Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Let me count the ways...

Four year ago we were very lucky to be able to build a house of our choice, right from the perfect floor plan for our family, the neighborhood we wanted and the ideal site to bring our dreams to life…
I loved the house, a sturdy structure, a beautiful body with an open and flowing layout, and yet we as the inhabitants needed to add soul to it in our very own way and go on to filling it with warmth, laughter and life. 
The other day Kellyn from Compass contacted me to write some of the ways I made my house a home and I jumped at the idea… so here are some of the things we did to make it our very own home sweet home….

1. Put souvenirs to good use

You possibly know that we have wheels under our feet and love to travel and that very naturally means a lot of souvenirs. I prefer to pick mementos that I can use everyday and re-live the memories, which starts with my coffee mugs in the morning and end with the coverlet on our bed in the evening and with everything in between. 

2. What do you believe in...

I think its futile to follow trends just for the sake of it, be it fashion or home decor or anything else in life. Be your own self and live with what you truly love, trends would come and go but what you truly believe in, will make you grow stronger and surround you with warmth and love. 

3. Display your memories

I am a photographer and I scrap book those memories so for me an easy way to update my decor is to display enlarged pictures from my recent trip or put up a new page in a large frame in the living room and voila, the decor is updated for the season.  

4. Let their personality show

When I talked about my kids rooms in a previous post, I mentioned that I let them pick the color of their room. And I think that was the best thing I did. As adults we usually lose the capacity to choose flamboyant colors and so it was good when my kids picked these bright pink and vibrant green colors and I got a chance to play with them in my home decor. The toys and art and books are artifacts generously displayed in the room and their personality shines through them.

5. Oh! the places you'll go

A map, a globe or a road atlas, any of these in plain sight is a must for a home. It generates conversations of home and of far away places, it educates those who study it and most of all, it gives birth to dreams and inspirations. A map coupled with travel pictures and family album can bring warmth to the darkest of corners in a home.

6. Bring in the greenery

We live in Minnesota and with the rationed summer months that we get, we need plants to bring the outdoor in for the rest of the year. Plants bring freshness to the air, add the much needed humidity and gives the home a curated look. I used to be a plastic thumb until my friend shared a tip with me, she suggested that I water plants with the milk gallon jug every time one gets empty in the household. I'm not sure if the nutrients from milk are keeping the plants healthy or is it the watering routine, whatever it is, it works. 

7. Keep it light

We have put up a gallery of our sketches and caricatures on the bedroom wall. In a grouping it looks like a deliberate collection of personalized art despite the fact that they were not very expensive and were created at amusement parks and state fair stalls; and store within them some very funny moments of our life.

8. Create a reading nook

Books are windows to the world and they make for a quiet and rejuvenating corner in any home. We happen to be a family of book worms but even if you are not an avid reader, a collection of classics or some best sellers on a side table would make for a peaceful area and a much needed recharging station for your introverted guest at the next get-together.


9. Curate timeless pieces

Support artists and display original artwork in your home. I know its not possible to buy original Renoir or Manet for your home and you'll need to buy prints but not all rooms in your home need such famous art work. If you love it, buy it and display it, whether its popular or not is out of question.
On the wall in my living room is a 'sujini' art work created buy a woman in rural Bihar, India. I loved the concept and execution of the rural life and am now connected with her through this piece in my home.

10. Elbow grease spurs creativity 

DIY is the best way to personalize a piece and make it fit in your home. I got this 1920's sofa off craig's list because I loved its lines and it is very tough to find such sturdy structures in the affordability range from a show room. I updated the looks for it to fit with my eclectic decor and saved it from ending up in a dumpster.


  1. Lovely post!
    We did the same with Evan and his room. He picked a nice bright orange for his walls because it's his favorite color. Not necessarily something I would ever have chosen. But it's perfect for him :)
    Erin's room is yellow right now, but I know when it's here turn she will pick blue.

  2. Thank you Mary Jo. Would love to see pictures of Evan's room. Another friend of mine did her kids' room in orange and it came out really nice, contrary to the initial hesitation. As you said, it's hard for us to pick the bolds that our kids naturally go for... I guess, its an admittance, I'm old ;-)