Explore Kavita Nair’s home in Goa that’s designed by Shonan Purie Trehan of Labwerk

AUG 17, 2020 | By Aneesha Bhadri
Under a Mangalorean tiled roof with traditional trims lies the verandah. Its floor is finished in textured natural stone and handmade cement tiles from Bikaner based KG Tiles. The plantation chairs on the verandah are from Crafters in Kochi; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya
An assortment of reclaimed antique windows and doors, including original Dutch stained glass from Crafters in Kochi’s Jew Town forms the facade of the guest cottage; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya
The double heighted living room houses an eclectic mix of furniture and seating. Sliding windows connect the living room to the verandah and the courtyard. Bespoke cement tiles juxtapose the bottle green polished cement floors, dotted with generous seaters from Gulmohar Lane, while large glass pendant lights from an antique collector in Delhi hang overhead; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya
Custom made cement tiles inspired by exuberant textile patterns decorate the floor of the studio. An inbuilt mint green bookshelf near the upholstered seaters from Gulmohar Lane is dotted with the homeowner’s personal collectibles from their travels; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya
The Mangalorean tiled roof continues over the dining pavilion that’s supported by reclaimed antique teak columns from Crafters. Here, an eclectic mix of chairs from a timber fabricator in Delhi sit around a solid wood table, over which are concrete lights with brass details from The Purple Turtles. The airy space is surrounded by gardens on three sides and connected to the kitchen; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

A stone’s throw from the beach, in a landscaped plot surrounded by vast swathes of paddies, lies Anjuna Fields, Kavita Nair’s home in Goa, where an old well and a thicket of coconut trees sit in the backyard.

This serene and sustainable home designed by Shonan Purie Trehan of Mumbai based Labwerk celebrates tropical Indian architecture. The creative—who was introduced to Nair by ELLE DECOR India’s Editor Mrudul Pathak Kundu—engaged in an enriching dialogue with the homeowner over the building of this space.

The C-shaped house accommodates an open courtyard at the back, and is enveloped by landscaped gardens developed using organic resources and leftover building materials. Using it as a central social space, the layout unfolds in a slow and fluid fashion, opening up to rolling grasslands— bringing to mind traditional, native homes of halcyon days.

The entry foyer is characterised by a wall of niches and an inbuilt seat finished in pigmented polished cement. Handmade slabs from KG Tiles, the textured stone floor and vintage cut-glass lights from an antique collector in Mumbai are seen here; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

The courtyard garden, where Nair grows vegetables, fruit and herbs, slopes towards the sprawling fields. A gazebo supported by reclaimed granite columns lies next to a pool. Nearby is a guest cottage with a facade of reclaimed windows and doors, some with antique stained glass panes.

The detailed stained glass and timber doors are an ode to traditional Goan architectural elements; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

The porch leads to an entrance foyer that overlooks the well and the verdant courtyard. Below a series of wall niches, an inbuilt seat allows the foyer to be used as a transitional space. On either side of the atrium are the living room and kitchen. Accessed from this point is an alfresco dining pavilion, which lies under the shelter of a sloping tiled roof supported by reclaimed teak columns. The chequered Kota and Kadapa floor, timber cabinetry and wood trusses make the indoor kitchen a vibrant and warm space. Also on the ground floor are two bedrooms and a studio on the left—surrounded by deep verandahs that allow seamless indoor and outdoor gathering zones, perfect for hosting soirees. The exuberant studio, with its own lounging space, has a private verandah that leads to the pool.

The bar is finished in vibrant bottle green and coral polished cement. It is located below a reclaimed antique staircase railing; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

Verandahs made using natural stone in varied textures form seating zones, private workspaces, reading nooks and a dining pavilion. The home is dotted with transitional spaces that feature inbuilt seats finished in pigmented cement, encouraging a restful pace. In the living room, a staircase with a reclaimed canary yellow railing leads to the private quarters on the upper level.

Arched teak windows detailed with stained glass separate the guest room from a verandah. The flooring uses bespoke cement tiles from KG Tiles set in polished cement. The pendant is from The Purple Turtles; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

“It became important to find a design voice that was tropical, Indian and current,” the designer says. The schema of the sprawling house is quintessentially inspired by indigenous structures. “We wanted to pay tribute to conventional homes of Kerela, so we travelled to Jew Town in Kochi to source timber columns but we came back with so much more,” enthuses Trehan. Over 20 columns in timber, some in granite, reclaimed windows, birdbaths and even a baby plantation chair, not to mention an entire assemblage of windows and doors that come together in a quaint yet contemporary setting.

The kid’s room opens up to a large terrace through two arched openings. A baby plantation chair sourced from Jew Town in Kochi adds a touch of tradition; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

The sloping, double-layered roofs provide insulation and route rainwater to the well. The windows—a combination of teak arches and stained glass shutters, along with reclaimed antique frames— allow abundant cross ventilation. The resulting material palette suits the tropical climate and references vernacular architectural elements. Constructed using local laterite blocks, the home is furnished with naturally pigmented, polished cement floors. In fact, Nair’s love for colour manifests in the different bespoke handmade cement tiles. The furniture is an eclectic curation from antique markets and fabricators. Sofas are from Gulmohar Lane, while the antique beds, chairs and tables have been sourced from Kochi and Delhi.

Classic printed tiles were smashed and the fragments inset into the neutral grey polished cement. The mint green vintage bathroom cabinetry has a white marble top and triptych mirror; Photographs by Photographix India | Sebastian + Aditya

This Goan project is a wholesome and rustic yet modern construct of the found and the handmade, where sheltered spaces interact with the natural landscape. One can imagine ending the day on the planters chair on the verandah to the music of cicadas and birds, while a sea breeze sweeps through the lush paddy fields and the setting sun lights up the sky in a warm, peachy glow.