When the principal architect of an interior design firm builds a house for himself, it is bound to become a culmination of two facts, labour of love and brilliance in design. And, that’s precisely what KIHAT is.
The KIHAT residence is carefully put together, just like its curious appellation that is an ensemble of the last letter of every person in the Choksi family. Located in Piplod, Surat, the house boasts of stunning views of both the city and the Tapi River. Not only does the residence stand for the ethos and personal taste of Manish Choksi, the chief architect of Design Core, it is also a stand out home designed to impress his clients.
The designer, Moiz Faizulla, talks about how the home is actually a clever combination of two apartments that led to a sprawling single space measuring 6500 sq ft. “We decided to create two separate spaces within the house, both with different themes – one for living and the other for lifestyle,” says Faizulla. To the right of the living room is the main section with four bedrooms, a kitchen, dining and puja area. The left leads to the lifestyle space which houses the home theatre, spa, yoga and meditation rooms, Jacuzzi, steam room and shower, the office studio and a guest bedroom.
“Right from early on in the project, Choksi was clear that he wanted a finished contemporary look and not a rugged, earthy feel,” states Faizulla. This was consistent with his own taste as well as the client’s for whom the residence was meant to be an exhibitionistic piece. The Italian marble finish on the flooring, the usage of wooden panels and the false ceilings accentuating the lighting within the house definitely provide the contemporary edge. However, some rustic elements have been deliberately infused too.
The pots, the lamps on the centre table, the huge wooden clock and the exposed brick structure (painted white to retain balance) behind the TV panel in the living room add an interesting juxtaposition to the otherwise ‘finished’ appearance of the house.
KIHAT is meant to be a comfortable and cosy place for the family to relax in and nowhere is this fact more evident than the deck area that flanks the living room. Combining the space of two balconies into one, the vast semi-outdoor deck with the cushy swing chair is ideal for someone to unwind after a long day.
The glass windows allow ample entry of light into the living room and also provide a brilliant view of the city. The crowning glory of the deck is the green wall that is ingeniously highlighted by the wooden panels on all the other surfaces in the room including the floor, walls and the ceiling.
Explaining the colour themes of grey and white in the residence, Faizulla says, “This is the in-thing now. We are now moving away from the traditional brown and white combination to a more subtle colour palette.” One glimpse at the house and you understand the impact this colour scheme brings – not only does it impart an expansive character to the rooms, but it also helps the other colourful artefacts in the room to shine.
The colours blend seamlessly with the imported dining set and the stylish kitchen cabinets. The puja area has an uncluttered look with calligraphic details adorning the walls.
Each bedroom has an individualistic charm based on personal choices. While the grandmother’s room has a minimalistic look, the daughter’s room has a sporty lounge with the adjoining wall hosting pictures of her favourites – cars and boats. Her bedroom has a long Corian study table latched on to the walls with metallic frame supports.
The master bedroom is segregated into sleeping and sitting halves, embellished by a huge projector for entertainment value. The wooden flooring flowing in continuity with the panelled wall creates the illusion of a separate lounge area.
To go to the ‘lifestyle’ section of the residence, one needs to walk through a long passage from the living room. The wall of memories along this path, breaks the monotony of the walk and instead builds points for conversation with guests.
With pastel purple and green fabric stitched onto the walls, pure white comfortable recliners and the ceiling lights punching out a bold, vibrant look, the home theatre room loudly announces that it’s time for entertainment. Then, there is the relaxation area that also hosts the yoga and meditation space with soothing water and light effects in the backdrop.
The KIHAT residence uses the amalgamated apartment spaces dexterously and has show-off elements to boast its design excellence. But, it does these at no compromise to the fact that it’s ultimately a place for the family while staying true to its identity as an architect’s personal abode.
Text By Ramya Srinivasan
Photographs Dipen Tandel