Shanthi and T. Raghunandana's lovingly restored home on D'Silva Road in Mylapore is a classic example of how to go about marrying the past with the present

Architect: Yogesh

Location: Mylapore

When T. Raghunandana and Shanthi bought it, it was a 66-year-old, solid but unimaginatively designed bungalow in a sprawling plot on the D'silva Road in Mylapore.

Six years down the line, this structure has morphed into a warm and creative space that seamlessly connects with the garden.

The masterstroke in recreating the house is in opening up the verandas on the ground floor, even while retaining their load bearing pillars and cladding them with wire cut bricks, so that the house gradually unfolds into the garden.

This semi-open space sports hanging and standing plants, besides sculptures, paintings and murals, and becomes a defining point for the house.

Then of course, the living, the dining and other spaces of the house lead through huge French windows into semi-open spaces that step down into the garden. “You experience the garden, from anywhere, even within the house,” say Shanthi and Raghunandana. While retaining the old trees set in the garden (including a magnificent almost 70-year-old Nagalingam tree) the couple has introduced a lily pond. There is also a covered swimming pool at the far end of the garden.

The old house also received sloping roofs, and open balconies all around the first floor, besides hard wood flooring.

It now gleams in shades of grey, green and red — grey from the multiple forms of granite dressing given to the exterior walls of the house; red from the rustic tiles on the floor and the roofs, and the varnished, but un-plastered brickwork of some of the walls. Of course, the green comes from the greenery that spills into the house.

The couple's fabulous collection of paintings adds a touch of colour to the house too.