The most striking feature of Francis Joseph’s homestay in Fort Kochi is the originality of the entire space. A person who believes that everything happens for a reason, Francis named his home Niyati, which in Sanskrit means destiny.
According to him, the property was probably built during the 1920s and had been through a few renovations as it had changed hands around 3 to 4 times. It also was in the form of a typical Malayali Muslim’s home with its exposed brickworks and wooden floorings. While these features were retained in some of the rooms, Francis had to rework on the front portion of the house with the help of a civil engineer. Along with a Chicago-based artist, William Jerard, and a local team of skilled carpenters, Augustine, Xavier, Jose and John, the renovation, that was carried out for a year and a half, involved the making of very contemporary and chic interiors.
The seven bedroom condo has crudely cemented walls that have been glazed with polish. Traditional wooden doors have been retained for the rooms.
All the bedrooms face into a neatly arranged Chinese garden courtyard where the rays of the sun fall and provide natural light to all the rooms.
The staircase is an interesting construction of handmade wooden geometry that leads to a private mini-terrace which also serves as a sit out. Drain pipes from the tiled roof were modified and attached with metal chains to avoid splashing rain water.
When asked what his favourite picks were, Francis was quick to point out to the distinctly styled furniture that he got from the local Jew town in Fort Kochi and wooden wall hanging sculptures.
An old man he often rendezvoused with for antique products inspired him to start his own collection. Apart from his own miscellany, some of the home decor collections also belonged to his beloved grandmother. For Francis, decorating is an ongoing process and so he never really felt the need to hire a professional. Designing this home was a conscious effort to create a comfortable and relaxing space along with a vintage decor.
It was wonderful visiting Francis and his home. Hope you enjoyed it too. For more such tours through beautiful homes, keep following Houzify. Download the app now!