Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Going Back to the Roots (Home Tour)

Our next home tour takes us all the way to Edmonton (Canada). A couple's yearning for their roots, transforms a mundane builder grade home into a haven with a traditional Indian aesthetic. Pavitra and Siva's home "Anugraha" (translating to mean Divine Blessings) is everything that you would want an India-inspired home to be. Having worked in the financial services industry for over three years, Pavitra is currently taking a break to enjoy some downtime. Being a creatively inclined person, she keeps herself constantly engaged in DIY  projects, home styling and painting. Siva on the other hand is an Electrical Inspector and in his spare time is always happy to be Pavitra's handy manny for all her decor projects. He is also equally passionate about photography and Classical Indian Music and Dance. 

The couple tapped into their Indian roots for inspiration to tackle their interiors dilemma. The result is a home that is warm and welcoming with oodles of personally meaningful style. Pavitra had to say about going the desi way to decorate her home, "Our tradition and culture being very important to us, we wanted our Indian-ness to be reflected in our beautiful abode. Another reason why this was so important to us was to educate our future generations and leave behind a legacy so that they do not have a lost sense of identity when it comes to Indian culture. For example,  instead of the epic stories being restricted to only pages in a book we made the effort to convey it in the form of art through the Ramar Pattabhishekam Painting in the dining room.We also absorbed fragments of inspiration from my mom, Pinterest and The East Coast Desi to create a space that reflected us."
Come right this way to begin our tour...... In the entryway, a mango wood bench from Pier I Imports offers guests a place to sit comfortably as they tug off boots and shoes. Adding welcoming vibes to the space is a tall wooden standing Buddha, a pair of Thai angels and aurli that is always filled with fresh floating flowers. A touch of South Indian flair is added with the Eka Padha Lakshmi Tanjore Painting, embellished with brass bells on either side.
Every corner of Pavitra and Siva's home is steeped in interesting stories. Pavitra tells me, this lovely traditional Indian corner is the most adored corner of the living room. A collection of glistening, hand picked brass artifacts, potted plants and one of a kind Krishna statue pays homage to the traditional South Indian roots of the home owners.    
A closer look at the most revered piece in the house, lovingly called "The Laddu Krishna". Dressed in a short dhoti standing atop a lotus, this statue as you can see has the most intricate details to it. The Krishna Sculpture is a handmade Panchalokha cast by the artists of South India using the lost wax process, a skill passed on for generations since the Chola period. This statue exhibits the full beauty, elegance, grace and high artistry that is trademark of chola era molds.
Beside the Krishna is the ‘Ashtamangalyam set’ purchased during the couple's visit to Guruvayur Temple. (More on the Ashtamangalyam set - it is a portable tray holding sacred objects some of which are the lamp,  traditional Kerala kindi – vessel with spout for water, mirror replica, camphor/vermillion holder, bell and urli. All in all, it is believed to be auspicious and bring good luck to its owners.)
More from Pavitra, as she talks in depth of the influences on her decor style:
  • "Our backgrounds and our personalities influences the decor style in our home. Hailing from Bengaluru with traditions from Thanjavur, I wanted keep the 'Indian-ness' intact depsite us having to adopt a new country as home. As for Siva, he hails from a Palakkad tradition family, so we made sure to introduce the Kerala aspect too into our decor.
  • Color is an integral component of how we experience the world around us. As we conceptualized  the interiors for our home, we were sure of the fact that color would play a vital role in the interiors. 
  • I've always been fascinated by my mom’s decor in our Bengaluru home. Brass was always an essential part of the decor. And now I am here in Edmonton taking cues from my mom’s style. I am more than fortunate to own heirloom brass artifacts passed on to me by my mom. 
  • Last but not the least, I love vintage decor. I often go shopping for vintage brass and antiques while vacationing in India. I'm also all for handmade and hence a lot of the pieces at home were collected during our travels from local artisan markets.
The living room is the couple's favorite room in the house. After a long day at work, this is where they unwind. Being lovers of classical music and dance, the couple wanted this passion together with their undying love for Indian culture and tradition to be reflected in the interiors. Imparting symmetry is a pair of floating shelves flanking either side of the fireplace, with a collection of brass Ganesha playing different musical instruments and the other shelf displaying the majestic Nataraj and the enchanting Narthana (seen below in the picture). Color creeps into this space by means of colored cushions and cut blooms in vases.
More brass vignettes from around the home - A close up of the the divine ‘Oonjal Vinayagar’ paired with the glorious ‘‘Annam Vizhaku’ and a collection of tradional Kerala brass vessle called the Kindi. 
The Traditional Tanjore Painting of ‘Vastu Krishnar’ is engulfed in the warm glow from the crystal light from Pier 1 Imports. Another wonderful touch to this corner is the hanging brass lamp. 
In the dining area,  the magnificent Ramar Pattabhishekam Mural Painting steals the show. This particular painting was a custom order that Pavitra and Siva got made from Babeesh Aneela (a leading Mural Artist). They had an original painting that graces the walls of the an ancient Shiva temple at Kottayam, Kerala replicated by the artist. The original painting in the temple is several centuries old. Balancing the painting on either side is a corner shelf, showing off more of their brass collections and a golden pothos, cascading the entire length and breathe of the window. To add more Indian flair to the scene, Pavitra brought out her Copper collection.
Sigh!All that glistening copper!!! 
There is something so wonderful about a Pathos that has gone wild!
A closer look at the brass collections adorning the shelf in the dining space. 

Here are 3 decor mantras that Pavitra swears by: 
  • "A little sheen never hurt anyone - include brass, always classy and timeless. 
  • “Happiness is watching your plant grow”- Adding plants to the decor, adds not just beauty but also gives inner joy as you watch them grow. 
  • “Handmade items are made with love and have their own story” - Yes! I love anything that is handcrafted. The biggest inspiration to my decor was to use handcrafted pieces. I make sure that I buy handicrafts and support craftsmanship in India."

A corner of Pavitra's kitchen with more heirloom brass treasures occupying a place of pride and making the otherwise unexciting kitchen scene shiny and lustrous:) 
The kitchen island too has the special Indian touch! Bharani (pickle jar) is used as a vase.  A terracotta mini-hut, lamp and a colorful tie up add the necessary color and whimsy to this space. 

The other favorite room in the home is the "bonus room" that is just off the landing. Diwan style seating and sunny hues make up this a happy informal space. Pillows in contrasting shade of blue, add the extra punch of color. The couple spend their time here either chit-chatting with friends or making the most of some "me" time to catch up on reading with a steaming cup of coffee. Other finishing touches to the space include the colorful ottomans, the Chanapatna collectibles and the embroidered curtains.

More prettiness (clockwise from left): A hand-painted Madhubani vase holds a few fresh flowers; a brightly colored hand-painted pashu mask from Kerala; And a blissful Buddha dressing up the pathway to the home.

It is absolutely delightful to see people  stay connected to their roots despite the distance from their homelands. The little extra touches goes a long way in making our everyday living enjoyable. What a joy it's been to collaborate with Pavitra on this feature. I wish the lovely couple the very best !!! 

Happy decorating folks until we meet again!  

(Image Credit/Copyright : Pavitra & Siva. The images may NOT be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written permission of Pavitra & Siva and TECD.)

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