Shopping Nirvana in India

Today was a day of shopping nirvana in northwest Bangalore. Here are the treasures found:

Bangalore Shopping Treasures

It’s not a huge pile because I tend to not buy a lot. Maybe that’s because I’ve traveled a lot and in the beginning, gorged on the buffets of shopping available. We hauled home suitcases of stuff but, honestly, I did not love much of it. Now I want to get that feeling of, you know, like your heart beats a little bit faster when you see something. Or when you see something in a shop and after wandering around for awhile, you’re still thinking about it – it’s the one thing you’re still thinking about. Those are the signs that you will love these things.

Today I found things that spoke to me: Lakshmi, block prints, patterns and fine textiles.

Brass Patterns from India

India Patterns


Pattern Mix from India and Uzbekistan

Shown above are a brass printing block at Anokhi; a mango leaf necklace at Tharangini (known for its block prints though it has a small textile and jewelry shop); Uzbek embroidered pillow, silk Turkish tulip textile and glass painted Rajasthani tray at Arastan; and a Lakshmi oil lamp from Vermilion House. I will share more about each of these places in longer blog posts.

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One Kings Lane Shops South India (!!! Excited!)

I open the email and what do my eyes see? Could they possibly be deceiving me?

One Kings Lane Shops South IndiaShopping in South India? Really? Seriously?

One Kings Lane Shops in South India

It’s true! Oh yay! You might think my excitement is weird, but it’s not often that you find any mention of South India.

Why would I care? I’m so happy to see so many new visitors here, and if you don’t know yet, this blog originally started because we have a “second home” apartment in the city of Chennai, which is in South India. (It’s not yet finished … so more to come about getting it done in the future.)

Outside of India, most of what we are exposed to is from North India. India is a huge country with different cultures, languages, foods and styles throughout the subcontinent. You will see different styles in the south than you see in the north. And it’s not often that we get to see the southern styles. So … let’s go shopping for South Indian style at OKL …

Like teak and cane chairs that look tropical, like this one that just beckons “lounge on me lazily while sipping cold coconut water under a palm tree:”

Teak and Cane Tropical Chair from South India

These wood stools with bone inlay – beautiful! They’re sold out. I must hunt something like these down next time we’re in India:

Wood and Bone Inlay Stools from South India

And a brass urli, quintessential South India Keralan style. We may have Le Creuset, but Kerala kitchens have urlis. Urlis are also used for decoration (mine on our fireplace hearth holds candles):

Brass Urli from Kerala

OKL found a silk sari in Chennai (my favorite sari shop there is Nalli in T Nagar) and turned it into pillows. One sari can have many different patterns across many yards of fabric, so you can get different coordinating pillows from one sari:

One Silk Sari Many Patterns for Pillows

There’s also simple strong shapes lacquered in red:

Red Lacquerware from South India

I love wooden architectural remnants like this niche on a stand:

Wooden Niche on Stand from South India

There is so much more to see at the sale, check it out! It’s nice to see so much sold out. Hopefully they will run another sale of South India goods.

Here are photos from OKL’s shopping travels. Ancient temples and elephants, always a must-see in India:

OKL Shops South India

Shopping in Kochi:

OKL Shops Kochi

We’ve also had fun shopping in Kochi. Check out these posts for photos of our South Indian shopping for the India pied-à-terre:

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Indian Pillows With Golden Patterns

You may not have your own Chola temple, and you may not have built a Mughal sandstone city. But you can have India’s patterns on smaller everyday things you live with. We found these pillows at Good Earth in Chennai last year. Note the golden touches …

I’m planning to make similar pillows to take to the Chennai apartment on our next trip. I found metallic fabric paints at Joann, and will play with stencils and patterns, and will try printing images on fabrics.

Funny story: One day I left the pillow cover with the woman’s face draped over a pillow in our living room. The face is pretty much life size. And it was draped a bit lopsided as if she were reclining on the couch, as we do. My husband went downstairs in the dim light of the morning, and the “blue lady lying on the couch” scared the cr*p out of him!

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Columns as objet d’art

Somewhere in the India apartment there will be a column or two. But they won’t be there to exert muscle strength and support the structure. Instead they’ll casually hang around, maybe even be lazy and lean a little bit. The only job requirement will be to have good looks. Like these columns …

We saw these at Crafters in Fort Kochi, India last year:

Next are half columns that are flat on the back, so they could stand against a wall. They’re not very exciting here, but don’t let the current look of something stop you. They could be painted, they could become fabulous:

We saw these column capitals (?) at Crafters and imagined them as bases for low tables with glass tops:

This exquisite column was in our hotel in Kochi:

How about these columns with original blue paint from the early 1800s, available at Eron Johnson Antiques:

From SalvageOneChicago, teak columns the color of butterscotch:

I also like the idea of making new creative interpretations of old things, like these painted wood columns that greeted us at Good Earth in Chennai last year:

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