Friday, April 10, 2020

Be my guest! (Guest Room Reveal)

 The world is being challenged with fear, frustration and anxiety with the sudden pangs of social withdrawal. As we face the unexpected circumstance during this pandemic, our life feels chaotic and seems it will take an eternity to see the end.  

During these difficult times, it's very important for us to recharge and focus our energy on other positive things. Channeling all our energy on creativity is the best upside of our quarantine – since we have both - time and incentive to knock out some of those projects that we may have put off. While doing so, we will keep ourselves grounded (and probably remain sane) throughout this chapter of our life. 
With the onset of summer on the horizon, I am dreaming of a back to normal life, where we will be hosting again too! Being said that, we actually had a long list of guests this year on our agenda from friends to family who were planning to visit us. I don't see that happening in near future but I am glad that we completed this long-due project of our guest bedroom done in time. 
We have a designated guest bedroom with an attached washroom and a walk in closet. Yet, we wanted to erase the visual clutter in the guest room when there are no guests around. So that we also can have an extra room on hand empty for more space that can be used for a variety of other functions aside from sleeping. We decided on a customized Murphy bed or a wall bed, which adds space and flexibility in our guest room. 

This built-in Murphy bed is both practical and stylish. It transforms the space into a welcoming guest room in a snap. We bought this Murphy bed in the early beginnings...about 6 years ago but today’s fold-up beds are becoming even more functional often incorporating a desk or even side tables. Besides it’s perfect for small space solution.   
We also customized the queen size bed with lights above for ease of excess for older guests like our parents or keeping in mind those guests who like to read before sleeping. Two side tables are from Bouclair store here in Toronto because things don't need to match it has to be mixed :). 

The opening space of the actual bed was quite tricky to add or hang anything since the bed had to be lifted away when not in use so I ended up stenciling the wall. I will save my painful stenciling story for some other day as it took me forever to complete this small portion inexpertly about 2 years back. Nevertheless, I am very happy and proud of the results ;).
Our guest bedroom has always been ready but now with new finishing touches (and my DIYs) it breathes new elegance. The full size mirror in the guestroom from Ikea is a great addition, not only for guests but also for me to check my final look in that mirror when the room is empty. 
For us, whether we’re expecting guests for one night or for one week, we always strive to make guests feel comfortable and at ease in our home. Nobody likes to watch their hostess scramble around to get things done after they arrive, so I take care of the guest room beforehand. I ensure to have things around for them by putting the things they'll need throughout their stay right there in the room. Some examples include books, water bottles, and towels. If you want to go the extra mile, have some flowers or plants around (yes, their addition is a heart warming gesture).
No room of our home is too small for grace notes of beauty. I aimed to keep useful and beautiful both things around in our guest room. From an antique looking four drawer Chester to an eye catching ikat lamp that improves a short stay of our guests. 
My creativity has soared in this lock-down phase and while achieving some great DIY results, I have been entertained, distracted and amused in equal measure. Also my fetish of kutchhi handicraft found a new perspective. Instead of hoarding these batwas (purses) in drawers, I decided to appreciate them on my walls. The kalamkari lamp is a DIY project, that you can check out on my Facebook here.
DIY projects aren’t always about the end product, and how useful or practical they will be. These DIY’s are very often about the process, which I have enjoyed tremendously in these days. Carrying forward the same theme of kutchhi batwa I DIY these frames too and they were an absolute delight to indulge into. Shall you decide to make one for your home, check this video. 

Here is the final look of how our room looks empty when the bed is stowed away. The space is perfect for my teen's friends to play board games and for me also to do my extra craft activities. But for now, until we have guests rolling in again and until I go on another vacation again....this room has been my 'stayacation' adda :) during this quarantine.

Adding on to an existing home is a long process that takes a lot of parts coming together. And if you are like me who is trying to get exactly what you want from the project, it takes forever. But I am glad that my forever has ended and we have completed our guest room. 

Here is the short video clip of the room, enjoy!

May this long weekend be filled with peace, health and restful moments for all of you. Until we meet again, seize the day and hang in there, toodles!

  • Custom Wall bed: Eco Wall Bed
  • The quilt and the curtains - Home Sense Canada 
  • The side tables : Bouclair
  • Tall lamp: Walmart
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • Antique cabinet is from one of the furniture warehouse here in Toronto while they were closing down the business.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Whimsically Ethnic Kitchen Tour of Poornima Murthy (Part-3)

Part 1 purely moved you, part 2 raised your spirit but part 3 will feed all your senses literally and laterally. Welcome back, with PART –3 of Murthy family’s heart of the If in case you missed part one and part two, you may head here and here to tour this envy-inducing, richly layered home, where every corner is exquisitely adorned. Mind you, just like the rest of the home, their kitchen is also a high style status. Since there is lots to bite and chew, do stay a while.
Design guts often leads to interior glory but her Kitchen is the epitome of her design sensibilities. Kitchen, being the magnet of the home, Poornima collated the top kitchen design ideas with a confident mix of traditional and contemporary trends.
Trends are exciting and who doesn’t want the latest things in the kitchen. Poornima (who respects the craftsmanship and fine detailing of traditional elements) is also inspired by the pared-down approach of contemporary and decided to go with a transitional kitchen. Transitional style is usually a marriage of traditional and contemporary designs that resulted in giving a clean classic look for her kitchen. 
Along with getting swept up in the latest fads, Poornima goes for a good fit for her family’s personal needs in her kitchen. From the earliest phase of the kitchen project, Poornima wanted the kitchen to feel good and be functional. However, she confesses that they played blind on the kitchen floor plan as the builder had no model house for the kitchen. She is happy that they both inclined to their instinct and they could balance the beauty with functionality in the kitchen.  
There is no denying that countertops take the brunt of daily food preparation. Still, given the fact, that they are major players in the kitchen Poornima wanted them to look fabulous. Striking quartz countertops along with marble look alike backsplash in her kitchen adds the seductive good looks. I love the fact, how this decorative marble look alike tile up to the ceiling creates a handsome cabinetry and high-tech appliance stand out even more.   
If the kitchen is the heart of any household, the island takes one step’s the core of the kitchen. Beyond its visual beauty this kitchen island is another appealing attribute in Poornima’s kitchen. Island doubles up the storage space while the small style sink turns her island into a handy food prep area as well.  
There is no hard and fast rule in Poornima's kitchen that everything has to match. In fact, contrasting colors are on the rise and her kitchen highlights the trend beautifully. The eye-catching contrast here between the color choice of island and cabinets is much refreshing.  
The oversized island in Poornima’s kitchen is an entertainer’s dream. With its perfect size, it expands the entertaining possibilities within the kitchen. While Poornima prepares the meal, her guests enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the same room.  
From large dinner parties to more intimate gatherings, the open-concept island makes this kitchen an inviting one for entertaining groups of all sizes. This functional island gives an opportunity to Poornima to interact and enjoy the company of her guests within the kitchen. Here are some glimpses of  Poornima’s ‘CHAT-PARTY” that she hosted in the comfort of her own kitchen island.
There is something warm and wonder about sunshine streaming into the kitchen literally. A great view is an asset to Poornima’s kitchen. Not only it adds to the room’s natural appeal but an overview window visually blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. Don't overlook those colorful cups with succulents, Poornima does not give up any space to show up her style.
Surrounding yourself with familiar and favorite things not only give you something pleasant to look but is also uplifting where you spend hours to cook. Her quirky approach to aesthetics is carried forward beautifully in her kitchen as well. I am sure you are ogling at her colorful serving collection...that's where my eyes also landed when I saw it for the first time :)
Long gone are the days of an in-store purchases were your only option. Shopping online puts a plethora of choices at your fingertips all in the comfort of your own home. Poornima’s kitchen towel is surely one of the things that I will be adding in my online shopping cart from Cost Plus WorldMarket. Her other colorful kitchen accessories are also collected over the time from Home Goods and WorldMarket. Her collection is a statement of exclusivity, high taste and her impeccable choice. 
Given the amount of time spent in the kitchen comfort and style are always a high priority. And at the end, it all comes down to what speaks to the home owners and what the family will be comfortable with on a day-to-day basis. Above all, proving that fashion and function can go hand in hand Poornima’s kitchen can tick off all the boxes of a dream kitchen. 

That's it folks, this feature brings the conclusion to our exciting tour of Murthy family's home. This home definitely exemplifies creativity beyond our imagination. I wish there are part 4 and part 5 (what say, Poornima).

I want to extend many thanks and my appreciation beyond words to Poornima for the confidence she showed in me for tackling this home tour and putting her energy into cracking photography. Thank you again for generously sharing your home with us. Sending the best of the wishes for you and your family. 

Stay connected dear readers until we meet again, toodles!

(Image Courtesy: Poornima Murthy. 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, March 4, 2020

Whimsically Ethnic Home Tour of Poornima Murthy (Part-2)

After a string of applaud and wowing the readers in Part- 1 (in case you missed it, click here) we are back with characteristically quirky Murthy touches in Part -2. However, the only thing missing from this post is a warning label. Be careful while reading this post, as you might never want to leave this home. 
Just because Poornima's passion for decor bring a certain poeticism to everything she touches, let me warn you that there is no surface (in the home) is unadorned. Every corner, every wall will give you a visual pop. Being adventurous and classy in the same breath, with every stage of her decor voyage, Poornima continues to push boundaries of decor to exciting new corners.
Just because every successful home story begins with a carefully devised corner. I am starting this home tour with a bold yet a total knock-out corner of Poornima's previous home. Before she began to hatch new plans and welcomed new ideas for gallery walls, this was the very first gallery wall she did in her old home. Just like this wall and every other wall in Poornima's home shouts part of her individuality and evokes deeply valued meaning of her culture through her decor. 
With the cultivated taste and deep passion, Poornima had a clear blueprint of what exactly she wanted when they were hunting down for a place called "home". Poornima prompts: "We went searching for our home more than three years and finally found this (4400 square feet) home that we both instantly fell in love with. This is our happy place, where we did not have to compromise in any way. All the countless niches in this home, got my heart racing ever since I clapped my eyes on, I proudly display my collection in each one of them".
With a good beginning and a focused mind Poornima lives with her own interpretation of decor. Masterful mixing is very much of her way of having the best of the both worlds. Gracefully designed with a traditional console table (that mimics the look of a damachiya) from Cost Plus World Market is the focal point here. Layered with clusters of eclectic and global treasures ensure that guests will certainly get a clue of what to expect ahead in Murthy's home.
Poornima is not a rule breaker, she is more of a rule ignorer and this attitude is what got her started making and decorating this home at first place. Poornima has brainstormed many ideas ever since the house was under construction phase. Poornima sums up: "Growing up in India, I was already a maximalist with whimsical vintage sensibility by the tender age. Fascinated with doors of a bygone era, I was itching to have one of those show-stopping piece in our home. When this house was under construction, I had visualized one of the niches to have Chandan Dubey's door panels. I jumped on it and reached out to her and placed the order. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the order after learning about the fact about the weight of the doors and hanging it on US walls was bit tricky. Later my accidental search on internet led me to the talented DIY queen Divya :)." Rest is history. The door was executed exactly the way Poornima had envisioned by none other than Desi DIY Sisters about whom I have shared earlier here
Hours are whiled away day-dreaming many of the corners she has created. Poornima is bound by anything but her own imaginations and she has wholeheartedly enjoyed the process. Each room has gone through an intelligent and a deliberate design process.
While decorating her walls Poornima was mindful of not wanting to overpower any visitor with her collection but all the rules went out of the window when she actually started to inject a heaping dose of her collection on the walls. 
Poornima went full throttle and drenched every wall mixing with striking shapes, materials, colors and cultural references...that eventually turned out witty and refined. 
Mixing old and new, rustic and contemporary is a sure-fire recipe for an exciting and eclectic interior. Poornima's hard work, vision and the ability to take risks factoring in every possibility has paid off well on her walls. Having design guts often leads to interior glory can be proved in Poornima's case by looking at these one of a kind tweaked set of frames. She simply attached few accessories on plain black and white frames turning them into envy inducing pieces....brilliant, isn't it? 
Her cultivated aesthetic stroke and stylistic thread of DIY continues to run throughout the home. While giving small updates to this deceptively elegant and giant sized mirror from Pier 1 Imports she has given it a major statement. To jazz up the elegance of this mirror, she has used decal stickers imitating the Chetitnad tile look on the borders. Just in an attempt to see how-it-goes-with-what-I-have she personalized the piece and gave it a bold decorative treatment. 
Her youthful DIY spirit occupies many other corners around the home. Striking a pose in the middle of this collage is an up cycled old bench that Murthy couple manifested into a new avatar. Rest of the wooden frames are also adorned by the art work of Poornima which she fondly defines as trial and error art pieces.
To find the far eluded calm in this busy-ness of everyday life, Poornima has created “Yoga-room” within the house. To soothe and enrich the souls, she has added clever touches of Zen elements. Her practical requirement of doing yoga is well served here as declared by Poornima: “We have been practicing yoga for 8 years now. When we moved in to this house, we wanted to have a yoga studio at home. We felt that with a yoga room of our own we can spend the whole hour dedicated to yoga practicing. With the ease of excess to this room, we have no excuse of skipping yoga now. I personally think that dedicating a space to practice is a way to acknowledge our commitment to yoga.” 
People love color but are afraid to use it or may be not entirely sure how to introduce it into their space. In the case of Poornima, she loves the idea of shaking up her pallet and can commit to large scale color pieces in more daring shades. In a reply to choosing yellow shade for the living room, she replies: Yellow is the color of sunshine that we very much miss in Seattle area for greater time of the year. Hence, we chose yellow as the color theme for our living area. It definitely helps to uplift our mood and bring positivity during the dark and grey days 😊" 
Combining chic style and femininity from fabrics to furniture to fixtures hunting in this home is all about vibrancy and comfort. She has left sleek minimalist look at the door and have opted for vibrant layers of texture, color and prints throughout her home but her living room inspires us to be bold while giving a jolt of excitement.
Some colors have power to transport you, yellow itself being an energetic color it adds lots of impact here. However, splashy Pichhwai was the starting point for going all yellow. Mr. Murthy who weighs in for every décor decision of Poornima believes in decorating with one focal point in the room, and following his decor mantra, Poornima made the Pichhwai painting a conversation starter focal piece in the living room. Sharing their sentimental attachment Poornima coins: "For a person brought up in India, it is uncommon to have grown up listening to the glorious stories of Lord Krishna. So, we decided on Pichhwai to have as a focal point and started hunting for it. We got lucky to have find an artist on eBay, who happily agreed to customize the painting to match our rest of the yellow theme.”  
Murthy family’s every room only augment the seriousness of couple’s admiration for our culture and traditions. With Poornima’s vision for the space, elevating a room doesn't mean breaking the bank or spending months under renovation. Adding colorful frames on your plain bare walls can make your home feel grander in a single weekend.  Poornima and her husband completed this room on a weekend like a pro and embellish the room.  
Her collection here is a manifestation of her lifelong interest in sustainable design and commitment to support ethical Indian art and designs. She collected these oleographs from the different sources in India and now they have transformed this space into Murthy family’s own private gallery of sorts filling it with the collection. She knows when the pieces of art come together, they tell a completely different story.  
Bold pieces and mishmash of furniture and unusual naïve accessories create a witty yet relaxed living space full of drama and narrative in this brightly hued living room. Supersaturated tones that leap from the walls and furnishings makes her happy and lifts her spirit...and she really went for it.  
Before we wrap up, sharing a richly layered corner in couple’s master bedroom which shows that every room is endowing with personality and soul in Murthy family’s home. This corner however lacks "desi" touch but I still sniff "desi" vibes here with her choice of accessories and decor. Poornima laughingly admits that they both are polar opposites when it comes to home décor: “I am more of an old-schooler who loves the classic look that never dips out of style and my husband likes modern and fresh looking-contemporary style. However, he encourages and nurtures my creative spirit and follows my ideas with blind faith. We have set boundaries with décor style to fit in both of our choices. Family room and master bedroom are the area that he owns and you can see very less antiques/brass artifacts there.” 
Poornima embraces imperfection, welcomes the charm of worn vintage pieces and prides herself on creating an atmosphere that follows the rhythm of her heart.... after all, the magic lies - as ever - in the mix. As we conclude this part –2 leaving you with a picture of family’s dining room as next we have lined up the heart of the home – Murthy family’s kitchen in part-3. 

This tad bit long home tour will be a memorable one and will inspire a purposeful living experience for many of us. After all, the home is a place to be celebrated and you deserve to live beautifully.

So, go ahead, jump on in, reinvent and refresh your style and to learn how to balance colors, how much and where to use it. I know, after Poornima's colorful home tour, I am at it.  

Until we meet again with part-3, stay connected, toodles.