Channapatna – India’s response to mid century design lovers

Crafts from India are carried on through generations and usually with very little modification, which is the beauty of it. One such is the Channapatna .. growing up in India most of us would have owned some Channapatna toy.. made only from natural materials, no sharp lines and rich hues these made for best toys. Over the years the craft has evolved and now there is more focus to expand the use for this technique to make lifestyle products . My personal favorite was the atta (wheat flour mill)grinder ☺️ and the giant wheel.

Why I chose to write about it today is different reason, I was moving around one of Channapatna pieces which was originally my sons stacking toy, which is now serving as a bangle holder for me 😀 I couldn’t quiet help noticing how much this age old tradition has so much in common with a modernist movement. They each are known for 1. Function before form, 2. Uncluttered sleek lines / less adornment. 3. Both organic and geometric shapes 4. Rich hues 5. Modern finishes

I was trying to see how the Channapatna faired against the above – 1.Most of the toys that are made are miniatures of real life objects .. some of them you can put together or rearrange, 2. Geometric lines , no rough edges , symmetry 3. Only wood with no wastage apparently 4. Earth tones of black, burnt orange, maroon red, mustard yellow and the likes 5. Lacquered wood … this made me kind of excited and so here I am blabbing about it hoping the part of the world that is hung on mid century designs could take advantage of this beautiful traditional craft. Looks some European brands have picked up this collection for their toys. I just hope they don’t get China to imitate it 🧐

An article in THE BETTER INDIA covers this topic on Kartik Vaidyanathans Varnam store which I’d restoring this tradition and bringing in product beyond toys, keep sakes or jewelry.

In my upcoming trip to India this one is surely on my list of stores to visit 😄 I have pasted pics of my collection and a few more from the article and store .. enjoy and shop eco friendly

My Turmeric Home

As this is my first ever blog post I’m putting in some background before i jump to the topic.

My design / decor style has evolved over the years ,  from the time I made my first salary I had an yearning for beautiful well put together home of my own. Back when I had just started making money I used buy inside ‘ outside magazines off of the street corner used book stores and make cut outs of features I would want.

Over the years I have read countless design magazines pouring over hours on them like I had a project to crack ☺️

Even with all that reading it took many trial and errors before I could settle for my personal style ( I still wonder if I have a personal style) I have several moods and several change of ideas and quickly wear out of a setting , design or piece.

Earlier on my tastes used to fluctuate with what I knew growing up Kerala, chettinad, Jaipur .. with more exposure the impact of other styles also influenced my aesthetics -regency, Hollywood glam, industrial, rustic, Art Deco .. I’m still out on mid century .

But its often hard to figure how to blend these , if it’s right to blend at all and how to maintain a harmony. I’m not too much of a minimalist nor a boho .. but I love seed beads and restoration hardware all the same ☺️ So you see the fix I’m in .

When I moved first I brought a lot of indian decor items with me… the madhubhanis the kalamkaris the tanjores. My husband started to complain ‘‘twas an overload .. so I started to mix in.. then I felt I had too much .. I cut down.. when I say cut down it’s not like I cleaned out 🤨I just figured how to make it cohesive, harmonious..  I guess many of you may experience this dilemma (fingers 🤞 crossed).

This whole dilemma was behind the color decision  when we wanted to upgrade our cream walls that come default in suburban homes. When you become a new homeowner you are often told to make investments that have a direct payoff. So color for all practical purposes is advised. So one had to rally support to move in the other direction.. I had collected several ads of Royale paint, one of which had a vintage home with beautiful dark wood work and an all out turmeric wall, that served as the inspiration but we had to make this work for a suburban American single family home.. so we decided to mix a combination that will still let me have enough turmeric yellow. Silver gray , turmeric yellow and chocolate brown it was eventually !!

The longest running wall connecting the kitchen and family room was turmeric yellow. It shines so  beautifully when the sun hits the room, and more or less feels warm in all kinds of weather😄 . The rest of the house is finished with the silver gray, with brown for accent. The ceilings we settled for a bright white to avoid further color clashes.

In future posts I will tell you the furniture selection which had more mistakes before we finally got it right 😉

have a fantastic week ahead.. see you soon.