Thursday, 28 February 2013

Flying Solo

Just completed the photography of my first solo project under my firm’s banner SPDA (Shalini Pereira Design Associates) on Saturday, and as we wound up with the shoot and headed off for some well deserved cold beer, I realize that I had finally reached the end of an extremely long and hard journey that lasted two years. Yes that’s right- two years!

This was a small site, but it seemed to go on forever. Later that night, as I looked at the images we got, I felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, and in its place was a sense of deep satisfaction. I had stuck it out, through all of it, the good, and the bad, and saw it through to the end.

This was both an incredible and challenging experience for me. Here’s what I learned…

I’m tougher that I thought I was 

I never knew I could scream so loudly at someone other than my husband

Sometimes things seem scarier than they actually are and if you happen to be terrified fake your way through it

Being your own boss is great, but the stress that comes with it isn’t!

I can’t always have things my way- I’m not that good or that famous… yet!

I really love what I do- I may moan and bitch about all the stress, the sleepless nights and all the other craziness that comes with the job, but I can’t imagine doing anything else!

Before I sign off, I want to say a big thanks to the hubby- it’s tough living with a highly strung creative type with borderline OCD, but you do it so well! Also wanted to thank my amazingly talented sister-in-law Ujwala for the amazing images she clicked.

Friday, 22 February 2013

They Do It With Mirrors

'Mirror Mirror on the wall…’

Mirrors have always been a fascinating element for designers. They can add mystique and drama to a space by creating a sense of illusion. They can brighten up a room by reflecting light into it, and, when used correctly, they can make spaces appear larger than they are. 

Mirrors can even act as objets d'art- there are eye catching designs for every taste, be it super glamorous or ultra modern. Designers use mirrors in so many different ways to dramatize a room. 

Here are some ideas for how you can use mirrors to add a certain ‘wow’ factor to any space.

Paired with consoles
Mirrors are great when paired with consoles. They are great above a console in a dining room or paired with a console near an entry space- perfectly located for the self obsessed narcissist in us who needs one last look at themselves before stepping out.


Large mirrors = Larger rooms
Large mirrors can given an illusion of making a room larger than it actually is. The trick here is that bottom of the mirror should be as close to, if not touching the floor and the top should be well above ones eye-line. This will result in almost the entire room being reflected through the mirror.

Wall Installations
Mirrors are often used by designers to make dramatic wall installations, sometimes with spectacular results.

As Art
Mirrors in decorative frames can really liven up a dull wall and give character to a room.

[Lived In]

[Some of the images shown in this post have been not been credited as they have been compiled by me over time from various web searches. I don’t remember all the sources- those that I do, I have credited below. Please do get in touch with me if any credits need to be added]

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Giorgetti Furniture Showroom, Mumbai

I came across this feature in the Feb issue of Inside Outside magazine and instantly knew I had to share it. This is a showroom that Rajiv Saini has designed for Italian furniture manufacturer Giorgetti and it is housed in a 4,000 sq ft penthouse in Mumbai.

I think it is an awesome idea for a furniture retailer to display furniture for the home inside a ‘home’ environment. This set up gives the visitor a sense of walking through an actual home. They can visualize how a particular space may look and work, as well as get ideas on how to use certain pieces within a space.

Rajiv Saini is one of my favorite designers, and he does it again with this ultra modern space that exudes sophistication. I love the neutral palette- it is understated without being boring, and the interior simultaneously seems to compliment as well highlight the furniture on display.

I particularly like the way the color black has been incorporated through the use of black metal. It provides a striking contrast to the glass, epoxy white and white limed oak paneled walls. It also has been used as a method of defining different areas and visually demarcating them without the use of partitions. This serves the open plan of the space so well.

I LOVE this design! It definitely goes on my favorites list.

[All images courtesy]

Monday, 18 February 2013

Mangla's Farm- Where Rustic Charm Meets Casual Sophistication

“Color! What a deep and mysterious language- the language of dreams.” Paul Gauguin

This is what comes to mind when I picture Mangla's Farm, a project  I was lucky enough to work on while I was at DGA. And so, I am really proud to share the images of this beautiful home that Dipen has so kindly and generously shared with me.
Mangla's Farm is a quaint single storey exposed brick home located on the outskirts of Baroda city. Set within a beautifully landscaped 100,000 square foot plot, it serves as a weekend retreat for a builder and his family.
The architecture of the house, with its sloped roof draws inspiration from its rural setting. Taking cue from the architecture, the interior is done in a relaxed contemporary theme that has a certain rustic charm.

The approach to this house is through a long tree lined driveway that leads to a cobbled stone parking area. It is from here that we first catch a glimpse of this sloped roof structure- its stately brick walls rising up from the manicured lawns.

The living area is a riot of color that seems to be inspired from the colorful handicrafts of Gujarat
This house celebrates nature. It uses rough wooden planks in the ceilings to imitate wooden rafters. The flooring was also a real labor of love- natural stones like Kota stone and Jaiselmer stone were cut to specified sizes and given a custom made finish especially for this site.

A beautiful bay window in the formal dining room has a low seat. From here one can look out into the garden and the pool area

The most spectacular feature of the house is the glass covered central courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard there is a water body having a Champa (Frangipani tree) that seems to gloriously soak up the rays of the morning sun.

The master bedroom is a real dream. The subtle but luxurious bed linen and bed covers balance the exposed brick walls and wooden flooring so well. This room is so inviting and cozy, but has a distinct sense of sophistication.
This home is truely a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city living. Its rustic charm and casual sophistication captures the imagination and is a welcome balm to frayed nerves and weary bones.
Once again a big thanks to Dipen for sharing this with me.
Project Brief
Interior Design- Dipen Gada & Associates (DGA)
Design Team- Shalini Pereira & Shruti Patel
Photography- Tejas Shah

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Cupcakes for Anvi

We were to visit some friends last night. Their daughter Anvi knows me as the ‘cookie aunty’, so I didn’t want to disappoint. So I thought cupcakes! I have wanted to make cupcakes for ages now and Anvi gave me the excuse I needed.
Found this great little recipe for vanilla cupcakes with lemon & rasberry buttercream frosting from Good Thymes and Good Food and got started. I have to say that this recipe is really easy and the cupcakes turned out lovely- soft and fluffy as a cupcake should be. I tweaked Rachel’s icing recipe a little, substituting strawberry preserve for raspberry since that was all I had at home. I have to confess I also reduced the amount of icing sugar- I felt it was way too much so I eyeballed it. 
Anyway here’s what the cupcakes looked like. I must admit that I was quite proud of the result considering this was the first time I have ever piped out icing. Hubby of course couldn’t resist ‘testing’ them to make sure they were good enough for Anvi. He says they were pretty darn good.

We arrived at our friend's place and Anvi was immediately presented with her cupcakes. She seemed to like them because she had buttercream icing smeared over her face and hands the rest of the evening.
[Image by Shalini Pereira]

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Contemporary Courtyard

The concept of the Courtyard had always been a part of India’s architectural heritage. In traditional architecture their purpose was passively cooling the interior of houses as well as allowing diffused sunlight into interior spaces. They also provided another important function- a connection to the outdoors while affording privacy to the occupants within the house. 
In contemporary architecture, courtyards seem to be making a comeback of sorts. More and more contemporary Indian architects are incorporating this architectural element in some form or the other into their designs. 

[Casa O by Mauricio Feuretes- Image courtesy]

[Image courtesy]

[Image courtesy]

[Out of the Box by Candence-]

A courtyard can be a stunning feature in a home. They add an interesting element of drama as patterns of light and shadow almost dance over interior surfaces creating an almost intoxicating play on the senses. 

[Vastu House - Sandeep Khosla]

By enveloping nature and making it part of the architecture, a connection is formed between the structure and the outdoors. Through a courtyard, we can bring nature into the house by adding plants as well as a water pool and because of this the house seems to breathe.

[Cliff House- Sandeep Khosla]

[Cliff House- Sandeep Khosla]

[Image courtesy]

[Image courtesy]

Courtyards also become an extension of everyday living. They are a wonderful place to relax and unwind as well as a great space to entertain friends in privacy and style.

[Image courtesy]

 [Image courtesy The House Face]

Friday, 15 February 2013

An Afternoon at Shiro

Last Friday afternoon I was lucky enough to attend a Bloggers Meet hosted by Good Homes Magazine. The Venue, the absolutely amazing Shiro, a lounge bar in Delhi that I have been dying to visit for the longest time.  
It was an amazing experience to meet like minded Bloggers like Bhavana Bhatnagar of An Indian Summer and Rajee Sood of Rajee Sood Home, and finally being able to put a face to the amazing women behind these fabulous blogs. It was also tremendous meeting several other bloggers like PracheeGrover, Priti Singh, Lakshmi Arvind, Aarti Sarin Jain and Misha.  I found it so inspiring hearing their stories and loved the chance to be able to interact and exchange ideas over a scrumptious lunch.
Kudos to Good Homes Magazine- Ronita, editor and chief, as well as her amazing team of Simrat, Vineeta and Dipti for organizing the meet! A big thanks, also to Nupur for taking care of us so well.

The cutest felt birdies act as place cards. My little green birdie sits proudly on my fridge.

Great food....

And drink

The entire gang

[All images courtesy Priti Singh of]

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