Outta My Mind: India pied-à-terre Room Designs Part 1

The conversation always goes like this:

He: So do you know what you want to do?

Me: What? I’ve been blogging about it for years. Haven’t you looked at the blog?

He: So what do you want to do? (notice he avoids answering the question)

Me: It’s on the blog. It’s in my head. You know, like stencils on the walls, old-looking walls, older style furniture, a global mix, you know …

He: Um, it’s kind of hard to see …

Me: I know but it’s all in my head. Trust me. Remember when we re-did the master bath? It’s beautiful! That was all in my head too. I even had all the  measurements perfect! Then it all kind of tumbles out.

He: Well, can you tumble this all out on paper for me?

Here’s a few mock-ups so far …


A little alcove sits between the bedroom doors and it’s visible to the entire public area of the apartment. Cabinets hide the clothes washer and dryer. I blogged previously about the inspiration for this little space, the Buddha hands that will be cabinet door handles, and the paprika color. And oh, the Buddha that I wish were mine. He is not, but he appears here because one can wish.

Sorry this mock-up is a bit crude, but you get the idea.



Previous posts have talked about plans for the master bedroom. I’ve always envisioned a low bed with Indian block print bedding, with round Moroccan tray tables at the sides. I already have stencils for the wall design behind the bed. There are no closets, which is customary in India, so we’ll install wardrobes along one wall. There’s a hook for a baby bassinet but we’ll hang a chair there. Best to keep things off the floor for easier cleaning. It’s dusty in India’s cities!



A few years ago, I got colorful things in pinks and oranges for this room: a shocking pink silk pillow, a kantha quilt, a big ceramic elephant, and very tall pink candle lanterns. I’ll make suspended lighting with pink and blue sequined laces, and twinkling beads and silken tassels will hang from them. It will be the one room in the apartment with brighter colors, but still a bit subdued. This apartment is supposed to be an oasis of calm and quiet amid the city’s chaos. Too many energetic colors would fight with that idea.

One thing I love about the guest room is the placement of a window. It’s perfect for building storage around it to create a window seat.


Now that I look back through the blog, the vision for this room has changed a lot. My first idea was antique and rustic looking. I still love that look but don’t want to get too attached to special things in an apartment I’ll rarely ever see. I’d rather bring them home to Chicago. The second idea was more cute. This final vision, I love, I wish I could jump into this moodboard!

Although the photo includes Madeline Weinrib rug and Shumacher fabric — which I think helps make the look there — but I wouldn’t put such pricey things in this apartment unless they were easily washable. We’ll need inexpensive substitutes.

I’m not looking for much stuff. We don’t live in India full-time. The apartment is for short visits by us or others, so not much is needed, and the rooms may lack some conveniences you’d want in a place where you live 24/7. Such as, instead of a big upholstered cushy chair in the master bedroom, there may be a hanging chair.

Individual elements in the moodboards above are linked at Olioboard:

Coming soon, the result of more things pulled out of my head and put onto moodboards …

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4 Replies to “Outta My Mind: India pied-à-terre Room Designs Part 1”

  1. Personally I totally get it even though its in your head. And you HAVE got it all down on paper! Hasn’t he seem your blog or Pinterest? Duh. It’s clear as day! I’m always frustrated when the plan is clear and then someone says “put it on paper.” Agh! Go away with that! lol. The mock ups look beautiful!

    1. Ha ha, I KNOW. I mean doesn’t my description pin the nail on the donkey! No he doesn’t read the blog, too busy. It’s 2:30 a.m. and he’s talking on the phone with his team in India and now I can’t sleep. So maybe I’ll “put more on paper.” OK, boss …

  2. It’s quite clear to me, too :) I have the rooms in my house planned out in my head too, with occasional drawings on paper just to convince myself that I’m not insane. And the planning (and shifting of furniture) is sometimes so real that I’m a bit annoyed when I wake up in the morning and find that things aren’t as they should be :)

    1. So funny! I totally understand. It’s a no-sweat job to plan it all out in our minds too. I just don’t understand how people can’t see what’s in my head! :) Thanks for visiting again!

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