Dress your Vase

I’m sure I’m not the first one to dress a vase 😄 in fact my first exposure to it was some 9 years ago when I started buying @O-home magazine and nate Berkus book I bought.

Before I jump on to the relevant topic itself I just want to make an observation that diy doesn’t have to be a big do over; many times it’s bringing the small things together that you don’t find help for particularly in a labor expensive country. As I have mentioned before I like to change almost everything after I acquire it; I’m desperate for uniqueness (don’t ask me why 😶).

In this case I saw this vase first and did not buy it. Guess it was lingering in my subconscious mind. But when I came across these pendants the light bulb 💡 happened. From the time I put in its spot I have added few more things to that place 🤓. All it took was three items to make this beautiful set up.

Don’t hesitate when you see a potential after all whats the worse that could happen!! Some of these pendants desperately make me want to go on a curio quest 😌

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. https://www.thebetterindia.com/40789/channapatna-lac-turnery-craft-design-karthik-vaidyanathan/

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

Bottle Art – diy

Do you have ever an idea spark and feel excessively overwhelmed!!. This project was one such an effort for me. I saw an African statue on sale #homegoods and wanted to make it a vase top. While I was trying purchase a right vase it occurred to we could upcycling the many whiskey , wine bottles we throw… at one point I wanted to create an array of the to be arranged over the kitchen shelving , but that idea evolved and eventually we decided pay homage all tribal / indigenous arts/designs .. starting with Africa , moved on to Native American, Egyptian and now on Indian, one bottle per category. I still have Aztec, aboriginal Australian etc to venture. If not anything this is a great conversation starter. Not to mention some of the hubs friends calling dibs on one for them… only one condition .. I will do the art but whoever gives the bottle to me will clean the bottle and clear the labels 😉.

It was a bit of struggle to figure out how to remove the labels .. not all of them come off that easily even with goof off.. finally the solution we found was to soak the bottles in water , vinegar and baking soda.. just FYI in case you ever plan to venture.

For this series I decided to go black and white since my house is too colorful.. then came the question how do I make my base ready.. I could have gone through the tedious process of creating layers of acrylic coat, drying between coats, and then painting on top of the base.

I was trying figure out a more efficient approach to getting a very smooth base; that’s when I discovered #krylon spray paints.. the base turned out pretty smooth. Then the next question was do I use brush, then again my best works were done on my couch 😝 so I used painters pen to complete the rest of the work.. soon I will shoot some process videos to share with all of you. I have more to go.. but this has been one utterly enjoyable and gratifying experiences.. now on to the debate on how to display them 😋

Did I mention I customized the bottle caps? (mostly 😋) to suit the origin of the art. Ciao more gab of my ventures next time

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.