Wet n Wild Bardia
Risk Reduction and Preparedness in Nepal
are heard History is seen
Text : Shreesha Nankhwa Photo: Pradip Tuladhar
From the outside the house we are about to enter is barely any different from any of the other houses belonging to the same colony in Tokha. But as you enter through the gate, your eyes are immediately drawn to the Ganesh carving and the traditional Nepali bell just outside the main door of this modern looking house. And that sets the tone for the entire of the house we enter momentarily – a blend of east and the west.
The first thing you notice when you enter the house is the wood. Wooden floors, wooden staircases, wood paneling in the walls and the solid wood furniture. The entire home seems like an ode to wood. The owner of the home, who wishes to remain anonymous, had no concrete plans when he began decorating his newly bought second home. However, being a veteran in the furniture and flooring industry and working mostly with wood, he could not help himself and used the element unreservedly while furnishing his home. According to him all the design ideas came from and were implemented by him and one of his top woodcraftsmen.
The foyer itself features polished wooden floor and leads straight to a staircase, again built of wood. Below the staircase, the area has been utilized and cleverly converted into storage space. Off the foyer is the open drawing room, which is the first room you enter. The drawing room is dominated by a large comfortable sofa set that has been hand-carved by skilled local craftsmen. The floors are all wood with area rugs covering only small portions of the floor. Separating the living room with the kitchen is a wall set upon with a cupboard, again made of solid wood.
The 12X14 kitchen itself is a modular kitchen, however, unlike most modular kitchen, it is made of solid wood. On the other side of the kitchen is the dining area, which features a table and a set of chairs. The final room in the ground floor is the guest bedroom, made entirely of pinewood. The bed, the furniture, the floors are all covered in light pine wood that gives this room a light, slightly rustic feel to it. Even the lighting fixtures are made of light wood that goes well with the décor of the room.
As you move up the stairs, you’ll notice custom sized mirrors and Thanka paintings dominating the landings. The beams and pillars have all been covered with wood. The first floor contains the large 14 X 22 ft. the master bedroom, dominated by dark wooden floors and a magnificent bed made out of only two pieces of solid wood and has been handcrafted by his employees.
The wall opposite the door features wooden wardrobes attached. The other three walls feature custom made paintings depicting different areas of Nepal. The eastern wall features a grand painting of sunrise while the northern wall depicts the Annapurna Range. The third wall consists of paintings depicting southern regions like Janakpur.
The owner still plans to build a sitting for this master bedroom. The second bedroom in the first floor is also decorated with dark polished sisal wood. The floors, the bed, the wardrobe all match the dark wood theme going on in this floor. The wide windows dominating one of the walls lend the room a bright and cheery air.
The topmost floor features another bedroom as well as a small prayer area. The bedroom again follows the theme in the other two bedrooms of dark wooden floors, solid beds and an entire wall with attached wooden wardrobes. The room also opens into the sunny terrace. The first thing you notice as you step out into the terrace is the gust of afternoon wind blowing off the hills. You can get a good view of the surrounding areas, farmlands and faraway hills from the terrace. There are tables and chairs arranged neatly in the terrace, where you could have a family breakfast out in the open air.
Outside of the house, in the backyard, you will also find a small cottage like structure that resembles old Nepali style homes common in villages of Nepal. The owner confesses to building it as it reminds him of his parents and of home. The house has been fitted with olden equipments like halo, jato, dhiki, sarangi etc that speaks of life in the olden days.
Overall, the house shows off a neo-classical bent that neatly blends Western, Tibetan and Newari styles to create a décor that is impressive without being ostentatious. The house covers about 2300 square feet of space and has a warm and welcoming vibe to it, perhaps due to the overabundance of wood used in its décor.
Although this is not the primary residence for the owner, it has served him well. At times it acts as a second family home, at times as a guest house for important clients and most importantly, it is a sample home for clients who want to commission wood work, be it flooring, furniture or anything else from his company. However, to us, this house is a great example of how wood can be incorporated in the décor of a house to give it an elegant yet warm and inviting ambiance.