Chettinad architecture insipred apartment with wooden pillars and a swing
Chettinad architecture insipred apartment with wooden pillars

This Chettinad inspired house was all about going back to roots, for its owners Sai and Anusha. The 2,500 sq.ft style Chettinad architecture style apartment in Bangalore has been designed by Jyothika Baleri of Destination Designs. This post is going to be a little different because instead of me Jyothika will narrate the journey of how this house came about to be a home for Sai and Anusha. Over to Joe…

I very strongly believe if you go back to your roots, if you mine that inner territory, you can bring out something that is incredibly you and authentic – like your thumbprint. It’s going to have your style because there is no one like you. –Joyce Tenneson

One Sunday afternoon, I got a call to accommodate a meeting on that day. It’s only for half an hour they said and requested we meet immediately! I obliged. This is how I met Sai and Anusha for the first time. They had just purchased an apartment at Divyasree and wanted it done up in traditional Chettinadu style. Anusha had grown up in Chennai visiting Chettinad homes in the city and had grown to love this style. She had come across Destination Designs online and wanted us to do up her home.

We hit it off almost instantly as we bounced ideas on what the home should look like. Our choices were similar and it was easy to progress on design specifications. As Anusha said, I treated this home as my own more than that of a client.

We took almost 4 years between our first interactions to actual start of the work as the builder took a while to handover the home. This gave us ample time to design and source materials for the home. Once we started work onsite it took us 4 months from start to finish. When the job was completed, Sai and Anusha gained their dream home and I gained great friends.

Before we take the tour, some background into Chettinad Architecture.

The Bangala says,

Chettinad architecture stands out for its use of large spaces in halls and courtyards, ornate embellishments like Belgian glass work, intricate woodwork, spectacular ceramic tiles, stone, iron and wooden pillars, together creating an indigenous amalgam of traditional Indian architecture and various European styles.

The basic floor plan of a Chettinad house consists of an outside verandah (thinnai) for guests, with a room for conducting business on one or both ends; an interior courtyard to be used in ceremonies, with a raised seating area at one or both ends; a series of small double rooms opening off the main courtyard, for storage, prayer and sleeping and a small courtyard behind for cooking and for the women to socialize.

The Chettinad houses were usually tile-roofed with a small two-storeyed tower at both ends of the front elevation. They later expanded vertically into two-storeyed structures, and horizontally through the addition of numerous halls and courtyards that could accommodate guests at marriages and other ceremonies.


The foyer of the house has a faux brick façade to seat an idol of Ganesha which Sai is very fond of.

Exposed brick clad wall in the foyer with a brass uril and Ganesha
Exposed brick clad wall in the foyer with a brass uril and Ganesha

Living Room

The view below is as soon as one enters the home; it is the entire expanse of the living room, dining room and the pooja room in the far end. The living and dining spaces are divided by antique Chettinad pillars and a custiomized swing. All the furniture in the living and dining room is made from reclaimed teak wood .

Wooden furniture, pillar and swing complete this Chettinad  house inspired living room.
Chettinad house inspired living room minus the central courtyard.
A glimpse of the antique pooja door, wooden pillars, and teak furniture in this living room.
A glimpse of the antique pooja door, wooden pillars, and teak furniture in this living room.
living room with pillars
Chettinad style apartment in Bangalore
Chettinad style apartment in Bangalore
Behind the foyer
behind the foyer

Pooja Room with Intricately Carved Door

This home is a 2500 sq.ft. apartment .The home had to centre around the puja room as this was Anusha’s sanctuary. We designed the living and dining area to accommodate a puja room.The puja room holds Anushas collection of Tanjore paintings which adorn the wall.The carved door to the puja room was a gift from Anusha’s father Mr.Ramesh ,who was also instrumental in decisions pertaining to design.

Pooja room door
Pooja room
pooja rooms
Pooja room
pooja room with carved wooden door


The apartment had a compact kitchen and we kept it simple with wood coloured cabinets, but keeping the loft white so that it looks less crowded.


The Master bedroom has a hardwood floor which made us keep the furniture dark coloured to contrast. The walk-in wardrobe has mirror work fabric paneled shutters.

The kids room was kept light and cheerful in the natural rubberwood colour. Jaipur blue pottery tiles embellish the wardrobe and headrest. We used animal and fruit motifs to keep the kids happy. The same elephant motif is continued onto the curtains.

The TV /entertainment room has a majestic teakwood diwan with a foot rest. The TV is accommodated inside the sliding wardrobe .This was done since the kids use this space to play and the TV is safe within the cupboard. The motifs on the cupboard we matched to the blinds in the room and to add a pop of colour.

Parents room is kept simple and functional with a wardrobe, a refurbished old desk that Anusha used as a child, and a resized antique rosewood bed.

The over all theme of the home is kept traditional in design and tied together by colour or accents.

bedroom wardrobe
bedroom in rubber wood
Bock print blinds and curtains in the bedroom
Block print blinds
home office

Sai works from home often and wanted a study to be accommodated. We managed to accomplish both requirements adjacent to each other. And the living and dining area still looked spacious.


If you like Chettinad style homes, then you may want to check this one by Jyothika as well.

Image courtesy: Jyothika of Destination Designs

Photo credits: Naveen Nagabhushan


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