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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