An interior designer and environmentalist, Kalpana Ramesh believes a house should speak about the people who live there and help them unwind when they come back with a lot of stress and baggage from the outside world. One such place in her house is a courtyard that she addresses as the heart of the house. “This courtyard is something we have always wanted in our home. It takes us back to old times when homes in villages had the same space, where we have grown up. So we did the same in a modern setting. It is the central part of the house,” says the designer. Kalpana and her husband both love culture and customs; this space truly speaks what they are and what they believe in.
The courtyard features plants along with a Vishnu statue which is a mural done with cement. “I wanted it to be a part of the garden. When we made this house, we didn’t realise how perfectly the courtyard wall was aligned with the east. Every morning the sun rays fall on Lord Vishnu’s crown and come down through the day, washes his feet and disappears. It was very unconsciously done,” adds Kalpana. She further says, “I believe in good energies in a place, and uncluttered naturals spaces bring that.” The courtyard also contains a pond that acts as a cooling element to the space. Besides, it is a bench where the family sits and enjoys some serenity. From meditation to yoga to office work, the family uses the space to do lots of activities. “It is a very divine spot. We also use that space to celebrate festivals as I feel our kids will understand and learn the culture from us.”
Kalpana also uses this space to harvest rainwater. “Every single drop of rainwater is stored under this courtyard. We have 3,00,000 litres of rainwater stored here; it’s our water bank. In the past nine years we never bought tankers,” she notes.
Speaking about the best part of this space, the designer explains, “The sunlight patterns are so beautiful here. Additionally, every morning one can hear so many birds chirping from the bamboo tree. We can enjoy the rainy days too.” Every room in the house overlooks this courtyard making it an interactive space.