Shades of India

This story I had styled for Casaviva in October 2011. It takes inspiration from all the bright colours this country is so well known for:-

Photographs- Kartikey Shiva
Styled by- Aparna Kaistha

www.stylecity.in

Marigold Orange and Rani Pink

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Ochre Yellow and Sindoor Red

Royal Blue and Chilli Green

Flower Power

Ok, so obviously hotels spend a lot of attention to their flower displays. Beginning from the entrance lobby to the restaurants to the room, most hotels have elaborate displays. The thing I have learnt and been told by a lot of experts is, that most of these displays are not that difficult to achieve and can add a lot of panache to any room. Here again we have a few experts from Small Luxury hotels of the World  (SLH) giving us a few tips

Fleming Mayfair, London, UK

Yan Skates, Director, Bespoke Flowers, Fleming Mayfair

Image Courtesy- SLH,Flemings Hotel

“Our flower displays change in design from week to week, to keep up the wow factor for our regular visitors. So that would be my first tip- keep changing your displays every time you entertain. We take inspiration from new quirky venues in the city, study interior magazines religiously and keep up with current exhibitions in town or when travelling abroad. Inspiration can strike anyplace and anywhere so keep a lookout. Shop windows can be another great source. Another tip- if you pick from the garden or have a limited budget, a small number of blooms have more impact if they are put individually in vases. The vases could be the same or a variety depending on your theme and décor.”Hansar Bangkok, Thailand

Khun Surasak Jaijumpa, head florist, Hansar Bangkok shares his step by step technique to create a flower arrangement for your home.

You will need:

– Variety of flowers of various sizes.( I have used long stem roses, alstroemeria, lisianthus, amaryllis and tulips)

– Medium sized glass vase

– Bundle of twigs- (I have chosen red wood)

– Fresh water

Method

– Begin by cutting the wood sticks to the height of the glass vase. Next line the glass vase with smaller glass tubes*, if you do not have glass tubes at home you can use the wood sticks in place of this.

– After the glass tubes are positioned, put the red wood in between each tube to keep the over all display sturdy and provide a nice colour accent and texture to flowers

– After all the cut wood sticks are places, add some additional uncut red wood branches to give the arrangement some height

– Now fill the vase with water. You can use a syringe to squirt the water the keep the arrangement clean.

– Now, cut the flowers and begin placing them into the arrangement. Tip- start with the larger size flowers first and then fill in the empty areas with smaller ones. And you are done!

*These test tubes are easily available at any chemist or even some stationary stores.

Here is a DIY tip by me on how to create an interesting Flower arrangement

Photograph- Binaifer Bharucha

Instead of using just traditional vases, use various single pieces of sets. So these could include a few small vases as well as glasses and cups of various sizes. The thinner glasses/vases can be used for long single flowers and the wider ones for bunches of smaller flowers. Place these on a long tray and put them on a console or in a round tray on your round dining table. You can use ribbons and lace to wrap these vases/glasses. This is a perfect look for an outdoor party.  Add more quirky elements like colourful beads in the clear glasses. This looks funky and doesn’t cost much at all. So go ahead try it and let me know how it worked.

To check out more tips on how to create hotel style at home click here

Create Hotel style at home

I love staying in hotels. I do. For me that can be a major high or low point in my travel plan depending on how good or bad my accommodation is. I just love the attention to every small detail that is given from the welcoming way you are greeted at the door, to the perfectly made bed, to the beautifully arranged flowers. I can just go on and on.  Some of my exceptional experiences has been with properties under the Small Luxury hotels of the world (SLH) profile.  Small Luxury Hotels of the World has got some of the finest small independent hotels in their portfolio. From cutting edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansion, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, SLH offers only the best. Well as luck would have it SLH team has gone behind the scene at a number of their properties and got us tricks on how to create the hotel experience at home. Here are a few of the tips they have shared with us;

Photograph Courtesy iStockphoto

1. How to create a stylish vase of flowers

2. How to draw the ultimate relaxing bath

3. How to mix a spot on Martini

4. How to choose art to compliment your space

5. How to create your own home Spa

6. Create a Romantic evening and serve wine like a Sommelier

Monsoon Friendly Home

Well Monsoons are in full flow all over the Indian sub-continent, except Delhi it seems which is getting just erratic sprouts. Either way I think Monsoons are a great excuse to do up the Interior Décor of the house. Like I have mentioned before redoing the décor of your home does not have to be an expensive affair, but with a few simple tips can change the look of your home and make it Monsoon friendly.
Monsoon Decor, www.stylecity.in

Colour me bright
Colourful cushions for monsoon decor, www.stylecity.inThe dull outdoors with constant grey skies can be real mood dampeners. Hence, bright interior accents have the effect of uplifting the mood. But you don’t need to go in for a drastic change in the décor like changing wall colours or buying new sofas. Simple tricks like getting new colourful fabric colours for your sofa, or nice bright bed sheets for the bedroom or even simply bringing a range of colourful cushions can help uplift the Interiors of the house. The range of cushion covers could span from solid colours to retro prints to India-inspired motifs.

Fabric Trails
Do away with heavy curtains like jacquards and velvet or even cottons instead opt for sheers which help the light in during rainy season. Also fabrics like Wool and Velvet and cotton soak in moisture, try and avoid using them along with silk or woollen bed covers and carpets as they tend to attract moisture. Opt for furnishings in polyester and nylon instead. In terms of floor covering, first thing get a coir mat for to place outside the front door, and replace all the carpets in the house with rugs and dhurries that can be machine washed.

Kelly Hoppens

Scent of rain
ladylimoges-tumblr-com-post-45591837100We all have to agree, as amazing as rainfall smells in the nature and outdoor, with our over populated cities and pollution the smells accompanying the rain is not always pleasant. Trust me, in the 4 monsoons spent by me in Mumbai, the one thing that used to get to me most was the smell, there is an easy solution for that, place scented candles all over the house, they are also practical as electricity tends to go a lot during the monsoons. Of course fresh blooms are always a great option all year around as they make the house smell great and brighten up the space.

Furniture Design
In terms of furniture, that is not something which we can change, unless you have the option of putting it in storage and get out Monsoon furniture, so though simple solutions like Sofa covers can help prevent expensive sofas from getting dirty, wicker furniture is a great option for areas such as the patios and well as areas near big open windows. Mirrors are great to incorporate on walls to reflect the nature outside (if you have a good view) and also increase the light.

India Inspired Decor

When we say Indian Interiors, the first thought in everyones mind is large palatial homes with a lot of carved woodwork and mirrors. While that was true till a few years ago, with the coming of nuclear families and smaller homes things have changed. Here are some innovative ideas of how we can incorporate Indian Home decor into our homes.

Colours: India is a land known for a lot of vivacious and bright colours. A great way to incorporate colours into homes is by adding colours like hot pink, turquoise blue and yellow or even jewelled tones like ruby, sapphire and emerald through upholstery like cushions, rugs and throws. An innovative way to add colour is via lots of colourful bottles and maybe even a coloured glass chandelier.

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Good Earth

Prints and Patterns: India has a large variety of prints to choose from; ikat, paisley and bandhini are just some assorted styles. Instead of just going for printed upholstery, we have the options of Indian print tiles, wallpaper and even crockery. Just incorporate a few of these into your homes for that Indian touch.

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Good Earth

Metals: India is known for its vast use of metals like silver, gold, copper and brass. You can get in some metal artefacts, light fittings and even jars and cutlery

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Shutterstock

Woodwork: While heavy, carved furniture and was a norm till the 90’s, the increase in wood prices and small home spaces has made it impractical to have heavy furniture. Now a great way to incorporate wood work is though lattice print screens in the backdrop instead of a wall paper or even as a partition. If possible it could also make an interesting ceiling

http://www.sohautestyle.com/2008/07/global-chic.html
http://www.sohautestyle.com/2008/07/global-chic.html

Art and Sculptures: With its vast history and mythology, Indian art works and sculptures make for an artists dream. You can add a variety of Indian God statues, or even go in for traditional Indian artwork replicas like Tanjore paintings, Madhubani Painting or even miniature paintings. Or try to get statement light fittings inspired by India

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Elle Decor

Flowers: A great addition to Indian homes is typical Indian flowers like Marigold, Indian Roses and Jasmines to your living room. They look fresh and all have a lovely smell

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Elle Decor

Do let me know how these tips work out for transforming your room to and Indian Inspired room.

 

Monsoon Makeover Tips By D’Decor

Monsoon is a great time to give your abode a practical yet vibrant makeover. D’Decor, provides some useful tips and trends to re-invent your home décor this Monsoon.
With plenty of black and grays outside, it is a definite no-no for the interiors. Whites and creams can also be avoided as they get difficult to maintain, especially if you have kids in the house.Monsoon calls for warm and bright colors such as ochre, coral, shades of red or neon pastels.  Lend a refreshing change to your home décor with vibrant colors, quirky printed fabrics and accessories to add a touch of liveliness.

Tropical dreaming. Styled by Ruth Welsby
Tropical dreaming. Styled by Ruth Welsby

With overcast skies, one would need whatever light that can enter the home to enhance the bright colors and reflective surfaces. Use light cotton or sheer curtains or blinds which do not have lining, to allow sufficient light to enter the room, yet providing the privacy needed.

Image @ D' Decor
Image @ D’ Decor

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Small colorful cotton rugs and mats are a surely recommended as add ons, so that one can clean their feet before jumping on the bed. Keep the bed clean as well as dry, such that you do not need to change the linen frequently. Cover the beds during the day with bed-covers made from blended fabrics and sit back and enjoy the pleasant weather!

Review: DIVA Spiced, New Delhi

DIVA is a chain of fine dining restaurants in India. A brainchild of Chef Ritu Dalmia, each restaurant is famous for its own unique style and menu. A new offing from the same team is Diva Spiced. Situated at Meherchand market, it has taken the space of the old Chez Nini, ‘DIVA Spiced’ is an all-day dinning café offering Modern Asian Cuisine. Reflecting Ritu’s signature style of fresh and wholesome ingredients, the café introduces a menu which is a culmination of flavours, spices and innovations from the South East Asian belt. As Staying true to her classic style, a definite splash of European technique and presentation is evident in the cuisine.

DIVA Spiced_Ground_floor

DIVA Spiced is a 70 cover café spread with a ground and first floor seating. Keeping up with the DIVA legacy, Spiced has a warm and a cozy ambiance, but unlike other Asian cuisine venues it has its own take on decor.The interiors of the cafe have been designed by Anita Dalmia with a combination of vintage and contemporary style. The wallpaper is quite quirky with images of Asian women, Asian motifs and sightings while the chairs and furniture have an industrial appeal. Keeping Asian minimalism in mind the look is overall quite subtle with a play of bright colours. The style is very cafe like while the food is Ritu Dalmia’s take on Asian cuisine.

DIVA Spiced_1stFloor

Not for the weak-hearted or for people who do not like experimenting, the menu is a culmination of a lot of innovations, ranging from steamed crystal dumplings to grilled, fried and baked dishes. Some of signature dishes include tapas dishes like Panko Crusted Arancine filled with corn & chili jam, fried Zucchini flower stuffed with Tofu and Feta, Pork belly skewers with spicy yuzu Lemon dressing. For the mains there is a large variety like Goan Prawn Curry simmered in kokum and coconut served with ginger rice, stuffed baby eggplant in a whipped fennel sauce, Miso Marinade Salmon with soba noodles etc. For a sweet ending there are the regular DIVA desserts and a few special ones for Spiced such as a Spiced Mess- Lemon Grass Meringue with mascarpone cream and berry compote and the special black pepper infused chocolate fondant served with basil ice cream!

Address: 79-80, Meharchand Market (Ground & First Floor)
Contact no: 011 49051837
Meal for 2: Rs. 2200/- (without Alcohol)

New Launch: Shingora

Established three decades ago, Shingora has been offering the most spectacular products in the fashion and lifestyle spaces globally. Shingora products embrace a delicate balance between the traditional Indian designs that are lifted to suit contemporary tastes, and colors that lend it an international touch. This luxurious label offers an array of beautiful throws and cushions to match and fit every setting seamlessly. Each piece curated in this label is one of its kind, the product is developed in-house, thus not compromising on the quality of material used. This tastefully curated collection is broadly divided into three categories, each with a different look and feel to add a perfect finishing touch to your home decor.

Shingora home, www.stylecity.in Shingora home, www.stylecity.in

For the first style the design team has made an effort to revive the golden age of William Morris. A lot of medieval style tapestry motifs like wreaths, parrots, pomegranate etc are tessellated to create overall patterns in interesting 3D surfaces.Second set of the collection is inspired from the classic, traditional Paisleys. They never go out of style and complement any contemporary as well a traditional set up impeccably. The third category in this collection is inspired from modern floral edgy prints. Each piece is a conversation starter that brings quirkiness and fun to a conventional seating area.The fabrics used in making this collection vary from cotton, wool and chenille that are 100% pure. The products range is retailed at an MRP of Rs. Rs 2995 to Rs 6995.After making a mark with their home décor line in the international market, Shingora, the retailer synonymous to style and elegance launches their Home label in India via their e-commerce portal shop.shingora.net this season.

Review: Tamra, Shangri-La, New Delhi

Tamra, the new all-day dining at the Shangri-la, takes its inspiration from the early ages of culinary evolution when copper (tamra) vessels were key components. I think the concept and the visual appeal of Tamra is fabulous. Tamra brings a high level of creativity to the casual dining scenario with a large variety of food offerings from around the world. It successfully brings old world charm and presents it in a new avatar,as it borrows its decor inspiration from the early trading markets when Indian spices, jute, copper, silk, leather and other items were appreciated at shores all over the world. Even the interactive kitchens are a tribute to the early market place, where Chefs showed off their skills and produced culinary delights to sell to traders and visitors.

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Walking into Tamra was quite a pleasant surprise for me as I am not used to seeing Hotel coffee shops go through such creative ideas and style the space. Tamra has a unique five, live kitchen concept, along with an elegant wooden bar next to the entrance. Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based Stickman Design, the restaurant is a visual depiction of culinary delights from around the world. From the wheat grass lined planter boxes that form the backdrop to the continental station to Copper hanging pots that are displayed over the two infinity tables where mirrored walls provide an exaggerated view,the space gets an overall warm and convivial character

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Led by the hotels Executive Chef Martin Bracker, Tamra’s open theatre stations are Asian, Indian and regional, Japanese and Teppanyaki, homemade gelatos and a Dessert Bar, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, Breads and a Salad Bar. However despite the large Designed with intimacy in mind, Tamra has pockets of privacy screened off by decorative floor to ceiling jute rope partitions. Hanging shelves at the back of the show kitchens display decorative culinary installations and provide a quirky backdrop for the interactive kitchens while the counter tops are lined with signature dishes to showcase the food. The food itself is amazing! The variety and amount of food offered here possibly surpasses that of any other Hotel coffee shop buffet. They also have a ‘ghar ka khana’ counter which is perfect for the traveler who is missing home cooked food. Finally at Rs.2100++ (w/o alcohol) the buffet is also extremely well-priced. Piece of advice, go starving if you really want to enjoy the vast selection!

Sparkling Swarovski

Swarovski is the premium brand for the finest crystal embellishments since 1895. It is recognized for its innovative excellence, flair for trends, and its collaborations with top class designers and brands across the globe. Swarovski crystals have become a glamorous ingredient in chandeliers, floor panels, wall panels, building elements like door handles, soft furnishings, furniture and lifestyle décor accessories.

Swarovski Studded Mirror Frame
Swarovski Studded Mirror Frame
Swarovski Studded Door Handle
Swarovski Studded Door Handle

Today Swarovski leads the way forward working closely with industry experts including Anvi, Bharat Potteries, Carpet Couture, Dorset, GM Modular, Golden Lights, JJ Valaya,Luxaddi, Shimera, Stanley, Studio Plus, Tattva (Mukul Goel), Tilt (Mike Foley). These partners showcased innovative designer interior solutions like crystal inlays in marble and wood, decorative electric switches, crystal studded couture carpets and shimmering chandeliers.The precious ingredients used in the fashion, jewelry, accessories, interior and lighting industries can be recognized by the Swarovski seal.With its sophisticated design features, such as the hologram effect and tracking number, the seal serves as a certificate of authenticity that identifies products embellished with genuine Swarovski crystals.

As noted at the India Design 2015 from February 13-15, 2015 at NSIC grounds Okhla, New Delhi.