Good Finds at Good Earth in Chennai, India

I need to get my mind out of the gutter that is our Chicago basement lately, and find a happier place, like the original purpose of this blog:  decorating the India apartment!

We visited Good Earth while in Chennai last year. Good Earth had the merchandise mix we love:  comfy upholstered furniture, old Chinese cabinets and tables, plus a dash of India. This is pretty much the style in our Chicago home.

Things we saw at Good Earth …

I like this interpretation of columns, fashioned of wood and painted silver:

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Nagaland Style

We stepped through a simple door like all the others. Except after stepping through this one, we were suddenly made so small. We felt uncomfortable, as if something tipped over, we’d be crushed. We hurried through the room of enormous objects. Things were chunky and crudely carved. Hulking brooding shapes. Baskets and bowls big enough to feed a village (and they probably did). At 1/5 scale these things could be pretty cool. But they were not for us. We scurried out in search of more manageable things.

They were the things of Nagaland. They were in a room at Crafter’s in Cochin. I got the sense they had once belonged to strong people. Survivors. They made steady unshakeable things like these …

Shown at CNNGo, Nagaland tribal doors:

A bed, which could become a coffee table, at Michael Donaldson Antiques:

A table shown at Terra Firma:

A panel used to decorate a village men’s house, available at Under the Bo. See what I mean? Big! (that is not me):

A wood carved chair via Purple Onion — this page is also a fascinating read about the people of Nagaland and their customs:

The textiles, jewelry and other personal adornments of the tribes of Nagaland are predominant with red, black and white. Here’s a collection of Nagaland artifacts via Potala:

Detail of Nagaland textile once available at Zena Kruzick Tribal Art:

Here are bronze cuffs from a tribe of Nagaland, at Guillermina Asian Arts and Antiques:

If you want to learn more from people who have traveled to Nagaland:

I admit my focus on the objects of Nagaland feels ridiculously superficial, when there is so much to know about the people and the culture. This is making me curious to learn more about them.

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Living Room Furnishings Found in Chennai

We’re about a year away from fully furnishing the India apartment. Meanwhile we have fun looking for ideas! While in Chennai last month, we visited Good Earth, Kian, Lifestyle Homecentre and other stores, and we visited Crafters in Cochin. Here are snapshots of things we saw (and some we purchased) and where they could go:

It all looks very brown and beige right now, and yes neutrals will be the foundation of the open living/dining area. But there will be color, yes, there will be color! Soon, I’ll show you some of our colorful finds from Good Earth in Chennai.

Regarding the room layout, the TV location poses a challenge. The electrician provided everything needed for a TV on a smaller wall that’s right next to a large window. This set-up would have made more sense on the opposite larger wall. I think our electrician set it up so we could see the TV from the kitchen and dining area. But this also makes for an awkward living room furniture layout, plus awkward viewing with light streaming through the window only two feet away.

You may think, just change the location. Well, as I have learned now seeing construction in a concrete/brick structure in India, when you want to change any electrical, this is what happens:

In person, this looked worse — like the dust cloud coming after Tom Cruise in Dubai in Mission: Impossible 4! And yes we ran away from this dust cloud, right out the main door and down the stairs. I went shopping after seeing this, just to see something nice again. Literally, retail therapy. You can see more photos in a previous post where I tried to find beauty in the dust and crumble.

So regarding the TV location, either we could mess up walls (and the entire apartment, really) yet again before more things move in, or we could leave it as-is. The mission is ours if we choose to accept it. We may walk away. Instead we’ll look for black-out blinds for the big window next to the TV, and a smaller rather than bigger living room sectional.

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