a small space home office in black and white and typography influences

I’m bang in the middle of decorating my home office. For those of you who live in large cities like Mumbai know that the definition of “home office”  for apartment dwellers is essentially a desk where your computer, coffee mug and stationary fight for space. To tide over my lack of real estate I’ve been trolling the net for inspiration– and here are my favourites.. What these spaces lack in size they more than make up for in style..Hope you enjoy this as much I did…

1) Home Office: Computer Camouflage.

The art gallery wall with myriad frames allows the computer screen to blend in and lets the shabby chic decor shine.

small space office with an industrial metal computer station against a wall displaying framed art works

 

2) Home Office :New York Loft Style

Exposed Brick wall/ Vintage Camera Collection/ Old Tin Shop Sign all juxtaposed against a clean modern wall unit.

I so want need that vintage leather swivel chair…

home office with a feature brick wall and vintage leather swivel chair

 

3) Home Office : Concrete Nature

Concrete Floors/ Picture window with a Gorgeous Green View… Just set up  shop at  one end of your dining table.

Love the Doily pattern on the stool (this could be a great DIY project ) and the neon yellow table legs!

home office with muted concrete interiors and a fabulous picture window

 

4) Home Office : DIY Glamour

Glamourize your office on Budget– Disguise your pedestrian chair under a luxurious throw/ Use string and clothes pegs for a mood board/ Install embossed wall paper painted in a metallic zinc or brass…et voila!

glamorous take on a home office

 

5) Home Office: Asian Style

Green lacquered desk/ oriental bamboo chair.

:home office with asian decor influences

 

6) Home Office : Space Crunch

Absolutely no space to spare? Think again.. A re-purposed wall mounted kitchen cabinet serves as a mini work space.. just pull up a chair when work beckons!

a corner home office with a mini drop down desk

 

7) Home Office : Coastal Style

Liberal use of – whites and blues/Shells/ Cane. Re-purposed louvered doors are a great way to display your inspirations or even as a magazine rack.

a home office in a coastal style

 

8) Home Office : Brass and Ikat Blue

Now if you work exclusively from home you need a lot more than just a desk..

Ikat upholstery / Brass lamps / Open shelving ( for the really organised only)… love that corkscrew document holder.

a home office with open shelving and Ikat upholstered chair.

 

9) Home Office: Vintage Industrial

Salvaged industrial style desk / metal table fan /Love the weighing scale loaded with tomes..l-o-v-e.

 

(Love the weighing scale loaded with tomes)

 

10) Home Office: I “heart” Minimal

Attention all Renters! Can’t change the paint? Can’t nail things to the wall? Just arrange neon coloured ‘post its’ on the wall. Write up your reminders or your favourite quotes.

a minimalist home office dressed up only by post its arranged like a heart

 

11) Home Office : Antique Revival

Drafters Table/ High Chair/Gilded frames.Perfect for those you work by hand like artists, calligraphers, illustrators.

Taxidermy bird, ink pot and quills optional…oh but they so do complete the story..

home office with a drafters table, calligrapher supplies and renaissance influences

 

12) Home Office : Hollywood Glamour

If you are a movie star or got the bucks to play pretend, then you need some place to sift through your fan mail..here’s how..

Use an antique hand carved Zanzibari door to anchor your space/”Float” a mirrored console table/ Dress it up with pretty stationary and flowers.

image of a office set up in one corner of a glamorous hollywood inspired bedroom

I couldn’t resist adding this close-up, unabashed girly-ness. Well a girls shoes do deserve a pedestal right?

close up of a mirrored console table used as a home office desk

 

13) Home Office : Bachelor Pad

Its only fair to add something for the boys..  Dark wall/ pops of a single colour/ framed posters and vinyls/ Vintage sports memoribilia

home office perfect for a bachelor pad

 

14) Home Office : Retro

This is how I remember home offices from my childhood … before computers invaded.

Typewriter/Analogue radios/60′s furniture.

small space retro inspired home office complete with a typewriter and an analog radio.

 

15) Home Office : Typography

Another small space gem. The Black and White colour pallette lends beautifully to the typography and prevents the look from getting too chaotic for this small space. Love the “in” and “out” correspondence baskets..

a small space home office in black and white and typography influences

Credits :images: 1 via Housetohome ; 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 14 via Design Sponge ; 5,6,8 via Bhg ; 7 via ; 9 via ;10 via ; 11 via ; 15 via

Hand blown pink glass chandelier, antique clocks, vintage photographs , lithographs render the Sabyasachi store in Mumbai an old world charm.

As a child, most of my summer vacations were spent at my grandparents homes… old homes with old things..every piece had history, patina, wear. The entire family tree would be up on the wall in mismatched original frames fighting for space with large clocks , art , hindu deities and orphaned pieces of porcelain dinner sets.These heirlooms weren’t expensive “antiques” but just humble relics of my families past. Whether its my great-grandmothers dressing table or my great- granddads shaving kit , 3 generations, over a period of 100 years, preserved them. Just so that my sister and me may have a tangible connection with our family history.

Remember with great inheritance comes great responsibility …. just ask Grandma.

Unfortunately most Indians today have traded in their family hand me downs in favour of a home copy-pasted from Ikea catalogues , peppered with “indian” touches like Bollywood kitsch  or sequinned cushions. 

Its about time this Vintage Indian sensibility — “granny chic”  becomes aspirational. Here is some beautiful inspiration….

Lampshades at Sabyasachi store are deliberately left faded and dusty to evoke a bygone era.

 

A south indian brass urli and antique tap serve as the wash basin at Sabyasachi's store in Mumbai.

A South Indian brass urli and an antique tap continue the vintage Indian look in the washroom at the Sabyasachi store, Mumbai.

a look in side Surajit "Bomti" Iyengar's home in Kolkata.

a glimpse of Surajit "Bomti" Iyengar's bedroom featuring an antique indian four poster bed.

Vintage Indian Dresser and folk art at John Robshaws new york apartment

old school electrical points and switches at Sabyasachi's mumbai store

Old school electrical points and switches are trending everywhere these days.

Antique plates cover distempered walls

Scared of chipping your expensive antique porcelain? They’ll be super safe high up on the walls!

John Robshaws new york apartment with south indian accents

Cheat Sheet:

1) Walls: Distemper paint , tinted concrete, roughly plastered or painted in watered down muted colours.

2) Floors :Wooden flooring, patterned Cement tiles, red oxide , stone. Use vintage rugs or dhurries over your floors.

3) Go Maximalist : Curate a collection–Collect plates or black and white photographs or old mirrors or wall clocks. Display them on your walls.

Source the look: Most obviously, start by begging your parents/grandparents for their precious things.

In Mumbai start and end with Chor Bazaar. A smaller version of Chor Bazaar can be found at Oshiwara furniture market.

If you have deeper pockets and want  to buy authenticated antiques head to Phillip’s Antiques.

Delhi, Jaipur (all of Rajasthan actually) , Hyderabad , Cochin , Calcutta, Bangalore all have great flea/ anitque markets.

Credits: featured image, images 1,2, 6 of  the Sabyasachi store, Mumbai via.

images 3,4,7 of Surajit “Bomti” Iyengar’s home in Kolkata, as featured in Elle Decor.

images 5,8 of John Robshaw’s home in New York, as featured in Elle Decor.

 

 

 

Close up of the Sea Shell tea lights that we made at home

Here’s a fun and easy way of introducing coastal inspired decor to your table

If you have never attempted a decor project,this is a great way to get started….it costs next to nothing and gets done in minutes

Supplies for the Sea Shell DIY

Supplies:

- shells ( I used the scallop shells which I salvaged from my seared scallop lunch at Borough market, read more of that post here )

- leftover candles or tea lights

- candle wicks and wick holders ( available at most hobby/craft stores)

- one pan or bowl to melt the wax

Instructions:

Cut wicks to size such that at least 1 inch would be exposed after pouring in the wax. Thread the wicks through the wick holders.

melting the candle wax

Meanwhile melt your candle wax in the bowl. Pour a teeny amount of melted wax into the shells and press the wick holders into the wax to hold them in place.

fix the wick holders to the shell using little wax

Once your wicks have been firmly attached to the shells, pour in the rest of the wax. Don’t fill the shells all the way to the brim or else they will spill over when you light them!

final step of the diy is to wait while the wax sets!

(use some prop to level the wobbly shells while the wax sets)

 

The wax will set pretty quickly and you can enjoy a candlelit dinner at home like me :)

Easy coastal inspired table setting at home

Table setting using the Diy Sea shell tea lights

Cheat Sheet :

If you can’t find wick holders and candle wicks then just use some store bought tea lights. Slip them out of their metal covers and place them on your shells.Once lit the wax will melt and fill the shells.

Use mussel, oyster or large clam shells if you live in India and can’t get your hands on scallops.

If your shells are dirty or grubby, leave them overnight in a 50:50 solution of bleach and water. Give them a good scrub and rinse the next day.Bright shiny shells!

and finally, please be careful with the hot wax, especially if you have kids and pets running around!

T-Rex Dinosaur at the Louis Vuitton 5th Ave NYC store front by night

Where can you see Golden Dinosaurs in New York City?

A Bollywood re-make of Spielberg’s Jurassic Park ?..thankfully no.

Louis Vuitton’s 5th Avenue maison store front has an extravagant display of gilded Triceratops, T-rex and even a Velociraptor all fashionably  kitted out in the their Pre-Fall 2013 collection.

A very Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and the City interpretation of a Natural History Museum exhibit.

old is gold …dah-lings….

Triceratops at the Louis Vuitton 5th Ave NYC store front

Golden Dinosaur at Louis Vuitton 5th Ave NYC store front

Velociraptor at the Louis Vuitton 5th Ave NY store front

Velociraptor rocking the art deco purse.

 

T-Rex Dinosaur at the Louis Vuitton 5th Ave NYC store front

 

 

making of the Dinosaur skeletons

Behind the scenes : at the LV work shop

 

Making of the Dinosaur skeletons close up

Behind the scenes: After Gilding at the LV workshop

Behind the scenes: After Gilding at the LV workshop

So if you happen to be in NYC …go check it out!

credits: image source via for 1,2 & featured image,

image source via for 5,6,7.

images 3 & 4 : Photography by MakaZai.

 

 

lavender from provence and blue cheese

Yes its touristy ,bit pricey and most  Londoners probably don’t shop here..

BUT is it a great way to spend a rainy summer day ? If you are a camera wearing, food loving design tripper (like me) then the answer is a resounding Yes!…read on if you need more convincing or you just want to enjoy the yummy photos.

We started the day with a pint of local beer  at the Market Porter pub, sipping in the company of the lovely flowers at neighbouring Chez Michele Florists.

Gorgeous vertical garden outside 'Chez Michele' Florists at Borough market

(Gorgeous vertical garden outside ‘Chez Michele’ Florists)

close up of vertical garden and flowers outside 'Chez Michele' Florists at Borough Market, London

We ate (apart from all the samples :) ) – Seared scallops with bacon and endive at the fish monger

Locally sourced oysters which ,rightfully so,tasted of the sea… accompanied by a glass of Prosecco. all in the name of research, I swear

Duck Confit Sandwich : Sloppy-licious! crispy fatty bits of duck stuffed between soft french bread topped with arugula and french mustard from  Le Marché du Quartier.

Brownies from Ion Patisserie.

cherries and paella at the stalls at borough market

 

Antique French wood burning stove with beautiful enamelling

(Antique French wood burning stove with beautiful enamelling)

mustard and chilli stalls at borough market in london

We bought : Cheese from Mons Cheesemongers, Amazing mushroom pâté from Pâté Moi , Goose fat from Le Marché du Quartier , Noirmoutier red wine flavoured sea salt and a bag of locally produced cherries.

'its pimms 'o clock' sign and sangria stall at borough market in london

various vegetable stalls at borough market in londontruffle oil stall at borough market in london

 

boar head at borough market

(yes,its true..bacon doesn’t come from the bacon plant…it comes from this guy.)

We recapped  the days foodgasms at Monmouth Coffee Company with their life restoring cappuccinos.

coffee at monmouth borough market in london

So, If you want to bust your diet on seriously good British food, head to Borough Market.

borough market sign

How to get there :

by TRAIN : get off at London Bridge Station which is serviced by the Jubilee and Northern Lines on the Underground

by BUS: get off at London Bridge, Borough High Street or Southwark Street stops, they will leave you right by the Market.

Timings: Full Market on Thurs : 11am-5pm , Fri : 12pm-6pm , Sat: 8am-5pm. Lunch only – Mon- Wed  : 10 am -3pm.

for more info on local events and vendor listings visit the official market website.

Lastly, on our way back from the market we spotted this curious hand painted tile near Russell Square tube station. Teleportation, anyone?

Quirky Hand painted Tile which claims to teleport you in minutes near Russell Square ,London

Photography By Sandeep Mukhedkar.

Ekaterina Panikanova book painting of a lady

Never underestimate the power of a book to tell a story. Used as an accessory to style a table or corner in your home it can tell your story – your personality, tastes , travels. A unique coffee table book used as a pedestal for a small item may turn out to be a real conversation starter.  Speaking off— imagine the conversations , if you were lucky enough to have in your home ,one of Ekaterina Panikanova’s gorgeous book paintings, first seen here.

Ekaterina Panikanova book painting of a deer

The St.Petersburg born, Rome based artist creates whimsical scenes  on the insides of vintage books using black ink and then moves them around at will to create these installations.

Part-paintings Part-installation ,Wholly-magical.

Ekaterina Panikanova book painting of cake

As a lover of books – real books with lovely “old book smells”, frayed fabric coverings , yellowed pages and fantastical stories about magical  faraway lands, these art works made my day…nay week!

Ekaterina Panikanova book painting of a bicycle

 

Ekaterina Panikanova book painting of a family

 

Ekaterina Panikanova book painting close up

 

All images :credits and copyrights,Ekaterina Panikanova.

clay heads at maati

Its a horribly hot day in Delhi and abandoning better sense I make plans to meet my friend at Haus Khas Village. However after a 45min commute, bad cellphone reception, 50 deg temperatures and ten minutes of waiting alone, my brains were shot.

Just before I was about to loose my “cool”, sever all ties with my buddy for being a few minutes late (do not judge, Delhi summers can do that to you!), I spotted the Maati store front. What beckoned me inside was its large 'Kathakali' hand painted air conditioner.

Kathakali Airconditioner

Inside, I snagged my eye on a tray full of little clay head sculptures. ” These are cast from 200 yr old clay moulds, in Krishnanagar West Bengal. All these faces are likenesses of everyday folk who lived and worked in that area,” provided Aniruddha Saha , owner of the store.

I looked down at the little heads, wondering whose faces were peering back up at me. Local fisherman , child playing in the street , old woman siting on her front porch, perhaps? The tiny sculptures were unique in their realism, attention to detail and the fact that these were painstaking re-creations of commoners. Not royalty or wealthy patrons.However, these clay artists who once enjoyed royal and international patronage have fallen into virtual anonymity and thus are finding it hard to pursue their craft. A situation which Aniruddha Saha hopes to improve by providing us access to their craft through his store Maati.

 

I can imagine Krishnanagar sculptures used as an installation on an entire wall, similar to this home designed by Viya Home.

How do you imagine them in your house?

Designed by Viya Home featured in Architectural Digest, India.

Designed by Viya Home featured in Architectural Digest, India.