Urmee Mehta Mankar / June 4, 2018
Sitting on the verandah at Summertime with a vast unbroken vista of the green valley, you can’t imagine that you’re just a short drive away from the crowded Calangute beach. Inspired by the lines of classic Balinese homes, the homestay is designed and built by owners Sucheta Potnis and Hans Tuinman. They chose the name “Summertime” for the mood they wanted the home to evoke – with light, greenery and an open view of the sky, all of which encapsulates the happiness of a slow, lazy summer day.
Labour of Love
While not trained architects, Hans and Sucheta designed and built the villa themselves, almost in the tradition of master builders of the past, visiting the site daily and personally overseeing the construction. Their own home next door, Aranya, was also envisioned by them, and many of their experiments there were the genesis for Summertime. For Hans, “the process of building our homes ourselves was very rewarding and gave us such a burst of energy for those few years.”
The villa sits on a large plot of land but was designed as a single compact structure to retain the site’s verdant cover. A koi pond, inspired by a trip to the Water Garden resort in Bali, is a wonderful focal point in the garden with darting koi fish and the constant, soothing sound of water.
Flora & Fauna
The property attracts many species of birds, especially in summer when the koi pond is one of the few readily available water sources in the area. For Sucheta, an avid bird watcher herself, this became a playful theme to carry through the interiors of the house. It is repeated across whimsical paintings and accessories to create a story that runs through every room. Each of these was carefully selected and as Sucheta says, “There is a happy feeling when you know where each piece has come from and its entire history of production.”
Easy Like Sunday
Each suite was consciously planned with identical layouts to ensure no guest has to compromise on their living space. They are, however, made distinctly different through the choice of furniture and colour palettes. The spaces and furniture are designed with a nod to indulgence, along with anticipating and addressing the needs of their patrons.
After finishing the house, Hans and Sucheta lived in it for six months, “to give it a soul” and it does translate in the villa’s laid-back vibe. Being at Summertime is quite like spending time at a friend’s place – that friend whose great taste you’ve always admired.