Seriously Boho Summer Ahead: Cotton Dresses, Silver Jewellery and Trainers

The weather has been teasing us; giving us glimpses of cotton candy clouds nestled against a blue sky and then back to rain-soaked gloomy days that try your patience in the worst possible way. Its a losing battle for the weather and soon it will have to give in to the impending summer that is fast approaching – or so I fervently hope!

On the few sunny days we have had so far, I am finding myself increasingly drawn to relax fit cotton dresses, my stash of ethnic Indian silver jewellery and my collection of converse trainers.  Relaxed fit clothing is not everybody’s cup of tea; I, however, am a sucker for a relaxed outfit that’s easy to wear all day long.

I normally refrain from commenting on movie stars in my blog but I am going to make an exception today.  Let’s talk Sonam Kapoor; I know many consider Sonam Kapoor a bona fide fashionista and others vehemently disagree.  Overall, I am a fan of her personal fashion statement and styling choices.  Sure she gets it wrong sometimes, but honestly who doesn’t! One of the reasons I am a fan is because way back in the day, I found her to be one of the few mainstream actresses who was happy to step out and make a statement in fashionable relaxed clothing (and champion other styles I love like brogues) and didn’t always feel the need to be seen in figure-hugging clothes at all times like many others.  I appreciated her diverse approach to clothing (it was a breath of fresh air)  and how she was able to oscillate between a variety of styles and have some fun with fashion.  For this versatility alone – I am in the fan club camp and always look forward to seeing her fashion choices.

I have already seen quite a few relaxed summer dresses that I have my eye on and I think the battle this summer may be to refrain from buying any more.  Ironically, perhaps, some more shapely dresses need to make it into my wardrobe this summer.  Below I am wearing two relaxed fit dresses that I have purchased recently.  The first dress is a relaxed Midi dress from Zara with a linen scarf and silver converse sneakers. The second dress is a striped cotton dress from Uniqlo – they always do great fuss-free summer cotton dresses and I buy one at least one every year. I have paired it with my beloved yellow converse sneakers for a pop of colour.

These relaxed fit dresses will be a summer staple as soon as summer actually arrives! How do you feel about relaxed fit wear – do you loathe it, like it or love it like me? Have a great weekend and hopefully the sun will be out soon.  Thank you so much for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress 2 – Uniqlo 

Dress 1 – Zara

Blue Handbag – All Saints 

Glasses – Tory Burch 

Trainers – Converse 

Scarf – Massimo Dutti 

A 1971 Wedding Story Part 2: Told Through the Wardrobe that Featured

As I mentioned in the first post of this series “A 1971 Wedding Story: Told Through the Wedding Wardrobe that Featured”,  my parents had an arranged marriage in Punjab, India in 1971. As both the families of the betrothed lived in Ludhiana, this was referred to as a ‘local wedding’. Back in the day, especially with local matches, long engagements were frowned upon as heaven forbid the couple get cold feet or a key family member have a change of heart (or discover some shady information about each other I assume). In order to ensure that such a calamity did not arise, the generally accepted wisdom dictated a  ‘chat mangani phat vya’ (quick engagement and immediate wedding).  My parents had a year old long engagement that was almost unheard of at the time.  Favourably, as my father was in the merchant navy and was due back at sea soon (and lucky for my grandparents sailing waters are quite a distance from Ludhiana and their daughter) the long engagement was given the go-ahead by all involved.

A year-long engagement had some advantages; it gave my mother ample time to shop for her wedding trousseau. What that meant, in reality, was multiple trips to ‘Chowra bazaar’, the main shopping destination in town (which contrary to its name is amazingly narrow) with both her own family and her soon to be inlaws. My mother fondly remembers that she would go with her mother and pick out a few sarees at Fakirchand (the happening saree shop in town in 1971) and leave them there on hold as they couldn’t decide on which ones to buy, with a promise to return the next day with some decisions.  When they would return the next day to purchase the final selection, the sarees would be gone. It turns out that my Dadi would also happen to go shopping there later in the day and of course, the saree man would inform her that her future daughter-in-law was in there earlier and chose a few sarees. My grandmother would then proceed to purchase those for her and instruct the salesman to tell her to choose some other ones for her maternal trousseau when she came in next. I think there was a certain charm to this kind of personalized shopping that will be lost forever in coming generations and with our preference for online shopping.

My mother says that she asked Mr. Fakirchand (I assume that was his name) that she really wanted a black evening benarsi tissue saree as part of her wedding trousseau.  He told her that he did not have one, but he would definitely get her one in the coming months. True to his word, this is the saree he sourced for her; the cost of the saree in 1971 was 250Rs.

That sounds ridiculously cheap by today’s standards but that was the standard cost of this kind of saree back then.  My mother informs me that the most money that was spent on a wedding outfit for her in 1971 was 2,500Rs. This was spent by my Dadi on her reception lehenga and her grandmother was utterly horrified at the expense (more on this when I lookbook the lehenga in question).

Once again, I love everything about this saree.  For one, this is a ‘loud and proud’ garment that announces your presence in a room. The abundance of colourful flowers on black, paired with the checkered border, is a wonderful combination of florals and checks done right on a saree.  There is something thoroughly modern about this 48-year-old saree that one could easily believe that it was purchased yesterday.  I couldn’t help but pair it with my green leather jacket; the combination of the old and new has a certain appeal that fits perfectly with my personal style sensibilities.

The tissue of this saree is now starting to fray a little and it saddens me to think that this saree will not survive much longer. I will take solance in the fact that I have documented it in this blog and shared it with you all so that we can all admire the beautiful weave and intricate handiwork that is this tissue saree.

I hope you have enjoyed this lookbook and have a great weekend ahead.  Thank you so much for reading and its lovely to be blogging again.  A special thanks to those lovely women who checked up on me to see if everything was ok as they had not seen a blog post recently. I have been exceptionally busy but its good to be back talking about fashion and sarees.

Personal Perspective: Where to Start When the Style Spark is Gone

We have all been there.  Now you may think it presumptuous on my part to assume a collective assessment but I really think when it comes to this issue, we have all been there.

There are times in our lives where our precious 24 hours a day are choked full and circumstances are such that we cannot deviate from an exhausting pre-set routine. These times are often coupled with key life situations such as rearing young children, caring for loved ones or intense work pressures.  Add to this mix a general displeasure with our weight or appearance and it is easy to fall into a fashionless or ‘severely style limited zone’ of everyday dressing.

I distinctly remember my routine when my older son was in nursery, the younger son was still at home full day and I was not working. The day started early with breakfast feedings and nursery dropoffs; continued with grocery runs, cooking, cleaning, baby groups, nap time; followed by nursery pickup, playtime, bathtime, dinnertime and ended with two exhausted parents sleep time.  Now while it was a glorious time in my family’s development, it was also a time where I couldn’t fit into half my wardrobe, was constantly sleep deprived and in a pre-set routine that didn’t leave much time for fashion.  More importantly, having reached the stage of wearing pyjamas and sweatpants in a comfortable circular loop, it had become tedious to even think about stepping out of this rut and reclaiming some style ground in my daily life.

I do want to make the point that this is perfectly fine and a loop I still fall into now and then. We don’t owe anyone a better appearance – I leave the house with my hair in a ponytail, no makeup and uninspired clothing all the time because I never want to ever feel imprisoned in any way by an expectation of appearance or lose the mental liberty to walk around as I please.

However, when you are ready, what’s the best way to get back into a better dressed daily self when you feel that the style spark is gone?  As with any rut, it can be hard to find a good starting point to climb out of it and reclaim some fashion ground.  So here is what works for me; I start with trying to upstyle my jeans look, one baby step at a time. I find that even when our daily style has hit rock bottom, we all have jeans and tend to reach for them on a regular basis. So I start by trying to better my jeans styling; by putting on a better top, trying a different pair of shoes from my wardrobe (that I am saving for no reason) and maybe adding a scarf or pulling out a different coat from my wardrobe. This ‘jeans baby step method’ of slowly improving your daily look is size and shape independent and that is why it works well for me as a stepping stone in the right direction.

I love the colour yellow so I have decided to wear this yellow tunic more often that has been sitting in my wardrobe for a while now. Yellow and blue is one of my favourite combinations, so I hope you enjoy this look and have a fabulous Easter weekend.  As always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Top – Massimo Dutti

Jeans – Uniqlo

Coat – Massimo Dutti

Scarf – H&M

Shoes – Massimo Dutti

Handbag – Dooney and Bourke

 

A 1971 Wedding Story: Told Through the Wedding Wardrobe that Featured

My parents got married in 1971. The 1971 India-Pakistan war officially started a few days before their wedding but the cards had already been distributed and the caterers instructed. The baraat band played “Dum Maro Dum” from the hit movie ‘Hare Rame Hare Krishna’ which was the rage at the time – an odd choice for a wedding song if the lyrics are considered but Bollywood always reigns supreme.

My parents had an arranged marriage in Punjab and my mother received various clothes from both sides as is customary. Her wedding wardrobe contained various sarees and her mother-in-law (my dadi) who was a clothes enthusiast herself gave her a beautiful selection of sarees which included a  few vintage sarees that belonged to her mother-in-law as a token of family history.  The bride, my mother, who happened to be a naturally organized lady, took great care in storing her wedding clothes in a meticulous fashion. Very recently my friend forwarded me an article from Vogue India that started with the tag line “The secret to a sustainable wardrobe? Knowing how to store your clothes.” I read this and instantly thought of my mom. My mother has always been someone who cares for her purchases regardless of whether they are old or new, cheap or expensive. Growing up, I remember her storing her out of season sarees carefully in a few trunks lined with paper.  She made concentrated efforts to separate her outfits with white paper and keep them out of direct light and humidity. A few years ago, she asked which of her wedding outfits I would like to have and then separated them equally between my sister-in-law and me.

A few weeks ago, I surprised my parents by visiting them unannounced in the US and on my way home, decided to bring my share of her wedding wardrobe with me. It goes without saying that Indian fabrics are stunning and their weaves, colours and styles are a sight to behold.  My mother’s wedding trousseau is now almost 50 years old and I find the sarees and other Indian outfits from that era fascinating.  So much of her wardrobe is still so current and the styles have truly stood the test of time.

Revisit, reimagine and reuse – I have often promoted this line on this blog and I wholeheartedly enjoy reconfiguring clothes that already reside in our wardrobes. In this series of blogs, I want to lookbook my mothers’ wedding outfits to showcase the fashions in 1971 and highlight the timeless beauty of Indian wear. All credit goes to my mother for preserving her outfits so well (the shine of this sari has to be seen to be believed) and I look forward to sharing them with you.

In this lookbook, I am wearing her ‘doli’ saree. This means that this is the saree she wore after the Sikh wedding was over and when she was leaving her home for my father’s house as his bride.  My mother mentioned that in those days in Punjab, most women had a doli suit but my Dadi being a saree fan chose this banarsi organza saree with an all over motif as her ‘doli’ outfit of choice.  The bride wore this saree with a matching orange blouse at the time (with similar sleeves as the purple one) and matching orange sandals.  Unfortunately, those two items have not survived the passage of time.

I wanted to say a big thank you to Aadheekta by Mudra for providing this beautiful traditional jewellery set and collaborating on this post.  Please do check out her Instagram page – she has a beautiful selection of pieces that are well worth the visit. Please quote ISHA10 for a 10% discount.

I hope you enjoyed this vintage saree lookbook.  As always, thank you for taking the time to visit Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Jewellery:

All Jewellery – Aadheekta by Mudra – Instagram @Adheektabym 

Saree – bought in 1971 in Ludhiana Punjab, at Kiran Stores

 

Ombre Kaftan Dress: from my ‘All-Time Top Ten Favourite Dresses Everyone Should Own’

Hello everyone.  We all own clothes that we commend ourselves for purchasing; they represent a shining symbol of our style prowess and we love them for it. They become even more enduring if we managed to buy them on sale. This kaftan dress fits both these criteria and therefore, is a solid member of my ‘All-time top ten favourite dresses’.

The main reason I have chosen to lookbook this dress today is that I believe it would be a great dress for a destination wedding. I have been running a series on destination weddings (not a great response to it as my numbers indicate so a cheeky promotion is in order) and in my last post Destination Wedding Guide Part 2: What to Wear and Why? I mentioned that I would lookbook a dress that works fabulously for a cocktail evening or an Indo-fusion look with Indian jewellery.

I adore the ombre lilac colour shades which add a marked regalness to the dress.  The fitted inner with the loose drape on top gives this dress a lovely sweep and swing as you walk.  It is a versatile blank canvas piece (which I always love) and can be accessorized with a variety of pieces.  Here, I have accessorized it with these beautiful earrings from Toraan – I love the flower drops and how they add a pop of colour to the ensemble.

I bought this dress many years ago, so I am not sure it is still available. If you like it, get it touch and I can refer you to someone who may be able to make you a replica.  Also, I get many enquiries for my photographer so if you are considering getting some blog like photos done, get in touch and I can put you in touch as well.

I hope you enjoy this look and thank you so much for visiting my blog.  Have a great rest of the week ahead!

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Halston heritage

Earrings – Toraan design 

 

Destination Wedding Guide Part 2: What to Wear and Why?

Continuing my focus on destination weddings, we arrive at the big question.  What do I wear for what event at the wedding?  Now, is a good time to note that we all live in a multicultural society and may attend a variety of weddings through the course of the year.  For the sake of this post, I will concentrate on clothes that one may consider wearing to a culturally Indian wedding.

The Saree: The six-yard drape is a natural winner when it comes to wedding attendance attire. Sarees look beautiful and the choice of style and fabric is endless.  However, there can be a small problem with taking one to a destination wedding. The tying of a normal saree involves pleating the front and this is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many people are discouraged from considering a sari because they have no idea who is going to pleat it away from home. This is a genuine problem and I have seen many a tear shed and time wasted trying to tie a saree that won’t work at the opportune time. My mother has a tried and tested solution for this problem that truly works. I will be posting a live video of her method in my next post.

The other relatively new solution is the ready-made or ready-pleated saree. These modern sarees have pleats that are already in place like a stitched skirt. All you have to do is slip them on, zipper up the side, put the palla across your body and you are ready to go. Once on, you can move around freely as there is no danger of pulling out the pleats by mistake as the saree is made to size and securely in place. This avatar of the saree is truly well suited to destination weddings; the wearing time is minimal and the output is maximum. If you are particularly apprehensive about wearing a saree – this is a great option for you.

Sharara: A sharara is basically a flared wide-legged trouser (in various styles) that can be worn with a short or long top and an optional dupatta.  It is a truly comfortable garment and one that I think would be truly flattering on all sizes and shapes. This versatile garment works for a multitude of functions – right from the wedding to the reception.  I highly recommend you incorporate a sharara in your destination wardrobe for a comfortable ensemble that packs a mighty fashion punch.

Suit: It is hard to go wrong with a salwar kameez, anarkali or churidar suit.  They work well and are uber comfortable.  Furthermore, they will keep you warm as they allow for a variety of warm undergarments to be worn with ease.

Lehenga: A lehenga with a short or long top is a tried and tested outfit that will work at most times. It is also an ideal piece to mix and match with other tops and dupattas in your wardrobe.

Fusion wear: Modern Indian destination weddings present a unique opportunity to wear clothes that may not work in traditional Indian weddings.  For example, if you are attending a wedding at a beach resort, a beautiful kaftan with statement jewellery would be a unique choice that would offer both comfort and style. These outfits are a great opportunity to make an individual style statement and I will be lookbooking a favourite kaftan dress in a later post.

Shoes: I do believe that shoes make the outfit or are at least as important as the rest of the outfit. When you are destination wedding bound – shoes take on even more importance due to their possibly bulky nature. In this case, it becomes imperative to pack shoes that you know you will wear with an outfit (hopefully more) and not ones that may possibly work.  My sincere advice; pack shoes that are comfortable. The whole idea is to go and have fun – it’s not worth letting foot pain ruin your enjoyment.  Equally importantly, please pack shoes that compliment your outfit – it is truly impossible to put forth your best style statement if it is apparent that your shoes were an afterthought.

Jewellery:  Destination weddings are a great opportunity to wear some of your statement jewellery. Do carry your jewellery that compliments your outfits. If you are travelling to a foreign country and want to take real jewellery; do look into local laws of taking gold etc. into the country.  Many countries may let you take it in but will question you if they discover you are travelling out of the country with precious metals and stones.  Also, keep in mind that if you travel with real jewellery, the oweness of keeping it safe falls on your shoulders. Make sure you have a secure provision to store it.

Given the above, the following are some tips that I think are important when it comes to considering what you may want to wear to a destination wedding:

  1. Decide on outfits that complement the particular function that you have chosen them for.  You may be desperate to wear a new outfit but wearing a slinky cocktail saree to the actual wedding ceremony may look out-of-place and leave you feeling self-conscious.
  2. Do not shy away from ethnic weaves and other traditional Indian outfits.  Modern sarees and gowns look great but so does a South Indian saree with flowers in your hair.  Mixing up your sartorial choices is a great way to put forth your fashion acumen and versatility.
  3. If you have no idea what others may be wearing – try to find out.  Individuality is great, but dressing in a style that is totally out of whack with what others are wearing may leave you feeling awkward or embarrassed.
  4. Do your research on certain controversial colours before you pack.  For eg., certain families may not appreciate you wearing black to the main wedding function.
  5. If the evenings are going to get considerably colder (such as in southern California where temperatures can fall significantly once the sun sets) go prepared with a shawl or other warm garments that match or coordinate with your outfit.  It’s no point ruining your look with a puffer jacket on top of your saree to evade the cold.

Last but not least, I suggest that when you are deciding what to wear (and before you go shopping), go shopping in your closet and in the closets of those close to you such as your mother, aunts and friends. We all own beautiful clothes that have often not been worn more than a few times.  These clothes deserve another outing and choosing them will prevent you from spending more on new clothes.  As importantly, this exercise will spurn you on to mix and match in your closet and in turn create new outfits out of old ones.  I am a firm believer in this practice and I will show you my recent haul of sarees from my mother’s closet in a future post.

I hope you have found this post useful in some way. In my next post, I will share a video of my mother’s pre-pleating saree’ hack as well as my packing list for a destination wedding. Have a great weekend and thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

I want to thank Kumkum for collaborating on this post and providing this sharara that could work perfectly as a destination wedding outfit.

Contact details:
+44 7983 863852
+44 7448030545
Facebook Page: Kumkum (click here)

 

Destination Wedding Guide Part 1: The Preliminary Steps to Being a Best Dressed Guest

Destination weddings are really having their moment in the sun and it’s very likely that you will be attending one in the near future. Wanting to look your very best is an integral part of attending weddings and attaining this is easier than you may think.

The key factor to recognise is what you have packed in your suitcase is what you will have available to make an effective style statement throughout the wedding.  What does this mean?  In one simple word – organization.

Being a best-dressed guest at a destination wedding requires top class organization.  Nothing should be left to chance because you are there to enjoy the celebratory atmosphere, the company of other guests, and perhaps lend a helping hand if required.  No part of your planning should include, “I need to pop to the shops to buy a pair of gold heels for tonight”, once you are there.

As I discussed in the video, your best-dressed self for a destination wedding starts when you leave the house for the airport.  So what should you wear to travel in?

Now, of course, the choices are endless and dependent on many factors such as your travel companions (kids or elderly parents) and the total length of your travel.  My general advice is that unless you are very comfortable in heels, wear flat comfortable shoes that look good and can be worn on your return journey. If you live in a relatively cold country, travel with a light coat that may be necessary on both your way there as well as on your return journey home.  Carry a handbag that can hold your essentials and is smart enough to carry in case you have a leisurely day out with other guests at the wedding.

Below, I have lookbooked an outfit that may work if you are travelling a rather short distance (say to Spain or Italy from England) for a destination wedding. I personally would not wear a dress on a long flight but a short flight presents a unique dress wearing opportunity.  I love the idea of showing up to a wedding wearing a fun dress with a lip print to echo the celebration of love and affection of the nuptials that you will be attending. I have teamed it with my trusted broken in black and white pumps that are uber comfortable and work with a myriad of outfits.  I have topped it off with a water-resistant beige trench coat (trendy yet classic) and a black tote that can be used for a day out and will hold your essentials for the plane. Make sure it has a zipped pocket for important documents (Pictures at the bottom of the post).

Even before we discuss the preliminary aspects of packing for the wedding, remember the following:

  1. Grooming: Plan to get your waxing, threading, manicures, pedicures, hair colouring and hair cuts done well ahead of the day you leave for the wedding.  Tempting as it is – I strongly advise not leaving these grooming aspects for your destination. Once you get there, it could be more hassle than its worth.  You may not like the haircut, the wax may burn your skin – the possibilities for minor disasters are endless (I know because I have been there so many times). Even, if you are going to your home town, try to go a day early and get it all done so that you are ready well before the wedding celebrations start.
  2. Luggage: Packing for a destination wedding is a masterclass in packing smart; every item you pack must serve a purpose and clothes and accessories must double up to be of service in multiple outfits/looks. It is hard to pack light for an entire wedding so plan to take your luggage allowance of at least a suitcase. Take a suitcase in good condition and preferably water-resistant in case it stands around on the tarmac in the rain with your glad rags in it.

Next time on the blog, I will discuss the key factors to consider in terms of outfit selection, accessories, jewellery and shoes. I will also share my handy packing list and other tips to help ensure your attendance is fuss-free, and you are your stylish self at the celebrations.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would welcome any feedback.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Jolie Moi

Shoes – Karen Millen

Handbag – Longchamp

Personalised Wallet – Aspinal of London

Mac – Marks and Spencer

 

Suited and Booted: My Top Three Reasons for Purchasing a Suit (and my first video clip)

Hello, everyone.  It has been a long time coming and I have finally succumbed.  Please see below my first video clip on this blog where I talk about the top three reasons why next time you go shopping for work clothes; consider buying a suit.  Now I confess that I was nervous, but I was equally determined to try this week.  So without further ado –  here I am.

I am currently loving the monochrome suits (see Zara) I have seen on the high street.  Single colour suits, in bright colours, would make a perfect blank canvas outfit to accessorize, or not, as you wish.  A great feature of suits is that you can buy the blazer and the bottom separately; perfect for people who are not proportional and need a different size for the top and bottom such as me.

I love the classic check on this suit and I am ecstatic that I bought it for £65 total in the sale. I have lookbooked it with a variety of tops, shoes and handbags to demonstrate its versatility.  I hope you enjoy the video – I know the content may be simplistic but I am hoping to build on this start with better content in future attempts.

Have a fabulous rest of the week and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Clothes and Accessories:

Striped Jumper – ARKET

Trousers – Massimo Dutti

Jacket – Massimo Dutti

Red Handbag – Prada

Black handbag – Longchamp

 

Home Refurbishment Diary Part 2: Hallway and Master Ensuite Bathroom Interior Decor and Design

(Pictures at the bottom of the post)

Many of you who read the blog will be aware that I absolutely love interiors and interior decor; probably as much as I love fashion. Many months ago, I wrote a blog post titled ‘Home Refurbishment Diary: The Start of the Renovations of my New Home’.  We moved home last year and being the interiors junkie that I am, this was a dream project to feed my passion and create a new home space for me and my family.

Now, many months later, the home is taking shape and I have learned so many lessons along the way.  Experience is the greatest educator and my knowledge of many real-life practicalities such as builders, space and budget have increased exponentially. Like fashion, I am a firm believer that gorgeous interiors must also be practical; each item in a house should serve a purpose and enhance the lives of the people who live there.

Many parts of the house are still in the process of coming together – be it physical work or interior decor. However, I am glad to say that there are parts that are almost finished and I am now in a position to share them with you. I am very excited to share two small areas of the house that are more or less complete for now anyway:

The Hallway: This is the hallway that connects the kitchen to the living room.  No structural work was required here but I wanted to achieve maximum storage as it is an extension of the kitchen.  The two doors to the side didn’t present many opportunities as they contain the boiler and electrics within.  Buying a large sideboard was the ideal solution to housing our glassware and bottles collection. It also provided an opportunity to display some of our favourite items; the vivid cow picture is a lithograph we bought during our stay in Mumbai by a Czech artist who used to spend half the year in India.  The lacquered paper mache box is a treasure from Vietnam and perfect for holding my ‘to do and to buy’ lists.  The Japanese whiskey display is a homage to our love for all things Japanese and more accurately to my husband who is a Whisky enthusiast and his knowledge of the subject is extensive. I loved the idea of black leather handles and knobs and have added these to the doors in the area to get a cohesive effect.  One day, I would like to replace the doors into the hallway with glass doors and install wooden blinds in the window but that’s for another time.

The Ensuite Bathroom: This is the ensuite bathroom to the master bedroom, and I have included a ‘before picture’ of the area as well.  We decided to divide the area of the old bathroom into a walk-in closet (I hope to show pictures in a later post) and a smaller ensuite.  As the area has no natural light – I decided to create a comforting sanctuary working with the artificial light available. I love the raw cement look of the wall tiles and I fell in love with the floor tiles when I visited Topps Tiles. Therefore, I decided to pair these tiles together and I love the look they achieve in unison.  I am also an ‘always cold’ person so I wanted to include both underfloor heating and a large radiator so that I could be warm, and have warm towels.  I decided to go all out and buy a large grey/black radiator that would serve as a statement piece. This gorgeous radiator allows the towels to be warmed on the protruding parts and heats up that bathroom like a Swedish Sauna!

I am a huge fan of Crittal style doors and I have seen many a Pinterest picture with gorgeous bathrooms with similar doors.  Unfortunately, anywhere I enquired about these doors responded with an eye-watering price that was way out of my budget.  I finally found someone to make this custom size Crittall style shower door, but I still had to blow my allocated budget.  I have realized that it is only worth blowing your pre-set budget if you really have your heart set on something and in this case, it was worth it. The other item that has proved its worth is the LED lit, time-display, antifog, blue tooth mirror. The light is excellent and the speakers are powerful.  It is wonderful to listen to music when you are having a shower  – until the mirror tells you what time it is!

As there is no natural ventilation in this bathroom – we decided to install two extraction fans (one over the shower and one over the toilet) and this has proved to be a wise decision. I was determined to build maximum storage (both hidden and in view) into this bathroom and the storage on top of the toilet that extends to the ceiling is a handy feature. Combining this with the open shelf storage as well as the under sink storage – I think I have rammed in just about as much storage as possible into a relatively small bathroom.  I do wish there had been the option of a bigger sink but given that we wanted to devote maximum space to the shower enclosure (which we achieved), this was the optimal configuration for the bathroom fittings. This entire space was designed by me to suit my taste, budget and practical needs, and we are very pleased with the results.

Overall, I have learned that there is no substitute for preparation when it comes to creating a space in your house that is to your preferences.  I firmly believe that our home surroundings and internal decor has a huge impact on our mood and our ability to fully relax and enjoy our personal time.  I love nothing more than to look at real-life examples of home decor; so I hope you enjoyed this peek into my personal decor and design choices in these areas.

I am happy to discuss interior projects and design at any time so please feel free to contact me if you are looking to or in the process of designing your own personal space.  Have a great week and thank you so much for visiting Isha’s Verdict.

 

Home Products

Bluetooth Wall Mirror – Wayfair (Hudson Reed)

Bathroom Wall Tiles  – Topps Tiles (Tekno)

Bathroom Floor tiles – Topps Tiles (Slumber)

Black Leather Door Handle – Amazon (Paja Ascot)

A Fabulous Winter/Summer Dress: And My Current Favourite Bakeries

Greetings everyone.  A few weeks ago, my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.  As my brother-in-law said, “You get less for murder”.To celebrate the best decision we ever made, we decided to go out and do what we do best; eat and drink.

As we decided to approach our ultimate destination on foot, the starting point for an outfit decision were comfortable flat shoes. I accompanied my flat boots with an easy-breezy dress by All Saints.  This really is a fabulously versatile winter/summer dress, as I have currently paired it with a sparkly polo top for warmth, and in the summer I can dispose of the undershirt and replace the boots with nice sandals.  This dress is flowly in all the right places, and the front tie can be tied or left open. I finished off the look with a crossbody bag for ease of movement and my trusty leather jacket (and a black coat on top for extra warmth).

We have a lovely evening and it was a great reminder that the best things in life are the people that surround us. Speaking of lovely things – let’s talk about my current sugar crushes.  I am a legendary consumer of baked goods and I am constantly exploring the fares of various bakeries around town. An oldie but goody that I have recently rediscovered is Gail’s.  Their cherry and dark chocolate scones and petite honey cakes are amazing. The olive bread with big chunky olives and their garlic bread with big chunky pieces of garlic are must eats and last but not least I can’t seem to get enough of their toasted turkey and cheese sandwich with spicy mayo.

The other bakery that is a current favourite is Ottolenghi.  Their lemon and blueberry cake is amazing in that both flavours come through distinctly and create a magnificent symphony in your mouth.  The flourless chocolate and coconut cakes are equally amazing in their own right.

I hope you have a sweet rest of the week.  Thank you so much for visiting isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – All Saints and All Saints  

Sparkle Polo Neck Top: Warehouse

Cross Body Bag: Yves Saint Laurent

Boots: Massimo Dutti

Leather Jacket: Massimo Dutti