To give the farmhouse a cottage-like feel, the designer used lots of wood - in the ceiling, flooring, deck, etc and nailed sleeper wood slabs to the outer wall for that rustic effect.
At Nirvana, the winner gets the hammock! Shravan and Shree had wanted a farmhouse with sturdy flooring, wooden decks, water cascading into rocks, glass walls to capture the views outside, metal pergolas, aqua elements.... And that is just what Aamir gave this outdoorsy couple.
What do you do when you don't have a magic wand to transform a rundown rocky piece of land into a gorgeous farmhouse in the heart of the city? Pray fervently? Steal decor ideas? Nope. You take a few bold decisions, a little risk and lots of innovation. Nirvana, Shravan and Shree's dream home of 2,200 sq ft in a busy residential lane of Kharkhana, Secundera-bad, went through the mandatory discussions, arguments, consultations, second opinions, coin tosses and the final "let's-go-for-it" decisions to become an enviable farmhouse overlooking a rock garden, with cascades, lawn, pebble zones and a comfortable deck to sit with a chilled cocktail, as you savour the rare ambience.
The "eureka" moment for the couple came in as soon as they opened the door into the backyard of this 500 sq yd piece of land. Only this time, "eureka" was replaced by a loud "rock garden" in unison. But the magic wand would have to be yielded by an interior designer who could integrate nature with concrete. It had to be Aamir Sharma of Aamir Hameeda Associates, and not surprisingly, the house won the third MYK Laticrete-IIID AP Interior Design Award for Aamir Sharma under the residential spaces class in the acclaimed designer category Shravan, a retailer in fashion garments, told Aamir he wanted his house to be a farmhouse 24 x 7. "Farmhouse" was the keyword which spawned visions of sturdy flooring, wooden decks, cascades into rocks, glass walls to capture the views outside, metal pergolas, aqua elements?. Just the kind of home an outdoorsy couple like them would dream of.
Aamir used his favourite elements - wood, glass and stone and his pet design element - cantilevers, while designing the house. The other key features were straight clean lines, minimal furniture, clutter-free racks and cupboards and a million-dollar view of the backyard. Explaining his concept, Aamir says, "The gable roof gives the house a wooden cabin-like look - a farmhouse has to have a cottage-like feel to give out those holiday vibes, so I used lots of wood - in the ceiling, flooring, deck, etc. Sleeper wood at that, to lend it that rustic, being in the wilderness effect. Huge sleeper wood slabs have been nailed into the entire outer wall and you can see the effect yourself," he points out. Even the curtains are of raw silk and jute to complement the natural theme of the house.
"It's a house you can just walk into, perch yourself on the wooden stool in the deck and you start unwinding instinctively," says Aamir, as a cool breeze makes a timely entrance to corroborate his words. Wooden stools in raw wood without too much finishing, a round table, and a gym exercise ring for the growing ones, backrest cane chairs, a hammock and an earthy looking light complete the look. This deck is the family's official hangout zone. When the youngest member of the family sulks, the only thing that can get him to smile is the cascade. A merry stream of water dances across the rocks, gently falls down onto the smaller ones and finally flows away onto the pebbles on ground level. "All the family discussions come full circle around this table," quips Shree. It's not tough to understand why everyone is in a such a happy and play-along mood when they are here.
The best time to sink in the ambience of the backyard is at twilight time on a summer day. As the gentle breeze wafts by and the twinkling stars come out "when the water cascades murmur as they kiss the rock" as the accent lights make the rocks go resplendent-and the house itself glitters from across the glass facade and the wooden walls-you know Shravan and Shree are a lucky twosome to own this gorgeous space. For sheer bliss, take off your slippers and walk barefoot to enjoy the natural feel of the stone beneath. All this while the bamboos and a few stray trees whisper into the air!
Once they figured out how to cash in on the rocks and create the rock garden complete with little pathways of grass, pebbles and stones, they sat together to match the indoors with the outdoors. Naturally, this farmhouse has a relaxed, clutter-free look.
Clutter had to be kept at bay to give the home a breezy feel. So off went the sturdy, big TV units and bulky storage units. A plasma television is hung on the wall and the TV unit is a simple Bangalore stone slab cantilevered beneath the TV to hold the DVD player, the remote and the works. Adjacent is a salwood plank, deliberately added to retain the wooden cabin feel.
The house is divided into two floors and four zones. The lower floor houses the living room and the kitchen along with a small study for the kids in the niche under the stairs. The top floor has the children's bedroom (the only room without a view of the garden), the master bedroom and the entertainment, books and workout room. The large glass walls and the lights inside add to the glittery facade.
The only disadvantage the house suffers is that it cannot extended be further. "But with a backyard and a rock garden view that is worth a million bucks, who would want to be indoors anyway?" asks Shravan. Indeed, Nirvana in the backyard?.
A slab of glass shades the entrance, while stone flooring in the informal foyer maintains the farmhouse-like feel.
After creating the rock garden with little pathways of grass, pebbles and stones, Aamir carefully integrated the indoors with the outdoors. The open plan kitchen and dining area carries forward the informal ambience.
It is a completely transparent house - one can see the backyard right from the entrance through the living room, while the smooth floor of the living area also reflects the tree outside.
Clever space management - space under the stairs has been innovatively used to create a study niche for the kids, while the landing has a neatly disguised footwear cupboard. The puja corner is unobtrusive with a slim vertical slab of onyx that glows when the accent light is turned on.
Wooden flooring in the entertainment-cum-workout room buffers the sound and enhances the acoustics of the room.
The sleek shower cubicle in the master bathroom.
The frosted glass wardrobe and wooden flooring in the master bedroom give it a contemporary and clutter-free look.