Home Tour: Jessie Paul’s renovated home in Bangalore

stone clad entrance of a home

Today, I bring you yet another renovated home with ethnic touches from Jyothika Baleri’s portfolio. This home belongs to Jessie Paul in Bangalore. Jessie got this home, which is the heart of Bangalore, renovated. The home is replete with age-old solid wood furniture. It brings in a whiff of fresh air as you see traditional cupboards like the ones used by our grandparents take the place of modern factory made ones with laminate.

The home stands out with rafters, wooden pillars holding a swing in the terrace, stone-clad entrance, a green wall to camouflage utility, athangudi floor tiles, and woven fabric through out the house. Tons of images are waiting to greet you. It’s drizzling here in Bangalore this morning. So grab a hot cuppa and indulge yourself to this visual treat.

1. It’s easier to design a new home as it is a blank slate. But, when it comes to renovating a home, how do you go about the project? Does the family move out? How do you incorporate the existing elements from a functional and aesthetic point of view? 
Remodelling homes are equally challenging and exciting. We have to keep many things in mind to renovate a home. Firstly we dont change the structural elements.So our planning is fairly restrictive.We are particular on functionality and aesthetics at the same time.So the designs evolve accordingly.We weave in the existing elements with facelifts or change in functionality so that it adds to the overall aesthetic component of the home.For instance if there is a large beam running across a room,we highlight it by putting pillars below it and paint the beam in an offset colour.If the flooring is a plain vitrified tile,we change the skirting to aatangudi/any coloured tile to add a dash of colour.
Most times considering we renovate old apartments that are just purchased.So the question of the family moving out does not arise. But since they are in rented home we try our best to hand over the homes in 3 months time to save on further rent.
We have done renovations with the family living in the homes as well.In such cases we take it up 1 room at a time so that they are not troubled too much. But its an inconvenience for the family to have workers going in and out.
2. Many of your projects are renovation ones – that sorta makes you the queen of renovation. What are the challenges you face when executing such projects?
I thoroughly enjoy renovating homes.The dramatic changes I see in the before and after design,gives me a lot of fulfillment work wise.
Considering renovations are mostly done on older homes,our biggest challenge is hidden costs.As we start breakages and repairs,many smaller issues crop up relating to old water /plumbing/electrical lines which need immediate attention.Some walls need to be reinforced since they tend to get week during breaking of adjacent walls/etc
Another challenge is neighboring homes if in an apartment complex/gated community.They constantly interfere with the work wanting the noise / disturbances to stop immediately.So we need to work keeping in mind people rest between 1 to 4 pm typically.So work stops for 3 hours daily,delaying our completion date.
Our main challenge is thinking on our feet,since 6/10 times plans or layouts change as work progresses.We want changes as its not to satisfaction.Clients come up with new ideas that they want incorporated. Sometimes site conditions are not favorable to what has been planed on paper. So design keeps evolving.
living room in athangudi tiles

3. Tell us more about this project. What makes it interesting? What was the theme before and what is it now?
Prestige cedars is a 10 year old property near richmond road..a very busy locality bustling with schools.
The home was typically designed with what was in vogue 10 years ago.White marble floors,white furniture…everything devoid of colour.
It was bought by the new Owner Jessie Paul (of Wipro Fame) in june 2014 from the previous owners. Jessie loves colour,which mirrors her bubbly personality.All the whites had to instantly go away.
Since she is from south India and grew up in traditionally designed homes,she wanted this to reflect in this home.We started by changing the floor in the main living area to the aatangudi floor as that brings in colour. We kept the walls white so that all her antique wooden furniture stand out.
aathangudi tiles
wooden furniture
Since some of the white wood work was intact we decided to retain it in the bedrooms.We played with coloured accesories like paintings and rugs to add some life into the space.
rugs
It was interesting to merge the old traditional style in the main living dining area to the more contemporary white cabinets in the bedrooms without it looking out of place.The kitchen was kept functional and a hint of yellow was added to teak colored kitchen,to mimic a yellow kitchen in her previous home since she loved the colour.
yellow kitchen
library
The town house came with 2 gardens,one in the backyard and one in the terrace.The backyard was also where the utility area was,so we created the green wall to cover it.Crab grass was put in since sunlight was less in this area.
green wall
The terrace was treated as the main garden with lots of potted plants,a pathway leading to their favourite Temple tree and the centre piece being the wooden pillars and swing.The swing was one of their first purchases 20 years ago so Jessie was keen to use it in this home.
swing
Camouflaged electric mains
electric mains
A beautfiful pooja unit.
pooja unit
4. Many features are what you see only in traditional homes – the flooring, the lanterns, the painted palanguzhi. Where did you source them from?
Traditional Aatangudi Flooring we source from Karaikudi..Other options that mimic these tiles are from Ceramique.Traditional pillars we get from Maram or from Karaikudi.Lanterns ,Kettles,Palanguzhi from Kili( kilishop.com/)
5. The green wall is an interesting concept. What is this made of?
The green wall was made to mask any eyesore :) It also is a good idea for places that have no space for a garden.It consists of a metal frame structure onto which the potted plants are hooked on.The pots are filled cocopeat/vermicompose with instead of soil.This weighs less and best suited for vertical gardens.
6. How did you conceptualize the terrace garden? It’s beautiful with the pillars and the swing. Often, the concern is exposing wood to rain? How have you addressed that?
The home owner had an old swing that they wanted to reuse.Since it did not fit into the home conceptually,I decided to use it in the terrace making it the focal point of the garden.Wooden pillars added to the beauty of the swing .Jessie is fond of gardening as she grew up with fond memories of it,So we kept in mind all the plants that will move into her terrace and made a layout to accomodate all her plants from her previous home and the existing plants that were left back in this home by previous owner.
To protect the wood,Since it is exposed to the elements, we painted it with enamel as it helps protect the wood against weathering.
7. Your advice to homeowners taking up renovation projects.
a)Have a clear idea on how much you want to spend as renovations have a lot of hidden or unforeseen costs.
b)Hire a good designer to optimse your cost since their inputs will be valuable.
c)If budget is limited,spend on the kitchen and bathrooms.Its essential and most used.
d)Hire a contractor who is experienced in renovations as they are able to advice you on do’s and dont’s from previous experience.
e)If dealing with mosaic floors for change,new tiles can be easily laid over it without spending on removing the old existing floor.
f)Avoid using marble/granite slabs on floor for renovations as it requires existing flooring to be removed completely.This may cause some structural damages.
My favorite part of the house was this:
rafters
If you are looking to get your home renovated the ethnic way, you know who to get in touch with.