Meera Pyarelal revamps this quintessentially Kerala styled home with European interiors

AUG 17, 2020 | By Sakshi Rai
A pair of vintage printed cushions sit atop a tufted, leather couch. Framed black and white photographs are positioned on either side of the wall clock; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography
A four-poster bed and floral prints are seen in one of the six bedrooms; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

Conceived as the gathering grounds for a joint family to enjoy quality time together a few times a year, this capacious getaway beguiles with its vintage construction. The wholesome property, fashioned by designer Meera Pyarelal, founder of handcrafted wooden furniture label Temple Town, houses three living rooms, six bedrooms, a lush courtyard, sprawling verandahs, a bar and a pool.

Built over 50 years ago, this aged Kerala home retains vernacular construction traits of a past era. Some of its telltale signs include the low wooden ceilings, sloping roofs, courtyards with inbuilt skylights and a maze of interconnected rooms. 

Without straying away from its innate ancestral charm, the creative enhanced the interiors further with a colonial theme—seamlessly blending the east with the west. It was only fitting then that the furniture occupying such a residence had been around for a while as well. 

A Fornasetti plate, fresh flowers and glassware are placed on the wooden table that’s adjacent to a cane armchair with bold, striped padding; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

Pyarelal used recycled, reclaimed and responsibly sourced local teak for a lot of the handcrafted pieces seen in the abode. While hard surfaces stick to a neutral palette, soft furnishings from Sarita Handa and D’Decor add a touch of vibrance.

The framed and wall mounted floral patterned rug serves as a backdrop in this seating area. Most of the wooden furniture is handcrafted by Temple Town using reclaimed teak; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

The entrance hallway is flanked on either side with a series of wall mounted mirrors in a square, grid-like pattern, positioned over a demilune console holding fresh, tropical flowers. This simple, symmetric ensemble is a trailer to the rest of the understated design that the home has in store for us!

Flora acts as a muse and accessory both as seen in this tropical printed armchair, paired with a cheery pouffe; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

On the right, beyond the hallway, lies the main living room—effused with elegant decor in muted shades including a Grosvenor sofa, vintage treasure chest and Fornasetti plates, among other tabletop accessories. These pair well with bespoke, handcrafted furniture from Pyarelal’s own practice such as a teak console with brass gallery and bun feet, and cane-back, colonial-style armchairs with striped upholstery.

Typical, colourful Indian motifs are seen on upholstery; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

A set of 12 Indian miniature paintings from Jaipur depicting the journey of Krishna and Radha frame either side of the sofa, adding colour to the white walls and Botticcino Italian marble flooring.

An old world setting is achieved with a vintage printed cushion, Victorian wall clock, tufted leather couch and this antique styled tripod spotlight; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

To the left of the foyer, the son’s bed chamber hints at a darker palette with soft duck egg blue walls interspersed with William Morris wallpapers. A statement headboard, valet stand and a gentleman’s chest in nostalgic styles add to the dignified aesthetic of this room.

A solid hued armchair is offset by a chevron patterned pouffe and botanical wallpapers on white wainscoting; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

Truly completing the picture of a grand, old house is a second living room-cum-library decked with vintage furniture pieces. Beyond it lies a spacious dining room with a mirrored partition that bifurcates the pantry from the dining area.

Numerous greens, ceramic planters, brass accessories, wooden furniture and figurines make the courtyard a picturesque setting; Photographs by Justin Sebastian Photography

We love the verandah for its 14-seater, wooden dining table that’s paired with green upholstered chairs, which borrow hues from the adjacent mango tree in the courtyard. It is styled with white cotton napkins, Spode and Wedgwood crockery designed by Jasper Conran, fresh carnations and mango leaves. It is here that the family enjoys many sumptuous meals, looking out onto the terracotta tiled courtyard that houses numerous greens, a pool and a bar.