We all have some special homes we associate our childhood with. One such gorgeous home is of a long time family friend, who is also a fellow blogger and an awesome person, Nivedita Sharma of d2sdesign. I call her Ditu di, and have known her since I was a year old (well, that was a long longgg time ago). My family and Ditu di were neighbors back then and have been in touch ever since.
Ditu di was always so patient with me - listening on to my endless kiddish chatter. We would play while she would make me eat all the vegetables that I would otherwise never eat at home! I still remember how her gorgeous home always had a wonderful smell of freshly baked cake...
Today, with all those happy memories in my heart, let me take you to her beautiful and breathtaking home in New Delhi.
Every corner in her home has a story.
In her words,
"This is a special spot. The idol is of Ardhanarishvara. Half Shiva and half Parvati symbolizing the masculine and feminine energies. It's one of my very favorite pieces which I picked up from Delhi national museum. This is made by an award winning craftsman with a single wax mould. Meaning that there would be just one piece like this made by that particular craftsman."
"The buddha head is an original sculpture made by the famous sculptor - Ram Sutar. He made the sculpture of Gandhi at the Parliament House in Delhi too."
"This is a place where I have some of my favorite things in the home.
The black idols are of black sandalwood from Tirupati and are of Vishnu and Lakshmi. It's a gift from my parents.
The central picture is a very old Tanjore painting of Krishna and Balram with the calf. Surprisingly both are of the same skin color and intriguingly identical.
To its left is another small Tanjore of Lakshmi which I picked up from Surajkund mela along with the wooden panel depicting Shiva, Ganesha and Parvati. These pieces were picked up when we had just got married and had started to decorate my home just like you :).
The cushions are from Good Earth. I had to pay an arm and a leg for these but it's worth it and I would do it every year during their sale :)."
Isn't her home just gorgeous with so many stories of beautiful treasures accumulated over the years, and stunning combinations of old and new!
Check out her Facebook page for more inspiration :).
Diwali may be over but the festive season continues. Today, I want to introduce you all to a very special and talented quiller artist - Vaishali Rastogi of Kagaz Kala. I came across Vaishali's work earlier this year, and have found it to be absolutely fascinating since.
Quilling, also known as paper filigree, is a form of craft, in which strips of paper are folded, rolled and glued together to create interesting designs and patterns.
Vaishali stumbled upon the world of quilling while looking for something else on the world wide web (that's when all the best ideas come, don't they?). In her words, "I first saw a you tube video on quilling while searching for something else and got extremely fascinated by it. So, I decided to give it a try. My first quilling creation was a 2D picture frame which came out very well. Subsequently, I tried a 3D Kathakali dancer, which came out beautiful too. Since then, I have continued to explore myself more in this art form".
My favorite is this Krishna below :).
Some of these sculptures have taken her more than 2 months to complete. Every last detail is perfectly finished and thought out...
Vaishali creates beautiful handmade Jewelry, sculptures and decor items.
For more of her work, check out her Facebook page here.
Meet Jyotika and Rohan, dear friends of mine who recently moved apartments within San Francisco and have been busy setting up their new home over the last few months.
I have always adored Jyotika's sense of personal style and have been pestering her to let me blog about her place. Her fun, eclectic style combined with Rohan's clean minimalism has resulted into a perfect modern glam home for the lovely couple and I couldn't wait to share it with all of you.
When I asked Jyotika about her design inspiration, she said," We love natural light and colors and wanted to create a beautiful place without it being too crowded"
The first thing you notice in the home is the amazing amount of natural light which opens into the room and how it creates more visual space. Every piece in the room looks hand picked, and the space feels warm and welcoming.
The CB2 orange sleeper sofa livens up the room instantly and doubles up as a bed when they're hosting guests. The chevron sofa table from One Kings Lane is a perfect divider between the living and the kitchen area.
The tall bookshelf and the two oversized mirrors, on the opposite sides of the room, create a visual illusion of space in the area.
The transparent chairs add to the funk in the room, and provide extra seating without impacting the visual space.
And I just love the happy yellow trunk next to the TV cabinet below. Great use of the space, while adding some smart storage.
There are so many little knick knacks that add to the character of the room...
How do you display something you love? Simple - you get it framed!!.
The paintings below are from Sanjay Patel's work- Jyotika's favorite artist. I love the depiction of Goddess Saraswati, Gautam Budda and Sita. The white frames match the wall and keep the focus on the paintings. These beautiful pieces on a white background provide a relaxed look to the room. Aren't they cute??
Here's the walkway to the bedroom...
The bedroom feels calm and soothing with the warm earthy palette. A fun red trunk placed next to the bed is perfect for storing the bedside essentials and the trunk also doubles up as a storage spot that helps tuck away all the extra stuff that tends to accumulates in the room (don't we all heart clever storage options!!).
Keeping everything else in the room simple is a great way of enhancing art. The huge canvas print above the bed surely makes a grand statement. The couple loves nature and decided to get some greenery in the room through the art. It adds the right amount of softness to make it truly comfortable. And besides, isn't it nice to wake up in a peaceful room :).
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Nothing beats the hot afternoon like cold cold coffee!!
Enjoying the beautiful autumn sunshine.
Happy Thursday :)
This little gem in the heart of Chinatown district called Shangri La Gifts, is one of my recent favorite stores in SF to pick that one-of-a-kind piece for my family and friends!
Fang Yi, the owner of the store, makes all the jewelry herself. Her gorgeous thread & silver neck pieces and beautiful bracelets will make your heart sing.
Be sure to check out this place if you are around Chinatown. You will certainly not leave empty handed. Whats your favorite piece out of these?
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If you are in SF, shopping in Chinatown is a must.
The beautiful neighborhood will welcome you with bright red festive lanterns and colorful clusters of shops. As one of the top tourist attractions, Chinatown is always packed with travelers and shoppers. You can experience both good food and great shopping here.
You can get great deals on both SF and Chinese souvenirs. From Asian art to antiques, precious stones to fun souvenirs, you can walk away feeling like you've got the best deal! The key to getting the best deal is to negotiate. Yes, negotiate on everything.
Shopping can be more fun especially when you get a great deal. So here are some of my tips on how to find a good deal.
- Don't be shy when it comes to negotiating. Shopkeepers are aware that it is a tourist-y place and they will bargain.
Never speed shop: Don't buy the first thing you like in the first shop. This is because the inventory is similar in most of the shops, so chances are that if you like something, you will get it at other shops as well, maybe even at a better price. It is very frustrating to realize that you paid double for an item which is available on the other side of the market for half what you paid.
- Set a Budget: Its important to set a budget beforehand to avoid overspending. Easy to get carried away in a place like this, especially when you see the lower price tags.
- Do not be the first to quote a price: Always ask for the best price they can offer, once the shopkeeper quotes a price, offer half of it as yours. If he says no, be ready to walk away. Chances are he will not let you go and hence give you the item either at your price or slightly above what you quoted.
- Carry cash and smaller bills: The shop owners here prefer cash transactions. It is also easier to bargain when you say that you have limited cash. Try not to show the larger bills. You can't get a $30 worth artifact for $15 if you show a $100 bill.
- Ask for additional discounts: Even if the item is not on sale, go ahead and still ask for a discount. You will be surprised at what they may offer.
I hope these tips and tricks help you in getting the deal of the day. Tell me about your shopping tips too :).
Happy shopping :)
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Summer here in San Francisco is in full swing and I am enjoying every bit of this beautiful warm sunshine! Its perfect weather to walk around the streets and discover the hidden treasures of the city. So I decided to spend my afternoon in the colorful neighborhood of Chinatown.
SF's Chinatown is supposed to be the largest Chinatown outside Asia. It is one of the top tourist attractions in SF and the best way to explore it is by walking through these colorful streets. I have really enjoyed exploring Chinatown so far... In fact, the more I come here, the more I discover...
The 24 block area is full of shops, restaurants, museum, and temples. If you're visiting, my recommendation would be to start from Grant Ave at Bush. This is the gateway to Chinatown, a big Dragon Gate welcomes you to the main streets of Chinatown. Notice how the street's name is mentioned in Chinese on the entwined dragon lampposts.
There are a lot of stores selling a variety of antique pieces, interesting Chinese souvenirs, furniture, etc. Chinatown also has a bunch of amazing bakeries and tea shops. Take a break from of your shopping spree and sip the tea at the oldest and the first tea house in SF, Hang Ah Tea Room.
Grant street is lined up with shops selling the colorful Asian furniture and inexpensive souvenirs. Stockton street is where you will find more locals doing their grocery shopping.
From antique and souvenir shops to restaurants, authentic Chinese vegetable shops to Chinese temples and churches - Chinatown has it all!
Sharing my tips on how to shop in Chinatown here.
I came across Noelle's miniature garden at a fair in Oakland and wanted to share how beautiful small things can be. It reminded me of my childhood days when I used to play with little cups and saucers, and my tiny little kitchen set :).
Succulents are a perfect choice of plant for a miniature garden. A low maintenance plant, they need water just once a week and for a forgetful gardener like me, they are exactly what I can manage!
It's so amazing to see how Noelle has grown these little beauties in absolutely any cute looking "pot". The size of the container can be as small as a quarter, but that doesn't limit her creativity.
I couldn't stop adoring these baby succulents.
Aren't these cute! Tell me what you think :).
You can check more of her work on her FB page here.