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;
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.
Colour me bright
The 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.
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.
Scent of rain
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Do let me know how these tips work out for transforming your room to and Indian Inspired room.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
It is a pleasant surprise and joy to see bright and quirky interiors in an Asian restaurant, namely Chew Pan Asian cafe, which is such a contrast from the usual sombre and zen interiors usually associated with Asian restaurants. But the decor is just the start as the food is equally delightful and unique. Launched in January 2014, Chew Pan Asian is all about experimentation with Pan Asian cuisine. The menu boasts of Chinese , Japanese , Thai and the Indonesian Cuisine and also boasts of an open kitchen as well as a live Teppanyaki grill.
Spread over 2500 sq.ft. area the interiors of the restaurant are vibrant yet comforting. Walls adorned with the eye-catching black and white Aztec-patterned tiles have been carefully contrasted with Dholpur stone. Chew is a quirky, hip and vibrant restaurant. The furniture is a mix blend of booth sofa sitting, swing seats and turquoise blue chairs that make the dining experience at Chew super comfortable and fun! Asian inspirations within the space come in the form of carefully hand-picked ceramic plates and posters that adorn the walls and the elongated spice rack that features spices from Asia! My style pick was definitely the swing chairs which had been anchored to the floor, but as cool as they looked they also looked a bit uncomfortable, but then style before comfort I say!I also loved the wall with one liners, that included lines like “All you need is love, but also a little chocolate”, those pretty much made my day.
The menu much like the decor of the place is quirky and fun. It is appealing and makes one want to actually read the menu without it seeming like an ordeal. For food, we asked the chef to get us small portions so we could try the various dishes on the menu. We started with the chew special house salad, which unlike what is expect from Asian dishes was actually not very sweet but quite fresh and light. We wanted to avoid Japanese dishes as it seems recently all we have eaten is Japanese food, so we stuck to other asian dishes. Of course the highlight was the various dumplings where they have something called crystal dumplings which i have never eaten before, but am glad I did as they were lighter than regular dumplings and we tried almost all on the menu. For mains we had Stir friend prawns and Chicken meat teriyaki with some steamed rice and some braised vegetables. We were very happy with both the service as well as the quality of our food. We ended with some Tiramisu and finger-licking chocolate molten cake. I would absolutely go back and have already recommended the venue to various people. Do try it for yourself!
Address: First Floor, M16, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone: 011 41516164
Price: Rs.2,000 for two
Industry stalwarts, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna best known for their contemporary aesthetic in fashion, recently launched their new flagship store on the main strip in Defence Colony, a prime hub of luxury lifestyle in New Delhi. At the launch of their new flagship store; the duo showed their support to the freedom of expression and love over an evening of style and panache. The theme could be seen splashed across their visual merchandize, through installations of mannequins in position depicting affection, while the branding clearly spelled out ‘ Freedom of Love’.
The label has always had great emphasis on silhouettes and detailing wherein the core influence’s have been contemporary modern art, linear structures and geometric lines. This passion for minimalism has been translated in the look of the store.Two spectacular floors, a ground and a basement offer a selection of their menswear and women’s wear. The design reflects the signature sensibility of modern edge.Raw concrete merges with metallic elements. There are lacquered glass panels, walnut brown color tones and signature gunmetal finishes. Contemporary art bring visual impact to the space.At the very entrance of the store is a large metallic and blown glass chandelier. Klove especially conceptualized this statement piece for the store. The piece in a twist of design and innovation embodies the logo of the brand.
The store much like the duo’s collections is true to the brand’s core aesthetic wherein each element personifies what the label has stood for, for the past 16 years.
Store Address: D-15, Defence Colony, New Delhi
Phone: 011 40578474 & 011 46594447