Monday, September 30, 2013

The Shilvocks - A Couple with a Green thumb (Garden Tour)

Based in Warwickshire (UK), the residence of Michael and Neena Shilvock is an intimate abode that strongly resonates the couples love for travel and the outdoors. You'll have been introduced to Neena (an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession) as the creative mind behind Caprilicious Jewelry line and has been featured here. Neena  and Michael have been gracious in inviting us to take a tour of their lovely garden and share with us their gorgeous home filled with travel treasures. They share their home with their boy cat, Harold. And I must tell you'll that serendipity played a huge role, in being able to bring this beautiful home to you'll.

Armed with foresight and a vision of what they wanted their home to be,the Shilvocks have truly made every effort to make it their nest. Neena says,"The house was in a lovely spot, but very dated and dilapidated when we first bought it ten years ago - little by little we remodeled, reshaped, extended and redecorated, and filled the house with our own personalities - to the extent that we ripped up the carpets and the roof - and most of what was in between and redid them - it reflects our personalities now." 
The house is set in a sprawling English garden flaunting a burst of color at every corner of the landscape. The Shilvocks eagerly await for Spring and Summer to stay outdoors and tend to their garden. In Neena's own words,"We just love it. I had a garden in our previous house landscaped, and I realized that it isn't so hard to do with a bit of knowledge - it's all about finding the right plants for the right spot and sourcing them - the internet has made life so easy - we can spend a whole day in the summertime pottering around in the garden."
The Asian inspired statue (affectionately known as Kwannie - Kwan Yin) sits pretty by Neena's pool and is one of the many gifts that she cherishes given by her wonderful husband Michael.

The garden is sprinkled with bistro style seating so as to be able to enjoy English tea or share a conversation with a friend. 

Interesting garden decor from Spain and pots painted in indigo, add to the charm and whimsical feel of the garden. The antlers left behind by the previous owners, has been creatively used by Neena for hanging bird cages. A sign that says "Flizvos" - the sound of the surf on the shore - in Greek evokes fond memories of their many visits to Greece .
A close up of the kaleidoscope of colors from the Shilvocks garden. 

Are we ready to move inside and take a peek????

The Shilvocks describe their style as ," Eclectic and colorful, sometimes quirky and kitschy,  and at times seriously into antiques." Their prized antique possession that Neena and Michael love is an 18th century Mahogany French headboard.
The Shilvocks are not afraid to use color. Their home can be rightly said to be a "well traveled home", as their globe trotting trophies adorn every corner of their space. Neena loves collecting plates from every place that she travels to and has created a colorful collage of plates in the dining area.
Neena's grandmom's ivory lace box occupies a place of pride along with a gallery wall that displays Tram to the castle in Vienna, a Minakari inlay and the St Basil's square.
Tanjore  painting by Muthu Navaneetham
Neena  says, "I'm sure my roots are visible all over the house, but I am married to an Englishman and we have tried to integrate the two cultures and add little bits from our travels. It would be so easy to furnish the house to completely reflect my roots. We go to India a lot, but have to stop ourselves from buying a whole load of things there, beautiful as they are - we are - or we attempt to be, internationalists - and don't want to overwhelm our living space with any one culture to the exclusion of others." 
And finally their fur ball Harold (look at that face - are we in love ????)

Warwickshire has some harsh winters. The picture in the upper left hand corner makes us appreciate the effort the Shilvocks put in year after year into their garden of Eden so that it comes alive every spring and summer. Neena shares with us,"We love spending the summer in our house - that's when the garden comes into it's own. Once we have cleared up the dead leaves at the end of autumn, and planted out next springs bulbs, we take a holiday and go somewhere in Europe that would have been too hot in the summer." 
Neena's library and studio where she creates fascinating and one -of-a-kind jewelry line for Caprilicious Jewelry.

When asked what the Shilvocks do to entertain themselves when the garden and pool are closed for winter, Neena admits that they miss gardening but are kept busy as, "We read a lot, snuggle up in front of the telly with Harold, our 18 year old cat, watch movies late into the night, I make jewelry, we entertain friends - winter is filled with warmth and coziness, gaajar halwa and mince pies, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

We go to India to see my mother in Bangalore in January, and then spring is here - a bit of clearing up the winter debris in the garden, and another quick foray into Europe, before the heat of summer starts up - and we are ready to start the garden up again."

A couple with a green thumb and an insatiable desire to travel and experience all cultures. I would like to thank the Shilvocks for welcoming us into their lovely home and garden.Wishing Neena and Michael all the very best for the future!!!!!  

I was very excited to do this feature as it was my debut home/garden tour. Hope you'll enjoyed the feature as much as I had fun putting it together.

Take care and stay tuned for a delicious recipe coming up in "On the Plate" segment.  

Images : Courtesy  Mohan Kakade, Photo-editing Sruthi Singh.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pattern Play - Home tour of Amber Lewis

It's Friday.........let's slow down our pace shall we????? Take a deep breath and let me cruise control the next 5 minutes of your time for you. Sit back and enjoy today's post.

I've been swooning over this home from the time I set my eyes on it. It's a stunning home with the juxtaposition of different patterns and textures. We are looking at the home of interior designer,Amber Lewis. She has developed a signature style with the use of bold colors and patterns.

Love how pink is used in this home. She manages to pack in soo much without overwhelming the space. She makes styling the shelves and vignettes look so effortless.
The headboard  in the master bedroom is to die for. Her daughter's room too has global elements incorporated beautifully. This home is a perfect example of how textiles and fabrics can bring personality and character to a place.
Can't get enough of her home..... you can scroll back up and take in all the details and dawdle around for as long as you like. 

And if your enamored with Amber's decorating style and need more eye candy, I've included more delightful images for you'll from her portfolio.
Coming up next week, is a new segment on "The East Coast Desi" - "Real Homes, Real Designers", featuring home tours, room tours, gardens and more. The first of the tours that I have lined up for you is an enchanting garden tour and peeks into a "well traveled home". 

Take care and have a wonderful weekend:)

Images: Via, Last Image Via

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Royal Design Studio Stencils (Featured Shop)

Good Morning !!!! We have sun shine and a bright day ahead !!!!

In the featured shop segment for this week, we have Royal Design Studio Stencils, a leading designer and manufacturer of stencils. I was scouting around for decor accessories for a client on Etsy, when I came across some wonderful images of interiors, furniture and more that had been stenciled using Royal Design Studio Stencils. I have attempted small stenciling projects in the past (more on that coming up in a later post), but have never had the grit to take on a mammoth task as stenciling a whole wall or furniture. But the more I look at these wonderful images the more they intrigue me. Maybe a future project beckons me..........

Love the use of stencil on a feature wall.
I was personally drawn to the Moroccan inspired stencils. The product variety they offer is amazing from reusable stencils to one-time-use, adhesive-backed patterns. They are perfect for a variety of surfaces and materials. Be it your floor, walls or  furniture, it can be transformed into a pièce de résistance.

The possibilities are endless with the wonderful designs that Royal Designs has to offer. With a little paint and stencil you could create a faux headboard, custom made wall art, back splash or table cloth to match your dishes. If you want to take it a notch higher, look at these gorgeous porches. Yes, resilience would pay off and the results are impressive.

Have you had second thoughts about a stencil project???? Not to worry. With these easy to use stencils, the only thing you got to worry about is your neighbors envy. Royal Design Studio also offers stencil ideas and  an e-catalogue option to help you custom design the home that you want.

You'll have a wonderful day and drop in on Friday for inspiration from a gorgeous home that I've been drooling over. 

Images: 1-5 Via, 6&7 Via, 8&9 Via

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Season of Umbers, Coppers and Golds


                                    - HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN

This quote has stuck with me for a while now. And in an attempt to live by it, I try to style my home making it warm, beautiful and comfortable for my family and at the same time reflect our personalities and style sensibilities. 

Let's take a look at the color combinations and a new addition adorning my Indian style room for the Fall.We know that fall has arrived when the mums begin to dot the neighborhood gardens, the stoles are pulled out from storage and a bed of leaves make a glorious carpet at every crossroad. Fall is the season that marks the start of a string of celebrations and festivities be it Diwali, Dussehra, Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love all of them and the spirit associated with these festivities. As the colors of fall begin to deepen, my place echoes these colors in the form of flowers, cushions, candles, throws or my love for tea cups. The atmosphere at home is intimate and welcoming with the aroma of cinnamon, freshly baked cakes, brownies, cookies and heart warming soups. It's also the season to put on those extra pounds as hot and deep fried foods and cold weather go hand in hand.

I'm a girl who loves color. The more color I have around me the happier I feel. It helps to lift my spirits up and keep them there. I brought out a throw in a rich pumpkin-cinnamon color that mom knitted herself years ago. It's more than 25 years old and when I wrap myself in it on nippy autumn evenings it comforts me in a way I need it most. If you have hand knitted pieces (shawls, stoles, etc.) made by mom or grand-mom, they are precious and I consider them heirloom treasures. It's a wonderful way to add a sentimental piece to your decor. It always brings back memories of mom as she deftly wrapped the wool around her fingers and wove magic creating exquisitely patterned shawls and more. Sometimes, she'd chide me as I'd be like a little kitten trying to entertain myself with her ball of wool making it into a huge knotty mess. Given an option I would rather surround myself with meaningful pieces and ones that tell a story or have traces of time on them rather than settling for a store bought piece. 

The monk wooden figurine, is a unique one and I fell in love with it the moment I set my eyes on it. He was an addition made to the home years back. He's not from a distant exotic travel destination but from Marshalls. The yellow ocher color is just perfect and he blends in beautifully into the Fall inspired decor.

The Superpoms in bright red with the yellow center had my name written over them, so I brought them home from the grocery store to dress up my little Fall vignette. This time a copper kalash (container) serves as my vase. It's a reminder of the wonderful moment that we set foot into this home as we used it for the house warming ceremony puja.
Do drop me a line and let me know how you liked my Fall inspired vignette and the colors in warm hues. What colors are you'll gravitating towards this Fall????? 

More Fall inspired decor coming up in the weeks to come. Check back on Wednesday for more on the "Featured Shop" Segment. Finally, signing off for today, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Linking it to Colors decor weekly story party.

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Bliss !!!!

Hello, It's Friday again!!!!

Another week has gone by.............the weekend comes along with the desire to spend time with loved ones, watch a Bollywood movie or catch up over coffee with a dear friend. But then who am I kidding, there's also the endless to-do list :( However, I do try to indulge in a few activities with the hope of re-charging my batteries for the next week and in the process cut myself loose from the mundane chores.
African Violets - the best $3 that I ever spent .
On a different note, a reader Vasuda Raman wrote to me saying that "she needed a dose of The East Coast Desi everyday, when she took a break with her cup of tea". It was the best positive affirmation I ever got as it made me realize that The East Coast Desi is being accepted as a part of people's daily lives. It's wonderful readers and friends like you who keep me going and are a catalyst in pushing my creative boundaries. I would like "The East Coast Desi " to be your muse when it comes to decor and lifestyle. I intend to make my blog a happy place to visit and see beautiful and inspiring images, that have a lingering effect on you..... leaving you a happier and inspired person. And along the way, if I meet like minded people, who are willing to share ideas and a flair for all things wonderful, nothing like it.

With that said, I have another week of wonderful and inspiring posts lined up for you'll. Make sure, to stop by  and get your daily dose of The East Coast Desi with me Sruthi, as I share snippets from my home and the inexhaustible inspiration around us.

Have a wonderful weekend and hugs to each and everyone of you who has made the effort to stop by and say wonderful things to make my day !!!!

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quick Misal Pav (Delicious Moth beans gravy)

Hello and How are you'll doing????
I have a wonderful Maharashtrian (Maharashtra is a state in the western part of India) specialty to share with you'll, that is packed with flavor and the goodness of protein the "MISAL PAV". It's a popular street food in Maharashtra and has two parts to the dish. A thick curry of Moth beans called "Ussal" which has less water content and a watery and spicy gravy called "cut". My variation has only one gravy to it and is served in a chat style. I had never tasted it, until a friend's mom sent it over to our place neatly packed for dinner. How wonderful is that. And like we all know,there's nothing as comforting as home cooked food. The misal was polished off in no time and I made every effort to get that recipe into my recipe book.

My friend Manasa was generous enough to share the recipe with me. Thank you girl. This has become a favorite meal for us on the week nights since it's a quick and healthy option loaded with protein. Since, the weather is going to get chilly in the months to come, it's comforting to have hot, home cooked food like this rather than doing a take away. The left overs are great to be packed for office lunch the next day.

Quick Misal Pav
Serves : 4
Cooking time:40 minutes(excluding the soaking and sprouting time)

1 cup whole moth beans (also known as Turkish gram)
4 tsp oil
4 cloves
1 " cinnamon
8 pepper corns
3 whole dry red chilies
4 pods garlic
2 medium sized onions  chopped
medium sized tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened  dry coconut
1 tsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp corriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste

For the garnish:
Sev (chick pea noodle like snack readily available at Indian stores. Onions, cilantro and tomatoes (finely chopped) and lemon. 

Soak the moth beans over night. In the morning wash, drain and tie in a muslin cloth and keep damp. By evening the  beans have sprouted and ready to cook. Place enough water with 1/4 tsp salt in the cooker and pressure cook until well done ( 6 whistles in my cooker). Drain the cooked moth beans and reserve 11/2- 2 cups of the water from the cooked beans.

While the beans are pressure cooking, heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Add the cloves and cinnamon and let the whole spices infuse the oil with their flavor and aroma. Next add whole dry red chilies and pepper corns and fry for 30 secs. In go the chopped onions and fry till they are translucent. Add garlic and chopped tomatoes and fry till soft and mushy. Finally add coconut and fry for a minute. Let the mixture cool completely before grinding it. A little water may be added if the paste is too thick.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in the pan and return the ground paste to the stove. Fry for a minute and add cumin, corriander, turmeric and garam masala powders. Fry till the oil separates. Add the cooked moth beans, the reserved water from the beans (amount of water to be added depending on the consistency desired)  and salt to taste and simmer for 4-5 minutes until the gravy is a little thick.

Finally, place the misal in a bowl, Garnish with sev, finely chopped onions, tomatoes and corriander leaves and a generous squeeze of lemon. You could serve the misal with dinner rolls or pav bread toasted with butter. 

So go right ahead and dunk your pav in the misal and let me know how you liked it. 

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Monday, September 16, 2013

On My Walks

Good morning !!!! How are we doing today???? 
I hear you..... I think for most of us the week days goes something like this: 
Monday brings with it the blues;
Tuesday morning has it's own woes;
To deal with Wednesday, I need more than 2 cups of a good brew; 
By Thursday, it's a feeling of deja vu;
Ah !!!! Friday is finally here, how about a date night and some fondue.
Someone get Dr. Seuss out of my head ;)

Now, now, let's get on with today's post. I'm trying to hold onto what's left of summer. Summer has been wonderful this year...... the endless ice-cream requests that have been approved.......innumerable visits to the neighborhood parks...... the laughter and chuckles of my little one, followed by plea's of "catch me if you can" and  "Push me higher Mom"......... an unforgettable family vacation...........the initiation of the The Yellow Bamboo venture and my entry into the blogosphere which has been rewarding in every way until now.

Another one of our favorite activities to do as a family, is to take long strolls around our wonderful  neighborhood. But sometimes my camera and I like to take off by ourselves. This helps me clear my head and recharge my batteries for the rest of the week ahead. You guys know by now how much I love flowers.This post is a compilation of the photos I've taken on many such walks . 

My husband jokes around saying that even if he had bought me diamonds I would not be seen sporting them around as much as my camera. I'm in love with the gadget and can't seem to get enough of it. I lug my gadget almost everywhere I go (other than the grocery store). It's pretty darn heavy and I'm showing signs of tendonitis, but that's not going to dampen my spirit. 

I hope you enjoyed the images in today's post. I love seeing color around me. I hope I was able to add a little color to the blues your feeling today.
Signing off for today. Take care and have a wonderful day!!!

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.