Client’s Name: Mr. & Mrs. Patel
Built up Area: 3000 sq ft
Design Team: Dipen Gada, Shruti Patel & Shalini Pereira
Site Coordinator: Chetan Builders
Photography: Tejas Shah
Text: Shalini Pereira
Nestled in the rural landscape, on the outskirts of Baroda, lies, ‘Mangalas’. This 3000 sqft. farmhouse sits in the 1, 00,000 sqft. of a beautifully landscaped plot. The structure is a simple, single-storied with a sloping roof and exposed brickwork.
When the clients, Mr. & Mrs. Patel approached DGA to design the interiors of their farmhouse, with complete faith in us. They gave the firm a free hand. Their only request was to make it a place where the entire family could enjoy the quiet beauty of nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The inspiration for the interiors was taken from the rural setting as well as the existing structure of exposed brick. On the whole, the house was conceptualized as one with a rustic feel that maintained a contemporary edge. Very early on, a decision was taken to use as many natural materials as possible and this can be seen in the abundant use of Kota and Jaisalmer stone as well as teak wood.
The approach to the house is through a long driveway lined by tress on either side where one can occasionally catch a glimpse of the house through the foliage that adds a sense of mystery and drama, which is accentuated especially at night. The driveway opens out into a large open space that serves as a parking area. This has been painstakingly paved with cobbled stones in a pattern custom made for this home.
The first glimpse of the structure as one follows the driveway is the pooja area, which is detached from the main house. The Jodhpur stone-paved pathway to the pooja area is bordered on either side by bottle palms. The room, with its glass white marble flooring and white walls, creates a serene environment, which is ideal for prayer and meditation. The idol rests in front of hand-carved wooden paneling. Even the windows have shutters that have hand-carved jali-work panels.
The entry porch, with its rustic Kota stone terrazzo floors having pebble inlay gives a hint of what to expect as one enters inside the house. The welcoming arched doorway has a wooden paneled door with a mantra hand-carved onto it. The small foyer with its bright Jaisalmer flooring and wooden ceiling forms a buffer zone to the living area. There is a motif of terrazzo tile work inlayed into the Jaisalmer floor, reminiscent of inlay work seen in old manor houses.
The foyer opens out into a living room that offers panoramic views of the sprawling garden and pool area. The centrally ridged sloping roof has been treated with polished rough wood planks to give the effect of rafters. This ceiling treatment together with the rough Kota flooring and exposed brickwork follow the rustic theme while the furniture with soft furnishings and accents in an eclectic mix of Indian colors of magenta, rani pink, orange, and green provide a contemporary touch.
Adjacent to the living room is the central courtyard, which is the heart of the house. It also acts as a transition space between the more private bedroom areas, the living and dining areas. The courtyard was originally open-to-sky, however wooden pergolas were added and for security reasons, the area was covered with clear glass panels.
Terracotta tiles have been used in the flooring and the blue china mosaic border highlights the terracotta as well as Jaisalmer used in this area. Subconsciously the blue also reflects the blueness of the sky above as well as the element of water in the planter that sits in the center of the courtyard. A beautiful Adenium tree sits in the center of the planter with its branches seemingly reaching upwards to the sky.
The formal dining room also lies adjacent to the courtyard. Here also the ridged sloping roof is treated with rough wooden rafters. In this room, the dining table takes center stage. The custom made a teak wood table with tile inlay dominates the room. A bay window to one side of the table allows warm golden light to flood the room and also offers a fabulous view out onto the pool and garden area. Both the dining and the living room open out onto a large verandah. Dipen has personally selected special pieces of furniture.
The kitchen area also follows the rustic theme with its antique-looking tiles and teak wood cabinets that complements the exposed brick walls. Rough Kota, which has been used through most of the house is continued into the kitchen space.
Separated by the courtyard are the guest bedroom and the master bedroom. The rustic theme is continued in both bedrooms. However, there is a marked change in the ambiance of both rooms. The materials used are richer and both bedrooms have a distinctly romantic feel.
The bed is dressed totally in white and the bright pink and orange cushions exaggerate the whiteness of the bed linens. The dark wooden flooring compliments the brickwork and adds warmth to the room, while the white linen on the bed and canopy gives a feeling of airiness. At the head of the bed hangs an original Madhubani painting by Bhava Devi, which has been selected by Dipen.
In the master bedroom also, the bed is the central element with its plush bed linens, rich silk drapes, and soft furnishings. The soft lighting creates a truly romantic space with a sensual feel. The river polished Kota bed back and exposed brickwork is in stark contrast to the softness and richness of the fabrics used.
The master bathroom is one of the best spaces in the house. Rustic brown tiles used on the walls and floor complement the robust-looking Jaisalmer basin counter with a stone basin. A Jacuzzi is set into a Jaisalmer platform that is the focal point of the bathroom. Just off the bathroom is an outdoor shower area complete with a rain shower.
“This project was truly a labor of love from both the clients as well as our side. It is rare when the client’s and the designer’s ideas about a house seem to be in total synchrony,” says Dipen. “Inspiration was drawn from the settings and the architecture with trueness to materials can be seen throughout the house.”