A British Colonial Eden on Dhaka - Berger Home Diaries
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A British Colonial Eden on Dhaka

By Mamnun Ahmed Nihal

From the very beginning of civilization, people tried to express their artistic insights through their works and creations. An artistic mind can never hide even in the busiest cities of the world. And today we will tell you about a story of an artistic mind who created a British colonial-style house very near to you.

Glancing at the house from the street of Uttara, you will have no clue what is going on on the 1st floor of that particular building; though you can see an eye-catching veranda full of plants. A welcoming guard guiding me the way towards the flat of Bapon Rahman and while climbing the stairs, I saw some amazing work of Victorian-style entrance decorations, white painted, well-lit walls, small tables, and shoe rack containing plants. vessels and amazing artifacts. The walls showed a slight hint of décor too; the most catchy one being the custom-made window. ‘My way of expressing “space” to the visitors and neighbors’ Bapon Rahman says about the entrance.

You would think that the inside of the house will also be a Victorian-style interior, but you’ll be mesmerized when you enter through the doors, it will probably feel similar to the South-Asian people who first went to British colonial houses, overwhelmed and stunned. A fresh smell and comforting classical music with many marvelous candles will help you to forget about the traffic jams that you’ve just overcome to be there. And yes, the entrance door was wonderfully decorated too. Just from behind the entrance door, you’ll probably see three major rooms combined into one; living drawing and, dining room, as the flat being only 1275 square feet in total. But how wonderfully the blend was created while maintaining the British colonial style, you won’t need two seconds to appreciate that.

You are probably hearing a lot about the British colonial style today, so at this point let me give you a one-lined idea of what the theme implies. The underlying ingredient of British colonial decor is the contrast of light and dark tones throughout the house. Now, at this fabulous house, we can vividly observe this ingredient in the walls, a mixture of Ovaltine, Off-White, Soft white colors on the wall with the dark contrasted decor items, and the wooden floor has given the whole theme a solid ground.

Starting from the walls, a wide range of artistic plates, artifacts, vintage clocks, paintings and, various decors are beautifully placed. The fascinating thing about these decors is the designer of the house, Bapon Rahman was so open-minded about collecting them that you can find a pair of rare ‘Sabyasachi designed’ plates, also our very own Brahmanbaria’s decors. Many items on the wall are custom made and collections of his travelings.

British drawing rooms derive from the term ‘withdrawing room’ as the British communal lords and their close friends would withdraw in this room for privacy. Nowadays a mixture of drawing and living room generally refers to an arrangement of sitting. So the most crucial factor about decoring a British colonial drawing room is the furniture. Utilizing the small space of the house Bapon Rahman has many custom-made furniture in many colors such as tiffany blue, grey, pink and has a tone of nature and creativity in every one of them. The fabrics play a big role too in creating the theme of his liking. He said, ‘ I didn’t make the furniture higher to make them look pleasing to the eyes, the reason for using small furniture is to not to clutter the viewpoint as my apartment is a miniature one.’ Every piece of furniture that has space over them has decorations such as lamps, candles, plants, etc. The arrangement of furniture is so delicately patterned that almost 20 people at a time can be served with a grand arrangement.

The owner of the house immensely follows the current trend of using botanical prints and greenery that plays well with a classic British colonial approach. Remember in the very beginning we talked about looking at a veranda from outside? Now have a closer look at that natural beauty. A wide range of plants with very stylish holders can be seen there. Also, the decors that were used there effectively complement the colonial style and nature at the same time. 

Bapon Rahman loves the way he arranged his dining space. The table was full of candles and wonderfully designed plates. The love for his crockeries has been clearly perceived when I saw the largest furniture of the house is exhibiting a wide range of crockeries just behind the dining table.

We know tea is an integral part of British culture and complying with that, a tea zone is present there consisting of a custom-made folding tray where you can make a perfect cup of tea in any flavor you want.

The solace of the house can also be felt in the bedroom of the house. The space utilization power has been maximized here as the designer of the house has put the headboard of the bed fixed to the wall to create more space for small cabinets, cages, intriguing trunks, hanging keys, and other usual colonial-styled decors.

Even the restroom of the house has a touch of comfort and theme to it. With all the necessary toiletries and eye-catching decors there too.

The animal lover Bapon Rahman has Persian cats in his house, and one of them will certainly remind you of the infamous ‘Grumpy’ cat of the online memes. Also, you can’t overlook the amazing ecosystem of the aquarium placed in the Bedroom.

The lighting of this vintage house depends on the wonderful chandelier, table lamps, and natural lights. And as per the theme of valentine, you can see a slight hint of red in the color of the whole decoration by only putting red flowers, a red mug and, a red candy jar. A hint of spring can also be realized as a British colonial house is generally full of plants. Another fascinating factor is, if you come at another time, the theme of the house will match with the trend of that time. So who knows, if you ever get the chance to visit this fabulous house, you might just see a different version of the theme.

An important décor tip to maintain a house full of delicate pieces have been given by the owner; Routine maintenance, no matter how busy your day is, always dust your décor items and plants in the early morning.

Makeover and Décor Expert Mr. Bapon Rahman

The Artist and The Secret of His Art: Throughout this article, we have observed a story about how an ordinary house has been converted into a British colonial house. The mind behind this wonderful idea, Bapon Rahman a 30-year experienced makeover artist who found his second home in interior design; also in the interior industry for 17 years. Being a makeover artist, his statement was ‘ Every single face is my canvas.’ and being a décor expert that statement converted into‘ Making each home an Eden.’ Such a simple yet fabulous transformation of artistic behavior proves that everywhere you go, you can show your originality. Another factor that comes in handy in designing a house is freedom. Without freedom and support from our close ones, our creativity can never flourish.

And Finally, when asked about what Fabulous House is to him, Bapon Rahman said, ‘ Home should be like home, where you can get peace after a long tiring day.’ A Fabulous house is where you can find your peace and where you can show the reflection of your personality and your creative insights. 


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