A Canvas of Tranquillity
Look through this beautiful home of the National-award winning actor, Jayasurya, who has broken the so-called set image of superstars by essaying character roles and antagonist roles, all which were critically acclaimed. His home is a refection of a personality that is grounded and a design ethos that is detail-oriented yet minimal in approach. By Sindhu Nair
Drop Jayasurya’s name in a conversation while you are in a South Indian home and you are sure to be greeted with a lot of interest, thanks to the influence cinema has on the common man. Jayasurya is one of the new generation actors who have gone beyond the call of acting, taking on the role of public spokesperson on humanitarian and sometimes socio-cultural needs in his home state of Kerala. If the Architect who has designed the home of this versatile actor is a classmate of yours, your status in the community takes a skyward turn too. This architect classmate of mine, Manoj Kumar M is the owner of Illusions, one of the leading architectural and interior designing firms in Cochin which completed numerous projects across the spectrum of architecture and interiors of commercial buildings and residential projects.
The core philosophy for this architectural amalgamation is that a good building is not just an architect’s dream but an economical expression of a client’s values and ideas. A pragmatic approach to architecture, one that is based on experience that has found a balance between the clients often unrealistic dreams and the uncompromising love for forms that architects seem to be in awe of.
“At Illusion, we believe that great designs do not end with the architect’s creativity but start with an understanding of the user. Hence, we combine experience and practical philosophy backed with a mindset to comprehend our client and to give them a rewarding practical project experience,” says Manoj.
When the client is a gifted actor with an equally creative wife, Saritha, who owns her own boutique and has a great sense of design, Manoj had some of his work made easier. In Jayasurya and Saritha, he found a client couple who knew exactly what they wanted.
Manoj explains what the clients asked of him, “The clients just wanted a space that evoked a sense of relaxation and calm.” That he had worked on several projects with Jayasurya and family made the process easier as Manoj knew what the client expected from him. This was the second home of the couple, the first being a larger house, they wanted a space that was more contained yet spacious enough for them not to miss their first home. The apartment’s view was the highlight for the family, with the large windows and the terrace opening into the views of the Cochin backwaters.
“I have lived in our house at Panampilly Nagar for the last 13 years. I believe that the house has ben lucky for me, but it was getting difficult to maintain the house when both of us started working and hence we looked out for a flat for easier maintenance. We still frequent our house, every week,” Jayasurya was quoted.
Manoj had already designed the larger home and the boutique that Saritha owned and hence was an obvious choice to design and execute the interiors of this flat too.
The couple did not want to feel constricted in this smaller space and hence an open plan gave way to a space that looks all-encompassing. As all the windows open onto the scenic views outside, sunlight was always in abundance in the entire apartment.
“I started the project with the concept of minimalism and my client’s passion for Buddha ended up in this Zen-inspired interior, “reveals Manoj. “Entry foyer has a rather earthy feel with meditating Buddha as the focal point amidst the greenery and the use of a water element.”
The Buddha’s tranquil image seems to follow one as we move along the space.
“Since minimalism was what we wanted to reflect, the use of natural colour tones in grey, white, beige and earthy colours was fixed on, and we did not deviate from this panel of tinges,” Manoj explains.
Copper tinges in the lighting element and the wooden furniture clothed in beige and earthy toned suede, with a warm wooden tone as the flooring, describes the living cum dining space. Comfort and luxury seem to be the theme in this room.
The long corridor that leads to the bedrooms is made less monotonous with the use of wooden elements. One of the bedrooms follows the theme in grey-colour washed walls with wooden assents in the furniture with an attention-grabbing armchair taking the centre stage. The other bedroom is more earthy-toned, with details given its due attention.
The kitchen is functional and muted in a grey and dark wooden finish. “The positive energy this home generates with a clutter-free interior, sets the senses in a relaxed mode,” says Manoj.
The apartment is a perfect example of a simple design being executed diligently. It shines a light on the workmanship of the people who are not always under the limelight, while it gives the man who wants to escape the limelight after a day of hard work, a perfect haven of comfort dipped in luxury.Details:
- Area: 3,500 sqft
- Location: Marine Drive, Kochi
- Owners: Saritha and Jayasurya
- Architects: Manoj Kumar, Illusions Architecture and Designs, Kochi