Dream Home- A Beautiful Apartment from Gerard Faivre, Paris

Gérard Faivre Paris transforms Parisian apartments and properties as ready-to-live works of art. Based on the pillars of comfort, luxury and originality, Gérard Faivre’s ‘Art Homes’ have revolutionised the Parisian property market. To transform each property into an original work of art, Gérard Faivre takes his inspiration from the soul of each home.  Depending on its atmosphere, the designer develops the perfect decor and fills it with works of art, tailor-made creations and vintage furniture.

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Transforming old apartments into prestigious homes is one of Gerard Faivre’s main talents. Beyond the decoration, each home is also equipped with electronic equipment and home automation systems.  A recent addition to his ‘Art Homes’ portfolio, this apartment was conceived as a ready to live in pied-a-terre with the view of Arc de Triomphe.  This particular apartment boasts of three lavish suites, a trio of living rooms and a sleek marble kitchen. In this home Faivre manages to create the perfect balance between clean modernism and contemporary artwork. The smooth grey tones used in the furniture and on walls balance perfectly the bold artistic elements like lighting, carpets, fireplace and painting which are eye-catching and bring a designers touch to the space. 

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Gérard Faivre Paris offers the opportunity to move into an exceptional residence without the usual constraints, which also include a dedicated concierge service similar to those found in the best Parisian Five-star hotels.

 

Brand Alert- Sicis at Milan Design Week

In the recent edition of Milano Design Week, SICIS presented its own unique vision of interior décor: contamination of styles and a balanced inspiration between classical and contemporary that offer ambiences of sophisticated comfort and elegance.

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A large residence welcomed the guests: each of the ten rooms, built and furnished according to a specific mood had been tailored on the market’s demand of originality, quality and completeness. The house opened to visitors as a magical entry, reproducing designs of the famous eighteenth century Japanese painter, Ito Jakuchu. They had thus been able to show the versatility of the VETRITE, a new and innovative covering material, used for floors and walls, to clad an entire wardrobe or a wellness room but also for exclusive panels with artistic mosaic, or table tops and other furniture.

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They had focused particular attention on the upholstered pieces, creating a series of proposals that best express the renewed textile collection TESSERE. Eclectic and harmonious, elegant and sophisticated is the style that the Company feels is its own and this year they have been able to share the same with visitors.

Parineeti Chopra’s Gorgeous Home, designed by Shabnam Gupta

Parneeti’s terrace is for laid back lounging and cheery conversations. Colourful, quirky cushions and interesting centre tables make for a unique setting. Simple home with bursts of colour is what Parineeti wished for, her interior designer Shabnam Gupta, from The Orange Lane gave her just that.

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Shabnam’s Tip, “The table can be lit with kerosene lanterns. Decorate with fairy lights, you can use them on the trees, pergola, etc. Rustic decors usually suit outdoor events really well and they can turn out really great if you pay attention to details. A simple wooden table, some miss-matched chairs and a table runner are enough to create a casual yet chic space.”

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Parineeti’s den is the area she spends most of her time. This area of her home is a mirage of colors. Shabnam took it a notch up with bright cushions in contrasting colors with fun paintings on the wall and made it the most eye-catching, fun room in the house. Shabnam says, “I am a big fan of making full use of the corner space. This could be a little corner in the living room or in the kitchen. It is a great space to unwind after a rough day.”

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Shabnam used royal blue on Parineeti’s balcony to make it enigmatic, added lots of greenery and carefully placed a swing seat to make it a cozy corner. According to Shabnam, ‘The key to create an amazing outdoor space is to have vertical garden & plants. They bring a sense of colour and depth to the space. Decorate the balcony edge with colourful potted plants to give out an air of coziness. You need some seating in order to truly sit back and relax! Place a bench on the side so you can enjoy the view from a stylish resting spot. The simpler they look the cleaner vibe they give.”

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.