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A Slice Of Chettinad Architecture - The Times of India

June 13, 2008, 6:30:00 PM

The Times Of India writes, A concise guide to adopting Chettinad designs in homes. Chettiar Houses were functional, yet treasure troves of ornate carvings and imported glass. Krithika Sukumar meets architectural designer Benny Kuriakose, who offers some handy hints on how to add a touch of Chettinad opulence to your home. The traditional Chettiar homes were usually built with materials from foreign lands. They often used glass from Belgium, marble from Italy, and teak from Burma. Concurrently, Chettiar homes are often an amalgamation of styles. For instance, Chettinad homes have high ceilings similar to those in colonial styles of architecture.

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Red and black-oxide tiles were extensively used. A typical Chettinad home will always have an open-to-sky courtyard in the middle surrounded by rooms. Originally, these courtyards were used for marriage ceremonies, money, and rainwater harvesting purposes. They make pleasant sit-outs. They usually have exquisitely carved wooden doors. However, sometimes long-standing Chettinad houses are demolished merely to have their columns sold in the antique market. It is recommended to replicate these stone and wood columns to prevent promoting this trend. Continue reading for more hints and tips!