Paisley Block Print

I posted previously about wanting to create my own block printing on sheets like Les Indiennes or John Robshaw. The set I’m trying most to emulate is this:

The first essential block print arrived a few days ago — a large paisley block print. I found it from Etsy seller textileblocks.

It was described as the mother of all paisley blocks and boy, it is big. It’s probably not as big as the paisley in the Les Indiennes bedding shown above, but it will work. Now I need to find the right smaller block prints. The textileblocks Etsy shop has more nice ones, and they’re also shown with a tape measure so you know the size.

Chandeliers for Your Home

Let’s see if there’s a commonality among chandeliers I’ve admired. (The post about mirrors, where I gathered images all in one place, helped me clearly see what I will look for in a bathroom mirror.) During these holiday months, we more often gather with many people at the dining table. And what better way to bring beautiful light to us, our families and guests than from the jewels 0f a chandelier. I’ve admired these:

The Gypsy Chandelier in the Sundance catalog. Just look at these details!

Definitely liking BIG drippy things which this chandelier also has, at Home Portfolio:

Lest this starts looking like an homage to one of my favorite shows, True Blood on HBO, let’s move on to another look. I like some strength in the shape. Like this Femme Fatale Chandelier at Horchow:

Damasco Chandelier at Home Portfolio, in a set of staggered threes:

Expanding on this shape, clearly there’s a preference for tiered styles like this M0ura Starr design featured at Home Portfolio. It has options for 50 colors!

And this one, but I’d like more Mughal than Abbey shapes. This one shown at Home Portfolio too, makes me think of pipe organs in church. I’d rather think of anything else but that in my home. But still, I like the shape.

At over US$11,000 this one will remain a fantasy. But couldn’t you replicate this look with fabrics?

Check out this pierced metal chandelier at Horchow:

It seems to carry several personalities:

What a view from below:

Different shape, but I also like this metal chandelier at Horchow:

I also like strong glass globes. But at over US$16,000 this featured at Home Portfolio will not be hanging over my dining table. Nice to look though:

Similarly, this Minaret Pendant at Home Portfolio:

Generally I avoid leggy eight-arm chandeliers. I lived in a condo once that had a big shiny brass one in the foyer and it made me nervous. It gave the feeling like an enormous octopus or spider was looming over us. I don’t like feeling like prey. Who does?! What a welcome to the home! It was immediately taken down and replaced. Things in threes are far more friendly …

Blown glass chandelier at Home Porfolio:

And another one, colorful:

What’s my favorite? Although I could live with all of these, it’s none of these! Will share that in the next post because it deserves to be highlighted all on its own.

Celadon with Dinner

Last night we had a holiday celebratory Indian dinner with a friend. We rarely cook such a big dinner so it was a real treat for everyone. Here are photos of our tabletop, done up quickly because due to impending snow we decided to start the meal earlier than originally intended. And these are awful iPhone pictures so I’m honestly making an attempt to obscure that with Photoshop effects!

Atmosphere was provided with simple votives, candlesticks from Target, and the gong is from much further away from home than our nearest Target, from Siem Reap, Cambodia:

Most of our dinnerware is celadon from Baan Celadon in Chiang Mai, Thailand. True to our style, we mix things from everywhere — a Buon Appetito trivet was a gift from a birthday party which had an Italy/Tuscany theme:

The garland in the middle is from Joann’s holiday decorations, picked up last week at half off. The placemats were purchased years ago at Crate & Barrel. They are red silk duppioni with gold embroidery. I like the contrast of layering the dressy red silk and the rustic brown round placemats here. Because the garland has twigs, pinecones and bird nests as well as shiny red berries. So everything follows dressy red + rustic brown. Plus celadon, which makes most foods we eat look good.

I love these banana leaf celadon pieces we found at Baan Celadon in Thailand. Perfect for chutney.

And mango lassi!

I love papadums. We often cook way too many because they’re so fun to fry. We wind up frying way more than we can eat. Thankfully today we had a friend to help us eat them all. Papadums pre-dinner:

Papadums after all the frying fun:

Kitchen Hoods

Despite my conflicts over some aspects of creating this apartment, some things are known. The kitchen will have a Tuscan style hood over the stove. Here’s some inspiration for kitchen hoods:

All pictures above are from Tartaruga Design.

Sometimes these hoods are edged with wood. I like this curvy design featured at

For a very different look, here’s a hammered and stamped metal hood with gorgeous artistic design:

Beautiful weathered bronze kitchen range hood:

Wow, this zinc hood is 6 feet wide (or, approx 2 meters):

The company that made the custom hood shared above discusses the need for attractive ready-made hoods with moderate prices, such as the one pictured below. So more people can live with beauty. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree!

Similar to the above hood, this company also creates a white enameled hood. Enough variety that something should fit most kitchen visions:

A Spanish style hood with tile:

A faux brick hood that beautifully incorporates storage to showcase your nicest bottles and cooking supplies:

I am really enjoying look at these as I upload them. Many feel so warm and homey, as a kitchen should be. Hope you’re enjoying too. Here’s some more …

I cannot figure out what is on this hood (applique? painted?) but it’s very interesting and colorful. This is a real Tuscan kitchen from one of the Tuscan villa rental websites. Note the differences between this authentic kitchen and the kitchens built by people with lots of resources who want a Tuscan feel. Frankly those kitchens just feel like rich kitchens. This one really feels like the one we cooked in for a week when we visited Tuscany and created many great times and memories. Only this real Tuscan kitchen brings those memories back:

Despite what I say above, it’s still fun to be inspired by all these kitchens whether they’re really in Tuscany or not! Here’s another kitchen in Tuscany. Note that it’s much simpler than those of many people who seek to recreate a Tuscan kitchen:

Yet another kitchen with range hood from Tuscany. Note how it’s common to hang pans on the hood:

Below is the kitchen in the villa we rented in Tuscany a few years ago. We poured over hundreds of villa photos on the villa rental website. We needed a smaller villa as there are only two of us, so we found this one with two bedrooms (many villas can hold a whole entire extended family for a vacation together, very big with many bedrooms). But most important, we could see it had a charming kitchen because we like to cook. It’s a charming country kitchen that real people live in, not just upscale creation for tourists. We liked that. It has two fireplaces including the one you see here in the kitchen. We used the fireplace in the family room to roast eggplants and other vegetables while we drank and danced to American 80s music on the radio! Yes they had an entire 80s music station. At one point a neighborhood cat poked its head in a door ajar to see what was going on in this place. We tried to coax him in, but alas, he decided 80s music and dancing were not for him. The views are beautiful as are most in Tuscany — overlooking olive groves and rolling hills. This villa is located in a rural area about a 30-minute drive east of the town of Greve in Chianti. The owners are lovely people who are available to greet you when you arrive and help you get settled in. We have many happy memories in this Tuscan kitchen, and surely we will return to this kitchen someday, if only for another week:

I adopted a new philosophy about wanting things during the week at this villa. We were sitting one evening at the table on the outdoor loggia here:

Looking at this:

And I was whining about why we can’t have this view at home. Yes, full-on whining. It wouldn’t even be fair to use a euphanism like “musing” or “discussing.” It was whine time. And my husband said, Appa would say, but you do have it. Right now. For now. Enjoy it. It is yours for the week.

Wow.  Yes. He was correct. It was ours for the week. A wonderful week. And that’s probably why we’re creating a Tuscan style kitchen in the India pied a terre. There is no denying it. I still do want more of it! :)