Chabbra's Home - Go Mediterranean in Gurgaon

The Story of My Home Dated:  March 31, 2014
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The Chabbra house is unlike any run of the mill houses. At the cul-de-sac in Dlf Phase 1, shaded by the greens and cooled by its sandblasted exteriors, the house exudes warmth from the word go. What catches my attention instantly are the intricate brackets supporting the chajjas on the windows, something Mrs. Chhabra tells me are works of artisans from Rajasthan who have treated the elevation. The Dholpur stone used here creates a unique Mediterranean feel even before I enter.

Dholpur stone and white painted brackets

Attention to details such as this is a thing of aesthetics as much an indication of what is to come.

As I enter a few steps inside, I am greeted to a Ganesh statue placed on a pedestal in the lobby. I also notice the play of levels in the house. Unenclosed by any walls or partitions, a lesser seen feature in today’s homes, the Ganesh Murti stands pivotal to the activities in the house. Mrs. Chabbra tells me the decision was conscious and was taken in compliance with her architect, “We didn’t wish to separate the Puja from the rest of the house...and hence an open Puja Sthal” she says as she speaks of it being crafted from expert hands from Jaipur. The position of the Ganesh murti by the Shaft is also one that ensures optimum utilization of the shaft wall. “The suggestion to place the puja sthal such was one incorporated by my architect. The left over space forms an indoor garden in the basement...a space I had the liberty to express my creativity... she says.

The Puja Sthal at the Entrance

A native of Delhi, the Chabbras made the decision to own a house in Gurgaon almost 8 years back. “With sons getting married, there was a need for a bigger house”. Her current home stands at 504 Sq. Yd. “The house at Vasant Kunj was not only smaller at 1200 Sq.ft but owing to constant traffic, the windows were partially shut...Allowing little light and wind to come in”, a problem she says has been addressed in her architect Manpreet Batra, who is also responsible with the interiors of the house “I asked him to give me big windows...Lots of light and wind...and a vision of my dream home” she smiles

Manpreet Batra is based in Kirti Nagar and holds his practice by the name of “Manpreet and Associates”. He has also designed her ad agency in Rajinder Place, an ad office in Mumbai and recently a wedding venture in City Court in Gurgaon.”I have known him since a long time... he is open to suggestions and flexible. I would highly recommend him...”  Mrs Chabbra says.

The furnishings, colours, drapes, spaces and intricate details in front create an ensemble. Towards my left, the dining lounge and kitchen seamlessly merge into each other, a decision that also is a reflection of Mrs. Chabbras loves to cook, “I wished the house to reflect a Mediterranean feel...a villa almost... A feeling of openness...something that my previous home lacked”  I observe the selection of door handles, door/window latches, wood mouldings and door polishes is integral and provides for an understanding of the architects vision. Care is taken with intricate details of staircase railings, its’ mild steel work lending unique identity and building to a sense of space.  The flooring is neat, complete with stone skirting. Stone jambs have also been used.

 The Dining Area and Kitchen

The Spiral Staircase, centrally located

As we chat, Mrs. Chabbra tells me of their 5BHK duplex house. With 2 rooms on each of the floors, ground and first, the gym and servant rooms fit on the second floor. Initially conceived without a basement, she goes on to tell me how the latter is an intricate part of the house now “It is my favourite place...it’s unlike basements... it receives ample sunlight” The problem of dampness in the basement, is taken care of with insulated RCC walls ensuring the basement remains untouched from flooding.

We head for the rooms on the ground floor. The master bedroom is frontal to the house facing a huge lawn. The grandparent’s room also stands on the same floor. The room decors keep with the house. They are bright enough and yet not loud. The space on the ground floor is also one without a drawing room. Used by the guests in infrequent trips, it was decided for the drawing area to be created in the basement.

The Grand Parents Room

Mrs. Chabbras Room on the Ground Floor, with Customized Wall Furnishing

Following a cup of tea, we move to the basement. As we walk down, I can’t help appreciate how the large sunken court administers light through wood framed windows. It is in the basement that the study, the bar, the lounge and the indoor garden come together to add a semi formal quality. With just one pillar, the basement stands expansive, covering an area of almost 2000 sq ft, large enough to house 300 people at a time. Most of the furniture inside is handpicked from furniture hubs at MG road in Delhi. Some of it is handcrafted. The Italian flooring is from Raja Garden in Delhi, and the granite finishing, a unique stone quality, from stores on MG road.

The Mosaic Mural in the Sunken Court 

The Basement Hall

Inside the Study in the Basement

The Bar Area in the Basement

Outside in the garden, the mosaic murals have been done from craftsman in Delhi. The space inside the indoor garden has installations, exquisitely designed, a space utilised by Mrs. Chabbra to express her liberty with art.

Drawing room in the Basement

Installations in the Indoor Garden

We proceed to the first floor. A centrally placed wooden spiral staircase enters a bright lobby.

The colors delight! I head my way straight into the rooms each of which belong to two of her sons.  The spaces are independent; the rooms are a careful mix of colours and wallpapers. Can a space be united in its theme and yet unique individually! Yes. I revel in the distinctives here. The layouts are beautiful and so are the spaces!

The Lobby on The First Floor

Bedrooms on the First Floor

Bedrooms on the First Floor

We climb the next flight of steps to be greeted to a similar lobby on the second floor. I am not surprised by the playfulness of colours inside the gym. I wouldn’t think twice before I head to work out here!!

The Gym

As we descend down, the large balconies and the views come to notice. I am reminded of Mrs.  Chabbra,” we didn’t like the structure at Vasant kunj... a disintegrated window balcony...It lacked seamlessness...”Heading towards my car I ask her for any final suggestions that she has for   homeowners and she is happy to respond,” because it is such an important investment, you need an expert...there is much disparity in prices...one doesn’t even get to know... don’t shy away from spending a little extra, make sure you’re happy...”

Details, furnishings, use of color and sense of space all play out to make this an exciting space to live in. I couldn’t agree less that her house reflects her personality...large hearted, open and warm and the architect has left no stone unturned to realise the vision.

Photo Credits: Riku Sharma

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