; Take a tour of Stapati founder Tony Joseph's home in Kozhikode - ELLE DECOR

Homes

Take a tour of Stapati founder Tony Joseph’s home in Kozhikode

FEB 24, 2020 | By Anamika Butalia and Pinky Akola
Seamless transitions in the construction of the house allow views of the surrounding landscape, covered in trees that have been transplanted here; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J
The living space extends to the outdoors and leads to this semi covered lounge deck by the linear infinity pool; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

The drive up to the hilltop Montana Estates, just 23 minutes from Kozhikode city centre, presents a winding landscape with several arterial routes. One of which leads straight to the doorstep of celebrated architect Tony Joseph. Everyone in town seems familiar with him and the home he’s lived in for just over a year. (“Oh, Tony sir’s house,” our driver said, not needing the address.)

Yet Joseph wears his renown lightly, is one of the most down-to-earth creatives we’ve met, and is truly comfortable in his skin. Not surprisingly, his spacious 7,000 sq ft home reflects exactly that. Joseph and his wife Sonia’s three storeyed home Yahvi is a treasure trove of memories and possessions, prized for the emotive value they hold.

The wooden dining table is custom designed to have an exposed concrete base that can withhold the weight of 10 people dancing on it; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

Blurring the line between indoors and outdoors is this double heighted living room. It features oxide finished walls that are left bare, leather finished black kadappa flooring, and windows and railings in mild steel; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

Nestled on the left of the main entrance is a family room, where furnishings are arranged to house tens of photographs of the entire family, each signifying an important moment of accomplishment or happiness. A little past the cushy couches in this space, shelves hold a number of worn out tomes that conjure images of being thumbed through and re-read by the couple and their two daughters. This lived in appeal continues across all levels.

A double heighted glass facade on the eastern side offers refreshing views of the verdant greens beyond the dining and bar; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

Artworks accompany one’s ascent to the first floor landing, which opens on the right to a breezy living room and a concealed guest bedroom, and on the left to a chic dining area, bar and kitchen. A 180 degree turn from this spot immediately opens out to an outdoor deck and plunge pool that’s surrounded by greens.

“The entire hilltop was barren when we first began to build. Every single tree and shrub has been transplanted here to create this verdant cover. The level above is the highest point on the hill and you get a good view from each of the three bedrooms. Yet you’ll always find us outside on the deck,” says Joseph.

Accessed through the sliding glass windows and doors that encase the structure, the outdoor area is a haven for quiet contemplation. We sit down here for a chat and without warning, the sun hides behind dark clouds and the northeasterly monsoon pelts down on us. “With such weather, living here is like taking a vacation every evening,” says Joseph.

An upcycled wooded staircase, detailed in thin square rods and reclaimed wood, separates the sitting area from the dining space; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

A wooden counter suspended with copper rods holds a wash basin; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

One of the daughter’s bedrooms on the upper floor has a classic touch with oxide finished walls and black kadappa flooring; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

His comment brings a vision of holiday homes in Kerala’s rubber plantations to mind. And why not, for all the timber used in the house—the carved segments at the back of the bar, room partitions as well as the stairway—is sourced from the John Bosco home in nearby Pathampuram, which was especially bought by Joseph for this purpose. Sonia adds, “Considering our lineage traces back to rubber plantations in the state, it feels like we’ve brought a piece of our heritage into this home.”

A wooden screen, panelled with a traditional Kilivaathil window, segregates the sleeping area in the same boudoir; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

The master bathroom has oxide finished walls with areca nut blinds and a custom designed mirror with enclosed storage; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

Bespoke pendant lamps, suspended using copper pipes, hang from the slanting Weinerberger terracotta roof tiles; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

Aside from wood, the home features white oxide walls, left bare for a wabi-sabi appeal, and most of the furniture and art have been with the family for 30 years. The idea behind it all, Joseph says simply, was to “create a space that’s comfortable and livable, not one that makes us think twice about whether to place our feet on the coffee table or use a coaster for a glass. In fact, our dining table, which is paired with custom chairs, is built to be sturdy enough that 10 people can dance on it. We even tested it”.

A panelled television wall made with upcycled wood is seen on the upper floor; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

The passageway leading to the guest room on the first level is flanked by columns reclaimed from a century old home bought for its wood; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

We imagine an evening with family members hyped up and dancing atop the table but it’s hard to wrap our heads around it. Instead, we relax in Joseph’s seemingly nonchalant yet thoughtfully planned design. The house perched on the hill creates a dreamy setting of wide open spaces, earthy materials and tranquillity. Around dusk, with jazz music playing in the background, Yahvi proves—just as the name suggests—to be the point where heaven and earth meet.

The backdrop of the bar is created with carved wooden panels, reused from a dilapidated house. The cushioned bar stools are custom designed in steel; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J

 

Part of Joseph’s art collection, this grid like, sculptural artwork adorns the wall near the staircase landing; Produced by Pinky Akola; Photographs by Shamanth Patil J