Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Design goes Barbie!

Delightfully-design-a-luscious-candy- licious! That's in a nutshell describing the "Barbie loves Johnathan Adler" collection- our very own Barbie's 50th birthday celebration. I remember getting my first Barbie doll, when I was in second grade maybe, and it was aptly titled 'My first Barbie'. A pretty Betty look alike, sporting a modest white frock and a pink ribbon. My First Barbie has grown to a lady and come a long way since then, hosting a big birthday bash at her very own pad in Malibu!

Designed by Johnathan Adler, one of the judges of the popular 'Top Design' Series, the Barbie Dream Home reflects her eclectic style, showcasing opulent pop-art colors and patterns.

The living room comes complete with a chandelier made from thirty blonde wigs, and whats super interesting is the original Andy Warhol portrait of Barbie herself, and tons of “happy chic” accessories that pay homage to all things Barbie.

This is her decadent bedroom with an amazing walk-in shoe closet that we would all just die for. And I'm in love with the mini vintage China cabinet, the black and white bold print wall paper. Very kitsch. As Jonathan states in his manifesto.. 'We believe minimalisim is a bummer!' I agree. There is beauty in mess and madness. Colors that clash

And for all the big time Barbie collectors out there, you can pick up select items for purchase as part of the “Jonathan Adler Loves Barbie” collection launching September 2009.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Another brick in the wall

I've always dreamt of a home with a warm cozy study, where I can plonk myself on a couch with a book and my regular cuppa joe. To make that happen in our tiny apartment in Mumbai, we had to get a little innovative. We decided to break a couple of walls and convert our second bedroom to a bar cum study, and of course scoured through various books and the internet for ideas, instantly falling in love with the old school brick look.

Since the New York loft or warehouse style apartment started to greatly influence interior design almost twenty years ago, bare brick walls have been a long sought after feature in modern homes. It oozes quality, solidness and style and like slate, contrasts unbelievably well with soft furnishings or other natural elements such as wood.

Featured below is one of my favorite singer Michael
Stipe's New York apartment. I totally love the deep red walls stretching down to the rich wood flooring, and lovely large windows letting all the light in.

Lighting a brick wall
To make the most of a bare brick wall, spotlights should be positioned above and angled down onto the wall in order to really show of its texture. the beauty of a brick wall is that the red tinge of the bricks actually add warmth to a space and really sit well next to delicately patterned curtains or settees. And half-walls make areas appear larger than they are, dividing space without interrupting lines of sight.

Where to buy?
Half brick can now be purchased in most DIY stores which basically allow us to create a brick veneer over an existing wall and enjoy the same effect for a fraction of the cost. We bought the bricks for our study at Vakola, Santa Cruz. You will find dozens of brick and tile shops in this area, and the rates are very very reasonable.

So once, you have your 'bohemian' exposed brick wall, it's time to let your imagination be your guide into decorating it. As for us, we are going to hang a couple of vintage poster prints, an acoustic guitar, and a dark wood book shelf. It's fun and exciting, and I'm so looking forward to doing it up!

Friday, April 3, 2009

D-I-Y Design Projects

Interior design and styling need not be rocket science. Any of us can become great stylists if we set our mind to it, and for everything else there is Some useful sites I have come across are and You can get great ideas to fit in your budget, and the key to everything is to find the right 'mix n match' combination.

Over the past few months we have been looking for interesting interior concepts for our new home in Bombay. We came across this show on AXN called 'Top Design', and we were addicted. The show brought in designers from all across America, to compete to win a cash prize of 100,000$ and a spread in Elle Decor. 

We were super inspired by show winner Nathan Thomas... his eclectic 'out there' sense of design, bold colors and styling, yet so simply poetic. I totally loved the cloud lamp shade he created for the dining area in the finale, it''s just so quirky and unique, we thought of making one ourselves over our dining table.

Cloud lamp shade in 2 steps:
1. For the base: You need a long plastic/wire mesh, to make a circular- cylindrical shape by tying the ends together. Cover the surface with ordinary white chart paper (using fevicol or cello tape as shown in pic on left)

2. Get white paper plates of different sizes and stick them all over the surface...and you lamp shade is ready. It's a gorgeous floating cloud when lit. 

The painting on the wall (first photo) was created by letting wet paint drip down an empty white canvas. Made my Nathan himself, it took him less than ten minutes. Can't get any easier than that! And it looks like a masterpiece. 

I like the choice of art Nathan uses for the study wall. It's all so random, and the turquoise wall gives it a  rich vintage feel.The odd combination of cushions and the artwork are his signature touches, which we can spot in every space he designs.

Wallpapers surprisingly can add a lot of character to an otherwise solid painted wall. It gives a sort of graphic- kitschy look, which may not be every ones' cup of tea, but definitely makes a bold style statement. Also I found out that wall-papering costs just as much or even lesser than texture painting, which everybody and everybody does these days. 'Harlequin' brand of wallpapers have a wide range of patterns from graphic to floral and is avaliable here in India.

What I've learnt over the past few weeks is to never be too scared to experiment, never play it too safe ...after all you get to design your 'own' house maybe a couple of times in a life time, so make the best of it. Spend hours and days researching, pulling out references from magazines, the Internet. Beg borrow steal ideas that work, add your own quirky touches and let your home be a reflection of your personality, and not just another modular set.