In my mind, I was clear how I wanted the windows to be for the farmhouse that we are constructing. They have to be French windows. At Least 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Lots of them. I love airy room with a view of the greenery. And the windows have to be as close to those seen in British vintage cottages.
It greatly helps to have a vision of what you need so that you can translate that to the carpenters. But I hit upon a challenge dealing with carpenters in villagers. They are brilliant and hardworking but they quite don’t understand the vision, no matter how much you articulate.
Then I found the easy solution to the problem. Photos. Just show the photo of an existing window and they are super quick to latch on to the idea.
I hit upon a big luck when I stopped at Hotel Mamalla near Mahabalipuram on our way to Pondicherry. The hotel had the exact design of the window I had wanted. Lunch can wait. I whipped out my mobile phone and shot lots of pictures.
Its amazing how this window was the exact design that I had in mind!
Notice how the grills camouflage behind the wooden frames. So, when seen from the outside, you never get to see the iron grills. Brilliant.
Perumal, the carpenter and Saravanan, the grill maker, quickly understood the need. What they did next was simple yet brilliant. They brought with them white chalks and began to recreate the design on the floor of our home. No CAD/CAM software, No architecture degrees. They were brilliant in their simplicity and practicality. Seen below are both of them at work.
On the left is Perumal (Carpenter) and on the right is Saravanan (Grill Maker).
That is how the design of the window looks like. The window that you see on the left is just quarter of the full window. Add four of them and you’ll get the full window sized at 10 feet by 4 feet. Massive one. And there are two of them on either sides. On the front, we have two 6 feet by 3 feet windows and a similar one on the back. So a small 20×20 room has 7 large windows. And that’s not counting the two airy ventilators and the large door.
My Dad jokingly said we are actually constructing windows and adding walls to fill the gaps!! 🙂