Friday, March 2, 2018

DIY Gallery Wall

The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted my DIY project on Instagram feed couple of days ago. It was one of those snowy weekends when I crack open most DIY decorating ideas. However, let me confess, I am really not much of a DIYer but my appetite for crafty projects has skyrocketed ever since this project yielded great results with little to no frustration. 

After going through many "foyer wall" dilemma that I had, this simple, cost effective with high impact idea suited my purpose.  Inspired by the framed 'prabhavalli' that I got it done from a local framing guy on my last year's India visit (see here), I took some creative freedom to do the same with old frames and extra brass accessories. Undertaking this project however did not need any special knowledge or expertise and moreover the result thrilled me. 

Here is the step wise process (luckily I snapped few on my phone) for those who are novice like me to help you understand better.

Few tips:  

  • I used the left over frames (from Walmart) that I had in the home but the thrift stores are the best bet to score few frames for this project.

  • You may use any kind of unused fabric (I used extra left over silk blouse pieces) However, intense color will elevate the whole look with brass. 

  • I ironed the pieces before attaching to frames for an even and smooth look.

  • I removed the glass from the frame and used Fevibond (Synthetic Rubber Adhesive) to attach fabric to the cardboard of the frame and the brass accent. 

  • You may want to give extra support behind frames to hold up the brass weight.  

  • If you don't have brass accents, plain colorful fabric in brocade, ikat, or just about any kind of fabric that speaks to your like or love will equally give you good results.

Now the wall shows my creativity through what I choose to display in my home. The brass bells (another great find of my husband from India) on far left has been with us since two decades but it never looked this attractive. The frames now add the much-needed color and style to this small nook. The pair of two carved elephants is a gift from our cousin from India that he scored from an antique dealer. 
The frames, behaving like a puzzle pieces, are now adorning this nook as if they were meant for it. With a reflective glamour, it now rivets attention to anyone passing by the foyer. And given an opportunity, I wonderfully smug about having it all done by myself :).

Hope this DIY post will bring your hidden creativity to the shore. Feel confident with your style and have courage to experiment. Mix and match - textures, patterns, color, shapes together to create a visual treat. I personally feel this is an excellent alternative to a costly painting or a print.

Until we meet again, enjoy your weekend and stay connected on my Facebook page or Instagram feed for your regular dose of décor, toodles!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Royal Tablescape - Just in time for Valentine's Day

Just when we thought we might head into spring mostly safe, this weekend’s snowstorm dumped snow supply of a year here in Toronto. When the weather is as appalling as ours, our whole attention turns indoors, where I take great pleasure in entertaining because every spirit need a lift (including mine) in this frightful weather. And if you are in with me to warm up your evening and surprise your guests or spouse this Valentine’s Day - take a cue from this post and give them a royal treatment with style, substance and oodles of sass.
I do not wait for Valentine's Day or special occasions because creating ceremony in everyday moments is something I do well. With few extra moments (just about 20 minutes to be precise for this set up) of planning and arranging you can make any evening even more memorable. In return of showing your love on the table for good food and good mood, you will be rewarded for your efforts and attention to details :).

Few basic but very elegantly appointed brass in traditional tone with fuchsia (instead of red for a change) seemed perfect for the occasion. Brocade dupatta is appointed as a table cloth for that royal touch on the table. Let me reveal a secret here…aside from traditional table clothes I have used shawls, curtains, scrapbook papers, gift wraps, paper doilies and many more such material to prettify and shield my table. There is no rule book that I walk around with...rather I take chances and play around with the possibilities ;).
Entertaining is far more than just serving three course meals, its about ambience, about putting guests at ease and about creating an evening that shall be remembered and cherished for long.  The meal you are laying out needs to be appealing irrespective of how yummy it tastes. And that's why before my food gets on the table, the table settings always excites my guests.
A little bit of forethought makes it simple to alter a non-friendly surface into one that is inviting, accommodating and perfectly falling in the rhythm of the season. With love you will have no difficulty in harmonizing your evening. Spare some time and throw some love to stage a festive get-together and make it a pleasant evening for your friends, family or loved one. Stay loved and stay blessed until we meet again on Facebook or Instagram, toodles!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Authentically South Indian Home (Gowda Family Home Tour)

If I begin by saying that this home deserves all eyes, I will be considered biased being an avid brass lover. But believe me, it’s not every day that you come across such homes to share with your readers that reaffirms and strengthens that the future of brass is indeed bright. Dig your heels in dear readers, and allow me a prediction! The next few minutes will have you gasped, surprised and all set to believe my above statement, ergo you stay unstoppable.
We are stepping into Preetham & Bhargavi's super luxurious pads in Bangalore  & Chikmagalur (two houses are featured in one post) to capture some incredible insights into a family that has a winning collection of brass propelled by passion, good luck and hand me downs. I am sure this post will somewhat ‘INFECT’ you with my obsession of brass.
Meet Bhargavi, a multitalented lady who effortlessly gives genius strokes in her homes while striking a perfect balance with her busy IT career. Preetham, the proud owner of the masterpieces, boasts that everyone loves their home, and it feels loved and nurtured due to his better half Bhargavi. Suffice it to say that she is the one who keeps their home aesthetically beautiful when it comes to their well curated collection.
Elegantly appointed interior in traditional tone truly personifies timelessness. And before your questions get volleyed to me.... yes, they are oleographs from Raja Ravi Varma Press. These rare and precious collectibles have been restored and reframed to suit family’s living room. Having an eye to both the past and present, antiques and collected objects live in eclectic harmony with reproductions and modern touches throughout the home.Gowda family pays tribute to pieces that have been preserved from one generation to the next adding a note of the past. As summed up by Preetham, some part of the collection is heirloom and most of it is collected over the period of time hence exact source of pieces is hard to recall. Few are bought in from antique stores, original owners, Sunday markets and art dealers but each one tells a story.
While using lots of interesting individual elements of brass  and art here the couple is aware of the fact that there isn’t need to add any dramatic color on the wall to create added impact. Rather they have left the room in neutral palette that allows the pieces within the space to shine. Adding raw elements such as classically styled wooden textural façade of an old house from central India is repurposed and used as a focal point on the wall to set the scene.

Before you get green with envy with all the brass I have many more glamorous pictures to, hold on there! The age of the brass here seems to have merely brightened its sheer and the decades have only enhanced their dazzle. Preetham's mild interest in brass turned into something serious when he grew up. He is thankful to his wife Bhargavi and parents for their constant support and co-operation who contribute in his passion lovingly.

The family's chikmagalur property is equally pleasing and enticing, where the love of old things is at the core. You will find the mix of old and new and that’s the epitome of Bhargavi's design sensibilities which makes you happy every time you walk in the doors. Their love of brass and art has made its way into every nook and cranny of their make, making it a truly personal and one of a kind place.

Bhargavi skillfully mixed old and new pieces create the impression of having been collected over time. The arrangement is done so masterfully that through there is a humongous amount of metal displayed, it does not appear over indulged and instead sparks hunger for more. It is also a secret to ensuring that a room won’t look dated in coming years. The family has enviably fused various styles and eras effortlessly by choosing neutral palette as an organizing principal. Now that is a beautiful display of a chess board but I personally, would not be able to make a move with all the dazzling distractions around me. If you are done taking in all the beauty from these Tanjore paintings....draw your eyes to that pot that is uniquely used as a book holder.
This image grabbed my eyeballs. Strikingly beautiful display of Paavai Vilakku standing tall and proud. One or two objects might catch your eye, but numerous pieces placed together heightens the effect, giving the arrangement weight and power.
The quantity and quality of the collection in Gowda family home is amazing, wouldn't you agree?

Distressed, matte and honed finishes are preferable to highly polished, reflective surfaces. Each piece is characterized by the extraordinary patina of generations. While perpetuating the creativity and dedication they honor the handiwork or artists and artisans of years past.
You sure can not over look even the smallest corner. The collection in their home has been given new interest and life at every nook and corner. There isn't any inch of wall space or a corner left bare, yet magnificently eye pleasing without being overwhelming. 

I am sure Preetham, who is constantly on hunt, must have had several eureka moments when he encountered that special piece and still couldn’t own it.  
Gowda family owns many masterpieces. And when it comes to displaying it: 'More is more" is the mantra for Bhargavi who otherwise plays safe. When the collection is displayed in a full view, the home radiates an air of quite effectiveness that doesn’t go unnoticed. By the way, did you notice those ingeniously exhibited 'dubbas' and that book holding pot?

Bhargavi has a clear design crush on ‘South Indian” style. Its often the identity and taste that end up being the spark that inspires the overall design of the home. Seen here are the antique coconut scrapers from Tamilnadu, once used in every South Indian homes , are now collected to adorn walls near kitchen. Collection can take so many forms and they speak volumes about the collector if displayed properly. After all, it all boils down to knowing who you are and what you like and trusting your instincts. One can glean so much from looking at this collection and the way it is displayed. By the way, this dining room reminds me so much of Paddy Rama's home tour where she has also used tall antique mirror in her dining area. Take a look here.
I am sure you all got a feel of having walked into an old world era until the reality hits you that we have come to the end of this home tour. I am grateful to Gowda family for allowing me to access to their extensive collection via my blog. Take a bow Preetham and Bhargavi for owning such precious pieces of history. I am also thankful to readers like Anupama Prasad who believes in my passion and points out homes like this one to be featured on the blog.

Here is a take away from today's blog story - be Bold, be unpredictable and most of all don’t be afraid to break so call decorative rules while displaying your collection. All that décor decisions you make about should bring joy to you and not some next door neighbour. Until we meet again, stay connected on Facebook and/or Instagram for more inspiration lovely peeps, toodles!

(Images are taken by Gowda Family). Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Year End Post!

With the lingering haze of sleep and nerve grinding Toronto cold weather, I am wrapping my mind around with the possibilities of words to shape up this last post of the year. Although, this is the busiest time of the year, keeping my nagging worries aside I am pretending to be in the state of a controlled chaos (with our upcoming travel) and connecting with you all for the last post.  
I am totally bogged down (with a thought of long travel), my stress level is through the roof (managing all the packing) and I can‘t keep calm (with all the excitement of a family wedding). For now I am going to let them slide and pretend they are not part of my life and daydream about the choices I might have to ‘spoil’ me with my long & weighty shopping list of silk sarees and glistening jewelry. Shopping is undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of the entire wedding preparations….probably more when it’s an immediate family wedding.
However I find it overwhelming …even though I have precise favorite shopping places, a favorite designer, hundreds of photos saved on my phone and many pieces stored back in the memory of my head…I feel finding the perfect piece or saree is a daunting task especially when you are ‘oh so old-school’ & fussy kind of a person when it comes to settle from the latest flashy trends. No matter what the latest trends say, my fashion funda is clear, I wear something without any pressure from any trends, grace and sophistication comes easily to me when I am sticking with my love for traditional.
Apart from shopping, excitement level is soaring higher thinking about all the massive spread of food and festivities. Feasting on an unending menu of multi-cuisine delicacies and dreaming about dressing in best of the attire we are ready to stir up some fun at a family wedding. There are some typical glitches of travelling overseas but the satisfaction of meeting and mingling with family and friends is worth everything.  

Humming the tune of excitement and with butterflies in my stomach….we are so ready but how could I leave without wishing you all well at the year end for all the love. As we close the year end post, acknowledging each one of you for being a part of my passion. Thank you for your unwavering support and sticking around. Shall crack open new decorative adventures in the coming year. Until then, if you are travelling like us or staying home to enjoy the magical time of Christmas...wishing you and your family the very best of the holidays and a happy new year! 

You may stay connected with me on my Instagram to #travelwithpinkz stories until my return on the blog. A big e-hug to all of you, toodles! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Desi DIY sisters (Home Tour)

I stepped into Divya’s home the other day (virtually via Instagram) and kept ogling there with my eyes wide open for quite some time. Clearly, her home is a passion of her fun and fresh DIYs combined with the respect of Indian traditions. Dazzled by her brilliance, in a light hearted take, I took a leap into that unknown person’s inbox and fortunately my bravery paid off and Divya agreed to have her home featured on my blog here.

But wait, my story doesn’t end here. From her response I learnt it’s not one but two sisters in-charge (Divya & Sravani) who have made their creativity run rampant while making their DIY vision come to life. Most of their creations are heritage exposition that represent the rich cultural imprints of India & their discerning aesthetic strokes via good dose of DIY. While injecting their elbow grease with pure heart and soul, to some extent, they both are truly leading advocates for recycling/up-cycling turn trash into treasure and help save the environment in course.

Dive with me into the world of these DIY overrode homes as I uncover what goes into bringing their vision to reality. The process in each of their home is solely orchestrated and monitored by each sister individually.

Divya's Home:

Divya has trained her eyes to take one step further in an innovative way. She spent hours scrolling through the web to find a piece befitting her whimsy of entrance console, but nothing really made her heart hum. That’s when she decided to look for some antique pieces that she could enforce her charm over. By rubbing her sweat, passion and never-say-die spirit, the creation unfolded into the most talked about piece.  This is a transformation from an old brown console table to a beautiful peacock double colored console table. Isn't it so pretty? To attempt your hands on this DIY go here.  
A vintage approach to this console leaves every visitor enchanted by its beauty. Such clever use of color, well-chosen accessories and imaginative table top display hints away pride of Divya.      
Spontaneous projects thrill Divya. Magic happens when something unique like this temple bell coffee table is made impromptu out of nothing special. She totally upped the game of this ordinary old glass table that she bought for only $10, (yes re-read the price) by turning it into an envy inducing piece. DIY like this piece can also be a great way to cut some decorating cents, wouldn't you agree? Go here to see how the piece came together.

The resulting piece now serves as an anchor in her attractively decorated living room. Enticing display of brass and a dash of Indian soul in Divya’s living room emphasize cozy simplicity.   
The spirit of Indian traditional décor eases its way through room eventually touching every corner. Good dose of brass bells always bring well-edited elegance in any traditional Indian décor, without falling out of style. I loved the idea of placing a brass bell on a wooden panel for a dramatic outcome.    
Though Divya’s coffee table makes a statement on its own, whatever she places on top is just an added bonus. To reflect the traditional tone and inject personality of one’s ‘desi soul’ brass always earns to exude that magnetic charm.
My eyes go right in to the envious pieces of brass and Buddha Divya owns. Just like me, she is unapologetically leashed to creating these vignettes around the home to keep the corners alive and engaging. Also, as I know many of my readers are in search of these lotus candles that Divya has dotted promptly, hence upon request Divya kindly shared the source of them. Here is the link to purchase them from Amazon, India.
Divya also channels her talent through some living things such as this mini open air tabletop garden in a terrarium. This super easy to make and incredibly low-maintenance terrarium is perfect for people like me who are botanically inept. This gold terrarium planter falls perfectly in the rhythm with Buddha and naturally enlivens her Zen-corner in the home. If you are in a mood to create one for yourself or as a gift, head right here.
Being a profound thinker, our DIY diva has her own way to nurture her spirit and reflect her personality. Giving her creative persona some freedom, she spins unfinished & rustic pieces into a surface that sings. With her ingenious touches, Divya made this discovery of wood pallet outdoor dining table more pleasurable than expected. She richly layered the top with burlap runner and few assortments of flickering candles making it a breathtaking venue for your impromptu dinner nights during summer months.
What a fun way to make a stark space into a soothing refuge. The end result ticked off functional and decor field of the home owner. If you ever invite me, I wouldn’t mind juicy tête-à-tête (of course about your DIY) and fun bites in that area Divya ;). Go here if this inspires to create one for your backyard.
When one door closes, another exciting DIY opportunity opens. And that’s what happened when Divya caught the wind of what she was exactly looking for. Divya was always crazy with the Indian aged doors of a bygone era. Fascination of antique doors that were part of her childhood is finally made by diva herself from scratch to add much color, character and added life in her living room that will always make her feeling nostalgic. Well worth the wait for something actually make exactly the way you want, I would say not exactly but way better! This is my personal favorite pick from all of her DIYs. Head here for making this DIY Antique Door.

Sravani's home:
DIY bug is genetic in both the sisters and they enthusiastically brain-storm every project personally according to the need and style of their homes. As we head to Sravani’s home the very first DIY is hand painted console table.
With the life-long obsession that Sravani had for ‘muggu’ designs, she succumbed to the lure by painting one herself on this console. When you put your elbow grease, sweat (and frustration some time) the act of creating something into a piece like this seems to imbue it with addition value above and beyond its inherent quality. Go here to see the entire make-over of this tremendously detailed hand painted console. 
Practice that rose out of Sravani’s childhood of sitting on the floor while eating made her take a route bold enough to follow her heart. With the deepest passion of DIY, they transformed a regular dining table little by little into a low sitting table. The table that is made according to tailor choices of the family’s own style and preference now establishes a decorative tone in the dining room of Sravani.
Closer look of the dining table design. I found the decoupage project quite intriguing and impressive. Go here to see the process and procedure of the dining table make-over. Draw your eyes on the corbel in this dining room, which is another brilliant DIY of Sravani. She recalls this project as ‘Creativity with neediness’. Having no place of handful brass bells that she got from India, she invented a fresh and unconventional approach of dangling them on the carved bookend that she found from HomeGoods. All she did is just gave the piece few licks of paint and “ta-da” the piece now is championing a unique and One of a Kind look.
Sravani claims this etched glass door as a simple project that turned a mundane glass door into a piece of art. Simple? I remember breaking the bank up to have this door installed professionally for our temple room ;). I am just in awe with your creativity girl! And inside peek at her temple room where good amount of brass bells flanked on both side of the temple hitting off the right note of the place. 
Passion and focused approach has helped Sravani to achieve many unique and successful DIYs under her belt. One of them is this day bed that she found in white color at World Market. But white wasn't just right for this color savvy design diva. An eye with creative endeavor as well as color love , made Sravani imbue her style with a hint of risk and adventure by painting it in a tiffany blue. Me thinks, the color brought out the heavy duty historic character in the piece.

As we conclude this post, I truly hope this home tour will keep you happily occupied for this holiday season to knock off few DIY's around your home while compelling you to attempt your hands on outside of your comfort orbit. My gratitude extends to Divya and Sravani for throwing the doors of their DIY friendly homes open for my readers.
Do share your feedback writing which DIY inspired you the most? Also connect with these DIY divas here to see their upcoming projects and take inspirations from. Until we meet again, stay connected lovely peeps, toodles!

(Images are taken by DIY SISTERS). Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account)