangalore.
The temple is equally mesmerizing with elaborate carvings all along the door. Roopa has kept the layout pretty simple inside and lets the main door frame with intricate details do the talking. Like I said…the story is in the details.
This space outside the dining corner has been accessorised with a simple teak wood bench. A Madhubani ‘Tree of Life’ painting and an enchantingly carved mirror replete with its share of colouful wooden dolls and copper bells from Nirona, Kutch make their way here.
Roopa’s kitchen follows the overall theme of rich teak wood and has all the modern amenities and equipment with a touch of old world charm. Interestingly, she doesn’t own a microwave oven (something I have been toying to do away with too) but has a built-in hob and a lovely US farmhouse style sink (love! love!) The kitchen is powered too by the solar panel.
The bedrooms have been minimally furnished with customised furniture from Maram, a quaint antique furniture store in the heart of Bangalore. The overall vibe of these rooms gravitates towards elegant tranquility with neutral bedspreads and pops of colour in the form of wall art and rugs. Love the natural light coming in through the sheers.
The Lady of the House feels a strong connect with Lord Krishna and has paintings of him in different art forms – from Tanjore and Ganjifa to Pattachitra.
Roopa and Hari’s home is not just a melting pot of different cultures, but also carries a very visible imprint of their travels and sensibilities. The Spanish villa style architecture, traditional Indian interiors made distinctly charming with the richness and intricate details on teak, and the sparkle from brass and bronze artifacts, with sophisticated modern aura all around is what keeps one enthralled. It also shows that a mix and match of one’s decor sensibilities along with their experiences, if done right, can create an aesthetic as endearing as theirs. You can follow Roopa’s absolutely delightful Instagram account here.
Rounding off this beautiful elegantly understated home with a few more vignettes from her paraphernalia.
I hope you liked this home tour and are inspired to embark upon a new journey of either travel or self-discovery or bespoke decor or all of them! Whatever it may be, do drop a line in the section below. I read the comments, every single time! 😀
(Images in this feature belong to Roopa Hariprasad and may not be copied, used, or reproduced without her prior approval. Text copyright: A Cauldron Full of Love)