The humble town of Socorro in North Goa inhabits a completely different state than most tourists, visitors and sun-worshipers know about: beaches and parties from dusk until dawn. By contrast, Villa Olympia indulges in the slow green, lazy, and lush Socorro spirit, which speaks entirely of the subtle nature of the things in Goa. Ritu Nanda’s design of this home for four, on a 16,000-square-foot property adjacent to paddy fields, encompasses these surrounding areas in a well-thought-out plan.
In planning, Villa Olimpia also follows in the footsteps of the terrain, nature, and ancient trees that take root there. “It was natural to design the house around these trees, keeping the view of the [rice] field in mind as much as possible,” explains Nanda. So this vacant lot, sloping toward the aforementioned fields, became the interior designer’s canvas for a “beautifully finished home” of approximately 7,000 square feet, where trees play natural signs. Nanda found like-minded collaborators in local architects Teja Amonkar and Yatin Fulari as he carried out a vision right down to the smallest details, from furniture and accessories to bed and bathroom linens.
The required spaces had to be accommodated, the master bedroom, the three guest bedrooms, the living and dining areas, the well-equipped kitchen, and the staff quarters had to be accommodated in the tall lot. “The northwestern facade of [the properties] is towards the rice fields. We designed two blocks connected to a landscaped patio created to salvage a beautiful old tree that was in the center,” he explains. While the scenes maintained one end of the design, the local palate of the material anchored the other end. “Any house we build in Goa has local influences and blends with the natural environment of the city.” Hence the choice of natural stone, wood, cotton, and bedding for the interiors. This, along with Nanda’s clever ease of use of European design elements (stucco accents, column treatments, and wall finishes) is the mainstay of her beauty here as well. The slight nod to drama is subtle but inevitable.
Like a welcoming area with stairs to the top floor. The transition from the ground floor to the upper level along this gently curved staircase became very interesting thanks to the fabric chandelier as it hangs here.
Planned as a warm and welcoming space, the living room is the kind that you wouldn’t think twice about a day relaxing. The elegance is covered in “bursts of bright color, the heights of flying sheets, curved doors with beautiful plaster accents.” The furnishings, in the Nanda brand style, are a mixture of modern and old, which adds to the overall warmth.
Nanda’s use of color was dictated by the context, scenes, and “amount of sunlight received” for all the rooms. Normally white and neutral color is preferred on the walls and furnishings, the same colors appear in complementary touches, in the form of a distinctive wall and soft furniture. Like the formal master bedroom. With a high degree of elegance, it leaves its stronghold on the bright white color palette with rich oriental reds stuck between the pitched roof wood and the flooring wood.
It is this elastic boundary between indoors and outdoors that defines this home. It’s an easy transition made more by gathering natural local materials inside and out: natural stone to pave the driveways, the wooden deck around the pool, and the Mangalore brick roofline that crowns the earthy look. “An outdoor dining area, powder bath, pool, and outdoor shower are built into the landscape. We have also built an outdoor lounge area next to the large pool facing the fields.”
The elegance of this home in its simplicity is evidenced by the refined touches we see in all spaces, which are brilliantly designed and attract attention by not being intrusive. It is in those dramatic flashes, that local element that is given a distinct polish, meticulous use of color that makes this home, and Nanda’s design approach, look so much more than it is.
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