Store in Focus- Baro, Mumbai

In 2014, began a furniture experiment at the Highlight Films office in the commercial hub of Mumbai. It involved handmade furniture in reclaimed and old teak, largely speaking the mid- century modern language. In the course of two years the visitors were pleasantly surprised by what they found here. The experiment propelled the next steps and the concept evolved into a brand that has its own identity but draws on the ideas and inspiration that sparked Highlight Living. This is the genesis of BARO. The vision: a seamless union of aesthetics, ethics and ergonomics.

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The furniture collection consists mainly of co-founder Siddharth Sirohi’s designs, heavily influenced by the timeless mid-century modern movement, with a particular attention to the balance between form and function. The pieces are manufactured locally, using only reclaimed, weathered teak and an entirely natural linseed oil and beeswax polish. The approach is old school, relying on traditional wood joinery methods, but the result is as timeless as it is contemporary.

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Apart from original designs, one can also expect to find pieces of vintage furniture, which have been restored to an exquisite new form. Whether original pieces or restored classics, BARO furniture is a nod to the cherished wabi-sabi aesthetic. The accent is on the essence of a thing, with all its charms and flaws, rather than cosmetic appeal. When an old piece is restored, it is not to hide its natural ageing, but to celebrate it. And when a new piece is modelled, it is keeping in mind the principles of balance and transience.

Store address:
12, Sun Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Mirror Magic

Mirrors can be used for a lot of significant roles in the home. It is not vanity alone, mirrors make for great statement pieces and are a great decor accessory which can add flair to any room. There are tons of ways you can use mirrors to enhance your space, here are a few.

Create Illusion– Yup! Mirrors are a great way to create illusion of space or make a dark room seem brighter. Have an entire wall cladded with mirror if you have a small space and want to create illusion of space. To increase brightness, go in for a large decorative mirror on the wall opposite the light source. It will reflect the light and add brightness to the room.
Wall Art– If your budget does not allow you to invest in expensive art work, mirrors work as great statement pieces. Get a large mirror with an elaborate frame and place it above a console in the living room or hall. Another idea is to put mirrors of different sizes in different shaped frames on a wall in either of the two rooms. Another way, create an antiqued mirror wall and then hang smaller mirrors in various frames on the wall.
Dramatic Statement– Instead of hanging the mirror or mirrors on a wall, you can also place a large mirror with a carved frame on the floor. This is perfect for the Dining room and Living room. But be careful while angling the mirror so it shows only the best reflection in the room. If you really want to experiment you can also have the ceiling covered in mirrors or mirror mosaics. In the bathroom, why not have a dramtic mirror placed above the Bathtub instead of just the washbasin.
Out of the Box– Besides the wall mirrors can also be used as accessories. Create a tray out of an old mirror, or use mirror to clad old furniture, for instance the top of a coffee table or side table. Think convex mirrors in various sizes instead of usual flat ones to give the space an attractive appeal.
DIY Ideas– To give an old mirror a new lease to life, you can do some stencil work and paint a border around the mirror. Or wrap a ribbon around the frame. Another suggestion, stick small mirror pieces or shells on the frame.More ideas here

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Even though I am not superstitious, atleast no more than the average person, I still feel there is no harm in listening to what Feng Shui has got to say about the placement of mirrors. Since mirrors play a large part in Feng Shui “cure”. (Inputs courtesy http://www.feng-shui-vibes.com/feng-shui-mirror.html)

  • Choose clear, non-distorted mirrors (no ripples) and no mirror tiles.  Tiled mirrors break up energy and add confusion to the reflected image.
  • Clean your mirrors frequently to ensure a clear image.
  • Make sure that your mirrors reflect beautiful surroundings.   Position mirrors to pick up pleasing views of the outdoors whenever possible.
  • Place a Foyer Mirror to the side of the Front Door – never directly across from the Front Door. A mirror placed across from the Front Door represents strong repelling energy and can push anyone entering there right back out the door!
  • Place square & rectangle shapes for balance; Octagonal shapes for power; Circular shapes for unity.
  • Hang high enough to see your entire head; no chopped heads or  the viewer may be challenged with a negative self-image.
  • Place behind the Kitchen stove.  A mirror hung behind the stove top burners magnifies Wealth.
  • While working in the Kitchen, the cook should be in the Command Position, that is, able to see all entrances.  If the cook’s back is to a Kitchen door, hang a mirror over the cook’s workspace so that anyone coming through the door can be seen right away.
  • Use sparingly in the Bedroom for better sleeping; cover at night if the mirror is large or placed on your path to the bathroom.
  • Avoid hanging mirrors directly across from each other.
  • Hang above your desk or computer if your back is facing a door.
  • Decorative mirrors are most effective when placed in a positiion to capture the reflection of a beautiful scene or object.  With careful Bagua irror placement, you can enjoy a  lovely view twice – the actual image and its framed reflection

The flip side of Dusshera

Dusshera is a Hindu festival which as per the most popular folk lore symbolises the destruction of demon God Ravana, by the diety Rama. However, not all of India celebrates the festival by burning the effigy of Ravana. In fact a lot of the country worships him on this day.

Ravana was the greatest follower of Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a master musician. His ten heads represent his knowledge of the six shastras and the four Vedas. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Siddha,”The Oldest traditional treatment system” and political science. On his deathbed Ravana taught Politics lessons to Laxamana, the brother of Rama who had defeated him. He shared experiences from his own life and guided him to have always good relations with charioteer, cook, gatekeeper and his brothers, because those are the persons who can harm you most.He advised Lakshmana never to underestimate strength of his enemy.He asked Lakshmana to always believe in astrology and movement of stars which can never be wrong.He told him to trust a minister who criticizes,a mistake he made in case of his brother Vibhishan.Ravana was a great musician, who designed his own string instrument calledRavana Veena.He also invented the bow of the violin. He also narrated very first Ragas. He composed Shiv Tandav, most valuable work on praise of Lord Shiva.

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The Hindu

Which is why in a lot of parts of Madhya Pradesh, Himachal and Maharashtra he is worshipped. One of my personal experiences of Ravana Pooja include Beer, Red meat and wine. Oh, we also worship the instrument which is most representative of your work ie calculator for an accountant, measuring tape for a designer, pen for a writer etc. It is one of the most fun puja’s I have ever attended and definitely a must for once in a lifetime experience.

Spa Magic at Home

Spas have become a big rage and trend around the world. Especially since our hectic lifestyles and travels leave our skins dehyderated and bodies absolutely tired. I for one try to fit in a Spa appointment atleast once a month, and especially if I am travelling I try to take time out to visit the hotel spa atleast for a massage if nothing else. I know alot of people who do the same and I am sure none of us would mind having such handy tips at home to soothe our senses once in a while. Here again the Small luxury Hotels of the Worl (SLH) team has put together a few tips on how we can create a Spa at Home.

Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France

Delphine Duffours, Spa Manager, Les Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa

“Relaxation is a question of atmosphere – even in the most ordinary bathroom, you can recreate the atmosphere of a luxury spa, thanks to some accessories and products. Here are my 4 tips to spa bliss in your own home – firstly put some scented candles around your bath. A soft light and fragrance will fill your bathroom, for an immediate sensation of well-being. Secondly, put on some soothing music. Classical, background music or natural sounds, choose what has the most relaxing effect on you. Then – take your time. Be sure that you won’t be interrupted during this “spa session”, give yourself some time to focus on your well being. Prepare yourself a cup of green tea and a plate of fresh fruits high in potassium, like banana, kiwi, or avocado, to help relieve stress and anxiety.Finally, choose new beauty products, with soft textures and delicate fragrances. Take care of your body with a scrub, take time for a facial mask, massage and moisturize your body and your face.”

 Huvafen Fushi, NIYAMA and Desert Palm, Per AQUUM Retreats, Maldives – 

Jason Sloan, Group Director of Spa, Per AQUUM Retreats

Home scrub for skin like velvet, it works! Mix up some medium coarse salt or sugar (sugar is milder in texture and better for sensitive skin), cover the sugar/salt in grape-seed oil and some lavender essential oil. After being in the warm to hot bath for five minutes the skin has softened enough for you to scrub your legs arms and body as you bathe, the scrubbing circular action will remove dead skin and the oils will nourish, soothe and heal. Use with a loofah or exfoliating gloves if you wish. After the bath, shower with warm water to remove excess oils and pat dry, moisturise if necessary.

For a very gentle effective face peel; wash your face with a mild PH balanced cleanser. Mix fresh lemon juice with live natural unsweetened yoghurt leave on your face for 15 minutes (avoid eye area) and gently wash your face. Use a gentle toner and apply moisturiser. Very deep cleansing – try this regime 3 times a week and see the difference.Bring your spa to your bed – try adding lavender/rosewood to the final rinse in your wash cycle for your sheets!”

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

Choose your Art

Choosing Art work for the house can seem like a very daunting experience. Especially since art is an expensive investment and a very impactful one at that. Noone wants to make the wrong desicion. Here we have a few people from the team of Small luxury hotels of the World (SLH) give us tips on how we can choose the right art work for our house, particularly the living and bedroom.

Pudi Boutique Hotel, Shanghai, China

Janet Bao, General Manager, Pudi Boutique Hotel

“The moment they step into the lobby here at Pudi Boutique Hotel, guests feel as if they are staying in an art gallery. We mix oil paintings and sculpture from young Chinese artists with a modern style. Guests may purchase these art works and take them home to add to their own collection. A few tips I’d offer when choosing art for your own home – choose a painting the width of your mattress to hang over your bed for dramatic effect in the bedroom – pick out colours from the painting in your cushions and bedding too. It is well worth investing in special lighting to highlight your artwork. And I like to choose one colour as a central theme and select pieces incorporating this colour to draw my whole art collection together – at Pudi Boutique Hotel red copper is featured in most of our artwork to add a strongShanghai feel.”

The George, Christchurch, New Zealand

Bruce Garrett, General Manager, The George

“In the bedroom you can use symmetry for maximum impact with matching lamps and cushions and a bigger bed head or panel with a horizontal frame to create a dramatic and stylish effect. Use neutral colours throughout with a pop of colour in each piece of artwork to make it stand out. It’s also effective to use one theme (like a region, or era – here at The George our themes include iconic images of our city in the guest rooms and NZ artists throughout the hotel) and then have different types of artwork based on the same theme including photography and pieces from different artists throughout your home. Choose matching frames in a row to pull your artwork together and use spotlighting to highlight each piece.”

To check out more tips on how to create hotel style at your 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.

 

Review: Flick a Dish Cafe, New Delhi

Having stayed away from home in a different city for almost 4 years, I know that nothing can take away the feeling of missing Home cooked food. As a matter of fact, eating out is just never as good and given the crazy lifestyle we all lead, cooking dinner each day seems like very difficult task, so we end up avoiding doing so. Keeping this concept of ‘Ghar ka Khana’ in mind we have a new cosy cafe, called Flick a dish.

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The cafe looks like someones living room, with red walls and curios across the walls, vintage table clothes, antique teapots and old Bollywood movie posters. A little off the main Ring road in Delhi, the idea behind this cafe is to satiate all those desires for home cooked food. Most dishes have kept authentic flavours in mind, but there are a few experimental dishes like Omelette curry. We wanted to have a simple meal, so besides the omelette we tried the Paneer Mumtaz and Chicken Korma along with Tawa roti. But even most other dishes like Chicken Pakora, Baked mushroom in white sauce, Malai Kofta, Mutton cutlets and mutton chops looked quite delicious, a must try for next time and looked right out of our grandmothers kitchen. IMG_6347

The restaurant is run by Mrs Jyoti Mathur, the author of ‘My Cooking Recipe book for Special Children’, who believes in making every meal a memorable experience. With a very simple menu, the experience is definitely something I would recommend you go for if you are craving a simple no fuss meal in what could be your grandmothers living room.    

Name: Flick A Dish Cafe
Address: A-66, Dayanand Colony, Lajpat Nagar-4, New Delhi – 110024
Contact: 011-26472292-93, 9810115058
Timings: 12 noon till 11pm
Meal for two: Rs 800

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!