Tropical Modernism by Temple Town

Tropical Modernism by Temple Town


Temple Town brings together traditional crafts and tropical accents to design a contemporary home in Thrissur

MAY 23, 2023 | By Diya Shah
Daylight filters into the living room, reflecting off the bright blues and greens; Photography by Justin Sebastian
The kitchen and dining room are made with endurable surfaces of wood, marble and metal surfaces and minimal adornment. The botanicals on the bespoke cane buffet table add a touch of luxury; Photography by Justin Sebastian.
A lack of obstruction allows daylight to seep into the living room from the foyer, creating a bright and cheery atmosphere. The foyer and living room make use of discount designing styles, materials and textures; Photography by Justin Sebastian
The kitchen is a streamlined, all-wood kitchen that is functional and practical; Photography by Justin Sebastian
The second daughters’ room is a tropical paradise. A luxuriously upholstered headboard in the background creates a cocooning effect; Photography by Justin Sebastian

Unified by traditional wood furniture and tropical accents is a home that lies at the intersection of timeless and modern. Blending classical styles with contemporary demeanour was key for Meera Pyarelal, the founder and interior designer of Temple Town, to envision this family home for five in Thrissur, Kerala. The home is not dictated by a prevalent style or trend, but a reflection of the designer’s ethos, which, as Meera puts it, “Is the ability to stick to our design ethos of sustainable design irrespective of the style of interiors.”

The earthy colours and botanicals in the veranda emulate tropical settings and leave one with a sense of calm and tranquillity; Photography by Justin Sebastian


The live edge swing makes the foyer reminiscent of a rustic home in Kerala. Beside it, a long console and seating arrangement are placed in front of an iron mirror; Photography by Justin Sebastian

Dichotomies of the old and new

This space occupies 4,500 sq ft and comprises four bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, two kitchens and a family room with open terraces that hint at a dichotomy between old world charm and day-to-day practicalities. The foyer hosts a live edge swing made of locally sourced wood that adds a rustic touch to the setting. 

Light from large glass windows on the landing of the stairs reflects off the beige walls of the foyer, livening up the atmosphere; Photography by Justin Sebastian


The brightly coloured couch adds a playful splash of colour to the otherwise rustic tropical marked by the use of earthy colours, cane baskets and botanicals. Caricatures by Mario Fernandez are bound to cheer one up on a gloomy day; Photography by Justin Sebastian

The morning sun streams into through the glass windows at the top of the stairs and reflects off the beige walls of the foyer. The light spills over to the living room, unobstructed by a door, spreading an air of cheerfulness and warmth across the home. In the living room, the decor transitions to millwork walls that are reminiscent of Western classical traditions. The more experimental wood and metal coffee table adds a sense of modernity to the space. 

Cane lamps and geometric China adornment break away from sleek, modern and monochrome appearance, giving the kitchen an Eastern touch; Photography by Justin Sebastian


The dining room maintains a classic appearance through simple designing. The dining table that seats eight people has a wooden surface and brass base; Photography by Justin Sebastian

However, the kitchen and dining is where the stakes have been raised. “​​The dining room is cool and classic with an eight-seater dining table with a wooden top and brass base. A bespoke cane buffet table on the side with a line of botanicals that add low key luxe. The kitchen is streamlined, all wood, really functional and practical with no fussy details,” says Meera.

A sink is inset into the marble platform, under which there are wooden shelves. A mirror hangs on a backsplash of opaque blue stone over the sink. The sheer variety of materials lend a sense of luxury to the otherwise simple dining room and kitchen; Photography by Justin Sebastian

A stylish bar finds space underneath the staircase which has a mix of materials and textures that renders a tropical flourish to the nook. The bedrooms are located on the ground as well as the upper floor. One of these bedrooms has its moment with a dramatic accent chair in Frida Kahlo prints with artworks predominantly by Mario Fernandez. While the eldest daughter’s room is elegantly decked in monochromes, the second daughter’s bedroom is what Meera calls, “A tropical paradise!” 

A stylish bar under the stairs with geometric patterned tiles, and custom-made brass and glass ledges are imbibes itself in one’s memory and walk across the house; Photography by Justin Sebastian


The eldest daughter’s bedroom has four posters with iron and wood. This otherwise monochrome room in black and white has a splash of colour from the deep blue chest placed opposite the bed; Photography by Justin Sebastian

Furniture for the future

Temple Town aims to design and manufacture sophisticated pieces of sustainable wood furniture, echoes of which are evident across the home. Meera explains that wood is responsibly and locally sourced, and used by local craftsmen to create furniture. Keeping with the traditions of inheriting furniture within families in Kerala, these pieces can last three generations, resulting in a limited environmental impact. 

A cane study table and comfortable armchair; Photography by Justin Sebastian


A sumptuous four poster bed with a silk headrest, ikat cushions, and artwork that we made by taking palm prints of the entire family; Photography by Justin Sebastian

A Splash of Playfulness

While Meera uses wood to balance classicism and modernity, she does not overlook the play of light and colour and caters to her client’s request for a comfortable, homely atmosphere. Sober, monochrome black, brown and beige surfaces that offer a sense of atemporality and luxury are regularly interrupted with splashes of colours that display a certain playfulness.

Western and Eastern styles function together to create an aesthetic entrance into the home; Photography by Justin Sebastian

Designed using various styles, materials and textures, this is a living space that is both elegant and edgy while retaining the warmth of a family home. “We have experimented with different decor ideas from one room to the other, each having a distinct vibe of its own. Yet they flow into each other making sure you’re always inspired when you walk into each room,” concludes Meera.