Majestic mountains and lush scenery envelope this holiday villa

This hilltop home, designed by WhiteSpace, blends into the surrounding landscape with its natural wood grains, rustic finishes, rugged textures and organic palettes.This holiday home by WhiteSpace is a quiet retreat in Ithlar, a hilltop hamlet about 20 kilometres from Ooty. All photos courtesy Shamanth Patil—Rays & Greys

Perched over Ooty’s 125-acre Emerald Lake, and located about 20 kilometres from the town centre, is this villa, a serene slice of paradise far removed from the hustle and bustle of Ooty town. Helmed by Sameepan Thomas, founder and principal architect of El Holdings, and Ganesh Nair, founder and principal designer of WhiteSpace, the 2,000-square-foot home serves as a vacation retreat for its Dubai-based owners. “The clients wanted the home to be a reflection of their style and sensibilities. It had to be functional and optimise the space available while paying equal tribute to the stunning landscape outside,”

Duality in Design

The villa features two distinct design styles. The ground floor predominantly showcases contemporary elements while the first floor channels a country cottage air. The aesthetic duality stems from the clients’ affinity for rustic design, and the need to create a modish shell for entertaining. “The home is deeply rooted in European design—I drew inspiration from my travels across Italy, Greece, Malta and Spain,”

Materials & Mountains

The foundation of the home envelops the uneven, hilly and rugged terrain underneath. The villa interiors are a reflection of their natural environment, with rustic accents and rugged finishes mirroring the majestic mountain landscape. An interplay of outdoor and indoor spaces, warm wood grains, natural textures and organic palettes allow the home to sync seamlessly into nature. “Colours and fabrics punctuate the design scheme, curing the monotony of the wooden shell. We handcrafted every piece of furniture to augment the form and function of each space, and strove to make the home a work of art,”

Sunlit Spaces

The villa is cocooned in sunlit spaces, gentle breezes and picturesque views. A sun-dappled glasshouse and terracotta-and-white porch overlook the hills, acting as excellent vantage points. The former hosts a picnic-style trestle table, while the latter features a wooden three-seater swing with dazzling white upholstery, perfect for soaking in the early morning sun.

Spinning the Colour Wheel

With gauzy curtains, soft fabrics and subtle textures serving as the backdrop, the living room, dominated by crisp lines and angular cuts, introduces bursts of colour into the home’s otherwise muted design scheme. The space is a lesson in colour blocking, with indigo and orange influences in the way of a feature wall, a sofa and scatter pillows lending colour and character to the peripheral vanilla elements.

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