By Kuhu Kinnori
Peaceful home in the middle of a bustling city like Dhaka is to die for. Imagine getting home to the home you hoped for in your dreams. A duplex house adorned with foliage and a spacious lawn, where you watch your child play around with your pet dog. The interior is simplistic yet speaks of elegance.
Mr. M I Khaled and Mrs. Nayema Zaman Urmi have built such a piece of heaven through their hard work and vision. Originally, they bought this house secondhand in 2018. Upon the pandemic and nationwide lockdown in 2020, the couple took the first initiative to rebuild their home into their dream abode. They take pride in the fact that they could pull off such a large redo project by themselves without needing professional help. Mr. M I Khaled did the sketches, planning, and reconstruction by himself. Mrs. Nayema named the place “Shorgochhera”, a name she long preserved in her heart since her childhood reading of a Samaresh Majumdar novel. And they literally turned it into “a piece of heaven”. It is the true manifestation of both of their dreams blended together, not retouched by any professional.
The Welcoming Living Room:
As you enter the living room, you’ll be dazzled by the stylish and sleek furniture. Mrs. Nayema informed us that she and her husband bought some used items and repurposed them as more stylish-looking furniture and showpieces. A bright chandelier hangs from the ceiling and works as the centerpiece inside the room.
Mrs. Nayema’s eyes lit up as she showed a wide wooden sitter in the corner of the living space. It used to be her daughter Aditiya’s cot that she slept in till she was 5 years old. While his wife had been pregnant with their daughter, Mr. Khaled built the cot from scratch as one of his earliest DIY projects.
The Spacious, Open Kitchen:
In the words of Mrs. Nayema, the open kitchen in their house is its best feature. She doesn’t like conventional kitchens, so she opted for a more spacious, open kitchen. She termed the kitchen “gender neutral” as both she and her husband work equally in the kitchen as a family after their busy office schedules during the day. The kitchen, also built by Mr. Khaled, boasts a very specious white granite countertops, a contrasting brick and rustic-looking concrete-block wall and a glass-block window. The kitchen has a wall to wall French window and hanging wire ceiling lights that increase the kitchen’s aesthetic. The kitchen table is an artistically repurposed used table on which Mrs. Nayema organizes her kitchen utensils and essentials.
The Dining Space:
Adjacent to the kitchen space is the dining area. It has a central dark wood-themed dining table for family meals, where Mrs. Nayema also tutors her child’s studies in the evenings. Beside the table, Nayema placed an open-faced shelf for crockeries, which fits very well with the aesthetic setup of the space. Besides, the back wall is installed with an elegant French window. Above the window is a hanging shelf adorned with show pieces and memorabilia of beloved family members.
Family Living Area:
On the upper floor, this place is located between two bedrooms and a terrace. It is decorated with low-sitting arrangements, a coffee table, and some house plants. A hanging swing made of Rattan cane can also be seen at a corner, allegedly a favorite item of both Nayema and her daughter Aditiya.
Spacious Lawn Upfront:
The lawn in front of the house doubles as a garden. Near the main entrance can be seen the abandoned piece of wood, on which construction rods were bent, recycled into an organized space for beautiful potted plants. A pathway laid overnight by Mr. Khaled passes through the middle of the lawn, and a Christmas tree stands at the very center. Mr. and Mrs. Khaled told us that they host here outdoor barbeque parties in the winter when they set up tables and chairs and can effectively utilize their garden.
Besides, they have a small fish pond that houses many small pet fishes and exotic aquatic plants like the Mosaic plant and the Brazilian lily. The youngster Aditiya routinely checks up on the fishes and sometimes also whimsically places fallen flowers in the fish tank, which her parents think is adorable.
A Verdant Veranda:
Mr. M I Khaled thinks an eye-catching veranda is very crucial to enjoy an aesthetically pleasing garden. So he designed and built a raised veranda complete with few steps, wrought iron railings and a diamond themed fiber canopy. The couple can often be seen sitting on the easy chairs on the porch and working on laptops overlooking the garden. He and his wife admit they like to view the garden during the day and enjoy it the most when it’s drizzling outside. They say one can also pretty often witness Tuntunis (Tailorbirds) feeding on nectars or Doels (Magpie-Robin), Bulbuls and Shaliks (Common Myna) larking around while singing.
A Tasteful Terrace:
The terrace on the top floor is spacious and gracefully decorated with potted plants. A Rattan cane swing hangs gracefully around the foliage of hanging vines and creepers. On a typical day, Mrs. Nayema can be seen lounging while Aditiya plays or reads books on the terrace. The mother-daughter duo also occasionally bond through haircare under the tin shed of the terrace. This tin shed was specially requested by Nayema since she is fond of the sound of crashing raindrops against it in the rainy days.
Taking a look inside:
The house has 2 bedrooms on the upper floor. The Master bedroom has a simplistic ambiance with a vanity corner and minimalistic furniture. Mr. Khaled gifted the vanity corner to his wife for their anniversary, and Mrs. Nayema Zaman Urmi is very fond of this makeup space in their room. Beside it is a Rattan cane sitter that adds to the room’s ambiance. Like most other parts of the house, the room has large mirrors, which Mrs. Nayema explains helps the room appear more spacious.
Little Aditiya also has her own room, and it’s stuffed with her favorite toys and plushies. A board reading out “Dream Room Aditiya” introduces everyone to the lovely room. Aditiya has a vanity corner like her mother, but she uses it for her Barbie dolls. Many infancy pictures and paintings by the rising artist are pinned throughout the room. She usually sits at her low table and her nostalgic old rocking chair to play or read in the room.
What makes “A Piece of Heaven” Fabulous
According to Mrs. Nayema Zaman Urmi, a fabulous home is a home where the designs and elements of the house have a personal touch of each family member. Mr. M I Khaled firmly states that he feels closer since he worked on it with his own hands. “The satisfaction of putting strokes of paint and laying bricks on the walls is immense”, states Mr. M I Khaled. Likewise, Mrs. Nayema prides herself for the decorations, interior and exterior, that have given life to what her husband constructed. The whole family take pride when their extended families, friends, neighbors, and even passersby compliment their effort in making their dream house. They admit that this satisfaction makes everything worthwhile.