I saw Anita’s home first on ‘gram and loved how she nailed the not-so-often seen dark decor. Anita Mackenzie nee Kumar is the founder of Plum Chutney, an online home decor store inspired by India, set up in 2010.
Plum Chutney is a very personal attempt to celebrate my love for Indian colour, patterns and imagery. We sell cushions, throws, table linen, gifts and art. Vibrant and beautifully crafted each piece tells a colourful story for your home.
Anita takes us through the journey of decorating her home, her styling tips, and where she finds inspiration. Over to Anita:
I am Indian and have lived, studied and worked in India for the first 31 years of my life. Fate had a westward move up its sleeve for me. In 2005, I moved to London for an expat stint with my then employer Unilever. During that time I met my husband Alistair and the rest as they say is a bit of Indo-British history.
About the home:
Type: Owned. A 3 bedroom semi-detached house.
Size: 1,300 sq.ft
Years lived in: Since October 2017
While the bare bones of the house are quite modest, the principles of modernism ensure that the flow of light and space is very well thought through. At 1300 sq.ft and spread over two floors the house isn’t particularly big. But with a beautiful wrap around garden on three sides and with big windows facing both east and west to the front and back of the house respectively – it is a home that makes the most of every ray of sunshine we get in an often wet and gloomy Britain.
How would you describe your design aesthetic? Are you more of a DIY person or otherwise?
You are fascinated by dark colors and make it work beautifully. How does it feel in the winter months, though? Do you change the way you style for seasons?
Another notable feature is the geometric pattern – walls, furnishing in subtle ways. Can you elaborate on that please?
Your easy styling tips for all of us on an everyday basis – like what colors to choose for runners/cushions etc.
- Always buy things you love instinctively not because they are trendy or someone else loves them
- When putting things together avoid being too matchy – experiment with mixing patterns and color. A geometric will quite often contrast very nicely with a floral. Just vary the size of motifs, If the floral is big use a small geometric pattern or vice versa.
- If struggling with color look in your wardrobe – you will often find you are drawn to a few instinctively. Find the interior equivalent of those.
- When styling a table or any flat surface vary heights and shapes. If you have a lot of rectangles and squares in a vignette find something circular to break it up and vice versa.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with asymmetry – it can introduce simple interest points all over your home.
- Plants are one of the most sculptural objects you can add to a home – they soften decor and are healthy for you too.
- If you aren’t already into vintage items please do explore them through antique shops, flea markets, or eBay. Or just try being nice to grandmas and aunts so they gift you some of their well kept treasures. Nothing can give your home individual character like mixing in a few vintage pieces. An old chair or a vintage mirror or any little object from the past will add enduring charm to your home.