Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vignettes of beauty in Reshma's home!

Its been a while since I have done a home tour. Not for lack of finding pretty homes, but all the other design bloggers beat me to them! :-)

Well sirree, not this time! 

Have you ever seen images of a home and related INSTANTLY to them? Homes that have the same design sensibility, the same colors and the same textures that appeal to you? That's what happened when I came across pics of Reshma's home. I had just befriended her a few days ago on FB and when she posted these pics of her home last week, I was like "whaaaaaaat"? 

Here's a look at one of them....

Wicker seat, ceramic pot with succulents, textured cushion covers, wooden tray.....I loved it! So I asked her for more pics and permission to post on my blog and she obliged.

What I liked best about her home is the little vignettes of utter beauty she has created. Little "hot spots" of color and texture that are total eye candy. I've long been a believer of "vignettes"...those little visual treats that light up dark corners and unused spaces and give your eye a resting place while they are darting about the room. A place to stop, stare and drink in the beauty. I have also toyed for a long time on doing a post on that. So this was the perfect segue for me. 

This is what Reshma says about her home 

 "It all started in Jan 2011 when we bought a plot and started building a house on it. We knew nothing about house construction, had never even got a pillar erected before this since we had been living in rented places for 10 years so were quite apprehensive but very excited nonetheless. I got into every aspect of house building, construction, masonry,carpentry, tiling, the works and there would be times when things went totally wrong and we had to pull down certain parts and do it all over again. i would get really mad coz I really wanted the work to finish off soon and sometimes things just did not turn out well. Those were the weak moments or rather frustrating ones but once I was flipping through some magazine and I came across a quote that said 'some people look for a beautiful place to live in and some can make any place look beautiful' and these two lines changed my entire view." 

Anyway, enough prose here. Let's get to the pictures. Enjoy!

Reshma herself says - "I love converting all those dead corners into something cozy and every room in my home has a corner dedicated to chatais/durries and floor cushions, some potted plants and knick- knacks huddled up together and of course a lamp. You will also see a lot of wrought iron stuff in my it"!

"My patio is made up of 5 wooden pillars. I love that area specially coz I get to hang lots of chimes and pots from the beams...just love all that hanging stuff and terracotta is my favourite outdoor stuff....reasonably priced and ethnic too."

Another thing we both share in common is we are both "Lucknowites"! Many of you may not know but I lived in Lucknow for 8 years as a child and have always loved that city. So when I heard that Reshma lived in Lucknow, I felt the connection get even stronger.

Reshma, thank for allowing us all a peek into your home! Its lovely, and when I come visit Lucknow (which is a top priority on my bucket list), I'll swing by and see it in person :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our Seattle home tour!

"Unless a home becomes a love affair, it is not a success. You have to love every single little thing—if it doesn’t have a memory, a story, it doesn’t count". 

If you are someone who has ever received an e mail from me you will recognize the above line. It is my e mail signature line, something I came across many months ago and loved on sight. So I decided to use it from then on, as a reminder to myself (every time I sent out an e mail) to not collect and buy things indiscriminately. 

Before we left Hyderabad and I was sorting out the gazillion things I had, I very consciously tried to follow this. I could only bring so much, and so very deliberately chose only those things that "have a story to tell, things I adored, cherished and held close to my heart".

Sure, the story could be as simple and not too profound as "oh, a very dear friend gave it to me recently" the colorful platter below the bowl
....or as meaningful as these wooden ceremonial spoons which our family priest has been using in all our religious family events for the last 50 years, worn out and burnt at the edges from so many years of pouring spoonfuls of hot ghee into the sacred fires...for births, weddings (mine included) and deaths!!!! The last time it was used - before I bribed our family priest to give it to me - was for my late FIL's first death anniversary this February. So it has a lot of significance to us. 

Or these coasters, prints of temple drawings - done by a relative and given to my husband on his recent trip back to India for a ceremony - where each one of the 6 drawings represents a temple that was of special significance to the family performing the function!
But all have a story! And each time I see these things in my home I cannot BUT remember the story, the people and the occasion behind it. OK, I admit, there are some things that have no story other than "I went to the store and bought it"...but, for the most part I have tried to stay true to the sentiment. 

So......a little description on the house....its bright, its white, its ultra modern and has lots of windows! Quite a change for me from all my previous homes that have had nary a white wall, have been pretty typical, and with the usual amount of windows. But you know what, I've come to like it. At one time I shirked away from light, now I'm loving it. (I think its an age thing...). 
I chose bamboo reed blinds for the windows, to bring in some warm wood tones, and to let in light but still maintain some sort of privacy.....
I put up my artwork and stuff on the walls....
I threw pillows and added texture all around...
I scattered the rugs on the floor.....
And I can almost forget the walls are white!!

Anyway, enough rambling, you guys be the judge....So....

Then go here. Gagan of OPAP asked me months ago if she could feature our Seattle home on her blog, and so hop on over to her blog to take the tour! 

You will see many familiar things from previous house tours herehere and here, but also may new things. If you need to know anything about anything, just ask. Happy to oblige.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

40' containers and all....

So before I post all the house pics, you readers have to go tolerate the "move and unpacking" pics and prose.

Let me backtrack a bit here. Our container left Mumbai port - after a one week delay due to some strike - on the 22nd of April and around early May we got an email informing us it would get to Seattle on the 31st of May. Hubby, myself and pooches moved from our rental home into our new (empty) house over the Memorial Day weekend on the 26th of May figuring we'd have to rough it out for....mmm....max. a week! Sort of roughing it out - we had 2 air mattresses between the four if us (dogs included) with some bedding we brought from the rental, a washer, a dryer, a TV, our suitcases with clothes, 3 borrowed plastic chairs, one skillet, one pot, one pan, 6 spoons, 2 teacups, 4 glasses, 2 plates. And all kitchen appliances of course.

Well, the air mattresses were not that much fun. They'd keep deflating during the night and when any one of us moved, the other three would roll off onto the hardwood floor. I had to wash dishes after every meal to recycle the one pot, one pan...4 get the picture. The chairs were too hard to sit on to watch TV so the twin air mattress doubled as a divan sort of thing and the whole deflating/rolling off process would start! But we kept saying.....ok, one more more day.
Believe it or not - our container did get to Seattle port at 3pm on the 31st. Amazing how they can track that sort of information and stick to it!!! But it got stuck at customs for a WHOLE WEEK and finally they delivered it on the 9th. My back still hurts after 15 days of "air mattress issues"

The container was driven to our house - this thing is massive. It took the guy 30 minutes to parallel park it which is an amazing feat!
This very container with all our worldly possessions, with all my favorite things that will make my house a home...made it all the way from Hyderabad to Seattle, across seas, for 40 days. Quite unbelievable when you really stop and think about it.

Once it got parked, they laid cardboard down on the floors to protect them. Neat huh?
Lucy - not a very happy dog....she wanted to be in on all the action, not corralled in a corner for 8 hours. Junglee sort of settled down and went to sleep. 
We had 150 items, and as they brought them and set them down on the driveway, we had to check the number off on the sheet. Painful process.....
Slowly the house started filling up and I was so happy to see my things. Even the dogs got excited when they started smelling their old familiar "India smells" on the furniture. 
Mountains of wrapping paper and cardboard piling up on the driveway. 
Well, anyways, by about 4pm the guys had to leave cos they were on overtime. By then they had assembled all furniture that needed to be assembled, unpacked about half the boxes, so the next day Raga and I unpacked the remaining 40-50 or so. It got to a point where if I saw a box marked "showpieces" I was ready to throw up! Honest to goodness, I had no idea I had sooooo much stuff! 

So before we show you the rest of the pics in a couple of days, here are a couple more sneak peek pics.

I might have another blogger show you guys the house pics. I feel funny putting my own house pics on my blog....! I'll let you know soon. 

Happy 4th of July all of you!