Grounded Versatility

When Sravanthi and Sharath Koduru walked into the Turiya Villa & Spa in South Goa, they knew they had found their designer for the renovation of their residence in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.

Without an iota of doubt in their minds, they approached Sandesh Prabhu for the project. The opportunity to refurbish a 40-year old construction on a massive site was unique, and the Mumbai-based firm seized it right away. The 15,000 sq. ft. site boasts of a vast lawn with ample vegetation, offering the double-storied villa pleasing panoramas. With a built-up area of 9,000 sq. ft., the residence occupies one quadrant of the site, leaving the remaining 3 open to the sky. The zoning is layered such that the built portion of the house sits on one corner of the site, flanked by an L-shaped semi-built space (on both floors) which overlooks the garden.

The Kodurus gave Prabhu a brief inspired by the restoration of a 100-year-old house in Canacona. Though, visually, the design was to have its roots in traditional elements – colourful and ornate – the clients wished for modern amenities. “I need a beautiful, very modern, stylish kitchen. But, it should have an old-world charm,” said Sravanthi.

After analysing the existing 6 BHK layout, several interventions were made. All efforts were directed towards making the house feel more open and spacious. “Orientation according to natural lighting and ventilation is extremely important,” says Prabhu. Walls between the living/dining and the verandas have been broken and replaced with expansive French windows. The existing windows have been widened and heights increased such that the sills are now only 12” off the ground. Bathrooms have been enlarged to a luxurious size; the tiny, old vents have been expanded to allow for better entry of sunlight and air circulation. Additionally, each bathroom has been provided with an outdoor space.

“In terms of how kitchens work, Hyderabad is culturally very different from, say, Mumbai,” explains Prabhu. The existing plan had 2 small kitchens. One was to be used by the hired help for cooking/cleaning, the other was to be used by the owners while hosting guests. The designer decided to enhance this experience by merging the 2 small units into one large space that would work like an open, display kitchen. A separate small kitchen was accommodated for the staff to use.

The first floor initially had 5 bedrooms. Two of these have been clubbed together to create a palatial master bedroom experience with a sizeable walk-in closet. The L-shaped terrace that occupies 20% of the first floor has been partitioned. This division allows each bedroom to have its own, private balcony area. Here, too, walls between the bedrooms and decks have been replaced with French windows. 

The design studio is inclined towards using earthy materials, for example, natural stone rather than artificial tile. “We take the stone and treat it in different ways for different areas – so that a little bit of variation is achieved. Take, say, the Jaisalmer or Kota. You could possibly sandblast it or river-wash it.”

At the Kodurus’ residence, the sofas, centre-tables and beds and the dining table and its chairs have been customised to fit the clients’ specific tastes. For instance, a table has been created by fixing a glass piece over a couple of old art pieces. Accessories such as soft furnishings, show pieces, light fixtures, etc. have been outsourced.

Prabhu acquired his degree in interior design from Bangalore University. In 2000, he started his career under renowned architect Hafeez Contractor. Sandesh Prabhu Design Studio (SPDS) was born in 2005. He has since worked on exclusive and high-end projects for a clientele that includes actors, cricketers, builders, industrialists, artists and designers from India and overseas.