House tour: My parents’ home in Mangalore

I am just back from a long visit to Mangalore, where Bernard and I have our roots. Mangalore boasts of an interesting architectural blend of the old and the new. Old colonial houses stand proud and stately alongside high rise apartments and commercial complexes. The colonial influence is evident everywhere. Mangaloreans love Western music, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you come across pianos in our living rooms.Most homes always have a few antique pieces lovingly handed down over generations.

My parents too have inherited their share of antiques. Their decor is an eclectic combination of the old and the new, interspersed with finds from local art galleries, garage sales and trips abroad, and even trips to attics of their old family homes. My mother is an avid collector of blue pottery, bells, brass utensils and ceramics. She loves old wooden antiques, and if she can’t have the real thing, likes to recreate them. My father, always a sport, willingly gets them redone, and it’s always great to see the outcome! The garden is a joint effort aided by my mother’s designing prowess, and father’s green thumb. Come, have a look.

Mangalore tiles on the roof
Mangalore tiles on the roof.

An old wooden bench in the verandah
An old wooden bench in the verandah where the family likes to spend quiet evenings.

An old wooden treasure chest, with a brass and glass decorative lantern
An old wooden treasure chest, with a brass n glass decorative lantern

A recreated treasure chest
A recreated treasure chest. The brass embellishments were added later.

The piano at the living area
The piano which I learnt my Beethoven and Bach pieces on.

A painting hangs above the wooden chest
A painting “found” at a garage sale in Bangalore hangs above the wooden chest.

The Indian style sofa set at the living area
The Indian style sofa set has been with us ever since we were kids. It has been reupholstered several times, sometimes when us kids stained it up badly, or sometimes for a special occasion. My wedding was one such.

the bell and blue pottery collection displayed on a Kashmiri walnut tea trolley
My mother’s bell and blue pottery collection displayed on a Kashmiri walnut tea trolley.

a close-up bell and blue pottery collection
A close-up.

Freshly-cut anthuriums decorated at the living area
Frehly-cut anthoreums grown by my dad are always found in this house.

An old clock
An old clock that belonged to my mother’s side of the family. She faithfully winds it everyday.

the Indian style living area

A wrought iron corner in the passage and picture of lady Fatima hangs over the entrance to the bedroom
A wrought iron corner in the passage that leads to the bedroom. A picture of Our Lady of Fatima hangs over the entrance to the bedrooms.

The Indian style bedroom
One of the bedrooms.

A sideboard with antique handles
A sideboard with antique handles is accentuated by a traditional hand woven carpet from Fabindia and a painting by a local Mangalorean artist.

Brass vessels and an old mask
Brass vessels and an old mask

An antique cupboard
An antique cupboard that belonged to my maternal grandparents.

The dining area
The dining area

Antique brass vessels
Antique brass vessels that belonged to my paternal grandparents atop the kitchen shelves on one side…

traditional Mangalorean pickle jars at kitchen cabinet
…and traditional Mangalorean pickle jars on the other.

The garden as viewed from the dining window
The garden as viewed from the dining window.

🙂 The next time I go down to Mangalore, I’ll try to bring you the interiors of a traditional Colonial house (like this one).


  1. Beautiful home! Love the Antiques and Piano there. Very well decorated! 🙂

    My in-law’s house looks like that as in the first photo too from outside, beautiful tiles and all and it’s a huge house since they have plenty of space there. They live near Sakaleshpura in a coffee plantation.

    Thanks for posting these, enjoyed looking in! 🙂

  2. Nice pics Sharon. We lived in something similar before we moved to an apartment.

    Looking forward to pics of the other “traditional colonial house” you’ve mentioned in the post.

  3. Such a lovely home, Sharon … . I do envy the beautiful anthoreums!

  4. the house feels very peaceful. your parents have impeccable taste.

  5. hi..ur house is BEAUTIFUL!!..i loved all d antique stuff ur mom has collected…

  6. Beautiful pics Sharon… felt nostalgic… thanx for bringing good ol’ Mangalore to me… keep goin… Cheers…

  7. Thanks indosungod.

    Asha,I would love to see your inlaws’ home. The houses in Sakleshpur, especially the ones in a place called Balupet on the outskirts are very aesthetic, neat and pretty. Each time I drive by the highway, I am tempted to stop and visit a particular white one. Thanks for your comments.

    Norman, you will be the first to be informed of the old colonial house. Your photography skills may be called for, when it’s time to click the pics:)

    Judith, thank you. The anthoreums are my favorites too. Come to think of it, I should have used them to make my wedding bouquet! One of my many regrets:)

    Chandan, thank you. Each time I look at anything brass, your flickr posts come to mind:)

  8. Such a beautiful and warm home! I especially love how color has been used through fabrics. It’s so nice to have old pieces that have been cherished through the generations.

  9. its soo lovely house. I sometimes really miss the independent house,the garden n the veranda, here living in a flat. Its so bright n fresh, specially loved all the antiques..

  10. Sharon,
    Thank you for giving us a chance to view the house of your parents. Considering the scenic beauty of Mangalore, the colour scheme used for the house is superb. The house is well proportioned, well ventilated and has a well kept garden. Congratulatons to your parents on bringing out the best with artefacts from east and west.


  11. Shalini, thank you.The credit for the choice of upholstery and fabrics goes to my mother!

    Abigail and Shrinidhi, thank you!

    Neha, I live in an apartment too. I know what you mean:)

    Mangal, thank you:) will convey this to them!

  12. Hi Sharon. Beautiful house! it looks so open, warm and friendly just like its occupants. loved the piano. Was not aware you cld play.

  13. What a delight it was to see the space here!! The baranis on the top of the kitchen rack, the garden, the chest of drawers, the brassware, and the cask!! Very beautiful!

  14. Maina, I have been playing since my school days in Marjil.Thanks for the comments:)

    Thanks sunshinemom! And your food blog is something I would recommend to my readers too.

  15. Beautiful house and love the antiques…enjoyed viewing it. Thanks for sharing.

  16. This post filled me with nostalgia. I lived (went to University there) in Mangalore for 6 years and many of my friends who were ‘locals’ invited me to their homes. Simple and elegant! Love it!

  17. Deepa, thanks! The pleasure was all mine:)

    Aditi, thanks! I am glad I could bring you some good ol’ memories:)

  18. This is beautiful! Reminds me a lot of my grandparents’ home near Mangalore.

  19. I am fairly familiar with the traditional Hindu Mangalorean houses, its really good to see a Christian one. Thanks.

  20. Thanks Rima and Chethana!:)

  21. You have got a wonderful childhood home and garden; a credit to your parents. I can hear you; the tinkling sounds “Fuer Elise”.

  22. Great to see the beauty. Hats off to you and your family for the nice architecture/landscape in a nice locality.

    Publicity sometime could pose problem to the owners, better restrain from showing exterior of the house to avoid thefts etc.

  23. Hi first time to ur blog dear.. really enjoyed very much browsing thru everything matched my taste and I loved all the antiques everything .. missing my home too in India.

  24. WOOOW,,ur childhood n ur sweet memories filled sweet home…nice to see antique items good architecture,,, in ur blog each n every house got uniqueness and looks soo warming n plesant,,

  25. its beautiful sharon. i loved your parents home in mangalore. next time you visit them, i would probably latch on to you.the credit goes to your parents for maintaining it so well. i loved the antiques and artifacts too. do post in your new apts pics too, though i am sure it would take some time.

  26. Sharon, Beautiful collection by your parents. I have a similar old rosewood chest that belonged to my grand mom. Where can I find brass fittings that your parents have used? The chest is on its way from India to US. I would like to buy some additions on my next trip to India. Thanks.

  27. Hi Gautham and Uma!
    I think my parents sourced the brass from a local store, and got their carpenter to fix it. Almost every city in India has these brass shops usually all of them are located on the same street where you can pick up all kinds of brass embellishments and collectibles. I tried looking for an email, and to contact you on your blog, but couldn't find any contact info.

    email me at thekeybunch AT gmail DOT com if you do decide to share pics of your rosewood chest.

  28. Looks like u posted this long ago.. but I should say u have a beautiful "home" !! Your blog is lovely … am exploring it .. especially this segment

  29. Cant tell u how many times i came back to this post. Your parent’s home feels like how i always envision a paternal home to be. warm cosy and collected 🙂