We all know that the city of Kolkata, with its old-world charm, is deeply influenced by its cultural legacy. Making its way for residential and commercial projects, most of the cities in the country are losing their originality. They are losing their heritage buildings just to be on the top of the game. But Kolkata has not done the same. Each of Kolkata’s house designs is unique and impressive. The localities with the help of others have spread a campaign to preserve the Bengali houses. They tried to explain why reconnecting with the city’s cosmopolitan architectural heritage is important for the city’s future.
Designing of the houses in Kolkata
Western influence can be seen in many of the houses in Kolkata, but that doesn’t mean that the interior designers here have negated the importance of Indian influence. The major part of the city has buildings that are two or three stories high. Here, multistoried apartment buildings have also become common.
Kolkata house design in the early years
The home design in Kolkata in the 1800s and 1900s mainly comprised of stone-laid footpaths, decorated pools, antique showpieces, four-poster beds, wooden doors and windows, and ornate writing desks. The houses during those days were huge because they housed multiple families and had abundant space. The purpose of daylighting, climate response and cross ventilation could also be seen.
The bungalows in the 19th century were mainly built by influential families who were usually situated in big plots of land. One could mainly find Marwaris, Bengalis, Rajathanis, and Europeans at that time. These people create a unique style of houses by combining their own elements. The main highlights of these bungalows were long, wrought-iron balconies and ornamental entrances. You could imagine how massive these bungalows were and how much money was spent in building these.
Independent Kolkata house design
The concept of independent houses in Kolkata also started during this time b middle-class families. These houses consisted of red oxide stone floors, horizontal wooden bars so that they can lock their doors, open rooftop terraces, slatted Venetian painted windows, intricately worked cornices, and patterned cast-iron railings. Some of these houses boasted of art-deco elements like semi-circular balconies, sunrise motifs on grilles and gates, and porthole-shaped windows. These houses reflected the taste and lifestyle of a proper middle-class Bengali family.
Kolkata house design in today’s time
Nowadays people wish to own smaller, smarter, and cozy apartments. The sizes of the families have reduced so people look for compact designs. It can be said that the interior design of Kolkata today reflects the tastes and sensibilities of individual owners. The aesthetic sensibilities and ethos remain the same in today’s time, modern needs and space influence the choice of people while getting their houses designed.
Some of the modern design trends in Kolkata today are-
- Proper planning of the space by choosing space-saving furniture, folding wall-mounted dining table, sofa cum bed, etc.
- Contemporary Interiors and Ancient Elements- The houses here have contemporary and sleek influences along with traditional elements like an antique rocking chair, wooden artwork, etc.
- A mix of traditional and modern floors- some rooms here have bold and patterned tiles on the floors while others have wooden flooring or terracotta tiles.
- Lighting solutions and use of natural light- People here maximize the use of natural light. The houses have large windows, soft curtains, and broad doorways so that maximum light can come in.
- Plenty of common areas sitting for chit-chats because everybody knows Bengalis love to hold a well-informed conversation on the arts or politics.
- Proper display of art and paintings- Nobody can deny Bengalis’ love for art, paintings, and photography.
Kolkata house design is unique and reflects the taste of people who reside there. It takes a bonafide interior designer to understand the taste of Bengalis and incorporate their love for their city in their houses.