And I’m Back!!!

It feels so good to be back, almost as if i’m returning home after a long journey! A lot has happened in the last few months. Memorable parts include the two awesome long vacations we made. The one in August 2014 was a road trip to Maharashtra and the trip to Sri Lanka in December 2014. Well a new year has begun and one of the resolutions being writing here more often even when things at work and home are terribly hectic 🙂

So before I talk about why everyone must make a road trip to Maharashtra to experience the true meaning of ‘monsoon magic’ and about the simple charms of Sri Lanka, let me begin with home!

Our project of doing up the home has slowed down quite a bit, especially since we got all the basics in place. We did some more painting work for the staircase passages and I’m relieved about the washable paint we used! Lesser stains to clean and the washable paint makes them much easier to clean!

We got a few items to add to the home decor. First the Sri Lankan tribal masks (yes, I do seem to have an obsession with masks!). They hold religious relevance and are used in both rituals and cultural performances. There are the demon masks, that apparently seem to be more popular as travel buys for their vivid colours and shapes. Take a look…

mask2

The serpent demon mask above and below is the demon peacock mask. Made from wood, some do find them rather scary looking, I think i’m used to the eccentric by now!

mask1

They are yet to go up on the walls. Maybe this weekend 🙂

On Thursday I happened to stumble on this magical art boutique called The Purple Pony, it is magical from the outside, but when you enter, it is as if you have entered a whole new world! Wall murals, mystic lighting, cozy white windows, wispy curtains, interesting curios and so many wonderful items. A dreamland of sorts, especially for the likes of me! It sure is a happy place, tough to leave without buying something, though I did feel many of the products were blatantly over-priced. But the space sure is inspiring, calming and happening! Here is what we bought, two little Rhinos that can also serve as hangers. We bought them from a purely decor point of view though. The idea is to hang them on the wall with mock frames around each.

hypo2

hypo1

Take a look at more of their curious products here: http://thepurplepony.co/

It is wonderful to visit a place so full of life and joy as The Purple Pony, sometimes I wish places such as these doubled up as cafes where one could spend time reading and relaxing. For those like me there is immense joy in observing creative objects even when I don’t plan on buying them!

So what are you doing this weekend to make your home a more cosy and beautiful space? Do let me know!

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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.

mask2

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.

Masks1

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.

Mask 4

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. 🙂

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!