We finally moved into the new house. It’s been two weeks. This was the first weekend in months when we had some time (a few hours) on our hands with nothing to do. That was a strange feeling. After you’ve been running around tirelessly for months for everything from hinges and laminates to painting and furniture, there is a sudden vacuum. Oh, we are not all done. There are still many, many pending items to be crossed off from the list. But, this momentary break is essential. In the meantime, Asian Paints got me excited about something I have been…

Happy it’s Friday today? My coffee table from Urban Ladder will arrive soon. My mind is on furniture for small spaces today. 1. Wooden bench for Rs.5,950 from Induscraft 2. Elmwood Tokyo stool for Rs.4,490 from FabFurnish 3. Arabia coffee table for Rs.3499 from Urban Ladder 4. Single solid wood sofa for Rs.8,995 from Zansaar 5. Alphabets and numbers pouffe for Rs.899 from My Nest Home What does your living room look like? I’m not wishing you a great weekend yet because I’ll see you tomorrow :) Image courtesy: Linked to the respective sites

Given the title, a disclaimer is in order: this is neither a sponsored post, nor do I get additional discounts on their products. With that out of the door, let me tell you why I love Urban Ladder.

1. Focus on furniture : I’m not faced with the paradox of choice (though slowly but surely, UL is getting there).  The focus only on furniture helps a customer who is out shopping only for furniture, and is not distracted by planters and mugs. Who would have thought shopping for a Rs.750 sandals can be a week long affair? This discount, that coupon code, additional discount code and 379 results ….phew! I just want a goddamn sandal!

2. Site design: Considering UL is an online retailer, simplicity of navigation, site layout is of paramount importance. And, they score high on that aspect. The page is not overwhelming, and so much easy even for my mom to shop.  They don’t have a zillion products cluttered on the page ranging from cushion covers to ramekins that you’d find with any other big online retailer. A perfect score for their site design. Sometimes, maybe everything under one roof isn’t what a customer is looking for if you are not offering the best at bet prices for everything.

3. Customer service: Anyone who has shopped with Urban Ladder will vouch for their exemplary customer service.

4. Simplistic designs: UL’s products score on account of minimalist design, atleast for me. I’m not a big fan of antique furniture with ornate designs.

UL has fun contests often that gives us a peek of how people have used their furniture in their homes. The following images are a great example of that from their 5kfor5 contest.

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.

Aren’t low seating furniture cool and informal? Don’t you think it’s easy to change the layout in a jiffy and change the colors with cushions as the mood changes with every season? And, a big space saver of course.

Last winter, when we got rid of all our bulky living room furniture, one of the things foremost on our minds, was to create space. I’m sure that’s the case for most of us living in apartments – not to bang on furniture while walking. Come to think of it, it’s not exactly the space or the irregular floor plan that’s a challenge, as much as choosing appropriate furniture.Most leather sofas look great in a showroom display, but become a monster in a 11*15 living room.

So, we decided to go non-traditional- mixing and matching- individual pieces which were comfortable and not space mongers. Here is a quick compilation of some interesting ottoman-like ideas from Indian and Japanese living/dining rooms.

The olden day chakki (wet dough grinder) inspired design can be used to display artifacts or be used a seating with/without cushions. The seat is large enough not to hurt your a*.

Peter Sandback’s studio with a plethora of compact, handcrafted options is one of my favorites. Can you spot the green square stool?

In continuation of yesterday’s post, I’ll describe the process that you can apply to paint any wooden furniture. So, if you’re game for some hard work, let’s get started. Preparation: 1. Identify the piece of furniture you want to paint. And, be convinced why you want to paint. Some pieces of furniture look best in their natural form. For instance, you don’t want a yellow paint over a beautifully carved teak wood cabinet, right? 2. Come up with a color scheme. Do a bit of research and use your design gut to finalize colors. To add zing to bare white…

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.

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…

Every once in a while, I get tired of modern home furniture and crave for something natural and minimalistic. I came across a flyer of bamboo furniture among some old magazines a neighbor lent me to read. The furniture was very impressive despite the rustic look.  I logged on to see if the company still(Logasree creations)  existed and what their current products looked like; it was quite disappointing to find no trail of  it any more.  But, that didn’t deter me from exploring further on Bamboo furniture.

If we ever buy a house on the countryside, this is how the furniture is going to look like :)

Doesn’t the living room look uber-cool with this bamboo sofa set? However, I think it would be nice to not have such a polished look for the walls and flooring; the earthiness is missing.