Sunday, January 30, 2011

Designer profile - Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace - flamboyant, shocking, dramatic, decadent, European glamour with a rock-star attitude....these are the words that come to mind! The same elements that define his fashion style drive his design style....Greek key patterns, crown elements, cascading chandeliers like plunging necklines, dressmaker details and tufted accessories with colors like silver, onyx and purple thrown in for good measure! If you want understated and traditional, he's NOT your guy, so it stands to reason that he would SO NOT be my guy!
Then why I am so enchanted with these rooms designed by him? Is it the fabulously bold colors, or his complete disregard and irreverence for the so called rules of design we were taught in design school...(you know, stick to adjacent or complimentary colors on the color wheel, pay attention to scale, have a good mix of warm and cool materials, complement cold hard surfaces with earthy warm ones, think about hue and value)? These rooms clearly march to their own design tune.....

Hall by Creazioni - revolutionary Italian Designer eclectic hall

Entrance Foyer contemporary entry

Furniture  by Lea Bassani  bathroom

Julianne Kelly eclectic living room

Brian Patrick Flynn modern dining room

Gorgeous aren't they?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saffron and Silk Saris!

Yes, that's the line of a new sari collection, and No, not launched by me! I almost keeled over in surprise when this email invite from came rolling into my inbox......

If I ever launched a line of saris, it would be raw silk and cotton blends with traditional temple designs, vibrant solid colors with very understated details, and simple patterns. Or cotton block printed saris with classic color and mustard, black and white, saffron and yellow.....

I would stay away from dark pink net with gold sequins and plastic stud embellishments...yes, you heard me right - plastic!!
crepe saris with green paisley pattern velvet applique

magenta net with gold sequin clusters and crystals

black net with multi colored embroidered continuous rose and lotus patterns

and last but not least, cerise pink net with gold thread, sequins, studs and crystals!!!

Not that I have anything against any of these saris, but definitely not my style, so I was a bit amused that it's name was similar to my blog. Unfortunately I don't know where one can buy these, since I got them as an e mail invite to view the collection from, but if you are desperate for one of these beauties, I am sure you can contact them and they will point you in the right direction....!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lantern Love...

What is the appeal of lanterns? Do they remind us of a bygone era, a simpler world of our great grandparents where guests sat on the front porch sharing stories? Or do they evoke memories of a sensuous and mystical place like Morocco or Istanbul and instantly whisk you away to some far away land? Whatever the reason, lanterns still hold a magical place in the world of lighting and design, and these glowing beacons still evoke the same warm, welcoming feeling. A pretty simple backyard becomes mysterious and enchanting with a few hanging lanterns, a bedroom takes on a romantic avatar with a lantern on a table, its lights casting flickering shadows on the walls, a dining table lined with a row of lanterns will make you believe you are eating couscous, eggplant and olives......

While the lantern's original design was purely utilitarian (the glass sides shield the candle's burning flame from wind and weather), today's lantern is not only functional, its beautiful as well. Here is some lantern lurvv for you.....

Exteriorscapes contemporary patio
anne rue mediterranean family room
Living Room Becomes A Work Space  living room
A Beach Cottage traditional porch

Moroccan Candle Lanterns in bathroom mediterranean bathroom

Ahhhh, makes me want to close my eyes and dream I am on vacation in Casablanca!
Pics via.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A pastel afternoon

While the furious debate rages on, on my new blog header.......I got a really touching e mail from cook extraordinaire Sreelu. She told me how her 2 young sons were inspired by my giveaway and were trying to replicate the pastel drawing. This is what she said.....

" boys ages 6 and 9 tried to draw a replica of your give away painting. We had such a great time doing the project, boys being boys don't talk much about school usually but last saturday afternoon, sitting with them and drawing and listening to all their fart jokes and star wars stories made me realize what a beautiful moment it was,wish I could freeze the moment forever. Thank you for such an inspiration, this is the first time I have ever worked with chalks and yes we did make a mess.

Younger one being the baby of the house spoke more and drew less , I think we know what we are going to do this saturday :)"

To get kids that age to sit still for even one minute is a challenge, to get boys to do that is even more of a feat, so I am thrilled that for one Saturday afternoon I was able to inspire 2 boysterous (pun intended) kids, to settle down and paint with their mom, and give her a moment she will cherish forever! I never thought my pastel drawings and fart jokes would ever be mentioned in the same subject line, but if imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.....I'll happily take it! :-)

Sweet isn't it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


What do you think? Of the new blog header? I was getting a bit tired of the old one, so did some messing around on the computer yesterday.....!

This was the old one.....

and compared to it, the new one looks too colorful, almost distracting...(it was, but not any more, cos I changed it based on customer feedback :-)

Tell me readers, what do you think? Keep it, toss it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Its all in the details.....

When I hit a blogging wall....I post pics of pretty rooms! Let's play "what's your favorite"? Mine would be without a doubt pic #1.....with # 10 coming in a close second!

Pic # 1
patio eclectic patio
Pic # 2
Study sitting area contemporary home office
Pic # 3
Pic # 4
Pic # 5
Pic # 6
Pic # 7
Pic # 8
Pic # 9
Architectural and Interior Photography eclectic family room
Pic # 10
Sf Decorators Showcase/Her Study traditional home office
Pic # 11
Dining Room traditional dining room
Pic # 12
Zuniga Interiors contemporary living room
Pics via here and here

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Hyderabad I knew....

It’s been almost 5 years since I left USA
For 23 years I had been away
And then we decided to come back to stay
In this city of culture and history and pearls
The city where I'd spent a good many years
But it seems to have lost all its beauty and charm
The crowds and pollution are cause for alarm
At every street corner that I can recall
Now stands a beast of a new shopping mall
Wide open spaces that were commonly seen
Have been transformed by developers hungry for green
Into hodge podge apartments packed like sardines
It was a city of Nawabs and the Salarjung
Of raven haired damsels and heroes unsung
The Moguls, Nizams, the Qutb Shahis
Charminar, Golkonda and the Baradari
Where you could almost hear the dancing girl
Taramati in her devilish dervish whirl
But these magnificent signs of a once glorious past
Have turned into eyesores and are decaying fast
Now spoilt and ruined beyond repair
The paint is peeling the walls are threadbare
Except for graffiti etched in so deep
By some loutish bloke or senseless creep
(I love you Saroja marry me your Sandeep)
Tenacious climbers spreading their branches
On the seven old tombs and their seven arches
And smoke and fumes of this modern city
Blacken the sandstone of antiquity
There’s litter now, the beauty is lost
Frito Lay chips and Kit Kat wrappers tossed
By people with money who vacation out west
Who clearly don’t know how to protect their best!
The signs of progress are all around
And all day you hear construction sound
Pounding and hammering well after hours
We’ve argued and pleaded with all of our neighbors
Laborers sweating, living mouth to hand
The women work, children play in the sand
The sun beats down on their sari covered heads
Their bodies are tired, oh to sleep on the bed!
80 rupees they earn as their daily wage
While their owners browse the Page 3 page
Hoping the photographer captured them at the party
Hosted by Mrs. Glam Socialite Lady
Ornate homes with pillars and portals
Vastu compliant for the wealthiest mortals
(“Is the master bedroom on the Southwest
The Italian cooking range facing east?
I’ll have to start planning my house warming feast”)
And high rise apartments of concrete and glass
Beckoning the NRI’s who moved back en masse
With  cutting edge names like Mantri Celestia
And Aliens Space station and Rainbow Vista
(Mildew Apartments is luxurious too
but realizing their folly, it got changed to Mild Dew)
Promising you all your Bay Area comforts
Like centralized gas and smooth tennis courts
And telecom systems and 24/7 security
You won’t need to leave, it’s a self contained city
And on the 27th floor the air is clean 
No mosquitoes, all you’ll see is manicured green
But they forget to mention that in half of a year
The plaster may crack, little lines will appear
And the windows will warp and the toilets may leak
The fans will start humming and the faucets will squeak
You call up the plumber, the painter, the mason
He says “we’ll be there” and you say “hurry, hasten”
And the clock keeps on ticking and the seepage gets worse
And you rant and you rave and you swear and you curse
Cos no one ever said when you left the USA
That in this glorious city nothing moves before midday!
Then finally just as the sun starts to set
The painters appear with white paint and bucket
After sanding and scraping they repaint the plaster
You pay them, they leave, they have fixed the disaster
But then suddenly your eye falls on the windowsill
The white of the paint is now on the black grille
So the painters come back saying “Sir don’t you worry,
a little touch up, we’ll be done in a jiffy”
And just as you feared by the time they are done
The wall now has traces of ob-si-di-an
(You wish you could lay your hands on a gun!)
There are Internet problems and telephone glitches
Power outages and exploding switches
Online cash transactions that stop in mid air
So you stop and you wonder – did you pay that airfare?
Price stickers that stay on and refuse to peel
Snack packets where you have to blast open the seal
Juice and milk cartons sealed with a tab
Which breaks off in the middle so you give it a stab
Paper towels that will disintegrate when wet
Its maddening and it gets me terribly upset
Faulty appliances, rusty nails
A sorely lacking attention to detail
But by now you have learned not to take any chances
And you learn to “adjust” to these annoyances
42 degrees Celsius 30 in the night
That’s 107 and 86 Fahrenheit
Summer in Hyderabad is March April May June
Don’t even dare to step out after 12 noon
Leaves curl and shrivel your skin starts to dry
Nothing to stop the sun blazing the sky
Even sugar cane juice, lemon flavored cold water
Will not quench your thirst or make you less hotter
The AC’s get turned on, desert coolers get filled
Mango and Pineapple juices get chilled
You don’t want to eat your appetite is killed
The streets become bare from noon until six
Except for the stray dogs swarming with ticks
Circling the trash cans hungry for picks
And then they fill the night air with their barks
Cruising the street like the Jets and the Sharks
The only creatures that seem to survive
Are lizards and roaches, they breed and they thrive
And barefoot children not a care in the world
The streets are their playground they swing from the tree
The ice cream man goes by they look wistfully
The dust swirls around and comes in thru the doors
It settles on counters, your skin and your pores
It clogs the air filters and coats the glass table
You pull out your duster with the US Swiffer label
Each disposable cloth lasts a week the box boasts
But one day of dusting turns it to dark toast
Cos the Hyderabad dust so black and so grimy
Turns the cloth into shreds in one single day
As the evening approaches and you think to step outside
The temperature has lessened you’ll no longer be fried
Then you hear the familiar sound of the DDT truck
Spewing white spray for mosquitoes run amok
So you run back inside you beat a hasty retreat
Cos you know when it comes hurtling down the street
That the fumes meant to kill those annoying gnats
Will kill you instead, yes it is a known fact
And as if the city is not polluted enough
The Municipal workers who fill up the troughs
With debris, yard waste and other trash items
Set the whole pile on fire it’s an easier system
(Why bother with compost, recycling and reuse
when this is so quick? Its an easy excuse)
And the smoke fills the air and spreads into our home
It chokes me and gags my reflexes and then some
While the authorities in charge have so careless become
The traffic situation is equally treacherous
Civic sense is lacking, the driving atrocious
Buses, then vans, then cars and then scooters
Autos then pedestrians, that’s the pecking order
Red light is stop, green light is go
That’s what they told us and that’s what we know
But here in this city, the rules are all twisted
As green turns to red they rev up their speed
Before red turns to green they’ve zoomed off ahead
The cops are too lazy they turn a blind eye
They’re too busy sipping on Irani chai
And people like us who follow the rules
Are left waiting at lights, looking like fools
If you slow down your car to let someone go
You’ll disturb his rhythm and upset his flow
He is so used to dodging and avoiding traffic
You’ll just throw him off by being altruistic
Then there are speed bumps that crop up overnight
Built almost like Mount Everest in height
If by chance you happen to zip over them, Pouf!
It’s likely you could be tossed right thru the roof
The concept of sidewalk just does not exist
And if there is one it’s full of cyclists
Crossing the road is a hot potato
And sometimes, you’ll laugh now, I have used an auto
To get from one side of the street to the other
I did this one time along with my mother
Then there are times you are in a hurry
To get to your meeting or airport, you scurry
Only to find out the cars have been halted
Lorries diverted, pedestrians stopped
So that one of the many corrupt politicians
Can cruise thru the streets in his armed Suburban
And if you ever get sick and are in an ambulance
God help you cos you don’t stand a chance
No one will move, no one will behave
You’ll be stuck in the traffic and go straight to your grave
The new six lane freeways are pretty snazzy
The Outer Ring Road and the PVR highway
to the Rajiv Gandhi airport at Shamshahbad
(Rated 5th best  in the world I might add)
You fly over the city in the pre-paid cab
But the view below you is awfully drab
Houses and tenements in sad disrepair
So close to each other there’s no room to spare
Shops sharing walls to sell liquor and beer
The same walls that say “do not pass urine here”
Electricity power and TV cable cords
Dangerously bunched up power hazards
Children on rooftops with no parapets
Flying their kites and white paper jets
Each trying to win with glass coated maanja
(All the shops have it now, its imported from China)
Cafes crowded with people shelling out money
To sample the famous Hyderabadi biryani
Above all this squalor are hoardings and billboards
Distractions meant to take your mind off the roads
For new shopping meccas and jewellery sales
Kalaniketan wedding mall, exhibitions and melas
NRI villas and gated communities
With golf course sized gardens and other amenities
And far away in the hazy distance
You see the majesty and grandeur that once was
Mosques and minarets dotting the skyline
Now dulled and decayed in sorry decline
And in the midst of all this sorry ruin
You’ll still hear the call of the muezzin
But you leave this behind as you get to your flight
The airport is new all gleaming and white
Attendants to help you and porters to spoil you
Security will scan you and frisk you and stamp you
Landmark, McDonalds and Café Barista
Pizzas and croissants the food choice will tease you
The city gets forgotten, you head to your bay
As you get on your flight and go far away.

Poetry by me, pics by Lakshmi