We had two weeks in September in India to:
- Finish two bathrooms
- Get the water running
- Hook up kitchen appliances and plumbing
- Install some lighting
- Install A/C units
- Add skirting on the walls
- Install interior doors
- Paint the walls and ceilings of an entire 1500 sq ft apartment
That would be a lot anywhere. This was the itinerary of our two-week vacation in India!
Yes, a lot of people said “that doesn’t sound like a vacation.” But I say, if a vacation takes your mind away from the every day, then it did its job. Never mind that my body felt like I was at a prison labor camp and I dropped a dress size within two weeks despite eating mountains of South Indian food.
Our goals were simple: Cook a meal before we left. Be able to stay overnight. Be able to use a shower. That is all. Actually those were my husband’s goals. I had the additional goal of doing creative painting and stenciling on walls. The apartment wasn’t ready for that until the last day and we had to catch a flight home to Chicago. I painted the base coat for a master bedroom stenciling project, then washed my brushes and packed stencils in a suitcase. Wah!! Next time …
We also didn’t quite cook a meal. On that last day, we had foods left over in the fridge to eat … a weird hod podge of pomegranates from Kabul, figs, apples, sharp cheddar, yogurt. So I assembled them into a healthy light meal. It was the first time prepping food in the India pied-à-terre’s kitchen.
I think I got tears. You know, this blog was launched 5 years ago! Five years ago in October 2010 I started yammering on and on about what I wanted to do with the apartment, how I’d decorate it, how I’d paint it. And hopefully inspire a person or two along the way.
One post back in 2010 was about farmhouse tables. I loved the rustic farmhouse tables with trestles. Tables with personality.
Another post back in January 2011 was about chairs with farmhouse tables. I Photoshopped chairs that perhaps don’t quite go with farmhouse tables.
But I didn’t care whether these chairs were supposed to go with a farmhouse table or not. I wanted quirkiness. I wanted contrast. Mis-matching was good.
Some things haven’t changed. And all the years of yammering weren’t for nothing.
Because one day last month, we were on our way to Good Earth in Chennai, driving through Nungambakkam and its upscale Rutland Gate shopping streets. My husband spotted a sign — Timber Teak. With an empty apartment, we needed furniture. “Furniture! Turn right!” he told our driver.
Turns out, Timber imports teak furniture from Indonesia. They have traditional styles and contemporary styles. Anything wooden you could need for your home is there. We first fell hard for some curvy chairs. They hugged your back and your bum and felt comfortable enough for a hard wood dining chair.
Then while we squeezed through the warehouse’s skinny aisles piled high with furniture, we spied a really rustic and rough table surface. And of course I bent over to see the legs. Because the legs make all the difference! And I saw … a trestle. And farmhouse detail on the ends.
The size was right too — about 3′ x 5′, a good size for the small-ish space we have for a dining table.
We usually don’t make such fast decisions. But this was the right decision. The table had all shades of wood from light to dark in it. It was super thick and substantial looking. And we loved the idea of contrasting the curvy chairs with the blocky table. I think we broke some rules because we switched chairs from a matched dining set, but the shop was okay with doing that. We love our one-of-a-kind unique dining table.
Here it is in our apartment, just a few fast unstyled photos snapped in the last hour before we had to pack and run to the airport. That was all the time we had.
Check out this rough grain:
Here are a few more things from Timber Teak. You can find new pieces on their Facebook. If you’re in Chennai or nearby, give them a look:
Love these Chinese chairs:
They even have the trendy raw edge look:
I really love their strong chunky modern pieces like this bench:
I still have my mind on this cute chair spotted in their warehouse:
At least the next time we visit the India pied-à-terre, it’s ready for a meal right away!