Amritha Karnakar breathes a new lease of life into a decade old home located within a quiet coastal town in Maharashtra

MAR 9, 2023 | By Shriti Das
Embracing the old chickoo tree, the courtyard bathroom is furnished in matt and glossy black wall tiles from Glitorium, flooring from Prime Ceramics, bathroom fittings from Fida Ceramics and Aquant, windows from Distinct windows and door solutions. Terracotta roosters from Peacock Life by Shabnam Gupta and Molela wall hangings from local Rajasthani artisans impart a vintage vibe; Photography by Ishita Sitwala
On the land dotted by umpteen palms, hosting views of the west coast of Maharashtra, this refurbished home nourishes an equilibrium between tradition and modernity; Photography by Ishita Sitwala

Nestled on the coasts of Kelwa, stands a quaint home watching the sea disappear into blue skies. The pristine waters put on a magnificent show on the land dotted by umpteen palms. This abode designed by Amritha Karnakar Architectural Design in the sun-kissed hamlet of Maharashtra celebrates its picturesque locale as the hero of all that transpires at this surreal locale. Seldom is a house designed with an agenda to keep its people outside its four walls. But when Mumbai-based Amritha was faced with restoring an aged structure to suit new needs, she did exactly that.

A casual semi open dining with roofing from BMI Monier, cane dining chairs and wall hanging from Cane Concept, upholstery from Le Style and charming vintage windows with metal rails opens out to the garden and beach; Photography by Ishita Sitwala

The 15 year old structure that spans almost 5,000 sq ft has been partly restored, alongside newer interventions to suit the functional requirements of the family while treading a fine balance between the modern and traditional. Amritha explains, “This little two bedroom house is redesigned to incorporate an additional bedroom, bathroom, an extended kitchen with an open dining area. An extended porch incorporates a pool and lounge to enjoy the breathtaking ocean view.” Amritha’s primary challenge was to remodel the dilapidated roof without disrupting the structure. “Special care was taken to overhaul the antique wooden entrance door and the four stone columns located in the back porch,” she says. A 30 ft wide rundown well has also been preserved in the porch of the backyard as a landscape feature. And it is this porch that plays host to the most spectacular views.

An artwork depicting the temples of Hampi by Richa Kashelkar adorns the bedroom with a four poster bed and restored old wooden flooring; Photography by Ishita Sitwala

A black pool is created as the porch extends and culminates, connecting the line of vision to the coastline into a dramatic climax of the pristine seas. Even the later addition like the new attached bathroom encompasses an old chickoo tree within a private courtyard to stay true to the idea of merging the indoors and outdoors.

With hints of traditional design language and a love for heritage, the living room with vintage knick-knacks on the Naga table overlooks the beach framed by antique stone pillars that houses the back porch; Photography by Ishita Sitwala

The material and texture palette too, further this narrative of blending both realms as a single entity. The overarching idea is to finish walls in lighter tones and save the deeper hues for the floors. “The use of continuous textured coatings, such as the white of the walls or the dark wood on the floor match the logic used for the exterior surfaces helps to confer a uniformity and merge the old and new. By using the same finishing materials indoor and outdoor, the boundary between the inside and outside is blurred, maximising the family’s experience of retreating into the blue sky and blue waters,” says Amritha. As a result, the experience of the space is not only tactile and spatial, but also nostalgic and wholesome.

Nestled amidst coconut trees, the black and white cottage is marked with black limestone and Chira brick striped flooring from Raw Steen and Glitorium with contracting team Jay Khodiyar Interiors. Flamingo figurines from Chor Bazaar in Mumbai alongisde the homeowner’s heirloom pieces dot the quaint verandah; Photography by Ishita Sitwala

Another facet that has been crucial in defining the home’s design narrative is the use of local antiques, the family’s old belongings, terracotta artwork, vetiver hand fans, cane pieces and even Naga tables that roots the space to the place where it stands. And yet again, with the new, there also coexists a restored antique wooden entrance door and four wooden columns. While the newer spaces incorporate glass partitions to maximise the view, an heirloom bed dots the space encapsulating the spirit of heritage. Lined with coconut trees that bless the estate, the home embraces something old, something new and something blue—all rounded up with an equally great view.

A refurbished antique wooden door and tiles from Prime Ceramics opens up to a brass Nandi sculpture from the homeowner’s collection placed in the living room which add a pristine old world charm to the home; Photography by Ishita Sitwala


With a pop of yellow, the living room has a black and white theme with a carpet from Rugberry, cushions from No-Mad, tables lamps from Gulmohar Lane and a leather bird floor lamp by former EDIDA winner Sarthak Sahil Design Co; Photography by Ishita Sitwala


Carved in wood, the antique main door and open bookshelf celebrates the artisans of India with a collection of memorabilia and artefacts from Peacock Life by Shabnam Gupta; Photography by Ishita Sitwala


vision in black and white with a hint of earthy browns, the living room is adorned by a carved Damchiya chest alongside terracotta artwork called Molela; Photography by Ishita Sitwala


Rendering an informal vibe with a casual diwan type seating, the out house is utilised to host guests and serve as a quaint reading corner with Prime Ceramics flooring and Paradise Road cushions that the architect sourced from Sri Lanka on her travels; Photography by Ishita Sitwala


MUMBAIA white island counter with open storage crafts a minimal and elegant space in the kitchen; Photography by Ishita Sitwala


You may also like: Form And Function creates an idyllic Indian residence in Chennai to pull on our heartstrings