Is our home which will also be your home when you visit. Alejandra and I designed and built it ourselves when we came to Iran in 2003. The house is set in an orangery which used to be a tea farm belonging to my paternal grandfather Rajabali Malaki, my uncles and my father worked the land for the past century and when we took over we planted the citrus trees, there are Thompson, Hamlin, Page, Clementine, Persian Lime, sanguine Thompson, Washingtonian, sanguine Washingtonian Yunesi, Seville and Valencian varieties. There are also kakis, lychees, figs, apples and quince plus eucalyptus and some local forest trees. The land measures some six and a half thousand square meters. It is in a semi-rural area between two small villages called Chelasar and Jal-e-Chelasar belonging to Tonekabon municipality and a few hundred meters from the foothills of central Alborz Mountains. The distance to the Caspian Sea is a mere 15 kilometres.
The house was built using traditional building method of this region with ecological material such as wood, mud and hey (wattle and daub). Approximately half of the wood used in the building was recovered old timber form other such houses which were knocked down to make way for new brick and cement building blocks in Tonekabon. The roof is recycled handmade clay tiles some of which are 150 years old. The chief builder was Usta (Master) Mohammad Hosseini, an illiterate but highly technically minded local carpenter and brick layer with decades of experience in such buildings, he is one the most honest, hardworking and insightful men I have ever met in my life, a big brother to me and an epitome of men of his generation in this region, when he was young he used to be the caretaker of a holy shrine called Chaak where his ancestors are buried. He also followed sheep and goats in these mountains as a shepherd before learning his trade as an apprentice by the late Usta (Master) Ahmad who I had the honour of meeting before he passed away.
The house has 2 floors, a downstairs open kitchen, a 20sq m room plus a shower room and squat toilet and an upstairs room that is larger plus a south facing veranda of about 24sqm, we have set the capacity to 10 people at a time but only 2 groups are accommodated at a time so you will always have your private room for sleeping. Downstairs room is more economical than upstairs room.
In the garden there are also: a hut containing two toilets (one non squat) a shower room, a tree house plus a swing for kids, a bamboo hut for afternoon teas and gatherings plus a separate room called Ariyaan’s room which is suitable for solo travellers or couples who want more privacy and travel on a lower budget, it has no electricity, an oil lamp is provided. It is some 15m from the washrooms.
Kolbeye Shams, another wattle and daub hut with old wooden slate rooftop is a few meters from the main house and is where we reside at the moment.
We are glad to say that the multipurpose hall we have been painstakingly building for the past 2 years is now complete, it is an ideal place for morning exercises, yoga and meditation.