We bought this wooden cabinet as a multipurpose storage unit to store footwear, newspaper, and odd hardware tools. This was one of our first purchases after we moved into our first home. To be honest, I had zero understanding of decorating, interior styling, or what to buy for what. If there was a dire need, we bought that piece of furniture so long it fulfilled its function and our not-so-deep pockets. Form had not entered our lexicon. So, yes, our home was a concoction of disparate elements from tan sofa to geometric tiles. But, you hold some things dear, when…

The DIY bug has bit me. The itch to do something around the house lies dormant in action with ideas just swarming in the head all the time. But, when it gets active, there’s no stopping. I like it this way because projects that should have got done months ago are all done in a week’s time. Presenting to you today, a fancy makeover to a humble plastic planter that had clearly seen better days. My mom gave me this planter; exposed to the outdoors I started noticing some cracks along the edges. I didn’t want to give it away…

You know this is the busiest time of the year for paint companies with chock-a-block calendar? This is when most people give their walls a fresh lease of paint before the festive and wedding season begins. The most popular posts on this blog – on Asian Paints and Surprise your Spouse have been trending for the past two months.

A special effects (textured paint) on a ~ 100 sq. ft wall can cost upwards of INR 5,000. But, you don’t have to spend a fortune if you are proud of your DIY and not too worried about a professional finish. Sponging, combing, brushing, dapple, ragging, weaving, spatula and crinkle are some of the special effects on offer.

The intent of this post is to show that you can do it yourself at home.  For steps on how to do it, this is a great starting point. If you’ve never done a painting job before, I’d suggest you get started with these handy tips.

For all the textured effects, choose a base color and another foreground one that stands out as you can see below.

See, how easy it is?  How touch can stretching a comb over wet paint be especially if it leads to a stunning visual effect?

How are you doing this morning? Feeling happy? Great. If you are feeling grumpy, don’t worry. Just go on, take a few minutes off, leave your grumpiness aside to pick up later and read this post. Before I begin, I want to ask you, are you good at sketching and free-hand drawing? Yes ? Well, then you have my profound admiration. No? Great, I’m glad I found another partner (my best effort only went this far). I can neither draw nor get my curves right ever on paper. So, drawing on the wall is a far fetched dream. But, you…

Good morning! It’s Friday and I have a lovely post for you; I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about sharing someone’s work. Today, I present to you the much accomplished 31-year-old Chennai based artist Santhana Krishnan’s work. This is going to be a long one, so please brace yourselves for a colorful journey into the world of paintings.

I first saw Santhanam’s work a few years ago – he is my brother’s friend’s cousin. The door paintings were mesmerising, even then with my limited knowledge of paintings and artists. With over 800 paintings on mixed media and acrylic on canvas to his  credit, the central theme of his work has remained constant: doors. Santhanam grew up in the quaint, little,  orthodox, Southern town of Kumbakonam. Through his paintings, we get a glimpse of the conservative Tamil, Brahmin community, the distinctive houses, the architecture and such.

Most of his paintings draw inspiration from the traditional houses you see in Kumbakonam. Umm, on second thoughts, that may not true hold any longer. I was there in Kumbakonam last Friday (yep, I grew up there) and most of the old houses have given way to modern buildings and apartments. Some, like my grandparents, have retained the sloping  roof exteriors with the thoon and thinnai but the interiors are none what one would have seen two to three decades ago.

Do we have any diligent readers (read: obsessively checking Google Reader for new posts) of Apartment Therapy here? If yes, you would know that a good chunk of posts are about restoring or transforming old furniture through painting and replacing the hardware. Images of antique, worn wooden cabinet/dresser/table painted into white or turquoise blue are swimming in my head now.

For me, when it comes to home renovation,  there is nothing more satisfying than giving a face lift to old furniture. To discard the old and buy new stuff is easy work, don’t you think? There are a few odd pieces of furniture in every house such as a chair, cabinet, side table that look aged.  A polish or a new coat of paint will do them good. I want to get started off with a old cabinet first.  It’s about six years old and in good working condition. It has lost its sheen so I’m toying with the idea of retaining its natural finish with a coat of lacquer or doing something radical like painting it in a bold color combination of white-lime green or white-turquoise blue.

I’ve been looking around for ideas and there are quite a few interesting ones that I would like to share.

For a ethnic, Indian theme, bright colors such as fuchsia, red or violet are a good choice to complete the look. However, if you have a monochromatic or minimalistic theme, a single of furniture in a dashing color will look out of place. In the picture below, for instance, Kishani Perera has used a good mix of ethnic elements like hand-carved open book case, painted trunk as center table, cradle-styled chairs, and printed cushions. All the accessories blend well with the bright orange colored walls.

I just realized that it’s been  while since I posted a DIY project here.  The store tours had kind of shifted my focus away from everything else. So, here’s a easy project you can try over the weekend.

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your kid’s room is to decorate it around their favorite cartoon characters. My three-year-old is very fond of the Disney character, Winne the Pooh and his buddies Tigger, Christopher Robin, Rabbit, Eeyore, Lumpy, Kanga, Roo and Piglet. But he is at such a age where his liking for the fantasy characters is short-lived. A while ago, he doted on Noddy, and around the second birthday, he was quite crazy about Barbie (if only, for a brief while like two hours during which he felt she wasn’t quite her kind of fun),  and now, it’s Winnie and Spiderman.  Winnie has being going steady for nearly a year going by the Pooh accessories we have at home now – wall stickers, piles of books, soft toy, a deck of fun cards, and a towel. Anyways, while I wanted to do up a wall of his room around Winnie, I didn’t want to put up a permanent theme on the walls by painting which would make it difficult to change.

So, I got started on a acrylic on canvas portrait of Winnie The Pooh.  It took me about three hours t finish the project from start to finish, including shopping for materials.

What you’ll need:

1. Canvas

2. Acrylic paints

3. Tracing paper

4. 4-5 sheets Carbon paper

5. Paint brushes and palette

6. Self-sticking tape

7. Hooks

8. Varnish

Total Cost of the Project:

Under Rs.300

How to paint:

1. If you’re good at freehand, then draw the character directly on canvas. But if you’re like me who needs help with drawing, you’ll first have to find a picture large enough of the cartoon character. Look around for posters or stickers in stationery shops. Or if there’s a real nice picture of a smaller dimension, enlarge it on your computer and print it out.

Detailed steps on how to polish or restore the shine to your wooden furniture and artifacts. Has your wooden cabinet in the kitchen lost its sheen? Do the wardrobes in the bedroom wear a outdated look? Does the prized artifact, which you proudly show off to your visitors, retain its original shine? Restoring the look of wooden furniture, art work, and cabinets is easy. You don’t need to hire a painter or the polishing person, or worry about spending thousands on restoration. Unless you want the furniture to sport a distressed, aged look, you can give them a new lease…

Painting a house can be a nightmare. Strong odor, head ache, dust, throat infection are some of the things we associate with painting the interiors of a home. It’s one of those things we like to postpone as much as we can for the sheer hard work involved. In India, though, it is a relatively easy job as one contracts the entire scraping-painting-cleaning process. My perception of painting changed dramatically last month when we got my parents’ 1350-sq-ft apartment painted while living in it.  The ceiling and walls were done up in new colors and the house got a new…