Bangalore: a modern Indian villa inspired by the traditional architecture of Kerala


It was a chance encounter that led the owners, a couple based in Bengaluru, to Ganesh Nair. It turned out to be kismet. “They had recently purchased a villa in GoodEarth Malhar, an eco-village known for its Kerala-style architecture, and were keen to reflect the style inside as well,” recalls the founder and lead designer of Whitespace, who visited the the family’s former home in an attempt to assess their style.

The living room is characterized by exposed beams on the ceiling, exposed brick walls and pockets of bonsai. A wicker chandelier and flat-woven rug anchor the seating area, while an ornate mirror and swing lend a rustic touch. The artworks are licensed prints from Arte’Venue, Bengaluru.

Shamanthe Patil

Shamanthe Patil

Shamanthe Patil

Kerala connection

“Warm and traditional, but with all the facilities of a modern home – that’s what they stood for and that’s what they wanted,” says Nair. And so, in keeping with the vernacular of Kerala, he assembled a palette of bricks, stones “and lots of greenery”. Details were defined by athangudi and Moroccan tiles, patterned fabrics, tropical wallpapers, wrought iron furniture and a tapestry of textures. “The owners are bonsai enthusiasts so they took it upon themselves to ‘green’ the place,” he says, adding, “All movable furniture has been custom made and is mainly sourced from Kerala. Fixed furniture has were made on site. For the Mangalore tiled roof, terracotta floor, wooden pillars and earthen pots that greet you at the entrance verandah, you’d be forgiven for thinking you could have taken a detour to a picturesque corner of Palghat or Kasaragod. the giveaway is the modern teak and rattan side chairs and the line of bonsai trees, perched on the cut stone,” says Nair.


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