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:

Entry-Side-with-Bench-and-Mirror

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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 …

ALCOVE BETWEEN THE BEDROOMS

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.

Alcove-Decor-Plan

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The Patterns of the Cholas, Part 1

You don’t need much knowledge about India design to know that India is bursting with color and pattern. Widely varying patterns too, did you know? There are so many regions and peoples across India, and their histories and cultures are reflected in the patterns in their architecture, homes, jewels and clothing. Their patterns tell their stories. From the chunky tribal designs of Nagaland in the northeast …

… to the fine gold and silk weaves of Kancheepuram in the south …

But honestly, I’m a very elementary student in this world of India pattern. I grew up in a suburban Midwestern U.S. home devoid of noticeable patterns. (Well except for the Fair Isle sweaters … and some crochet square afghans made by great aunts in the 70s.) No criticisms, it’s just the way it is in many homes here. Having traveled through my adult life and seen everything from bold  Acoma Native American pottery in the Southwest to shimmering red and gold Thai palaces … wow, there’s a whole world of pattern out there. It’s time to bring it closer to home …

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For the India Apartment: Rustic Pedestal and Wall-Mounted Bathroom Sinks

Recently I shared ideas for making a carved wood table-like bathroom vanity for our apartment in Chennai, India. I’ve also collected many pedestal and wall-mounted sinks on a Pinterest inspiration board. Whatever we do, the final result should be uncommon and creative.

Here’s the floorplan showing the master bathroom I’m thinking about right now:

The wall where the toilet is located will look like this (this is a photo of the store display at Vaigai Sanitation in Chennai):

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