ISSUE 13  |  India Song

Steal This Look: A Fragrant Palace Balcony in India

April 01, 2014 1:30 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

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Built on the banks of the Kushavati River in the southern Indian state of Goa, the 18th century architecture of the Palácio de Deão exhibits an unusual mix of Indo-Portuguese influences. We spotted this breezy balcony via Rajee Sood, who discovered the house’s hidden courtyards and secret back veranda on a recent summer day. Shady overhangs and cool stone surfaces coax visitors outdoors even on hot days. Here’s how to recreate the look:

Above: Photograph by Rajee Sood.

Portuguese nobleman Jose Paulo, a dean of the church who built the palace for himself and lived in it for nearly 50 years before his death in 1835, surrounded his home with two acres of tropical gardens. Current owners are Ruben and Celia Vasco da Gama, both Goans, have spent nearly five years restoring the 11,000-square-foot palace and its grounds.

Above: Photograph (L) by Rajee Sood. The yellow trim on the back of the house is a reminder of the saturated yellow facade that greets visitors as they walk through the front gate. From Farrow & Ball, Print Room Yellow in an exterior eggshell finish is $110 per gallon.

Above: For a small balcony, 6-inch turned Wooden Balusters made of weather-resistant western red cedar are available in a variety of styles and heights; for more information, see Vintage Woodworks.

Above: Sandstone—available in a variety of shades, shapes, and patterns—is a common construction material in India. Quarried in northern India, Agra red sandstone is ubiquitous in the region; the Taj Mahal’s marble slabs sit atop a red sandstone base. Available as floor tiles, Agra Red Sandstone in a natural or polished finish is suitable for indoor or outdoor projects; for pricing and more information visit Agra Red.

Above: A one-of-a-kind carved Vintage Teak Wood Bench from Indonesia dates to the 1920s. Constructed of weather resistant teak it can be used outdoors or in. It’s $3,900 from Berkshire Home & Antiques via 1stdibs. For a selection of more than a dozen vintage carved teak garden benches, see Hip and Humble; we particularly like the lines of the 84-inch-long Original Carved Teak Bench, which is $2,295.


Above: Clay amphoras similar in design to the urn sitting next to the bench at the Palacio de Deao have been used since ancient times to store and transport fresh water. A 26-inch-tall reproduction 4-Handle Urn is $200 from Florida Plant.

Above: A fragrant flowering vine is a vital component of any Indian garden. The fast-growing tropical vine on the veranda wall at the Palácio de Deão is Rangoon Creeper; hardy in growing zones 8-11, it can reach a height of more than 30 feet. A plant in a 4-inch pot is $19.99 from Tropicals USA. Photograph by Anita WPA New Delhi

Curious about how to incorporate the colors and textures of India into your New York City rental apartment? See House Call: Jaipur by Way of Brooklyn on Remodelista.

For more tips about how to recreate the paints and palettes of our favorite facades, see our Steal This Look archives.