Inspiration on the Wall…

I have always been amused by the concept of having inspiration stare right back at you as you look at a previously empty space on the wall! Confused? Don’t worry I’m not referring to the paranormal, i’m in fact, wondering about wall decals that present themselves as inspiring quotes or phrases.

Though some of them look extremely well-placed, I can’t help but feel like i’m choosing a tattoo to be inked permanently into my skin. Most wall decals these days are easy to use and just as easy to remove. Nevertheless, even the little time they may spend on your favourite wall requires a certain commitment to the philosophy it portrays. Yes or maybe not really?

I’ve been contemplating having an inspiring quote on a the wall in my dining room or study for a long time now, but still trying to find my ideal decal! Here are some I find inspiring…

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e6b6b9a27964a095e32345f76caea636

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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and lastly…

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Would you like to have inspiring words cheer you up at home? And what would be your favourite quote on the wall?

A New Beginning…

The past two weeks have been hectic to say the least. A lot of positive changes have taken place in the meantime, one of which is that my recharging sabbatical has come to an end and I’m getting back to working full-time. The other being, Kam and myself have decided to celebrate our second year anniversary by going on a road trip through Maharashtra. The next few months are definitely full of excitement and I hope to share the fun of new experiences on my blog as well.

Here is an abstract sketch I did while waiting at an interview:

Excited Sketch

The Key To Your Personal Space : Customised Products

The concept of personalising a space usually involves decor elements such as family photographs, home done art-work, family heirlooms and curios picked up on travels. But when I stumbled across this product, I knew it would make both a functional yet personal item at home.

 The Personalised Key Holder

I love the aquamarine ceramic tile at the center with our names digitally printed. The wrought iron frame sums up the look. We have it hung, right next to the front door for convenience, our keys don’t go hiding this way and it’s easy putting them back as soon as we get home.

key holder1b

key holder 2

Key holder with name

Made by Perfico.com, they have a range of personalised lifestyle products ranging from aprons to bath accessories.

Apron for himCustomised Aprons For Your Man (Image Credit : http://www.perfico.com/)

Kids Room Wall ClockCute personalised clocks for kid’s room (Image Credit : http://www.perfico.com/ )

Bath Set MonogramPersonalised Bath Accessories With Initials Monogram (Image Credit : http://www.perfico.com/ )

To know more visit their shop at http://www.perfico.com or here

Happy Shopping!

Glassy Beauty

Glass is beautiful. Stained or coloured glass is stunning!

I’m loving a recent trend of home decorating with stained bottles, coloured glass lamps and tea light holders. Glass vases have always been popular and even exorbitantly priced sometimes. But now the market has also made available, up-cycled glass bottles that might have held perfume or alcohol at some other time. The craftsmanship and detailing of these bottles that we might have ordinary overlooked is now brought to our attention.

Stained Glass Bottle

I bought some of these lovely glass bottles from Home Center. But what I enjoy even more, is up-cycling wine and other alcohol bottles that we buy ourselves. Instead of throwing away these bottles you can turn them into charming vases, some with their shape and graphics exuding a vintage and rustic feel, some modern and edgy and most others just bright and beautiful.

A lot of beer bottles and even wine come in green glass bottles. When it comes to glass there is something magical in the usage of colour green, I think it bodes well with the  home interiors and exteriors alike and also is any season friendly. It looks fabulous in summer light, mellow and fresh in the monsoons and holds its elegance even during the winters.

Here are some that is making my home cheerful, at no cost at all!

StainedGlass b4

 

stained glaa b3

I’m looking forward to using more of these in my terrace garden, the lovely green bottles also look great when teamed up with money plant creepers. The bonus being they are so easy to grow, you just have to fill the bottle with water, break a branch off the creeper and immerse it in the bottle. Happy Decorating!

(Images : All photos taken at my home)

 

An All Encompassing Room

Does the concept of living in a single room that may be small or big, seem too confining and terrifies you? Well, with constantly evolving careers, city-hopping and ever increasing real estate costs, you might have to look at making your home in a single, mostly undivided room. This concept known popularly as the studio apartment is very successful in most of the bustling cities of the world. However in India, it is a concept that is still trying to capture homeowner’s attention. In India we like our rooms segregated, no matter the area! But emerging concepts, advances in furniture design and trendy accessories are making life in a studio apartment, a LOT of fun!

studio apartment 1

So if you are looking to move into a single room apartment, here are some elements you should look at retaining regardless of the space.

1. The Living Section : Be it a single room or a four bedroom home, the living section is important. In a single room it plays even more importance, as you don’t want your home to be just the bedroom! Plan the space in your mind or better yet draw a plan on paper to get the maximum from your studio apartment. The living section must have your comfort furniture such as a couch, some ottomans or a bean bag. If the space is very limited, you can opt for sofa beds. They play the role of sofa during the day and expandable to bed at night. If more space is involved, look at a couch or loveseat, they come with storage options as well.  And if you don’t need storage space, clean minimalistic design will add visual space to your small home.

2. The Kitchenette : It is tough to eat out everyday, and you will want to make yourself a simple or even elaborate meal from time to time. This requires an equipped smart kitchen. Look for wall storage and collapsible options. Modular is also a great idea, especially if you need the kitchen counter fixed. However if the place is not going to be permanent for a few years, then you will have to get creative and look for cost-effective options. A kitchen cabinet and a sturdy table can comprise your kitchen and can go with you when you shift again.

studio apartment 4

3. The Study : Regardless of how small the home, I believe that working  from the bed or the couch is less effective. It is always good to have a table to sit at, especially given that modern day laptop usage has given rise to many posture related health issues. A small table  or a wall mount table, that can be closed and folded back, with a chair that is good use anywhere in the room , surrounded by a book cabinet makes for a practical and cozy study area.

4. The Bed : They come in all sorts of variety these days, with storage options, beautiful headboards and that can be easily dismantled while moving again and single beds that can be extended to form a double bed. If you are keen on separating the bed area from the living and other sections of the room, elements such as partitions, sheer curtains and maybe even shelves can provide a visual sense of separate areas while also ensuring privacy.

studio apartment 3

5. The Colour : Consider one bright wall in the room to cheer up the decor or you can go pastels all the way to ensure visual space. Go with what you like, do not stop at experimenting just because it is a single room. However avoid dark colours that dominate the space and make the room look claustrophobic.

6. Use The Walls : Wall mounting of shelves for storage or display, of TV and other knick knacks is a great way to liven up the space without taking up floor space.

Studio apartment 2

7. The Green Influence : No matter how small the space, adding some greenery to the decor helps cheer up your home. Keeping s few small indoor plants can provide you decor as well as health benefits.

8. The Outside : If your single room apartment has a balcony or a terrace outside, make good use of this space as well, as a green spot or lounge area. If the view outside is drab and boring, dress up your windows to make it look cozy from the inside.

I love the way a studio apartment was converted to a cozy and colourful home in the movie Wake Up Sid. Just watching some of the scenes in the movie where the transition is made from a raw empty space to a home makes me happy! So go ahead and create your own room of happiness!

Wake Up Sid _ Studio ApartmentThe Studio Apartment in the movie Wake up Sid (Photo credit : fulltimefilmi.blogspot.com)

Images : All photos taken from Pinterest

Quick Fix Weekends

Weekends are great for getting done quick fix projects around the house. It is awhile since I did these simple changes in my kitchen and have finally decided to share this successful fix.

Have you ever found some decor/architectural issue around the house that seem to need a permanent solution that might require calling carpenters and masons and waiting for them endlessly? Well, I had a similar problem in my kitchen and I decided to fix it myself. It is not the perfect, permanent solution, but that is what I like about it, the ability to be creative and maybe change the setting later.

The problem : The modular kitchen chimney.

The fitting by the vendor was done in such a way the chimney metal could be seen protruding over the wooden border. This sight made more unsightly by the fact that the house was built on split level, which meant climbing the stairs to the living area, the protruding chimney and pipe outlet was more prominent.

 Kitchen Before1

The Solution : A few spare wooden panels and a chai matki set!Chai Set wood panels

I just placed the wooden panels, the plain rectangular one seen in the photo above, over the protruding part of the chimney and used to support the Chai Matki set and the shaped panel as the facade of this quick fix.

The outcome

final

Well it was the easiest way to solve my problem and the chai matki and kettle stand out rather beautifully against the bright yellow kitchen wall!

Small and Beautiful

DSC_0152Kathakali (classical dance form originating from Kerala) and traditional cow head fridge magnets done with such eye for detailing.

Sometimes while doing up our homes, we realise that it is the small things that capture a big place in our hearts. Like maybe our kid’s doodles / pets’ paw prints or our parent’s black and white photographs or even the simple fridge magnet picked up on travels!

Here are two beautiful fridge magnets we picked up on Jew Street, Cochin. It is true, small is beautiful.

And in my personal opinion, nothing quite like revisiting travel memories 🙂

Terrace Gardening

When we first started looking for a house – we pictured a nice two storied structure, that had a functional floor plan, design aesthetics and most importantly a patch of green. We also did find one such house, so what stopped us from buying it then? Well for one we were really keen on an independent house and this was actually the ground floor of an apartment and the more important  reason being the patch of green was so big (around 1000sq.ft was garden alone) that it doubled our requirement of cash! Our budget would simply not allow it 😦  My husband even to this day gets starry eyed when we talk about that beautiful house.

panoramioPhoto Credit : http://www.panoramio.com/photo/50185156

So what we eventually found within our budget is a pretty good individual house unit of about 1456 sqft of land and 2450 sqft of built up space. The problem – no provision for a garden what-so-ever. We love greenery, which is one reason we love our city Bangalore with its many parks, lakes and green cover even today. So we decided to figure a way to infuse some green in our home and we made a list of the areas around the house where we could do this ; the parking area, the balconies and the terrace. The concept of terrace gardening has been something that we have been interested in for quite some time now. Our only concern however was to not compromise on our building life and strength due to weight and water leakage issues. The even bigger issue being, since we travel frequently, we need to install an automatic watering system (especially for the scorching summers), so that we don’t get back to a dry and burnt up garden. But the benefits of a terrace garden far outweigh the cons.

terrace garden 2 _66squarefeetPhoto Credit : 66squarefeet.blogspot.com

So what is so great about having your patch of green, higher up?

1. The best reason to look at creating a terrace garden is to beat the summer heat. According to terracegarden.in, this arrangement can insulate the house from getting overheated. Brings down internal temperature in the house and reduces your air-conditioning costs. In our case with the master bedroom being right beneath the terrace, this will provide a big relief in summers!

2. It can also add as a buffer for troubling outdoor noises and reduce the effect depending on the materials used for the terrace garden.

3. It builds a positive ecology around the house, more oxygen, less pollution and an open invite to birds and butterflies. What better way to spend the evening than right here.

mkcorporationPhoto Credit : mkcorporation.co.in

4. You can grow your own veggies and herbs. Terrace gardening is not only about ornamental plants, you can also grow vegetables, herbs and other produce for your cooking. Bangaloreans are taking the trend of terrace and organic gardening seriously, cooking from their own produce. Groups such as https://www.facebook.com/groups/OrganicTerraceGardening/ encourage and help newcomers get started and is a great source of know-how.

5. It looks great, nothing can add more beauty and joy to a house than a well maintained garden. It can serve as a great place to entertain guests and host parties.

6. Relaxation, gardening can be a form of meditation and is deeply relaxing for the mind and body. Also there is no greater pleasure than to see what you plant, grow and bear fruits and flowers 🙂

7. And unlike what is conventionally considered terrace gardening, i.e. preparing the terrace floor with soil and planting directly in this base, you can also have plants in different shapes and sizes of pots or containers to put together your own terrace garden. Adding decorative elements like stones, garden accessories and lighting can make the place unique. Growing out of containers can also help address your concerns of water seepage and structural damage. Besides it is good exercise to individually water the plants 🙂

terrace garden 1Photo Credit : http://www.homesii.com

The garden accessories available in stores both online and offline ranging from attractive plant holders, fun statues, attractive terracotta decor, etc only make the process of terrace gardening  even more exciting. As for myself, I can’t wait to get started on my terrace garden project this weekend!