Friday, January 31, 2014

Gehna (Featured Shop)

Today’s post is all about letting yourself be allured by the sheen of gold and enticed by the sparkle of a diamond. Jewelry is perceived as a mirror of a woman's persona,  her moods and style mantra. Delving further, we can appreciate it as also being an aide-mémoire of the moments in her life. More often than not, shopping for these exquisite pieces is swayed by the celebration of a special occasion or event - ones wedding day, an anniversary, a birthday or a gift from a loved one. And then there are those priceless inherited family heirloom treasures too. After endorsing the Indian Jewelry Project, I am enthused to leave behind a legacy of my own. I was personally looking for a store that would offer unique custom made jewelry. That's when I discovered “Gehna”. 
Tucked away on the meandering roads of Chennai (India), a charming private bungalow is the perfect setting to showcase the exquisite collection offered by Gehna. The owner and visionary of Gehna, Sunith Samdaria, brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the jewelry industry. Tapping into a niche segment, Gehna offers dedicated jewelry customization services, the first of its kind in Chennai (India). Customization being the USP of Gehna, it also promises to deliver this service without having to pay for the high price tag it comes with. With some discerning patrons who are not fascinated with the run-of-the-mill designs, Gehna provides them an opportunity to create unique statement pieces marked by their distinct personality and style. 

Sunith takes pride in his supportive crew at Gehna. Consisting of accomplished designers like Tara Premsingh (alumni of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gujarat) and his team of skilled craftsmen, Gehna helps "transform jewelry dreams into reality". A connoisseur of fine things, Sunith personally overlooks into each and every piece that is created at Gehna thus assuring the finest craftsmanship and quality.

Creating a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere, a personal one-on-one with the designer is arranged to better understand the client's needs. The process also allows for customer involvement at every stage. This gives us an insight into the success and mushrooming client base that Gehna has been able to amass in a short time span.

Sunith’s passion for what he does is reflected when he says ,”Within each gem burns a fire nothing can extinguish. It is this fire that seeks us out and draws us to enhance its beauty and convert it into expressions of individuality and style. Perhaps this is why jewelry is created to endure, through the changing fashions, to be passed on from generation to generation, a legacy of unmatched beauty.”
I do hope I've given you’ll enough eye candy to last you for the rest of the week. Drop in to check out more of the intricately crafted pieces that Gehna has to offer as their collection ranges from the traditionally Indian to designs with a hint of contemporary appeal.

I’m going to be away for a week attending to my books and exams but promise to be back before the love is in the air for Valentine's Day. 

You’ll take care and while I’m away if you’ll haven’t had a chance to look through my previous posts, may I suggest you make a cuppa for yourself and settle down in your nook to catch up on the TECD library of posts;) 

Images: Courtesy Gehna

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polished Bohemian Look

Drawing inspiration from the most unlikely of places and things, fashion designer Whitney Port has created a polished bohemian retreat for herself.  Undeterred to mix patterns, colors and textures the space is lively yet chic - a combination hard to achieve. This home is a perfect example of why we need to follow our heart and not worry about the trends. You can take a complete tour of her pad, right here.

As for me, I'm surrounded by books and am racing against time to stick to my study schedule. But whenever I can stop by the blog, I promise to bring you'll splashes of color and inspiration. 

You'll take care and have  a wonderful day !!!

Images : Via

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Guest Post at Aalayam

Hopping in for a quick update lovely readers....

Deepa of Aalayam reached out to me and invited me to contribute to their Aalayam Digest. I'm delighted to let you'll know that my guest post has been published. I've had so much fun putting this together and am so glad that in the process I've got to connect with the talented and wonderful Deepa.

Do hop over to their blog and check out the post and let me know how I did :) Here are a few glimpses of what's in store for you ;) 

Craving for more, head over to Aalayam

And I'd like to thank Deepa for letting me be a part of one of my favorite blogs "Aalayam". Wishing the talented duo at Aalayam (Deepa and Supriya) all the very best !!!

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog Party 2014

Before we move onto today's post, make sure you make yourself a cuppa and get comfortable .........Today, I'm joining the "Grow Your Blog Party " hosted by Vicki of 2 Bags Full. It's an opportunity to meet hundreds of bloggers from across the globe. So as I introduce my blog and myself, this is your chance to get to know us better.
Take a seat and get to know us - my blog and me 
But before I go on to tell you'll what drove me to start my blog, I'd like to explain how I zeroed in on the name - "The East Coast Desi"(TECD). Since I live in Virginia (USA), the East Coast  part of it is quite self explanatory. As for "Desi" it's a term used to describe a person of Indian descent who lives abroad. But more than that I've used the word to describe my love for all things Indian.

While growing up, my home back in India was infused with traditional ethnic Indian charm. This aspect has had a strong influence on my design style. With my move to the US, I longed to create a balanced decor style that would reflect my Indian roots and the global influences we had come to absorb through our experiences from living abroad.Trying to recreate that for ourselves (that's my husband, 6 year old son and me) was not an easy task. But the end result has been exactly what we wanted.

We started off with the bare bones of a house and I believe that with good design we've been able to breathe life into it. And adding the soul, is my family along with those few personal statement pieces. And by key personal statement pieces I mean : heirloom pieces, decor that talks about stories of where we're from and where we've been, all while screaming our personal style.

Every friend, family or acquaintance that has come through the doors of the TECD casa, has wanted to patiently absorb all the stories that the home has ever wanted to share ..........and as they wanted to know more about where I sourced my pieces from and requested that I help them design their spaces too, I realized people were looking for inspiration to decorate their space in a globally chic style and I could share what I knew.

Then one summer morning, a little vignette I created by gathering a few sprays of wild Chicory flowers, made me attain decorating Nirvana (if you may term it that way). There was something about the image that I had captured on my camera that wanted me to share it.....and so TECD was born. I was able to recognize that blogging was a great way to combine the two things I love doing : decorating + photography. 
This was the image that made me take that big leap into the blogging world.

And now there is no looking back.........I enjoy the sense of control that my blog gives me. I'm the stylist, photographer, writer, name it. It propels me to live my creative best. It has been a link in connecting me with so many wonderful and talented people, be it the artists I feature or my blogger buddies. Not to mention the heart-beat of my blog - my READERS . This seems to be the platform to share common interests primarily relating to global decor. Its a place to inspire and be inspired........I've enjoyed the journey so far and if I'm able to motivate even a handful of people or virtually assist them in creating a place called home.......then all the sleepless hours spent in writing the posts or days when I skip my lunch to shoot pictures (cause the lighting was just right), is well worth the effort...................

Hope to see you'll around as I whip up more posts in the days to come and share the plethora of inspiration around us that is waiting to be explored.
                                                                                                     ~ Sruthi   
Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Indian Jewelry Project

The "INDIAN JEWELRY PROJECT" (IJP), an endeavor by Puja Bhargava (the creative mind behind Lai Jewelry) to build a visual archive of Indian heirloom/period jewelry. Tracing the inner and outer journey of the rich history associated with Indian jewelry, IJP aspires to highlight our cultural heritage, celebrate the fine craftsmanship that India is revered for, soak in the patchwork quilt of stories associated with these treasured pieces, serve as a fountain of inspiration that you can draw from and a comprehensive log that you can refer to for pure eye candy.
When I received a mail from Puja, introducing the IJP, I was stirred to know more about it.This is what Puja has to say about how the project came into being , "Ever since I discovered the "Indian Memory Project", I've been toying with the idea of starting its jewelry equivalent the "Indian Jewelry Project" & what better time than the new year to start a new project! Inspired by the "Indian Memory Project", the IJP (Indian Jewelry Project) aims to be a crowd-sourced visual history of Indian jewelry through the personal archives of families. What that means is that we will all contribute pictures (with emphasis on the jewelry worn there in) from our family albums to compile what we hope, with time, can become a big enough source of reference as well as plain eye candy as to what kind & how jewelry used to be worn in days gone by."

A few guidelines from Puja that helps us understand how we can contribute to this project :
"Your contribution can be an old picture with your grandmother/ mother/ a relative wearing a striking piece of jewelry along with a little narrative about who they are, significance of the jewelry piece worn (if any), current status of that piece of jewelry (i.e handed down or melted/sold or unknown etc.). 

Any photograph submitted should feature a jewelry piece where the piece itself or the context or the way it has been worn has something meaningful & historic to convey. Only photographs taken before 1980 may be submitted.....anything later than that is too recent! 

If you have an heirloom piece of jewelry that you would like to share with others but don't have an old picture of someone wearing it, please feel free to take a shot & share that too with it's story.....that would also be a great way to document our jewelry heritage!"

Submission of relevant image(s) from sources like the magazines and the web is also accepted under  a separate category. Puja has made a start to this, by compiling an album of antique Indian jewelry here on her Facebook and here on Pinterest.

To kick start the project and bring a personal dimension to it,  we have a few photographs accompanied by anecdotes sent in by Puja and her Lai Facebook members. 

Puja shares a very personal picture with us...........she looks stunning on her wedding day adorned in gorgeous heirloom pieces that have been handed down for generations in the family.

And with Puja validating that a key-bunch does qualify as quasi-jewelry and a personal statement piece, here's my story:

The entire process has impelled me to retrieve and  prod for the precious stories and pieces that surround my family. It's an undertaking that's going to take it's due course. But the ramifications of these are going to be well worth the effort.

The Indian Jewelry Project's success is highly dependent on the combined effort of  those who value their past and those who want to give to their future. Do consider contributing to IJP personally and please share the link with those you think might be able to contribute to this collective memoir that celebrates our jewelry heritage, that has it's  roots in a 5000 year old tradition......... 

Please forward your precious stories and pictures to Puja Bhargava right here or mail her at  puja.bhargava(at)gmail(dot)com.

And if you're looking to start a legacy of your own and would like to know where to look for traditional Indian jewelry........I've got you covered. So stay tuned for a captivating post coming up next week.. But in the meantime I've got more in store for you this week:)
                                                                                ~ Sruthi                   
Images: Collage 1, Collage 2
Other Images: Via
Images are the property of Puja Bhargava. Please do not use without prior written permission.  
Last image - Mine. Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright. Please do not use without prior written permission. 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Sky Goodies (Featured Shop)

Today's post is about getting in touch with your crafty and whimsical side. All you need is a pair of scissors, glue and Sky Goodies!!! 

Sky Goodies is a Mumbai based online store (retailing via Etsy) that churns out the prettiest of paper-based functional art. The crew at Sky goodies are a group of designers who whip up paper products illustrated with authentic Indian designs in vibrant potent colors. 

How did Sky Goodies come about??? Let's hear it from the design team them selves, "Our day job can get boring, so we moonlight as paper artists! Sky Goodies is our outlet to create (what we hope is) mouth watering eye-candy".
These guys roll a little differently though. What you pay for, is a downloadable file that can be printed at your convenience on heavy card stock to create these paper goodies. Their perfect as party favor boxes, unique gifts, to add a little splash of color to your work desk or shelf or to just reach out to that inner child in you. 
So dig in !!!

Images: Courtesy Sky Goodies

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Color Splash

Hello Everybody !!!

Would like to give you a heads up about what's been happening behind the scenes at TECD casa. Of late I've been burning the midnight oil since I have my exams scheduled in the first week of Feb. So if I'm missing in action, you'll now know why. But I'm trying my best to keep the posts coming.....To be honest, in between all the studying, blogging has been my only stress buster. I've been working on a couple of wonderful topics for the up coming posts.....amongst them is a guest post for one of my favorite blogs (will spill the beans on that soon).

On the home front, we've been busy redecorating our master bedroom and our home office space. We started it last Thanksgiving and finally things are looking up. A few more finishing touches and we'll be done. It took a while to start on this space, as  my husband and I could not reach common ground on the style that we wanted to adopt for our retreat. I was going for an eclectic vibe (no surprise there) while my husband wanted a modern clean line feel. Will be sharing this space with you'll soon. 

Well for now, it's  a peek into an apartment in Madrid. This space would be the perfect answer to my design dilemma. An ideal mix of eclectic textiles against a modern Scandinavian backdrop. 

The house bathed in natural light, only brings out the bold splashes of color introduced into the home through accessories and textiles.To take a tour of the home click here.
Have a wonderful day and see you back on Friday for more decor inspiration.
Images : Via

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dual Functionality

Hello and good morning readers,

While I've been on the lookout for a cookbook holder.......I've had the solution to my problem right under my nose.......Not sure how I didn’t realize this earlier, but a plate stand doubles wonderfully as a cook book holder. See what I mean ???

A plate holder functions as a cook book holder !!!

How did I discover the dual functionality aspect of this piece ??? Well, the other day I was fixing a new recipe for dinner from one of my favorite cookbooks and my son insisted that he wanted to sit by the island and paint. Fearing that my brat of a Picasso might turn my cook book into his art book by spilling water or paint on it, I took the platter that I had displayed off the stand and replaced it with the cookbook. And to my delight, the plate holder not only looked great as a book holder but also functioned beautifully in its new role. 

Bring a visual spark to a kitchen corner, by displaying brightly colored platters/plates/cookbooks on a plate stand. 

So those of you who have a plate holder tucked away in a drawer or storage bin, bring it out. You’ve got yourself a new cook book holder but without having to pay a hefty price tag for it :)

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

Sunday, January 12, 2014

India Circus Giveaway Winner !!!

It's time to announce the winner of the first giveaway here at The East Coast Desi. But before that, I'd like to thank all those who participated in the giveaway and made this happen.
Without further ado.......drum roll please :
Congratulations Neha !!! Neha, please write to me at with your contact details (email and address) so that we can ship you your winning hamper at the earliest:)
And for the rest of you, enjoy your Sunday and see you next week at TECD for decor inspiration and more !!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Melded Influences

Hello Folks !!!

Project Bly needs no introduction. With the trend shifting from a design purist to a free form of self expression in the design realm, eclectic design has been stoked by stores like Project Bly. Helping us bring cultural influences into our home, their ever changing thoughtfully curated collection is authentic.

Their unique attempt to successfully showcase the story of a piece from far off lands through raw street photography is laudable. The strong affinity that I have to Asian design, instantly drew me to their Malacca Collection.

Experience the flavors, beat and chaos of marketplaces in far away places without having to leave the comfort of your home with Project Bly. I highly recommend that you checkout their other collections right here, if you haven't done so already.

Have a wonderful day !!! 

Images: Courtesy Project Bly

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mothology (Featured shop)

Hello Lovely Readers !!!! 

Starting off with a question......What makes you pick up a piece for your home???? Personally, a piece needs to talks to me, resonate my style and add character to my space. If all these criteria are satisfied,  I decide to bring it home and worry about where to put it later. Yes, that's how I function. 

Recently, a store that got my attention for all the above mentioned reasons and more - Mothology. An online boutique style store  thats offers an exclusive blend of fine vintage finds to in-house fabricated products, ranging from linens, paper and lighting. Promising to bring the feel of a "well traveled and collected" home, the product range is impressive and surprisingly affordable. 

Cruising through their collection, my obsession for mood light instantly drew me to their votive and candle holders that are particularly striking. 

Sharing a couple more decor accessories that made it to my wish list..............

To browse their entire range of products or to create your own wish list, click here

Those of you enjoying great weather, think of me and the others in my part of the woods, please keep safe and warm......

Images: Courtesy Mothology

Thursday, January 2, 2014

These are a few of my Favorite Things !!!

Hello and welcome back!!!!
Have you'll recovered from the holi-daze???? I haven't. I've just about managed to put away the Christmas decorations and am trying really hard to get back to the daily routine.........
As for the weather, it's temperatures in the negatives and more snow! Looking on the bright side though, every season has it's share of wonderful moments.......For me I enjoy the feel of Pashmina and Cashmere against my skin, little toes sticking close to me trying to keep warm, the fact that I can indulge in a guiltless third cup of tea in the day (I've got the cold to blame;), the hypnotic effect of the dancing flames from a fireplace,  an excuse to play engaging board games, devouring baked goodies while still hot, making snow angels with my little one and the picturesque wintry scene following a snow shower...... However, the only thing I detest about living in places that have extreme cold weather is the interim cessation of outdoor activities. With having to spend extended periods of time indoors, what does one do to create a warm cocoon to elude the somber grey winter skies??? 
(Tip: For a tea lover, nothing like a monogrammed mug to enjoy the cup of goodness. This one was gifted to me by my husband. If you want your very own mugs, Pottery Barn is your stop.With the prices slashed for the after season sale the timing couldn't be better !)

How does a glowing fire, snuggling up with your little one, a cup of hot tea, left over Christmas cookies and a good puzzle sound????
Well, we did just that. As my son picked out a puzzle to keep us occupied for the afternoon, I made the room nice and toasty by starting the fire. We brought out some leftover Christmas goodies and a nice cup of tea (for me).
(Tip: Paperwhite Narcissus are wonderful plants to brings indoors during the winter months.Belonging to the Daffodil family, the fragrance from these blooms is sure to make you giddy.) 
As I looked up sipping from my tea, the Paperwhite Narcissus looked breathtaking against the dancing flames in the background. I could not help but run upstairs to get my camera and take a couple of shots. While my little guy whined about mommy abandoning him half way through the puzzle, I managed to sneak in a few clicks to share with you'll and quickly got back to the serious business with my son.

The puzzle took us a good hour and a half. As I reminded him and myself that we had homework to complete, I must admit, I wanted to sit there a little longer........

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