Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Made to Order (Home Tour)

A well curated home reveals itself one bit at a time. Every corner you turn has a story or memory waiting to unfold. This truly works as an antidote for me and makes everyday living so much more enjoyable. The Joseph's home in Kerala (India) is no different. The homeowners have reconnoitered every aspect of creating a dream home. Functionality, comfort, balancing the old with the new, working in the right amounts of color, a pinch of sassy sparkle and not to mention their personality stamped all over it. 
(Clockwise from top left : Image 1- A front view of the elevation of the home, Image 2- main door with a favorite bonsai setting the tone for what's to follow, Image 3- the front yard on a dreamy rainy day, Image 4 - more terracotta love) 

The home was originally built 30 years ago, however the Josephs decided to give their home a face-lift and took on the herculean task of renovating it, a year and a half ago. With the renovations now complete, Bindu breathes a sigh of relief and says,“It was exhausting and draining to say the least. However, I have enjoyed every aspect of the process, as we were that much closer to our objective of a bright, open and airy space.” 
As we make our way into the home, the foyer greets us with fresh blooms and the warm glow of flickering candles. The functional divider, ingeniously separates the dining hall from the family room while also serving as the family's bookcase. An antique mirror, console and brass hanging lamps dress this divider and add character to an otherwise new piece. Fresh flowers and potted plants are always a part of this arrangement, as Bindu believes that flower power is the most cheerful way to greet her guests.
Color and style wrap their arms around this gorgeous living room. Talking about their design choices and inspiration for the home, Bindu says, “The various interior magazines that I had collected over a period of ten years were our go to source for inspiration. I decided to custom make all the furniture in the house based on the ones that I had book-marked from the magazines. As for the artifacts, most of them were collected from our travels." 
The Josephs are also avid antique collectors and wanted to incorporate some favorite pieces to the architecture of the home. And as we can see, ornate antique pillars have been beautifully married into the architecture of the home, forming an almost  palatial gateway like effect into the entertainment and lounging area. 
When asked what genre of style would she like to associate her home with, Bindu shares, “I wouldn't want to categorize my style . My home is a collage of some Indian, some western and all things that my family and I love.”
Our lady takes the word "entertaining" very seriously. She goes the whole nine yards to ensure that the ambiance fosters an unforgettable experience for family and friends! Formal dinner ware, symphonic arrangement of flowers and candle light become a part of a decadent tablescape!  
At the far end of the formal dining room, a collection of colorful glass bottles dress up an octagonal shaped traditional south Indian table. Most of the bottles were brought back from the family’s travels abroad. As challenging as it may have been to bring these fragile pieces back with them, the final effect is well worth the effort!
Our next stop, is the heart of the home - the kitchen. A place where Bindu loves to spend her time cooking gustatory delicacies for her family and friends. Updated with the latest kitchen gadgets and shiny granite counter-tops, this kitchen is a gracious mix of convenience, function and design. It is lovingly sprinkled with cheerful kitchen accessories injecting interest and beauty and thus making the mundane chore of everyday cooking a pleasurable experience. 

More snap shots of everyday moments from the Joseph household.

A sneak peek into  one of the son’s rooms.....and I dare say is it is nothing less of being termed a Xanadu - Color done right, music , Suzani and an eclectic soul! Seriously, I could move into this room today;)
Bindu is a lady after my own heart. She loves changing things up every now and then and adores having little vignettes cozy up her space without looking overly busy. Flowers, glitterati effect, global finds and mood light are the ingredients that harmoniously come together to amplify the personal design style of these lovely home owners.
Bindu also channels her love for color by sprinkling her home with colorful accessories and textiles in vivid shades to reinvigorate the space. This little nook, makes me want to drop everything that I'm doing and just curl up by the window with a good read and chai. Thank you Josephs for letting us tour your beautiful home! We wish you all the very best in all that life has to offer.....
(And finally a view of the backyard with a gorgeous wall mural done by a local artist. With a swing to add to the outdoor drama, it's no surprise that the Josephs love spending a considerable amount of time outdoors.) 

With that we come to the end of our fabulous home tour. And as we can see there are no rules to decorating, only guidelines. So just have fun and allow your instincts to lead you on......
Happy decorating folks!

Images are the property of Bindu Joseph and may not be used without prior written permission.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reclaimed Design (More on Flea Market Style)

Flaky paint, tarnished patinas and corroded surfaces are words that make a flea-market junkie's heart leap! It’s what elevates the flea market treasures from the common catalog offerings and seals them with the stamp of time. Flea market style gives us the freedom to push the envelope and test our creative boundaries. I say this because an imaginative and innovative mind is the epicenter of good flea market style. Another important aspect for flea market style to thrive is a healthy mix of the old with the new. A space comes alive when the polished and lustrous surfaces of the new get mixed in with the worn and scuffed treasures from a flea market exploit. 
Sharing her flea market inspired vignettes from her Massachusetts’ home, my virtual friend and owner of Mayil Scarves, Madavi Oliver, has mastered the art of flea market style. She sourced most of her treasures from the “paathra kadais” (shops that deal in old kitchen utensils and other household goods) in Nagercoil (Tamil Nadu, India). 
Her flea market vintage collection includes brass bells and lamps, aruvanmanai (vegetable cutter) and a vintage sign in Tamil that reads “Narasu's coffee and tea”. This is her absolute favorite and I can see why! 
Weren’t those corner’s absolutely delightful and inspiring? I’m totally inspired to go looking for my very own vintage sign board…….

Thank you Madavi for sharing such enchanted corners of your home. To all my readers out there, if you know how to work the flea market style, do write to me at theeastcoastdesi@gmail.com with pictures of the lovely vignettes from your home, for an exclusive feature on TECD:)  

Images are the property of Madavi Oliver and may not be used without prior written permission.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Flea Market Fever

With décor rules chucked at the door, Flea Market style can be liberating in more ways than one. It can adapt to any style and can match every price point. And the two most wonderful aspects about flea market style is that every piece has a backstory to it and there is low or no maintenance in most cases as the distressed patina and peeling paint reveals the stamp of time and adds to the personality and ambiance of the space. But one must develop an eye to spot some style amongst all that flea market clutter. TECD reader and flea market enthusiast “Jayanthi Kanderi” truly knows how to work the flea market style.
She recently sent me this delightful corner of her home and I was so besotted with the whole look that I had to share it with you’ll. Now getting into the details, this is what Jajanthi had to say sharing about this lovely corner of her home,"I have always had a fascination for things that have already lived a life – there is always an aura of mystery surrounding every piece. I found the big antique trunk in a flea market for $10! It came with the legs already attached (whoohoo:) The brass trinkets were all picked up over the years. I have no guilt in accumulating them since I pay so little for something that cool. The Pepsi crate is a recent flea market find which was again very inexpensive. I live in Coca cola's hometown (Atlanta) so I guess Pepsi crates are not all that popular:) A touch of green adds freshness and brings the whole corner alive.” 

Thank you Jayanthi for taking the time to share and connect with us. If you too know how to work the flea market look together, do send in pictures of your lovely vignettes to theeastcoastdesi@gmail.com to be featured on TECD!

Images are the property of Jayanthi Kanderi and may not be used without prior written permission.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lai's Nilaj(a) collection is here!

I have featured LAI before and it’s a no brainer why time and again, creations from Lai get featured on TECD. Puja Bhargava Kamath (the lady behind the brand Lai) builds collections drawn from diverse cultures that are fresh yet timeless in appeal……chic yet talk to bohemian soul of the modern day woman. Lai’s newest collection, “Nilaj(a)“ (meaning 'produced in the blue mountains' in Sanskrit and 'one who comes with joy' in Yoruba) has a contemporary nomadic flair to it. Having drawn inspiration from the exotic land of Afghanistan, the ultramarine hue of the Lapis Lazuli used in the collection is the perfect contrast to the greyish tone of the silver taking any summer outfit to the next level. 

Sharing her thoughts on the Nilaj(a) collection she says, “Taking inspiration from various layers of Afghani aesthetics - from their Bactrian roots to the nomadic tribes - the designs in this collection are a contemporary rendition of an amalgamation of these multiple aesthetics. Pieces that are both visually intriguing and wonderfully crafted- jewelry that is as likely to be found in the trunks of an antique dealer in a bazaar in Afghanistan as they are in a chic Parisian boutique.”

Tempted to get more than one? I say give into the temptation. To see the entire lookbook click here and to order, mail Puja at shop@lai-designs.com.

Image credit/courtesy : LAI

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Easy Breezy Coastal Style

Beach vacations don’t last forever, however you could bring the quintessential getaway vibe of coastal style right to your home with a few basic elements of coastal décor. 
Let’s get started with the color palette. For a classic look, stick to the traditional nautical color palette of whites and aqua tones. But if you enjoy a more bold color scheme, tropical hues have so much to offer and explore. Try incorporating fun hues like the fuchsia of the Bougainvillea, the orange/red thrown in to mimic the fiery sunsets over the shimmering blues of the ocean or just follow the color trail that your heart leads you to......
Next, unify the coastal feel with textures. Weather-beaten/distressed wood or furniture and rugs made of natural fibers such as sisal, sea grass, rattan and bamboo are popular choices. Furniture with painted patina is also a great choice and a fun way to spruce up an old furniture piece with a lick of paint. For accessories display your beach combing trophies such as shells, drift wood collections and other elements from the beachy surroundings  with pride. 
And finally don’t forget to add your personal stamp to it all. I brought in some beach style to my sunroom with a few simple finds. A DIY stenciled pillow, grocery store bought lantern (always keep those eyes open) and other knick-knacks celebrate style where you can kick off your shoes and feel completely at ease……..
Enjoy the rest of your week and happy decorating!

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Second Birthday TECD!

Happy Second Birthday TECD! Yes, it’s been two whole years since I first started this blog! Seriously someone tell me,where does time fly?
But I must say that my blog, “The East Coast Desi” has come to be more than my creative springboard. It has been the most liberating experience for my artistic soul. The emotion of creating something gives me a high and all aspects of blogging lead to this very road! Styling, writing, photographing, sharing, meeting and interacting with like-minded, inspirational and creative folks and making special bonds with some of them, has been the most nourishing experience to say the least. But the highlight has to be my wonderful set of readers who reinforce, inspire and encourage me to put my creative best forward. Thank you fabulous people, for all the love and reassurance. Truly without YOU, TECD would not be what it is! 

I thought I'd make this wonderful milestone even more memorable by sharing some very exciting news with you’ll. My family and I recently took the big decision to move into another home. It is a very demanding decision that requires my undivided time and energy and that would explain my mini-hiatus from the blogging scene......The new home is being built from scratch which means we've been busy going through numerous design plans and trying to make sense of the fragmented pieces to complete the giant design jigsaw puzzle. It is not an easy task but it has been an exhilarating one. The actual move will be taking place later this year but until then we have our hands full preparing for the move and the new home. However, the most wonderful outcome of this decision of ours is that we get to design and decorate our dream home! We as a family are truly excited and I would love for you to join us on our design journey.

With that, I bid you adieu for now......Since summer is here and I am enjoying it while it lasts, expect the posts to trickle in from time to time but rest assured, I’m here to stay in the blogosphere! 

You take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

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