Thursday, November 29, 2018

A home rooted in spirit, sense and sensibility (Home Tour of Shanthi)

My blog has been dedicated for portraying homes in many dimensions, be it the home owner's strong tribute to art, exceptional collection of brass or deepest passion of DIY skills. Among all others, I have tried to present a kaleidoscope of homes that have shined through and deserve your attention and applause. In the process, my romance of bringing these home tours for all of you has only blossomed over time, even though I feature many homes, it hasn't faded or dimmed.

Taking you today to one such beautiful home of Shanthi's in California which radiates peace yet has a heart. 

While the world races into rushed lifestyles and similar décor takes over the spread of contemporary choices, there are people who are resurrecting the distinct signature of Indian design and traditional culture that the world appreciates. Despite using traditional home décor, our today’s home owner Shanthi has won to stay ahead of the curve.   
The real sense of care and love dedicated to the collection is apparent the moment you walk through the door. Being so rooted in her affections, Shanthi's home is a beautiful mixture of the pristine and very well ordered collection combined with the unusual and superlative art pieces.    
Classically elegant, relaxed yet refined with just a hint of modern home pays homage to Shanthi’s South Indian roots and tradition with a twist. Regarding the Buddha wall Shanthi shares reviving happy memories of the past: “I had been collecting Buddha for a while, some gifted, some bought. I have placed the Buddha on various walls and some on shelves. I have always held the Buddha in reverence. For me, he represents calmness and compassion. One day, while reading some Buddha quotes, the idea to create a zen wall took form. I started to doodle on paper about placement of the masks. I then transferred it on to the wall.”
A jaw-dropping impact has been achieved in this room with Shanthi's dedicated collection of vintage finds and one of a kind pieces. The dowry chest (antique damchiya) seems a rather incongruous addition here but the unexpected mix of objects surrounding does work exceedingly well. With a chirpy  note Shanthi coins about this piece: "We bought the console couple of years ago but before I bought it, I had seen it in a store on Rubylane. Very pricey, so I would wistfully look at it once in a while and move on. But like they say, when you really wish for something, the whole universe helps your wish come true. In my case, it was the seller dropping the price and of course, hubby dearest who obliged. It was being sold as a 200 year old Swat valley dowry chest, but I suspect it is more of an antique Damchiya. It has lovely mica behind the jali cut panels, which reflect light when the sun is bright."

Décor dial has been turned up with discreet touches of luxury - fine Indian furniture - bespoke art pieces but most of all her collection point to a fascinating multi layered journey of her life.
Sealing every corner with an eye towards variety and diversity in color and form, Shanthi has chosen objects that she loves and used them freely to fill every visual and physical spot in her home. Upon asking about the stunning elephant painting if she drew herself, she acknowledges laughing a little: "I am very much an amateur painter and still learning the basics. This painting is actually a reproduction in oils, the original painting is by a Japanese painter named Hiroshi Yoshida who paints using woodblock print style the original was painted on paper, smaller in size, but really stunning to behold. I fell in love with it, I wanted a big one and had got it painted back in India. Hiroshi Yoshida has also painted Taj-Mahal in six different moods using the same woodblock print style".
I truly believe that homes and souls like her are broadening the reach of Indian art and artists by establishing a stronger foothold for new generation. Her home boasts one such exceptional and admirable collection of Kutchhi textiles that Shanthi has been collecting for many years now. Let me draw your attention to the story behind the collection (or rather the love affair) which began something like this: “On one of my early trips back home, I came across a beautiful Kutchh textile quite by accident. The textile was faded but the embroidery was stunning. The shop owner of the quaint shop in Southern India introduced me to ‘Rabari’ embroidery. That was the first I had heart about them. I was intrigues, but it was the late 90’s and I couldn’t get much information. After about a decade, I came across Judy Frater’s book “Threads of Identify”. Needless to say, it opened up the world of Rabaris to me and thus began a love affair of sorts with their textiles. They live in an almost monochromatic desert, but create such stunning colorful embroideries to balance it out. Each Rabari subgroup have their own motifs. I have been blessed to acquire some on my trip back to India, some through online textile shops like Etsy and Ebay. On particular shop I would like to mention is ‘The Silk Road’ based in Australia also".
It is believed that color is a direct reflection of personality and these corners show the homeowner's bold and adventurous persona. I am in love with these charmingly simple vignettes punctuated by these fabrics in different corners with a sparkly new twist. 

A stroll through her home is an apt prelude to witness one of the rare and antique pieces of the historical eras. One such vintage piece she recently scored is Gattaji (Nakoda Bhairavji) in such good condition with great patina. When it comes to creating vignettes with these antique pieces, she doesn’t take it lightly. She lets her intuition guide her to pair them and turn into talking points. Saturated colors, intricate pattern and dark wood are all throwback to the old world era. There is something comforting in the richness of these details and something playful the way she weaves them together.

Along with rest of the accessories, plants and flowers are the comfort food of decorating in Shanthi's home, they look both indulgent and fascinating in every corner they are dotted.

One tip that she suggests while working on changing things around is: "I stop once in a while, take pictures in few angles. This actually gives me better perspective of which part of the arrangement needs to be moved or if I need to add or subtract few things". A virtual high-five Shanthi, that's exactly how I pull off my vignettes successfully ;).
This "not-to-be-missed" petite corner is full on with vintage charm. I loved the raw composing with just right amount of old vs new here.
Behind the elegance of every master vignette is the highest level of Shanthi's testing. However, it’s all spur of the moment and straight from the gut when it comes to making or pairing vignette.
Her home is a tribute to art in its various avatars but she herself is also an inspiring artist. Lately she has been dabbling in painting and finding it kind of challenging herself. Here are the two of her creations of Lord Hanuman & Lord Vishnu done with ink and gouache water colors.
Shanthi loves to incorporate all the vintage textiles, brass/bronze, paintings and wooden artifacts that have been collected over the time while creating any corner. She also prefers to give center stage to a "wow" piece and work around it. 
A home that is studded with things you love is a place where you truly belong, and it always feels good to come back to such a home. And with this beautiful image, I am concluding Shanthi's home tour. 

There are homes where homeowners give equal preferences to the life they live and also to the place where they live. I am honored to be featuring and bringing such people and homes  where love is in their heart but soul is in their home. 

Your home is truly one of a kind Shanthi, that is rooted in spirit, sense and sensibility in real sense. Thank you for welcoming us virtually in your stunning home.

Until we meet again with another home tour, stay connected, toodles!

(Images are taken by Shanthi. Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Diwali Decked Home

I am back with a bang with our annual Diwali home tour and as always, we are all set to have you drool over our décor and bowl you out with the display of our collection. Come on in…the doors are wide open. 
Brass still reigns supreme in my all décor and my entry way is a perfect winning location to display all...after all first impression does matter. Diwali gives me ample reasons to display my décor but topping my game this Diwali are these lanterns (gifted by a dear reader Arpita who visited me from all the way New Zealand).
The powerful bold gold wall is always festive ready in our home but decorating with special touches adds the thrill at the entry for the atmosphere of a celebration. To enjoy the interesting display and the wonderful paintings of our daughter....a short stay in here is a must for every guest.
The irony of using brass cannot be missed when it comes to power game of festive décor. Glorious touches of celebration are carried through out the home. Details in décor add charm along with a sprinkling of intrigue in guests. My best of the brass pieces are added here for extra simmer this Diwali.
Diyas are integral part of any celebration and using them everywhere and in everything  illuminates the air of anticipation on festive season.
Style and glamour come with endless possibilities. While I believe brass and diyas are the flavors of festive season and they can get your glitter game on in no time. Also flowers are fresh on the eyes, pretty on your vignette and perfect for the festive season….so house them to radiate chic serenity in the atmosphere.
My décor has peaked this year with the new addition of these cushion covers from Bristi. They turned out the masterstroke this Diwali. However they have a quirky story about how they are perfectly personalized to my taste…will share that some other time…for now let their picture do all the talking. 
Our aesthetics come from the genes and in my case, my guru, my mom who was right at home for me to learn from. It would be safe to say that much of what you may observe in my décor comes from my mother. I recently visited her home in India and she is still so focused and driven when it comes to her décor choices. The grouping in this corner is inspired by her styling and stolen completely from her. 
Handpicked selection of brass, flickering glow of diyas, glorious touches of flowers and voila…no corner is untouched and it totally reflects our style and taste.
And here it is our Diwali ready room....a visual and sensual delight and it makes me to stop and park myself before I pass  by every time...I am sure our guests will be aroused to vibrant conversations for Diwali party this year. 
Family room corners are also charged with love this Diwali (I told you...I have been on a décor spree and stirring up the storm). This console table is a perfect place for me for championing a fresh and unconventional approach every occasion. Following my own whimsy, I have inserted terra cotta diyas in almost all vignettes for festive touches. They perk up the plainest setting to something special. 
Some festive staples never go out of style - they just are reinvented year after year. My festive season's new mantra is fuss-free and yet festive by layering these already beautiful diyas effortlessly on the coffee table. Used here is jewel toned purse as a placement to enhance the aesthetic beauty.  
Brass has always been the blueprint of old world manners and chivalry across the eras but updating them in a totally contemporary way gives it a sparkly new twist. Mod meets old setting here with my DIYed marble bench is impeccable for festive entertaining. The backdrop of Ganesha painting on our chalkboard falls perfectly in the festive rhythm.
And with the final closer look of all festive diyas I wrap up this post hoping that you all will get your kick out of all sparkling ideas in the post.  A little inspiration and an eye for beauty are the only essentials you need to add that extra festive sparkle in your home. 

Signing out wishing you all a happy, happier and the happiest Diwali. Do stay connected on my social feeds of Facebook and Instagram as I am yet to share my rangoli of this year. Until then, enjoy all the laddoos, mithai and festivities at your end, toodles!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Diwali Exchange 2018 - An Exchange of Creativity

I don’t know about you but the festive season always seems to sneak up on me every year. Suddenly I am knee deep in to-do lists with limited time. It definitely takes a certain amount of planning (read stress) to have a successful Diwali ready home but frankly that’s part of the fun. 

Just like every year to take your décor dilemma from stressful to serene I have gathered wisdom and advice from eclectic individuals (who are scattered far apart on the map but share the same passion of décor) for our Diwali Exchange post.  In a truly personal sense of style, these home owners gave intimate insights of their Diwali decked homes with their shortcuts for easy decorating and simple eco-friendly strategies. A feast of great tastes and elegance is guaranteed to delight all the readers….and before you know it, you might find yourself with your feet up for a while before the doorbell rings.
Hydrabad, India
Starting first in the series is from one of our favorite Instagram Buddy Rohit Mohanraj who may be a newbie being featured here but he is no stranger to décor, who got ready at the drop of a hat to share his festive ready home. Being in India, Rohit is lucky in a ways to add new décor elements in his décor however, playing safe with traditional décor he proves that you can never go wrong with classics. 
Diwali for me is a grand affair of celebrations and festivities that we commemorate with great pomp and show every year. It’s a time for visiting our friends and family, shopping, exchange of gifts, rituals and prayers and of course, fireworks!
I am without a doubt in love with Deepawali because it’s an excuse for me to re-do the home decor with shining brass pieces, different and unique styled lamps and seasonal flowers. This is the only time of the year when going over board with the decoration seems to be an acceptable norm.
Diwali is a glorious three day festival in my city, Hyderabad. The festivities begin with the festival of Dhanteras followed by the two grand days of Deepawali, Festival of Lights. Different communities come together to celebrate this joyous festival. During these three days, the whole city can be seen dressed in serial and string of different colour lights, candles, and the traditional oil lamps. This is the time when few communities also celebrate their new year and purchase metals especially gold for good luck. On the Diwali night, it’s an endless extravagant display of aerial and ground fireworks.
North Carolina, USA
Decor world's new age DIY sisters Divya & Sravani grabbed all attention when we featured them here . Their home tour made many of you to attempt your hands on their DIY projects. Developing their own grammar of style they have taken some rebellious rake on DIY's this Diwali. By spining off a whole new romance on the thrift store finds while adding healthy dose of gold they have bring on the glamour. 
By creatively challenging each other we both sisters put our heart and soul when it comes to any DIY. Diwali does wonders and we put a lot of thought into our décor choices. Sometimes a simple makeovers gives you a lot of satisfaction. These pillars here are loots from a local thrift store which we painted in terracotta paint by giving rock texture. Adding kolam designs made them from an "uh-oh" to 'oh-wow" pieces. The easy-peasy flower arrangement is another winning deal. May it be artificial or real flowers, they make a grand impression on festive season. 
We consider ourselves lucky to be enjoying Diwali outdoors. Well, the temperatures are wee bit chilly but the warmth of Diwali lights always brightens up our spirit. Talking about lights, the ball candle here is also a thrift store find which we painted in red to befit our festive theme. 
Urlis and Diwali arrangements go hand in hand but don't get dishearten if you don't own one. You can pick any bowl from thrift store and give it a make over by giving spray painting in gold. The centerpiece that caught your eye on our coffee table (yet another DIY) is a delightful illusion of urli.
Do check out more amazing Diwali DIY's of these creative sisters here.

 Pinky Interiors
San Francisco, California
 Priyadarshi family's home is a veritable Diwali wonderland. Keeping the experimental trick at the bay they believe in doing something that you know is going to be a hit. The same goes for their decorations. Kanika who has ingrained the aesthetic sensibility of her mom thinks their home every Diwali screams loud: "Welcome and stay awhile".

Our family goes big every Diwali. Every year we are famous to throw at least two colourful parties that our friends are keenly looking forward to enjoy. Though, to add a little bit of drama, we took this year's party out doors in our back yard and boy, it was a grand gala event for all of us. 
A design mashup of personal treasures are dotted in every corner of the home to feel the festive vibe. Diyas are the hardest working element during this Diwali at our end. Punctuating them not only lightens up the glow but also adds sparkling delight in our décor scenes.
We wanted to choose a palette that makes us feel happy in every room hence our this year's Diwali décor is inspired by my mom's favorite color - aqua blue. By adding the pop of evergreen Diwali combinations of red, green and gold I think we nailed off more colorful look this Diwali, if I say so myself!

As we wrap up this post, I truly hope that you all enjoyed the magical realm of individuals who emanate that holidays and festive season bring out the best in all of us. Hoping that all glistening metallics, quirky objects and a multitude of textures in this post will be your ultimate guide for decorating this Diwali.

As always, I relish the entire process of communicating to these blogger friends for building this post and making another year of Diwali Exchange post happen out of our own busy schedules of Diwali preparations. I am grateful to all of you for opening your heart and home for this post, thank you. I have linked back their Instagram account in their names, so do connect with them to see more of their Diwali Décor. Until we meet again, stay connected, toodles! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Diwali Flatlays

Short days and chilly temperatures don’t seem so cruel when you love to decorate and celebrate the approaching festive season. I have started putting on the glitz to kick start the madness and magic of Diwali at my end. From rustic to glam and goldly to earthen, the possibilities are delightfully endless when it comes to dazzling Diwali décor. Just like last year, I have whipped up something bolder and playful this season for my Diwali special flat lays. 
Flat lay is a perfect way for me to experiment with clusters of my favorite thing in  new combinations to spread the festive cheer. Come Diwali, out comes my hidden treasures. They are actually nostalgia bearers. Taking them out each year is like discovering pieces of history. Updated here are some old standbys and left new classics untouched for Diwali flat lay styling. 
Some colors have power to transport you, red itself being a spirited color, it adds lot of impact and vibrancy anywhere you use during festive season. A classic look of red and gold that never dips out of style here looks sassy and stylist with little bit of green thrown in.
I went for a traditional look with a twist by hopping the fence for this flat lay. Instead of implementing the typical gold details, I enjoyed toying in calmer shades with soft and delicate pastel hues of silver. Mishmash of unrelated things lends a wonderful texture and vibrancy here. I have a thing for all ‘bajoths’. I own quite a few of all shapes and sizes....Did you notice?? In mostly all flat lays I have used different ones….go check it out.  This rectangular one is a new addition in our collection that I recently fetched from BAPS temple in New Jersey. 
I absolutely love the natural color and rustic appeal of terra cotta. The Vintage bits and pieces of terra cotta never fail to add festive vibes in any corner they are placed. Whatever will be the era, the charm and instant glamour of terra cotta will always be appealing. The natural ones as well as the newly fashioned diyas look gorgeously eye catching and chic in this mod meets old scheme. Last few marigolds that survived the cold front came in handy on this flat lay :).  
The terra cotta love continues in this last flat lay also as I had to style and show off newly fetched diyas from my recent India trip. Beside their decorative look, I always look for the ones that can fit the tea-light candle. It minimizes the mess and hassle of working with oil.
Flat lays work as a visual delight; it is a quick, simple way to show off my collection in a creative way.  A strong luxurious statement through my shiny brass, play of flickering diyas and swapping out the accessories spread the perfect festive cheer. 
Hopefully these creative assemblage will put your creative juices into overdrive, so you, too, can craft a festive look that’s just truly your own. Circle back again to see our "Diwali Exchange" post to get you Diwali ready. Until we meet again, toodles!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Aesthetically Evolved Home (Home Tour of Vijendran Family)

We live in times where we are learning to treasure the sensibilities of yesterday and catch new ways of adapting with the novelties of today. Staying connected with its traditional roots while embracing the imprint of western culture, our today’s home owner has explored something new yet have created a look that wasn’t too much of a departure from the classic style she loves.
Glistening with sophistication and heavily infused with the quirkiness of popular culture, the hidden gem of Kausalya’s home in uber chic city Chicago awaits discovery. As I delved deeper into the enigma that is Kausalya’s home, I came back charmed…so thought of taking you along, come on in!
Meet, Kausalya, timid yet headstrong sari clad lady who always manages to look perfect while dressing rich and looking classy in her gorgeous collection of Kanjivaram/Banarasi saris. Just like her home, she follows a desi style statement and carries the six yards elegantly that brings out the complete magic it has (I have secretly stalked and admired her sarees/dressing on profile pictures countless times ;)).

Mamta's Ethnic Collection is Kausalya's all time favorite destination for all her sari needs. Her extensive collection of saris are mostly from there including this royal blue she is adorning.
Every visual element in her home feeds the home owner’s life and travel philosophy. Kausalya’s home is a cultural mélange and physical manifestation of her and her family. The Vijendran family loves to travel and her home is full of things they have collected on the trips. The prabhavalli frames are custom made by none other than our talented Chandan Dubey, while the rain chains are from GoodEarth.
Another masterpiece created by Chandan has become a room defining element in this corner of Kausalya’s home, which heightens the visual appeal. Love Kausalya’s modern take on working with classic elements. Saturated colors from the art piece, intricate patterns from all the brass and tangle of greenery add a splash of design magic everywhere you look.
At first glance, this living room may look traditional but it isn’t really. While the pichhwai fits that mold, the blend of the furniture and extra tall windows are modern in every sense of the word. An exquisitely beautiful Nathdwara painting that lords over the fire place is another score from Chandan. Kausalya’s husband executed the pichhwai into a frame which is a part of the delight in this room. With an endless amount of lovely small candelabras and brass diyas Kausalya brings her creativity in this eclectic setting furthering "old meets new" mix style. The intentionally mixed up combination makes it a rich corner that’s unpretentious and instantly welcoming.  
The modern way to work with classic elements is to pick and choose your favorite and then layer them on…all the soft warmth and welcoming comfort you see in this room is the result of strategically chosen and laid out décor by Kausalya. The room is cozy, stylish but also tough where everything is placed to be loved, used and not worried about (when you have two kids, it is very important). Brass pieces in her home beautifully echoes her South Indian elements. Each piece is true to its roots and conjures up memories of decades gone by for Kausalya.
Kausalya’s home is an epitome of gracious living but it is her hospitality which makes her the hostess with the mostess. Hosting allows her an opportunity to nurture other relationships like her friendships. I am sure her family and friends who have had the taste of her parties must have felt like winning a lottery by attending her most stylish, lavish and well-connected parties. 

Here is a glimpse of her laid down table that she quickly and affordably assembled for a hosted party.
Her every table setting is an instant eye candy which hints of her reputation as finest hostess. Happiest hours are spent here for preparing the party by adding the impressive level of details.
Buying art was more of a social trend than a passion but with the Indian art pieces going through the roof on the global scene, it is now considered a precious investment. Such proud and precious Tanjore paintings here are made to order for Kausalya’s home from South India. When the dining-table is an empty canvas, keeping the design eras from competing, burst of colors are juxtaposed with brass artifacts. 

A lover of all things beautiful, Kausalya has explored artistic streak in her, while admiring the same, she takes classes of madhubani art from a very talented lady Jayashree from Sage & Slingback. Many walls in her home now applaud Kausalya's art pieces, cementing them as the happiest walls in the house.

Art and furniture pieces are often added or rearranged but the basic language of the house is always controlled by Kausalya. Re-purposing and restyling are what makes a home personal. The accents of Kausalya’s American home allows her the freedom to incorporate history and her roots in an un-fussy contemporary way. 

She loves the art that tricks you into taking a long second look. They are intriguing and witty which is exactly the style she wanted in her home for the mask wall.
Beautifully mismatched lanterns curated locally and through their distant travel have been given the right treatment. A stand out corner that stole everyone’s heart on my instagram feed is also my personal favorite corner in this home tour. Kausalya gave her travel passion a place to reside that was respectful and aesthetically pleasing. I am sure they look ethereal when lit altogether in the evening hours.

Considering the cold weather of Chicago, Kausalya has preserved and well maintained the green touch indoor with some real great indoor plants. 

As we conclude the home tour...taking a leaf from it.....whether something is on trend or not, true style is just about confidence and following your heart that will lead you to the most powerful results. Follow your “gut-feeling” because it is only you, who can take your home to the next level of luxury.

With this positively exploding greenery, we end this home tour here. I would like to extend my thanks to Vijendran family for opening the doors of their home for us. Wishing you all love, luck and happiness, today and always!

Until we meet again, stay connected and keep decorating, toodles! 

(Images are taken by Kausalya. Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account)