Thursday, May 31, 2012

Silk Road Tribal

For all you fans of bohemian style, especially those of you in the United States, here is a great resource for jewelry, apparel and other tribal textiles. Owner Katherine Erickson of Silk Road Tribal offers you a selection of products sourced from gypsy tribes all over the world and at very affordable prices. I am partial to these mirror work textiles myself and think that these would make great decor accessories though they are originally intended as belts.
I found these small pieces fascinating. Apparently, these are worn by the banjaras in India as a neck covering. 

Visit Silk Road Tribal here.

Image credits/copyright: Silk Road Tribal

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Show and tell on OUATT: Sanghamitra's Home

I like doing this feature on Once Upon A Tea Time where I hear from people about the favorite corners of their home. Sanghamitra of the blog, Rainbow: The Colors of India sent in pictures of her Singapore home and true to the title of her blog, the pictures are vibrant and colorful and evoke the mysticism of the East.

"Spaces which are elegantly interesting and dramatically bold always attract me. 
I believe an easy and eco-friendly decor, blended with effortless relaxed approach is perfect for my organic home. At the end of a long tiring day I love to unwind here (at this little spot) with some good books and strong black coffee. This is another 'green corner' from my 'eclectic-whimsy' home...lovingly filled with happy colours, textures, a few treasures collected from our travel to different countries and lots of personal touches. " 

Sanghamitra has been very kind and at my request, shared images without any watermark, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could credit it to her if you decide to pin it, share it on Tumblr etc. 
Thank you for sharing your pictures, Sanghamitra!

If you haven't already, I urge you to send pictures so that we may all admire your style :)!

Image credits/copyright: Sangamithra Bhattacharjee.

Contemporary Block Prints

I am always blogging about block prints and I wanted to share with you a resource for contemporary block printed designs. Check out the selection of products at the JibberinzT store on Etsy. They are handprinted with natural dyes and patterns are not your usual blockprinted fruits and flowers. I love the ones with the cityscape/skylines!

Visit JibberinzT on Etsy here

Image credits/copyright: JibberinzT. Thanks, Ruchika!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

House Beautiful

I received my June issue of House Beautiful in the mail today and I just had to blog about it. It is an issue that you will want to keep because of the many luscious homes featured. It resonated with me on so many levels. There are homes with bright white walls, something I adore, and with entire walls covered with pictures. Anyone that visits my home is always a little taken aback at the number of pictures on any given wall. I don't follow any particular style or order; I hang what I like and if I run out of wall space, I lean them on the ground. It is so important to add yourself to the mix that is your home, no? It may not be everyone's cup of tea but if you love a particular idea or style (and after all, it is you that lives there), go for it. But I am digressing. The HB June issue is for everyone that loves great interior design but especially for those who like homes with personality: their own and that of their owners.
Let me also say that it is wonderful to note how commonplace and popular globally inspired fabrics have become. You can easily spot a kilim here or an ikat there and it has become natural for these to occupy a striking pride of place in the home. Go, get your copy now or digitally subscribe at Zinio.

Visit House Beautiful here

Image credits/copyright: Photography on the cover by Jonny Valiant and Interior design by Zim Loy; 2.) Photography by Ngoc Minh Ngo and Interior design by Kevin Fulk; 3) Photography by Amy Neunsinger and Interior design by Betsy Burnham

Jill Rosenwald's Prout's Poppy Ball Lamp

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness." John Keats 

That is exactly what I feel about Jill Rosenwald's Prout's Poppy Ball Lamp. I would find myself stopping and smiling at it everything I happened to pass by. Keats was talking about nature but I think this lamp qualifies too! 
Visit the Jill Rosenwald Studio here.

Image credits/copyright: Jill Rosenwald Studio.

A Perfect Room: Gil Schafer

This room is my idea of perfection. It is the family room of a home designed by Gil Schafer and is featured in the June issue of Architectural Digest. It has so many things I love: wooden beams on the ceiling creating a cozy, gentlemen's club like atmosphere, inviting seating surrounded by bookshelves and a view of the outside (you know, the suzani figures in there somewhere too!). Do visit AD for pictures of the entire house (the most lovely bathroom!). 

Image credits/copyright: Featured in Architectural Digest. Photography by Eric Piasecki

Monday, May 28, 2012

Inviting You to Once Upon A Tea Time

Pretty as a picture

It's that time of the year again! I am inviting you to Once Upon A Tea Time! Please send in your favorite room or corner of the house (or even pictures of your entire house) accompanied by a brief description of why you like it so much. Maybe it brings a smile to your face every time you look at it? Or it's the one place in your home that you gravitate to? Or it is a labor of love that you want to share with others?
I would love for you share with me and the readers of Once Upon A Tea Time. I am hoping to hear from many of you! Remember it's not a contest, just a show and tell among friends.

Technical details: It is better if the pictures are taken in daylight and no flash photography, please.

Summer Inspiration from Graham and Green

The temperatures in the Bay area today are only going to hit the low 60's which I think is unusual for this time of the year. But it doesn't stop me from dreaming of summer. I associate white with summer: white flyaway voile curtains, slipcovers and even the wall color which is why I really like the new summer collection at Graham and Green (UK).

Light and airy and the perfect way to beat the heat! Now, if only the heat would get here...

Visit Graham and Green (UK) here

Image credits/copyright: Graham an Green (UK)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Tea Party for Two

This weekend, I got an entire afternoon to play house and to plan a tea party for two. There is nothing I like more than tea and a cosy tête-à-tête. The weather was very cooperative and though the last two days started off cold and cloudy, golden sunshine warmed the garden by mid-afternoon. I chose one of the rustic tables that R has constructed for the backyard from reclaimed wood and covered it with a vintage tapestry. I have to tell you I am amassing a small collection of these. I bought some in India and 1 or 2 locally at stores in Berkeley. I prefer slightly less predictable colors like pinks and mauves, creams and greys more than the usual reds and yellows.  The setup is easy as it's just the two of us. I corralled tiny pots onto an old silver tray and then added a sprig of lavender colored flowers (whose name I do not know as it was a gift from a friend's garden). 
While I was planning the simple table layout in my head, I happened to drop in at the local World Market and what should I find there but lots of Diamond Jubilee inspired British memorabilia. There was even a figurine of the Queen in a matching lavender dress. 
(The quirky thing about this doll is that there is a solar panel on the handbag and given enough sunlight, Her Majesty waves gracefully!)

What is tea without the Queen?!

Now the menu. There is masala chai perfectly accompanied by thinly sliced mint chutney and cucumber sandwiches. And for dessert, there are Mahinder's Lemon Tarts. Don't they look tempting?! 

There are many recipes for making perfect lemon tarts from scratch but in the interest of time,  I use a very quick and easy method that I learnt from Mahinder (of course!), a kindly cook that worked for some friends back in the day in Muscat and who always sneaked an extra helping of dessert to the kids.

All you need are ready to bake pie crust sheets from the refrigerated section of your local grocery store and lemon curd (I always use this). Roll the sheets out and cut out circles using a cookie cutter. Bake these in a muffin pan according to the directions on the box. Remove, cool and then scoop lemon curd onto the shells. Top with your favorite fruit and the lemon tarts are ready. Tea is served!

All photographs taken by me. 

True Blue from Ikea

Ikea's India-inspired True Blue collection that is slated to hit stores in June is tempting on so many levels. India-inspired? Yes, please. Indigo? Of course! I like most shades of dark blue but indigo is the one that pushes me over the edge, from a mere like to adoration.

(This cabinet is coming home with me!)

Visit Livet Hemma here to get all the details.

Image credits/copyright: Ikea. Photography by Patric Johansson. Stylist: Anna Dolata

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Postcard from My Life

I am so ready for the coming weekend. The week was busy (and that is pretty much the story of all my weeks) but I can't complain. I am doing what I love, both at work and with blogging, so I am okay. What are your plans for the weekend? Mine involves a hefty dose of relaxation and maybe a book or two, just like the image suggests. This inviting picture is from Garnet Hill featuring their Preppy Paisley collection. It somehow has a colonial feel to it- maybe the style of bed? The whole room with its books and bookcase ladder, sloping roof and the white serenity of the walls  is my idea of a perfect room. Do you like it? 
I am also going to be visiting with  some old friends, baking a cake or two and getting plenty of rest. 
Events of the last few years put me through a wringer and I have come to cherish every moment of mundane routine as much as those filled with excitement. 
Here is wishing you a wonderful weekend! I won't say see you until next week because the more time I have on my hands, the more I tend to blog. So, do come back for a visit!

Visit Garnet Hill here.
Image credits/copyright: Garnet Hill

Modelli Creations

I heard from founder Sangeeta Gupta about her company Modelli Creations that offers handcrafted products made in the Eastern tradition. There are colorful throw and floor pillows, embroidered poufs, throws, vintage trunks, crewelwork that looks like icing on a cake and plenty of found objects looking for a loving home. Need I say more?

Visit Modelli Creations here.

Image credits/copyright: Modelli Creations.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Global Design Odyssey

I hope this long-ish post will make up for the fact that I wasn't able to blog earlier in the day. I  love ethnic fabrics and a kind of 'bohemian eclectic' decor style. I don't know if it is because I am partial to this style or whether more and more designers and homeowners are making use of vibrant globally-inspired prints and patterns, but I am spotting these everywhere. They have emboldened me (I am a cream/white walls and neutrals kind of person) to try and incorporate it in my own home and I find myself adding a bright ikat here or a richly embroidered pink tapestry there. What is interesting is that many of the motifs and colors are inspired by Eastern traditions. I was born in India and as a child, I was surrounded by its rich fabric and design history. Paisleys, ikats, batiks, block prints of plants and blooms and the ever-popular elephants, tie-dyes, crewel work, kantha and other types of embroidery, mirror work: you name it, we had it and in every color possible. You could spot the patterns on sari's, on cashmere stoles, scarves and shawls, rampant on bed linen and other fabrics for the home and even on bags and jewelry. To see them in a new contemporary light and setting, is to fall in love with them again.
I want to share with you some beautiful examples that have caught my eye lately.

Image credits/links/copyright: 1.) Photography by Valerie Wilcox for Covet Garden; 2.) Interior Design by Nick Olsen; Photography by John Bessler; As featured in Trad Home; 3.) Interior Design by Palmer Weiss; Photography by Matthew Millman; As featured in Trad Home; 4.) Interior design by Christina Murphy; Photography by Jonny Valiant; As featured in House Beautiful, May 2012; 5.) John Robshaw; 6.) Eileen Fisher Home for Garnet Hill; 7.) Photography by Stacey Brandford; As seen on Style at Home (CA).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Viva Terra

How GORGEOUS is that recycled teak wood Lotus Panel from VivaTerra?! I am in complete awe of the talent of the Thailand craftsmen that hand carved the intricate design. It reminds me of the  wooden blocks used for block printing and the painstaking efforts that go into carving them. The pretty kantha upholstered chairs are doing their best to grab your attention, aren't they? I love how inviting they look. 
There is also a Lotus Teak panel headboard and bed. Drop dead gorgeous. I can almost reach into the screen and feel the different textures. Seriously, I want this. 

Visit VivaTerra here.

Image credits/copyright: VivaTerra