French Colonial Mansion in India

Only a hundred miles in the bustling town of Chennai in South India, the former French colony of Pondicherry rolls into view using expansive cashew plantations, little fishing villages and palm-fringed beaches. This French colonial beach home on the Bay of Bengal is famous for its hospitality in hosting international businesspeople and diplomats amidst acres of coconut groves and inside rooms full of Indian artifacts.

Dr. S. Devendra, known as “Doc,” has been opening the doors into the five-bedroom estate mansion as 1991, as a shore retreat for friends and partners of Shasun Pharmaceuticals, the family business and one of the world’s largest suppliers of aspirin.

in a Glance
Location: Pondicherry, India, near the Bay of Bengal
Size: 10,000 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, multiple sunrooms, multimedia conference room
That is intriguing: A stone that is raised platform to the grounds functions as a stage for musical performances from local groups.

Wendy K. Leigh

The primary entry door has been reclaimed from a historical abandoned temple at the Tamilnadu region of South India. A classic wood carving accents the entrance from above, while hand-formed vintage pottery pieces flank the entryway.

Wendy K. Leigh

The French colonial structure spreads elegantly across manicured grounds in the end of a long, winding driveway curving toward the sea. Windows line the front, sides and back, affording expansive views of the estate landscaping and shore. Ivy-covered stucco and stone form exterior walls, with curved balconies extending from bedrooms, living spaces and sunrooms.

Wendy K. Leigh

Antique furniture in the Chettinadu and Pondicherry areas in Tamilnadu provide an authentic air to the inside spaces. Working with Anita Goubert, a regional antiques dealer and close friend in Pondicherry, Doc has selected each slice carefully to signify a variety of phases of history in South India. This wood-carved divan and encompassing seats are decorated with vibrant cushions crafted from formerly worn vintage saris.

Wendy K. Leigh

A second-floor covered sunroom is available from all five bedrooms in the home, using a wooden swing extended from rafters in the grand ceiling.

Wendy K. Leigh

Bedrooms have a minimalist style with white bed coverings, mosaic tile floors and black custom-designed solid wood window shutters. Individual baths are attached to every bedroom, with modern showers installed. Doc himself makes the journey from Chennai several times a week and intends to retire here, near the sea and the quaint, French-inspired village.

Wendy K. Leigh

Ceramic inlays are a surprise feature inside the railings of one of those dozens of beds in this home. Designed to accommodate the numerous guests who are welcome here, some of the larger bedrooms have around six beds.

Wendy K. Leigh

A guest bathroom on the bottom floor is available from the estate grounds and swimming pool. It’s three sinks, a separate changing room and an enclosed sauna.

Wendy K. Leigh

Pottery features greatly in the décor. This lamp was fashioned from early earthenware and sits atop one of those numerous reclaimed paintings which are tucked into each nook.

Wendy K. Leigh

A specially designed multimedia room permits the owner to host business conferences on a dedicated floor of the home. Outside of working hours, Doc frequently arranges for guests to relax by meditating at the world-famousMatrimandir,an enormous marble and gold ashram in the countryside less than five miles from the shore house.

Wendy K. Leigh

Sunrooms are sprinkled throughout the home, linking outdoors to indoors, many with views of the beach and water.

Wendy K. Leigh

Family, friends and business partners can relax in the intricately tiled outside aquatic place, which comprises two pools and a spa, with the bay shimmering in the background.

Wendy K. Leigh

Breezy walkways connect the entire home on both floors and overlook the Bay of Bengal. Benches afford views of the sunset and sunrise from several positions on each floor.

Wendy K. Leigh

Kudapah stone floors from Kerala adorns outdoor spaces, with natural cultivated bamboo overlooking a stone water container.

Wendy K. Leigh

The bounty of the farm grounds is on display on any given day, with mounds of coconuts heaped up outside the pantry and kitchen. Palm trees sway in the sea breezes, which are relished — temperatures in Pondicherry frequently reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wendy K. Leigh

Coconuts are left to dry in sunlight prior to being turned into desserts by the numerous servants.

Wendy K. Leigh

Stone walkways on the estate grounds cause outbuildings sheltered by coconut palms.

Wendy K. Leigh

Statues and fountains of carved stone blend into the landscaping and fit the property’s exterior and interior style.

Wendy K. Leigh

A traditional outdoor bowl of drifting new flower petals offers “namaste,” an expression of welcome and warmth.

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Wild Triangular House at Boulder

For many people, this odd, many-sided house in Boulder, Colo., could introduce a design conundrum. For Judi Lesta,”It is the love of my life, a dream space where nothing is out of bounds”

A aerial view of the modernist architect’s design on Boulder’s architecturally traditional University Hill reveals two limbs made up of 16 identical triangles, each culminating in a steepled skylight. Its designer, Charles Haertling, was a civic-minded architect with powerful Frank Lloyd Wright influences, and his signature style was to make organic, natural components. In cases like this, that the rooftop triangles have dual representation: They are thought to be leaves of nature, together with all the huge ceiling beams posing as veins, and additionally to represent the Flatiron peaks that serve as a backdrop to the city of Boulder.

Unaware of Haertling or his designs, Lesta purchased the home in 1989. “I was really lucky to have stumbled upon it,” she says.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Judi Lesta, owner of The Amazing Garage Sale
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Size:
2,200 square feet, 3 bedroom, two baths, with loft

Leslie Bentson

Upon arrival at the front door, one gets hauled to a Seussian, topsy-turvy frame of mind. The home, known as The Noble House, was first commissioned and built from the Noble family in 1958. It is one of over 40 buildings made by Haertling in Boulder from 1953 to 1983.

The home was known as the Space Craft Home, the Pyramid, the Teepee and the Umbrella. Haertling himself dubbed it a wigwam structure. Over time, it has grown into the neighborhood landscape while maintaining unique standing and continuing to catch the interest of passersby. The city of Boulder has designated the home as a historic landmark.

Leslie Bentson

Much of Lesta’s décor, like the black Herman Miller chair, is first to the age of her”triangle palace” A gold and purple color scheme is carried throughout the home. When asked the number of chandeliers she has (both inside and out), she says,”Too many to count dust”

Leslie Bentson

Looking down from the attic, the dining area gives great visual of this geometrically shaped doors and windows.

Leslie Bentson

A sizable trianglular window lets in light and also a cinch to the corner of their living space.

Leslie Bentson

One of the two steepled skylights provides a perfect view of the eight triangles making this up wing.

Leslie Bentson

The house sits in an above-ground, concrete base. Indoors, the four cutout triangles are windows that also serve as shelves.

Leslie Bentson

Each area has four triangular windows. The top hinged bit lifts up to a screen and see to the outside ground. A number of Lesta’s pictures of Grace Jones and the Bee Gees adorns this neon window.

Leslie Bentson

Lesta uses one of the bedrooms as a hangout and memorabilia space in the days as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles. Lesta’s photography portfolio comprises DEVO, Bob Marley, Blondie, President Ford and Donna Summer.

Leslie Bentson

A bit by Austrian artist Egon Shiele hangs alongside the customized fireplace. The angles on the hood and chimney mimic the roofline and mountain peaks.

Leslie Bentson

When Lesta moved to the Noble House, all the walls were whitened and the décor antique. Since then, she has painted partitions, floors and stairwells, and adorned each corner of room using trinkets and collectibles. “It is a very freeing home,” she says.

Leslie Bentson

One of the few rounded items in the residence is the violet, metal spiral staircase leading to the attic.

Leslie Bentson

Judi Lesta in her front door.

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DIY: Watch How to Make a Rolling Vintage Storage Crate

One downside of the toilet of the rental apartment: no medicine cabinet or vanity space. Basically, no storage. And new tile extends from floor to ceiling, so that I can not mount a cabinet or put into the walls. Since I am far from being a minimalist when it comes to lotions and creams, I needed to make some kind of storage alternative. I opted to take advantage of the distance beneath the counter. I had a few vintage wooden crates that proven to be the ideal size to stack and roll beneath the counter. Problem solved!

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One large classic wooden cage houses all the large and bulky toiletries. I really like I can finally stow away those bottles (along with my set of makeup bags) so the counter is not littered with dressing products.

I needed to add brakes to the bottom of the cage, both to protect the tile and make it easier to slide the crate from beneath the counter.

Super-easy DIY job: First, I picked up a pair of casters in my hardware shop. Then I drilled pilot holes keep the wood from splitting. Screw from the casters and you’re set!

I placed a shallow timber crate on top of the wheeled crate to act as a tray shirt and to neatly hide the toiletries below.

I maintain some small bathroom supplies within this cage (extra contacts, Q-tips) and it is the ideal place for a couple magazines.

The storage system works well for us. I discovered the vintage crates at Maine for $20 and invested $5 on the casters, which made it an inexpensive custom made solution for our toilet.

I also believe the vintage wooden crates include a little personality to the space — a nice mix of new and old.

Perhaps you have think of a fantastic DIY storage alternative? We’d really like to see it. Post a photograph for your profile and then provide us the link below!

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