Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mansions of Chettinad

 These palatial  homes that we are about to  uncover on the blog today belong to the Chettiars.  Each of these homes represent the power and the social  standing of the Chettiars and are therefore designed with elements imported from various places.The Nattukottai Chettiars belong to prosperous banking and business community and in that respect they traveled extensively.The houses are grand and the architectural details are sure to leave you spell bound.

Karaikudi and the sorrounding towns together constitutes the Chettinadd region which is now known as Heritage town.  Kanadukathan is a small sleepy village wherein many of these mansions occupy the Pride of place

There are certain very distinctive features of a chettinadd home like huge teak and iron pillars, the Italian wall and the floor tiles,' thinnai' or raised platforms, eye catchy  Belgian glass chandeliers, intricate carvings on the Burmese teak doors and windows, colorful glass windows, the smooth wall plastering which seems to have been achieved with the help of a mixture of limestone, ground white sea shells and egg whites.These elements lend a very unique feel to these houses.

The Chettiars lived together as a joint family which explains the need for so many rooms. The central courtyard ensured good ventilation, light and shade. Most of these homes are now used as vacation homes or let out for tourists and film shootings.

As we make our way into their homes, you will discover how each element blends harmoniously with the rest, even though they were sourced from all over the world! The craftsmanship and the tasteful decor will make you gasp for sure!

Am going to show you around two mansions each unique than the other.As much as you can feel the grandeur of these houses, somewhere there is also this raw appeal with an old world charm that brings about a child like excitement within me, as I write this post.

Athangudi palace

The exteriors of the home...

Such a pleasing green on the metal grills and the glass arch

The ceilings are either brightly painted or tiled

Another Verandah with huge pillars

Patterns on the ceilings

Look at those embellishments in the form of wooden carvings on the pillars

The wall tiles are from Belgium


 Magnificent work on the ceiling...If you look closely the centre depicts a wedding in progress


Sit out by the window



For a very nominal fee, we visited this palace and spent some good time absorbing in all the finer details.

Chettinad Mansion:

Built with the concept of a central courtyard flanked by rooms on all the sides, this place houses more than 100 rooms.I was thrilled to realize,  that the entrance to this home was on one street and the exit or the back opened onto the parallel street. Imagine the vastness!!! For now, only a portion of the mansion is well maintained and the owners let out the rooms for tourists.



Brass ladies welcoming with deepams

Facade of Chettinadd Mansion

This mansion has been converted into a hotel...Photo frames of the current generation adorn the corridors.

Teak doors...

These metal frames lined on the entire periphery created much drama with their shadows

The chettinadd region is also every travelers  and gastronomist's delight ! I highly recommend the place for your next vacation.







Thursday, January 18, 2018

AIS Glass- Beyond the extraordinaire

A post on a very essential element in home decor.Read on folks...


Recently, my parents moved to a new home. Changing homes, shifting, adjusting to a new place can take a toll on your physical and mental well being, especially at their age! They have moved from a quieter location to our present day, urban jungle!

Even after a week of shifting and making available of all modern physical comforts, there was something that was bothering them and making their life very stressful. And they were not able to point out what was lacking too!

After my stay there for a good 10 days, we finally arrived at the culprit and its solution…
We figured out that these were the problem areas:

·         Too much noise
·         Excessive heat and bright sunlight inside home
·         Monkey menace

Admit it or not, these can really dampen the spirit of moving into a new home. I researched into the subject and arrived at the conclusion of installing /changing a major element at home, used in the décor industry.

When we are constructing an establishment, a home or a commercial space apart from brick and mortar there is an equally important and essential element that is invariably used and which plays a very pivotal role in its construction. Glass!!!  Yes, it has a very significant purpose and it nullified all the problems my parents were facing in one go!

As I weighed various possibilities and companies that provide the best quality glass fixtures for your various needs, I arrived at AIS (Asahi India Glass Limited), the experts in glass industry!
AIS Glasxperts AIS Glasxperts – an arm of Asahi India Glass Ltd. leads the way in providing innovative concepts and cutting-edge solutions in living glass. They provide complete glass solutions that include aesthetic, safety & security, energy efficiency, acoustic, privacy, and doors & window solution.

We installed AIS glass windows at home that perfectly took care of the noise with Acoustic glass solutions and filtered the bright sunlight with help of energy efficient glass. My parents were not in favour of heavy drapes too as that would mean increased maintenance. With glass, it is only one time installation and the rest is taken care of! As sunlight is suitably filtered, there is enough light and at the same time heat reduction is effective too!



I just wanted to share my findings about AIS glass with all my readers of sajavat so that many can stand benefited!

These are the various areas in which AIS glasxperts have a strong hold.

Acoustic Glass Solutions: With increasing population, the menace of high sound levels in the cities is growing beyond repairs. But with AIS Glass, one need not worry!
At the initial level, after studying the sound levels, surrounding the house through various testing methods, the right decibel required to have a calm interior is analyzed. Then comes the recommendations of the ideal product (laminated or insulated glazing unit), frame (aluminium, wood, or uPVC ) and other materials that would give the ideal result.

Energy Efficient Glass Solutions: There is an increased awareness in reducing carbon footprint and having Eco-friendly and energy efficient solution these days. AIS makes this possible at the onset by visiting the site, surveying and studying the orientation of the building, movement of sunlight, shading, observing the weather patterns etc,
A range of high-performance products made using both hard-coat and soft-coat reflective glass technologies are presented by AIS. These products are available in a number of shades, each with a multitude of features.

Safety and security Glass Solutions: Glass is recognized to be strong and durable material therefore being of prime use in facades, partitions, walkways, building facades, shop fronts and so on …
At AIS, Glass can be tempered, heat strengthened and for laminated to suit its various functions and applications.



Privacy Glass Solutions: AISGlasxperts brings together superior technology and perennial expertise to create solutions in living glass. A very applaudable category of glass such as Switchable Glass (AIS Swytchglas), Glass with integrated blinds, Glass with view-control films are the offerings from AIS and though glass is a transparent material, it can offer instant privacy at a flick of a button with AIS Swytchglas

The key features of these products are:

•          A unique product that changes appearance from clear to translucent at the touch of a button.
•          Enables instant privacy.
•          Has acoustic properties which dampen outside noise.
•          Ensures safety.
•          Works with an electric switch or a remote control device.

AIS Integrated Blind Systems installed, inside the double-glazed have the sealed unit, they reduce noise and enhance privacy and require zero maintenance making it impact resistant, stable and highly secure to breakage and burglar attacks!

Decorative and Aesthetic applications: To add a touch of class to the interiors, glass is often used in myriad fashion such as Lacquered, ceramic fit, etched glass, frosted ,coloured and fabric laminated glass, stacked, printed and patterned glass. Mirrors are also a great way to enhance aesthetics.
The various types of glass listed above find extensive use across restaurants, offices, commercial spaces and within homes as partitions, shower curtains, doors & windows, ornamental use, back walls, glass tiles, railings, walkways, landscape images etc



Doors and windows solutions: Home décor is an evolving process and an integral part of our living. At AIS, the overall aesthetics is complemented with a variety of additional features such as noise free living, safety and security. AIS Windows offer a range of glass solutions and wide range of profile options in Wood, Aluminium and uPVC.
Thus, designed to meet the need for modern, eco-sensitive aesthetics with a full spectrum of world-class, high quality, branded glass products, fittings, and systems with assured safety and hassle-free services, am convinced AIS Glasxperts are the way to go forward!

I am happy I made the right choice! What about you?

For more info you can look up here



Thursday, January 4, 2018

A home set in Earthy tones

Home tours are the most loved segment in sajavat. So let's start the New Year with another beautiful home, decorated with love and care!

This home is the love nest of Snigdha residing in Ghaziabad with her hubby and two wonderful kids. They have often moved places within India and therefore she has a strong inclination towards all things Indian. Something that i loved in her home is the earthy feel spilling all over!

The dark wooden textures combined with an aesthetic sense inclining towards natural living , the home is one where you would want to come back to, everyday, after a tiring day spent out!
After all every home should have that casting spell on you! what say?



The dark wood tones, hues of  orange and the greens all come together harmoniously. There is a visual continuity that strikes in this home. Every element is in sync with the other!






 Prints and patterns on the fabrics, wood grained textures from the various furnitures, the ceramics and pots with greens are the main elements that lend this Earthy tone in her space.For all those who love such homes pay attention to these little details to create a similar decor scheme.Going natural is another key to such homes.


Creating table vignettes: Importance is given to the accent pieces on the table and also to knicks knacks hung on to the wall which is at one's eye level.When you have an assortment of pieces, group them together taking a cue from Snigdha. The tray is used here to place jars and other table essentials together.This way the table does not seem crowded too!


Another trick to highlight a single frame on the wall, is to hang, other eye catchy elements that go with it! For example here Snigdha pairs a frame of deity with an equally stunning brass Ganesha deepam and a lotus incense holder..Similar stuff hung together!






Remember kitchen jars can be arranged on the bedside table as flower holders and planters too! Also, keep changing the vignettes on the bed side console and you create a new decor every time!




A very functional bedroom decor yet very classy!






What more do you need if you have a balcony, some greens around, a pretty sit out and a cuppa to go with it?Absolute bliss I say!

So, tell me did you like the home tour? I have tried my best to highlight certain decor tips, for all of you, from Snigdha's pretty home...Any other idea that comes across seeing her home, you let me know...

Thank you Snigdha for sharing your space with us.It felt awesome connecting with you.

And my dear readers, 2017 ended with a bang and I felt great on having won the 'Best Ethnic Decor Blogger' 2017 at the Lifestyle Influencer Awards by Social Samosa and Better Homes & Gardens.
Thanks to all the wonderful readers of sajavat.

And coming up this month is a tour of a fabulous mansion ...You stay tuned.I shall join you soon...



Monday, December 18, 2017

A traditional home in the heart of Vijayawada

The last post of the year and let me make it a good one! This post is after my own heart. It is a home tour from Vijayawada and is the abode of Asha Kiran.

To begin with, let me tell you, the home is built without any help from interior designers or architects. Asha had her home conceptualized in her mind in a certain manner and she went ahead with it and it has turned out perfect!
When it comes to decor, Asha is a traditionalist! Here she lives with her hubby, two daughters and a cute fur-ball!
Traditional Indian homes are synonymous with  a veranda and large open spaces, sit outs in the front, art work on floors and walls and you find all of that here! So far, I have come across homes that are a marriage of traditional with the modern but this home is purely Indian in all sense. I know, am doing a lot of build-up but Asha's home deserves this and more! So, let me just get started...

This is the entrance and notice how it stands out against the high-rise at the backdrop.



As you enter...


Flower beds, the concrete sit out and Ahh! how can you miss these grand pillars...

Look at the Tulsi' maadam' or the pedestal on which the Tulsi is placed! Indians have always considered Tulsi as divine and worshiped the plant due to its intense medicinal properties. And you can spot a niche on the yellow pedestal. This is with the intention of  lighting a lamp there!





In olden times, they would build these niches in the wall near the entry door for lighting lamps.The lady of the house would light them during evenings and that used to lend such a warm and calming effect! This entryway opens a bag of memories for me. For,ages ago when modernism hadn't caught up with our villages, the houses used to be adorned similarly!The ornate carvings on the wooden door and the painted threshold  are just signs of more beauty awaiting you inside!
The  threshold has painted motifs of elephants, kalash and lotuses ,all signifying auspiciousness and prosperity.





Now, as we step inside, you can make out the interiors styled with wood and brass. Asha's kitchen is a treasure trove of brass utensils.She says, she is very much fond of these sparkling beauties. Her favourite places for buying these antiques are Indian Antique Quest, an online destination for authentic antiques, flea markets, Lepakshi exhibitions and the old markets of Vijayawada.


I still have vivid memory of my granny's old home which had such doors that opened half way from top, served the purpose of knowing who knocked without really letting them inside!
This is the traditional version of our modern day safety doors. Isn't it?



The wooden bench like trunk that you see in the above pic serves well as a storage and a sit-out.



Being a brass lover, all those utensils make my heart, skip a beat!

Asha loves to decorate her home with flowers and that can be seen in the following images





 This is her prayer room..


Asha tells me, its been 5 yrs since they constructed this home and to me it doesn't look more than a day old!
The lotus incense holder creates the right drama at the entrance and of course you cannot miss the sweet bundle of  fur-balls who makes his appearance in more than one frame!




Now, a much needed tip for all brass lovers shared by Asha...

 The Original beauty and glow of brass vintage items comes after cleaning with  Pitambari powder  and swiping it with a dry cloth.The most important step is to then keep them under sunlight.This step is a must  to get the best glow. I wish this tip will be useful for all brass lovers.




Let me end the post with an image that left an everlasting impression on me...




I hope you loved this home tour. I felt so happy presenting it to you folks.
As we usher in Christmas and New year, I wish the best for all my readers.We shall meet again in 2018 with more styling tips and more importantly with posts that shall warm our hearts and bring happiness forever!
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