Friday, June 8, 2018

Personal and Pulled Together (Home Tour of Laxmi Jay)

In between increasingly fascinating trend of contemporary settings, one thing we need to admire about ourselves, is that though we have entered the digital era, we still choose the traditional paths when it comes to our home décor, albeit in a much grander way now. Being able to step into such beautiful traditional homes around the globe virtually (while making some good friends in the process), whose homeowners have kept the traditional bone enliven, makes me very happy. No matter where they have nestled in the world, their heart is always in their country and the allure is not lost to keep the tradition in order.
Let’s have a glittering peek into one such brassilicious home in Boston, MA. Meet Lakshmi Jay as lovingly known as Lexie Jay, whose love of brass perfectly aligns with mine and the same shared passion brought us (and this home tour) together. 
A garden guru, a master chef, a skilled carpenter and a dedicated social worker is popular as Ms. Handywoman in her family. Life is busy with Lexie and her husband playing personal driver for two teenage boys in their national level of sports and their new havanese puppy. Yet that doesn't stop her from getting lost in her own interests. Lexie is also a Sanskrit lover, a Carnatic musician, a kick boxer, a marathon runner and above all a home décor enthusiast that we are about to witness with this feature, come on in!
Lexie's entryway doesn't only welcome the visitors but also tickles the appetite for the pleasure beyond. The entrance console table from 'Arhaus' is a jaw-dropping piece, that echoes highly impressive hand carved details with traditional cultural motifs. With formal and informal elements plus a sense of whimsy, the place looks extremely elegant.        
The three brass plaques of mid-century Chinese characters represent auspicious wishes - good luck, longevity and status. And if you are intrigued about those brass pots just like me, here is the story behind them as narrated by Lexie: "My husband loves to dance Karakattam - a South Indian traditional folk dance. Which involves keeping terracotta pots or weightless bronze pots stacked up their head and dance. He has danced many times in his college and as a memory here in our home USA, I gifted him this on his 45th Birthday to remind him of his good old days. It also serves my purpose of letting my boys know about preserving the cultural values of where we belong!" This gesture really touched my heart Lexie :).
Hallway is plastered with collected, casual and personalized pieces of brass. The assemblage of nut crackers, combs, hairpins and other accessories park you for a short stay in foyer to enjoy the interesting display of all things beautiful. 
In Lexie's home, every nook becomes as much a hub for her artistic creativity. Each space has its own style with a wide collection of cool vintage décor pieces and plenty of plants. 
Most of Lexie's brass pieces are collected over the time in her young age. Few are heirlooms from her mom and some are street side shopping done right for her home. With a little time and thought, Lexie has weaved her magic wand on these often-neglected areas to significantly enhance a home's overall charm. 
It's hard to ignore the plethora of brass throughout her home and with this trendy metal all around, the space is a total glam rock haven. Lexie claims to buy most of her stuff from auctions, craigslist, road side antique shops in Pune and Tiruchirappalli. She declares that bidding on eBay also has helped her score few of the best pieces. In fact, Radha- Krishna statues are an eBay find for $500.00.
Lexie didn't shy away to make a bold entry statement in the foyer that reflects who she is.  She sends a marvelous and strong message to the visitor that, "brass has no boundaries here".  
Beyond the well-collected entryway, treasured curios continue into her rest of the rooms. An edited medley of antique and modern pieces brings the room to life. Love the use of swing chains...quite interesting way of adding them in décor.
With an ultra personal affection with our country India, she has dedicated most of the corners with meaningful treasures, sculptures and diyas. As declared by the lady: " I love our country India and I want it to flow throughout our home. While throwing traditional pieces and  patterns with contemporary and mid-western style here and there I endorse our home to feel personal and pulled together."
Conjuring up all sorts of possibilities, Lexie added, modified and designed the furniture around the home. One such weighty piece of her furniture has to be her DIYed temple. Being a religious lady, she spends inordinate amount of time following all rituals and festivals in her temple room. She had piled up thoughts of making this mandir ever since she learnt carpentry from a night school here in USA. In a desire to create something special and unique, she made this dream temple herself. Growing up in a city of temples in Tamil Nadu, she ever since had a soft corner for 'Shikhars' (the top of the temple). By strolling the web and Pinterest, she finally was able to make the one she had always wanted. The bells on the doors are from Etsy and the Kumbams are from the road side markets in Chennai.  
Here is a closer look at the collection of deities and her daily necessities in the temple room. Mornings in Lexie's home start by playing Sanskrit chanting on their in-built speakers throughout the home, by doing so, Lexie wants to create the same atmosphere in her home just like the way how she was brought up in India.  
Even though I have no more empty walls or surfaces around my home, I had to pacify my heart to be still after looking at her one of a kind collection, however, this traditional South Indian lamp stole my heart. Recounting her childhood days  Lexie coins: "This South Indian lamp can be seen inside the abode of any South Indian temple but I would say, this is a mini version. I do many prayers and poojas at home so I make 'Mandap' and usually keep this in front of the 'Mandap' and light all the lamps on special festivals and occasions".  Quite interesting, isn't it?
Adding the right amount of edge, the room is injected with bold patterns, retro elements and unexpected juxtapositions of brass creating a classic contemporary look.   
Lexie's fetish for collecting brass reflects in every corner of the home. Each piece has been given a pride of a place where they visually link the rest of the surroundings.
With open and adaptive spaces, Lexie's home is an ode to family's love for art that blends well with the rest of the traditional inspired space. Upon entering this room, one’s attention is immediately captivated by the personalized grouping of tanjore painting that is done by Lexie's dear friend. Putting a fashionable spin on brass, the throughout interior is swathed in warm metallic tones. 

Open concept room has been designed for comfortably entertaining family and friends alike. The open space flows organically with beautifully styled nooks and vignettes to create intimacy within the space.   
The house meditates on her personal love of brass. Here are some priced collection, that doesn’t only enhance the space but pay homage to the homeowner's origins. 

She has assessed the place with gusto when it comes to displaying what she loves. 
It is very rare that any design savvy home owner would put together an entirely new and completely coordinated collection of furniture from scratch. Truth is, we usually collect furniture along life's path. Some are accidental acquisitions, some are things that you find on sale at a local furniture store, some are really cool pieces that you stumble across at a flea market, and few like this giant swing here calls out your name on craigslist. Statement piece like this swing not merely act as a strikingly decorative piece but it also works as a functional element in the room.
A closer look at the classic pieces of art adorning walls of Lexie's home. Tanjore paintings are done by her dear friend Chandrika who professionally takes up the order. The 'kaavads' are from India and it was a delicate work to restore these century old pieces. Kerala murals (prints from a local traditional art store in Coimbatore) from visits to her hometown + Chandan Dubey's devi panting above her entry foyer are collected gradually.
Lexie premeditates all the ideas and planning for her home décor and further strengthens her design vocabulary by often taking cue from websites like Houzz & Pinterest.

Lexie also shares few of her favorite curated brass places like Pepperfry, The Indian Weave, Jaypore, Lotus Sculpture and ebay from where she has acquired most of her priced possessions. Lexie also points out a name of cleaner and polish - Shadazzle from Amazon that shines all her brass 

As I am ending this home tour, I got to thinking that being able to bring such homes to the limelight along with their passionate homeowners who decorate with confidence is the best part of my blogging. Thank you Lexie and family, for letting us step into your beautiful abode and sharing your inspiring stories.

That's it for now folks, until we meet again, enjoy the weekend and warm weather at your end, toodles!

((Images are taken by Lexie. 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)