Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Antiquated Charm (Mini-Home tour)

Today we go all the way to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to visit the home of poet and ardent reader of TECD, Aruna Patnaik. Aruna's collection of vintage artifacts and antiques is fascinating and so are the stories that accompany them. Isn't this one of the main reasons as to why we love a home tour? To hear the when, why and how of a particular piece being chosen and finding its way into the heart and home of its owners.
Let's cut right to the chase then shall we? Taking centerstage is the above vignette is a vintage, reverse glass painting of Gajendra Moksha. The painting, Aruna says is more than 80 years old and belonged to the royal family that once ruled a little hamlet called Mandasa in the Srikakulam district of Andra Pradesh. After marriage, Aruna had to move base to Mandasa where she up home in a bungalow that once belonged to a courtesan of the Rajah. Abandoned behind one of the doors in the bungalow, were 20 such paintings. On her first visit to inspect the bungalow, she heard a huge crashing noise only to realize that  someone's negligence had caused these lovely paintings to come crashing to the floor. Aruna could hardly believe what had just happened! She managed to save only two from the lot! After decades, it still has a place of importance in Aruna's home. Also seen in the frame above on the left, is an 18th century compass gifted to her by a cousin. Balancing it out on the right is an antique bowl weighing 3 kilos that Aruna managed to snag from a shop that sells steel kitchen utensils. The bowl was originally used by farmers to soak rice in butter milk that they ate for breakfast before heading out to the fields for the day. But now Aruna uses it to float flowers. 
At the far end, you can get a glimpse of the other reverse glass painting. This one features the Vaman Avatar.

Another lovely vignette where a collection of Kerala "Kindis" is arranged following the rule of height. Accompanying them is a traditional bronze lamp  that was got in exchange for some steel utensils.  
Now isn't that a fascinating antique bed? Infant, one doesn't get to see these anymore! What if I told you, that something as beautiful as this was going to be used as firewood?? GASP!!!!  Apparently, this piece along with a gramophone and a grandfather's clock were being taken away by some residents of Mandasa to be used as firewood. An acquaintance of the family, realized that this would be a hideous waste of such lovely pieces and brought this to Aruna's attention. Without a moments hesitation Aruna, decided to rescue them by paying for it. Now, they steal the show in her guest bedroom.
You know of my obsession with plantation chairs, don't you??? I absolutely love how striking this corner looks by combining a vintage plantation chair with a contemporary looking copper pendant light (a gift from Aruna's son from Habitat, London). As for the chair, yes it has a story.  Over to Aruna, "The plantation chair belonged to the same royal family of Mandasa who lost all their riches in time and were selling away things. It broke my heart just imagining the difference in their life styles. But little did they know about how valuable these pieces were. They asked for a Godrej cupboard instead in exchange for this piece!" 
Another score, an antique book case that belonged to the royal family. Now, its filled with Aruna's collection of books and a few other vintage brass artifacts. 

With that we come to the end of our mini-home tour. I hope you enjoyed the glimpses of this lovely home. Thank you Aruna for sharing lovely corners of your home with my TECD readers. We wish you all the very best!

(Image Credit: Aruna Patnaik. Please do not use the images for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior consent of the home owner or TECD)

Monday, March 13, 2017

As "Indianly" Rustic as It Gets (Farm House Tour)

Imagine being able to escape the city's humdrum, the deafening noise and the toxic pollution to a serene sanctuary where all that  surrounds you is the symphony of the whirring of the crickets, the squawking of the parrots and the neighing of horses. Air so fresh that a breath of this is as invigorating as an hour of a yoga session. And to top it all, the drive to this dream destination is only a stone's throw away from the city! Sounds too good to be true???
Not for real estate magnate, Jayesh Patel. The man loves his horses and farm like no other and definitely lives life large. Welcome to Jayesh Patel's traditional Indian style farmhouse, lovingly called the "Desai Vadi" (location - Kanjri (Gujarat, India)). Every evening after work his ritual involves driving himself to the farmhouse to spend some quality time with his prized horses and farm animals. This is his way of unwinding and replenishing his energy, to tackle another day of  busy city life. 
The Man - Jayesh Patel with his favorite mare, Laxmi.
The main entryway
The idea of owning a  farmhouse had been marinating in Jayesh's thoughts for a long time. Seeing and experiencing the relaxed life at his dad's farmhouse, had made Jayesh decide that he wanted to own one of his very own. His equestrian interests further fueled this thought. Jayesh decided to bring architect Pranav Patel and Meghna Patel on board to pilot his dream project. Together, they were able to complete Desai Vadi in a time span of 11/2 years. The result is an elegantly rustic 1,100+ sq ft space with a living, kitchen and sprawling verandah that honors traditional Indian style of architecture.
He says the effect of red tiled roof, a sweeping courtyard surrounding the farmhome, carved pillars and doors, in a rustic setting, effortlessly aides in melting away the layers of stress brought on by the city life. Imagine basking in the sun-toasted verandah with a cup of chai! This potent combination can only have a therapeutic effect and act as the quintessential laid-back tonic, won't you agree???
Jayesh's artistic capture of the traditional bullock cart used as a sculptural element in the courtyard.
A khatiya/charpai used for lounging in the sun-kissed verandah. Don't miss the earthenware pots with the painted handiwork of artisans that were specifically called to get the desired rustic effect.
Jayesh wanted to deliberately keep the feel of the farmhouse interiors, folksy and relaxed. Without making the decor overbearing, he opted for the traditional Lipan work to do the trick. Artists from Kutch were called in to work their magic. And in no time, the walls had a bejeweled feel with the mirror work shimmering from the pendant lights suspended from the wooden beams above (another beautiful architectural feature).
Ample seating with slip cover style cushions for comfort make it a clever and easy to maintain option. Pops of color are brought in with glass work cushions covers that are so abundantly available in Gujarat:)
A closer look at the details that make this space what it is! 
A view of Desai Vadi in the evening light!
Putting this feature together has only made my decision to retire in a little farmhouse (on the outskirts of Bengaluru) that much more stronger. 

I can't thank Jayesh enough for being so wonderful, responsive and patient through this entire process of putting this feature together. It has been such a pleasure coordinating with him! Jayesh wishing you the very best! 

Finally, I'm so glad that what started brewing almost 6 months ago has taken shape to share with my TECD readers. I hope you'll enjoyed the Desai Vadi tour as much as I had fun putting this together for you. 

(Image Credit/Courtesy: Jayesh Patel, All images are the property of Jayesh Patel and may not be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without his prior written consent.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Keeping It Elegantly Eclectic (Home Tour)

With creamy white walls and an open arrangement in the floor plan, the home of Aninda and Mayank in Delhi, is an enviable balance of tranquility and décor drama at play. Working with an overall white color palette, accomplishes a designer feel and brings about a relaxed, sophisticated vibe. The couple has expertly used pops of color in the home to bring in the much needed contrast, visual interest and happy vibes. Mayank is an investment professional while Aninda is a multidisciplinary creative. She is a jewelry designer and the founder of Studio Azzurra, a mosaic artist and a décor blogger at Sunshine in My Cup. Together they share their home with their adorable and energetic three year old son (who has both his parents tightly wrapped around his little finger:)
Starting with the doorway, we are introduced to the fact that  it is the little details that makes a house a home. The brass knocker you see dressing up the door was picked up from Kerala. Step in and the decor in the foyer further asserts the fact that creative risks definitely pay-off if one has the vision and makes the effort to execute it in a planned manner. Over to Aninda to fill you in on her side of the story, "When we bought this place a few years back, our son was still very young, so we decided to wait for a year till we could find the time and mindset that remodeling a house deserved. I used this time to collect our thoughts and inspirations for what we wanted our home to reflect, while my husband went about meticulously planning the execution details. The combination of his left and my right brain, allowed us to execute ideas to our satisfaction, without engaging an interior designer. We essentially imagined it to be an extension of our personalities, a place that mirrors our love for travel, books and Indian crafts, with an underlying global ethnic vibe to it."
I say, the couple deserves a  huge round of applause for the final design outcome! It is both functional, looks radically different from anything that I've seen before and  totally complements the many facets of the home owners interests. More of the design story from Aninda, "We wanted our space to radiate a sense of calm, so we went with white walls. This also provided the perfect canvas for our many colorful collectibles, allowing them to stand out against the light background. The white jali partitions merge with the walls, yet help gently define the living, foyer and dining spaces better. Rounding off the wall edges to give them a curved smooth finish helped us achieve an overall softer look. While it may not be apparent in the images, this seemingly small detail lends a beautiful finished look to the entire space. Tons of plants and fresh flowers are also a staple in our home."
This particular image that I had seen on Aninda's Instagram feed, got the ball rolling for this home tour. The image had niches imitating the silhouettes of the iconic Indian arches, jali style partitions used to transition from one room to another and little pockets of color that added to the visual landscape.....I knew I had to reach out to the home owners, as there was so much more to this space. And I am so glad I gave into my intuition
A full view of the living room. See, I was right when I said there was so much more to this space! Thota Vaikuntam prints, colors and patterns juxtaposed skillfully, travel finds and other carefully selected Indian decor pieces cohabitate happily to create an impressive space, that embraces refined design and understated style. The overall white palette, was a bold move I would say with a  three year old in the house. But Aninda is quick to point out that the paint is washable:)
This is just perfect, isn't it? The couple tell me that while choosing furniture for their living room, comfortable seating was priority. However, they were keen that they include one statement piece. And with that, they decided that a swing would fit this description well. Let's hear from Aninda as to how this lovely corner came together, "The swings we came across in and around Delhi were all huge, overly carved, bulky pieces.Finally we had to get it custom made to our size and style preference, for it to resemble a traditional 'oonjal'. The lovely brass chain was sourced on our holiday to Udaipur. But lugging these heavyweight chains back to Delhi was a nightmare, a mission only chronic decor loonies like us would undertake!! But I guess it was all worth the effort as this playful piece of furniture becomes a quick favorite with anyone who visits our place! I invariably find people gravitating towards it as soon as they enter our living room."
Aninda tells me that the vintage Shrinathji Pichwai painting was a lucky find and by far her most prized piece of art. The couple came across  it in one of the many by-lanes of old Udaipur. It now occupies a place of pride in the living room niche that is painted a vibrant shade of yellow ocher to offset the charcoal tones of the painting. Brass mirrors and a pendant lamp, bring the right amount of luxe effect to this corner. Another interesting addition is the small wooden boat that was sourced while on a trip to Kerala. With the boat secured to the wall, Aninda now uses it to display a few pots and add a touch of green to this corner.
Simplicity and function rule, the dining room. Amongst the structural changes undertaken by the couple, their biggest challenge was to alter the plan of the house to incorporate a sense of openness. To achieve this, they brought down certain walls to convert it from a four to a three bedroom apartment. The windows were resized to allow for ample natural light and ventilation in the apartment.
The Thangka painting was picked up by the couple on their trip to Dharamsala many moons ago. It's been framed using a saree from Aninda's mother’s trousseau. The Anjali diya from Good Earth keeps the Thangka company and makes for a soulful sacred corner.
A closer look at some of the finer details that go into making this gorgeous space. Aninda explains more about the pieces seen in the various vignettes, "I wanted to weave in my love for making mosaics and ceramic pieces into the décor of my home, so you will notice that the house is peppered with a little bit of both. The small ceramic pieces on the foyer console are a mix of pottery bought from a quaint little shop in Goa and those made by me. A mosaic bird bath I made gives company to the bharnis in our foyer, while my mosaic lady rests comfortably on a brightly tiled table in the living room!"
Aninda's never fail decor mantras, "For me decorating is never about buying the uber expensive. The three décor mantras that always work in my favor are:
  • Bringing in the potted greens and adding some fresh flowers and watch my room transform instantly. 
  • Weaving a dash of color into the décor. To a color obsessed mind like mine, one can never have too much of it.
  • Introducing some raw wood textures and brass accents always pull a space together for me."
The kitchen mimics  the same contemporary feel that dominates the rest of the home. Aninda added patterned tiles in earthy shades and a touch of blue-grey to brighten up the space. With a place for everything, the uncluttered work surface makes cooking a stress-free and enjoyable chore.
Clean line furniture and dark wood tones is what sets the stage in the master bedroom. The vibrant energy in the room comes from colorful textiles in sunset hues. Book shelves from the floor to ceiling frame the window. The little sette by the window, makes it the perfect spot to curl up and relax with a good read. Aninda shares, "Both Mayank and I are avid readers and want our little one to grow up surrounded by books instead of gadgets, just as we did. Therefore, we ensured the house is fitted with ample book shelves that could accommodate our large collection."
It was extremely important to Aninda and Mayank that their home have a dedicated space for gardening. Infact, they made the very difficult choice of foregoing a separate entertainment room in order to make space for Aninda's kitchen gardening escapades. Aninda says, "My husband often jokes that it was the lemon tree in the garden that sealed the deal for me on this house. Through our little green patch, we hope to teach our child the importance of getting his hands dirty, observe the often arduous but rewarding process of growing his own food and thereby learn to respect it more."
And more shots of the profusion of color from Aninda's garden! Love all the colorful contrast that Aninda has managed to bring in through painted pots and a mix of blooms.
While we come to the end of our home tour, all I can say is that the images and inspiration from this spectacular home tour is going to stay with me for a while. I know you (like me) want to go back and scroll through it all over again....So I'll leave you to it:)

Thank you Aninda and Mayak for letting us tour your amazing home! We wish you and your lovely family the very best!

(Image Credit: Aninda Singh, The images may not be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written permission of TECD and the home owners (Mayank and Aninda)).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Color Choices

Hello peeps! Back to my favorite virtual space! While I have been away from the blog due to work overload, the one thing that I religiously stuck to was sharing decor inspiration and all that I found beautiful on my social media platforms. I absolutely love my FB and Insta-clan and so happy to see my tribe continuing to grow stronger, support, share and inspire each other every single day!   
Getting on with our today's decor post. The 2013 Inside Outside edition, featured a home designed by Richa Bahl for a couple who wanted their home to reflect their south Indian Roots, more particularly Kerala. This home tour resonated with me on some many levels and more so as it is the perfect blend of Indian+contemporary design. Richa has outdone herself in heeding to the requirements of her clients. 

Recently, this home resurfaced again on the Beautiful Homes website as part of their home tours segment. With time, I noticed that the owner's had opted to change the wall color from the cheery yellow hue to the now trending, nordic all white. My desi heart is still hung up on the the previous color choice. 

I've included the before and after for you'll to see that color is a crucial player in shaping the feel of a space. The yellow lent a fun eclectic vibe to the space where as the white (despite the design elements being the same) has transformed the space to have a more updated, urban-contemporary vibe. What are your thoughts ??? (Catch the entire home tour here.)

(Image credit: 1&2 - Inside Outside, 3&4: Beautiful Homes)