Balinese Masks

Among the many popular activities in Bangkok, shopping is a favorite among most tourists and we were no exception! There are many stores and street shops selling clothes, art, crafts and curios. Women squealed in delight as they found their dream outfit for the night out, men were immersed in browsing through a variety of tech products. A colorful store where the products had made their way into the street’s exterior beckoned to us. The first few minutes were just a feast for the senses, there were beautiful abstract paintings, sculptures, figurines, dolls, masks, rugs and a  shop full of kitsch. The ornately carved wooden masks caught my eye, I imagined they would make a great addition to my home decor.

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I initially presumed the masks were locally made in Thailand, it was only later that I came to understand they were made in Bali and popularly known as Balinese masks. The philosophy behind the mask is that every element has a soul, including the mask created. These masks represent various mythological characters, many of which are from the Hindu religious texts such as the Ramayan. There are also strong influences of Buddhism. These masks were used to narrate stories of life, of kings and the triumphs of good against evil.

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The masks are typically made from wood. Craftsmen in even the remotest parts of Bali are adept with the knife and sculpt staggering pieces of art. Intricate drawings and shading is also seen on the finished masks. The prominent colours used are Red (symbolising courage), Yellow (wisdom), White (purity), Green (peace) and Black (ambitious). These masks were used in dramas, dances and as protective charms, today they look great as elements of home decor.

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The masks adorn a prominent space in our home and we are pleasantly reminded of our travels, every time we stop to admire them. What I would love is to visit Bali and sit through the actual making of some these expressive masks. 🙂

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Bring Home Some Accents

Is it a pop of colour?

Or an expression of style?

Or just the most comfortable nook of the living room?

Accent chairs can be all this and more. A living room might see you entertain large number of guests from time to time and you need a variety of furniture, placed strategically to ensure a personal conversation setting. While you are sure to have the prominent sofa set or couch, having more varied furniture around the room such as ottomans and accent chairs are a great way to infuse personality in your living areas.

So what makes accent chairs so great?

They come in a range of shapes, sizes, designs and patterns. With all this variety, you can choose a unique shape or design that can be the focal point of the room. A colour that goes with decor scheme. And comfortable enough to sink in it, all evening with a book. Let us take a look at some great pieces that might inspire you to make some space in your home.

 1Contemporary chairs design by Los Angeles furniture and accessories Great Deal Furniture (Image Credit : Houzz.com)

exclusive-idea-for-modern-accent-chairs-under-design_Stately Blue Accent Chair (Image Credit : http://www.homedecoration-ideas.com/ )

2Contemporary living room design by birmingham architect Erdreich Architecture, P.C. (Image Credit : Houzz.com)

plummers_-_accent_chairs_-_swirl_rattan_chair_super_comfortable_chairs_ Rattan Accent Nest Chair (  Image Credit : http://ihomedecorsideas.com/)

 3Traditional chairs design by new york furniture and accessories Benjamin Rugs and Furniture (Image Credit : Houzz.com)

peacock accent chair pinterestBoho Chic Colourful Accent Chair ( Image : http://www.pinterest.com/pin/391320655092616507/ )

4Transitional chairs design by los angeles furniture and accessories Arcadian Home & Lighting (Image Credit : Houzz.com)

 

And lastly, I have on my person wishlist, the below piece in geometric blue:

Anton-Accent-Chair-from-Cousins-Furniture-UKAnton Accent Chair from Cousins Furniture UK (Image credit : http://www.furniturefashion.com/ )

Happy Decorating Everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our First Blooms!

About three weeks back we planted these seedlings, which I suppose is a variety of Centaurea. This morning we woke up to our first blooms, evenly across all four planters. Such a pleasure to behold!

There is nothing more overjoying than gardening and to see the plants bear flowers and fruits.

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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.

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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!

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!

Watch A Flower Blooming…

Watch A Flower Opening In The Morning.

Just Go On Watching,

This Is Grace.

There Is No Effort At All,

The Flower Just Moves According To Nature.

~ Osho

 

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Flowers add so much happiness to the environment. It was pleasure watching this bud slowly transform into a full bloom today!

Is Decor Truly Effortless?

Yellow WallThis sunny yellow accent wall in our dining and kitchen brings cheer to every meal!

It is good to be back after the weekend break, last evening we attended our neighbor’s house warming and then had friends over who are still in the process of getting their new home built. Among the topics of conversation ranging from home loans to modular kitchen vendors, we also spoke about designing and decorating our homes. So how much effort or fun is decor truly? Considering architects and interior designers get paid a bomb for each project and even electricians charge exorbitant rates for fixing pre-assembled lights in India, interiors do take some effort, right?

Before I moved into my new home, I extensively researched Indian and global decor blogs for ideas, inspiration and do’s & dont’s. Some of these blogs spoke of how design and decor has to be an effortless process and primarily fun. I agree to the extent that by effortless they mean, don’t bother filling every nook and corner in your home. But other than that, in my personal experience, yes it definitely takes effort.

As your new home takes shape, you will be actively involved in reviewing your options and choosing from them in regard to everything ranging from flooring to electrical points and certain other important aspects such as sanitary fittings. Because we had budget constraints we took the ‘step-by-step’ approach, getting the absolute necessities in place and later building on them. In fact we still have quite a bit of painting and lighting pending after 7 months of moving in 🙂

Choosing lighting for example took us some planning and work. We did not want false ceiling and so had to really plan our electrical points beforehand so that when we later fixed our lamps they looked good. Choosing lights, I must admit is a magical process. I love lights and stepping into a shop with a sky full of different lamps was amazing! But then came the choosing process, for the ceilings, walls, floors and even  tables! It was good fun, but by the time we got done we were in dire need of an energy drink. My husband fixed the lights and much to his dismay I was not satisfied with the look in some rooms and now we have to take them down to be replaced 😛

So as much fun and exciting the process of designing and decorating your new home is, it also takes plenty effort and planning. Of course that is exactly why it becomes an unforgettable experience! And more important than anything else, this is the simplest way to personalise your home. Personalising your home is much more than displaying family heirlooms and curios from travels.  It starts with your bricks and walls, because your choice and your family’s choice in every step of the process, from the colour of your walls to the furniture you buy will make your home uniquely yours and special for life! And of course a few years down the lane, as your decor evolves and only involves redoing certain aspects such as your sofa upholstery or bringing in seasonal elements, decor truly becomes just fun!

living roomA corner of our living room in the evening

Are you doing up your home, what is your take? I would love to hear your thoughts!