As of right now, July 2023, the Sundance catalog has chairs upholstered with saris. They have kantha stitches so they have texture. And of course they have the obvious things about saris – wild colors and pattern mixes!
They’re made with vintage saris, so they’re one-of-a-kind.
There’s a Sundance store within walking distance of our house, and I really should go. I miss the days when we got paper catalogs in the mailbox, and I’d sit in a comfy chair and flip through the pages, and dream. Clicking on online pages is NOT the same.
Speaking of the comfy chair … our chairs are great quality and were pricey nearly 20 years ago. But now they’re almost 20 years old. The feathers and down are squished. The upholstery mostly still looks good, but cat claws and vigorous vacuuming of fur took their toll in a few spots. I don’t intend to ever throw this furniture out, or put it on Craigs List or Facebook Marketplace. We bought quality construction. I don’t want to pay the cost now for that level quality. The chairs can always be re-upholstered. These Sundance chairs are making me imagine how we could re-do our chairs.
I will be honest, I get a bit frazzled in India. The action, heat, horns, lights, everything can be energizing, and it is also over-stimulating to me and wears me down after awhile. Because, it’s the flip opposite of the very quiet acre of land full of only nature and trees we’re used to living on outside of Chicago. So after a long day out and about in the middle of things in Chennai, the India pied-a-terre is an escape.
This might be why the India pied-a-terre is not full of the energizing colors you would expect me to use there, like hot pink!
It’s full of light and white. With actually, black as an accent color. I’m not sure what people think of using black as an accent color in India, but I like the edge it brings to a room. And, I use deep paprika orange and copper metallics. It’s hard to stay disciplined and stick only with these, so there are some touches of blue and one room does have hot pink paint stencils on a wall. But I keep the “hot” to a minimum!
Just inside the main door, we need a place to set keys, handbag, hat, wallet, shopping bags, phones, pieces of paper, etc.
Right now, all this stuff winds up carried further into the apartment, and it all gets piled up on the dining table of all places. When we want to eat, we have to clear all this stuff off. It’s like squeezing a toothpaste tube, though. All the stuff winds up thrown in a hurry on the sectional in the living room, then. It doesn’t belong there either! Living minimally leaves you with few surfaces for stuff. So, you have to be even more conscious of how you live, and what you need, and what annoys you, so the few things you do choose serve a good purpose for you.
We need a horizontal surface just inside the main door!
But not just ANY surface.
Here’s my “moodboard” for the space inside the main door:
I would love a white washed damchiya to go with this look. There’s a space to the right of the door where a damchiya could fit perfectly.
Though this is a white-on-white theme, it is not boring. The wood brings warmth. The pattern is visually interesting. I know the tribal look would contrast nicely with the more simple modern things in the room.
Here is one from Mugal Gallery that has shisha mirrors embedded on it.
You’ll notice in my inspiration moodboard above, there are pillows with shisha from John Robshaw in it.
I know people are excited about IKEA coming to India. There are a few things from IKEA USA in the apartment – things we could fit in our suitcases. But I don’t anticipate buying IKEA furniture for the apartment. I’d rather we find things with history and a story to tell, that we take care of for awhile before passing them on to others who will care just as much.
Every Halloween, my mom cooked chili. Steaming hot chili with oyster crackers floating on top. It was served in red, orange, ochre and brown ceramic bowls. Even the colors of the dishes were warm. We would eat the chili to warm up before dressing in our costumes to go trick or treating in the crisp autumn air. Now, for me, chili is forever linked with cool fall evenings. I crave this chili when the nights get cold and the leaves start turning color. So, I thought I’d share the chili recipe.
1 can condensed tomato soup (sometimes we use fire roasted diced tomatoes)
2 16 oz. cans of red kidney beans
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
In a bit of oil in a deep skillet or big saucepan, brown the beef and cook the onion, garlic and chili powder until the onion is tender.
Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Makes 4 servings.
We like to add fire roasted corn to the recipe. And serve it with sharp aged cheddar cheese grated on the top. I also love chili powder from Penzey’s or a flavorful chipotle chili. It has rich savory flavor without tongue-burning heat. But mostly, I try to keep the chili close to mom’s original recipe. There are a bazillion chili recipes out there, but there’s nothing like the original favorite food that you enjoyed as a child.
Setting a Cozy Table
Color can go a long way to creating a cozy feeling to go with cozy food. Darker warm colors like red, terra cotta, paprika, olive green, even navy, all work together to make meals feel like comfort food on chilly days.
I love to decorate my dining table with unexpected, different things like a table runner made from kimono fabric. I find kimono fabrics on eBay. They’re about 14″ wide — perfect for table runners! Here’s a silk kimono fabric with autumn leaves and colors that I shared in a blog post several years ago:
Wouldn’t the bowls and copper pieces shown above look great with this fabric as a table runner? Add candles, pumpkins and acorns, and you have a cozy autumn table.
Our dining room walls are also painted a warm cozy paprika color. I can tell you, sitting in there feels like a warm embrace, perfect on colder fall and winter days!
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:
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:
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.
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:
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 …
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.
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