Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Diwali Decor Ideas

Diwali, the brightest and the most celebrated festival in India. 
Unlike other festivals, Diwali celebrations extend over a five days period. Diwali represents the conquest of good thoughts and deeds over evil tendencies. Each of the five days has its own significance and different ritual. I follow all the rituals and rites religiously, it lights up my heart and mind with spiritually pure intellect. Though it's a five days celebration but preparation and anxiety begin weeks ahead, we start cleaning, preparing delicacies and decorating our homes well in advance.
I hope that most of you are done with cleaning phase and now must be looking for some Diwali decor ideas. So here on 3D I am sharing some basic tips to decorate your home for Diwali in collaboration with Shalu of Templebells(check out her beautiful home tour here), who is sharing images of her gorgeous home bathed in a warm glow of lights during Diwali and I'll be sharing ideas on how you too can achieve the look.

Though there are a number of decor elements that can cheer the space up this festive season but here I am sharing three that top my list this Diwali.

Festive Decor

  • Light
As Diwali also knows as Deepavli, which signifies row of light (deep = light + avali = row) and hence it is a festival of light. That is why the light is the most important element of Diwali decor. Here is how Shalu has incorporated light so harmoniously in her decor.

Festive Decor

My suggestion to achieve this look is-
Illuminate every corner of your home using lamps, lanterns, earthen pots(diyas) and candles but keep in mind that overall appearance should not look cluttered and overdone. Harmony is the key to creating perfect warm and welcoming look. Create a coffee table vignette by clubbing together candles/diyas/tealights of different heights or size and shape.

Festive Decor

To balance the look float some floating candles in uruli and place it on the floor. Don't forget to light up brass lamps in beautiful shapes and place them on a chest of drawers or console table to pull together the look. Whereas sconces and chandelier will do their magic on walls and ceiling. This way you will be adding light to every corner and nook of your home and making it ready for Diwali.

Festive Decor

  • Flowers 
Diwali decor is incomplete without flowers. Flowers add cheer and vibrancy to the decor. Their intoxicating fragrance can evoke a feeling of happiness and relaxation. Have a look how beautifully Shalu has displayed flowers in her home.

Festive Decor

My tip to display flowers attractively is -
Fill your home's surrounding in a magical blanket of the fragrance of fresh flowers. Choose an interesting and attractive vase and create a flower centerpiece to place it on the coffee table.

Festive Decor

Try to colour coordinate flowers with the colour of cushions or other decor accents like lanterns or lamps on side tables. Arrange flowers in an elegant way. Flowers with the long stalk in the center then comes the bunch of flowers in some vibrant colour to make flower arrangement bit dense followed by some greens in different shapes and sizes. Now accessorise coffee table with knick-knacks that go well with the flower centerpiece.

Festive Decor

How can I forget the fact that most of us run short of time during this biggest festival and couldn't manage to create a perfect flower arrangement. No worries at all, I am here to share all sorts of tips. If you are in a hurry then just pick up brass or copper pot (Kalash) that is easily available in every household and fill it with a fresh bunch of carnation, dahlia, daisies, roses, chrysanthemum or any other flower that you have. Pair it with matching accessories and you are ready with an eye-catching display of flowers  in no time.

Festive Decor

If you want to add some more character and drama to your decor then don't forget to hang strings of marigold on walls and curtain rods. This will complete the festive look. 
  • Metals
Metals add the touch of elegance to the decor. No matter silver, brass, bronze or copper metals are in vogue again and add a sense of richness. Mix them beautifully and it will work fine. Check out how elegantly Shalu has mixed metals in her decor.

Festive Decor

My advice on how to incorporate metal in decor-
Brass diyas and figurines bring in a stylish touch to your decor. You can revitalize your space by displaying the beautiful collection of silver/brass/copper accessories. There isn't any fixed rule of thumb to display metal. try to pair it with light, the metal will gleam in the warm radiance of light and will create a perfect festive ambience.

Festive Decor

A tall standing brass diya is just enough to add the festive touch to your decor. Light it up and arrange some flowers or petals around it to add festive cheer.

Festive Decor

Accents of metal always warm up the space. Don't afraid to mix and match metals, try to incorporate both warm and cool metals like silver with brass or brass with copper to create a strong decorative statement. 

Festive Decor

Few more things you can experiment with Diwali decor this year are....
1. Perk up your living room by adding some more cushions on the sofa in vibrant colours. Pair the cushions in plain colour with the printed ones to create a balanced look. 

Festive Decor

2. Try to combine all the three elements light, flowers and metals together in your decor and you will be witnessing the spellbinding ambience. 

Festive Decor

I hope you liked the images shared by Shalu and Diwali decor ideas shared by me to revive and brighten up your space. Don't forget to share this post with all your decor enthusiast friends. Share some of your ideas too, we would love to hear from you. Check out some more Diwali craft and decor ideas here.
Happy Decorating!!
Coming up next is the post on Diwali Gifting Ideas. Stay Tuned!!

P.S. All the images are shared by Shalu Prasad and subject to copyright. Please do not use any of them without permission.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Home Security Myths

It's time to talk about home security and safety. 
If you’ve read my previous post on home security, there are lots of myths and misconceptions when it comes to how best to protect your home. I would like to point out the ones that hold home owners back from spending money on better home security solutions. To help you better understand the importance of home security, I’m going to bust three myths that are floating around about home security.

1. Installing an iron safety door makes your home safe
Iron safety doors prevent people from getting into your home rapidly and forcefully and that is why homeowners consider it safe for their homes. In my neighbourhood, a good number of people have installed iron safety doors. However, these doors are not completely safe. Opening the door without knowing who is on the other side of it, could jeopardize the safety of the people who are inside the home.

2. Hiding a spare key under the doormat or a flower pot is safe
Lots of people hide their spare keys outside their homes, either under doormat, a rock or inside a pot. It is both the most common, and the least secure, ‘hiding the spare key’ strategy. People who hide their keys in this manner believe they have found the best hiding place ever and some of them assume that their neighbourhood is safe. But the fact is that most thefts occur because of poorly hidden spare keys. It's best, therefore, to play it safe. Always avoid leaving your keys unsecured and exposed. Use key less locks or entrust your keys to trustworthy people.

3. Thefts happen only at night 
Now this is also a misconception across large sections of the urban populace, who still believe that thefts happen only at night, and ensure that every door and window is bolted properly. The same people are very relaxed during daytime, and don’t bother locking their doors when they step outside to run errands or to chit-chat with neighbours in their vicinity. Contrary to popular perception, many burglaries are carried out in broad daylight. Every home has a stream of visitors from the courier service to the odd handyman; some of whom keep a tab on the goings on in your neighbourhood and share vital information with burglars.

Modern home security solutions
To avoid such untoward incidents, be attentive and equip yourself with the best home security products and solutions on the market.

For example, one great idea would be to install a video door phone. Then, you wouldn’t have to open the door for people you don’t know. If you don't recognize someone turn on the camera, communicate with them, and then decide whether it is safe to open the door or not.

I hope that I’ve successfully debunked some break-in myths and that you will all be a little more alert and careful! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Make Your Home Festival Ready With 'House This'

How have you been dear readers! 
Come festivities and I am ready to explore online stores that can help me give my home a festive makeover. And you all have been such wonderful readers, how can I forget to take you through this amazing experience. I would like to introduce you to the brand 'House This' available on Jabong
I browsed through their product gallery and was completely awestruck by the beauty of patterns, designs and colours of home lifestyle products available there. Before I share my experience let me first explain a bit about the brand. 

Home Lifestyle Products

"House This, founded by Shikha Pahwa in 2010 creates home lifestyle products with a unique design and brand identity. House This, brings together years of experience in the manufacturing of home fashions and a young and innovative design team to curate the most fashionable products for home. The brand is now available on Jabong."

Time now to share my experience and what did I choose for my home. I liked most of the 'House This' products and spent a lot of time pondering what should I pick for my bedroom. Then keeping the fact in mind that winters are just around the corner why not pick a duvet cover and that's when my eyes fell on this Delft Duvet Cover. Delft, because the patterns on duvet cover are inspired from stunning Delft blue pottery. I instantly fell in love with its colour my favourite turquoise and patterns that reminded me of Delft blue pottery. 

Turquoise Duvet Cover

The very first touch and feel of the duvet cover made me realize why didn't I come across 'House This' on Jabong earlier. The duvet cover is made of superior cotton and I need not to worry at all whether it will fit in my duvet after washing or not, as the duvet cover has been  preshrunk (now this is what I call value for money) and mercerized for long lasting use.
House This offers a range of quality home fashion products in every possible colour to give you a delightful experience that you rightfully deserve.

House This on Jabong

My bedroom came alive with these exquisite motifs and calming colour. I paired turquoise with indigo blue with a hint of mustard. Am I happy, oh boy this is what I had always wanted for my bedroom. Now don't you too want to give your home a festive makeover, then head over to Jabong and pick something for your home sweet home from 'House This'.

Turquoise Bed Cover

I am absolutely in love with this duvet cover for its premium quality, beautiful patterns and design. If you find the pricing of products bit on a higher side do not worry at all as quality comes with a price. And a good news is that as the festive season set to kick off soon, you will get heavy discounts on 'House This' products on Jabong. Without much ado go ahead and take a look what's on offer.
So how do you like my new 'House This' duvet cover, do let me know!!
Coming up next is series of posts on Diwali decor and gifting ideas. Stay Tuned :)\

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Handcrafted Home Contest

Hiya dear readers!!
Five years ago around this time I had started blogging with no big plans in my mind. 
I kept writing and sharing my decor and DIY ideas with you all without wanting anything in return. But I got a huge family of like-minded, creative and enthusiastic people from around the world and their endless love and support in return. It's because of you, yes each one of you who commented, encouraged, liked and kept reading my blogs, I have made it this far. My blog is completing five years on 12th Oct 2015 and I don't want to miss this opportunity to celebrate this occasion with my lovely and ever growing 3D family. 
If you are game, I am running a contest in association with 'Heart For Art' charitable trust. Before I go ahead and tell you more about the contest, here is a brief introduction about 'Heart For Art'.
Handcrafted Home Contest

Now I am sharing details about the contest. As 'Heart For Art' is all about handcrafted home decor products and I too love decorating home with handcrafted beauties, hence the contest we are running is 'Handcrafted Home'.

Handcrafted Home Contest

And here are the steps to participate in this contest.
1). What we want to see is a picture of any beautiful corner in your home that is decorated with the handicraft from any Indian state/city for example Dokra from Jharkhand, Sabai grass craft from West Bengal & Odisha, Wooden toys from Channapattna, Longpi black pottery from Manipur, Kottan from Chettinad and many such exquisite and unique crafts of India.
2). Check out 'Heart For Art' store and let us know which handcrafted product you liked the most.
3). Post image along with comment about Heart For Art products (Step1 & 2) on my Facebook Page (click here). Multiple entries are allowed.
4). Contest is now live and will end on my blog's 5th bithday i.e on 12th Oct 2015. Keep posting and have fun. I will announce the winner on 13th Oct 2015.

Now you will love me more because goodies that the contest winner will get are the best craft from WB, Odisha and Chttinad. These handcrafted products will be a perfect addition to your decor this festive season. Flaunt them to add panache to your home decor. 

Here's goody1: Sabai Grass Bread Brasket from West Bengal

Handcrafted Home Contest

Sabai grass grows extensively in the districts of Midnapore, West Bengal and Mayurbhanj, Odisha. Natural dyes as well as lead free chemical dyes which are skin and environment friendly are used to dye the products. Here is your chance to win this eco friendly beauty. Go ahead and post images. 

Here's goody2: Kottan Gift Box from Chettinad

Handcrafted Home Contest

Made in the finest Kottan traditions, from finely strip cut palmyra leaves. The Kottan tradition has been associated with the Aachis of the Chettinad region in Tamilnadu and has many weaves and designs that are used to make these exquisite baskets. This gift box can be used as trinket box or to store cards. 

Now lets check out how Sabai grass tray that I got from 'Heart For Art' is beautifying my place. I am totally in love with the beauty of this handcrafted basket. 

Handcrafted Home Contest

I have been using it in various ways. Sometimes it holds my coasters and sometimes I use it to display knick-knacks. 

Handcrafted Home Contest

Sometimes it serves as a beautiful tray and makes my tea time even more enjoyable. 

Handcrafted Home Contest

I know longingly you are looking at all the beautiful products from "Heart For Art'. So without much ado go ahead and start sharing beautiful pictures of your wonderful haven. I will be coming up with the video of all the entries I will receive. 
Good luck to all of you and have fun!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

My First Patachitra Painting

Recently I attended Pattachitra workshop organized by Heart For Art and got the opportunity to learn this exquisite Indian art formIf you are coming across the term Pattachitra for the first time then I would suggest you to go through my earlier post on Pattachitra PaintingsI would have never imagined the painstaking process involved in creating a Patachitra painting if I hadn't attended this workshop. Let me share my experience.

Patachitra on palm leaf

Padmaja Jalihal, trustee and founder of 'Heart For Art Public Charitable Trust' contacted and invited me to attend the Pattachitra workshop -an initiative by Heart for Art supported by INTACH, Warsaa and Kaveri Kalakshetra is designed to increase awareness about India’s art & craft heritage in schools through one on one interaction between the artisans & students. Prafulla Kumar Moharana -a veteran Pattachitra artist and the winner of National Merit, Odisha State and Lalit Kala Academy awards conducts the workshops. I was so ready and excited as I have been planning to create a gallery wall in my home to display various Indian art forms done by me and so far I have made a Warli painting, Madhubani painting, Lippan work and now this Pattachitra painting to add to my ever growing painting collection. Instantly I said yes and reached the venue before time. Super excited I was!!
Paintings were hanging on the walls and caught my fancy, the very first sight of them gave me goosebumps. I was thinking I wouldn't be able to make such fine art with so many details. But after seeing all the participants from all walks of life, I mustered up the courage and took my seat.

Patachitra on palm leaf

Under the guidance of master Pattachitra artist, Prafulla Kumar Moharana, around 10-12 participants learned how to make this very intricate and wonderful painting. Supplies given to us were palm leaf canvas, stylus, pencil, ruler and beautiful motifs. We were explained how palm leaf canvas is prepared. It involves cutting palm leaves in rectangular shape, drying them in the sun, applying a coat of turmeric and neem oil to avoid wilting. Below is the picture of the motif I chose (because it was looking very beautiful, but I didn't realize that it will be too hard to draw and carve it on palm leaf later) and all the other supplies. 

Patachitra on palm leaf

Step 1: Drawing/Tracing Design:
With all the participants visibly excited, our class began. We were told to draw the given motif on palm leaf canvas and we all started drawing it using our pencils. It took a long time to draw such fine design on the leaf. After the first step was done we were ready and eager to know what would be the next step.

Step 2: Engraving:
Let me tell you this step was the most difficult one. When I started it seemed easy, but as I held the stylus in my hand and started carving on rough palm leaf surface I realized I can't even draw a neat line. But one gets better with practice. It took even longer than drawing to etch the design on palm leaf bookmark.

Patachitra on Palm Leaf

Step 3: Coloring:
This step is the last and easiest among all steps. We all were told to etch our name on the reverse side of the bookmark and then engraved palm leaf bookmarks were colored using black ink. Preparation of black ink is also very interesting, soot is collected from a plate kept above the flame of the lamp. This soot is then mixed with oil and tamarind seed powder. This ink was applied on all the palm leaf bookmarks and quickly rubbed off. This way grooves stand out distinctly. 
Patachitra on Palm Leaf

Pattachitra can be done in colors too. Colors used are always natural colors. As we all were beginners we made basic and the easiest Pattachitra bookmarks.

Patachitra Palm Leaf Bookmarks

 A closer look of my Pattachitra Bookmark.

Patachitra Palm Leaf Bookmark

Patachitra On Palm Leaf

Thanks to 'Heart For Art' for giving this wonderful opportunity to learn this ancient Indian art form.
Hope you all enjoyed going through this step by step tutorial of Pattachitra painting.
Now let me share the news with you, dear readers, that in association with 'Heart For Art' I am bringing to you a fun contest very soon. So stay tuned!!

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