Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Elephant Company (Featured Shop) - Diwali Inspiration Day 4

And Thursday it is.......

In the featured shop segment, spotlight's on "The Elephant Company"(TEC) - a popular decor brand that offers a fresh twist on iconic images of India. Capturing the essence of India in vibrant pop art shades, their ever changing collection  is always to look out for. Based in Mumbai, they retail exclusively through The Bombay Store and a few selected boutiques in India. They also provide the convenience of online shopping to their customers. 

Their latest collection "Warli" is a refreshing take on a traditional art formThe auspicious Tree Warli design is a symbol of prosperity, peace, security and luck a perfect addition for the festive season. Here are some of my picks to freshen up your home this Diwali.
What I love about TEC is the elegant melange of colorful imagery of traditional India with a contemporary edge. Architectural details like the Jharoka and the Mehrab, predominant in the Northern part of India are beautifully captured in these gorgeous colorful pillows perfect for a vibrant Diwali.

Entertaining is a huge part of Diwali.These trays in energetic colors, replicating the vibe of Rajasthan are nothing but impressive. They are also the perfect choice for a hostess gift. 

Did you enjoy the color overload. If not, here's the link where you can check out the whole range of products. 

Giving you a heads up of what's in store tomorrow........a stunning jewelry line that's going to leave you with the feeling......I WANT THAT. So stay tuned and have a wonderful Day !!!!! 

Images: Courtesy The Elephant Company

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Living Room a reflection of INDIA - Diwali Inspiration - Day 3

Hello!! How are we doing today???

The countdown to Diwali it's going to be simple Diwali decor I've put together to enhance the festive mood in my Indian style living room. I've kept things traditional but with a few simple twists it keeps things fresh.

Let's get started then. Grouping of similar pieces always makes a huge impact and makes it look like a thoughtful collection. I brought together 4 of my favorite candle holders and varying their height draws the eye to different levels and keeps the Diwali vignette interesting. Combined with colorful artwork or interesting wall decor, the vignette is nothing but splendid.
Fresh potted plants, a simple red runner used for the base of the vignette together with a colorful wind chime round up this Diwali vignette. In the picture collage below, the center pic shows you how the setting comes to life in the evenings and radiates a warm glow.
Next, I have the classic floating flower arrangement in a traditional urli. The flowers could be randomly floated or with a moments thought, simple designs could be created for flower rangoli's like the ones I've shown below. Together with candles you have your self a charming display.
The new addition to my home this Diwali are these gorgeous votive holders in colored glass. Placed around the house, the hues they add to a festive ambiance is priceless. These are available at World Market at a price you won't believe ($2:). They are not available online so make a quick dash to WM before they fly off the shelves.
It just does not have to be the diyas or candles that light up your Diwali. Dress up your old table lamps and give them a new look. I looked in my stash of things and found beaded necklaces and hair accessories that my parents sent me in one of the packages from India. They always love to put together things like these and send it across for me. How thoughtful is that. They know I'll make anything and everything work. So I used a Nagaland tribal necklace together with a Rajasthani Parandi (hair accessories used in north India to decorate the ends of braids) to gussy up my lamp.

The history of Parandis is fascinating. Making parandi took roots long ago in Punjab, with Patiala being one of the oldest centers of parandi making in India. Women have always been fond of prettifying their hair, but since they were supposed to cover their head, their hair accessories were hardly visible under the oodni. The women of the royal families of Patiala came up with the ingenious idea of adorning the lower end of their braids with gold, mottled threads and precious gems to complement their royal accouterments.

Adding rich textiles is another wonderful way to add shimmer to the special day. Cushion covers in silk or detailing in embroidery with glass work is a perfect addition. I've brought out my silk cushion covers that I bought from Fab India.
And now for the final look around my Indian style living room to see how everything comes together. The urli with the floating flower arrangement sits pretty on the coffee table. I also love displaying my brass knick-knacks for Diwali as they add the luster and shimmer that I'm looking to add for an exuberant Diwali.

Traditional Indian hanging lamps grace my living room making a statement for the Diwali season. The lamps are hung from wooden carvings, some custom made by a wood carving artist (my family has known for years) while the others sourced from a craft sale back in India. 

And that was my attempt at trying to bring home the myriad expressions of India in my own way. Every piece has a story to tell, a beautiful memory associated with it or it spoke to our personality and style sensibilities. And that's important to us and that makes our home "OURS".

I could ramble on and on.......But for now, I hope you'll found inspiration in the little things that I've put together to liven up my home. Do drop me a line and let me know if you enjoyed the post. 

This festive season, if your on the look out for decor with a modern take on the traditional, then do stay tuned for the featured shop segment coming up tomorrow. 
Have a wonderful day:) 

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Diwali Tablescape Inspiration - Day 2

Good morning Lovely Readers !!!! It's Day 2 of Diwali Inspiration here on "The East Coast Desi". 

As promised, I have another simple yet gorgeous tablescape. I was requested by a dear friend to do the center piece for the chaat night she's hosting for Diwali. I agreed gleefully. To me Diwali is a people - oriented festival, as it's a time to share and revel in the company of family and friends. Diwali is not just a festival with social and religious connotations, it's also a time to let the creativity get the better of you, as you get to showcase it through decorating your home and  whip up delectable treats in the kitchen.
To bring in the grandeur and colorful imagery associated with Diwali, I decided to mix a vintage brass lamp with modern day finds from IKEA. Beaded coasters form the base of the setting on which IKEA votive holders are placed randomly. A brass Pavai Villaku (lady holding a lamp - my most prized possession, as it’s more than 100 years old and belonged to my great grandmother), takes center stage. Mixing glass and brass is a combination you cannot go wrong with. The glass adds the sparkle while the brass traditional lamp emanates a warm glow. A few flowers and petals strewn randomly create a table setting that’s flawless. A silk stole used as a table runner gives you options to look inside your closet and work with what you got.    
Look around your place.......and I can assure you, you've already got most of the above decor accessories in your closet or sitting around your house. Get them together to create this wonderful table setting and enjoy a special Diwali with your loved ones.

Coming up next........... Diwali home decor ideas straight from my Indian style living room.

Have a wonderful day !!!!!

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Diwali Tablescape Inspiration - Day 1

Hello Lovely Readers !!!! Today's post is SPECIAL. It's the 50th post for me and with that it marks my 4 months in the blogging world. I've enjoyed every minute of my blogging experience so far. I have managed to meet a lot of wonderful people through blogging and everyone has been nothing but supportive. Thank you lovely readers, my family and friends for being a part of "The East Coast Desi" and making this happen for me. Love you guys:)

We are now going to be kicking off the festive season with oomph and glamour that surrounds my favorite festival of all.......DIWALI. I enjoy every aspect of Diwali.........the jauntiness with which the victory of good over evil is celebrated across the country; homes as they blush in the warm luminescent glow - diffused by the innumerable lamps gracing every corner of the home; the performance put up by the flames as they dance the night away; the traditional sweets and treats that you gorge on knowing fully well that you have to deal with the guilt the following week; decking up in classic Indian attire and sitting down to a lavish and scrumptious meal with my family and friends.
While growing up, my family and I made a conscious decision to make our Diwali green and avoid the use of fire crackers and thus doing our bit to keep the pollution in check. To make up for the crackers, Dad would bring us all kinds of flowers that my sister and I would ask for. We'd use them for flower rangolis and flower arrangements to create a welcoming festive atmosphere. Another wonderful memory I have of Diwali was visiting "Pottery Town" in Bangalore with my mom and picking up terracotta diyas (lamps) to paint them in a kaleidoscope of colors. 
Here in the US, I don't have a Pottery Town to go to, but I'm happy that over the years I have managed to bring back a few traditional brass diyas with me, on every visit that I made back home. Most of them are ancestral pieces and are absolutely precious to me. However, we also have some fabulous stores like World Market, Home Goods and Amazon that have some fantastic Indian lanterns and accessories that you can buy to complement your Diwali decor without making a hole in your pocket.
The starting point for me to decorate any space is to decide on an accent color and take stock of what I already have and may need. This season, it’s the ocher's  and reds that are doing the talking at my place. Cushions, candles and flowers are coordinated keeping the accent colors in mind, giving the space a cohesive feel.
Entertaining is a huge part of Diwali at my place.While deciding on the tablescape this year, I decided to go with the plates that I found on a trip to World Market a while ago. I fell in love with the intricate paisley design on them in deep red and gold with a tinge of Indigo. The design reminded me of a Banarasi Silk sari that belonged to my grand mother (Nani). A quick call to mom back in India (she being my genie), confirmed that the sari border was carefully  preserved  and  my idea of turning the vintage fabric into one-of-a-kind napkin ring would be granted. And in no time, I had a package at my door step with these gorgeous babies in it. 
We just had the border of a once beautiful sari, as the sari itself was used up to make traditional Indian dresses called pattu pavades for my sister and I (while we were kids).The napkin rings add that extra special touch to my Diwali tablescape. Unlike any other store bought finds, these have a special significance to me. 
Fresh flowers are a must to make a place come alive and feel cared for. I like using one of a kind vases to house my flowers. This time, it’s a beer mug that belonged to my grandfather when he served in the military.Together with elegant brass lanterns and colored glass votive holders from World Market, the evening is sure going to be engulfed in a magical glow. 
The ambiance is just right and with the wonderful company of family and friends it can be nothing but Perfect. Do let me know how you liked the innovative use of vintage fabrics to create the napkin rings. I do hope, you have been inspired to create a simple yet elegant table setting for your loved ones. 

Coming up tomorrow is another tablescape inspiration that I plan to put together for a chaat night being hosted at my friends place for Diwali this coming weekend.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day !!!!!!

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's a Playground out there.......

Hello Friday!!!!!

Today was a magical morning............I was enthralled with this mystical view when I drew the curtains aside. What your looking at is the tree save line from my bedroom window. The sun was quite a sport as he played peek-a-boo through the trees. However, the rays were in the mood for a game of tag and tried to envelop and light up every corner that they could reach. 
As I walked my son to the bus stop and waited for the school bus to arrive,the fog played along with the sun and blanketed all, trying to keep them away for as long as he could from the prying eyes of the sun. 
The morning dew drops slid on the grass and ready to drop.....they reminded me of happy children on the slides ........ 
I say, it's a playground out there.....go ahead  and take a second look. 

Have a wonderful day and stay tuned for a 5 day gala at "The East Coast Desi", as we gear up for a wonderful Diwali....... 

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nothing Tiffany About it - but it's as Special !!!!

Hello Lovely readers !!!! How are we doing today????
I have images of a very special tea time that I put together for a very dear friend "L". As much as my tea time is "Me Time". It's also a time to reflect........ relax and unwind........ cozy up........ get energized........ savor every sip and put everything aside and finish the cup of goodness while it's still hot...............and to socialize, bond and catch up with friends. 
You know  the feeling  you have on certain days..... when all you need is positive affirmation or assertion ???? Well that's exactly what "L" needed. And like you all know, it's just a phase and will pass.......But in an attempt to make her feel better and let her know that I was there for her, I put this little teascape together.
I chose the gorgeous teal and red tone tea cups to set the mood. An empty glass pasta sauce container was up-cycled to be a vase and I covered it with the recycled jute from rice bags (Royal Basmati rice bags to be precise). Then some wonderful blue ribbon was wrapped around it and made into a pretty knot. A paper clip held it securely in place. I also made a tag that reads " Tea Time" with individual letter stamps.
Queen Anne's lace from the backyard was just the perfect addition to the teascape. This is another common wild flower of Virginia and as legend has it, it was named after the English queen who was an excellent lace maker. When she pierced her finger, a single drop of blood stained the lace, thus the dark floret at the center of the lady's head. 
 By the time "L" had finished her cup of Indian style cardamom tea and chocolate marble truffle cake, she was all smiles. And she loved the flower arrangement so much, she took it with her to put it by her bed. And seeing her smile and happy, definitely made that extra effort well worth while.

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Start of a new week!!!!!

Hello Monday !!!

It's been a busy week at my place getting things organised for the up coming Diwali celebrations. I've been preoccupied deciding the colors for the home this festive season, lighting ideas, tablescape for the Diwali night and the food menu. Not to mention the photo sessions, editing and the write ups for you'll in-between all this. I doubt if I'm going to pass the sleep test in the state of mind that I am !!!!
 A bunch of Peruvian Lilies  instantly add color and life to a corner in my home. (Decor tip:Use a vase in a contrasting color to add drama to the setting. I've used a blue distressed pail from Target to house the pink lilies.) 
However, I can assure you that the coming weeks are sure to be a treat for the eyes. I have some delightful Diwali inspiration heading your way. I have it all taken care of.......right from one-of-a-kind jewelry to get you looking gorgeous for the festive day, to simple home decor additions to your space that's going to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for family and friends. So giddy up and have a wonderful week!!!  

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where Dreams are Born

Good Morning to all my lovely readers !!!!

Today I've curated a gorgeous collection of dreamy and globally inspired bedrooms. I think of bedrooms as a place where dreams are born. And the rooms that I have for you'll today, are sure to inspire the dreamers who sleep in them. The eclectic use of colors, textiles in pretty patterns and the use of unique decor accessories in each of the images appealed to my decorating aesthetics. They all have an element of ethnic grain embedded in them. Images such as these help me unwind and break away from reality for a split second, igniting my creative and artistic side. 
image: Via

Image: Via
Image: Via
Image: Via
Image: Via
Image; Via
Image: Via
Image: Via

The images sure mesmerized me and it took me a long time to awake from their spell. I hope that these images had the same effect on you...............

Have a great day !!!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Autumn Mosaic

Good Evening All,
How are we doing today ???? 
We had some very dull days over the weekend. So when the sun finally made it's appearance today, we were a happy bunch of people. We hopped into our car and set off on a long drive to experience the fall colors around us. Plans for Shenandoah have been pushed for the coming weekend hopefully. The colors around for now, definitely didn't disappoint us. Her are few clicks I wanted to share with you'll.

I can't seem to get enough of the pretty leaves in all their autumnal hues. It's rightly said that Autumn is the second spring. Watching the leaves as they sway to the gentle breeze and finally carpet the pathway is a wonderful sight. 

I was lucky to get a click of this Monarch butterfly as it flinched it's way from flower to flower. Echoing the colors of fall, it made a perfect click. 
My son and I sneaked up on pesky little squirrels as they dug around for acorns. This little guy was quiet a poser and us being around didn't bother him (to my delight).

I hope you'll enjoyed the images of fall that  I managed to capture through my lens. Have a wonderful day !!!!

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