A Country Home Designed With Hand Crafted Local Stone And Reclaimed Wood
Elle Decor India|December 2021 - January 2022
A country home in Kasauli designed for artist Usha Hooda with hand crafted local stone and reclaimed wood
Vibha Hooda
A decade ago, my mother, an artist and textile designer, asked me to build her home in the mountains. She had just recovered from cancer and it was time to leave Delhi for pristine surroundings. I had inherited a design sense, but technicalities of the architectural process were completely alien. With sheets of paper, a ruler, a pencil, and a plastic desk, I sat on this piece of land perched on a 5,500 ft mountain ridge near Kasauli, and visualised.

I was sure of four things. Firstly, to create a home where each space offered a new experience. No layout alike, each bathroom surprisingly different and no view framed the same. The home was to be a journey within itself, from space to space, mood to mood, season to season. Second, privacy was important. One should be undisturbed in their serenity. No balcony should look into another room’s balcony and no hallway directly into a bedroom. Third, there should be ample nooks that come alive depending on the time of day. And of course, it had to be true to country living, a stone house.

The lay of the land was restrictive—there was constant sacrifice of space for either a septic tank issue or a hillside that was behaving unruly. As a consequence many hours were spent redrawing to ensure that my four-point agenda met structural stability. Finally, a built-up area of 3,400 sq ft became the artists residence.

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