Indoor/Outdoor Living Made Easy: the Kenia Weekend Home by ZZ Architects

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The first thing you may notice about this Kenia vacation/weekend home in Lonavala, India, is its two distinct wings; they’re two rectangles connected by curved walks and a circular central area surrounded in glass. It’s a design from ZZ Architects of Mumbai, that’s meant to harmonize with the “undulating” countryside around it. Indeed, the countryside’s an important décor element in this home as well: large sliding glass doors bring outside in every room. The central “lobby” is one of the main easy-outdoor-access places in this home; others include doors to exterior terraces from bedrooms, tucked beside mini-courtyards featuring greenery enclosed in glass walls. And interior materials mimic the natural surroundings: note the use of pale wood flooring that extends, uninterrupted, from house to deck.

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Subtle recessed lighting outlines ceiling moldings and casts a pleasant ambience on the outdoor patio area — although the predominant “light fixture” in this home is actually Mother Nature, with abundant sunshine pouring through the glass walls. Select art brightens some spots: landscape and abstract paintings in the bedrooms, a modern sculpture in the sunken seating area. But once again, the best “art” in this house is no doubt the sweeping hillside directly off its patio; the spacious lawn is skillfully landscaped and lighted, with a row of small trees that will not obscure the view of mountains beyond. Paving stones provide a whimsical walkway from the yard to the back steps, flanked by small leafy trees. It adds up to a home with a relaxed “vibe,” perfect for barefoot holidays.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).