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5 ways to glam up a tiny bathroom

This post is about how we changed an ordinary boring tiny bathroom into a glamorous one. So if you are interested, read on. 

This was a typical office restroom that you get when you are a small business and rent out a small space in a premium locality commercial complex. Super tiny in size (Less than 25 square feet) boring tiles,  and no place for anything else other than a WC and a tiny corner sink. (At least we have our own and dont have to share a common rest room, Thank God!) It has a tiny window that lets the light in and provides ventilation (Thank God again).

During the process of rescuing this bathroom from boring, we discovered the 5 ways to glam up a tiny bathroom.

This is HOW!

1.Create a grand entry.  Just coz it leads to a bathroom, does not mean it needs to look drab. The entry to the (thinking) throne needs to be a grand one. The blue door gives you no clue about what is hidden behind. (Do ping me if you like the color and need the shade code)5 ways to glam up your bathroom

2. Ditch the light colors and go Bold. Contrary to popular belief that you should stick to lighter colors in small spaces, we decided to go bold everywhere. The walls above the tiles and the ceiling was painted in dark grey that almost looked like black. As usual, this made the biggest impact to the space.5 ways to glam up your bathroom

3. Switch the lighting to warm. Since this was in an office space and did not have a shower attached, I decided to do a pendant light, a traditional Andhra leather work shade with geometric lines. Changing the bulb to a warm led lends the glam feel.

4. Add an interesting mirror. Pretty self explanatory there. Since mirrors can be taken with you when you move, invest in a beautiful piece. 5 ways to glam up your bathroom

5. Introduce some Decor elements. I love decorative items in the loo. (Gives you something to stare at. Lol!) Maybe a plant, or decorative bottles, aroma diffuser or some sea shells in a glass bottle. Hanging a multilevel shelf provides room for storage of essentials and also some decorative elements too.

So these are our 5 ways to glam up a bathroom. Bathrooms are my favorite space to decorate coz there is no midway, you either break your bank or spend almost nothing decorating it.

 

 

A Dramatic Bathroom Renovation

This post is about a dramatic bathroom renovation that I did sometime last year. We managed to convert an ugly servant quarters bathroom into a luxury bathroom experience.
This was one of the most ugliest parts of the property. It was a part of the servant quarters, used by the security guards and the reason why you don’t see you before picture because extremely dirty smelly and unkempt. It had an Indian toilet in a corner and one step above the rest of the floor, a few taps here and there and an ugly rotting door. The tiles were i think assorted leftover from the tiles store, there was blue and orange and dirty yellow. None of them where in any reusable condition.

A dramatic Bathroom Makeover
Since this was going to be an office bathroom we could do away with the shower area. That made it easier to work with a small space. Now all of me that was a vanity and some TLC.

Here is what we did.

We permanently closed the door from outside and cutout a door from inside the room. (Functional change)DaVinci Bathroom Tiles

The first thing that we chose for the space was the tiles. We fell in love with the DaVinci limited edition tiles and I just knew I had to use them. Now working on a small budget I had to be very sure that I am not over shooting. The tiles were a bit of a splurge so the rest of the things had to be under budget. I planned the layout of the bathroom in a way that the vanity is exactly in front of the door. As soon as you walk in you see your face in the mirror and the WC is hidden on the left side.DaVinci Digital Printed Tile

The DaVinci Tiles had a single piece of Mona Lisa tile and I knew it had to make a big impact as soon as you get into the bathroom. I positioned Mona Lisa in such a way that as soon as you open the door you see your face in the mirror and then next to your face is Mona Lisa. The vanity is a simple plywood assembly and the counter-top sink, tap & hanging light fixure was reused from another place.

A dramatic bathroom renovation
A dramatic Bathroom Renovation

 

Instead of a towel rod, I added a small bamboo ladder. This was really an after thought, but I think it adds a rustic touch and yet retains the glamorous look. The cabinet hardware took the longest to find, Almost 6 months after the bathroom was ready, but it fits in perfectly.

P.s. If you want to place a bamboo ladder in the bathroom, dip the legs about 6 to 8 inches in oil enamel and let dry before you use.

 

My First Zero Waste Event

Zero waste Event

This post is about how I managed to achieve a zero waste event. As I see it, a zero waste event should not have anything going to the land fill, municipal dustbin or even end up in our cupboards as a dead investment. If you aspire to have a zero waste event, read on.  

We (husband and I) had our annual office puja on the first day of Navaratri. Since both of us are busy with our work all year round and don’t have any significant office events, we decided to have a slightly larger party and invite our family and friends.

We had about 50 people, including our staff, building support staff, friends and family.

Here is what I did.

1. I decided to do away with disposable plates , glasses and spoons. All that waste never gets recycled, even if someone claimed it does, there is no sure shot way of making sure it does.

2. Banana leaves for serving food was my first option. But, it needs to guests to sit down and I dont have that kinda space. Also, I don’t have a set up to compost that big pile. I would have to have the municipal guys pick it and it will end up in a landfill. Bad idea!!

3. So I decided to rent the dinner ware from a tent houses. We paid as little as 3 bucks as rent per plate and a tiny insignificant amount for spoons. They did not have glasses to rent out, and I had to make other arrangements.

4. At first I thought I will invest in a few dozens of glasses, but i wouldn’t be using them for the rest of the year. We are an office so everyone has a bottle for themselves, so we collected, cleaned and filled all bottles, rented a couple of jugs and took all the glasses that were at home. Surprisingly no one seemed to mind drinking from a bottle directly.

5. The caterer brought the food in a large size carriers. We arranged them like a buffet and served people exactly what they wanted and how much they wanted. No “Typical Indian” khathirdaari  (read force feeding).

6. One beautiful family member volunteered to distribute the leftover food to laborers at construction sites. She even rushed back home and brought all restaurant takeout boxes she found in sight. All the leftovers were taken care of, no wastage there.

7. We collected all the food waste from all plates into a bag. We washed all the plates in a bucket of soapy water and sent them back to the tent house.

8. We had about 1 to 1.5 kgs of wet waste from the leftovers in the plates which came back home with me and went into my compost bin.

Yooohoooo…. Zero Waste event it was!!!

Something that I am super proud of, and something that gave a huge boost of confidence.

 

Good Riddance 2016, Hello 2017

Decor Blogger India

2016 has been a terrible year for all I hear. For me it’s been a freakishly crazy topsy Turvy time. The year started on a stressful note, had me taking a break for a while, resolved to take it slow and even before I knew I was 200% busier than before. I pushed my limits, took a hit on my health, almost lost my mind and was contemplating selling everything I own and moving to the mountains. Even on the very last day of the year, when I was all set to put my feet up and relax, my house help dint show up, I had guests to entertain and I ended up doing all the cooking and dishes. Thats how bad 2016 was.

On the positive side, I met some interesting people, did some challenging work, had some meaningful collaboration, stood my ground, preserved my sanity, proved a lot of people wrong, held my family tighter and had some beautiful days that I wouldn’t trade for a fortune.

While the world is going crazy, I see that 2017 is going to be a promising year for me and my country. (I am hopelessly optimistic most of the time) there was no one word to define 2016, I don’t want to let 2017 decide what it’s going to be like. I want to have a word or a few words for the year. 

So, right at the beginning of the year, I am deciding how I want my year to be. My words for the year are going “CRUSADE. BE!“.

Crusade (Take part, push through, battle, struggle, drive), through everything, good, bad, difficult. Everything! Whatever life throws at it, I am going to accept it graciously and crusade through.

Why “BE”?. Sometimes when tricky situations turn up, you stop being yourself. You doubt your abilities, your intuition and sometimes even the choices that you made. So the “BE” is going to be a note to self, to be Myself.

So “CRUSADE. BE!”

Do you have a word or words for your year?? What are they? I am curios to know.

Festival Impressions & and a Blogging Block

Stone Urli with a musician Ganesh and some floating marigolds

When life is happening on a fast track, the online journal somehow takes a back seat. Its been dull here on my blog for a while now, thanks to the busy work schedule. While I am excited about my current projects offline, I always seem to miss the  good old days of blogging. Its like a void! Time after time, I have kept repeating here that I am going to blog more often from now on and failed at it every-time, so much so it feels like a bad joke now.

The truth is, there is so much going on in my head and I simply lack the motivation to sit down and write. There is some very exciting stuff that I am working on, some lovely people I meet and the new things I do and learn. All that would make wonderful useful content that you will love to read, but where is my focus and motivation?? As I am writing this post, I have got up and walked around for no good reason at-least five times!!!

If you can relate to what I am saying, please leave me a message or send me an email. If you have gotten out of a similar situation, I would want to know what you did. What can I do to get rid of this weird lethargy?? Do some yoga?? meditation?? Stand on my head for a new perspective? Drink some virgin due dropping from a fruit in the amazon jungles on a new moon day? What?? I need some solution PLEASE!!

Moving on, work has been busy with me setting some unrealistic targets and actually managing to achieve them! Due to which this years festivals have been a blah! (By the way, festivals are a big deal for me. so reason no 634 to be frustrated with self!) I can go on and on!

Anyway! Here are some snapshots of what I did manage to achieve during the Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali.

Ganesh Chaturthi

I displayed my Ganesh idol collection in every corner. Someday I need to keep them all together and take a count.

The Ganesh Collection

Some pictures from Diwali

Chair leg candle stands for brass diyas

The usual pillar lamp

The Diwali goodies

After all the festivals and decorating, I thing Ive got an over dose of brass. So I plan to put them all inside for a few months and do more rustic wood, cane and ceramics in my decor.

P.S. Will post pictures of new decor if I manage to get over this block.

 

5 Diwali Decor Ideas from My Home

Diwali Decor Ideas from my home

Diwali is one time of the year that I go totally bonkers when it comes to decor. Its fun with all the cleaning, planning and decorating and living those nights filled with light. In this post, you will find Diwali decor ideas from my home from the past couple of years.

Diwali is just around the corner and I am hunting for inspiration. Just to set the mood, i went back to the pictures from my previous years celebrations and got transported to a magical land. From “Wow! I did that?” to “Eww! I did this?” I relived each of those moments and realized they are worth sharing.

Here are a few Diwali Decor ideas from my home.

1. Marigold! On its own, it brings a brilliant festival mood and screams out “celebration” like no one else. I dont think I have ever had a Diwali without this flower.Diwali Decor ideas - Marigold is a must have flower for the season

2. Double Duty! Mundane glasses during the day, glam lamps at night. I love using everyday objects in decor just for the thrill of it. Double duty, multiple personalities is always fun, just like superman or spiderman 🙂Diwali Decor Ideas

3. Brass accents! Shiny yellow metal and celebrations have always been two sides of a coin in the Indian context. While my interest in the other shiny yellow metal is quite minimal, I love love everything brass. On regular days I always have some of my brass collection displayed in the house, but on festival days there is an overdose.Diwali Decor ideas - My regular day brass display

Diwali decor ideas - brass accents for the festivities

4. Rangoli & Lakshmi feet! Diwali is a good excuse to draw Lakshmi feet on marble flooring and put minimalist rangoli everywhere.Diwali Decor Ideas- Rangoli time!

5. Diwali Twist! Going through my old pictures, I realized I haven’t been shopping much. Instead I am looking at everything around me to see if it has the potential to get a Diwali twist. And the whole purpose of this blog is to share my decor stories and inspire people to have more ideas of their own.Diwali Decor Ideas

Diwali Decor ideas - a traditional board game into a decor accessory

While I have some idea what I want to do this diwali, I am still hunting for more inspiration. I still have tons of diwali decor ideas to share, so stay tuned.

P.s. If you love what you’ve seen, pin, tweet, instagram and share 🙂

Top 7 – Short-Listed Tag Lines for Home Decor India

Contest Home Decor India

Its the festival season and a good time to announce the shortlisted tag lines for the group. Thank you all for your wonderful entries! We have shortlisted among all the taglines submitted and it is time for each one of you to vote for your favorite!!

Big thank you to each participant for making this contest a success. The taglines submitted reflect what Home decor – India means to each one of you and it was a delight to read all of them!

This group has been a platform to share decor experiences, clarify doubts with one another, get inspired and to be an inspiration. With a variety of posts shared each day, you get your much-needed motivation and a boost of energy to transform your favorite place! We are now over 6000 members and it’s time to have a fun tagline that represents us!

The TOP 5 Top 7 Entries

After multiple iterations we finally managed to  shortlist 7 entries. Take a look at the other entries here. We were looking for 5, so that we could have the top 3 and then pick the best tagline. We loved all 7 taglines, that we decided to have top 7 instead of top 5.  So now we leave it up to you to pick the top 3.

Here are the top 7 tag lines with the names of the people who coined them. To Vote: Leave the tagline in the comment section.  If you are one of the finalists, go ahead and vote for yourself, dont have to be modest.

  1. Reshma Philip – Making impressions that last!
  2. Sabitha Sahu – Musings on stylish living!
  3. Anuradha Kapoor – A place where dreams dwell!
  4. Deepa Bhagat – Turning Ideas into Action!
  5. Roma – Dil, Dosti, Decor!
  6. Ninad Gavankar – Decor addicted brains!
  7. Priyanka – United by the love of decor!

We hope to announce the winner a week from now so that the winner can have the carpet in their home just in time for Diwali. So go ahead start voting.

Day 9 – DIY Plywood shelf

DIY Plywood shelf

Left over plywood is a situation in every construction site, even when you get small pieces of furniture made, there is always some left over ply that is considered waste and dumped in trash. While I need to think of what to make with small bit, slightly big pieces can be put to use immediately. Here is a quick, easy and cost effective way of adding a shelf to your wall with your left over plywood.

What you will need?

  1. Left over 19mm plywood piece
  2. Wood primer
  3. Enamel paint
  4. A 2 inch brush
  5. Metal wall brackets, a pair

How to do it?

  1. If you have odd shaped piece, get your carpenter to cut it onto shelf sized pieces. 3 ft long by 6 to 8 inches wide is a good size for a single shelf to support on 2 brackets. If you want to have a longer shelf, increase the number of brackets to 3 to support the weight of the things that will go on the shelf.
  2. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the plywood. Apply a coat of wood primer to all sides and edges of the plywood. Let it dry for a couple of hours.
  3. Now the piece is ready to be painted in whatever color you want. I used water based enamel in white, coz the things that go on the shelf would be bright colored.
  4. I used a brush to paint 2 coats of paint, with an interval of an hour in between and let it dry for another hour before they were put up.
  5. I am used to doing my own drilling and installing screws, if you are not, you can take the help of a carpenter. I mounted the 2 brackets on the wall, placed the shelf on them and fixed the shelf them to the bracket with screws. DIY Plywood Shelf
  6. diy plywood shelf

You can used this DIY to make a large size wall mounted table too. Just use bigger brackets and a big size plywood piece. You can easily get a 2 x 4 ft wall mounted table with 3 brackets for support.

Day 8 – DIY Painted glass jars

DIY Painted glass Jars

While thinking about how to upcyle stuff that already have, one thing that comes to the mind is the jam and Nutella jars. Here is a method to color them and use them as vases or storage jars. Here is our DIY Painted glass jars.DIY Nutella Jars

What you need?

  1. Empty and cleaned glass jars
  2. Enamel paint of the desired color (I have used oil based and water based )
  3. An old rag to wipe excess paint

How to do it?

  1. Ensure the jars are clean and dry on the inside.
  2. Shake the enamel paint before using. Pour a small amount of undiluted paint into the jar. Don’t worry if you think it’s too much, coz you can always pour the extra back into the paint can.
  3. Slowly rotate the jar so that the paint spreads to the full insides of the jar.
  4. When all the inside is covered, pour the rest of the paint back into the paint can and quickly wipe the top rim of the jar.
  5. You don’t need to keep the jar upside down, just put it in a dust free space to dry for a day.
  6. I tied some pom-poms to decorate them.

DIY Painted glass jars

Here, I have used oil based enamel for the White jar, and water based enamel for the green one, just for the sake of experimentation. While they look equally beautiful, I liked working with the water based enamel simply because of the ease factor. Any spillage can be wiped clean with water, the paint is almost odourless compared to the oil based paint.DIY Painted glass jars

This DIY is a must try coz the only thing you need her is a can of paint.

Day 7: DIY Teen Room Display

DIY Teen Room Display

Here is another quick DIY to display all the stuff that teenagers hoard and want in their room. I think a teens room is a place where you can go completely crazy and do all types of budget DIY and change it in a few days, coz they will love to have something new.

What You need?

  1. An old frame, just the four sides.
  2. Satin ribbon
  3. A staple gun
  4. Some colored paper clipsDIY Teen Room Decor

How to make it?

  1. The wooden frame, I already had, you can even get one made for the size you want from your local frame shop guy. Just remember, if you make it too big, it may need a thick frame coz thin flimsy ones will warp and wont take the weight.
  2. I stapled one end of the satin ribbon on the top at the back of the frame, stretched it to the other end at an angle and stapled it on the other side. Its like putting up a clothes line.
  3. I repeated the same process to get 2 more lines.It looked like a stretched figure of 8 with satin ribbons.
  4. To break the symmetry, I used a different colored ribbon and stapled it randomly.
  5. Now it was ready to go on the wall. I used the colored paper clips to secure things on the satin ribbon.

This also qualifies for a quick 10 minute DIY. The best thing about this DIY is that, the kids can hang cards, friendship bands, little trinkets, photos, accessories, etc,. And after a few months, change them completely depending on what they fancy at that time.DIY Teen Room Display

Since I was on a fast track mode, I hardly have pictures of “Work in Progress). Sometimes I am so engrossed in it, that I forget to take pictures. This series is helping me realize I need to be more organized and have a step by step picture taken.

I have a few more Teen DIY’s up my sleeve, stay tuned. All posts of the 30 Days of DIY can be found here.