On the 17th floor of Olympia Sky Villas in Navalur, advocate S.C. Raghuram’s sprawling apartment, with a saleable area of 6,400 sq. ft is an oasis of sorts. Offering stunning views of backwaters with beautiful migratory birds and the ocean on one side and the hills of Vandalur on the other, the home is a sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. “Due to the Coastal Regulatory Zone rules, no buildings can come up beyond this block,” Raghuram says. Which means the family will enjoy the view for as long as it stays here. “Back in 2008, I booked this apartment and at that time everyone wondered how I would commute to the city,” says Raghuram, adding, “I said to them, ‘the city will come to me’. Today, this is true. Every brand worth its name has a branch on OMR.” Raghuram made this move after deciding to live with his aging parents who were living alone. “This was the only project of its kind, and still remains so. With five rooms, a separate pooja room, a pool, and a bar, it suits my requirements perfectly.”
With Webe Design Lab, an architectural firm, Raghuram has set up a home that reflects both his travels as well as love for tradition. A huge, especially-crafted stone carving welcomes everyone into the home, with pebbles lit by LEDs on all sides. Raghuram’s wife’s and mother’s old sarees have been framed and make for an interesting artefact that adorn the ceiling of the home. “We bought some of our furniture from Bangkok,” he adds. While the handsome dining table and cabinets in the living room are from Thailand, Raghuram opted to source imported furniture from vendors in Chennai for his home theatre (a separate room with the right acoustics, a screen and comfortable sofas) and the sofa for his living room. “A designer from Auroville made the sofa in teak. Our architect drew up the correct dimensions that would fit the living room and it was delivered to us,” he says. Adjacent to the home theatre is a pool with a view, funky seating from Bangkok and interesting work on the walls. A staircase winds up to the 18th floor near the pool. Underneath the stairs, is a cosy alcove where the Raghurams enjoy the views with a telescope, a chess set and lots of books.
The balcony in the living room, with seating and pretty flowering plants is breezy almost throughout the day. The view is perfect for those quiet contemplative moments, or just unwinding with a book and a steaming cup of chai. Next to the balcony is a well-appointed kitchen and separate quarters for the Raghurams’ in-house help. The entire room is dotted by little trinkets picked up on travels and miniature kuthuvillakus and other traditional Indian elements. A kolam pattern on frosted glass adds to the ambience in the home while lending it an earthy look.
To get to the next level in the duplex apartment, you can either take the stairs or the lift inside the home! On the second floor are the private bedrooms of everyone in the house.