Wooden House is a delightful interior project by Delhi-based architect Mallika Kumar of the design firm Kumar Moorthy & Associates. The clients wanted them to do up a villa that they had bought ‘shell and core’ from the builder. The villa is located in Greater Noida in a prestigious golfing development with a golf course, club house and lakes dotting the expansive landscape.
The Project: A weekend retreat for a busy couple working in the media industry, and their two children, who were 4 and 12 years old when the project began.
The Brief: The look and feel of the house should be of a weekend retreat and not of a city home. There was emphasis on earthy textured materials and colours.
The Living Room: Wooden floors and an electric fire place give an immediate feeling of warmth to this space.
Another View Of the Living Room: The two red chairs were from a flea market, and belonged originally in a Rajasthani Haveli. The bar and the light fixture in the foreground is by Alex Davis, bar chairs were sourced from an antique store, and the cabinet beside the bar is an antique Tibetan cupboard. To get a clear, seamless look, the architect changed the external glass and wood doors from the builder’s original design and uninterrupted views of the golf course beyond.
The dining room is part of a vast living cum dining with an exposed concrete wall. The hard wood ceiling was incorporated to cleverly differentiate the two spaces. It was made to look rough, and a lot of experimenting was done to give it an aged paint finish. The far end wall was left in exposed brickwork to add texture. The wood sculptures were custom made by Mike Knowles especially for this project.
The kitchen has an island dine-in custom designed by Mike Knowles. As this was a week end retreat, and family involvement in meals and cooking was envisaged, and the island was the perfect place for informal family bonding and lounging. The look is a blend of modern elements, country, Spanish tiles.
This is the family room on the ground floor. The pop art prints were first acquired and made by Mike Knowles. The architect then experimented with colours to see what would offset them the best and teal seemed a winner. Also, this wall was a double height one, and the architect wanted a colour to emphasise that height and make it dramatic.
This is the area opposite the teal wall. Light fittings hang from the top ceiling height to emphasise the height. The exposed brick wall adds texture. There are 5 televisions installed (in almost every room) to help the media couple who inhabit this home watch various news channels simultaneously. The cabinet below the televisions has a concealed A.C
The Design and Execution Process
According to the architect Mallika Kumar, this project was based purely on intuition. The foothold on which this project was built was the emphasis on earthy and natural textures, materials and colours. So this requirement, they say, threw up materials like exposed concrete juxtaposed with wood, handmade and printed tiles with which to design the home.
Even with the décor elements, there were no pre designed thought processes or 3Ds made.
The staircase leading upstairs is serenaded by a small green atrium. The architect had the builder remove the concrete slab as was his intention, and put a skylight instead to accommodate the atrium
This is the passage outside the master bedroom on the first floor, and the windows overlook the double height space of the family room on the ground floor. The counter on the right has a handmade basin fitted, and points and some cabinets for a makeshift kitchenette to brew a quick coffee or tea.
“The direction this design took, was to blend elements, looks, materials from anything that appealed visually and make it all sit together seamlessly,” mallika kumar, architect of the wooden house
The owners are busy media people, so despite it being a week end retreat, there was a requirement for a study/home office. Within the existing structure a bedroom was redesigned and developed to accommodate this need. Furniture was custom-built in leather and wood to lend it an appropriate ambiance. The right side wall was fitted with 5 televisions (see pic below), so that the client could keep abreast of news in other channels.
Some of the furniture on the right and the old fashioned lamp were the client’s old pieces. The metal green table and chairs were bought from Zaza Homes in Delhi to balance out the colours.
Every object, carpet, painting, light fitting, cushion, door knobs etc was sourced or designed and executed, no detail was too small, and even many of the handles on the furniture have been designed and custom-made.
Pieces Were Sourced as it Caught Their Eye – from places as varied as flea markets, or commissioned from Mike Knowles and Alex Davis.
A coloured tile was an inspiration, or an old boat from Kerala. As they found something both the client and the architect enjoyed, Mallika wove it into the design, and blended it with all the other things that were happening.
Master bedroom on the first floor, overlooking the golf course: The woodwork on the windows was changed to accommodate an inunterrupted view of the same. The bed was sourced from Zaza Home, and the bench was custom designed by Mike Knowles. It is made of patch work upholstery.
The bathroom follows the idea of blending various elements. It has wood ceilings, hand painted and printed walls. The free stand counter was designed by the architect and executed onsite. Fittings were bought from various sanitary stores in Delhi.
Client involvement was hands-on, yet a lot of trust was vested in the architect. Says Mallika, “A project this whimsical reflects the clients personality and design sensibilities, and the client’s involvement was high. However they had complete faith in me and I even bought paintings for her on my travel, which she saw only after my return.”
The architect had to upgrade old and existing furniture as the client did not want to invest too much for a child who would soon outgrow this look.
Old furniture was painted, and connected to the theme by custom printing handles in the car motif.
The top stripes were hand-painted. The idea was that with very little money being spent, we could get a young boys room going, but that could be changed later with minimal effort.
This room was for a 12 year old. The architect experimented with hand painted cupboard shutters.
Furniture was designed by Mike Knowles and Mallika Kumar, and executed by him. Cabinet handles were hand crafted by Rajasthani craftsmen.
What was novel about this project?
Though wood dominated interiors are not rare, this particular project had a uniquely appealing mix of wood with bright colour and modern elements meshed in.
The skirtings were handmade tiles from Keramos. Adds Mallika, “ Though we have used all the other materials in hundreds of our other projects, this blend of so many materials, colours, textures, all coming together is a first for me”.
About the Author: Sharon Colaco DSouza is a professional content strategist and an interiors stylist. She is passionate about home décor, and runs a décor blog called Keybunch. She is also the founder of Décor Drama, a popular community of décor lovers. She is a published features writer and author. She works from her home office in Pune, which she shares with her science-buff family consisting of a husband and two kids.