Step into this house near the Kerala High Court, and the first thing that strikes you is its simplicity, writes K.A. Martin

Edward George Pynadath says less is beautiful when it comes to building a house. Build just enough for a family to live in rather than raise a mansion even if affordable, he says from his experience as a civil engineer and property developer. The designer can influence the owner to spend more. At some point, he says, the owner may tend to believe that the house being built is an exhibition piece, for others to see. It shows how competitive building a house has become these days. Step into his house near the Kerala High Court in Kochi, and the first thing that strikes you is its simplicity. The visitor’s area is spacious and uncluttered. No showpieces clutter the walls, which are light coloured to reflect the sunlight that sweeps into the room from the extra tall door and windows. He says the extra tall door and roof height reduce the heat and allow liberal natural lighting.

On the ground floor, space is in free flow. Moving from the visitor’s area to the dining space is easy, through space not fragmented by walls and looking airy and larger. The rooms are cross-ventilated, and the Kota stone floor is shiny green and pleasant with white skirting. Mr. George says Kota stones are easily available and cost much less than marble or other flooring materials in vogue. Besides, he says, it is the healthiest flooring material on the market. He says that while building a house, know how the locality is developing and make allowances for the future. The floors, for instance, should be of a greater height if neighbouring roads were to be developed in the years to come.