Friday, September 15, 2017

Traditionally-Desi (Home tour of Shweta Pandya)

Don't we all humans have an instinctive urge to mark our living space with our own stamp? Possibly surrounding ourselves with our favorite objects helps us affirm our identity. Though everyone defines and interprets décor in own personal way, and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of undertaking it. Our today's home tour of Pandya family is packed with ‘Indianity’, which is a perfect example of the adaptability and versatility of one such ‘Traditional-Desi’ décor style. One glance at the style and ambience of this home will persuade you to believe that this charming, gracious and utterly desi home has "A perfectly Traditional Indian Home" written all over it.  

Meet Shweta, the lady of the home and a warm and engaged school friend of mine whose childhood and India is spilled over into every corner of her home. Even though thoroughbred Gujju girl Shweta shifted base (Maryland, USA) far away from her home country, the idyllic days of her childhood and pastoral settings of India remained forever engraved in her mind which highly influences her decorating preferences even today. Whether it’s her home décor or personal dressing, she is aware and confident about her aesthetic preferences. With a saree love so strong, her panache for carrying it off with aplomb is unmatchable. Statement pieces of jewelry and big ‘bindi’ always finishes off her look.  
A mother of three beautiful children is tough on the exterior and a mush ball inside. Maintaining her nest is not easy with three kids but Shweta has discovered a Zen-like balance in her mommy life without a hair out of place. I was fortunate to meet and mingle with this girl friend of mine after ages during this summer. Lover of all simple things in life and passionate traditionalist is also an avid art lover who finds peace of mind in creating different pieces of art.
With her style and substance deeply rooted to Indian tradition, her doors open to this 'pick -me- up' space where ‘real’ her is welcomed. Treasured group of traditional objects are adding the dressy note at the end of a stair case. A jumble of disparate objects are united in an exquisite textural composition (those of you who are following me on Instagram are well aware about Shweta, who had shared this pretty corner earlier for my brass series).  
Her entry way is a clear declaration of her personal style and is perfectly imbued with the same sense of 'traditional-desi style' she gave the rest of the home. A musical troupe of ‘Ganeshas' are gracing her console table that greets every visitor with a cheer. Breaking the typical mould of mirrors at the entryway, taking the center stage here is a mystical Tapestry made of Kutch embroidery and mirror patchwork in vibrant colors of rural India. The final looks here are sealed off with ‘toran' (decorative door hanging). Both the decorative wall pieces Shweta lugged away from Gujarat, India. 
Rich color and texture denote Indian culture and these both elements are highly visible in the grand tone of Pandya family's formal living room. Being an ultra-stylist space this room brings visual and tactile powerful impact. To temper all the fancy sprinkled in the room, only few pieces of traditional ‘Sankheda’ furniture is employed here. Traditional swing is taking the center stage of the room where Shweta mesmerizes her childhood days.  
Sankheda Furniture is colorful teak wood furniture of Gujarat, India treated with lacquer and painted in traditional bright shades of maroon and gold (these they are available in variety of colors). It is made in Sankheda Village and hence its name. With its beautiful hand-painted motives and traditional method of ornamentation these furniture pieces are main point of attraction and the beauty in the house.

Just like me 'bling' is her thing. Brass meets her need in a very personal way. Pieces she has hunted and gathered over the decades from India and other countries are sited in the most unexpected places.
A deliberate effort has been made here to instil the separate dining room with mood and character. Considering the big list of extended family Pandya family’s dining room is a venue for parties, social gatherings and entertaining.  Shweta, who is also a pro cook, serves epicurean feasts in this very dinning room to her extended family and takes proud in bagging away all the compliments for her culinary skills.
Propped atop the dining buffet table are the souvenirs from Udaipur, India.
Handsome stones have the kind of versatility that makes them a good fit for any room. A potency of a stacked stone fireplace is an asset in a large and spacious family room. Shweta has used every inch of her compact fireplace area but in a way that never feels over done and or cramped. Her feminine allure is highly visible through the clutter of beloved treasures of all kinds.
No amount of drama can distract Shweta when she kicks back with a good book on her favorite spot in the family room.  She settles backs and concentrates in the afternoon here to embrace the rest of the day…oh, and sometimes power naps are welcome too.
The overall collection of her well attuned vignettes and décor accessories are an infusion of Indian aesthetics.
Relaxation comes in many forms in Shweta’s enormously large family room. Swathed in sunshine Shweta's family room is in charge to accommodate diverse activities where favorite modes of relaxation and recreations take center stage. Seating pieces are upholstered in tough as nails fabrics that can take daily wear here. Oversized and over stuffed couches and stacks of pillow denote predominance for comfort where Shweta  curls up  for a left over Netflix series, while her teenagers steal a couch to catch up their shows.
Traditional little touches are impressively dotted in appetizing corners of the home. The open shelf makes the perfect spot in the kitchen to display her Ganesha collection.
Her well-equipped kitchen not only compliments family's lifestyle but also works as a communal room in the family. Her teenagers sit and talk about their day here as Shweta washes and chops vegetable for dinner and the younger one sits with a paper and crayons under the watchful eyes of her.
Every element in the home is linked by a common theme of traditional décor. Her desi touch is intact and evident on the walls here and there around the hallways.

Even though Shweta changed horizons, her heart firmly remained in India. Though, her abiding love of all ‘desi’ things is softened and scattered throughout the home in its complete glory. Concluding this home tour with a thank you note and good wishes for Shweta and her family.

Hope you all my dear readers enjoyed this inspiring home tour. With festive season upon us, I am gallantly floating to bring the best of the décor this festive season. Until we meet again, stay connected on Instagram and Facebook pages of Pinkz Passion for further updates, toodles!

(Images are taken by Pinkz & Shweta. Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our Darling Ganesha!

With the celebratory occasion...‘Ganeshas’ are having a moment right now. And just like every year, we too have invited eco-friendly “Bappa” in our home. No corner of our home is untouched with the celebration. Especially our pooja room, which is brimming with his love and presence. The sound of soothing 'Bhajans' and the rising of chanting 'prayers' has left a purifying effect in our temple room which I look forward to enjoy every year.

Festive look this year has been created with the burst of yellow and green colors with some red thrown in. Strings of artificial marigold garlands have been placed on the runner (dupatta) to uplift the aura of the room. Our daughter's Lord Ganesha portraits are adding enough splashes of colors making it a perfect backdrop.
Taking care of the environment while we celebrate the festival, our daughter has been making idols at home since last four years now. You may peek here and here for our last two years' idols.We immerse him in a 'kundi' at home and let him be with us by pouring his left overs in our little garden.
Though one must visit India in order to experience the grandeur and splendor of ten days festivity of “Ganesha Chaturthi”, which is celebrated with much zeal and fervor.

With more festivities lining up to our calendar, I have so much to do, to plan and celebrate the festive joy at this time of the year. Signing out for today, as I head back to tick off the long list of things to tackle for the upcoming days. Stay connected until we meet again friends, toodles!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Festive Mode is on - Ganesha Chaturthi 2017

The festive season is upon us and I feel it is the best way to recharge and feel rejuvenated. Festivals give us a chance to debunk the suffering of our stereotype lives and enjoy the unapologetic and non-guilty pleasures of celebration.
Nevertheless, this year with our recently ended road trip and schools re-opening in a week, punishing schedules has begun to take toll on me and with that our home is an absolute madhouse.  Still the temptation to welcome 'Bappa' with all the grandeur is as strong as Fevicol adhesive :). After all, festivals are all about forgetting our worries and celebrate the positive side of life which also includes finding the time to do all your favorite things! And as you all know my favorite thing is to ignite a new romance and unfold new décor stories at the herald of any festival.
The one whose arrival has captured the social media, many homes and many hearts this festive season also is our rotund and plump bellied fella, Ganesha. Whose love runs in our genes and in our collection being the soul of our home. On this pious festival of "Ganesh Chaturthi", presenting few rare pieces of grand antiques from our collection that resonate with history. At the same time, they echo our sense of pride being a passionate collector of such gems. 
The very first in the antique series is "Sitar playing Ganesha" paired here with the rest of the antiques. My everyday gold brass is scrubbed and shined especially for the festive season. The brass water jug and small 'lota' housing flowers are recent loots from an antique dealer this summer. I personally think, these rare pieces keep us plugged in the past and surround ourselves with nostalgia and history. 
Next is an intricately carved brass hanging diya..which is quite heavy to hang. I have proudly displayed it here with all the bumps and knocks it came with. Every time I call these antiques in service, my husband wonderfully smug about collecting them all with his discerned eye, I let him take the credit of adding them to our collection ;), but it is me, who feel contented to bring out the best of them by displaying them in the nooks and corners of our home.
Whatever the festival it is, make-overs on my consoles and coffee table are part of my decorating DNA. Placed on my console here, the chubby little deity 'Bal-Ganesha', is my absolute favorite. Festivals are the best reason to bring out those hidden gems and scatter these treasured pieces into dead spaces. However, this Ganesha doesn't take turns often on my social media because keeping him clean is a herculean task. Though, this year, my son offered his hands for shining these beauties. His thoughtful and appreciative gesture revealed that festival values are being instilled in him firmly without being said.
And for the last of the series, I am ending with antique duo of Ganesha with more brass (is there a such thing as too much brass? Not for me!). Each of our pieces are distinct and have an individuality and character of its own. Multitude of such brass items can bring a buzz on the coffee table with ease.   

All this antique pieces are hunted and acquired from different antique dealers who have sourced these pieces directly from the destruction of palaces and temples, hence the exact era and age of these pieces are unknown. We feel proud to own and display these pieces from history in our collection which are hard to find in current market for owning. 

And before I wrap up this post, it hit me that you, my dear reader, might not know that these stunning but simple vignettes this year are created with the flowers from our tiny garden. With every bloom, I have leaped and whirled in one of those dances to see these babies and my green thumb grow ;).

Signing out wishing that may this festival of faith and joy bring the prosperity and happiness in you and your family. Happy Ganesha Chaturthi, enjoy the festivities until we meet again, toodles. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Perfect, Pretty and In Place (Home Tour of Kinnari Parikh)

Tell me…do you have a friend where you drop by for an event or pop in for an unannounced visit…any day...anytime…everything is perfect, pretty and in place? Why, you ask? With a current state of mind filled with anxiety and excitement taking you today on one such home tour of a very close-knit family friend who is not only known for an impeccably organized skills but also a warm hearted lady.
Nestled within a quiet and leafy lane off the bustling city Toronto, there is a home that has been under the scanner of my eyes since long to be featured in my décor radar - a home of Parikh family, lovingly known as “Parikh Parivar”. 
Kinnari Parikh, the lady of the home - whose perfection itself has become a benchmark …whose thoughts, feelings, and attitudes closely match mine, whose generosity is popular lore in our social circles and who clearly knows how to eke every inch of her home. Her home radiates warmth, laughter and love of the couple and their both charming girls that she dearly dotes on. 
Any well thought out home with just the right energy smells good, feels warm and looks inviting - you may instantly hit with these characters upon arrival of her entrance. Vibrant ingenuity welcomes you at the entry way, which is brought to life by a dotting different forms of Ganeshji falling perfectly in the rhythm with the core of her ethnically Indian home. 
An exquisite and visually loud effigy of Krishnaji, which the family bought from one of the local artifact store, compels you for your short stay in her foyer. Her home is a chock full of lovely architectural detailing and this niche is a part of it which sets the tone for the rest of her home. 

And here is the family’s darling living room which creates a warm space with contemporary details and a bit sprinkling of brass. The family has a separate dining room with an added convenience of walk in servery and a less formal family room completely devoted for their family time. Both the rooms are work in progress and Kinnari is still scratching her head tackling these rooms.
My collection has created waves amongst many of my readers, and she being my avid reader and follower, takes a leaf from our collection. My creativity has given her wings and driving inspirations from my vignettes she has pushed her creativity to another level. Shown here are the best of her collected pieces so far. The 'baby gannu' reading a book in a relaxed pose is my favorite and was bought on our Diwali visit from a local temple.
Soft pools of light via wall lamps and candles are making the living room feel much cozier and inviting.  Beige walls, dark toned hardwood floors and juxtaposition of vibrant patterns and colors amplify the décor quotient of the room.
Family treasures are not merely decorative objects, they remind us of the people who matter us the most. After all, these inheritances help us to plug into the past and keep us closer with nostalgia and history. Entrusting the same funda that I follow for my heirlooms, she has also learnt to put those antiques at the best use. The heirlooms in her home are dotted with a whole new perspective brimming with a new life full of emotion.
 The evening mood teases out a unifying colour of brass here. 
The multi-functional and visual anchor here is the kitchen island, which adds space and functionality in her most used room. Whether it’s a home work time for kids or they decide to pitch in to help for dinner, the extra land on island comes in handy for any additional use. The island is also a witness of our impromptu ‘chai’ (a Kinnari special) sessions and gossips ;).
Kinnari is genetically wired to have a spotless clean home and takes due care and attention to the quality of her surroundings. The ongoing delight of having a place for everything and everything on its place in her home, always makes me pick up tips on how to declutter on very visit. 
As we wrap up this home tour, wouldn't you agree that Kinnari has assessed the space with same gusto as per personality? Her home is a sign of their well-lived life, family heirlooms and favorite memories that lend a character to make her house a home.  Signing out, wishing all the very best to "Parikh Parivar".

And until we meet again, stay connected lovely readers, toodles!

(Images are taken by Pinkz. Please do not use the images without the prior written permission of the home owner and Pinkz Passion however, you may re-pin them from Pinkz Passion's Pinterest account) 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Modest Size Living (Home Tour of Gayatri Singh)

Mingling countries, cultural art and traditional artefacts live far larger than square footage of the home in our today’s home tour. The pretty pad of Gayatri Singh, nestled against the structural skylines of Singapore, is both inspiring and interesting in equal measure.  
Gayatri, a professionally trained chef and a culinary composer throws the doors of her home open for us today. She titles her personal décor style as very vintage and Asian with a touch of Indian element. Her graceful apartment in Singapore (where she just moved after living in Tokyo for 9 long years) is a proof of the broadening effects of her travel. If I need to, I can vouch on her abiding love of travel because when we started conversing about this home tour she was in Singapore. Our next chat we had in Tokyo and then in Bali and last recent one in India in a short span of weeks. 

It may just take a quick glance around Gayatri’s bright apartment to work out where her passions and interests lie. Her earliest interest was laid in cooking and following that she pursued her education towards that. She may have decided to dedicate herself to the food industry but the interior design enthusiast didn't take long to discover her growing appetite for interiors also.  

Being a seasoned traveller her source of inspiration differs to each of her travel destination. And as we can see, those inspirations are manifested uniquely in each corner of her home. Chinese king statues here are dotted with many other unpredictable mix of objects. An eye catching large smiling Buddha frame is positioned perfectly in the middle to bounce off his calmness all over the room. 
Most of the pieces of her decor allude to the trips Gayatri has taken. Just like this hanging tapestry from Japan called obi (a kimono belt made out of silk) depicts the scenes of a Japanese king and queen sitting under the tree. Keenly aware of the modest size living, she also has some inciting inventions and creative solutions thrown in her decor just like this piece of a ladder where she hung a brass diya. It surely exemplifies interesting yet effortless way to brighten the wall.                          
Carefree mix of style like contemporary art, modern settings, classic travel finds and traditional pieces are keeping the open concept dining and living rooms alive. Large dining space is essential enough for Gayatri who is an avid cook and loves hosting parties.
Gayatri owns quite a collection of some intriguing objects, while her petite brass pieces spark a dressy note in different corners of the home.
The comfort can be sensed in the air as soon as you walk in Gayatri’s living area. Solid fabric and simple patterns are chosen along with few accent pieces that make perfect sense for a young couple’s life. Adjoining balcony is enlarging the visual living space. Whether the occasion is a spontaneous movie night or a restful read of a good book, their living room facilitates lingering and happy times.

Arresting Asian charm, global sensibility and admiration for Indian details makes her home visually appealing. Her home is decorated in her signature and relaxed but refined style where very nook and wall is infused with a story and memory that richly reveal her vibrant creative flair. 
Few more well-edited vignettes around the home keeps the space engaging and alive.
When it comes to hosting, Gayatri is a natural. Evenings with lavish table and teaming it with the finest food is Gayatri's forte. Fond of cooking and hosting Gayatri prepares and serves delicious food without breaking a sweat at any party hosted at home. Images here from her previous gatherings remark how efficiently she composes soiree for every guest to remember.

Food savvy Gayatri also has a loyal following among the other cooking aficionados on her Instagram account. Do check out her visually arresting pictures and soulful recipes here.

As we seal today's home tour, I heartily thank Gayatri for letting us peek in her beautiful apartment. Wishing you and your family all the very best of the world Gayatri. 

And for you my lovely readers, until we meet again, stay connected, toodles! 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

All Decked Out! (Tour of our deck)

We, the truly Canadians, are the biggest weather fanatic. After enduring the most classic and long winter, we impatiently wait for summer and sunshine immediately connects with us. This year is also not an exception, with the hint of summer in our ravine; we have been totally plugged out with our outdoor surroundings in our newly built deck. Set against the backdrop of the sparkling waves of pond where the water is shimmering with the heat haze and leafy ravine splays for miles, our deck is a ready-to-go stage for all of our outdoor activities and entertaining. 
My mind often boggles to think how many efforts it went in to build this place from a house to home. We have been contemplating to bring in this major change in our outdoor space ever since we moved in. Finally we could get an actually believable space (almost 500 square footage) last year in which we could relax, have privacy, entertain and where my husband can also catch a cat nap after a long day ;). So, come on, let’s walk out to the back door and tour our patio/deck which is our happy place that we crave at the end of each summer day.

Unlike regular wooden decks, we decided on composite decking for almost ZERO maintenance and high comfort place to relax. Composite decks offer the same beauty of wood without the any downsides. No paint-no stain, adaptable and Canadian weather resistant for years to come. We also picked safety tempered and shatter resistant glass railings to create a modern look without blocking our ravine view. It also holds up the extreme temperatures of Canada.

Stunning vignettes are a key ingredient in any of my décor so why should our outdoor be any different ;). A contemporary outdoor setting for dining in style is a must. Thrown in here are some glass accessories and few low-maintenance plants and flowers to complete the look.  

Though, it gets ridiculously hot in summer and to keep Mr. Sun at bay and cool off, we have installed a gazebo from Lowes. It occupies the perfect amount of space to protect us from rain or rays. Gazebo contains net curtains with zip for us to recline or doze off on relaxing afternoons while protecting us from those unwanted bugs at evenings (though we have hardly found any).  

Each piece is outdoor friendly here yet sophisticated enough to use indoors when the weather gets colder. I have extracted the very best out of what I already had indoor. I strongly believe in relying on your imagination and style rather than deep purse for all those seasonal decorative changes. 

The best highlight of our deck is the light. At the stroke of a dusk, the patio instantly becomes a party hub with lush green view. Dimmable lights, that greatly extend our outside living with ambience, can be easily operated from our smartphones on Wi-Fi. They set the perfect mood to take our deck up a notch on the welcoming scale even for the people who walk around the pond.

The space allows us to connect with Mother Nature. The feeling of being enveloped in lush greenery while sipping Tea or chilled cocktail in the company of chirping and tweeting birds (and frogs at night) is a cozy retreat for us from the pressure of modern life.
Be it a sunset or star gazing...many smile inducing and satisfying moments take place here on summer evenings.  

Multiple zones for relaxation and entertainment on the same level make the most of summer's laziest and haziest days comfy. A sweet bench here offers an extra seat for our guests or a makes a perfect place for me to slink away with a book in the evenings. The deck also provides a set of stairs that leads to our walk out basement. (we have a built in barbeque and another outdoor space underneath the deck, where the major work is wrapped up, will hopefully share the space with you all soon.)
So, if you ask me for my summer plans, relaxing is the only task on my to-do list this summer so far. And this year, with this summer entertaining oasis…looking forward for another season of barbequing and grilling outdoors. Until we meet again, stay connected lovely peeps, toodles.