Home Furnishing Week – Adding colour to an all-white Kitchen!

The Home Furnishing Week is over!! We sign off with a great THANK YOU to Vaishali Sinha from everyone in the Z Community. The solutions were elaborate, informative and inspiring!

And we leave you with some great suggestions on adding colour to pristine white kitchen!

Home Furnishing Query:

Home Furnishing - View of door to deck
Kitchen cum Dining Area with door opening to deck

“I need blinds or whatever is apt for the french window shown in the picture attached.  It is a kitchen cum dining room and the door shown is an access to the open wooden deck where an outdoor dining table is going to be placed. Would like your advice in this regard.

Home Furnishing Week - View of deck
View of the Deck

Also, as you can see, the kitchen+pantry is a small area with white interiors. I need to include another wall shelf for some extra storage. Any tips on where this could be placed? And, would you give some suggestions on the kitchen decor/accessories that can help break the monotony of white with some colour highlights?”

Home Furnishing Week - The Kitchen Area
The Kitchen Area

Vaishali’s Response:

“The kitchen looks contemporary to me BUT I am not able to make out the layout of the kitchen or the type of furniture being used for the outdoor dining very clearly…..So I am going ahead and suggesting TWO very different looks you could pursue.

Home Furnishing Ideas - Adding colour to all white kitchen

1 – where whites are complimented with rustic unpolished wood shelves ( the look is more eco-friendly) & block print fabrics. The colour palette comes across clearly from the board
2 – where whites are complimented with bright peppy colours – in lamps, crockery, fabric for blinds & other nick knacks ( not much patterns but more solid colours).

Both the looks can be accented with suitable wall arts & artifacts

I hope one of them strikes a chord with your kitchen & deck ambience.
Best Wishes,
Vaishali”

And those of you who missed this opportunity, stay tuned to Z, we are going to give you another chance!!

Cheers!
Team Z

Home Furnishing Week with Vaishali Sinha – Brightening up a Living Room

All of you out there who are struggling to kid-proof your sofa or other home furnishings will love this post! Check out the conversation between a Z Customer and Vaishali Sinha!

Customer Query:

I did up my living room in a cream and brown combination. My queries related to my home furnishing:

1. I opted brown furnishing for my sofa the rationale being I have a 5 yr old in the house and the sofa and chairs (to put it mildly) are highly abused. Things are forever getting spilled on it. Though it has served the purpose well so far I wish I could do something to brighten up the room. Should I try colorful pillows or should I change the upholstery of the sofa’s? Again if its upholstery change that you suggest what fabric – color & material would go well with the rest of the decor and also not show stains?

Drawing Room and the Sofa
Drawing Room and the Sofa

2.As you can see the wall the TV is against is pretty plain. I’m thinking of getting a wall mounted TV unit sometime this year. In which case can I highlight that wall by painting or wall paper? which is better? Also there are quite some curios that we have collected (not big pieces but small ones, which I would like to display. Is it a good idea to do that on that wall & if so could you suggest a way I can do that without cluttering?

nokia 006
TV Wall

Thanks in advance for taking the time out to resolve my queries!

Vaishali’s Response:

Hi!! I have a 7 year old too & I completely empathize as to how difficult it is to keep your sofas stain free. 

The LIVING ROOM looks very bare. The sofa is brown with brown textured upholstery with beige colour rug, with off white walls with light beige flooring. Except a Madhubani painting there is nothing else on the walls. YOU NEED SOME COLOUR, SOME PATTERN & A BIT MORE FURNITURE to make the place look more warm & welcoming.

To begin with:-– The upholstery seem to have a textured look (stripy texture). You can change the upholstery to be a solid colour (any neutral colour is fine too). If your wish to use textured upholstery then it should be non-directional – it provides a clean background for colours & patterns to be thrown on.

– Get a coloured rug & of a bigger size ( like ochre yellow, burnt red, wine colour or rust or olive…. ). You can use beige too BUT then we will need to throw in some coloured poufs or floor cushions. 

Furnishing Options given by Vaishali
Furnishing Options given by Vaishali

– Once you get your rug you know what cushions to coordinate with.

– You may need to add a centre table too.

– I cannot make out the layout of the room very clearly BUT it seems you do have corners to put a curio cabinet.

– The walls:-
A) You could do a single large painting on the wall BUT getting a single painting can be expensive & you need to really hunt for the right piece that you would like to own for a long period of time.
B) You can make a collage of small wall arts to create an interesting wall decor…this gives you flexibility of a lot of mix & match BUT you must plan the layout of the collage…with proper measurements.


For your second query on the wall behind the TV – wall paper sure can add life to the room. I am enclosing 2 suggestions – hope it helps!

Best Wishes!

Soft Furnishing Week with Vaishali Sinha – Re-furnishing for a Traditional European Home!!

We received this great query from a customer who just moved to a new home, and is finding it challenging to blend her new furniture and the existing decor. The query and the response covers so many parameters of decor, that we felt it deserved to be a brand new post!! So here you go…

Query:-

My husband, 5 year old daughter and I just moved into a new home and are planning to redecorate our family room, formal dining and bedrooms.

For our family room, we bought a leather set that includes-  3 seater sofa, loveseat and recliner. We also bought a coffee table and 2 side tables (rose- mahagony color). The sofas were listed as contemporary style and the salesman at the store said that the tables were traditional.



Views of the Family Room

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  • So now the main furnishings in my house are a mix of 2 styles!  I want it to blend well and don’t want it to look awkward like we couldn’t make up our mind as to whether we wanted contemporary or traditional!

  • Do you have any ideas as to how I can bring the room together by adding rug (traditionals or contemporary ?) and artwork (traditional or abstract?)

  • In the family room we also have a built in shelves (on either side of the fireplace) where we have lots of space for curios….I ‘d like to use this space too….Should I have a theme (by color or culture?)

I know this is an open question! but even if you could just give me some general guidelines I can follow to mix traditional and contemporary that would be great!

We plan to use the family room as central place for both entertaining and family time since the kitchen opens into the family room and the deck access is also from the family room (the room is empty right now, furniture will be delivered in a couple of weeks).

The Dining Room – We are still unpacking so sorry for the pic with boxes!

  • For the formal dining, we haven’t bought the furniture yet….but I am having a hard time making up my mind….sometimes I like contemporary and sometimes traditional….We don’t do big formal dinners or anything so the idea of formal dining is completely lost on me….so for this if there is some kind of advise you can give to help me arrive at what I want for formal dining that would be helpful!

  • For the bedroom….right now I have furniture in there that were brought as separate pices and together its ugly and I hate it…so I am doing a complete revamp….again all I know is I want a King size bed and I am okay with anything as long as it is not gaudy. So any design ideas that you can share for bedroom would be great! I have a great walk in closet so I don’t need the bedroom furniture to address storage needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Anything that you can share would it be great!

Vaishali’s Response:-

Hi, you seem to be living in lovely green surroundings 🙂
Let us take the rooms one at a time:

FAMILY ROOM: the look is traditional european.
Space:
I can see that this room has
– door to the deck on ONE wall
– fire place on wall TWO
– built in TV & media cabinet on wall THREE


Here I see a little issue – you have the ‘door to deck’ which kind of divides the room into two – space A & space B; this will not let you have furniture placed in the central portion of the room. Then you have 2 focal points ( the point where the furniture will face) – ONE fire place & TWO TV cabinet.
I feel your furniture will be better placed in SPACE-A & of-course will be facing the TV cabinet. I assume the other side not showing in the pictures ( space B ) – somewhere has access to kitchen and again assume will have a corner where you can have another small corner seating.

Furniture:
The furniture in spite of being a mix of contemporary & traditional should not be a worry as the color is similar…& I feel will very well sit together.


Fabrics:
As all your furniture is ROSE MAHOGANY in colour & look of the room is traditional european, I have suggested some fabric designs you could use for cushions & drapes. You can compliment them with some solid colour cushions too.


Shelves:
I have enclosed some pictures of fire place with shelves – to help visualize the look – some nice painting above fire place is good AND in one of them you will see TV placed above fireplace thus combining the TWO FOCAL POINTS ( TV & fireplace) as one.

Curios get their due attention if they have light focussed on them ( so if possible you could get spot light set inside the shelves OR you could get wall paper placed in the back wall of the shelves to enhance the curios).
I suggest you follow the colour theme – for collection of curios ( don’t have to follow the colour palette too closely)



DINING ROOM: has panelled walls with curtains draped to give traditional european look.

Furniture:
The table could be simple & clean BUT some fun can be added in the chairs.
Pic 1 – the 2 chairs at the head & foot of the table have a design & colour BUT the other 4 chairs have different design & colour.
Pic 2 – the table need not be rustic ( it can be clean mahogany colour table) BUT the chairs have an interesting arrangement of a 2 seater on one side AND the rest as simple upholstered chairs.

This look will keep up with the existing ambience of the room as well as give some informality to the seating.

Wall Decor & Dining Cabinet:
It is functionally important to have a dining cabinet in the dining room. Here as it has panelled walls ; I suggest we keep cabinet matching the height of the panel ( as in pic 2).


We could decorate the wall above the cabinet with a collage of wall arts OR a single big wall art OR have shelves as shown in pic 2
On the wall (common to the kitchen & dining room) can also be a collage of family photos.



BEDROOM :
You will find a huge variety of designs if you just google the images of KING SIZE BED.
Just few things I can suggest:
– trend now a days is of low beds with 8 inch mattresses.
– I personally prefer 6 inch mattress & higher bedframe as it is easier & more comfortable to sit down & get up from the bed.
– Beds frames are available from 12 inches to 16 inches height + the mattress should comfortably be 18 to 21 inches

Ok so here we are…..I hope I somewhat managed to answer your queries 🙂
Best wishes!


– Vaishali

=============

WOW!!! That one response covered so many tips to learn and try!!! We hope you are having as much as we are!! And yes, we are eagerly waiting for more of such wonderful queries!!

Cheers!!
Team Z

Sitting Pretty!!

We were not completely over the excitement of the “Beautiful Kitchens” contest, when Aditi Gidh of Casa Omyaa, our Featured Designer of the Month expressed her desire to run a contest for pretty seating arrangements. We happily nodded in agreement and got busy with the task in hand…

The Contest was launched mid last week and since then it has been great fun at the Zaarga Community. It was sheer joy to watch the beautiful interiors and the variety of creative seating arrangements! We have been sharing limited views of select entries on Z Facebook page. And here in this blog, we treat you to more views of these shortlisted gorgeous seating areas that have been vying for attention on our Facebook pages…enjoy!



Living Room of Aradhana Rathore
 

Aradhana Rathore from Bangalore, an alumni of Stella Maris College Chennai, was the first to send us the images. Aradhana, who is married to an army officer, is not a professional interior designer, but she has a flair with spaces and her passion for interiors is evident in the way she has transformed her living area.

 

Floor Seating by Leena Gavande

Leena Gavande, creative designer and owner of jewellery brand “Bindurekha” (with its first retail outlet at INOX Multiplex, Pune) shared the cosy corner she has set up in her home. Simple, but vibrant, pleasing and cozy!!

 

Sheena Alex sent us pictures of the family room where she loves spending time with her husband and their three wonderful children. A CPA by profession, Sheena loves to decorate the spaces in her home and is fascinated by Indian paintings and artwork. She lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

 
 

Living Area, Anusha Koushik
 

Anusha Koushik of Chennai is a minimalist and likes a combination of contemporary and antique furniture. She loves to experiment and mix-n-match colours, minus the bling!
 

 
Living Room, Deepali Paul
 
Deepali Paul of Hyderabad sent us pictures of her living room. She likes clean lines in her interiors and a mix of contemporary and colonial.
 
 
Formal living room, Renu Menon & Vinesh Kavassery

Renu Menon & Vinesh Kavassery, who live in Dallas, shared pictures of their formal living room. The room was designed from scratch by Vinesh as his space to enjoy & relax. The room is themed around earthly comforts with eco-friendly accessories like coconut shell wall hangings and the whisky barrel. Renu & Vinesh wanted the room to exude comfort, earthliness and warmth…
 



Rinal Mehta’s Living Room

Rinal Mehta sent us these pictures of her living room in her Pune home…

Aditi Gidh has her hands full!! It’s no trivial task to pick one winner from so many smart entries!! The gift she offers for the winner is set of three 16×16 silk pin-ticked Casa Omyaa cushions in attractive colours!! Good luck Aditi; we are waaitiiinngggg…!!

🙂
Cheers!!
Team Z

In search of Beautiful Kitchens….

Kitchens are no longer a mundane place where meals are churned out…They have transecnded functionality and is now a very aesthetic area where folks unwind and de-stress by trying out new recipes and ideas !

We at Zaarga love beautiful and well accessoried spaces. So we had a whim to hunt down kitchens with character and soul…and that’s what we have been doing this past week though our “Beautiful Kitchen” Contest!

The response was incredible, and we enjoyed looking through every picture that we received…And for our dear readers, here are the ones shortlisted for the final prize – in no particular order…


Mary Isaac’s woody, red-white, cherry themed one was one of our earliest entries, and it was love at first sight!

Mary Isaac’s Kitchen



Mary says “Though on any given day, I’d place my bets on a rather spacious island kitchen complete with its own mini herb garden, the fact is a puny 6 x 7 sq ft space in my rented apartment is what I have for a kitchen!

Having said that, I do believe in simple, effective and creative ways to make it brighter, better and most of all fun to cook in. And so I have this red-white-woody, cherry themed space where I cook up a storm, spill my beans, bake me a loaf and grind my teeth!…”


Praveen Manikantan, a finance professional who loves travelling and blogs about finance fundas decided to keep his kitchen simple & sleek in a pleasing offwhite shade.

Praveen Manikantan’s Kitchen



Nimmu Thomas owns a beautiful half open kitchen with a breakfast counter. The mini replicas of good ol’ pickle jars, green gingham pelmet on the window and the ceramics on display are a statement of her fine taste and personal style.

Nimmu Thomas’ Kitchen



Anu Ignatius added splashes of colour to her sleek all wooden kitchen with few bottled plants and a colourful bottle preserve..

Anu Ignatius’ Kitchen


Sreekumari Rajan spends quite a bit of her day in cooking, and loves the traditional wood finish for her kitchen.

Sreekumari Rajan’s Kitchen


Kavitha Ram packs a lot of activities in her kitchen space! Her choice of black & steel accessories & the fruit theme, complete with the vines on the pelmet cut the monotony of wood and bring colour and fun to the space.

Kavitha Ram’s Kitchen

 “Kitchen is the hub of the home which I think is the most hardworking room. It should hold the charm and appeal that evokes creativity in the cook and speaks about the personality of the owner. My kitchen was the deciding factor for us when we bought our house. Steel and chrome with grey is our theme around. So we have steel back splashes ,steel appliances  with cherry floors and cabinets that give it that contemporary touch….Thanks for giving us the oppurtunity and organizing such a contest“, says Kavitha.

 

Munira Sayed’s brand new kitchen is beautifully crafted in dark wood with white accents.

Munira Sayed’s Kitchen

Says Munira about her kitchen, “I’m a complete foodie but not a huge fan of cooking, its almost like a chore for me on a daily basis, so I needed my kitchen to be endearing so it inspires me to spend more time in there. Being a professional I hardly get too much time to spend in the kitchen so primarily my kitchen had to be sleek , contemporary and absolutely made for a woman on the go. Contemporary kitchens focus on open spaces & functionalism..Well I’m glad its turned out that way. At the same time I wanted it to have a dash of warmth. So here it is my contemporary, warm & beautiful kitchen.”

Vidya Sundaram likes a no-nonsense, practical kitchen for her quick sessions at the kitchen; and the island doubles up as the table for their regular family meals.

Vidya on her kitchen- “With both of us working, we have a pretty hectic life during the week. Our kitchen is the place where our family hangs out together every evening. I love this space because while dinner is being cooked, we also get to share our day’s events with each other. My favorite is the big island that serves as the seating space for us to hang out or even have a quick meal together. I always favor function and practicality. So my kitchen is extremely functional, with the cabinets designed for a “on the go” working woman. I also like my kitchen uncluttered without too many things on my counter-top – so it’s spartan in that sense.

Bright colours in the kitchen need to be tackled with care…And Saira Biju has, with an artistic ease, achieved beauty while being bold.

 
 
Saira says, “Being a artist myself ,my workplace always has to inspire me.Outside canvas, kitchen is another place which helps me to escape from the daily monotony. Being a mother of a toddler and an infant I guess I don’t have to explain why I need a hideout. I believe bold is beautiful hence I have chosen a RED  and BLACK combination for my works pace.The frosted wall cabinets calms down the atmosphere and steel finish appliances compliments the  bold colors and gives it a very modern feel. Its relatively a small kitchen and I love it for that reason as moving around and keeping it clean is much easier. I love my kitchen and my family loves what i bring out of it:)
 
We thank the Z Community for actively participating in the Contest, following it on our Social Media and making this a great success!! And now, like all of you, we are eagerly waiting for the results!! Best Wishes to all the shortlisted participants! 😀
 
Cheers!
Team Z
 
 

Featured Designer – Tejas Soni

Tejas Soni

Tejas Soni, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, was the first to sign up with us on Zaarga. When Tejas’ love for Nature, sculpturing expertise and creativity  come together, what results are timeless pieces that design conossieurs would love to collect and cherish forever.  By resurrecting the forgotten craft techniques, Tejas makes craft a viable livelihood for the craftsmen and reminds us of a cultural heritage that we need to sustain, promote and be proud of.


Team Zaarga is proud to introduce you to the creative genius behind the much acclaimed Lily and Banana bowls

 1. Can you tell us something about yourself?


I belong to a family of goldsmiths in Gujarat. I have always had a strong inclination towards crafts and was always motivated by my parents and well wishers to do new things. Since my father had a jewelry and casting workshop I was always found there experimenting and making sculptures! 



 
2. Much of your work is based on the traditional Dhokra craft. What drew you towards Dhokra?


Dhokra happened by chance! It was a project that I did for the Chhattisgarh Government and when I started the project I wasn’t very sure myself if it was going to work! But I fell in love with the craft form and skills of the craftsmen. That is what drew me towards it. Then gradually I started to experiment with the craft form. I decided to design against the normal products and create a new range that made the world notice the art form with more respect. I wanted the art form to be more than just a decorative piece of work.
 

3. Are you experimenting with any other traditional craft?

Oh yes, of course. I am making products with the traditional crafts of Jaipur. You can see the products made with the traditional Naqqashi and Chetai crafts of Jaipur on my Zaarga Store itself. Few examples of the products are the Lily Leaf Platter, Banana Leaf Platter, etc.

 

Clockwise from top- Lily Bowl, Lily Platter, Fingerprint Coaster, Peepal Leaf Coaster and Banana Leaf Platter

4. What was the first product that you designed?

My first product was a sculpture that depicted a peanut that had been blown 5 times of its usual size. It was an art piece, a decorative form casted in Bronze metal with a oxidized finish. The product also won “The Innovative Application of Existing Material award”, by Living Etc in Association with RSA (Royal Society of Arts, London) 

5. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Dona Bowl

Nature! It’s my biggest inspiration. The flora and Fauna around me inspires me to create my collections. I take notice of the small things around me, things that you would miss to notice.

6. Who is your Number One fan?


Wow! I have never thought about it. I would say for me all those who value and take notice of my work are my fans!

 7. What are the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

I think it has to be all the aspects. This may sound a little clichéd but truly it is. I love sitting with my sketching book to create concepts, I love sitting with a cup of chai with my craftsman when we discuss the concept. I like taking care of entire process that goes behind making the product. Also I enjoy being my own boss! Its fun to have your own design studio and work as and when you want.

8. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?

The biggest challenge today is making genuine crafts available to the people.

9. Is there any design of yours that you consider your best? Which one is it and why?

The best is yet to come! But the design close to me and I am very fond of it is the Peanut dry fruit bowl.


Peanut Dry fruit bowl
10. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?

I add few products every year but I don’t do season collections like my contemporaries. I design when I feel that there is a need for a new product. I design when I feel that all my previous designs have reached my audience and now they look forward for more! 

11. What is your vision for your work and design? Any exciting plans for the road ahead that you can share with us?

Dhokra Wine Holder

My vision is pretty simple- create timeless pieces that find their way into the lives of both contemporary and classical people around the globe.


 12. Can you share with us a dream project in your wish list?


My dream project is to create limited edition products that everyone desires and wants to own.

13. Your thoughts on Zaarga.

Zaarga is an amazing platform to share and connect with like-minded craft lovers. It has been an amazing support for Tejas Soni Design as well. I am proud to be associated with Zaarga and wish Zaarga and the team many more glorious years ahead. Cheers!
 


We wish Tejas great success and fulfillment in his creative journey. And we hope to showcase several more of his amazing products…

Cheers!!
Team Z

Featured Designer: Vaishali Sinha

Vaishali Sinha officially stepped into the world of design when she graduated from NID. She set up her dream child ‘Vaishali Design Studio‘ in Delhi in 1997 to provide Home Furnishings & Decor market in International & domestic market. Today, the studio today designs primarily for the international home furnishings market – VDS being a registered design vendor for Jo Ann (USA); Corelle Worldwide; Bharti Wal-Mart Easy Day (India), besides an array of exporters that it services in India as well as other smaller importers abroad.



Vaishali Sinha

With a finger on the pulse of international design trends,Vaishali launched an exclusive design brand, ‘V Living’, in 2011, which catapulted her into the upper echelons of Indian home textile design. The studio has become a Mecca for chic cushions, kitschy kitchen towels & elegant bed linen. We are glad to introduce this creative persona to you as our Featured Designer for October 2012.  Her responses to the Z Questionnaire…
 

1. When did you start designing ?
Informally I used to design my dresses / suits on my own even as a kid & fortunately had a very talented mother who helped me create whatever I used to visualize…Formally, NID trained me as designer and 1992 is when I started my career as a designer. Till 1997 I worked in export houses which got me tuned to shop floor; production; costing & all those important departments which help convert your creative ideas into practical, functional reality. In January 1997 I got pulled into starting my own Vaishali Design Studio where we developed designs for primarily home furnishing clients in domestic & international market. But it was only in 2011 it dawned on me to start my own brand V Living.



India Series Linen Cushions – A Class Apart!

 2. What led you to start designing home décor accessories/furnishings?
Well that was what I was professionally qualified to do & somehow fashion did not attract me much.

3. Did you ever dream or think of being something else other than a designer?
Yes ! if not a designer than I would have pursued singing.  

4. What is your favourite colour or theme?
I think every concept or theme has so much to explore; you just need to imbibe it. Holding a particular theme or colour can be limiting to your creativity.

Folk Tale Series – Vibrant and full of life!

 5. What / Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Every little idea that shapes a concept is a big inspiration
 
6. Who is your Number One fan?
Is anybody out there…looking for ONE !


 

7. What are the three words you would use to describe your brand.
Can’t think of specific 3 words but yes the idea is to ADD VALUE without being loud.


 

8. What are the best aspects of your work that you enjoy the most ?
The process of visualized designs converting into actual pieces.

Embroidered Kitchen Towels


  
9. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?
Need to learn the ropes of marketing & PR which are important aspects of brand development.

 

10. Is there any design of yours you consider your best? Which one is it and why?
Difficult to say so because a design may feel very good for the time being, but then one moves on to do the next thing with the same passion and then the next & the next……


  
11. What is your vision for your work and design?
For my work I just wish to do good work & be respected for it. I also have a wish & vision to be able to create a platform where DESIGNERS for HOME furnishings & décor are as well recognized as designers of fashion industry & have their own unique place.

  
12. Your thoughts on Zaarga…..?
Lovely team to be associated with & am so glad that they have created the platform for the designers for home which is so required today.


India Series Trays

We at Team Zaarga believe that the V Living products are a class of their own, so unlike and superior to the run of the mill products that are flooding the malls!! Wishing Vaishali and her team great success and popularity in the field of home furnishings & decor!

Cheers!
Team Z
 

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