Under 30 minutes: How to transform your home to adorn a festive look

Can you transform the monochromatic look of your living room in under 30 minutes? Or, if you were looking to render a festive look to your home, how would you do it? All this, without spending a lot on repainting the walls, buying curtains, accessories, or make your credit card bill run into pages the next month?

A friend of my husband was visiting us last Saturday from Denmark. I decided to give the living room an ethnic touch. So, yes, it is very much possible to transform the look in a short window. You just need a ladder to reach the attic and dig out the brass goodies your mom gave for the wedding, or take out the silver stashed away in the hidden drawers. No kidding. This is exactly what I did, and of course, to bring in the color a  bit of shopping on Flipkart.

This is how the room looked before the transformation.

old look

I identified the shortcomings such as no color, barren walls, corner table too drab, no artifacts, and the table lamp not having any character. In short, there was a lot of room for improvement while still keeping the minimalist theme of the house. I didn’t want to clutter the space with stuff that we trip over each other.

Accessories such as cushion covers, candles, photos and plants are the quickest way to bring in a whiff of fresh air into a room. In this case, since it was an ethnic touch, I brought out the brass diyas as well.

So, I made a list of the elements that will bring about the transformation in a jiffy:


Garden Tour: Sanjana’s beautiful green paradise

Have you noticed there is a trigger factor for every post that comes up on this blog, of late? In the image below, the coconut husk planters filled with coconut chips and charcoal, are secured in place with a coir rope and tied around the bark of a sapota tree. If this isn’t brilliance exemplified, then I don’t know what it is. I couldn’t stop myself from reaching out to Sanjana on seeing this picture. Shall we meet the person – Sanjana Govindan Jayadev – who understands the power of keeping it simple?

coconut husk

About Sanjana:

Sanjana, the country head of AIFO, India, works for people affected by leprosy and disability across really rural and remote parts of the country.  In her words, “I love my work because everyday i am forced to challenge my assumptions and fix broken systems”. Read more about her work on Huff Post. She was  among 50 people invited to attend the Annual World Economic Forum , in Davos in Jan this year.  Sanjana is also the founder of the water bowl project: http://www.waterbowlproject.com/

healthy plants

Here are some  excerpts from a free-wheeling conversation with Sanjana. The text is interspersed with images of her lush green, healthy, and well taken care of garden in Bangalore.


Craftmark: Hand-made in India

If there are two craft organisations I would love to have in Bangalore, then they have to be Craftmark and Dastkar. Dastkar, at least, has an annual exhibition in Bangalore. You know how it is – you are quickly scrolling through dozens of posts on FB (I returned after a long hiatus), and there are certain pictures that stand out. And then, it happens again after a few days. This is how I happened to check out Craftmark. Have you seen their 2014-15 catalogue? No, well, you should do now. You will be impressed by the attention to detail, an impeccable sense of styling, color psychology that plays to your senses and the wide variety of linen and fabrics from the breadths of this country.

Block printing, kantha stitches, silk cushions in fuchsia are all the rage. You seem these patterns and tradition being produced across brands. And when there is so much competition, it is tough to keep it simple and play with age-old designs. Yet, that is exactly what you see which makes it an instant winner.

Come on, immerse yourself in these images. I bet you will want to go over them a second time.

wood block printing


Hand block printed bedcover, paisley patterned cushions and silk patchwork throws. What more can one ask for?


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