A young family of four reached out to design firm Vriksh to conceptualize the interiors and exterior of their new 4,000-square-feet bungalow in Manipal, Karnataka. The client, Hari Prasad, was moving back to his hometown with his wife and 11-year-old twin children after having lived in Dubai for over two decades, in a bid to live closer to their family. His only brief to the designers? That their home reflect their cultural roots.
The villa is located in the heart of Manipal, a beautiful hilltop town that offers views of the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. Named after the client's grandmother, Vanaja, the bungalow features a tiny courtyard, and is a celebration of local materials and Indian craftsmanship. While the property primarily showcases a South Indian design aesthetic, it also celebrates Rajasthani crafts.
Manipal Home: Natural Materials
The home features a minimal colour scheme and a natural material palette. “We inherited the structure with a small courtyard in the centre and that became our starting point. We decided to use a palette of all natural materials. For instance, we used locally available laterite for the external walls, and random rubble stone from quarries for the boundary walls. For the interiors, we used Jaisalmer stone for the flooring, which complements the laterite. Handcrafted pillars made from local Karkalla granite adorn the courtyard to set the mood of the home," says Sonal Shetty Rao, creative partner at Vriksh. “The false ceilings in the living areas that imitate the ceilings in traditional Mangalore homes were all made from recycled wood. The furniture in the bedrooms was custom-made at site using natural veneers for the surface finish,” she adds.
Manipal Home: The Entrance Foyer
In this two-storey bungalow, guests are welcomed by a large entrance foyer, which features a handcrafted brass Ganesha studded with semi-precious stones. It is flanked by hand-carved decorative windows sourced from Jodhpur. The opposite wall depicts doors and windows seen in age-old havelis. This arresting accent wall has been handcrafted by carefully handpicked artisans in Rajasthan. A set of wood and brass seating and a false ceiling fashioned entirely out of recycled wood completes this unique space.