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 google.com. Some useful sites I have come across are apartmenttherapy.com and designspongeonline.com. 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 hey...it 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.