Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Marvels of a bygone era (Prakalyam Gallery)

A lifelong obsession with antiques and natural affinity of a bygone era resulted into a recipe of a healthy business for Veshali Visvanaath. With cultivated taste and deep passion, Veshali is spreading her love of authentic and genuine antique collection far and wide through her online venture - Prakalyam gallery- one stop stomping ground for handmade antiques and colonial furniture hunters in Singapore and beyond.
When I found myself unapologetically glued on the collection of antiques and colonial furniture on Prakalyam Gallery online, I knew at an instant that it has a script-worthy story to share with my readers.

Nestled in the protective arms of Veshali, Prakalyam Gallery is an opulent place dripping with riches of antique collection that echoes India’s expertise and artistic excellence of master craftsmanship in colonial past. With chiseled to perfection pieces Prakalyam Gallery is creating a stir with their glam collection of wooden furniture, antique silver, glass and other artefacts. Each of these unusually exclusive pieces are a fusion of Indian craftsmanship and the styles of an olden colonial era.
It was a different ballgame when Veshali was hunting antiques for her home, but when the shopping game gone overboard for her home; Veshali translated her years of experience of curating antiques in steering a business empire of Prakalyam gallery. Though the name ‘Prakalyam’ may sound a bit challenging to pronounce, it has the perfect meaning and essence of what Veshali was looking for. It is a Sanskrit word which denotes “all things beautiful”. The word is an amalgamation of two Hindi words...pracchin and kaal which literally means ancient times.  
Accomplishments and accolades come at an easy trot for Veshali in a short span of three years.  A desi soul and a lover of simplest things, Veshali innovates with an eye to what is meaningful in her client’s beautiful homes. When it comes to products, Prakalyam is committed to suffusing its gallery with the most genuine antiques. Each piece has gone through intelligent and deliberate design process under Veshali’s supervision and care. Veshali is steadfast and has a clear blueprint of what Prakalyam Gallery should provide. With an eye for antiques and her addiction to hunt, Veshali is keen to rethink the very essence of what she puts in the gallery. Veshali personally goes through the grind of endorsing every unusual and rare piece for the gallery from India. Important pieces in the gallery are secured through auctions and personal contacts of Veshali. Keeping the line of design close to the colonial era, off lately, Veshali is also bringing a few reproductions upon request. Veshali’s business breaths on –“Being true to everything I do”.  As she firmly believes that the only thing she is answerable is her own conscience. No wonder, the uniqueness in Prakalyam brand is an expression of Veshali’s individuality and personality that has begun to cast a major influence for anyone who loves to blend classy and exclusive pieces in their homes.Prakalyam has prospered in keeping the spectacle and marvels of Indian era alive through their gallery. As we sign off, wishing Prakalyam all the very best for all future accomplishments. Do take a trip down the nostalgic lanes of a long-gone era by visiting the gallery of Prakalyam here. Follow along Prakalyam gallery on Instagram here and Facebook page here. If you ever step your feet in Singapore or you live there to drop in the physical store of Prakalyam by appointment.

Until we meet again, stay connected on Facebook and Instagram feeds of Pinkz Passion, toodles!

(Image Courtesy: Prakalyam Gallery. The pictures can not be used without a consent  from the store owners, however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rang Barse....

Sending wishes for Holi with Indian style eye-candy. Celebrations don’t end at my end if they haven’t given some traditional twists with my sparkling brass.  May your Holi is filled with moments as sweet as ‘motichoor ladoo’ and memories as colorful as the colors of Holi.

Happy Holi to all the readers of my passion family.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Home with Grace and History (Home Tour of Shobha Ramesh)

In a game of decorating, there are times when sentiments trump everything. The very presence of sentimental treasures in our home not only adds authenticity and a character but also makes our home an exceptional one. And when heirlooms and hand me downs are given new gravity and functionality, it makes you feel connected to people and experience long gone. Gracing our home tour today is one such home where hand me down treasures are given far more value – both aesthetic and emotional.  
Away from the madding crowd of Bangalore is a "Green Home" of Ramesh family, that is individual, imaginative and inspiring.
The entire 3500 square feet, three bedroom home is designed by the lady of the home - Shobha. She proudly acclaims that the house was built meeting the standards of “Green Building” requirements. The environmentally responsible home is built using stone and wire cut bricks around the home instead plaster walls. It aids keeping the home cooler by four to five degrees and family doesn't need air conditioner anywhere. I was impressed to learn that home is also using solar energy for their heating and lighting purposes.

Flexing her decorative muscle Shobha preferred to venture in following her passion and hobby of interior designing in spite of being a horticulture graduate. It’s almost 20 years now since Shobha started her interest into a profession. Her talent was fast noticed and offers for interiors started to pour in without any advertising. She also proudly holds television shows in the local language about her work of interiors. 
Making a statement about Shobha and her home starts as soon as the door opens. A mishmash of unrelated things are pulled together to make a gorgeously eye-catching, fashionable and a very livable scheme at the entrance of her home. Make sure to chew on the practical hints and tips as you go about this home tour.  
Shobha is a sentimental pack-rat and instead of tossing old, damaged and dull heirloom pieces away, she has transformed them into sassy and trendy pieces that truly enhance her home. One such piece is this cabinet which used to be a grandfather clock of ancestors. Instead of tossing it away she gleefully added in her current décor giving a little tweak to better suit her design style. Now it proudly holds a collection of Ganesha just at the entrance. A portrait of a tearful young boy is a reproduction of a famous painting “crying boy” by Shobha. The four cow heads posing above the cabinet are also heirloom pieces of the family as I was told by Shobha.  
Expertly planned yet packed with ambience and a dash of drama Ramesh family’s living room attributes unifying thread of different era. Along with all the classic accessories, Shobha has a given a modern twist via exposed brick wall in the room. The layered texture of rough bricks provides a pleasing contrast in the room giving a feeling of warmth and coziness.
Shobha self-effacingly claims that other than few paintings, souvenirs and mementos from her travel, rest of all home décor accessories are from her in-laws. 
The living room is brought to life by the painting often referred as “Lady with a lamp”. It is a glowing piece of art by Shobha’s dear friend which mimics a remake of Mr. S.L.Haldankar’s ‘Glow of Hope.
While the room is overlaid with personal collection, she has employed Kerala boat in the middle of the coffee table championing a fresh and eccentric approach. The boat resonates plenty of sentiments with the couple as it was fetched during their honeymoon 28 years back. The boat now takes pride of a lifetime striking a pose in the middle of the room.
Some retro knickknacks have a funky but nostalgic vibe that makes a lovely addition in her home. 
And here is the full view of living room.The one of a kind Chinese styled sofa set in the room was also designed by Shobha herself which really gels practically and decoratively with rest of the décor accessories.
Here we are at my favorite room of the home - Shobha’s Pooja Room. It definitely declares her ingenuity. The room is a blessing for the family and to all those who enters. In the busyness of life, stealing a moment here with the supreme divine is a pure delight for the family.
The spiritual ambience falls perfectly in the rhythm with tall brass diyas and decals of Lord Shiva flanking both the walls. Perfect amount of natural light is flooded through the stained glassed skylight, which adds brilliant colors and gorgeous design in the room. 
The family room is a total chill out zone in Ramesh family and affords perfect flow of family activities. All the happening things like reading, watching television and occasional eruption of loud cheers take place in this very room. Along with style and comfort the room also proudly holds vintage bits and pieces that have a joyful vibe.
You are bound to encounter with obstinately eccentric pieces around Shobha’s home because she was determined that bequeathed pieces are too meaningful to usher to the curb. With creativity and willingness she mends and improves these pieces in her current décor style. 
Decorating with red bricks wired around indoor may sound challenging for some but Shobha has tackle this deal brilliantly. The family room stretches to the dining room along the other end. With an added touch of green, the niche here provides visual interest and tactile appeal. It’s Shobha's hide-out adda for all extra crockery and stacks of kitchen dry goods. Inherited prized family antiques hold very high regard with Shobha. Many decades down the line her romance with these antiques haven’t ebbed.  Breaking the stodgy looking set, Shobha has inserted 150 years old inherited four-poster bed in her bedroom. The serene presence of ambient lightings and cocooning textures are dreamy enough to put anyone’s head in the clouds in Shobha’s private sanctuary. The age of the bed hasn’t withered her prospects. By giving a touch of airy drapes she has taken this old bed to a better height.Shobha’s truly believes that comfortable and good quality furniture is worth its weight in gold and can be wonderfully revived adding authenticity and character to a home. Following her own gut she has coaxed out quite corner in her bedroom incorporating these handed down furniture. 

By now my readers can attest that Shobha believes in breaking décor myths and creating her own. Similarly – though not less effectively Shobha has created her master bath into a tropical themed garden space mixed with earthy touch. The skylight above allows sunlight and fresh air throughout. It looks as good as taking a shower in rainforest ;).
Another heavenly space - their backyard garden which includes a range of  tropical greenery adding a bright green glow indoor as well. The couple catches a brief moment of calm here after the whirlwind of a monotonous day. The swing and the main entry door are replicas of family's ancestor home and both were created by their village craftsmen. 

Clearly Shobha has aced decorating her home with grace and history. She knows how to strike the right balance mixing pieces of many eras and styles, a fret few of us are not able to achieve. 

Though for me, the temptation to have heirloom pieces in my décor is very strong and I have always find myself succumbed to the lure of those pieces of a bygone era. For those of you who yet haven’t practiced incorporating the family hand me downs in your decor stories, it’s about time to dig down your family treasures; you never know what you might find.

And as we close our today’s home tour, I would like to thank Shobha for putting up with me on exactitude of photographs. I enjoyed connecting with you and wishing you and your family loads of love, luck and happiness today and always!

For those of you who would like to connect with Shobha for any interior service may contact her via email.

Until we meet again with new décor stories, stay connected on the passion page of Facebook and feeds of Instagram, toodles!

(Image Courtesy: Shobha Ramesh. The pictures can not be used without a consent  from the home owners, however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

And we nailed it.....Our Mask Wall!

If only our walls could talk...while our walls might not be able to talk, we are surely making them a talking point in our home. I believe that walls in our homes truly have the power to speak volumes about our lives and our deep love of collecting pieces. 

With our overflowing collection of tchotchkes from around the globe, my creative idea of a “mask wall” had started brewing ages ago. Now that our basement is done, we had many more walls to free up our creative thoughts. And finally my vision could result into a reality with our own one of a kind wall! The wall was reserved, at the foot of the stairs, from the moment it caught my eye and it was a perfect canvas for showcasing the treasures of our masks.

After attempting one here in our living room and one here in our temple room, we were ready to tackle another one with aplomb. Though, I would be one lost woman if my handy husband wouldn't stand next to me for any decorative front at home. He definitely packs his patience and bears out my bold enough (read crazy enough) experiments with equal fervour.
And just because every new decorating project requires a brilliant fresh scheme I opted for a bright hue of ‘Bean Bag Toss’ paint from ‘Para Paints’ to make the masks stand out. While the rest of the basement walls are done in warm grey this perky shade flawlessly brightens up 'mask wall' display.
Our little wall is finally developing personality reflecting our passion. Each piece here tells a story of the places we have visited and sparks memories of interesting travel tales. The wall is also an ode to those beautiful years we have spent in Africa. In addition to those lugged away pieces in our carry bags from Africa…few masks from our tropical vacations to Cuba, Mexico, and one recently from my last trip to USA are also adorning the wall. Two large wooden panels on sides were shipped back to Canada from Africa.

These two little guys on the floor are actually stylish and versatile seats that I carried back with me when we moved to Canada 20 years back. They fold up perfectly to take on adventures or to move anywhere in home as an extra seat. The saddle leather on top is hand dyed and hand stitched in Africa.
Besides being a fashionable focal point while running up and down in our basement, the mask wall is now sure to kick fire a conversation with our guests. 

Hope this wall has inspired you to kick start your own gallery wall project. Don't stifle your creative thoughts and start tackling one because the best thing about gallery walls is....everything and anything can go!  There are plenty of more sites to scroll and surf through for your imagination. I would love to hear your feedback on my attempt, do drop in a line. Until we meet again, see you on Instagram and Facebook, toodles!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Valentine.....

Okay, folks, so here is a post after looooong. Trust me, I have been struggling to get back in the blogging groove after our recent trip to India. Every morning (even after three weeks) I pinch myself, rub my eyes and shout out am I really back ;(. Moreover, the frigid cold weather blanketed more than 15 cm of snow in Toronto this weekend to bruise my already wounded spirit. For now I have funneled all the pain and here with you all to talk about love . 

Though I have shared inspiring enough posts on V-day here and here in past years, this year I am sharing something personal that I thought is cute enough to broach the topic lovingly. 
Valentine’s Day is never anything extravagant except a day for us to celebrate our love for one another, a day to celebrate the time, past and present after spending two decades together. Yes, we 'the oldy-goldy' celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in December and today's small post is about our small celebration we did to celebrate our togetherness. Though now after twenty years, we need something different to feel intoxicated and that's a complete different story ;). 
The party took place without breaking any bank in our newly finished basement and with the company of all loving close friends. (The whole celebration was a surprise and I had to churn it out in the small span of 2 hours.) Simplest, playful and practical pieces were given unusual touches apt for the celebrations. Tissue paper flowers and candles were perfectly paired in sync with the theme. For some personalized touches; Treasured memories of our life captured in photographs were displayed in giant frames. To throw in some laughter funny "Somee cards" were replaced in old frames. Personalized water bottles for all guests are “Pinkz” specialty for any big or small events at our home. Shadow box displayed some serious calculations of our overall math of 20 years.

And here I am with my ol’ pal, a fellow mischief maker and a husband….sending cheers for all those couples who always find ways to rekindle their love after soothing rhythm of many years of friendship.

And lastly I am thankful that we have Instagram and Facebook where we could stay connected (when you don’t find me here) for our social media soaked regular days. I will be back soon as I have lot to share and show. Until we meet again enjoy your V-Day. Stay connected, toodles!

Monday, December 12, 2016

December and Good byes!

I have every right to be elated….why? Well, Pinkz is going away on a vacation and needless to say I am super excited. Yes, I will be unplugging from the blog sphere and Facebook along with locking the doors on my everyday chores for couple of weeks hence here is the last post of the year from me and my sparkly brass setting.
As much as it can be pleasure packing away those bags, sometimes let's be honest it's a bit of a grind and I feel like a gerbil on a wheel as I am muscling my way through this month. But as I believe these petty hardships will yield to some of the fondest memories of our lifetime. By breaking away all the humdrum, I am looking forward to spend some time away in a world away from all this frantic scurrying. The best part of the trip is a family wedding where fun and giggles will overflow abundantly and not to forget all the mingling with cousins and friends in between. As and when we have gone back to India, we have been welcomed with open arms and treated like royalty and so have my children….so thankful for the family and friends for their hospitality. 
On a colder note, winter scenes are back here but a steady snow fall outside hasn’t dampen the exuberance inside me. Yes, with the first appearance of snow, it's officially winter here. With temperatures dipping in negatives and snow covered streets, Toronto already looks festive ready. Trust me, kissing goodbye to this brutally cold winter is the best perk of going away in December for us Torontonians.
At the blog front, it was another great year in blogging. It is so very heartening to be connected with you all. Life wouldn’t be the same without you all. Thank you all from the depth of my heart for having me and my passion stories in your life. You all are a rock of support for my passion. Looking ahead, as we mark a beginning of a new year, hoping to create and share the spectacle and wonder of many more “design moments” with you all.  

Well, that's it folks, signing out today for this year with the thoughts of my heavy shopping list ;) and packing on pounds with yummy food. You all lovely friends stay connected with me on my Instagram to #travelwithpinkz stories until my return and miss me on the blog sphere until my return. A big hug to you all and a very Happy New Year! Toodles!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moods of my entrance!

Nothing beats the deep sigh of release and the delight of arriving home at the end of a tiring work day. It is a feeling one has to feel and cannot be described. As we step into our sanctuary, our personalized entry way that sets a serene vibe absorbs the lassitude from a long day instantly, offering a comfortable transition to a restful atmosphere. What’s more? A lot! Welcome to our Foyer and allow me to narrate my love story with this humble place :).  


I have immense love for my Foyer and am absolutely obsessed with playing around with the decor here, changing up the look constantly. This humble setting at the entry way with its immense potential for myriad creative settings, gives our visitors a first glimpse of our personal style and introduction to our whole house.
In ourhome, the entryway is a “landing stage”, which apart from providing a comfortable place for donning or shedding shoes or Jackets, also extends a warm personal welcome to our guests along with us. Come on in, as I guide you along to showcase the portraits of some personalized (or should I say Pinkified;)) vignettes and kaleidoscope of art work that greets our guests with more than just hello!

Whatever may be the physical feature or size of your entryway, the first impressions always matter, and few thoughtful touches here can go a long way in treating one’s eyes as soon as they set the foot into a home. In my own foyer, a pop of color is the top layer on my vignette that can be easily changed. Red always works for me. Purposefully placed minimal brass setting here echoes the overall traditional setting of our home.

I do not really align myself with any particular style and select pieces solely by their jazz that intrigues me. However, I have always been passionate about styling with timeless and classic decor items and hence, my strikingly stylish brass usually accentuates the simplicity of my décor that I put together with a minimal effort.
A table is foyer essential and a best surface to accessorize, apart from making an exceptional first impression on the guests. With a narrow entrance, a shelf or a small cabinet can definitely solve the same purpose of a foyer table with some much needed storage. In our foyer, this practical table provides us a much needed ‘catch-all’ spot in its drawer, where all the mail, keys, glasses and every knick knack that we tend to carry in our pockets gets stashed easily.
When it comes to home styling, I am in a constant restless state of re-decorating with a continuous moving, adding and eliminating pieces in a study of the unexpected discoveries. This process goes on until I identify a correct placement of each element with a perfect styling, with a bonus of some exhilarating thrills of new discoveries.
Decorating walls is the quickest way to add a sense of depth to a space, apart from interjecting style and personality to your entrance. Some cleverly placed artwork can always add an instant focus on your entryway. Our artist daughter’s paintings have a pride of place in our foyer, which gives out a clear glimpse of our collective taste, personalities and fondness for Ganesha. These whimsical and lovely art pieces sitting pretty above console table not only lend an added sparkle in our entry way, but also engage our guests with a visible awe apart from being a great conversation starter.
In my quest to bring some calmness at my doorstep, at times a few Zen settings shape up over the foyer table. The serene visuals are sure to ease down our fatigue at the end of a long day. For a bit of whimsy, I experiment with designs and pair some beloved ethnic pieces with modern elements. This kind of old and new pairing often refreshes the look of older items, give a more collected look for the space and often makes both elements stand out.

A place we decorate with artwork and candles would also welcome flowers. Nothing looks more visually stimulating than a vase of fresh flowers, as you walk through the front door. Flowers are always a safe bet and a fabulous plus to any styling in my décor. Quite often, I prefer to pick an unconventional vase to attire my flowers as against a standard vase and my dear brass items always offer me a great choice.
In few of those “design moments” and creative cravings, the settings at the foyer do not stay the same for very long. While periodically combing through my collections, I tend to discover something more visually pleasing than the existing displays. After few ‘trial and error’ stages of experimenting with their settings, the existing decor promptly gets modified to include the new objects of my interest!

Personalization adds a special touch to anything you own.
For an instant glamour and to enliven a space, area rugs are great to brighten any floors. Textured and bright coloured rugs every so often offer an added radical change in our foyer.

If you are like me, looking to constantly play around with the art work or vignette over a console, displaying a frame on an easel or placing it informally on the table makes it easy to change the scene. Adding a layer of flickering candle at the evenings always adds the extra oomph illuminating the area, whether or not it is well lit.
Many of us tend to accumulate plentiful souvenirs through our travel or as gifts from friends and family. A thoughtfully put together collection of such story telling pieces on the console also adds an undeniable grace and warmth to the foyer.

In our foyer too, many of our accessories unfold the stories of our many valuable friendships and the places we have travelled. In a refreshing change of pace, I also sometimes keep my omnipresent brass at bay and embrace novelty with a few fanciful pieces, to create a fresh look for the same place.


All decor lovers go through a periodical itch of creating a new look time to time. And the normal mistake we all do at such times is to start shopping for newer items. But the trick to minimizing an overload of accumulated stuff is to begin the hunt right at home. You don’t need to look far and out for a design changer but first dig down the existing treasures (or even what you may consider trash) you own.
Running a leisure eye on what you already own will sometimes reveal surprising discoveries and offer innovative ideas without breaking any bank. Edit and style your existing collection, including clutter in a way that will empower each item in a greater decorative value.
I am usually good at keeping my promises and even though the post was swaying away for more time than I intended, it has finally been out from my draft box. Hope the saga of different moods of our entry way, in the full glory of its pinkification (can't stop myself from using it ;)) will inspire you enough to spruce up your own. Until we meet again, stay connected! Toodles!