Spring in my steps

My favourite season in the whole year is finally here- Spring! I think it’s the best weather in the year- I hate when it’s too hot or too cold or too mucky, and even though pre-winter i.e autumn has similar weather, there is just something super optimistic about Spring. It could be that you finally see bare trees coming back to life or the chirping of birds, everything about Spring wants to make me sing and dance. Also I think spring indicates going away of the old and beginning of new, ‘a fresh new start’. So here I gathered ways for you to bring Spring indoors, right up to your living room.

Flower arrangementFlora and Fauna– Nothing spells freshness like flowers, so bring them home and lots of them. The best thing about spring there is no shortage of options; bring in big bunches of flowers like Daisies and roses and display them in vintage bottles, or fill up urns with water and float Gerbera’s and Marigolds. Potted plants are also a great way to bring in the outdoors. If you don’t have a garden or balcony, you can bring in small potted plants on your window sills and can even grow your own fresh herbs like coriander, mustard, fennel and even onions. Fresh fruits also add the feeling of natural energy, display them in rustic baskets for the feeling of a country cottage.
DIY– Add aroma oils like lavender and lemon in small drops on towels and pillow cases.

Let there be light– Yes, I am referring to natural light, nothing adds warmth and room to a space more than light. You can get rid of all the heavy and dark upholstery for lighter options i.e Cotton and sheers in place of silk and velvet. I am referring not only to windows but general upholstery like cushions and bed covers all need a make over.
DIY– if you don’t have sufficient windows, add art work that show cases out-door scenes.

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Table setting
http://www.citrusandorange.blogspot.in/

Touch of nature– Natural fibers and materials like Rattan, wicker and jute are all great ways to create a sense of outdoors in your home. Used innovatively they help create a relaxing environment. For flooring go in for natural options like wood, cork and bamboo in rugs go in for Jute, coir and sisal. One of my favorite options is getting in grass walls. Real grass walls if grown need to be taken off in a month unless you bring in the whole irrigation system, else you always have the option of going in for a faux grass wall.
DIY– make napkin ties with flowers and leaves a perfect way to add nature to your dinner party.

Less is more– Here I am referring to furniture and accessories. The heavy, ornate pieces which are anyway a rare find in apartments now days and are better suited to a bungalow or house, definitely don’t find any place in spring decor. For those who like me have a soft-spot for these, go for the unpolished look or get them painted in white or other bright colours. Instead of changing your sofa, slip-covers in natural material and colours are a great option with lots of bright cushions. Mirrors as I mentioned before if placed well can make a space look roomy and are perfect accessories, along with Parisian screens.
DIY– Chains, beads and even broken bangles make great room dividers.

Style At Home Magazine, Samantha Pynn House, March 12, 2008
Style At Home Magazine, Samantha Pynn House, March 12, 2008

Colours me softly– The fact that soft shades like lavender, peach, mellow yellow, mint green and pastel pink are spring shades is a no-brainer, but add to that the right prints and you have the perfect spring room. Though florals are always in vogue during spring, I feel birds are going to be huge this Spring, not just in print but also in texture, with feathers on accessories.
DIY– Spray paint old accessories in bright colours for a new look.

Cshellsoastal tide– Nothing makes me happier than spending time on a beach. And with spring, that is something I feel closer to achieving. So bring home the beach with shells and river rocks. Fill in large glass jars with different river rocks, arrange baskets and shelves with Sea-shells. Place potted fishtail palms in your house.
DIY-create memory jars by filling glass jars with sand,shells and photos of your vacations.

Focus:Spring is in the air

Finally the cold winters are exiting and I can feel glorious Spring in the year. Unfortunately, it is too short-lived in India; mid March it will be closer to summer than spring, but till then we have a few weeks to enjoy this beautiful weather with amazing picnic and brunches.So get together a hamper of goodies and set off with your partner for a romantic date (Valentine day is just around the corner) or with your friends for a fun day out by the country-side(even a park in your locality or city will do!)

Photograph by-Karolina GembaraStyled by-Aparna Kaistha
Photograph by-Karolina Gembara
Styled by-Aparna Kaistha

From Left to Right
1. Wooden Tray, Goodearth, Rs.362 2.Jars, Pearlpet, Rs.60 each 3.Vintage Bottle, FCML,Price on Request 4.Quilt, Home Stop, Rs.2,099 5.Elan Amphora Love pitcher, Crazy Daisy, Rs.1,050 6.Wicker Basket, Home Stop, Rs.1,099 7.Flowers, Home Stop, Rs.799 8.Cushion, Home Stop, Rs.499 9.Ice Vodka, Local Wine Shop, Rs.750

Photograph by-Karolina GembaraStyled by-Aparna Kaistha
Photograph by-Karolina Gembara
Styled by-Aparna Kaistha

I think cocktails/punches are a perfect addition to any brunch or picnic. Also if you are like me who avoids cooking at any cost they are great lifesavers so it looks like you made effort and did not just get something from the shop. Thanks to IICE Vodka here we have a few refreshing recipes for the perfect brunch cocktails(recipe for one drink so decide quantity according to the amount of people)

MANGO CREAMY BUSTER

Photograph by-Karolina GembaraStyled by-Aparna Kaistha
Photograph by-Karolina Gembara
Styled by-Aparna Kaistha

Ingredients
1. 45ml Vodka
2. 60ml Mango juice
3. 30ml Club Soda
4. 30ml Mango Ice-cream
Preparation
Mix the Vodka, Mango juice and Club Soda in a Tall glass. Garnish with Mango Ice-cream.IICE Splash
Ingredients
1.30ml Green Apple Vodka
2.30ml Coconut Water
3.1 small kiwi or half large kiwi, peeled
4.60ml Apple juice
5.148ml Lemon Syrup
Preparation
Pour the Green Apple vodka,Coconut water, Apple juice and lemon syrup into a cocktail maker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a high ball glass. Garnish with Kiwis.

Trend- Peacock Dance

Trend- Peacock DanceThe Peacock motif and colours have been quite a favourite with the designers the past few seasons, and seems like the trend carries on.. Mix the Peacock hues of Royal Blue, Emerald green and a Dash of ochre/purple and continue with this vibrant hue and peacock motifs in your decor and lifestyle

Banish your Summer Blues

Season as we know have a huge impact on our mood. So though it is mostly cold dreary winter nights with no warmth or sunlight which gets us depressed but boiling summer heat can gets us quite cranky and irritable as well. I mean no one living in a warm country like India wants to do anything but sit in a chilled space till these summer months pass. Well I know different things work for different people, but here is a list of things which always get me feeling a little less moody and I hope they make you feel less blue too.

Back to nature– Yes, I know everyone is always telling us to connect with nature, but it really does help. So if you cannot take that much-needed vacation to go on the beach or mountains, try to include nature in your day-to-day activity either by going for a walk or playing an outdoor sport. Else try to incorporate at least two outdoor meals a week in your schedule. Seriously, alfresco dining is a great mood enhancer, so why not make a small setting in your balcony,terrace or garden. Most guys find pasta and soup comforting and women find off the rack food like chips and chocolate soothing. So plan your alfresco meal combining both options with pasta and chocolate cake and serve it with a beautiful bottle of wine.

Use your senses– I mean that literally! Smell has a very strong impact on our mood, so while certain perfumes make us feel warm by reminding us of our parents or grandparents, similarly certain food items, like freshly baked bread or pickle which are associated with happy childhood memories make us feel instantly relaxed. So keeping these associations in mind, light incense that smells like rose, lavender and ylang ylang in your home or work space. Another suggestion is to spray a bit of these smells on your pillow before sleeping, they are supposed to be great stress relievers.Touch therapy is supposed to be another great mood enhancer. So go in for a nice massage, it is supposed to have a great impact on your mood. Check out the ones I tried out here and here.

Ideas to Steal

Colour, Colour, Colour– I cannot emphasize enough on the impact of colour on our moods. Even though I am a bright colour kind of person but too much brightness could be overpowering and can turn out to be a mood dampener, so use colour smartly in your home. For instance red is great for dining rooms as it promotes social and lively feelings but a no-no for children’s bedrooms as it can be too overpowering. It is best instead to use it in moderation, with either doing up one wall or having red accessories. Pink especially fuchsia can be great to induce passion into your lives, but can seem too girly so is best when mixed with charcoal. Orange is again great for living and dining areas, especially as this warm hue adds stability. Green is a very calming and restful colour and adds to the feeling of stability and balance. But one has to be careful that too much of green can make a person very laid back. Blue is another colour which has a calming and soothing effect. It also promotes intellectual thoughts. Sunshine yellow is another colour that is great for kitchens and living rooms as it stimulates energy and intellect. If you cannot go in for a complete change of colour you can always add accessories in these colours depending on what area in your life you want to enhance.

Besides the above constantly challenge your body and mind. We tend to get stuck in a rut and don’t bother with new things, for instance take up a new hobby. Activities that give us an adrenaline rush are supposed to be great mood enhancers. Same can be said for mental exercises in form of crossword puzzles and Sudoku challenges.