When interior designer and stylist Raveena Baheti first saw the century-old Odisha bungalow she was commissioned to redesign and renovate, she was blown away by the structure. “It was like being handed over a piece of history. The home came with ancient mascots that adorned the exterior of the house, double height ceiling and beautiful sloping roof. We wanted to retain these feature while giving a fresh colonial makeover to the exterior with white walls and arched windows with black metal frames,” says Baheti, one of the principal designers at B&A Design Studio. The commission came from a couple from Kolkata who are devout followers of the deity Jagannath and therefore wanted a home in Puri, the site of the eponymous temple devoted to the god.
The brief was to give the holiday home a breath of fresh air, without sacrificing any of its inherent old-world charm. The clients were keen to emphasize seamless functionality and light in this new scheme. This was achieved by making numerous structural changes to the building. “The openings in the original structure were many, but of a smaller size. Since we had to increase the number of rooms (from the original two to four bedrooms), we had to reduce the number of openings. This posed a challenge since we also wanted to get in more natural light. We arrived at a middle ground by increasing the size and height of every opening in the space. We planned the layout in such a way that the larger openings were located in the northern and eastern directions. This enhanced the scale of each room and also ensured ample light throughout the day,” explains Baheti.
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Bold and Beautiful
A striking porch with a colonial blue door paves the way for this four-bedroom home set on a lush 12,000-square-foot plot, a stone’s throw away from Golden Beach. The single level structure with a terrace holds a drawing room, kitchen, dining room and a “gadda room” or living room. A wooden ledge with antique brass collectibles adds personality to an otherwise simple whit-washed passage. There is a carefully calibrated sense of space and light that runs through the home. The drawing room is Baheti’s magnum opus here. “There is a seamless connection between the interior and exterior in this space. When you open the patio door, you are greeted with the sound of gushing waves that make you feel like you are sitting right on the beach,” she says.