Vacation Sandals with Bohemian Chic Style

What do sandals mean to you? If for you, they mean “every day footwear,” oh boy. Do I ever envy you!

For me, sandals scream sum-sum-summertime! Wave your arms and twirl around in the sunshine! Tans! Sand! Eating ice cream cones OUTDOORS!

See, I live near Chicago and for about seven months of the year, there are no sandals to be seen. I will push and stretch sandal season into the odd day in November when the weather is unusually warm. And sometimes you’ll see me wiggling my toes in sandals in February, feeling free of the tyranny of work pumps and their rigid structure that keeps you office appropriate, squished pinky toe and blisters be damned. Kind of a metaphor for life, huh.

So, the best summer vacation sandals are those with free bohemian style. Express yourself. Flowy fringe. Floppy tassels. Strips of strappy straps. How about jangly metal coins? Rhinestones. Studs. Like, straight outta the souks of Marrakech!

If you can’t get to Marrakech any time soon, you can get the look by simply going to Etsy. I tripped across an Etsy store (while barefoot!) that sells hand-crafted embellished Greek leather sandals from Athens — Dimitras Workshop.

Looooove these “artisanal sandals” with magenta accents and bronze coins:

Dimitras Workshop Etsy Shop Boho Chic Sandals

They popped up in my Pinterest feed. And I held my breath while clicking on the picture, because Etsy products are ALWAYS sold out by the time you see them on Pinterest. Or the shop is long closed. But not this time! Dimitras Workshop is there and alive and well, and selling these sandals and all kinds of fun summery vacation sandals.

How about these “Yasmine” sandals. Wear them with everything from classic denim cut-off shorts to tie-dye indigo caftans:

Dimitras Workshop Etsy Store Yasmine Boho Chic Sandals

These “Flamingo” pink sandals are slightly more under-stated yet still fun:

Dimitras Workshop Etsy Shop Bohemian Style Sandals

I am probably old enough to look ridiculous going to Coachella at this point in life. But hey, I could wear these bohemian chic style sandals to the movies! The grocery store! Why not?

Dimitras Workshop Etsy Shop Coachella Style Sandals

If you want just a little neutral bling, go for these handmade leather sandals:

Dimitras Workshop Etsy Shop Neutral Blingy Sandals

I’ve bought plenty a sandal on sale at DSW. But what I like about these is the idea of supporting handmade products, and appreciating the vision and flair of an artisan.

Hmmmm. You may see these in the future on my feet as I make a run to a toilet warehouse in Chennai, India. (Yeah, I have to do things like that sometimes to keep our bathrooms in good working order … ) Or better yet, you may see me on a beach in Sri Lanka soon! Happy vacationing!

Furniture Makeover: From Danish Modern to “Antique”

Several times, I’ve transformed furniture from a plain “Danish modern” style into something far more interesting (to me, at least!). Did you know you can makeover furniture from plain Danish modern into a global style — Chinese antique and Indian antique?

Here’s a few pieces I’ve made over …

I did a makeover on this cabinet to make it look like a Chinese antique:

DIY Cabinet Makeover

Click here for a full tutorial. I used a small poster of a Chinese scene that I ordered from the V&A Museum, olive green milk paint, a few pieces of basswood, and Chinese style hardware found on eBay. That’s it! It now fits much better with our global decor, with Moroccan lanterns and a gong found in Cambodia.

I added raised stencils and Chalk Paint to this armoire to make it look like an Indian antique:

DIY Armoire Makeover

Click here for a full tutorial. I used a Moroccan stencil from Royal Design Studio and created a raised effect, and several colors of Chalk Paint and Clear Wax from Annie Sloan to totally transform this armoire. Oh, and new pulls that look old, from Anthropologie.

Cabinet Makeover Indian Antique

I’m itching to do another piece. I wanted a shelf or cabinet in our living room to hold a bunch of books. While surfing the Ikea website, I found the BESTA cabinet with DJUPVIKEN doors:

IKEA BESTA DJUPVIKEN Doors

That’s what that cabinet looks like now. But when I look at it, I see its future!

I see adding paint to make it look old, metal studs, and old metal hardware from India, to make it look like an antique damachiya (wedding chest) from northern India. Here’s a few examples of what this cabinet could become …

This damachiya was sold by Hammer & Hand Imports at Etsy. I loooove it, the chippy turquoise paint:

Antique Turquoise Blue Indian Wedding Chest Global Warm Industrial Storage Trunk Sideboard Console Media Console

Incidentally, the carved chippy painted wood piece that we used for the base of a bathroom counter in our “second home” apartment in India was found at the Hammer & Hand Etsy shop — check out what we did with it!

Here’s a damachiya that shows the metal stud idea, from De-Cor in Pasadena, California:

Damachiya from de-cor

I think it’s the raised square-ish shapes on the IKEA cabinet that made me see it as a damachiya similar to these old chests. With chalk paint or milk paint and the right metal accents, I could make the IKEA look old, like we found it in a desert hideaway in Rajasthan and shipped it to Chicago!

You can tell I’m not a huge fan of the currently popular mid-century modern style. Because any furniture we own that’s similar to that style, I keep turning into global antique style!

Maybe you will see a “DIY damachiya” in my living room in a future post.

Oh Boy, Charpoy

The entrance area of our apartment in Chennai, India — the India pied-à-terre — is mostly empty right now:

How to Stencil DIY Tutorial: Indian Design Floral Damask Wallpaper Wall Stencils

We got that cute low table with the little cushioned seats from an Indian online shopping site, Urban Ladder. It’s their Kivaha table. The table is supposed to be in the living room as a coffee table. But this entrance area was so woefully empty, and I needed to photograph this wall I painted, so I styled up the tiny bit of furniture available. The focus of this photo was mostly the wall, anyway! See how to paint a wall to look like this, visit my tutorial at Paint+Pattern. And click here to see how to make those hanging lanterns. Yes, these lanterns can be easily DIY’d!

I’m dreaming of our next trip to India, and doing more decorating and furnishing of the apartment. For this entrance area, we need seating for visitors. And I’m looking for a charpoy. What’s a charpoy? Check out a Pinterest Board full of ’em to see! It’s a wood and woven bench/daybed/cot. An iconic piece of Indian furniture. Here’s a charpoy you can get in the U.S. from Restoration Hardware:

Restoration Hardware Charpoy

My plan is to find a charpoy in India, vintage or new, on our next trip. Or I may have our carpenter build the wood frame and I would weave the seating myself. You can do that, you know:

Then, I would stencil patterns with white or light gray paint on cream color fabric, and sew a cushion cover and fill it with foam. It would look something like this, a cushion on a charpoy shown at HELLO Blogzine:

Charpoy Cushions and Pillows shown at HELLO Blogzine

And of course, I would paint stencil designs on more fabrics to make pillows. I’d look for white embroidered chikankari fabric to make pillows. Maybe cream or light gray or white sari fabric or cream color sari borders too, if I can find such a thing in colorful India.

You see, I’m keeping the apartment light, like Scandinavian white in India, as shared here in a post years ago.

I know for sure one of the pillows will have sheesha mirrors sewed on similar to the John Robshaw sheesha pillow:

John Robshaw Sheesha Mirror Pillows

I have packages of Darice mirrors found at Joann, and yeah this pillow will be another DIY. Maybe I’ll sew the mirrors in rows over painted stripes. We’ll see!

The end goal is a charpoy with a riot of patterns, with quieter colors.

And oh yeah, here’s the mirror that will hang above the charpoy:

Mirror for India Apartment

But this dang mirror! I bought it many years ago and since then it’s lived in our basement and a storage unit. It’s JUST a smidgen too big to pack for checked luggage on Etihad without incurring big extra fees. Ugh! And the mirror really can’t be disassembled without damaging it a lot. Believe me, I’ve thought of all ways to get this mirror to India. But I’ll figure out a way sometime, that’s for sure!

We’ve already hauled this rug to India to put in this space: It’s the Beaumont Adileh VII2 Talisman Rug from RugsUSA:

RugsUSA Beaumont Talisman Rug

I thought that rug would look great with the charpoy, cushion and pillows.

Here’s another shot of the entry area:

Nomadic Decorator India Apartment

Hopefully after our next trip, there will be a very pattern-full charpoy piled with cushions and pillows here!

And yes, you can paint on fabric to make your own designs. See links to a whole bunch of stenciled fabric projects I’ve done, in my post about how to be a fabric designer with paint and stencils.

And oh boy … in addition to looking for a charpoy, I have a lot of DIYs to do on our next trip, huh?