A 20-Year Old Dilapidated Duplex Penthouse Turned Into A Psychedelic Sky Shack For Less Than 50k
Updated: May 24
One of the perks of living away from your family is that you get to have your place, however tiny, facility-less, but your own. Living in Hyderabad gave me that opportunity.
After months of searching, I found the perfect place for me – A rundown, dingy and tiny 2BHK duplex apartment in a two-decade-old society called Amrutha Valley in the Banjara Hills area. Noone else would’ve probably taken up that house given its state and the society which looked like it could fold in anytime. But I saw a place with potential. It had a terrace overlooking pretty much half the city and a spiral suitcase leading up to the room that’d be mine. Nothing else mattered.
As someone who has always been into art, decor, and DIY, it was the perfect opportunity for me to play on a larger canvas. So, from painting the room myself with the help of a couple of friends, to covering every part of it in some sort of art – mostly DIY over the next few months, I did everything I could to turn it into a house of my dreams. When my flatmate, equally creative, joined in later, it was 2 forces combined. And the makeover result was something like this.
Everyone who came to the house loved it, prospective flatmates wanted to take it up in a heartbeat, and I, held it close to my heart like a living, breathing person with a personality of its own.
If I actually liked leaving office early and all the perks of Google, it was because of the house. If I’d rather have people over for a drink/chai and some Maggi instead of going out clubbing or to a fancy restaurant, it was because nothing else beat being on my terrace. And if today, almost 5 years after I’ve left the house, I still dream of moving back to Hyderabad, it’s because of the memories of the house.
Here’s a few Before and After pictures of the makeover: The house with its previous tenant and a year into me staying there.
1) The living room: When I took up the house, the long but narrow hall was an ugly blue color, had almost no furniture or decor on the walls. At that age, my home aesthetics revolved around a burst of color. Every wall accent and accessory had a pop of color set against neutral walls and furniture. So think tie 'n' die bedsheets, multi color, pop cushions, painted wooden crates, and of course THE door.
2) One of my favourite parts of the house was this door which was completely covered with psychedelic art prints. (which was a phase I was going through at the time!) This door provided the perfect background to many a hangout in the house, and suited the vibe and the kind of people it hosted. Interestingly, this might have been the earliest versions of a decoupage I may have done without even knowing it was that!
3) The bedroom incorporated a bit of an oriental minimalism theme with tones of red, black and white and almost no other color. I couldn't get a bed up the narrow spiral staircase, so a floor bed it was. I had done a silver paint effect on the white background wall behind which added a bit of glitter to an otherwise monochromatic theme.
4) The "passage" zone in the bedroom which housed the dressing area and place for my musical instruments and music souvenirs.
And of course, this is the clincher - the terrace which made the house truly special. The unblocked view of Hyderabad from the height of 1000 feet made waking up on the terrace an experience that I still think about. At night when the lights in the houses far below would come on, it would look like a glittering bedsheet was cast out into the horizon. Needless to say, the terrace became the de facto party and chill out zone that saw its share of parties, 1:1 lounging sessions, and simply some quiet times by myself and a cup of tea, watching the sunset or the full moon at times.
Cut to 2020, it's been 6 years now that I've left Hyderabad and given up the house, my design sensibilities have evolved with the time and age, my career and social life have completely taken a 360-degree turn, but this house has shaped my requirements in a house, and pretty much set the stage of my home aesthetics over the years that to this day I carry with me. In 2017, I had another short stint in Hyderabad and this time my target was a tiny 1bhk, again on the rooftop which did see a makeover, but not as dramatic as this one.