Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy Ugadi

A very "Happy Ugadi" to my readers celebrating this wonderful South Indian festival. It signifies the celebration of the first day of the new year and is also considered the harbinger of "Spring". Hailing from South India, this was one of the most anticipated festivals celebrated back home. The Highlight of the festival for me was feasting on mom's homemade delicacies such as Holige/Obbattu, Bele vadas and the Ugadi Pachadi..........I tried my hand at the Holige and it resulted in a disaster:( So I decided to celebrate it my way, by lighting lamps and decorating my home with traditional flower arrangements and served a South Indian Thali (minus the Holige). However, I wish you luck with your festive gastronomic experiments in the kitchen !!! 
Come Wednesday and I'm going to have a full house.........I have family visiting me from India for a month. That means I'm not going to be able to devote as much time as I'd like, to my blog. But not to worry, I did plan a little in advance and have some delightful posts lined up for you'll, all through the month of April. Curious ??? Well, I have a home tour, a feature on a talented new blogger friend and postcards from my home, and ....... uh no !!! I can't spill the beans on this one yet. A little patience lovely readers, you'll will not be disappointed. 

One other thing that I'm super excited about is, that my husband's coming back home after his 3 weeks trip to India. The little guy and me have missed him terribly. He's lugging back some new loot that my wonderful parents have sent for me!

While I'm going to be busy with my house guests and my new loot, you take care  have a wonderful week !

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

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pretty in Pink

After being exposed to the uninspiring winter landscape, the heart yearns for bold color palettes. The winter has made me fearless when it comes to color. I've been dreaming in PINK, people !!! And these enchanting images from the Swedish home furnishing " Himla" product catalog, in a variety of blushing hues worked their magic and transported me to the "No man's land" (clearly everything is in pink, no man would ever want to live here, right ???). 
However, they narrate a perfect story of how I would like to spend my perfect spring evening;)
A quite Shikara style boat ride..........

With Spring here, it calls for a spring soiree and a delectable spread........
 And finally a camp out under the stars as I finally drift off from one fantasy land into another..........
The weekend is here !!! I hope I set the ball rolling for a dreamy weekend. So dream on folks.........
Images: Via

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Blogging Headquarters/Adda (Home Office Reveal)

Imagine sharing your work space with a 7 year get the idea, right??? That's one of the main reasons why our master bedroom redecorating project has been stalled to prioritize our home office makeover. But I must tell you that this makeover has been a fun family project. Even my 7 year old has pitched in to complete this space. As a result of which he claims this space belongs to him we are back to square one.

I'm going to let the space wars sought themselves out, but for now, I'm going to walk you through the thought process that went into creating our home office space aka my blogging headquarters/adda. We started off by looking for a large sturdy work table to house our desktop and much needed office supplies. We try to run things on a more or less paperless system where ever we can. That meant filing was not a big issue to deal with. After scouting around for the desk, we zeroed in on the Linnmon workstation from IKEA. A quick trip to IKEA and we came back with the desk, desk lamp, RIBBA frames and matting (imagine matting for $0.99 each). I love IKEA !!!

Next came the paint color.We went bold this time around. Our workstation is an extension of our bedroom so we wanted a look that was cohesive with the rest of the space. To contrast the Amber Wave (Sherwin William) in the bedroom, we headed in the direction of Relentless Olive (Sherwin William). And what's not to love about green.......said to have positive connotations and referred to as the color of rebirth and energy, we knew it would come to our rescue in the cold winter months, when the outsides are sporting nothing but a dry monochromatic landscape. 
As the paint took its time to cure, we got cracking on the "Inspiration Wall" (as we like to call it). The the purpose of this wall is to provide visual stimulation. By marrying original artwork, color, inspirational quotes and other prized possessions such as favorite photographs and travel memorabilia, we were able to achieve the look we wanted.The credit for the original artwork has to be given to my son. He was experimenting with my photographs on the Waterlogue App, and the images he was churning out looked absolutely beautiful. On the spur of the moment I decided these would look perfect in my blog adda. Voila! With a printer at my disposal, I had original art in no time. 

Since I wanted an eclectic vibe to the space, I went with the idea of adding a shadow box, a Sri Lankan mask and a paper mache alphabet "G" to personalize the space. The shadow box is filled with my favorite pictures, my son's artwork and my grandmother's silver key bunch. Making the most of the shadow box frame, I used it as a mini ledge to display small brass nick-knacks. Our favorite family inspirational quote (the one you see here) was created using PicMonkey. It's another great way to add inexpensive customized artwork to your walls. 

Once the inspiration wall was dealt with, it was time to accessorize. Instead of buying the conventional office organizers, I shopped around the house and found containers that I could put hard at work to organize my office clutter.
Knowing me, a touch of green was a must. Low maintenance plants like the money plant and succulents are perfect for an office space. In colorful ceramic containers, they add an organic element to the space. 
Task lighting came next. The table is set up by a large window that back up into a tree save line. So there's plenty of light flooding the space during the day. However, we added the IKEA Tertial lamp to throw light on the task at hand once the sun goes down. (Another important aspect that should be considered while adding lighting to a work space that is a part of the bedroom is, that the lighting does not hinder your partner's sleep in the room. Care should be taken to choose a light that would illuminate only the required work area.)
And finally, we placed the Anthropologie Terai chair (I found mine on Craigslist) and a love seat from World Market that was perfect for this space. A couple more embellishments in place and we were all done.

We love how this space turned out. I now spend long hours here studying, working on assignments, paying bills, painting, editing photographs, day dreaming and blogging. All you need is a little imagination and a comprehensive list of what the space needs to function as. The rest will fall in place......... well not really, I'm yet to deal with the 7 year old usurper ;)

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my home office and found inspiration to create your own. 

Have a fabulous day !!!


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

Friday, March 21, 2014

There's more to my Vignette than what Meets the Eye

Most of you'll know by now, how I love styling and creating vignettes around my home. And more often than not, these are styled to quench my creative desire as opposed to just creating pretty corners around my home.  I believe styling is an unfeigned expression of our taste, ingenuity and personality. 

When I conceptualize something in my mind, I have the urge to create it, almost instantaneously. To actually touch and see what I had envisioned, makes me giddy with excitement. I guess when you are passionate about certain things, the effects are far reaching;) And you know what's even better ??? With a camera handy to capture my artistic expressions and a wonderful set of readers to share it with, I could not ask for more. 
Today my muse is a dash of pink in a little pot, all decked up for spring. Paired together with my brass ink pot (the dancing lady) and a brass key (part of an Asian console found at a flea market), the simplicity of the composition accentuates even the smallest details.
I find myself repeating this time and again : beauty breeds creativity. And with that thought to usher me, I strive to surround myself with groupings of beautiful objects that have a  special meaning to me. Cause when you take the time to observe how things work together and find a way to balance it all, the resulting atmosphere is one you can draw inspiration from. As long as what you conceive and actualize, appeals to you and yours and it has your signature all over it, you have nothing to worry!!!

Happy weekend Folks and see you back here next week for my Blog Adda reveal !!!

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring has Sprung !!!

It's officially announced, "Spring has arrived".......we've finally been able to shake off those grey winter skies and emerge from winter's cocoon..... 
As tulips and fresh blades of grass push through the dirt to make their presence felt, suddenly our boundaries seem wider as we can now throw open our doors and windows and include the outdoors. Given that with time, the spring palette deepens to a myriad hues, the need to brighten things indoors is heightened.
So let's exercise those decorating muscles and get on with spring cleaning, reorganizing and decorating. I've already managed to stash away the heavy throws and other winter clutter. I plan to have casual flower arrangements grace the corners of my home and add color through runners and floral patterned cushions. Another exercise I indulge in is misting my curtains with my favorite perfume. As the sun shines in, the whole place is enveloped in my favorite fragrance. And to make the most of the the gorgeous weather, we're going to be taking our tea parties outside:) 
So enjoy the Spring fever and make the most of those  burgeoning gardens !!!!

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This is where I'd like to Retire

Just when my resilient tulip bulbs were showing signs of spring, down came the snow. I think my son and I did the spring happy dance a little too soon. Since my hubby is away travelling, I had to shovel the driveway and now I'm sore to the tip of my hair. Once he's back, I'd love to take off for a day and just do nothings for 24 hours. But that said, it's going to be a while before I can think of actually retiring........But in the mean time, a girl can dream you know.........How about a little farm house style home with oodles of Colonial charm, right on the beach with loads of space to garden. And when not gardening, pursue my dream of pottery in a quiet studio tucked off to the back of the house in the shade of the coconut trees surrounding it.........
An ideal place to take a cat nap or read a book while sipping on fresh coconut water from ones own garden.
This place I found fits the bill perfectly........Set in a sprawling beach estate on the Casuarinas-lined Nagaon beach in Alibaug, this Colonial style bungalow is my ideal place to retire. Away from the hustle bustle of the city, the home with its old world charm, large french windows and proximity to a sandy beach has it all. The open spacious floor plan with it's focus on architecture and intelligently placed furniture choices is what drew me in. 
Adore the minimalist look with the focus on a few key pieces of furniture.
The muted wall colors accentuate the dark wood furniture and clever pops of color  enliven the space.
Adore the open shelving in the kitchen that is creatively used to demarcate the kitchen area.
This place was up for grabs but is now sold. To take a tour of the property while its still up on the website, click here.

Wishing you a wonderful week !!! 

Images: Via

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sage and Clare (Featured Shop)


What could be better than lounging bohemian style with all these luxurious fabrics and textiles ??
When a family of three decided to take their passion for shopping and combined it with their globe trekking adventures, "SAGE AND CLARE" was born. Investing all they had and with the strength to follow their heart and dreams, this was a decision that would not be regretted. The store with it's mushrooming client base, brings you artisanal and bohemian flavored decor that's hand picked and undeniably irresistible. Their beautifully styled inspiration catalog drew me in like a bee to honey. Aren't you hooked too???
Unique Furniture pieces that add instant personality to ones interiors.
Scouting busy Indian bazaars and global souks for unique and colorful finds, the store has a drool worthy collection of soft furnishings and a wide range of home products. All of us could use some color inspiration to take us through our spring makeovers that we've been dreaming of. So get cracking on those projects with more inspiration from here.
Scrumptious bedding in delightful colors and textures.
I always go that extra mile to steep myself in beauty and simplicity that can exercise my imagination and be used to nudge my creative soul. The above images sure had more than a happy effect on me. Hope it did the same for you too:)
Enjoy your weekend and see you back here next week for more wonderful finds from TECD's virtual trek.

Images: Via

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tea Time Tales

I thought I'd share with you'll what it was about a cup of tea that I take delight in. Actually coming to think of it, tea has been an expression of different feelings and emotions, at different points in my life.
Authentic Moroccan tea glasses add glamour and an exotic touch to my teatime.
While growing up, we were not allowed to have tea - milk it was. It was the forbidden fruit that we had seen the grown up's enjoy, when it was teatime. The ban was finally lifted when I was in college. It was not so much the tea that I enjoyed then but it was the feeling of being all grown up that gave me a high (haven't heard that  before I guess, being high on tea??). And then when it was exam time and we needed a break from all that studying, it was a tea break that came to our rescue. So tea was a reason to break away from the monotony of studying and rejoice in the teatime gatherings with my family while I felt all grown up.
When I started working, as much as I wanted to be left out of the office grapevine, come teatime and tea was served with a daily dose of office gossip.There was also the budding popularity of cafes like Coffee Day and Barista that fueled the cool hangout place concept. So after a hectic week at work, my friends and I would often spend our weekends in a cafe, reminiscing about college life and trying to hold on to the college bonds that we had made. But as time would tell, we all got busy with our lives and priorities got the better of us. Connecting with college friends over tea is truly missed to date.
Dancing steam putting on a show. 
Then I was engaged to be married and most of my evenings were spent with my fiance in a coffee shop, talking all evening over a cup of tea. At this point, it did not matter even if a cup of hot water had been placed in front of me and I had to sip it all evening. The only exception being that I had to have my love to share it with me. As we lost track of time, we'd get a curfew call from mom saying that it was way passed teatime and we had to make it on time for dinner. So at this juncture, tea was an excuse to meet my love and spend some quality time with him. 

Then as newly marrieds, we had to move to a different continent because of my husbands work and the menacing winters, just made having a cuppa more of a need than a want. The whole feeling of holding a hot cup in your hand and sipping the hot liquid as it soothed your throat and warmed your insides was a wonderful feeling. In a new country, tea became more of a seasonal indulgence.
Tea time is also a time to catch up on my favorite stack of design books.
And then came the MOMMY stage. A time in your life, when not a single minute of your time is yours. You work 24/7 relentlessly for a little boss demanding all you can give, with paychecks being paid with drooling kisses. So teatime vanished completely, as any 5 minutes that I got to myself was spent in the shower  or to finish any unfinished business before the little boss woke up. Being a new mommy, I felt guilty if I took some time out for myself. It was long before I understood that I needed to feel rested and happy myself before I can make everyone else around me happy and content. And that's when I decided to reserve a few peaceful moments for myself and enjoy the simplest of all pleasures - tea. I began to savor everything about it. Selecting the cup, brewing the tea, watching the steam dance as it escaped the cup, to discovering new blends or simply just enjoying tea for what it is..... and the ritual of "Me-time" continues to date. 

I 'd love to know what is it about teatime that makes YOU enjoy it so much. You 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. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

In the mood for Pink

Hello and Good Morning Monday !!!

It's been a hectic weekend at my end and the to-do list seems longer than ever.........However, lots of fun things have been happening at the TECD. First of all, the response to the home tour featured last week has been overwhelming ;) Mom and dad haven't stopped grinning from ear to ear, after reading your reviews and wonderful comments. Thank you to each and everyone of you who stopped by and showed your support and encouragement.

As for decorating stories from my home, we've tied the loose ends on the home-office/blogging adda project. Love how it turned out and will be sharing it with you'll very soon. The master bedroom project still has some pending items to be ticked off and the redecorating has been stalled for a little later because of my husbands travel plans.

On a different note, we have family visiting us from India for a whole month. This means spring cleaning has started and little touches are being added to freshen things up for the guests.

And now coming to today's post.Of late, I've been drawn to the color PINK. In fact I have been planning to spruce up my sunroom with this color. Nothing too drastic, just a touch here and there for a statement look. So when I saw these images from the home of Abby Larson (founder of Style Me Pretty), it definitely steered me in the direction of Pink.
Love how green, pink and mustard add the pop of color to an otherwise neutral backdrop. The fact that pink was used in this room and the end result is not a girly space is hard to achieve. I'm looking to recreate the same feel as I'm in the company of two men who are opposed to all things pink.
The once "color phobic" Abby seems to have overcome this dilemma of hers with a little help from Interior designer, mother and daughter duo, Suzanne and Lauren Macgrath of GBGP designs. Everything looks so fresh and all set for the spring. You can take a tour of her home right here.

Until next time, take care and have a wonderful day !!!!
Images: Via 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Happy Women's Day !!!

Happy Women’s Day !!!
A big salute to all the wonderful women folk out there. Each one of you is so very special as you'll juggle being a mom, wife, sister, friend, grandmother, aunt, your nest, work and your dreams.You are strong, intelligent, beautiful, compassionate, inspirational.........You complete the world and have the power to shape it. You can do anything you set your mind to. So celebrate  the spirit of womanhood !!!

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

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Collected Home (Singhs' Home Tour)

The home of Padmini and Chandra Mohan Singh, with its consciousness for inherited treasures, acquired tastes, assemblage of cherished gifts and stumbled upon finds, it truly is a “Collected Home”. As you cross the threshold and are seized by the couple’s passion for antiques and Indian Art, you come to realize that each object and artifact has a story to tell. I’m thrilled to be able to feature this home, as it holds a special place in my heart. It’s the home I grew up in and every corner evokes fond memories and takes me back in time. Every time I visit my parents, the positive vibes pulsating through the home, promptly puts me at ease. 

As we walk into the foyer, the open floor plan greets you with wide open arms and guides you to an intimate space filled with intricately carved teak wood furniture, treasured artifacts and antiques that coalesce into a thoughtfully curated living room. A lot of the pieces that you see in the home have been resuscitated by the Singhs' creativity and bring authenticity and character to their home. The Singhs' collection is the result of perseverance and patience that spans more than 4 decades in search of extraordinary finds for their home.

The brass floor lamp in the right hand corner is a refurbished surahi (a long necked vessel used to serve liquids). Nostalgic about the lamp Chandra Mohan says, "On one of my many scouting trips, I spotted this beautiful surahi. Forgotten in the corner of a metal salvage yard, this surahi was missing its snout. With the intent to overlook its imperfections and showcase the craftsmanship on it, it was converted into a floor lamp as it stands today." On the opposite side is a copper pot that has yet again been cleverly transformed to light up another corner. A collage of wooden carving, framed art, votive candle holders and masks, makes for one of a kind wall display.
A carved wooden pillar (one among the many from the Chandra Mohan's ancestral home) has been ingeniously used to create a display of the assortment of brass bells and traditional Indian lamps. Lighting it up at night is a copper horn that's been morphed into a nightlight and casts a warm glow and highlights the carved detailing on the pillar.
Tanjore paintings gifted by a dear friend are given their rightful place above a grey schist stone carved Ganesha. Completing the display is an 80 year old urli with fresh flowers from the garden. The Singhs' love for natural elements can be seen all through the home. Chatais (natural grass woven carpets), wooden pillars, stone figurines, potted plants and flowers are considered staples when it comes to creating the Singhs' abode. 
A traditional style diwan with the ensemble of brightly colored cushions is a perfect place for a catnap on a hot summer afternoon. Padmini loves to experiment with different textiles throughout her home. She says, "By changing out the cushion covers and diwan spread, you can play up or play down the mood and have the flexibility to introduce a wide spectrum of colors into the space". Adding textural dialogue to the room is the granite dressed wall forming the backdrop for the diwan.
Chandra Mohan and Padmini took on the role of the architect for this home. Incorporating sublime architectural details like the 300 year old teak wooden pillars and brass inlaid staircase from Chandra Mohan's ancestral home, presented a challenge. But after a couple of brainstorming sessions and trusting their instincts, the end result has  been a seamless layout that is the perfect setting to showcase the couples enviable collections. Padmini says," This home is exactly what I wanted. It's been a slow process over the years but nevertheless it has been a completely satisfying process and I wouldn't want it any other way."
The antique pillars have been incorporated in such a way so as to create an open floor plan but at the same time create a distinct area for the formal living room.
A close up of the staircase, that looks like an art installation in itself.

A cradle converted to serve as a table, displays a carved wooden Nandi and other travel finds from Bali and Thailand.
The Buddha takes center stage in this zen corner, along with travel treasures from Nepal. Remember the Nepal trip I shared with you'll earlier, the unique weapons displayed here are from that very trip. Weapons of male bodhisattva form Mañjuśrī, never fail to ignite a conversation with the Singhs' guests. 

The formal dining table in the home is another piece that’s not a common catalog acquisition but was an effort that took more than a year to get together. The table base was reclaimed and granite was cut to size to form an indestructible tabletop. Escorting the table are Italian chairs that were rescued and upholstered in a custom fabric. It all comes together beautifully with the traditional thali setting that Padmini uses to entertain frequently.

Large french doors lead us from the dining to the beautiful garden that we took a tour of. The house has been designed in such a way so as to get a view of their green oasis from every room in the house.
If you would like to tour their garden, click here.
Besides the garden, the kitchen is the other hardest working space in the house. Padmini loves cooking traditional meals and she's admired for her culinary skills and hospitality. (There's nothing like mom's hand cooked meal - just writing this makes my tummy rumble.) Even though function reigns supreme in this part of the home, Padmini has made an effort to make her countertop displays in the kitchen, every bit as beautiful as the rest of her home. Her design mantra for the kitchen, "We tend to spend extensive amounts of time in our kitchens. Why not give it the same attention as the rest of our home and enjoy the time we spend in there cooking delectable meals for our loved ones"
Walking upstairs, we come to the landing that has been put to maximum use. With ample natural light washing over the room at all times of the day, this place serves as a reading nook. It's also the place where the Singhs enjoy listening to ghazals and other classical music. At the far end of the room is a display wall that has been created with precious photographs of the family and is a catalyst when it comes to sharing favorite anecdotes with their guests.
Handmade wall hangings bought at a handicraft sale were  customized as  floor cushions. 
The master bedroom is tastefully done up in calming shades of cream with touches of red to add the visual spark. A medley of antique brass pandans (tobacco boxes) make for an interesting display at the foot of the bed.
Grouping of similar items makes for a wonderful, big impact display.
Anchoring the room is a Saharanpur buffet displaying the bone collection of the Singhs from Nepal. Another favorite piece of the Singhs is the rosewood chair, an heirloom piece that's more than a 100 years old and belonged to Chandra Mohan's father. 
Since Padmini believes that it's all in the details, the two other bedrooms are also painstakingly decorated with interesting pops of color and unique accessories that make the rooms a restful place.

Chatais (woven grass rugs) apart from adding  color and texture, have the added benefit of easy maintenance. 
And finally a look at a few other corners of their home before we wind up with this fabulous home tour. As you'll know by now the Singhs have a soft corner for "Ganesha". So I thought a collage of their favorite idol in his various avatars would be welcome.

And finally Padmini and Chandra Mohan Singh sum up the emotion that surrounds their home by saying, "We created this home much like a cocoon. A place that's special, secure and soulful,with the ability to enrich, educate and transform our children into strong individuals before they ventured out from this home. It has succeeded in doing all that and more. And now it serves as a retreat to enjoy our retired life and pursue our passion for gardening and art. As we cherish the memories we created with our children, we also look forward to creating new ones with our grand children in this very home."

And with that we come to the end of this wonderful home tour. I'm sure you'll will be coming back to take in all the details at leisure, as there's so much inspiration to take in.

I'd like to thank the Singhs for their time, energy and patience in making this feature happen for me. I cannot tell you, the number of mails and phone calls that have exchanged between mom (Padmini) and me regarding this post. But I'm glad that this post (my 100th) turned out as I had expected. I truly hope that you'll enjoyed the tour of the Singhs' home, as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you'll. 

Take care and see you'll back here at TECD for global decor inspiration and more!!! 

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