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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Traditional South Indian Homes

I recently visited a more than 150 year old traditional home in Narayanavanam in Andhra Pradesh. The family has been traditionally  involved in the silk saree business for many generations and follow the joint-family system with grandparents, sons, their wives and children all living and growing together. As a recent home owner myself and all the quality concerns I continue to face, the first thing that truly struck me was, wow this building and many parts of it are more than 150 years old, built by the great great grandfather! There is extensive use of wood for the ceiling topped by tiles that are as old, walls made of mud and burma teak pillars. This house has stood through years of climate change and seen generations of the family. It was truly beautiful in my eyes.

wp_002506 wp_002507Early Morning Sunlight Streaming In Through The Central Atrium

The current generation of the family however are eager for change, they find the old home difficult to maintain and want to tear down the old structure and build a more modernised structure. When they proudly told me of the changes they had already begun to make, I could only think of how beautiful the old structure is and how one could modernise for convenience without disturbing the original style. There are some key features across South Indian traditional homes be it in a small village in Andhra or a Chettinad mansion or a traditional Tharavad home in Kerala that I would simply love to live around and wish more modern homes had these.

1. The Thinnai or Verandah at the entrance of the house. This may also be referred to as Muggapu in the Chettinad homes. This typically consists of raised platforms to sit on, spanning the breadth of the house structure, with pillars either made of wood or stone or mud supported on the outer verandah wall. During functions both good and sad, these areas of the homes were used to seat guests. The thinnai or muggapu was also used to play games and relax with neighbors and friends who came calling. The most appealing part of this structure is that while it is connected to the main structure of the house, it still is mostly in the open.

thinnai 1A traditional village home and it’s simple verandah  (Photo credit :https://www.flickr.com/photos/50815727@N05/7227807368/)
thinnai_photoppurtunistA more opulent traditional verandah with stone and wood pillars ( Photo credit : photoppurtunist.wordpress.com )

2. The central courtyard : These typically rectangular homes lead from the verandah through the main door into the living section of the home which has a central open courtyard. This is surrounded on all four sides as the living areas of the family, with kitchen, storage areas, bedrooms for each of the sons, bedroom for the head of the family and the passage around the courtyard used commonly by all as the living area. The courtyard is again surrounded by pillars in wood or stone.

Kerala_courtyard_with_planterA typical and simple central courtyad, with passage and rooms on the sides (Photo Credit : wikipedia)
courtyard2A more elaborate central courtyard with stone pillars and open areas (Photo credit : http://www.pinterest.com/pin/165014773820027301/)

3. The traditional flooring: Houses those days enjoyed vibrant floors in the form of  red oxide flooring with intricate drawings of Kolam (done with rice powder or paste), they are designs made by connecting dots and used to be one of the favorite activities among the women of the household. The floors may also have intricate patterns as provided by the Athangudi tiles in Chettinad homes. Bringing in geometric or floral patterns and a range of bright colours. In some Kerala homes the flooring was also done in wood while other village homes even extensively used stone in certain parts of the house.

red oxideBeautiful Red Oxide Flooring in Traditional Setting ( Photo credit : http://kismitoffeebar.wordpress.com/tag/anantha-heritage/ )
athangudi21 karthik vaidyanathan_prismma.Traditional Athanagudi tile flooring in Karthik Vaidyanathan’s Chettinad inspired home in Bangalore (Photo Credit : http://www.prismma.in)

4. The traditional roofs: The traditional roof structures were made extensively from wood and clay tiles with different levels of intricacy and shapes. While Kerala homes have more grandeur and woodwork showcased in the ceilings. Traditional homes elsewhere might just have simple wood beading and tile work, complete with sealing of tiles on the outside with Chunambu (slaked lime).

anandabeachhome roofTraditional Kerala roof with clay tiles for the exteriors, they in more opulent settings are made in intricately carved wood (Photo Credit : anandabeachhome.com)
 athangudi tilesA traditional Chettinad home with wood and tile roofing, central courtyard and Athanagudi tiles. (Photo credit : http://www.prismma.in)

5. The exquisite woodwork: Traditional craftsmen and availability of wood made old traditional homes not just sturdy but also a work of art. The woodwork across the pillars, the jannals (windows), the doors and even the roofs, could be carved out intricately to tell stories of mythological characters or emphasize local beliefs, motifs and structures. Jalli work in the wooden roof structures allowing the play of light around the courtyard or the massive doors with their painstakingly done carvings are all reminiscent of the glory days of traditional Indian architecture.

traditional doorsTraditional wooden hand carved door ( Photo credit : sam.aminus3.com)
woodwork in roofIntricate wood work in the roof of Puthe Maliga Palace in Trivandrum ( Photo credit :  https://www.flickr.com/photos/timtom/3475636297/ )

I sincerely hope that these ancient village homes are preserved in their traditional settings. Even if urban dwellers had the inclination and the funds to build such homes in the city today, the lack of yesteryear workmanship and lack of availability of certain type of products makes it very tough to retain this kind of architecture in our current homes. It however is some consolation to know that certain crafts like the Athanagudi tile making is still alive and available for anyone that wants to have unique and beautiful flooring in their house, against which vitrified tiles are no match. And certain traditional carpenters still available in pockets of Kerala and other regions who create exquisite wooden furniture and doors to custom orders. So that we may use some of this in our homes to retain a little of the yesteryear glory, because a certain beauty and grace only comes with age.

DIY – My Try At Up-Cycled Bottle Art

Got plenty of empty glass bottles lying at home, why don’t you up-cyle them to add to your home or garden decor? There are many ways you can up-cycle bottles, you can make lamps with them, candle/tea light holders, paint them or do thread work around them. I love this particular form of work and the bottle has a unique look with different threads be it coir or wool or yarn. Here I’m going to show you how I did mine with multi-coloured thread.

 1. These are the items you will need. An empty bottle with cap, ring, stickers and dust removed, yarn/thread spools, fevicol or glue, spoon or brush to apply the glue, cloth to clean up excess glue.

DSC_00482. Pour out the glue in a small container or as I have on plastic sheet, and use the brush or spoon to start applying glue to the bottle in parts. You could do this with your hand as well, but I suggest not, as it ends up dirtying the thread with glue as you progress.

DSC_00533. Loosen some thread from the spool, get comfortable to start wrapping the thread slowly around the bottle, starting at the base.

DSC_00494. Starting from the base ensure no gaps between the lines of thread and keep wrapping around the bottle, re-applying glue for the fresh areas.

DSC_00565. The base which in this case is a regular cylindrical shape is easy to wrap without space between threads, but as we reach the base of the neck, you will need to use the back of the spoon to keep pushing the thread back in place without spaces.

DSC_00616. Keep wrapping all the way to the mouth of the bottle, or you can stop short as in my case, since I plan to have the mouth of the bottle cut, to give it a better look overall.

DSC_00717. Use a wet rag to clean up the excess glue on the threaded bottle, however wait a day before you do it so you don’t move any threads. Then use it as you will, to just brighten up a drab corner or have some flowers or a money plat set in them.

DSC_0077Hope you enjoyed this simple DIY. Got more ideas? Do share it with me!

DSC_0049 (2)

The Purple Turtles

In continuation of my visual walk through of two lighting stores in the city that I find interesting, lets take a look at a rather unique store starting with their unusual name – The Purple Turtles. Started by ex-advertising professional  Radeesh R Shetty, this store offers designer lighting of every kind from industrial to recycled material. There are lamps that can be customized on customer request as well. They don’t just stop with providing unique lighting solutions, but provide lighting and design consultation as well for both residences and commercial projects. Having been around the city for more than five years now, this lighting store albeit a little expensive can add that special something to your home.

Thread spheresI love this type of ceiling lamps. They remind me of festival fairs and the beach cafes. It also has a very earthy feel, natural fiber, thread, coir or wool is used, as you can see they come in a range of shapes and colours. I have similar ones for my dining area, and they look great!

Fire Fly Bead SpheresThese bohemian firefly bead globes are simply dreamy. Made with metal string and numerous tiny beads, provides this overall effect.

Banana fibre Sea Urchin Inspired Lamps_turtleBanana fiber paper has turned out to be a great idea in lighting. This paper has a unique texture making it look great with or without the light turned on. Besides, the versatility of the medium has allowed various shapes and themes to take form in this range of lighting. Above is sea urchin inspired ceiling lamps.

Banana paper_sea shell paper lampBanana fiber paper is made from the bark, stem and other un-utilised parts of the banana plant on harvest. Here we see it as an oyster inspired table lamp.

brass metal lamps_purple turtleBrass, copper and other metal inspired lamps are a rage these days. People are increasingly appreciating these metals in the form of handcrafted home decor items. Here are some metal inspired lamps/ lanterns for the table or floor and ceiling.

Metal range turtleLights with different kinds of fabric are also popular. Silk being a favorite for its sheer glamor.  There are other textiles such as cotton as well with interesting dye, motif and stencil treatments. Here are some Shibori Dye lamps that are designed by Jenny Pinto. This is a popular Japanese method of cloth dyeing. In India we refer to this as tie and dye, such as Bandhani famous in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

shibori dye range by Jenny PintoGlass lamps, be it plain or coloured have a timeless quality about them. Have a little something to brighten up any corner of your home, here simple is beautiful.

glass lampsFrom rural India to mainstream art, many crafts and arts from lesser know parts of the country are being recognized and revived in the form of products for home and office. Channapatna in Karnataka has always been popular for the craft of wooden toys and accessories. Bringing that into the limelight, here is the store’s range of Channapatna table lamps.

channapatna lampsAnd some hand painted touch of whimsy to sum up this visual store tour.

whimsy table lamp_purple turtleHead over to their facebook page here to know more about them. They also deal with home decor accessories and furniture.

Sunshine Boulevard – Let There Be Light !

Over the next two days, I’m going to walk you through two magical and unique lighting stores in Bangalore, India. I have been to both stores, on more than one occasion to just relax and soak in all that radiant beauty around me. And no matter how many times I visit, I still get tempted to make another trip for some inspiration.

The first of these shops that I stumbled across  is the Sunshine Boulevard, situated in Koramangala 4th block, it was love at first sight for me. Just the way the shop looks, standing out from the traffic and other buildings like an oasis of bright treats. I love their logo and signboard as well, it seems to be calling out to you, to step into a world of summer fairies and elves and their magical lamps!

sunshine boulevardTheir products range across different materials from glass to banana fiber. The lamps are made by  leading designers from India, with many pieces being unique and in limited numbers only. Certain others are made by rural craftsmen, lending an authentic and ethnic touch to these handpicked lamps. Here are some of their lighting wonders.

Of Harmony, Purity and Mystical Beauty, The Dragonfly LampFireflyMade of dreams, a string dream catcher lamp to be mounted on the wall or ceilingWall Mounted unique string lampOf ancient beauty and everlasting charm, The Peepal Floor LampsPeepal Leaf Floor LampAnd talking about beautiful leaf patterns, here is another tropical charm, Wall LampWall lamp in metal leafLove makes the world go round. Interlinked Polypropylene sphere lampsPolypropylene Interlinking LampsSitting Quietly, Doing Nothing, Spring Comes and The Grass Grows and The Flower Blooms By Itself…The Lotus Ceiling Lampdining table overhead ceiling lampArt is when you hear a knocking from your soul, And you answer it. ~ Terri Guillemets. Ceiling lamp made with textured paper.Paper style ceiling lampTo love beauty is to see light ~ Victor Hugo. The Lotus Tea Light HolderTea light holder lotusAnd for a parting glimpse of this lovely store, where every lamp has a story to tell… sunshine boulevard insideIf Light Is In Your Heart, You Will Find Your Way Home ~ Rumi

Visit their store in Koramangala or their Facebook page here , to know more about them, they also deal with other interesting home accents besides lighting.