Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jaypore Giveaway Winner !!!

It's time to announce the winner of the Jaypore giveaway !!! I'd like to thank Jaypore and all those who participated in the giveaway and made this giveaway such a success.

And the winner is, drum roll please :
Chitra Visalakshi, please write to me at with your contact details (email and address) so that we can ship you the Dancing Ganesha Brass Oil lamp at the earliest:)

As for the rest of you, enjoy your weekend and the festivities !!! And a quick update, unexpected travel plans have me gone for two weeks or more............However, I've managed to schedule my Diwali Wishes post for my lovely readers. So do drop by the blog and miss me while I'm gone.......... 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Banwarey (Featured shop)

If you think you've seen it all, wait till you see the creations from the design label "Banwarey". An unorthodox approach to design, contemporary yet quintessentially Indian, unique and artistically appealing and most of all - made with love.....all this and more aptly sums up the essence of Banwarey. A quartet of artists (as seen in the image from left : Shruti Joshi, Apurva Nayal, Shrishti Jain and Ajay Singh Rawatt) and the culmination of their passions for art, design, aesthetics and desi fervor has resulted in a brand that's as unique as the artists themselves. 
Banwarey offers a range of clothes, jewelry and fashion accessories that are hand crafted with an inherent organic feel. Colors, textures and patterns come together dexterously in each of their creations. The products speak for themselves but I also found the way the products have been styled and shot was engaging - rustic, raw, full of spirit and personality.........

This is what the talented bevy of artists at Banwarey have to say when it comes to their mission statement, "showcase and market handcrafted merchandise which brings out the magical mystique of India. A shared cultural viewpoint and sense of style bonds the members of our group together. Our apparel and allied portrays the way we think, behave and view the world and we express our style with an overriding commitment to a feeling which is very much Indian. 
Our practice of crafting merchandise is executed with a raw approach rather than heavy processing which essentially makes it a first- hand experience for the customer.We weave the Indian soul into everyday style and fashion ranging from anything casual to pretty intricate…Our designs are very much hip, contemporary and at the same time not detached from the earthy roots of our culture that is seemingly perishing in the process of over refining in productions. Our sense of design is intrinsic to the expression of our culture. We make our products with love...and a little madness!"

They currently retail via  Tatsat and Teaatro Dogra. They can also be reached via their Facebook page . What are you waiting for go ahead and get your share of  the Banwarey love and madness !!!

A gentle reminder, the Diwali festive giveaway is on until tomorrow........make sure you enter to win a fabulous dancing brass Ganesha from Jaypore.

Image Credit/Copyright : Banwarey

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sophisticated Simplicity

Prrithviraj and Uma Singh's Gurgaon (India) residence perfectly resonates with Leonardo Da Vinci quote, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Carefully chosen ingredients like antiques, heirloom treasures, travel trophies and diligently curated art integrated with the effortless chic personal style of the home owners has resulted in a home that exudes tranquility and timeless elegance.  

Being the Director and co-founder of "EastBound Travels" (one of the premium Destination Management Companies in India), Prrithvi's work requires him to travel extensively. The globe trotter fancies coming home to a place that is seductively peaceful and provides a restorative background to his jet setting lifestyle. His wife Uma, with her discerning eye for detail and keen design aesthetics, is the perfect accomplice in hunting down exquisite and rare gems to create a home that is simple without being stark and is sophisticated without being punctilious. Talking about their sense of style, the couple says, "We were not drawn to any particular genre of design or style. The only prerequisites that we listed out before we started furnishing our home was to forge a look that was uncomplicated and relaxed yet chic." 
The checkered entryway is adorned with a beguiling combination of family treasures and new finds. It aptly sets the tone for what lies ahead. A plethora of lit diyas (in brass and terracotta) cast a warm glow, while blushing rose petals in brass urlis glamorize the entrance to the home and incontestably announce that the Prrithviraj residence is all decked for the upcoming festivities.
A cornucopia of brass artifacts displayed in the entryway introduces us to the couple's penchant for brass and antiques. Uma further asserts this love by saying, "Faded treasures and antiques are great not only for their excellent craftsmanship and beautifully aged patina but also because they impart soul to a home with their inherent sense of a bygone era." Uma's signature style of housing fresh potted plants in antique brass containers can be observed in every vignette in the home. 
Once in the foyer, you can tell of the couple's love for books and art. Uma has a weakness for antique fabrics. A treasured piece of antique fabric from Rajasthan has been framed  and displayed in happy conjunction with other favorite Tanjore paintings.
The juxtaposition of an acrylic on canvas by eminent artist Jagdish Dey, the antique statues - a travel find from Malaysia and the crimson glass vases on a contemporary style console, make for an appealing display.

The living room is unburdened and is given an opportunity to breathe with greater ease, in sync with the gusts of wind that freely waft through large windows. With a neutral color palette serving as the backdrop, splashes of color are added through paintings, soft furnishings and other decor accessories. The couple's zest for entertaining also played a key role in designing a space that echoed an open floor plan. Having considered various seating options, they finally settled on the L-shaped couch  that  perfectly optimizes the use of space. 

When wintry Gurgaon weather rolls in, the couch is a perfect place to take afternoon cat naps and offers a seductive inducement to settle down with a good read and a nubby throw.

Uma's decor mantra that she lives by, "A style like ours requires judicious editing. Though I love all my pieces, I bring out only a few at a time. This process of rotating my treasured pieces not only gives me an opportunity to mix and match things and come up with new vignettes and displays every single time but also keeps things looking fresh and interesting." That is one important decor advice, as one needs to know when to stop adding pieces to a room or may even require subtracting a few pieces to achieve the perfect balance to a space. 
A close up of some of the simple Diwali touches that Uma has put together for this festive season.
The couple is also passionate about collecting antique silver artifacts. Most of these are sourced from Rajasthan and Gujarat, while the others are heirloom treasures. Every festive season, Uma brings them out from storage to add to the celebratory ambiance in their living room.
A few close ups of the treasures that came home with the couple from their various travels: Clock wise from left - An intricately carved Buddha statue from Ladakh. Top right hand corner - A woven antique bamboo box from Bhutan (it's more than a 100 years old). Uma fell in love with it and had it brought back to Delhi and got it professionally restored to its original glory. Middle picture on the right -  A few brass heirloom treasures displayed in the kitchen. Bottom right hand corner - Prrithvi unearthed this antique metal jewel box from a shop in Jewish town in Cochin.
Adding a touch of Indigo and red to this corner of the living room is Prrithvi's find, a Krishna painting by Suva Prasana. 
Form and function come together beautifully in this dining room. The minimalist design concept adopted by Uma and Prrithvi is yet again effectively put to work in this space. Prrithvi says, "We wanted good food and great company to be the focus of our dining. We deliberately did not include too many elements that would vie for our attention.

And finally a peek into a few other corners of their beautiful home :
Fresh cut plants in vintage brass containers make a decorative statement.

A collection of  semi-precious stone Ganesha Statutes, an antique brass Kamakshi lamp and an exquisite Tanjore painting of Radha and Krishna completes this vignette.  
A Buddha statue from Srilanka and more potted plants, makes for another charming and tranquil display in the entryway to the master bedroom. 
With that we come to the end of our tour of Prrithviraj  and Uma's charming and serene residence. I was excited beyond words to showcase this home as Prrithvi and Uma are none other than my wonderful uncle and aunt:) Their home not only encompasses their warm and wonderful personalities but is also a manifestation of the fact that form and function can come together to create a space that is both stylish and refined. I'd like to thank them for being such a sport and throwing their doors open to the readers of TECD

Images: Clicked by Prrithviraj. The images may not be used without prior written permission from the home owners. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jaypore and The East Coast Desi Giveaway !!!

Foraging for “THE PIECE” (be it a décor accent, an exquisite woven textile or a statement jewelry piece), is a persistent but a gratifying experience when you finally find "IT". And what makes it all the more worthwhile is if the “THE PIECE” has a story to tell. That’s what makes the e-marketplace Jaypore ("The Story Tellers" as they like to call themselves), so distinct from the others in the same showground. Everyday a fresh story is woven with a new cast and crew, comprising of freshly curated collection, with skillful artisans and their craftsmanship taking center stage.
Marrying the convenience of online shopping with the exclusivity of judiciously curated eclectic mix of art, fashion finds, home textiles and home accents, the store is a gateway to fashion, design and art connoisseurs.
The team at Jaypore believes in “ bringing the world a little closer together. To discover the best design from artisans and craftsmen from all over India, and deliver them at exceptional value to their members.” Their merchandise sourcing team spans the length and breathe of the country to bring authentic and irresistible finds directly from emerging designers, small business owners and independent artisans.

I personally love their home decor segment. If your looking to create a home that’s as unique as your thumb print and strive to incorporate style and aesthetics in one go, the answer is Jaypore. Offering limited one-of-a kind treasures, the exquisite product range is bound to bring a global feel to your home. Click right here to peruse their entire collection of curated treasures for the home.

And now for the GIVEAWAY !!! Jaypore has a generous giveaway for the readers of TECD : ONE lucky reader will win an exquisite Dancing Ganesha Brass Oil Lamp !!!

All you got to do is follow these simple steps to enter the GIVEAWAY : 

1. Browse the Jaypore site with this link and tell us right here on The East Coast Desi's Facebook page about the products from their curated collections that tug on your heart strings. (Please make sure you are logged into facebook to do so.)

2. Leave a comment on this post too, to double your chances.

3. It's as simple as that :) The winner will be announced on October 18th 2014 (Saturday).

Thank you Jaypore for the wonderful GIVEAWAY  and good luck to my wonderful readers (P.S.Giveaway is open to ALL my readers worldwide) !!!

Images Credit/Copyright: Jaypore and The East Coast Desi 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Glitzing it up for Diwali (Festive decor Ideas)

Diwali is all about the hypnotic dancing flames, the sweet fragrance of - flowers, scented candles and incense sticks, the luxurious feel of silk cushions, the sound of laughter and crackers and the melt in your mouth motichoor laddoos and kaju katli !!! While decorating for Diwali, you will be deluged by dozens of decisions. The choices you make on some of these details can make or break the look you are intending to achieve. Here are some simple tricks and tips to  help you create the festive ambiance and entice all your 5 senses this Diwali season.

Pick Your Color Palette: 
Choose a color palette to work with as it simplifies the need to analyse what you already have and what you need to include in your Diwali shopping list. An intuitive decision maker, this year I'm inspired by the traditional Indian color combination of red and gold. This classic combination is not only festive but can also be effortlessly adopted throughout the home with a few building blocks like fresh flowers, textiles and a few brass decor accessories.Diwali is the one festive occasion that cajoles me to boost the glimmer and shimmer quotient without any limitations. With my love for the golden patina of brass, Diwali is personally the most revered of all festivals, as I get an opportunity to shine my brass, decorate with flowers and light up as many lamps and candles to create an ambiance that's bathed in a golden glow.

Flower Power:

I've said it earlier and I say it again, "You cannot go wrong with flowers". I love to weave the beauty and magic of fresh flowers into my festive decor. The classic floating flower arrangement is something that I include year after year but always find ways of adding a fresh twist to the display. This time I've chosen an antique brass thali to serve as my container to float a bunch of flaming red GerberasMaking her appearance again this year is my prized heirloom piece, "My Lady with the Lamp". Placing her in the center of the thali, no denying that she looks majestic when lit. 

Another simple arrangement of Carnations with their irregular edges vivifies this corner of my living room. I restrain from using conventional vases and look for innovative container to display my flowers. This time, I've used an antique tea pot to house the carnations that have subtle hints of red that tie it in with the designated color palette.

Gather similar items to make an Impact :
For this Diwali vignette, I've rounded up my brass Ganesha statues and have placed them at various height to keep the eye moving and keep things interesting.
To add color to this vignette, a small urli is used to float few Magenta New Guinea Impatiens from the garden. Remember, a little color can add a lot of drama !!!
Colored glass tea light holders are a must.........I love how the gently flickering flames create an ethereal mirage of warm hues. Keeping the color palette in mind, a collection of colored glass votive  holders in warm tints are en massed on a brass vintage tray to pack in a wallop of punch to my decor. And what's wonderful is that they can be easily moved around to light up any corner that you choose to.

It's all in the Details: 
Using scented candles is a great option for setting a festive mood and making your house feel like home. You also want to sort through your collection of CD's or create a playlist before hand, so as to have your choice of music ready for the evening of Diwali. As the wax melts and the fragrance engulfs the air and the mellifluous notes of the sitar from a Hindustani music piece reverberates through the home, it sure feels festive in every sense of the word. 

Mix old with the new : 
This has always been my mantra to decorate. Work with what you got and only splurge when you need to. If your like me and are lighting up to the idea of using lanterns this festive season, do check out World Market. I found mine as seen in the picture above at World Market and have paired it with antique brass kundas (the brass containers belonged to my grand mom) with single stems of Dahlias tucked into them. 
The one decor accent that you cannot have too much of this festive season are candles. I'm convinced that my home looks its best when bathed in the soft forgiving glow of the candles. I wanted a low lying console to create another festive display and went with the idea of using books and a wooden ledge to create one. Taking the center stage of this display, my wooden Ganesha and a row of votive holders alternated with flowers, looks stunning. 
Experiment with Textures for Dimension : 

Consider integrating a medley of textures found in natural elements like wood or jute, the shimmer and worn patina of metals,  the opulence of silk or the distinctive reflective luster of glass. Orchestrating different textures not only adds the much needed dimension and movement to a space but also makes it feel complete.    
Here a potted plant, a brass Ganesha Statue and a mother of pearl votive holder are placed on a DIY tray to create a festive oasis. 
When the formal dining is not dressed for the Diwali banquet, a beautiful handcrafted Kutch shisha work wall hanging now serving as a table runner, shimmers in the glow of black metal candle holders from Crate and Barrel.

Smart Entertaining : 
Indian festivals are incomplete without our spread of glorious food and playing the perfect host to our friends and family. Find innovative ways to serve mithai and other savory snacks so that after party clean up becomes easy on you. One such tip for entertaining that I use is Doubling up Cupcake liners to serve starters and other mini party snacks.

I do hope this post has been resourceful and inspirational in helping you create a festive ambiance this Diwali. With these simple tips and tricks you can be the perfect host/hostess and celebrate Diwali in style !!!

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Medley of Influences (Diwali Tablescape)

It's that time of the year again........Diwali is fast approaching and like me, for most of you'll, the festive season is all about jazzing up your home to create a special festive ambiance and making it memorable for your loved ones. Another significant aspect of Diwali is planning the big Diwali banquet. Its occasions like these that we look forward to connecting and creating special moments with our family and friends. I bet you've been brainstorming to come up with fresh ideas for your Diwali tablescape and want to go that extra mile to make it an unforgettable evening. 

But given our busy lifestyles, planning a party may seem like a daunting task. To make this task a little less intimating, I've put together a global tablescape that takes less than 20 minutes to bring to life. Inspired by Morocco and our very own India, the medley of influences is sure to create the perfect backdrop for good food, conversations and loads of laughter.
For the base of the table setting, I've used a neutral colored table runner sporting a festive border so that other accent colors pop. You could also substitute a dupatta or stole with a heavy border in a neutral hue for a table runner. Next place 4-5 handmade Kundan Rangolis (available online and in stores) through the length of the table runner. My Rangolis were handmade and sent over by my sister-in-law from India. What a thoughtful gesture.   
Place Moroccan tea glasses in coordinating hues of fuchsia and teal in the center of the Rangolis and place tea lights in them. To add more drama to the tablescape, bangles echoing the same color scheme as the Rangolis were placed around IKEA tea light holders. 
Instead of the traditional napkin rings, use bangles as napkin rings. Tuck in single flowers and silver ware into each of the bangles and you have yourself a table setting that is a medley of influences. (Party Tip: Once the dinner party is over, the guests could take the bangles home as party favors. )
Now wasn't that easy ??? I do hope you've found inspiration to create your very own Diwali tablescape this season.............

Here are few links to help you recreate this look : 
- Dinner plates are from the IKEA Forsla tableware collection 
- Moroccan Tea glasses are available at World Market. (I found mine at Home Goods for 1/3 the price, so keep those eyes open if you plan to visit HG). 

For more Diwali Tablescape inspiration click here and here

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shedding New Light on an Old Classic

My festive decor is incomplete without the classic floating flower arrangement in a traditional brass urli. But this time around a morning walk was just the thing that I needed to get inspired to create this Fall Inspired festive arrangement.
Seeing the abundance of Autumn bounty that lays scattered at every cross road and had created layers of carpets on the pavements on my side of the world, I was tempted to experiment with these gorgeous maple leaves that were begging to come inside for one last display of their glory. 

Maple leaves in sunset hues replaced the flowers to create a simple floating  leaf rangoli for a colorful celebration of the season. 
If you want to recreate this simple look, remember not to overcrowd the leaves as you don't want to lose the shape of the single leaves. So go ahead pull that sweater over and head outdoors to get inspired and include autumn's inviting palette to your festive decor.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend !!!

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, October 1, 2014

Revival of a Fading Handloom Tradition - The KHUN

The handloom sector in India is an integral part of our Indian cultural heritage. The array of textiles churned out by the Indian textile industry is not only reflective of the diverse cultural inheritance but is also symbolic of the prowess of our Indian weavers. Facing stiff competition from the power looms and the mill sector and plagued with drawbacks such as antiquated technology, working capital dilemmas and inadequate marketing capability, many textile art forms have begun to fade away.....One such fading handloom tradition is the Guledgudda Khana or Khun from North Karnataka. 
KHUN  - an art form to cherish. The woven fabric has an almost silk like sheen and is perfect to add that extra luster to your Diwali decor.
Typically used to make ravikes or cholis (sari blouses)  that pair well with Ilkal saris from the same region, their distinct weave creates an intricate brocade like pattern much like a honey comb. These  two-tone textiles come in a variety of jewel tones and cater to a niche segment in the suburban and villages of Karnataka and Maharashtra. I was introduced to this exquisite fabric by my mom who had her collection of Khun blouses that she'd team with starched cotton saris. 

On one of my visits back home, a wonderful and generous aunt who lives in Belgaum (Karnataka) let me help myself to some extra Khun blouse pieces that she had remaining after a pooja at her place. She knew that I'd find a good use for them and packed one in every possible color !!!
Khun Fabric cushion covers in intense colors elevate the festive ambiance in my living room.
A quick trip to the local darzi (tailor) and I ended up with these one of a kind cushion covers, that add bold punches of color to my decor. I have enough fabric remnants to make a table runner or more cushion covers in a patchwork style that I recently spotted on Jaypore. I was happy to see that it was making a come back. 

If you plan to incorporate dramatic colors to your festive decor, may I suggest you consider scouring your local fabric and textile stores that are brimming with inspiration. If you can't find the Khun, don't get disheartened, there is so much that Indian fabric stores have to offer. Just go with the flow and listen to your heart............  
In built borders make for easy mix and match.
If your short on time but want to recreate this look without the hassle of visiting your local darzi, then do check out the Khun soft furnishing range offered by Kale Nele .

I do hope that I've managed to jump-start the festive decorating spree with this vibrant post..........

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