Despite the demand for contemporary home decor, Keralites continue to treasure traditional Kerala architecture.
Inspired by the West, many Keralites are incorporating modern aesthetic sensibilities while designing their dream homes. Flamboyant, carved and wooden furniture are passe. The craze is for elegant and minimal designs. At the same time they can't completely do away with the traditional designs. This has resulted in a harmonious blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Kochi Times takes a look at a few traditional architectural designs that have found their way into modern homes.
Nadumuttom (Central courtyard)
The central courtyard has always been a part of Kerala architecture and it has several advantages too. It brings in a lot of daylight and fresh air and thereby brings the outdoors in. However, these courtyards in modern homes have undergone a change due to security concerns. They are now covered with steel railings or thick glasses.
Aattu Kattil (The swinging chair)
The old wooden swinging chairs called aattu kattil wide enough to accommodate three or four people have attained new forms and are now available in wrought iron as well. They add an ethnic touch to a large modern living room.
Manichithra-thaazhu (The ornate lock)
The front doors of many urban Kerala houses are adorned with a manichitrathaazhu, the ornate lock made of gold-plated metal and carved with intricate designs. This timeless design gives an impression of grandeur and elegance to any entrance.
Mural paintings or frescos depicting stories from mythology and legends once used to adorn the walls of palaces. Now these paintings have found a pride of place in the living rooms of modern homes. Keralites are ready to spend a fortune on these paintings these days.
The wooden benches with carved decorative resting are another feature that has found its way into modern homes. It helps to accommodate an ample number of guests and makes a perfect place for visitors to sit and chat.
This article is published in Times of India on July 4th 2012.