Tuesday Spotlight: Get Ready for Rakhi!

Rakhsha Bandhan is hardly 2 weeks away and sisters everywhere are looking for the most gorgeous rakhi to tie on their brothers’ wrists – as well as eyeing some nifty presents they can con their male siblings into getting for them, I’m sure!

Tuesday Spotlight: Rakhi special pooja thali
Tuesday Spotlight: Rakhi special pooja thali

Zaarga is full of some great, unique gear to suite everyone but let today’s spotlight fall on the utterly gorgeous Raksha Bandhan Collection. Pretty kundan rakhis, cartoon-inspired rakhis, blingy ones – we have them all! And nothing goes better with them than this ultra special thali. There are also some girly ones so your sister-in-law doesn’t feel left out! How sweet is that?

Go on and treat your brother nice – get him an extra-special rakhi from Zaarga. And let him loose on our website to get you the ultimate gift for the ultimate sister.

Happy Raksha Bandhan everyone!

Featured Designer – Aditi Gidh

We had a great month showing you some great cookware and tableware, and now its time to move on…! Yes, we have our next Featured Designer of the month – Aditi Gidh, fashion graduate and founder of C A S A  O M Y A A.

Casa Omyaa creates home furnishings that are neo classic, contemporary and rooted. Designed by blending traditional crafts and textiles with modern contemporary designs. The products are therefore truly classic, pieces that will never run out of style! Aditi also makes sure that they create a sustainable livelihoood for all the people involved with them in the manufac
Team Zaarga is happy to introduce Aditi Gidh to you – read on to find out more about this lovely lady! 🙂

Aditi Gidh

 1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

I have always been the moody, creative kid who excelled at sketching and art through her school and college. After graduating in Fashion Design from School of Fashion Tech. – (NIFT), I started out as a wardrobe designer in the fashion industry. I am always in search of creating something innovative and unique and have dabbled in clothing and accessories before starting out with Casa Omyaa. My parents and well wishers have been the driving forces in constantly motivating me and being my support through the difficult times.

2.  What inspired you to work in the area of Soft Furnishings?

Home furnishings actually happened to me by chance! 
After working in the clothing line for over 5 years, I wanted a creative change. My colleague and dear friend Krishnendu Datta was instrumental in convincing me to start with a line of exclusive handcrafted home furnishings. My love for Indian handloom and handicraft is also another big inspiration for entering this area! I love using beautiful hand woven fabrics and Indian craft techniques keeping my designs simple and elegant, which is a reflection of my personality.

Pure silk pin tucked collection of cushions

3. Can you tell us about your Design journey so far?

I have always tried to design and create something unique and elegant. My designs reflect my personality which highlights two important aspects – simple and elegant. I constantly try to evolve my designs based on my observations and the suggestions of my well wishing clients. I have been happy with my designs so far, but there is still a long way to go!

4. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration comes from observing the simplest of things around me! I look for the most unusual colors, textures, shapes and sizes and I get all this by observing the beautiful things nature has bestowed upon us.

5. Who is your Number One  my fan?

It has to be my friend Krishnendu Datta! Jokes apart, I feel we still haven’t reached our fans to the extent that we should have.
6. What are the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

Brocade & poly silk placemats and coasters

I enjoy conceptualizing and sketching out random design ideas on my mind. And when these ideas turn into actual products, it gives a sense of immense satisfaction and joy to me!

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

The biggest challenge I face today is the marketing of our products domestically and internationally. Unfortunately I am not blessed with a great marketing acumen, hence it becomes a challenge to market my products in an effective way. On a positive note, we are working towards it and would hopefully have a great marketing team soon enough! 🙂

8. What is your fabric of choice and why?

I absolutely love Indian handloom textiles! I love working with a varied variety of silks and cottons & usually don’t prefer blends / artificial fabrics. I stick to natural fabrics for their pure feel.

Corded khadi silk cushion covers

9. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?

I only add new designs when I feel its required. On an average, I work on a new collection once a year, but if it sells well, then I may continue it further as most of my designs are classic and won’t go out of style.

10.  Do you offer customized interior solutions? Can you tell us a little more of the kind of projects that you undertake?

Yes, we at Casa Omyaa work on customized Interior Decor projects. Our area of specialization is customized furnishings and furniture for homes and commercial spaces. In addition to this, we also work on themed based apartments, bungalows, restaurants, etc from the concept to the entire execution, which involves working closely with the architect.

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

We plan to expand into handcrafted home decor & lifestyle products in the near future. We have already started our work with focused Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) from the rural areas in creating our products. We strive to provide them with a sustainable source of income whilst producing a range of products for our clients across the globe. We hope to have Casa Omyaa run by a strong women force in the near future, as they are the biggest strength in shaping the future of our country!

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

Our dream project is to start a unique lifestyle store that houses rooted yet contemporary products made by Indian artisans and the underprivileged women of our society, by way of providing them better means of Income whilst producing exclusive handcrafted lifestyle products for all our clients. 

Handwoven Jute placemats & coasters

13. Your thoughts on Zaarga.

Zaarga is the perfect launch-pad for creative artists and designers of today! Not only is the entire team highly professional, but they share a caring relation with all their designers that puts all our worries about selling our products at rest. I would love to be associated with Zaarga for a long time ahead! I wish them all the luck for their future endeavors!

May all the dreams and aspirations of Aditi Gidh & her team at Casa Omyaa come true! It is indeed a matter of pride to be associated with Designers who are working towards inclusion of artisans and creating sustainable livelihood for them.We would love to be part of all their endeavours!!

And for all of you, we have a great month of fun and retail therapy on home linen!! Here we go!!
Team Z

“Kitchens with character and soul” – Contest Winner

Yes, yes, we know you are eager to know who won the Contest, but before we get there, we would like to introduce you to the creative personality who judged the entries and made the big decision! 
Meet Bhargavii Mani, Director, Business Edge

A global citizen, the design bug in Bhargavii took her to Raffles Design International, Singapore. After being a top student there she worked in Singapore and Dubai in reputed firms. Her cutting edge design sense and clean photographic aesthetics are seen today in several retail, F & B and residential interiors in these world capitals.
She set up Edge Design Studio with the express desire to change the retail landscape in India , using her knowledge and skills absorbed from such retail capitals. A dynamic entrepreneur herself, Bhargavii has a keen understanding of business issues.
A singer and arts patron, Bhargavii along with her associates transforms her design space into a venue to support all forms of art and culture. Bhargavii also writes periodically on interior design for a few publications.

We thank Bhargavii for honouring us by setting time aside to judge this Contest and share her views.
So who won the beautiful Heritage Cup & Saucer by arttd’inox?? Any guesses????

Well…!! We have a tie!!! Bhargavii thinks that both Nimmu Thomas and Kavitha Ram have equally beautiful kitchens!


And here’s what Bhargavii had to say about these entries:
About Nimmu Thomas’ kitchen:

Nimmu Thomas outside her kitchen

“Despite the restriction of a small space, her kitchen is a very functional one. Clearly she cooks and cleans in her kitchen and these are evident from the Drip tray below the dish rack. Also the way she has arranged all the ceramic and glassware in her upper cabinets, the ladles and spoons and mugs from the stand, clearly indicate that she’s a practical woman in the kitchen having everything a feet or two away. The golden triangle in the kitchen works well too. The breakfast counter, which also acts as a partition has also been smartly put together. She wins this because there are no pretensions and it comes across like one can walk into her home any minute of the day, and such is how the kitchen would be! Good job!”

About Kavitha Ram’s kitchen:                      

Kavitha in her garden
“Clearly a kitchen from outside India, where neither space nor quality of workmanship is a constraint. What I like about her kitchen is how open the plan is. I can imagine Kavitha walking around the kitchen and cooking for her family, listening to music, having them dine out of the bar cum breakfast counter, chatting or skyping with her family back home. She obviously does her dishes, and this is evident from the mat on the floor below the washing area. The magnets on her fridge tell me it’s a family space. Kavitha, I assume is a working woman who runs back home to take care of her family, for who a kitchen is an extension of the living area. Love the roomy feeling… The space feels lived in!”


CONGRATULATIONS, Nimmu Thomas and Kavitha Ram! Your Heritage Cup Sets will soon be on their way!
We also congratulate all the participants, especially our shortlisted candidates for their effort and enthusiasm in participating in the Contest. All of you have such yummy kitchens!
And here’s to more contests, more prizes and lot more fun in the Z Community!

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! 😀
Team Z

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