Monday, September 30, 2013

Alien feelings

The feelings are very alien, very weird and mixed! End of day 1 in my "own" house and I can't feel a thing that supports that fact.
I will not pretend that all the feelings are in the neighbourhood of happiness.

There is surprise that a structure of walls, columns, beams and bricks - a blank canvas can convert into something beautiful and a work of art.

There is worry about the sheer amount of work involved to keep a house clean. True for any size, shape, style of a home.

There is disappointment about the way some of us humans behave, the greed we display for money, for more, for anything extra or free. The kharcha-paani that every delivery or installation person wants even though the sales receipt and customer service says delivery and installation are free of cost ma'm!

The shock when a lady who comes to help do a one-time, one-day only, clean up of the place, which has already been properly cleaned once, asks for Rs 600/- to do a round of sweeping and mopping and no other actual cleaning and refuses to budge till that amount is given.

The feeling of being let down by the shoddy work done by some groups of workmen, with the taps leaking at places, the doors coming off at hinges, the paint peeling off (already???). What happened to good work ethics, quality of work and doing one's job properly?

The feeling of slight regret at the thought that maybe I should have gone with a big interior contractor/firm to do get all the work done. Maybe the final quality and look of the work could have been better. The could-have-beens and if-onlys just add to it.

The hope that all these niggles and hiccups will be gone eventually and things will work smoothly.

The pleasure of lovely views, night time city lights, cool breeze, warm hearts and sun drying clothes.

The joy when things like newspaper delivery, laundry collection, milk delivery and car wash are all taken care with one phone call.

The belief that all things that are meant for you shall come to you - in one way or another! So do what you want to and life will gently tread you towards the path meant for you, towards people you are supposed to meet, towards places you are supposed to go to!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Real Homes I - Poorni, KG and Adi's house

This post has been pending for the longest time ever! I know! Without further delay presenting to you *Drumroll please* - the first home in the Real Homes series, which belongs to Poorni, KG and their son Adi.
Lets start with a tour of the house and then I will tell you about the owners :)

For me, these first two pictures sum up their home, they are the essence, the soul of their home.  These pictures are a preview of what the owners love!

Poorni is learning to play a guitar. Music, books, collectibles, eclectic stuff, mixed furniture, it all finds a place in their home and makes it warm and inviting. 

Both Poorni and KG are book lovers and yes they pick up books even if they have lots in the to-be-read list. I do that too, do you?

One of the many things I love about their home is the lived-in, casual feeling one gets as you walk in.

Those are tiny paper lights strung around the bigger hanging lamp and they look oh so pretty when lit up!

The Dhalls are a travel loving family and their trips all over the world have resulted in a lovely collection of artifacts displayed all over the house.

Ladies and Gentlemen presenting to you the Starbucks coffee mug collection :) 

This lamp was picked up from Delhi on a trip to source lights for their current house when the interiors were being done. 

Wall art picked from Purple Turtles, Indiranagar. The art is by Aarti Karwayun Chawda of ispaceart. 

Very soothing and long lasting natural fiber blinds from BlindLove, Indiranagar.

Their house has soothing colours, mostly neutrals or earthy colours like this brick wall here. 

Art and various art forms can be seen throughout the house, like the aboriginal art from Australia above. 

The blend of the traditional with the modern, you think?? Love the antique finish mirror, again from Purple Turtles. The fridge magnets are souvenirs picked from everywhere they have been. 

The love for music has passed on to Adi, who is learning to play the drums. 

Poorni is an ex IT professional. She loves to travel, read, try new things and explore the world, one bit at a time! She is also a photographer and does assignments professionally. Check her photography page here. She is the owner/creator of Beantree, which uses natural and locally sourced ingredients to produce food free from preservatives and additives. Their lovely, finger licking hummus is available in multiple stores. My personal favourite is the lemon coriander hummus. 

KG apart from his corporate world/IT career which takes him around the world more than often, loves to read and run. He is now preparing for his first 50K run. 

Let me know if you would like to know anything about the things featured in the post - what, from where, et all. I shall ask the owners and let you know. 

Happy Friday and hope you all have a lovely weekend!!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Paintings from the artist in our Real Homes series

A lot of you readers had asked about the artist or source for this Radha Krishna painting, which was featured in our Real Homes series, on our Facebook page.

The artist who does these paintings is Shivram and he is based out of Chennai. 

To buy his paintings in Bangalore, you can reach Nutan at 99163 29280. Some of the paintings available (check current status with Nutan) are shown below. They are all 3ft x 4ft in size and the cost is Rs 4000 per sq ft. They are not framed. 





Happy mid week! Enjoy the long weekend :) 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lessons learnt and apartment update!

The first and most important rule is that Things do go wrong and they WILL. No matter how well the project was planned. Execution is a totally different ball game.

A few things I have learnt during the new apartment interiors process -

* Everything that you want to change, fix, break, restructure is mostly possible. If your contractor/designer/carpenter says otherwise, it could be because he doesn't want the additional headache, too much risk involved, lack of expertise, it costs too much money (which should be a headache for you not your designer or contractor). Only a very small number of exceptions exist to this almost-fact.

* Double check everything before it gets executed. The design does go through changes while it passes from the designer's table to the supervisor to the carpenter who works on it! So make sure you tell the carpenter or handyman to show a rough draft of what he has understood or show the assembled piece before fixing it finally. Trust me this will go a long way to help avoid major blunders.

* We Indians as a generic trait have a tendency to nod our heads and say yes to everything. Then later on we actually ponder over whether the task can be done or not. And we also have a tendency to hide things from the client till the end. The husband says, If something goes wrong, then a project coordinator should either fix it OR if it cannot be fixed and will cause a delay then the client should be informed. Most of the contractors/carpenter teams don't do either. They let the project linger on and complete it on its own pace. Keep an eye out for this. And if possible make your own schedule with dates of starting and completion and track the work as per that, raising a red flag when needed.

* Electrical points - If you have the option of changing electrical points and choosing where you want them then do it. Do it before you start the actual wood work - cupboards, bookshelves etc. Think of where would you want reading lights to be fixed, lamps to be kept with respect to beds and bedside tables. I personally like to have switches and a plug point next to the bed on both sides. The getting out-of-bed to switch the light off is one thing I don't like. Charging mobile phones or laptops is also convenient when you have a plug point next to your bed.

* Don't forget the geyser in the kitchen for those oh-so-cold winter days. Your house help is going to be thankful!

* Thinking of buying a Home theater system at some point of time in the future? Get the points for speakers and the system in place. The points can be done and left and used later.

* Have a terrace or balcony - make sure you have enough light and plug points for all those barbecue and late night parties.

Updates from the new apartment -
We are at a stage where the electricals in the new apartment have mostly been completed. The carpentry for the wood work - wardrobes, bookshelf, study desk, bar unit and a few other storage shelves in the kid's room are mostly done. Now the surface finishing work shall start - duco, veneer polishing, laminate fixing etc. Another 15 to 20 days to go.

Sneak peek into the home! Tada till the next time :)

One of my favourites (already) in the house - the bookshelf 

One of the corners in the living room - waiting to see it come together with the lights

Monday, July 22, 2013

Decor - Eye Candy

I was looking for inspiration for bookshelves and upholstery fabric, online. As usual digressed and chanced upon something beautiful. There are some lovely lovely ideas out there and I fell in love with these. Have been day dreaming and drooling ever since. Sigh!

There is something beautiful and zen like about this room. Elegant. Peaceful. Love the neutral effect, the layout, the decor. 

Oh! I love love love this one. For the bookshelf, the colour coordinated arrangement of books, the reading chair, the Ikat cushion, the footstool, the blue pottery scattered throughout the room, the whites, creams and the rug. 

And this one for the pink dining chairs and the white kitchen. I love white to the point I am getting a white kitchen, yes in spite of all those concerns of "Indian kitchen and cooking. Are you sure you want white?" Now, if only I was gutsy enough to get chairs in such a colour. Love the elegant look of this one. 

All images - Windsor Smith, Room in a Box Do check out her work. It is lovely and inspiring! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Indya Kaleidoscope - a treasure chest!

Indya Kaleidoscope is a treasure cove tucked away in a corner. You won't spot it unless you are looking for it and once you do you won't want to leave :) 
It is a cozy little store with walls painted in bright colours, some peacock blue, some red. They showcase and sell, like they say on their FB page, good quality traditional arts and crafts. Be it in their original form or with a contemporary twist. 

They have on display Channapatna Laquerware, Banaras wood crafts, Brass artefacts, Terracotta products, Manipur Longpi pottery (also called Black pottery), Blue pottery, Plam wood crafts, Pondicherry stone pottery, Kantha work soft furnishing amongst a whole lot of other stuff. 

What welcomes you as you walk in to the store on the 1st floor, is a bright yet warm red wall and a whole room full of collectibles, home decor items and treasures to die for!

The brass idols collection against this red wall looks stunning. We saw a whole range of Ganesha idols, from classic to contemporary forms. Go find your own! 

There are beautiful paintings, like this one below, from Banaras. 

Collectibles, mini vases, pots, all hand-painted. Beautiful! 

Fabric clutches in all colours and shapes.

Colourful painted wooden dolls and boxes.

Krishna in all his glory.


Madhubani work lampshades. Hand-painted wooden boxes for storing your jewelry, nick knacks and small trinkets.

Brass and copper minis. Kitchen utensils, pots, miniature equipment. They look so so cute!

And one of my favorites - pottery from Pondicherry! 

Kantha work cushion covers.  They look beautiful, don't they? We are going to place our custom orders once the new place is ready.

The owner Preethi writes a blog too and does a lot of DIY-ers. You can check them out here.  
She also sources furniture and antiques on request. So contact her if you are looking for that antique wooden mirror for your bedroom wall or chains for the swing in your living room. 

She has recently created a space in the store where artists, craft makers, writers, bloggers, decorators, designers or just book readers can come, sit surrounded by some exquisite crafts and do their creative thing. They promise to keep the coffee flowing!! What more can you ask for? :) 
Drop in and find your treasure. They keep adding new stuff every now and then so worth scheduling a regular visit :) 

Store details
The IK store in Bangalore is at - 
BNRK Towers, 891/A, 1st Floor, 
7th A Cross, Koramangala 1st Block, 
Bangalore - 560034

Tel - +91 80 40981536
FB page - 
Website - 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Launch of TULIPS store in Bangalore

This past Friday, I was invited to the store opening party of Tulips - a premiere soft furnishing store.
Tulips is a high end soft furnishings retail store with 2 branches in India. Their flagship store is in Pune and this new store in Bangalore is the 2nd in the country.

It offers
a range of plush linen - bath and bed, in classic soothing colours
a fun range for kids which includes duvet covers and cute cushions 
frescoes, artifacts and home accessories
exquisite drapery
window dressings
rugs, throws
sophisticated upholstery
All this can be customized with monograms, initials and your personal design requirements

Tulips sources the finest decor wares from across the globe. They have a lovely collection of scented candles from Belgium, one of which we got in the lovely goody bag given to the guests.

They also have an assortment of glamorous artifacts, some as tall as a person, in solid colours, monochromatic tones and metal tints, from Italy, Germany and Netherlands. There is bed and bath linen from Turkey, fine cashmere blankets and Merino wool throws from Germany, throws from South Africa. If you are looking for accessories like curtain ties and hold backs, they have a pretty collection for that too. 

One thing that I would like to mention is their sample curtain corner where they have displayed all sorts of curtain pleats. Very helpful for people to see and choose which style they would like for the curtains and window treatments. 

They provide a Design Service too which is a 5 step service. They start with a survey to understand your requirements where they visit your place and get the right picture of your architecture. Then their designers put together fabrics and palettes for your space, keeping in mind your requirements and budget. Then they create a folder for you with swatches of your design. The design is presented with the help of visuals which are a representation of the finished product. The next step is creating the products from the designs. And the last step is installation in your space at your convenience. 

The launch party was in the store and was hosted together by Tulips and Good homes Magazine India. It was a well planned affair - delicious hors d'oeuvres, drinks and lovely goody bags too. Enjoyed meeting so many talented and lovely people and seeing the luxurious collection first hand! Do visit this place if you are redoing your house or planning to change/add to your soft furnishing collection. 

Store details 
The Tulips store in Bangalore is at 
No 7, Shilton Heights,
Papanna Street, Off St Marks Road,
Bangalore - 560001

Tel - +91 80 22211113/4

Sunday, June 09, 2013

How to go about planning your wardrobe?

Before you think this is a post on 10 wardrobe must haves for the summer-fall fashion scene, let me warn you, it IS NOT.
It deals with a comparatively boring topic - wardrobes, closet interiors, design, shelves.
So there, now that the expectations are set, lets begin :)

I have moved across cities for a pretty large part of my life. Every new house we would move into would require me and my sister to choose cupboards or rather sides of a cupboard. The power struggles over "the better side" are a thing of the past.
Now it is between the husband and me. Who gets which cupboard and how many shelves. In the end he always needs and gets more space than me. Stop snickering you men! You know it, you guys use a lot of space. I know some women who might be nodding at this ;)

When it came to thinking of wardrobes for the new/own place, I drew a blank initially. I mean like, what's there to think about. It is simple right? A few shelves and some hanging space. Anything would do.
Well,  I was wrong. There are, like anything else in the world, hazaar (a thousand) options. From the plywood used for the structure, to the laminate stuck on top, the style and colour of shutters (doors for the uninitiated), the shelves, accessories. You name it!

So then I went on my research hunt guided by the questions -
1. What are my needs for storage?
2. Who is going to use the wardrobes?
3. Maintenance capability? *Laziness is a huge factor here.
4. Space available in the house

Storage needs - First you need basic wardrobes to keep every day clothes. Then there is the stuff like bedsheets, bed spreads, comforters/rajais, pillows, cushions, all your other linen for the house. You also would have luggage that you would like to stow away when not needed - suitcases, duffel bags, carry on bags and the likes. Think of all the other accessories, make up, bags, purses, shoes, hats, caps, sports/hobby related clothes, accessories.

For the bedroom, I would like something basic like these, with one change. I would prefer the top shelf to be moved to the bottom. In my opinion the top shelf is often at a height much more than the average person and thus becomes a hard to reach place. Good for stuff you want to hide from the kids but not to keep things you might need on a daily basis. A hanging rod is better there.
Ladies - If possible try to make space for a longer hanging shelf too, for all those summer dresses, skirts, long kurtas that are longer than the standard hanging shelf height of about 42 inches or 3.5 feet.

Picture courtesy

Picture courtesy

Person using the wardrobe - I feel the shelf style should be different for a wardrobe meant for a grown up vs a child. If you want the kid to be independent, that is. If you are the kinds who choose and lay out clothes, right from t shirt to the inner wear and socks and even help your 6 year old wear them then you can design the shelves as per your needs rather than the kids. For kids the shelves should be easy to reach, easy to see and safe rounded edges. There should also be a lot of toy, book, sports equipment and other accessories storage, but we will deal with that in a separate post.

Maintenance - From what I have learnt so far, laminates are easier to wipe off and clean compared to veneers. Wipe off with a damp, not wet, cloth and you are all done. Then there is Duco (the car paint sprayed over finish), glossy acrylics or lacquered glass (glass painted on one side) and other fancy materials for the wardrobe interior and exterior finish. Choose based on need from the material - looks, durability, functionality and also based on how would you maintain things in the house. If you are blessed with the time and patience to give tender love and care to things in the house then do go ahead and choose material that needs attention and upkeep. So a veneer finish would look rich, smooth and classy, say in the living room. But the kids room can do with a functional yet aesthetic looking laminate.

Space availability - Based on space in the house you could add lofts on top of the wardrobes (if you need extra space). Use sliding doors instead of traditional pull open doors if there is a space crunch. Sliding doors look modern too. We have under-the-stair space too at our place which we will be using as storage to keep those travel suitcases or sports equipment or other knick knacks which always manage to make way into the house and you wonder where did that come from or why did I ever buy that? :)

And anyways, I am more of a there-is-a-place-for-everything and ALSO a clean-up-the-place-in-15-minutes-before-someone-is-coming-over person so I need enough storage to dump stuff in away from view :)

Hope this information sharing helps! Do write in for any specific questions, queries you would like to discuss or ideas you would like to bounce off.
Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely week ahead.


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