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No wastage of space

Engineer Rajenesh has avoided corridors in his home. Yet, the rooms do not run into each other.

Unable to take a peek at the house, the Ivy stalks on the outer wall of `Anugraham' are green with envy. Designed by engineer Rajenesh and landscaped by his wife Jaikumari, `Anugraham' is the couple's home at PTP Avenue. The most distinctive feature of the house is what Rajenesh calls `zero wastage' of space. "I have avoided corridors and yet no room runs into the other. Each room is independent," he says.

Space has been utilised to the maximum. For instance, the wall in the dining room has been recessed to make space for a tiny bar. Crockery is shelved in the passage that connects the pantry to the dining room. Rajenesh believes a common area like the landing between the staircase and the bedroom should not go wasted. "I figured that this being the most accessible area would make a perfect place for some casual reading and make space for the computer and a private library."

"I like to keep the windows open and let in a lot of sunshine and air," he adds. "Hence, I chose an elevated terrain, which means less pollution and good ventilation. My wife has good taste and she takes care of the interior design. She likes to shuffle the accessories around, giving the house a fresh look."

Both Rajenesh and Jai prefer a simple and uncluttered setting for the home. "Nothing too ornate," says Rajenesh. Jaikumari's collection of blue clay pottery set atop a decorated wooden trunk, crystals, blue Belgian glassware and well-matched furniture bring in elegance to the living room. "Wanting a stone wall for the living room, I ordered unpolished pitch-black stones from Karungal. The brickwork being faster, we dressed only a portion with the granite. I think the masonry adds design and character to the room," remarks Rajanesh.

The pantry is designed in style, with ample storage space and a tiny library of cookery books. The walls are animated with a caricature of the family, paintings and a kettle shaped clock. Neutral shades of grey and white give the pantry a cheery bright look. The earthy decor of the patio is a perfect match to the garden; it opens onto tiles glazed to a deep brown terracotta, earthenware shaped into urns and cane furniture upholstered in jade green. No particular plot has been reserved for a garden; from the entrance to the backyard the whole area has been landscaped. "When we started to build the house it was confined to a smaller area. Over the years, we expanded the compound and has been working on the surroundings. The land across the patio was a later addition. Here, we chose to have a playground for the kids," says Jaikumari. The winding turf around the playground is clustered with decorative plants and neatly edged with bricks. No area is left bare. Even the roof to the office room that juts out to the side is made attractive with rock garden.

Around the foot of a spiral staircase is another garden complete with a lush lawn, cane chairs, decorative earthenware and bright yellow honeysuckle. "It's not a low cost house but it's definitely built cost effectively," says Rajenesh about his home. "Every time I enter my home, I feel very contented. It has been 11 years since we built this.

Well, it's little wonder that those tendrils of ivy are racing against each other to get on the other side of the wall.

SHABINA KHAN

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