White-Washed Damchiya

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!

So in keeping with the light color theme, I’ve written before about white jharokhas and layers of white global patterns.

Today I’ll talk about white damchiyas.

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.

Let’s look at some!

Here is one from Stone House Artifacts. They travel to India and find the best of the best.

Damchiya from Stone House Artifacts

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.

Damchiya from Mugal Gallery

You’ll notice in my inspiration moodboard above, there are pillows with shisha from John Robshaw in it.

And another, gorgeous, from Aadi Ambe:

Damchiya from AadiAmbe

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.

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How to Style Console Table Vignettes

Console tables – slim tables set against a wall – make the perfect place to create a little scene that uses many surfaces: the wall, table, floor and area around the table. Console tables give you a manageable area to do something really interesting. Let’s take a look!

This is a simple scene but the accessories (and floor!) make it very interesting, from BHG:

Console Table Scene via BHG

This scene featured at Remodelaholic has the same colors and textures, but a very different look:

Console Table Vignette

If you get overwhelmed with trying to create a good balance of proportion, shapes, materials and textures in a large space or throughout an entire room, a console table is a more manageable area to do this and be happy with your results.

This console table in a foyer via House & Home has more stuff, and it’s interesting to look at in a different way than the example above:


A creative console vignette photographed by Hector Sanchez:

Console Table Vignette Hector Sanchez

It brings a lot of creativity and FUN to what would otherwise be dead space between windows. This is also a great little space to highlight a wild wallpaper or painted stencil that you might not want all over an entire room.

Foyers and entries are common places for console table vignettes. This view is from the side, but you get the idea. At House & Home:


Let’s look at something a little more unusual, and wow do I love this. You can find where to get all the elements of this scene at Elle Decor:


While the scene above is organic, this next console table entry scene is controlled but still very creative in a different way. By Wiseman and Gale Interiors:


Although this next scene couldn’t be more different from the one above, I feel like the creators practiced just as much restraint with their choices of what to put on and around the table. Via Marie Claire Maison:


Check out the fun and brave mix of things here, featured at Lonny:


Go for mixing up a new blend of accessories and shapes!

Console tables are also higher than many big dogs’ wagging tails, so they’re a place where you can put things that would get knocked over in lower places.

I hope this gives you ideas to try something a little different with smaller tables and console tables in your home.

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Outta My Mind: India pied-à-terre Room Designs, Part 2

Look back here to see why I’m making moodboards of how we’ll decorate the apartment’s rooms. Today, the entryway …

First, imagine you’re walking or riding the streets of a major South India city surrounded by heat, humidity, humanity and honking. Constant honking.

Then tall black iron gates swing open and shut behind you, protecting you from what’s beyond (make sure no goats get in). You now stand surrounded by gray concrete compound walls, in a shadowy concrete carport under a multi-story building. Watch where you step, you might trip on a piece of rubble.

Head toward the left, to the stairs. You can see the curly railings. Go up one, two, three flights, to the top floor. By now you might be panting and sweating, especially if you’re carrying something. Careful if someone just washed the tiles outside their apartment door, the water might make the steps slippery.

But now, before you, stop a moment and behold …

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xrH0-cH3Oo?rel=0&w=450&h=259]

The door opening is only about 5 feet high. Most people must stoop to step through.

Once through the tiny fairy tale door, a cool quiet apartment with soaring ceilings lies before you. The entryway is calm.

To your right:


Continue reading “Outta My Mind: India pied-à-terre Room Designs, Part 2”

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