Sunday, February 02, 2014

Heaven On Earth

Having our own house was a dream we had since the day we met. From the days of courtship till we tied the knot, if there was one reverie we both indulged in, it was that of owning a house, one that we could call our home.

Two individuals from diverse cultures coming together to build their dream home. He who had lived his life in compact flats in the crowded and bustling city of Mumbai and She who had spent her entire childhood by the seaside, amid swaying palms and melting sunsets in picturesque Goa.  He had never seen bathrooms bigger than a cubbyhole and she couldn't imagine balconies that were less than a couple of yards long. The hunt for the ideal home couldn't get any more complicated could it?

With his roots firmly grounded in Bangalore, it was but the chosen city. The hunt took months with both of us refusing to see eye to eye on almost everything. Finally we found a place that neither could deny an attraction for. The Goan in me and the Mumbaikaar in him; both had fallen in love. It was an apartment constructed in the north of the city, in an area yet untouched by commercialization. A two bedroom apartment with a study and a tiny terrace - we had our hearts set on it. After years of wait, our house was handed over in 2013, ready to furnish and decorate and create the home we always wanted.

Initially we decided to look around for interior designers who could help us design our home. We had ideas, but the confidence was amiss. Space optimization, streamlined usage of wood and an elegant design was what we hoped for, but after interacting with multiple designer houses, we realized it was easier to define it ourselves. The realization gave birth to the much needed confidence and we went ahead with our own ideas and a décor firm that believed in designing homes collaboratively.

Living room – the living area was edged with French windows opening towards the east. Given the space constraints for this room, we decided to avoid bulky furniture sets and instead opted for a sectional that would seat a decent number of people, yet not make the space look overwhelming. To add to the minimalist feel, we dropped the idea of showcases that are typical of Indian living rooms and instead brought in a lamp that served both lighting as well as décor purposes.  An apartment that opened its doors to the east meant a beautiful sunrise and abundance of morning sunshine. To accentuate the rays that hit our floors, we brought in light shaded curtains. The finishing touch was an Asian paints wall fashion which we had adorn one of the walls, giving it an elegant look.

Kitchen- An open kitchen meant a big no to messy and crowded counters. To allow a clean and clear feel, we opted for a semi island kitchen that gave plenty counter space and helped reduce the oily and spicy mess Indian cooking is so well known for.

Dining area- We owned a beautiful 4 seater dining table that we decided to continue with in the new apartment. It was more than enough for our dining needs and could double up as a buffet table whenever we had guests over. The fact that it was compact made it our choice for this area. We designed the crockery cabinet such that it fit into a cavity in the wall rather than occupy more space on the floor.

Bedrooms- Both bedrooms were designed with a minimalist look and enough cupboard and storage space. Handwoven bed covers were used to give an ethereal feel to the rooms.

Study – This room was one of the reasons we decided to go with this apartment. A spacious study that on one hand could fulfill my dream of having a library and on the other could double up as a guest room if required. We designed a corner unit as a work area with two bookcases on either side. The work area was built such that it could be kept closed when not in use. A diwan was brought in which could double up as a bed when need be. A chair and a lamp in the corner brought to life my idea of a reading corner.

Terrace and Balconies – layered with terracotta flooring, these gave a rustic feel to the house. With each open area waking up to the rising sun, these were the ideal accessories to the apartment. We put in a few Rajasthani chairs on the Terrace to enjoy our evening cup of tea. In the days to come, we intend to landscape the space with lots of greenery.
Asian Paints Wall Fashion

The finishing touch was the painting that we got done. We specifically asked the builder not to put his own coat of paint; instead we approached Asian Paints and decided to get the final touch done through them. We had the entire house painted in a shade of cream to allow the morning sun to light it up as much as possible. In addition, we added the wall fashion to create an element of décor. The advantage of doing so was simple – quality and elegance. The radiance the paint added to the house gave it the much required glow.

It took us over Six months to complete the wood work and painting and make it ready to move in. But decorating the home has been an ongoing process. Every day we come up with a new thought or a new idea to add to the décor. While that experience is a continuing one, there are a few aspects we feel helped us get things to where they are today.

Guidance – Though we decided not to use a professional interior designer, we did require help from an Architect to decide the structural modifications that we would need. The reason for not using interior designer services was that most wanted to implement standard décor concepts rather than consider innovative space saving ideas. If you decide to use a designer, always go with one who is willing to think out of the box and truly give you the home you are looking for.

Budget- As your dream project takes off, your wish list will keep changing and so will the numbers on that excel sheet you so carefully created. That sheet is extremely precious and it is up to you to do your permutations and combinations to stay within the limits or maybe just toe the line a tad bit. Typically these decisions should be governed by practicality.

Deciding a theme – Decide what is it that you are really looking for- Space optimization? Minimal usage of wood? Lots of storage space? Luxurious décor? How do you want it done- Indian traditional look or a contemporary fare? Or would you prefer a fusion? It could be something as simple as deciding a common shade of colour for your wood work, like we did.

Play the leader- Yes. There will be hundreds of suggestions thrown at you, slippages in schedule and last minute feasibility debates that will become the order of the day. It will be key for you to stay on top of it all and be sure of what is it that you want.

Time Management – This will be crucial. Be prepared for taking time out from work at times and busy weekends almost every week. There will be a lot of running around to do – meet the carpenters, select the granite, furniture, paint and the lights; the list will only grow longer. Remember to value time, yours as well as that of the team working on your project.


The time spent is grueling, and often tests your patience and tolerance levels; however the end result gives a satisfaction and happiness that is beyond comparison. This is a project undertaken to build memories of a lifetime, so take your time to make your home, your heaven on earth. 


54 comments:

  1. Awesome house... Completely justifies the title..

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  2. Your home looks lovely, Seeta! That terrace must be a wonderful place to read and relax!
    Good luck with the contest.

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    1. Thanks Corinne :) and yes, the terrace and the study were the reasons we fell in love with the place... the loveliest place to relax and read.

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  3. Congratulations on our new home. Its lovely!

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  4. Very well written, Seeta! All your effort and love is shown so very well in your home!!

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    1. Thanks, I guess that is what we always wanted :)

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  5. Beautiful home ! Beautiful Blog ! Beautiful Blogger !

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  6. You have a beautiful home :) All the best for the contest :)

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    1. Thanks Prasanna, much needed it is :)

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  7. Lovely! Hearty congratulations Seeta!

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  8. Beautiful Seeta...the terrace and the kitchen are the icing to the cake... Minimalism is the order of the day and you have just cracked it!

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    1. Thanks Aparna.. I agree with you, minimalism always stays on the top :)

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  9. That is a cozy little place you have created for yourself!
    Wishing you happy times always!

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  10. lovely place. we are hoping to narrow down the city and then finalize our dream home :) long way to go.
    all the best for contest..

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    1. All the best for that Amar .. but nothing like a home in Goa right? :)

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  11. congratulations for your new home! love your study :) didn't know about the Asian paints wall fashion, thanks for the tip!

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    1. Thanks :) I love the study too, now you know why I do not miss work as much ;-)

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  12. Hhmmmmppphhh ... Heaven on Earth indeed Seets. Having visited your place, I do enjoy the luxury of creating those 3D visual pictures as you took me through this post ... Just luv your study, awesomely designed and well, no wonder, that space reflects in your writing.
    Time for a chai at your place soon :)

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    1. Hehehe, that is a lovely thing to say :) and Yes, chai and a lot more.., Indu needs to come over as well :)

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  13. Lovely house Seeta. The title says it all :) Btw, can i get dat invitatn for the chai too ;);)

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    1. Hahaha! Sure Jyotsna, the terrace awaits that cup of tea and your company :)

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  14. Elegant and classy.... You have a beautiful place. Best of luck with the contest :)

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  15. Such a lovely home Seeta. All the best for the contest!

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    1. Thanks Aditi, that means a lot to us :)

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  16. Beautiful home! I like the "less is more" feel throughout!

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    1. same here... less is always more :)

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  17. beautiful house and equally lovely post! Best of the luck for the contest..

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    1. Thanks Uma for both... need all the luck possible :)

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  18. Your home looks wonderful Seeta!
    Must say ,Great work on the interior designing part.....a lovely post complimenting one lovely home. :)

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  19. Your home looks wonderful Seeta!! :)
    Your labor of love clearly shows!

    All the best for the contest.

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    1. I am so glad for that.. we still have some work to be done.. but yeah enough has been put in to call it our heaven on earth :)

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  20. Goan and Mumbaikar in Bengaluru . Thats a cool combo !
    LOVED ur home ;) should visit some time to take tips. All the tips U have mentioned are worth noting
    That wall fashion is so good

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  21. You have a beautiful place- so warm and cozy :)

    Best of luck with the contest :)

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  22. Seeta, from whatever little I have understood of you through your blog - it all reflects in your beautiful home :)
    I love the simplicity and the warmth :)

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  23. I know u wanna keep the blog flowing .. but should admit that post was "typical".

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    1. Absolutely, it was meant to be just that!

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  24. Lives up to the title! Our homes are Heaven on Earth, Seeta :)
    Best wishes for the contest :)

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  25. North Bangalore, huh? Hmm! Lovely house that.

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    1. By any chance do you live on this side as well??? Thanks Suresh :)

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