Home Renovation Diary: My Kitchen and Dining Area Reveal

I have been sharing our renovations and the interior styling of different rooms of our house  –  one room at a time. It is now the turn of the heart of the home; the kitchen and dining area where we gather as a family for everything from eating to playing monopoly.

Given the layout of the house, the kitchen is actually located conveniently between the living room and the home office, allowing one to be ideally situated in the middle of the floor. I didn’t really appreciate this positioning in the beginning but the unique open plan layout of the area has proved to be a boon.

Kitchen design can be fraught with second-guessing oneself as it is such an important area of the house and one that we really don’t want to get wrong. My advice, consider everything and then make a must-have list.  Prioritize that list and then work down in order of importance to you as often we just can’t have everything we want.

Individual family dynamics should influence the layout of your home and these were key considerations for us in deciding the layout of this room. Our family enjoys gathering around the dining table and my children will often do their homework there  – so I was determined to have a full-sized dining table in the area. We tore out the island that was there previously and this proved to be the best decision for us. We were also adamant that we wanted a double fridge and full-size oven/ hob in the kitchen – we decided that they were non-negotiable and worked from that blueprint. As it was a contained area, we decided to go with a simple white kitchen and light grey granite countertops. The Flexi hot water Quooker tap we installed at the sink has proved to be the best thing since sliced bread and I am so glad my husband insisted and I listened!

I have always loved exposed brick and I was dead set on having a vintage brick statement wall in the kitchen that juxtapositioned with the ones in the adjacent study. The builder tried very hard to talk me out of this, citing a variety of reasons that I would regret it.  I listened to all his reasons but just couldn’t get past the idea of the brick. Luckily my husband said that if I was convinced then that’s all that mattered. On a brave day, I told him to get started with the vintage brick slips I had bought and lo and behold – the result was stunning!  He admitted he was wrong and that it actually added a standout element to the kitchen.  I also had a clear glass splashback installed so that there was a clean and continuous look of the wall and this has worked very well so far.

I was very conscious that I did not want to overcrowd the area and therefore, we decided to get benches for the full-sized dining table and only two leather chairs on either end.  This lends a casual and welcoming vibe to the area, and keeps the eye-level spacial view clean and uncluttered. We decided we did want a rug under the dining table for warmth and decided to go for a flat pile distressed rug in black and white that will be more resistant to stains as food will inevitably fall over the table.  I love this rug and it ties the place together really well.

When we had just bought the house,  a dear friend came over and casually remarked – you should get a skylight put right above the cooking area.  What a great idea we thought and went for it! There was already an existing skylight running the course of the stairs going up on the side of the kitchen so now we have a kitchen bathed in light which is just the greatest feeling in London. Perhaps one of our most successful decisions was to line the sides of the skylight with glass as well.  This has worked better than we could have ever imagined – when it is raining the drops are reflected in all directions of the glass and it’s quite hypnotizing – like live moving art in the middle of our kitchen!

Overall, the kitchen and dining area design and decor have proved to be more than we could have hoped for. It suits our family fabulously well and it has taught me a very important lesson.  Believe in your convictions and your vision and if you think you really want something – go for it! Sometimes the only way to create a remarkable space is not to play it safe but to that chance and try something different.

As you well know, I love interiors. When I moved to the UK from the US almost two decades ago, I discovered English home magazines and I was hooked. I have been an ardent interior styling advocate and implementor for many years and the time has finally come for my interior styling passion to have its own platform.

I would like to introduce to you to ‘Interiors by Isha’  – my interior styling services and platform.  This platform will allow me to offer interior styling services and also share ideas, tips, tricks and all things interiors that I love with you.

Do you feel that your living space needs a helping hand in the style department? Our homes should provide an inviting environment that speaks to our personal style and decor sensibilities. Whether you rent, have lived in your home for many years or have recently renovated and have a blank canvas – I can help you in achieving your ideally decorated interior space.

I can help with:
– Advice on different interior styles
– Help you implement your preferred interior style
– Transform a dull room into an impeccably styled room
– Help with sourcing unique furniture and accessories

…and much more.

So, if you feel a conversation with me may be helpful – please do get in touch.

Email: contact@interiorsbyisha.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/InteriorsbyIsha/

Instagram: @interiors_by_Isha

 

Thanks so much for reading and have a great week ahead.

Please click on the square to see the full photograph.

It’s Finally Here: The Big Interior Reveal of My Living Room

Hello! So here it is – the big reveal of the interiors of the living room of our home.

As many of you know, I am an ardent interiors lover and I have been sharing the interior styling of different rooms of my house on this blog – one room at a time.

As many would agree, the living room really is the social centre of the home. In today’s modern hectic family life, it is the room that carries the burden of being the gathering room of the house, the room where we entertain family and guests alike and the room where we relax and unwind after a long day.  Those are some major demands for a single room to fulfil; it needs to satisfy the needs of the entire family.

Given the hefty task at hand, it can be daunting to get started.  As I have said before, one of the most efficient ways to get started is to identify certain pieces that you may already own and must fit in a particular room –  pieces that you are not willing to get rid of under any circumstances.  Luckily for me – we already owned such a piece. During our five-year assignment stint in Mumbai – I bought a very large teak wood mirror from a roadside woodwork shop originally designed as a temple.  I subsequently had it painted ochre (a kind of dirty yellow) colour.  Everyone, including the shop keeper, thought I had lost my mind when I asked for it to be painted this colour but I have always loved it and now we all love our big yellow mirror.  Given that this is a large mirror, the long uninterrupted wall in the room was the only place that could house it. This mirror then served as a starting focal point for the room, enabling other decor decisions to be made.

I bought the wooden stool in front of the mirror in Oshiwara market in Mumbai. I then had the seat made and this was my opportunity to use some luxurious bold upholstery fabric to cover it.  I adore this in front of the mirror and the juxtaposition of the two is one of my favourites corners in the room.  the Urli on the floor was another heavy package carried from Kochi back home.

We were very sure that we wanted a big TV in this room as we do like to watch TV and movies together as a family. Family watching is something my husband and I treasure as it facilitates hanging out with our children and is effective bonding time. We were adamant that we wanted a TV with no visible wires and this desire was fulfilled with the help of Pat Patel of HangmyScreen. He did a fabulous job installing the TV here as well as in other rooms of our house.  I would recommend him wholeheartedly!

The chest on the other side of the TV is a family treasure we bought on our honeymoon in Bali almost 19 years ago (yes we returned from our honeymoon with furniture!).  We both saw it in a shop where it was being used as a display shelf ( and was not for sale) and decided we had to have it. It is an old rice chest  – the kind given at weddings apparently. The chest not only looks good but also provides valuable space for holding our various decorations year-round; Diwali, Christmas and Halloween are all housed here. The painting on top of the chest is another holiday purchase and bought in Bangkok, brought home as a canvas, and then stretched onto a frame.

The leather chair and ottoman is a piece we have had for many years and even though I occasionally suggest replacing it with an Eames chair – the rest of the family won’t hear of it.  Its ageing leather gives it stately presence and it’s still the single most comfortable seat in the house.  Next to it, is a recent holiday buy that I am particularly fond of. The giant white embroidered leather pouffe was purchased on a holiday to Marrakesh and functions perfectly as a side table and as a base for the giant rattan tray bought in the far east. On the rattan tray are some beautiful boxes bought in Goa that highlight the exquisite Portuguese tile work that can be found there.

Our sofa is a Ligne Roset piece that we bought 15 years ago and it has passed the test of time with flying colours! It is as firm as the day we bought it and the Alcantara fabric has proved to be a godsend as far as marks are concerned.

Above the sofa, is a piece of cartographic art in the form of the world map, which both my husband and I fell in love with the moment we saw it. This is a mixed media and silkscreen print, where all of the countries are depicted by their respective passports. A combination of 23.5 Ct warm gold, 22.5 Ct renaissance gold and silver leaf is delicately applied by hand.  Given our love for travel and having lived in various countries around the world, this spoke to our entire family’s love of travel. The sofa also houses the only two cushions in this room bought from Good Earth in India – I love the inclusion of ethnic prints in a monochromatic print.

On the floor is the Berber rug that we also bought in Marrakesh (we can’t seem to come back with light suitcases from anywhere!).  It fills up the space perfectly and my children love lying on it to watch TV.  The glass coffee table works perfectly in this space as it allows light through and does not add any visual burden to the room, allowing the other pieces to shine.

On the side of our sofa is our new glass console table purchased recently on eBay (you know I am a big fan).  I wanted something that was subtle and yet provided valuable space in that corner and this table fulfils the remit perfectly; given that it matches our old coffee table is an added bonus! The top of the console provides a home for our favourite Cire Trudon candles which smell heavenly and are a true treat. Places next to this is the genuine antique in this house – this black ‘kurmandal’ (kamandal) was lying in a cupboard in my parents home and when I heard the story behind it – I begged my mother to let me have it.  There is a fascinating story behind this and you can read about in another blog post – My Take: On Injecting an Ethnic Flavour into Your Home Decor (Part II)

On top of this console is another favourite piece of art – our ‘Hundred Rupee Note’. It is painted by a Czech artist who spends 6 months a year in India.  We love the iconic note and I have never had a visitor who has not loved the rendering of this historical piece of currency.

We should all aim to surround ourselves with items we love in our homes. I am a particular lover of fusion style where we can match various styles and elements to create a unique environment that speaks to us as a family. Put simply, our homes should remind us of happy times and happy travels and I have tried to create a living room that does just that.

The room came with the gorgeous skylight embedded in the roof. The room further opens into a self-contained open-air patio which I am still finishing and will lookbook later when I achieve the final look I am aiming for.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and my interior styling results in our living room. Please do get in touch if you have an interiors query – I can talk interiors all day long! As always, thanks for taking the time to read Isha’s Verdict and have a great week ahead.

 

My Hallway Decor Reveal: Building on Family Heirlooms

Hallways are those communal areas in our homes that are used by everyone in the family but are often ignored in terms of decor and interior styling. Unfortunately, they are often lower in the pecking order of the rooms we focus on and by the time we get to decorating them –  our stamina, money and interest are all severely depleted. They are, however, crucial areas that set the tone for our daily comings and goings and provide valuable wall space for displaying many of our treasures.

I have one such long corridor in my home that leads to various rooms.  It is a constant thoroughfare and I was keen to make it a visually appealing place that displayed some of our valued possessions and also served as a useful storage area for many household items.

Home styling decisions become so much easier when you have a pre-set focal point in terms of a piece that has to be placed in a particular position and then you are forced to design the remaining space around that item. This is exactly what happened in our hallway; we had a large wall hanging textile that had to go in this hallway as it was one of the few walls in my house that provided this amount of continuous space. The piece in question is an antique Punjabi Phulkari Bagh (big shawl) that is often passed down family members especially at weddings as a family heirloom. This particular handwoven piece belonged to my husband’s grandmother and was given to me by my mother-in-law at my wedding. It languished in a cupboard till I decided to have it framed and then everyone loved it (especially my Mother-in-law who hinted that perhaps she should have it back 🙂

Now as many of you may know, I love fusion decor where ethnic and modern elements are juxtapositioned for a unique look that represents our lives and travels and contains elements from a variety of interior styles. While the wall piece is ethnic in nature, I wanted to incorporate a modern and timeless feel to the landing and adjoining corridor.  I decided that the ideal choice was two matching rugs in broad black and white stripes. Stripes rugs are ideal for adding boldness without drama and the stripes are stylish and a great contrast to the wall hanging.

Once I had the decor foundations in place, I added the finishing touches.  I love my old Hindi movie posters along the corridor as they pertain to my children and remind me of our time in Mumbai and my love for Bollywood. In the landing area, I had storage built-in on the top and bottom with a wooden countertop atop the bottom storage cupboards. The black and white terracotta vases are great for flowers in this area and my filigree bowl from Gangtok is ideal for cards and passes we use on a daily basis. Together, they work well with my black and white box alongside the countertop. The top also holds a low lamp for a wonderful glow in the evening and the all-important internet booster.

In the long corridor, I have placed a low-level black metal shelving unit to hold books that always seem to overflow out of my children’s rooms. I have positioned it right under the wall hanging for symmetrical effect; it has also proved to be a great base for my long wooden boat that I bought in Kochi.

As I walk around during the day – the decor of my hallway always puts a smile on my face.  Our home decor should excite and revive us through the day and this bit of interior styling achieves this for me in droves.

I hope you enjoyed this interiors lookbook. If you are looking for help with your interiors styling –  please get in touch.  As always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict and have a great rest of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New ‘Wear Any Wear’ Purchase: Pleated and Polka Dotted Swing Dress

I know, almost for a fact, that we have all been there! We have all been gifted or acquired a gift card for a shop that we do not usually shop in and then proceeded never to use it.  Sure we make a half-hearted effort to stop by when we are passing that establishment – but there is never enough time or a determined will to find something we like.  So we continue to carry the gift card around, bemoaning the fact that we never find anything we like, and the cycle continues.

Well, I have done it!  I had a River Island gift card that had been knocking around my bag for ages and I finally spent it right before I went on holiday. I walked into the store and it must have been my day because I spotted this dress immediately.  I love the combination of the pleats and polka dots in an easy to wear swing cut. It’s an ‘easy to wear’ dress that works great with flats during the day, heels at night and soon tights and boots in the upcoming winter months.  It also has full sleeves so it can accommodate many a layer underneath.

Now you may question my rationale for taking a full sleeves dress to Miami in the summer but hey – it was new so it had to be done.  For it’s US outing, I had paired it with my trusted pair of low heels (perfect for holidays) and some dangly earrings.

It was a windy (hurricane expected) evening when I took these pictures so they are my first set of night pictures.  I hope you like this lookbook and as always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and accessories:

Dress – River Island (I am wearing a size 6 as they run a bit big I think)

‘Rescue Mission Series’: How I Transformed an Old Saree into a ‘Designer Saree’ for £15

The ‘Rescue Mission Series’ is one of my favourite series on the blog and one that is underpinned by a concept I firmly believe in and promote constantly; reimagine, restyle and reuse. This is a series where I update old Indian clothes in my wardrobe and give them a new lease on life, in keeping with current trends.

The inspiration for this ‘rescue mission’ started when I saw a Bollywood celebrity on the internet wearing a beautiful floral printed saree edged with matching feathers on the pallu. I liked the concept of the design and how the florals and feathers worked together in unison to create a chic style statement. When I dissected the makeup of the saree, I realized it was a simple combination of a pretty floral saree and a feather trimming on the pallu. Subsequently, I decided to try creating this with a floral saree already in my wardrobe.

This chiffon saree with a gorgeous blue floral pattern belongs to my mother and is at least 35 years old.  It was gifted to her by an aunt for the birth of her nephew (I love the Indian tradition of gifting clothes when a child is born – it cements a happy memory in your head forever). I decided that I would look for a feather trim in that virtual shop on the internet that probably sells everything one can ever dream of – Amazon.  As expected, the ‘shop of all things ever’ did not disappoint; I found this ostrich feather fringe trim (fake of course) for £7.69 per meter in a dazzling amount of shades. Not knowing which shade would work – I ordered two different shades of blue and decided I would combine them to get a better overall colour balance.  The total price for my trim was £15.38 (OK I fibbed a little – the total was a bit more than £15).

The one-meter trim was not enough to go end-to-end on the pallu so one side got a bit more of each blue and the middle has both colours combined – you can hardly tell.  I have to say that I loved the result and the vivid blues gave the saree an instant update and provided me with an ‘on-trend feather saree’ that was very close to the one I saw the celebrity wearing.  I took it on holiday recently to show my mother and I think she was really pleased with my ‘rescue mission’ on her lovely chiffon saree.  I even altered her blouse as I did not have one that would have work with the finished product.

The beautiful blue set I am wearing is by Heritage  Jewellery by Ridhi and it could not have matched the saree more perfectly.  The jewellery worked wonders in helping me achieve the sophisticated look I was after.

I hope you enjoyed my endeavour to create a ‘designer look’ with an old chiffon saree and some new fake feather fringe trimming. As always, thank you for reading my blog and supporting my creativity. If you enjoy my fashion and interior posts then please follow Isha’s Verdict on Instagram @ishasverdict.  Have a great week ahead!

Accessories:

Jewellery – Heritage Jewellery by Ridhi (tel:07734 806481), @heritagejewellerybyridhi 

Feather Border –  Amazon (Ostrich Feather Trimming fringe for Millinery in Midnight Blue and Peacock Blue, Sold by: Amaharryzon

Forever Sarees: Are We Becoming ‘One Trick Pony’ Sari Wearers?

Hello everyone!  This weekend I felt the first hint of a cold undertone in the weather and realized that our summer is slowly coming to an end.  I know we had a few very hot days in London but they were nowhere near enough for me to get my fix of wearing one of my favourite kind of sarees – summer sarees in beautifully light fabrics that are unique in their weaving and cultural significance.

I have always loved Indian summer sarees and I have a hard time passing on ethnic cotton sarees as the colours are so beautiful and the variety is literally endless.  I am really going to show my age here but sometimes I wonder if these beautiful cotton sarees are popular with the younger generation (especially outside India) or is their exposure to them so limited that they are not even in their line of vision?  Often, when we go somewhere, we see a lot of ladies wearing lovely ‘Bollywood inspired’ trendy sarees, which of course are lovely in their own right. However, sometimes it does strike me that everyone is wearing a copy of a similar theme and the sarees are beautiful versions of the same style statement.  When this happens, I do miss seeing a variety in the styles of sarees on display and it is always lovely to see someone wearing a traditional weave or an ultra-modern drape to brighten up the visual landscape of sarees.

I am definitely a ‘vacation shopper’ and I can’t imagine coming back from holiday without some clothing or interiors purchase that is special to the land or country I am visiting.  I guess this is just another form of a shopping addiction and one I admit to wholeheartedly. I bought this beautiful Kasavu saree on a holiday in Kochi a few years ago.  It was excruciating making a decision on the border colour but any combination with cream and black just makes me weak in the knees. I bought my mother a cream with gold/peach border one and I am hoping to ‘borrow’ it in the near future.

I have paired it with one of my favourite black sari blouses (that I have worn with many a saree) and this stunning jewellery set from Heritage Jewellery by Ridhi.  I love the idea of this magnificent jewellery with a traditional cotton handloom saree.  This is a statement necklace that packs a punch and I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the two together for this lookbook.

I hope to fit in a few more summer sarees in the coming month before it is time to pack them away for next year.  I hope you enjoyed this post and as always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict. I would love to see pictures of your favourite summer sarees as well! Have a great week ahead.

Please follow me on Instagram @ishasverdict

Clothes and Accessories:

All jewellery – Heritage Jewellery by Ridhi (tel:07734 806481), @heritagejewellerybyridhi 

How Can You Look Instantly Stylish?: Keep it Deceptively Simple

I am not going to lie – I love a fabulously put together, complicated outfit, where the juxtaposition of the print and strips works in perfect harmony with an expected pair of fabulous shoes, and is pulled together in a cohesive fashion statement by an extravagantly over the top coat in a gorgeous colour. Stylish – check; fashionable – check; trendy  – check; every day achievable – not quite!

A meticulously curated complex fashion statement is a delight to behold and is indeed an art form.  Is it a realistic expectation for the average woman who waked up early every morning to begin a new day of juggling a multitude of life’s expectations?  I most certainly think not; except for those of us who may be blessed with exceptional taste, it is near impossible to pull together highly stylised ensembles that require considerable thought on a day to day basis.

Let me share a small story – a few weeks ago, I started noticing that a particular polka-dotted white and black loose fit dress by Zara was obviously selling very well (I do not own one). The reason I noticed this was because I was seeing this dress quite often and often multiple times a day in London.  I remember making a mental note that it was so interesting that such a deceptively simple dress should be so well-liked.  I did not realize that I was not the only one to pick up on this independently – till I saw the following article on The New York Times website –  The $50 Dress That Conquered Britain

Only once I had read this article did I realize that I was late to the game but my observations were correct – this dress is a cult hit!  It is indeed a best seller and even has an Instagram page dedicated to women wearing it. Various articles have been written about the success of the dress and Zara is still selling it – back for a second season.

This begs the question – why is this dress so popular?  In my opinion, the single most important reason is that it is deceptively simple to wear in every sense of the word.  It is a relaxed fit, a comfortable midi length and can be dressed up and down with any combination of accessories. The print is a simple canvas that allows you to wear any shoe, jewellery, handbag, coat in your wardrobe and still make the overall effect look well pulled together.  This is the kind of dress that lets the wearer interpret it to work with their body, to their convenience and to their taste – not the other way around!

This is why I believe that one simple recipe to looking instantly stylist is to keep it deceptively simple. Simplicity can indicate a measured restraint and radiate a quiet confidence that translates into a formidable fashion statement; it shows that you understand that sometimes less is more and allows your personality to do the talking.

I am a huge fan of single colour dresses and they make up a good chunk of my wardrobe.  They stand the test of time well and they also present an unlimited opportunity to try out various combinations of accessories and shoes.

In this lookbook, I am wearing a beige dress and a white dress that are simple but their cut and style are highly stylized in my opinion. I have paired my beige dress with an old statement cuff (animal print is still all the rage) and a bold bag to make for a sophisticated work look. I have paired the white dress with a gorgeous Indian necklace from @toraandesign and the simplicity of the white dress really provides a chance for the statement necklace to shine. COS is a great source of single colour dresses with a novel cut; in the summer and the winter – I am a fan!  I hope you enjoy these looks and have a great week ahead.  As always; thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories: 

White shirt dress – COS (old)

Beige A-line Dress  – COS

Indian Necklace – Toraan Design 

‘Cult Dress’ – Zara

Home Refurbishment Diary Part 3: Garage Converted Into My Study

I hope you have all recovered from this weekend of super sports – regardless of who you support, between the cricket and the tennis, I think my heart is worse off from the stress it has had to endure as a spectator over the last few weeks! I think it’s best I get back to blogging; a much more mundane sport that my poor heart can handle more easily.

I have previously written articles about the decision to renovate our home ( Home Refurbishment Diary: The Start of the Renovations of my New Home and Home Refurbishment Diary Part 2: Hallway and Master Ensuite Bathroom Interior Decor and Design).  I have also written many blogs on how much I love interiors (hence the interior section in this blog) and how interior design is a passion I have pursued for almost two decades now.

Our home had a garage in the front and the back wall of the garage is where it met the existing home structure.  It was our hope to convert the garage into a study (and then some) if we got planning permission to do so.  Sometimes the universe works as it should – permission was gratefully received and we decided to move ahead with the conversion.  In this post, I present the results of that conversation with the hope that perhaps some of the ideas I have implemented may be of some help to others who are considering their own renovation/conversion process or just provide enjoyment for those of us who love interiors as much as I do.

Our overriding intention with this garage space was to use it to its maximum potential and make every inch of space work hard for its existence.  This ‘maximum space utilization’ plan influenced all our decisions with this conversion, including these key ones:

1)  ‘Underfloor Vault Storage’: The garage sloped downwards in the front where it met the road outside, so the floor had to be raised to make it level.  This allowed us to do something that I found very exciting  – create some storage space in the floor.  There was much debate and contribution about possibilities until we hit on the correct one – a ‘wine cellar style’ vault for bottles that would provide useful space and a unique feature in our home.  We decided to cover this with a walk on glass door that opens on gas struts.  We then decided to line with it with the same brick slips used in other parts of the room to tie it all together. We both love the results of this experiment and the raw brick and concrete floor is the icing on the cake!

2) Crittall Style Doors: I am a huge fan of Crittall style doors, windows and panels. My initial plan was to get Crittall style doors that covered the expanse of the new opening created by knocking down the back garage wall. This endeavour was looking like a prohibitively expensive proposition and then fate intervened.  Once we tore down the wall, my husband and I realized that we loved the openness of the space and didn’t want any doors there after all. We did still, however, need a partition on one side of the room as a staircase started below it – so we decided to go for a Crittall style partition that is firmly embedded into the side and above walls.  This has proved to be a great decision practically and fulfilled my desire for a Crittall feature in this area.

3) ‘The three doors’: the unconverted garage was ‘normal size’ but my husband and I were in agreement that the resulting room needed to be more than a study – it also needed to house our washer/dryer, a ground floor washroom and a storage cupboard for the hoover etc.  It made sense to house these extra functional spaces on one side of the room and that decision seems to have been the right one.  A special shoutout to the black door handles that I got on Amazon; they are solid and so beautiful.

3) Brick Slips: I have long been a fan of exposed brick  – I love the earthiness and unfinished vibe it brings to a room.  Unfortunately, there was no original brick wall to be uncovered in this area.  So we decided to go for the next best thing – brick slips! These are basically real old/vintage bricks that have been cut in half and can then be applied on existing walls with adhesive and mortar.  I was hell-bent on having the brick and many a person tried to talk me out of it. They now admit that my conviction proved to be right – they all love the character it adds to the room!

4)Bookshelf: On the opposite long wall to the doors, there was an internal garage door that lead into the corridor at the entrance of the house.  As this door was no longer needed, we decided to use the closed recess of the door space to create a bespoke bookcase.  I am proud to say that we also cut up and used the original door in this space to make the ledge that separates the washer and dryer – it felt good to recycle and use older materials practically instead of dumping them.

5)Washroom Details: I have long been keen on a black and white decor and my new little washroom provided the perfect space to try it out.  I know that black hardware is all the rage and I am a fan; hence my black tap (and black mirror)  which I love. The monochrome decor also allowed me to use the big brass light covering I bought on our trip to Morocco last year; which frankly I had no idea what to do with inititally.  I love the juxtapositioning of the huge light in the small room – it’s one of my favourite features in this garage conversion.

6) The Desk and Chair: The leather-topped traditional walnut desk in the room has a special place in our hearts.  My husband’s first job after university was with a company that operated out of a beautiful old listed building. One day, the employees were informed that all the furniture in the building was being sent to an auction facility over the weekend as the listed building needed to be emptied for renovation works. There was, however, a catch. Before the contents were shipped off, if any of the employees had a favourite piece of furniture – they could put in a sealed bid to purchase it and whoever won, could have it.  My husband loved this desk and won the bid for it and has had it ever since.  I love how it dominates this study space and it works perfectly as a work desk.  The modern classic black Eames style chair (bought on ebay) is the perfect partner to this old bureau. I have tied the brass and chrome together by adding a brass and chrome desk lamp from Andrew Martin.

7) Decor Details: I love being reminded of our family travels when I look at objects/furnishings in my home. One of my favourite pieces is this beautiful Kashmiri (qum/gum) carpet that we bought on our trip to Kashmir.  We have kept it wrapped up ever since, waiting for the perfect space to unravel it and we have finally found it’s home.  It is lovely to look at, soft underfoot and the weave ensures it is two different colours depending on which side you look at it.The beige chair near the Crittall partition is from our expat stint in Mumbai and the leather pouffe in front of it is from Markesh. The striking geometric cushion is from Oka and available currently in their collection.  The four turban pictures (made from egg and sand) were bought at the affordable art fair many years ago and are still a firm favourite. The huge oil canvas on the wall by the desk is done by (@revati_sharma_singh) who is a good friend and artist extraordinaire! I bought the old brass box on my books from Oshiwara market in Mumbai  – the shopkeeper stored his keys in there and I begged him to let me take it off his hands. Finally, I bought the antique wood mirror on a fleeting trip to Delhi and it now takes place of pride on my brick wall.

 

My love for interiors is well known and I derive immense pleasure in designing spaces that appeal to the eye and the heart of the occupiers in equal measures. In my opinion, a well-curated space cannot be bought; it needs to be assembled with objects close to our hearts and provide a functional space that works on a practical level.  I hope you enjoy this blog post and please feel free to reach out with any questions/comments that you may have.  I am always game to discuss interiors and I enjoy nothing more than getting stuck into designing a space and making it come alive into a fabulous living area.

I have also added a before picture of the garage.

Have a fabulous week ahead and thank you so much for supporting me and reading Isha’s Verdict.