Architecture

With a few exceptions (eg, a lovely house designed by Chitale in Madurai), “architect-designed” homes in India are pretentious, impractical affairs. The house is fancy-shmancy, doesn’t gel with the lifestyle of its owners, doesn’t take mundane everyday details (like drying clothes, or storage of old newspapers, to quote two usually glaring omissions) into consideration.

So the home I am staying in now is great to see and experience. It has such innovative features as a “wave” roof…it’s a “very desirable” property on the oceanfront…it has not only been featured in an architectural magazine (it was designed by LS, an architect, for herself!)…but the builders use the house as an illustration in their advertisements, which says something! Various furniture companies and LL Bean regularly shoot their catalogues in the house.

And for all that, it is not a “house” but a lived-in home. There is clutter..but even that is, somehow, “artistic clutter”. There is so much of practicality, excellent use of space and superb design details. Various aspects of living…lounging, dining, laundry, the office area, and so on…have all been addressed. The quality of the construction, and the fixtures and gadgets, is superb.

Above all, it is NOT a house where that god of the “typical” American home…the garage…dominates. Yes, there IS an entrance to the garage, but the facades of the house…both the main entrance and the view from the sea shore…have the garage as an appendage and not the main feature of the house (like I have seen in many homes here…as my daughter says, “these are houses where the cars live, and, incidentally, their owners!”..we recently visited one home where we just pulled up to the garage doors…the house was TOTALLY tucked away behind the garage and we never saw it from the outside!)

The view from the windows, of the woods or the ocean, is absolutely picture perfect. Spaces are generous and welcoming. The home is reflects the way the S’s live. I don’t know many kitchens where one can watch the ocean while doing the dishes or chopping and stirring….

If I ever wanted an independent house in India (I don’t…too much trouble to maintain)…I would ask LS to design my home for me.

LS has promised to scan some pictures of her home for me. Will post them soon…

What a pleasure it is to see a home like this. LS cut down the design of the much larger 100-year old home they were living in earlier and she has done a great job of retaining the essentials, adding some superb features, and making a smaller, yet not smaller-feeling home.

Enjoyed my stay here, as always.

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