From Dull and Rarely-Visited to A Relaxing Space for Morning Chai – Balcony Makeover!

We have a small balcony; the only one in our 3-bedroom home and though it is an extension of the master bedroom, we seldom stepped out onto it!

It was a drab looking space, that is till very recently. A random idea about astro-turf and a small garden changed all of that. The balcony makeover is still in progress, however, here are some photos of its considerable improvement.

Now, this zen-inspired space is where we relax in the morning with our first cup of tea. A break in the madness that everyday life is in Bangalore.

I do plan on doing some more gardening here and maybe even a small wall mural or broken mosaic art-work… lets see where the inspiration takes me. Meanwhile here are the clay pots sourced from Chittoor and hand-painted by me, charming aren’t they!?

Take a look and let me know what you think of it?

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

Treat Your Windows To Colour, Texture and Patterns!

The house we recently moved into has a lot of windows, nearly every room and passage have a minimum of two windows. While this was great for ventilation and lighting, it was highly inconvenient during our initial days with the absolute lack of privacy! It was important for us to have some form of window treatment for this pressing reason. However, during my quest to find the right window treatment, I realised how much more one can add to the windows beside just a panel of cloth to block sunlight or keep away curious eyes!

So you must be thinking that you just find something pleasing to the eye and cover up your window and you serve all possible purposes of window treatment. But no! There is so much more that you can do, if you are inspired enough. The first step however is to check on the following points:

1. How does the window play a role in your lighting, does it allow in too much light or too little already? – Depending on this you can choose the fabric or material that allows more or less light or both as you want it.

2. Does your window look too narrow or your ceiling seems too low? – These visual aspects can be corrected by choosing certain types of treatment, such as a curtain rod placed closer to the ceiling provides illusion that the ceiling is taller.

3. Are your windows rectangular, square, arch type, is it a french window or a bay window? – While certain treatments compliment the window shape, certain others like the arched window needs a little more creative implementation.

4. Do you have an existing decor theme for the room and what will match the same? – Curtains can bring in the right colour, texture and pattern into the room to either suit your current decor or to  set the theme and build the room around it!

Alright then, the best and easiest way to go about the selection process is to visualise, here are some great examples of the different types of window treatments, lets see what captures your imagination!

1. Curtains:

There are a few different types of curtains, mostly in terms of stitching style and pattern. But the basic definition is long cloth panels arranged on a rod or support mounted on the wall. The cloth panels can be stitched in a manner that can be directly looped on the rod or with the help of rings, hooks or pockets. They can come in options to allow more or less sunlight depending on the fabric.

The Tie-up curtain : Strings or small panels of cloth allows the curtain to be tied around the rod forming little loops, provides a casual yet decorative look. Pleating is natural with no additional stitching on the fabric panel.

Tie Curtains

The Grommet Curtain : Grommet rings stitched into the fabric panels support the curtain on the rod. Here the rod shows in bits and looks nice for decorative rods.

ring curtains

Rod Pocket Curtains : The fabric panels itself is stitched to form a continuous loop through which the curtain rod passes, the rod is hidden from view. Pleats can be incorporated by manual arrangement or have pleats stitched in the fabric panels.

With pleats manually arrangedPleated curtain rod concealed

With pleats stitched into the fabric panelsCream-Ivory-Bollinger-Pleated-Curtains

Curtains with Rings : The curtains are supported on the rod with the help of rings, they not just support ease of movement but also make the curtains appear longer. This is a good solution when you want to place your curtain rods higher up, close to the ceiling, adding to the visual height.

tall ceiling look

Sheer Curtains : Sheer refers to the fabric used. It is a great option when you want privacy and some decorative treatment for the windows, but still want to allow as much light as possible. Some sheer curtains such as lace provide a whimsical look, while certain others such as silk panels are sophisticated and glamorous.

sheer curtain

Combining Materials : Some curtain panels use more than one material, mostly as the top border of the fabric panel or the bottom border, or both. This provides an interesting combination of texture and pattern.

2 materials curtain

Double Curtains : Double curtains are two or sometimes even three layers of fabric. While it serves a practical purpose of allowing the curtains to be used differently to control the amount of light, such as a sheer material in the background to allow more light in and the thicker fabric in the foreground tied back or opened up when the room needs to be darkened. But this style also provides a formal look to the area, and can be used in the formal areas of the house.

Double curtain

Curtain Rods : While a lot of attention is paid to the fabric and style of stitching (pleats, length, breadth) etc, there is also a lot of variety to choose from in the curtain rods. There are curtain rods, highly creative but not too functional and some that are both fun and practical.

Stylish-curtain-rodscreative curtain rod

2. Valance : This is a simple form of window treatment, that is inclined more towards decor and visual aspect rather than practical usage. Its just a simple cloth without complicated stitch or pleats that just hangs above the window framing the top portion. It is normally a static fixture and is great when paired with curtains also or used alone where privacy is not a concern and sunlight is welcome.

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 Box pleat valance teamed with curtainscurtain valance is it

3. Shades : Shades are typically flat panels of ‘soft’ furnishing when open and form either a roll or pleats when pulled up. There are different types of shades, some of the popular varieties are Roman Shades, Rolling Shades and Tie-Up Shades.

Roman Shades : These shades are popular, as they are easy to use and also look great both folded up or released. They form neat symmetrical pleats when they are folded up. They are great for areas such as the kitchen, but also look good in other areas of the house based on the fabric and print chosen.

In the kitchen, fun fabric prints add a casual and cheerful vibe to the roomkitchen shade roman

Roman shades also look great in other areas of the home, the fabric and print can lend a hand in providing a formal and elegant lookliving roman shade

Rolled Up Shades : These shades simply roll up and down supported by a rod at the top where they gather around.

Roller-Shade-4

Tie Up Shades : This provides cottage charm to the interiors. Though simple, it requires manually rolling and tying unlike the above 2 options.

tie-up shade

4. Blinds : Blinds are typically made of hard materials that stack up either vertically or horizontally. They were used more in commercial spaces. But the days of dull looking blinds are long over, now you can get blinds in far more interesting materials, colours and patterns. My favorite is nature inspired wooden blinds or bamboo blinds.

Bamboo BlindsBambooBlinds2_1

 Wooden Blindswooden blind

5. Combination Styles : Liked more than one of the above options, fret not, you can combine the various treatments to provide a unique yet cohesive look.

Combination of a Swag (loose cloth hung over the window frame much like a scarf) and Curtainscombination curtains

Combination of Shades and CurtainsWW_SOE_Roman_Shade_36

Hope you found this article informative on the options available in window treatments. I’m sure there are many more creative ways to dress up your windows, do let me know your idea for unique window treatment!

(All images are taken from Google image search, credit goes to respective image websites/owners, the blog and images enlisted here are not for any commercial purpose and are purely for information only)

 

Malang Mela – Festival Fairs and Unique Finds!

Festival fairs are great fun to attend. They present a feast for the senses, with a variety of items available ranging from clothes to yummy foods. The Malang Mela at Sun City on Saturday was held to celebrate the Kannada New Year – Ugadi. They had more than 20 stalls catering to every need from home decor to food. We had our own stall, selling some silk quilts/bed covers and bags. Though we have been attending such events for a few months now, this is the first time I get to write about it.

The mood was upbeat despite the summer heat. People happily made a beeline for the lemonade and buttermilk stalls to beat the heat! Walking around, I noticed many stalls had interesting products for home decor and furnishing. These items are not available in stores yet, which made them all the more special at the event. The products ranged from soft furnishing such as cushion covers and table mats to lamps and paintings. Here is a look at some of the products and where you can find them :

1. Non-Woven Furnishing:

The stall ‘Pink Petals’ had on display some interesting cushion covers, table mats and runners. What made them interesting is that they were made from non -woven fabric, reminiscent of a certain type of packaging material. It had certain perks such as wrinkle free even after a wash and some funky designs on neon shades. Both ethnic motifs and contemporary prints are available. The products are from a brand called Cannigo. You can find more on their website : http://www.cannigo.com/ or get in touch with Sharda Jain at +917676124433.

cushion covers

2. Lamps, Tea light holders and bowls:

The stall ‘Decor by Sarika’ had decorative lamps, tea light holders and bowls made from attractive crystal beads. Come evening the lights and the lamps beckoned to the crowd to come take a closer look. You can get in touch with Alpana at alpanavivartsingh@gmail.com / +918197920357, if interested in any of these products.

lights2 lights1

3. Paintings & Wall Art:

The stall ‘Aakriti ‘n’ Arts’ had a range of affordable paintings and wall art to add life to your walls. The team Anu and Namrata had some eye-catching ethnic work such as Madhubani and Warli besides others. You can check more of their work at http://aakritinarts.in/ or  contact them on +919620549901.

art2 art stall1

4. Up-cycled Jean Products:

The stall ‘Prerit’ run by Prabha showcased some very creative work , up-cycling old jeans into bags, clutches, wallets, hair-bands, scrunchies and even storage pouches for your home! If you are interested in buying any of these products or lending your old jeans for money get in touch with Prabha at +918792867281.

pouch

And lastly our products on display, silk quits that can also be used as bed-covers with matching pillow covers.

silk quilts

Though we went to the festival mela as vendors, we could not resist the charm of certain products. Saturday ended on a great note, we sold some and brought home some new items as well!

 

 

The Magic Carpet!

It can transport you to a different world, one of fun or style or colour. It can make you feel warm and cozy and bring conversations together as you entertain. And we don’t need Alladin and his Genie to make this true for us! In India, homes don’t use wall to wall carpeting throughout the house as the warm to hot climate here does not warrant such carpeting. However the same does not apply to incorporating area rugs and smaller area carpets, this is often an element of decor overlooked by many home owners in India. Even though many exotic carpets and rugs used world over happen to be manufactured right here in India!

Let us take a look at how we can add area rugs and carpets to make our homes more inviting, stylish and cozy. Area rugs and carpets come in different types, shapes, sizes, textures, colours, prints and patterns, we have many online stores and offline stores as well selling a range of these at different rates. Let us first take a look at some inspiring looks of area rugs in different parts of the house:

The Foyer :

foyer rug 2The earthy toned rug in this foyer adds to the overall cozy nature look. (image credit : www.housebeautiful.com)

Foyer RugThis striking black and white zig zag pattern rug creates a striking focal point in this foyer. (Image credit : www.bozemanbungalow.com)

The Living Room :

rug living room3This patchwork inspired motif rug highlights the white fixtures in the room while adding warmth and glow to the otherwise minimalist design. (Image Credit : hekco.com)

green rug for living roomThis beautiful rug stands out against the lighter wooden floor and is complimented by the throw cushions and the nature outside the window. (Image credit : homesdir.net )

The Dining Area :

dining-area-rugs2The nature inspired dining room has all the elements right including the soothing green area rug. (Image Credit : housearquitectura.com)

dining rug 1A big area rug, cozy dining area and plenty of sunshine! (Image Credit : www.sedu.info)

The Bedroom :

Orange-Asian-Bedroom-Design-Area-with-Cool-Flowers-Wall-Art-PicturesGeometric pattern rugs are highly popular. (Image credit : capda.org)

bedroom rug1This braided rug in multiple colours looks great in contrast with the dark wood bed. (Image credit : Google images)

So how do you go about choosing that ideal area rug for your home?

There is a lot of scientific talk about the material, pile, weave, bunch etc, but let me make it simple for you, go with your senses. The rug is meant to create COMFORT, both in look and feel. So first look for a rug be it geometric or ikat or kashmiri or jute or wool that catches your attention. Once you love the look, feel it with your hand or if possible run your feet against it. Rugs that please the most are those that feel great against your feet. If these 2 have worked out well, then you have a great rug for your home! But after that wonderful first buy, if you decide to buy more rugs for more rooms, then here are a few points to keep in mind:

1. Buy the right size, the rug must comfortably surround the furniture area where you will place your feet. So in a dining table, it must comfortably surround the area even with the chairs pulled out. Similarly in the bedroom, it has to fall over the sides where you get off. In the living room the furniture front legs can sit on the rug to create a compact look. The rug can ideally end 2 feet away from the wall in whichever room it is used, so enough of the floor is seen.

2. Colour : Look out for the right colours to go with your existing furniture or room decor. The rug looks great if it stands out against the floor and unites or compliments in colour with some other item of decor such as the sofa or the accent wall or the decor articles.

3. Shape : Rugs come in many shapes, square, rectangle, oval, round and even many other shapes such as flower or animal inspired such as an elephant shaped rug! Choose something that provides a contrast such as a round carpet for your square room center or as a unifying element with your round dining table.

4. Functionality : Different materials pose different scenarios of maintenance. So look at the room in which you plan to use the rug. In Indian cooking of rich gravy and hard stains, you need a rug under the dining table that is easy to clean. Similarly high traffic areas can do with rugs that age well and not force you to go shopping again in a year’s time! Regularly vacuum/dust the carpet to keep it looking at its best for many years.

5. Budget : How much are you looking to spend. If the carpet costs as much as the sofa, the good quality will ensure it lasts you a very long time. But if you look for excitement in change every now and then, a cheaper rug will do great, as it wont stick around long enough to wear out!

Also remember that the beauty of decor is it evolves with you, so the idea of a perfect rug will change for your home along with other decor elements in some years. Add variety, when you want a new look you can buy a new rug. If not to replace the old one, you can add to it as a layered rug. The best way to make your home unique is to experiment with your own ideas, don’t you agree? I leave you with this beautiful Ikat rug, I haven fallen in love with, while browsing through Houzz, sigh!!!