Apartment Construction & Decor Sources

Here I’ll share sources in Chennai, India and elsewhere in the world for our Chennai apartment. Completion of interior construction began in October 2010. It’s been slow going as we live in Chicago, so as of January 2013 we still have a lot to do, for example 100% finishing bathrooms and kitchen. As we proceed, we’ll learn of more good sources and good people to work with. They will be shared here!

In Chennai

Fenesta Windows — All windows and doors to balconies. They have distributors throughout India. Here’s the office we worked with in Chennai:

  • No. 304, 3rd Floor Prestige Point, 33, Haddows Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai  600006
  • Distributor’s address if you’re near T Nagar: Flat No. F-12, 3rd Flr, Archana Apts, No. 23, Sarangapani Street, T.Nagar, Ch-17

Floor ‘N Decor — Granite for counters

Muthu Handicrafts — Antique 100+-year-old carved wood main door and restoration of the door.

Vaigai Sanitation — Most indoor tile, bathroom sinks and toilets. Be careful with them — even if they deliver the wrong color or quantity they may refuse to take product back. I’d suggest you inspect the delivery on their premises before they deliver it to you.

Viveks — Some electronics. So close to our Chennai T.Nagar location, we can walk there. About 10 years ago we bought a new TV for my husband’s family there, and to deliver it, they just wheeled it up the street!

Kitchen cabinets were custom-built by a local carpenter and his team.


A. O. Smith — Water heaters in bathrooms

Asian Paints — Wall paint. They’re all over India. Visit the website to find dealers.

Fanimation — Ceiling fans. Anemos Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, 91-22-2493-4333

Glen Appliances — Built-in stove hobs and oven, chimney hood, refrigerator, dishwasher imported from Italy.

Olive — Kitchen cabinet accessories, swing and carousel trays for corner cabinets, “baskets” for inside drawers and cabinets, soft closing slides.

Vani Crafts — Copper farmhouse sink for kitchen. Located in New Delhi.


We caution against hiring Vels Interiors in Chennai for interior work. Very inconsistent work quality – floor tiles were laid well, but bathrooms and kitchen were sickenly shoddy. So unbelievable, we had to hire someone else to rip it all out and replace everything. So we had to pay twice for the work. Vels does not respond well to problems. Downstairs neighbors cannot get a response to fix broken things and sloppy work. Vels’ designer ordered 10x the amount of an expensive accent tile needed for our master bathroom. The retailer told him he was wrong. He insisted on ordering 10x too much. We’re stuck with a pile of tile that Vels charged us for, that cannot be used, and Vels will not respond to talk about this big mistake. We visited their Chennai offices, and the owner refused to meet with us. We wrote a letter and the owner accused us of bribing him. As a warning to you, here is an open letter about Vels Interiors in Chennai. Vels wasted a lot of our time and thousands of U.S. dollars of our money.

In THe U.S.

Hobby Lobby — Cabinet hardware and hooks for bedroom wardrobe interiors. Kitchen decorative items.

Home Depot — Painting supplies. We even fit a 10-foot long collapsible paint roll extender in a suitcase. Accent tiles for the kitchen backsplash for the bargain price of one penny each.

HomeGoods — So much! Dining plates, bowls, mugs. Kitchen utensils, copper pots n’ pans, decorative items like a ceramic rooster for the kitchen, 3-foot tall hot pink candle lanterns for the guest room (from India, going back to India). And the coolest big ceramic elephant. Toilet brushes in decorative containers. The most gorgeous blue glass decorative platters and bowls. I have most success at the location on Rand Road near Dundee Road in Palatine, Illinois.

IKEA — Mosquito netting, spice jars, 11-foot long linen curtains, and hot pink and orange duvet cover for guest room that won’t have a duvet actually in it — this is Southern India weather, folks!

One Kings Lane — Kantha vintage sari quilt, rustic mirror for master bathroom, vintage style metal clock, hot-hot-hot pink pillow for guest bedroom.

Studio 41 — Kitchen faucet. Several locations in Chicagoland area. We shop the Highland Park or Schaumburg locations.

Sur La Table — Ceramic yellow Tuscan cannisters for kitchen.

11 Replies to “Apartment Construction & Decor Sources”

  1. Hi there,

    I have a client who adores the sweet cabinet hardware featured in your spread from the April issue of Elle Decor. We have had several iron workers try to replicate something similar and have gleaned our vintage hardware sources. Are you willing to tell me where those came from? Any insight would be most appreciated. Thank-you.

    best regards,
    Maison Inc.

  2. Your blog on furniture was not only nice but also highly informative and easy to grasp. The way you explained different aspects of furniture made it accessible to a wide audience, which is commendable. Thank you for taking the time to write such valuable content. Your insights have not only enhanced my understanding but also sparked my interest in exploring more about furniture design and functionality. Please continue to share your expertise—I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

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