Kerala Home Design

Important Things To Know While Making a House In Kerala

Making a Kerala Home design is an easy process. Just focus on a few core issues and you will get the best design suited to your conditions.

Kerala is a land blessed with bounties of nature. Any home design here should be in harmony with the beautiful land conditions, rich traditions, social norms and climatic factors.

First, let us look into...

Key Features Of Kerala Home Design

Homes in Kerala are usually tiled, with extended roofs. There are verandas beneath these extensions. The verandas protect the rooms from direct sunlight.

Typical Kerala home design
Typical Kerala Home Design

Use of stone and wood in construction is an important feature of Kerala homes.

A large amount of wood is used for construction. The interiors of the houses are beautifully adorned with antiques, sandalwood and teak.

One unique characteristics of Kerala home design is the expert use of timber, perfect joinery and delicate wooden carvings for columns, walls and roofs frames.

The traditional Kerala home design has been perfected over centuries of use. Hence, when planning a house here, it will help to get the essence of traditional designs.

Traditional Home Designs

Traditionally the houses were built with wood, brick and clay tiles. In the home interiors wood work was done with carvings by skilled artisans.

Kerala home design - Padippura

Kerala home design - Chuttu Verandah
Chuttu Verandah

Kerala home design - Nadumuttom

Some common features of traditional houses in Kerala are

  • Padippura - Structure on the entrance with a door. It is a part of compound wall. It is the formal entry to the house.
  • Poomukham - Portico on the entrance. It has sloped tiled roof supported on columns, with open sides.
  • Chuttu Verandah - Open passage on the sides of the house, with extended roof on top.
  • Charupady - Wooden benches with carvings, built on the side of Poomukham and Chuttu Veranda.
  • Nadumuttom - An open courtyard in the centre of the house. It divided the house into four distinct sides. Houses with a single Nadumuttom were termed Naalukettu, and those with two were known by the name Ettukettu.

A typical Kerala house used to have a Thulasi Thara, or a platform for the Holy Basil in front of the house.

Next important thing to consider is climate. You may not feel its effects at once. But it is a major force affecting your comfort in a home every moment.

Climatic Considerations

Kerala has a tropical climate. Home design here is all about achieving thermal comfort.

It can be achieved with passive design elements like sunshades, cavity walls, light shelves, overhangs, roof and wall insulation and even shading from large trees to block the sun.

The houses need big roof overhangs to protect interior spaces from heat gain and glare.

Roof insulation is a must. It reduces the temperature significantly making the insides of the house cool.

See Kerala house plans for more information.

For better climate compatibility, reducing costs and easier sourcing, use...

Locally Available Natural Materials

The natural building materials easily available for construction in Kerala are stone and timber.

Laterite is the most abundant stone. It is a rare local stone which gets stronger and durable with time. Laterite blocks are used for wall masonry. The blocks may be bonded in mortars of shell lime.

From bamboo to teak, timber is the prime construction material available in many varieties in Kerala. It is used frequently in many elements like columns, beams and roof members, paneling on walls, flooring, staircase posts etc.

We have discussed different factors affecting home designs in Kerala. All these lead us to...

What Modern Kerala Home Design Should Be?

There is no single approach which can define this. It all depends on your aspirations, personality, lifestyle and your family needs and requirements.

See Indian home design. You will get clarity on how to start the process of home design. You will get ideas on -

Add to these ideas the factors discussed above affecting home design in Kerala. And you will have a picture emerging in your mind regarding your potential home.

List down all your ideas and discuss with your architect.

I hope this information on Kerala home design will help you streamline your ideas. You will find lot more information on all aspects of home and interior design on this website. Use the navigation menu on the left or go to


Pages In This Section: Other Related Pages:
Sushil Wadhwa

Sushil Wadhwa
Architect, Interior Designer, creator of Homes and Interiors... more.