Sunday, 25 September 2011

Kanak & Anuj's lovely LA home

Who doesn't love a fabulous home tour?! So I have decided to bring you guys a series of spaces - inhabited by my friends and acquaintances - that I admire. And I am very excited to kick off this series with the warm and welcoming home of two very dear friends living in Los Angeles. Anuj is a brilliant young architect and his wife Kanak is a very talented interior and industrial designer. Together they have turned a regular, rented apartment into a space that you will not want to walk out of.

They have been living in this one bedroom apartment for the last four years. With an area of 950 square feet, it's not very large, but you wouldn't think so because of the way the space has been managed. I had the pleasure of visiting them a few months back and for me, it was love at first sight! Since then I have been chasing Kanak to send me these images. So without further ado, let me show you around!

The apartment opens into a large living room and you are immediately greeted by a splash of colour. The contemporary style has been beautifully enhanced by an Indian palette. There is a generous amount of colour also being added by the gorgeous paintings across the apartment, these were all made by Kanak's father, Vinod Rai Patel, a renowned Indian artist. The mood at home is clearly vibrant.

The living room is almost half the size of the whole apartment, if not more. But an open layout and some clever planning has resulted in them being able to break it into sections serving different purposes. These have been created using shelving units brilliant on functionality, while maintaining a free flow of energy across the room. Not only did they manage a cosy dining area but also a study that doubles up as a spare guest room when friends and family visit! 

The far corner of the living room has been cordoned off with blinds on one side and a bookshelf on the other, to create a working space for these two creative minds. The couch opens up to accommodate those extra guests.

If you haven't yet understood Kanak's love for colour, just take a look at her bed linen...she is a woman after my own heart! The blue, fuchsia, orange and red creates a spectacular effect. The white drapes hold it all together while allowing the sunlight to come bouncing in. 

The splash of lime green makes one feel fresh without even needing to step into the shower! Little touches of art, candles, fairy lights, hanging mobiles and quirky hooks, just finish off the job by making you forget that you are actually in a functional old bathroom!

This tiny space is no exception. Kanak's fabulous taste clearly reflects in every little object, whether it's a frying pan or a potted plant. They all have one thing in common...lots of character & colour. I wouldn't mind playing Nigella here!

Alright then, you guys continue drooling while I go look for another home as gorgeous as this. 
Thanks K for sharing this with me and the readers of my blog.

*All photographs courtesy Kanak Patel

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A spoon for every occasion

An implement consisting of a small, shallow oval or round bowl on a long handle, 
used for eating, stirring, and serving food.

Whoever wrote that has no idea that a spoon can be so much more than just an implement. It's the most fashionable accessory that your dishes can have. And in case you haven't noticed, it does have the most covetable form - a voluptuous mouth, a long slender body, the curves - something any woman would crave for. So I have my own collection going with a soft spot for small, wooden ones. Here are some of my favourites.

I love the colours and the carved handles of these two. It also has a good scoop so it works well for chunks of pickles.

These were gifted to me by a friend who knows of my obsession and always brings me some from her travels. I use these for jams and pate and various other spreads...

This honey spoon was also gifted by the same friend. The jar I've had for almost ten years but I have to admit that I've never actually stored any honey in it! Oh well, sometimes it's OK to just look pretty.

These are the most versatile and often travel from jar to jar, meeting tea, coffee, sugar etc.
Their short handles also make them ideal to just leave in there.

And here are my ceramic ducky soupspoons. Makes a boring broth so much more fun when you have these to dunk in!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Le Café

The fact that ours is an open house is no's open to family, friends, friends of friends and most of the times even strangers. We love having people over and we hardly ever wait for an occasion to do so. Impromptu dinners, long drinking sessions, heart to hearts over steaming cups of tea and coffee are a regular feature. So I decided to give my dining room a cafe-styled look. It  most certainly is so in terms of decor and spirit, and on a good day I might even consider taking your order!

I didn't really wait to check with my restaurateur husband on what he felt about me making his home look like his work place, but he's not complaining yet so that's good. Welcome to my cafe. It's located in the heart of the apartment - the the entryway, the kitchen, the study, the master bedroom and the guest bedroom all open into this space. It truly is the place where everyone comes together.

What you can see on the walls are framed advertising layouts, funny poster phrases and my most favourite, menu cards! These have been picked up by me while having meals at various restaurants across the world. No, I am not a kleptomaniac, just a fan. So you will only see menus from the places I like!

Some other features include a two-sided railway clock, a kitchen themed message board, a framed tea cup, a few wall-mounted brackets and various jars and bottles that come and go... 

All I need now is a blackboard with the 'menu for the day' scribbled on it, and that's getting done as we speak. So come on over anytime you like.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

High Strung!

Whenever I come across little glass jars or bottles, I can't help myself from stringing them up and the end result is always fun! The latest one in my collection is made by stringing together a bunch of colourful tea light holders that I had bought last Diwali. Now they hang next to my bathroom mirror and hold all kinds of handy stuff. 

For those of you who haven't seen my earlier post on the bath makeover, you might want to check this out. You'll know what I mean when I say that sometimes small spaces can be a blessing in disguise, they just challenge you to think out of the box. 

Here are two more of my mobile glass holders - one hangs from my dressing mirror and the other was a money plant holder in my previous house. All you need is a few jars/ bottles and a string of rope to make yourself one of these. You don't even have to go out of your way to look for the glass pieces, just raid your stuff for old spice jars, tea light holders, miniature alcohol bottles or even cosmetic're bound to find something! And if you are feeling a little more creative then get a set of stain glass paints and go wild with the plain glass pieces.

Use these as planters, trinket holders or even tea light displays. They also  make great gifts for friends.

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