BHARAT FLOORINGS - PRESS & MEDIA
Viva Goa – December 2011
Bottom Image is Modified Egyptian pattern
Top right : Modified Persian Carpet design.
Top image is of Inverlochy pattern in the balcony
Middle image is of Crocodile pattern tiles used in the driveway
Bharat Floors in the gigantic house of Dame Indira Patel, OBE. This beautiful house is located in Aldeia de Goa, Dona Paula
We often wonder what it feels to live out of a fairytale in a luxurious, aesthetically designed mansion that has pale blue seas and clear blue skies for company. The Patels residing within the gated community of Aldeia de Goa perhaps have all the answers. Bhanu Patel, a structural consultant by profession and NRI living in the UK aspired to live in a home characterised by elegant Indian designs and functional efficiency. “So the mansion is an amalgamation of Goan, Rajasthani, Mughal and ancient Indian elements,” Says Patel.
His wife, Dame Indira Patel is one of the first Asian women to be awarded the honour of DBE – Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (a Knighthood) in the 2011 New Years Honours list for service to human rights. The title of Dame is the female equivalent of the Honours system. It is also the equivalent form of address to ‘Sir’ for a Knight.
The mansion has towering porch with Ganesh idol standing between its two columns. This double-heighted porch with columns in laterite stone provides a lasting first impression. As we enter, the ante room reminds us of the English spaces in a house. But the furniture and the décor are very Indianised. The entire flooring in the mansion is laid with the famous carpet design of cement tiles from Bharat Floorings.
Says Dame Indira, “I designed each space along with Bharat Floorings and made patterns for the whole house.” Interspersed in the ante room are ‘His n Her’ chairs of Rajsthani art along with a mirror and console.
The other element adding to the royal accent is the sculptural circular stairway with fantastic wooden railing adorned with thick section of balusters and handrail. The staircase is the local point of the house and surrounding wall has 54 pieces of stained glass, each inlaid with a different species of bird.
Further, in the living room one can’t miss the subtle character of design elements and dark polish colours that together create a perfect backdrop for the multiple seating options in the area. The bay window diwan-type of seating, upholstered wooden couch, an antique-style chourang and rocking chair suffuse this area with its own charm.
An exquisite table for 14 adorns the dining room. The table top is inlaid with intricate stone patterns. The flooring, the furniture, the large doors opening to the verandah outside, the glass chandeliers all impart an aura of palatial traditional house. The corridors are lined by a series of laterite stone arches set within niches.
“We saw these niches on a Hawaiian cruise and thought it would be nice to line up the blank walls of the corridors with them. We still haven’t managed to get proportionate sculptures though,” says Bhanu.
At the functional areas of the home, the kitchen is dominated by teak veneer. Ample storage space has been provided here for an exclusive range of colonial style crockery. An island in the kitchen with its simple yet subtle design intervention to bring in the flavor of the Heritage design adds to the charm of the large kitchen space.
Recalls Bhanu, “Architect Sandesh Chodnekar of Neevh Consultants helped us to up the house together. From here on , my life took over and right from the flooring to the furnishing. She sat with the workers and designed the interior decor.” It was in fact, a sort of challenge for her to link the glorious past to the technological present.
Says Dame Indira, “The Heritage style exudes a comfortable tradition that link the past to present with discreet detailing, bringing out a unique character.” Care has been taken so that the furniture, through made-to-order, is reminiscent of the Heritage style. Any given room has numerous differently designed furniture pieces but within the room they gel together and complement each other.
The five bedrooms are patterned in differing styles but with a design connect. The four-post high beds in the rooms and the bay window seating exploit the views through its larger than life windows. The towering ceilings and profusion of light make the room has a different flooring pattern. Get into the dresser and you will find the floor designs adaptively used on the wardrobe shutters and the mirror surrounds.
Each bathroom is designed differently but what is visible is the fine thread that connects the overall concept. The bathroom are large with two wash basins, an automate and a shower enclosure. The glass of the shower enclosure carries the design of the motif tiles painted on it. These little design interventions help in stitching the different design elements together to create a unified whole. The large wide verandah that surrounds the house on the sea-facing side has day-beds and some loose furniture pieces strewn around. Along with lamp shades from Ferozabad, they induce you to lie down and enjoy the sounds of the waves and take in the cool breeze. Undoubtedly, the small breakfast table is the most used piece of furniture along with the day-beds.
The basement floor houses the entertainment and the game space along with the utilities. Two large cart-wheels are placed against the walls. There is a huge traditional doorway that is being installed against another wall. The large doors of this room open into the outdoor space where the swimming pool is located. The pool with its ball-shaped balusters all around and two stone elephants standing at the entrance give it an appearance of a royal bath. The indoors also has a spa with steam room. Also located at this level is a laundry space. As wee come to the end of the grand tour of the house or should I say tour of the grand house, we get the family together for a photoshoot. The Patel’s son Kamal and his British wife Claire join in.
The Patel mansion is a fusion of archaic and radical urban design with an interesting array of materials from various regions, urban design with an interesting array of materials from various regions, though all of it is woven together in a beautiful concoction of the rustic and modern. It has a mix of both colonial and cosmopolitan elements. Grand, timeless, spacious as well as cozy warm, family friendly spaces-terms that seem to contradict each other yet have blended seamlessly in this home.