Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Traditional Redux

Set in a small town in north central New Jersey, the Mehrotras home embraces traditional over modern, comfort over design rules and soul over trends. Having lived in this house for over 16 years, the Mehrotras are embracing a new stage in their life being empty-nesters, as their twin girls, Isha and Shree are off to college. Anjali Ganeriwala, grew up in Calcutta and moved to the US to pursue undergraduate studies in 1987 and has been in NJ ever since. With a background in Computer Science, she's currently transitioning to yet another career as a college admissions counselor. Prashant Mehrotra too studied engineering but sales seemed to be his area of calling. The couple met while they were studying at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ and the rest is history.....The college sweethearts share common interests when it comes to decor, travel, food and Bollywood movies. One look at their home and their passions are mirrored in every nook and corner of their home.
A stunning antique door from a haveli in Rajasthan adorns the entryway. A lucky score from ABC Carpet & Home, the elaborately carved piece asserts the style adopted for the adjoining rooms. Potted beauties are brought indoors to breathe in some color and seasonal appeal into the interiors.
Craftsman style homes have a lot of character and Anjali's way of curating and furnishing her home, perfectly complements the warm wood elements and architectural details that are found so generously in all areas of the home. This is what Anjali had to share when asked about her decorating style, "I would call my style – colorful and very quality conscious. I tend to always look for quality over quantity and avoid kitsch like the plague. I love color and can never have too much of it! But the high ceilings and open architecture of my house have forced me to keep colors neutral and play around with accent colors to define each space." 
The formal living room screams cozy grandeur with earthy tones dominating the scene while peaches, coral and rust are thrown in for striking visual appeal. Traditional, big, statement pieces come together to create a dramatic effect while art, travel treasures, books and family pictures add the personal touch!
Luxurious Kanjivaram silk saris have been restyled as swag window treatments that cascade down the sides of the window softening the look of the space. The corresponding sari blouse pieces have been made into  custom cushions that spice up the muted colored couch and chairs. The collection of watercolor artwork behind the couch has sentimental value as the artist is none other than Anjali's sister.

The Mehrotras love collecting coffee table books from the different places that they visit. In the living room, Anjali has creatively piled a bunch of books on a wooden ‘paata’ with an enameled plate on top to serve as a side table where guests can put down their drink.
Another simple yet colorful vignette includes this silver statue of Dhola and Maru (a couple whose tragic story is the basis of many songs and told throughout Rajasthan) was bought while on a visit to Udaipur. 

Anjali clearly wanted her home to showcase their Indian roots and her love for Indian fabrics and textures. Though she would have loved to have custom work done but labor costs in the US and shipping costs from India made the ideas prohibitive. So she scouted high and low in stores like ABC and Pier One to find pieces that had an Indian vibe. The more traditional Kashmiri carpets were infact brought back in suitcases from their trips to India.
Adorning the stairway, a collection of odds and ends come together to make an interesting collage. Print blocks that have been repurposed as hooks (sourced from Anokhi) are juxtaposed with mini-terracotta masks (Kolkata) and carved wooden lizards (Mexico). The Rajasthani puppet adds a splash of vivid color and mimics the girl in the painting.
Furniture from Ethan Allen sets the tone for this grandiose style formal dining. Butter colored walls are the perfect backdrop for rust and wine colored patterns that dominate the room to create an intimate ambiance. On the far end of the dining room wall, actual menus from two of the top restaurants (the original Bouley of NYC (then consistently ranked as best restaurant in the 1990s) and Mama’s Fish House in Maui) that Mehrotras have dined in over the years is framed and hung, to remind them of some wonderful time spent with family. Other decorative wall art includes Talavera pottery from Mexico and other art pieces collected by the family.
Art forms the soul of this home. Clockwise from left: The painting above the fireplace is a signed limited print by famed Telangana artist Thota Vaikuntam. Next a sketch that Anjali herself did as a teenager is framed and displayed on the book shelf. She fondly recalls that this was the view from her bedroom window while she was in Kolkata. The set of two paintings by an unknown artist were sourced from Jehangir Art Gallery. Anjali says that the paintings were an investment with the intent to support deserving artists.
Another very special piece of framed art is a custom piece that Anjali gifted her husband on their 20th anniversary telling the story of how they met. She specially commissioned a Bollywood hoarding painter in New Delhi to create this one-of-a-kind piece. 

Head this way to the family room which is the hang out zone for the family. Much like the other rooms in the house, the family room too has an open layout, abundance of natural light and high ceilings . Neutral shades are spiced up with splashes of orange and green. The collage of paintings on the wall is priceless as they are done by various members from Anjali's family.  
 Another view of the family room. 
Quoting Anjali on what the word "home" means to her, " A place that you are happy to come to at the end of a long day. That was something my husband and I prioritized in every home we lived in. We were willing to compromise on other expenses but we felt it was important to have a home we were proud of and enjoyed since we spend so much time in it. Even today I constantly look at my home and sometimes I feel like it’s a dream – I can’t believe I live here!" 
The kitchen is Anjali's favorite space in the house. Utilitarian in every respect yet spiffy enough to entertain when friends drop in for dinner. "This is a room that I got to design – I picked out the cabinets, the island, the granite, the tile…everything! At the same time I was able to put in personal touches like a book shelf for my cookbook collection, a custom rack to show off my Le Creuset pots and a pin board made entirely of corks from the wines we had consumed. I truly enjoy cooking so I was also able optimize the layout of the appliances to make it easy to chop, cook and clean-up in one corner."
And finally a look at their daughter's (Isha) room. Isha had two specific requests while decorating her room. One that it should reflect her Indian heritage and two, by no means she wanted it to be girly. So they choose a color scheme of blue accented with orange. Block-print style bedding and Indian accents from Good Earth and Pier One pull the room together for a youthful vibe.

I'd like to conclude this feature by thanking the Mehrotras for letting us tour their beautifully decorated private abode that embodies everything the family so earnestly values - aesthetics, heritage, global culture, art and ingenuity. I wish them with only the best things that life has to offer!

(Image Credit: Anjali Mehrotra, The images may NOT be copied /used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written permission from Anjali Mehrotra and TECD)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Color Your Imagination with the Spring-Summer 2016 collection from Welspun”

Are you looking for that perfect, luxurious bedding to elevate the mood, style and comfort of your personal sanctuary? Look no further. “SPACES Home & Beyond”, the premium bed, bath and coordinates brand by “Welspun”, recently launched their Spring-Summer 2016 collection. Their newest collection yet again highlights Welspun’s unwavering commitment to premium quality products with high end design. The USP of the collection lies in the fact that products are available in an array of over 100 delightful shades. A perfect time to refresh your bedding, the SS16 collection is sure to gratify every style genre.
As we know, color can be a powerful design tool, if one understands color psychology and its emotional nuances, it can be effectively used to create an ambiance that stirs positive reactions, craft space illusions (even in a tight square footage area) or can be simply used as a design element to bring points of interest to an otherwise neutrally calming boudoir. Whether you are looking to cool off the summer heat with calming blues and egg shell whites or intend to warm up the space in saturated sunset hues of reds, oranges and yellows, the Spring-Summer collection 2016 from Welspun has something for even the most jaded of color palettes, with over 100 shades to choose from. Me with my strong affinity for color, together with the vibes of this wonderful season, summer, I chose to showcase bedding that revels in a multitude of colors for this feature.
Each of the season’s special collection - Epica, Boho Chic, Courtyard and Youthopia Denim, color your imagination like no other. The Epica collection is the perfect mélange of the past and the present. Modern digital prints bring to life floral, Persian and abstract theme motives in delicious hues. This would be a perfect fit for transitional as well as contemporary spaces.
Symbolic of the Boho-Chic style, this collection is vibrant, eclectic and whimsical. Adopting patterns that are abstract in design mixed in with geometric streaks, this collection is not for the faint hearted. With a mix of water colors and ink treatments dominating this collection, the resulting patterns are not only surprising but also playful. For an individualistic style statement, throw in a few Moroccan lanterns, potted greens, a mix of different textures and eras together with the Boho-chic bedding and you’ve got yourself, a relaxing one-of-a-kind haven.
The Courtyard range celebrates nature and its blushing blooms. Working with similar concepts such as the watercolor effect and digital printing, this bedding range is your opportunity to bring the outdoors in. Vibrant motifs set against a neutral backdrop, this collection is perfect for that modern-chic-cottage look surrounded by furniture that is characterized by unpretentious peeling patina.
The Youthopia collection has a younger fashionable vibe to it. This visually-textural, denim-inspired collection comes in shades of sea-inspired blues that are coordinated with bold hued graphic pillows. Mix in retro décor with this trendy bedding and maybe you could even get your teen to make their own bed. A win-win situation I say!

The Spring-Summer 2016 collection also includes other ranges such as Ruyal, Intensity, Caprice, Skyrise, Forever Classic Stripe, Flexi-Fit, Antonym, Texpressions, Hygro Cotton and Dohar. Living beautifully and waking up feeling refreshed has never been easier. Get your bedding game on and head right this way to browse your pick. 
On a different note, if you already have any of these looks going on in your personal sanctuary, I would love to see how you have pulled it all together. Do share it with me on my FB page

Happy Decorating folks!

(Image Courtesy : Welspun)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Indie-Bohemian Inspired Summer Soiree

My word for this year has been “Collaborate”. Everything for the past six months seems to revolve around this word…….and boy! Am I glad a lot of wonderful things seem to be taking shape because of this. One of things that I’m very excited about is that we have our first ever guest post here on TECD in collaboration with Deepa of AalayamAalayam needs no introduction. But if you are new to the blogosphere or to the world of Indian décor blogs, Aaalyam is one to bookmark! I keep going back to dip into Aalayam’s diverse repertoire as India Inspired topics reign supreme. Deepa and Supriya bring their nontraditional approach to design, décor, parenting issues and Indian festive occasions. It’s the well put-together features, experimental attitude and unique voice that is refreshing. Today, Deepa has put together an extraordinary outdoor-scape that orbits around jewel tones, pattern on pattern, textural layering and nonconformist décor choices that rightly connotes the free spirited Bohemian style. If you are looking for boho-chic, summer soiree inspiration, you are in the right place! Over to Deepa ……..
"Hello TECD readers! 
Picture gypsy bohemian and see what comes to mind? Bright colors, bold patterns, scattered chotchkies and maybe some warm-hearted Arabian lounge music wafting through the air! Now, how about you picture gypsy bohemian with an Indian twist? And what comes to mind then is an earthy, kaleidoscopic visual with layers of
colorful bohemia. It is a celebration and a happy exposition of colors, patterns and textures! And that’s all I wanted for our backyard patio one evening -to create an inspired wonderland in which to enjoy a beautiful evening and relax with the family.
Summer evenings in the Midwest are to die for and we love making the most of our treed backyard. We spend many an evening outdoors- grillin’ an chillin’! Lingering summer evenings are the perfect time to make some beautiful family memories, don’t ya think? And one evening, I decided to turn this outdoor space into an extension of our home and literally took the indoors out – pillows, end tables, an area rug, decorative accessories and even a Radha – Krishna painting to hang on the trellis! 

I love our weathered pergola. It works well with anything I want to transform this space into and has been the anchoring feature of many backyard celebrations! And the creative potential that this outdoor space holds excites me but I haven’t fully capitalized on that yet. Eventually, I will invest in some durable outdoor fabrics and accent pieces. After all designer outdoor spaces are all the rage these days!
This time though, creating this table scape meant re-using things I already have. And what fun it was too – to go shopping around the house! Bringing in bits of bohemia meant not being too rigid about the colors and combinations and so I just went wild with the patterns and the colors and let it play out on its own! The end result was vibrant and playful - a perfect backdrop for some cozy conversations, wine and cheese and a game of chess! Of course, this could work very well for an evening of alfresco dining with friends as well.
The challenge of bringing a creative vision to life gives me such a high! So, as much as I wanted to sink into the season with my family, I also wanted to create something beautiful. Being able to add a few images of an India inspired outdoor space to the repertoire of google images seems to be another purpose that Aalayam is serving. And I hope you all have your best backyard summer this year!!
Once again, I cannot thank Sruthi enough for allowing us to bring an Aalayam offering to her fantastic blog. I love The East Coast Desi. It is simply my all time favorite design/décor resource staple. Kudos Sruthi for this beautiful and inspired blog that you have worked so diligently to create and maintain! And as always, it is fun to bring our collective audiences ideas and life style inspirations that we know will be appreciated! Thank you and I hope that East Coast readers will follow this post back to Aalayam where Supriya and I have been brainstorming on some great posts for the rest of the year.

Have a wonderful summer everyone!
Deepa (of Aalayam)"

Deepa, thank you for putting together this wonderfully vibrant feature! It's always a pleasure collaborating with Aalayam and I so look forward to more of such wonderful opportunities.........As for you my lovely peeps, get out there and make it a bohemain inspired outdoor party when the sun shines:) 

(Image Credit: UJ for Aalayam. The images may NOT be copied /used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written permission from Aalayam and TECD)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

TECD Turns Three!

I am filled with gratitude as I write this post. It has been three wonderful and creatively satisfying years since I started my blog “The East Coast Desi”! The blog served as my creative outlet to share my home decorating journey, celebrate color and on a more purposeful note to promote Indian artists and brands that appealed to my aesthetic sensibilities.
But this entire blogging experience has been so much more. It’s been a revelation of sorts if you please:
  • I’ve realized you will ALWAYS find the time for something you absolutely love. And for me, blogging is that one thing that nourishes my soul in ways that I never imagined. I feel so alive and ticking after I share a post with you’ll! 
  • Inspiring others can inspire you in the process. With this, I’m referring to the heartbeat of my blog, my lovely readers. You’ve inspired me to push my creative boundaries and bring out the best in me. Your wonderful feedback and comments is a pick-me-up at times when I’m surrounded by self-doubt. Most of all, I enjoy reading the mails that say how TECD has inspired you to create beauty around your own homes! That is the moment when I hear the violins! Seriously, a big bear hug to each and every one of you who has stopped by TECD and shown your love, encouragement and unwavering support!
  • Surrounding yourself with people who think positively can only rub off their good vibes on you. I’ve been fortunate to meet some very lovely, uber talented people through my blog. Their inspirational stories and love for what they do has been a catalyst in answering my own creative calling. (Shhhh……a lot is brewing here at TECD, the details of which I’ll be able to share shortly.)
  • I’ve learnt that it is not the destination but the journey that needs to be enjoyed thoroughly. 
  • I’ve understood that you can say NO and still be the nice guy. There is no room for feeling guilty about this when you want to keep the integrity of the blog intact and focus on putting out only the best for your readers.
  • Living more purposefully has a whole different meaning……from the everyday predictable routine to the smaller things that would have been dismissed earlier in the busy ho-hum are more bearable and are taken notice of as my perspective on so many things has changed, thanks to my blog.
  • Last but not the least, it has thought me that hard work and originality will always get you what you want! People will sit up and take notice and the fact that my name was included in the Wall of Indian Décor Influencers is proof enough.
Another significant segment of TECD is its Home Tour segment! The various homes that I’ve showcased on TECD have been so well received. Infact, this is the most popular segment on TECD. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful home owner’s for so generously opening up their homes and sharing my love for inspired living. (FYI I have another set of wonderful home tours coming up this season.)

Once again, I am so grateful to you for following along with TECD on this wonderful journey. You are the driving force for me to stay devoted to this blog so long. I have so much more to share with you’ll and hope to see you around here for many more years to come………

Much Love,

(Image Credit: Sruthi Singh, Do Not use the image/images from the blog without prior written permission.)