Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Some readers sent me a note to tell me that they are having trouble viewing/loading An Indian Summer when using Mac and some specific browsers. While I hyperventilate and google for help (read desperate help!) to figure out why this might be happening and what I can do to resolve the issue, please be so kind to take the online survey (look left. since the survey is on the left sidebar. first thing on top. can't miss it) and let me know if you have been having similar issues reading this blog.

What will really help me:

1. Do take the survey even if you can read An Indian Summer alright (will help me see the glass half full and stuff...)

2. Send me an email if you have any comments or additional info (like- since when this has been happening etc) or ANY suggestion to help figure out this freaking issue

Many thanks to folks who wrote to me. And profuse thanks to folks who will now respond to the survey. And eternally in debt to the person who tells me how to resolve this bugging bug!

More Relevant Info:

Survey Question : Does An Indian Summer behave well in your browser?
Behave well means: Loads within reasonable time, all images show up, all links work, your Mac/PC does not freeze or hang when viewing this blog


While researching for the next On Demand! post [yup, another one coming up soon! something to do with babies and kids...], I came across this crazy eclectic collection from Koko. Lots of inspiration from India - in design, colors, textures and fabric techniques.

Another section of Koko's collection will be part of my next On Demand! post. Keep Reading!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Housing Problem

The problem with real estate in the Miami area is not only that there are too few buyers, but also that getting a mortgage loan is now very difficult for almost everyone. The banks, which created this mortgage mess in the first place, with the help of unscrupulous mortgage brokers, are now giving loans to only the most highly qualified people. Down payments have to be at least 20%, but are often more like 30% or even 40%, and interest rates are higher for all but those with the highest credit scores.

With the dearth of PMI, private mortgage insurance, which is required by banks for those who have less 20% to put down on a house or condo, loans at more than 80% loan to value have all but disappeared. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is some very good news for buyers who want to live in places like Miami Beach, where homes and condos were very often unaffordable for all but those with high incomes.

Prices in Miami have fallen 20 to 30 percent in many pricey areas, and many prospective buyers who were unable to buy in Miami Beach, now have the opportunity to own a house or condo in the Miami area; if they can get a loan, that is.

Another bit of good news is that August real estate sales results were recently released, and according to an article today in the Miami Herald, sales of single-family homes rose 22% in Dade County from the same period a year ago, and condo sales rose 13%. In Broward County, home sales rose 13% in August from the same period a year earlier, and condo sales remained flat.

There is still a glut of homes and condominiums for sale in Miami. According to Ron Shuffield of EWM, the over supply of homes and condos remains very high, with Miami-Dade experiencing a 32 month supply of houses, and a 41 month supply of condos on the market for sale. In an even market place, a 6 to 12 month supply of inventory is the norm.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rooms that caught my eye

While browsing through Architectural Digest, some rooms caught my eye. And well...I had to share them with you to really enjoy them :)

Living in Istanbul. Love the Ottoman, and the muted colors and the furniture. Can imagine sitting here with jasmine tea and a book, with gentle river breeze coming in through the open windows

A bedroom in Singapore. The bolster in the middle of the bed, clearly demarcating my side and your side ;-)

Blue room with delicate printed fabric

Isn't the chair gorgeous?

Antique day bed with pillows from Good Earth

Interesting idea to use old carved pillars as bed posts. Nice lanterns too

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out you go!

Why sit inside when I can as well sit outside?

I know I know

Not the most logical statement

But you will also say this

if you had outdoor sitting options like


Lookie! A ready chess game! Imagine the two chess players sitting on the chairs and then running back to the table to make their move on the chess board, then going back and sitting again on the chairs, and then running back to make their next move...and so on and so forth. How entertaining! ;)

Moodha and chiks. The quintessential Indian chair and blinds.

I have been on lookout for lime colored cushions. And a personal sea while I am at it

This reminds me of childhood summer vacations and Enid Blyton!

Aren't the simplest of things sometimes the most elegant?

I ask you to guard the fort, and here you are having a cuppa chai (tea)!

Green Blue Orange. Incase you couldn't identify the colors above. I am the ever helpful blogger!

Gujrati Jhoola (swing). Imagine sitting here during rains!

And finally a quiet corner to repose at dusk..

[Image courtesy: Pro Corbis, All Posters]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Voting Time!

It's that time of the year again! Time to pick your favorites amongst design blogs and vote for the most influential design bloggers. Stan and Kus, my favorite blogger duo from Home Rejuvenation, have taken up the impressive task of putting together a list of design blogs (from last year's voting results) and inviting readers, bloggers & net surfers to vote for their favorite design blogs. The voting is open till Oct 15th, after which the results of 10 most influential design bloggers will be out on their blog.

So, don't wait! Have your say here!

[psst....An Indian Summer is also part of the compiled list. The fact that I have been grinning ear to ear since is purely co-incidental ;-)....my thanks to all those fabulous people who voted for An Indian Summer last year!]

All I want...

...is a room somewhere

...though I wouldn't really mind a fort or two

or, a room or two in a fort!

The retreat of Biki Oberoi, the head of the Oberoi Hospitality Group, is a fort. Yes, an actual real life fort! Real 150 years old fort. Restored with the help of architect Pratap Patki and interior designer Sunita Kohli. Since the fort [called the Naila fort] was declared a heritage site, the fort was renovated to suit the modern day living requirements without disturbing the original majestic structure.

Splendour of Rajasthani sandstone

Suraj Pol [Sun Gate] made in Shekhawati region

Marble floor with inlaid design (also known as Pietra Dure art form)...reminiscent of Mughal art

The walls glow with aarish, a glaze of white lime, ground marble and eggshells

Chest from Gujrat and collection of antique arms. The Rajasthani version of planter chair on the left

One of other gates - the Ganesh Pol. The elephants (in the courtyard niche) have been stencilled in gold leaf

One of the private living rooms. Love the bougainvillea plant in the brass planter

Ram headed chairs clad in brass

Cushions in dhurrie (rug) fabric, on chairs, under a chattri (canopy)


As I said, if not a fort, a room or two in this fort would also do!

[Info and images from Architectural Digest]

Monday, September 15, 2008

HTML bit me!

The bug has bitten me again! I got bored with my blog's template and have been fiddling with HTML (and CSS, i think..) to change the look and feel. The new blog header is the result of one such moderately successful experiment. Expect to see some more changes in the coming days/weeks (depends on how long the change itch persists). In the blog's layout, and look & feel, if you like something the way it is, or hate something the way it is...now is the time to tell me! Depending on whether I can google and find a decent tutorial on how to, your wish shall be my command! In the meantime, as a much loved reader of this blog, please add yourself to this nifty Follow this blog widget on the left sidebar. I would looove to have your presence on my sidebar! My blog's sidebar, i.e.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

~ Stuff launching and happening ~

News about good stuff happening and launching, courtesy my inbox!

Indian designers @ Maison & Objet Fair, Paris

Six designers have made the Indian design community proud by being invited to the iconic Maison & Objet home fair in Paris. All these designers have the distinction of creating beauty and art by marrying traditional techniques and contemporary design. I was also very happy to see Aline Design being one of the budding talents to be part of the show. An Indian Summer Bazaar had introduced Aline products to the international market in its Feb bazaar, and I am quite chuffed to see Kapil and Shilpa continue to make an impact in the national and international design scene! The other designers part of the show were: Ayush Kasliwal, Gunjan Gupta, Jigisha Patel, Puneet Brar and Varsha Sharma.

WeFew - Online design community

WeFew is a new online design community and marketplace. Its primary purpose is to bring together talented independent designers and design lovers, and provide emerging designers the support they need to establish and grow their creative businesses. Based out of Singapore, WeFew is a good resource specially for those on the lookout for emerging Asian talent

Fun on the floor

Its time to make floors fun again! In their own words: "Fun on the Floor has recently launched a new website bursting with ideas on how to use carpets when decorating the home. With the help of interior designer, Danielle Proud, we hope to inspire you and your readers: Danielle has turned a stunning Georgian townhouse in London into a live and interactive showcase of the way that carpet can transform any room and it’s sometimes overlooked versatility, all of which can be seen on the site. Our website is also packed with great facts, helpful advice and a great feature called the Lookbook which can help people decide what look to go for"

Year of Creativity 2008

I got intrigued by the tag line of YOC 2008: 'Be the change you want to see in the world'. As I explored their site further, I found out that its a project meant to encourage people to reinvent themselves every day and stimulate their creativity. The very first initiative in this project is encouraging people to express their (multiple) identities through a set of personalized 'business' cards. Nice! :)...I decided to make some for myself and Mr. Shaking Head....

New blog: Kim's Kitchen Remodel!

Kim, of the Desire to Inspire duo extraordinaire' fame has launched a new blog that will keep us updated with the progress of her kitchen renovation. The renovation is being sponsored by GreenTea Design (one of the sponsors of An Indian Summer), and I can't wait to see how Kim's new kitchen shapes up!

New blog: Ofifteen

A new design blog, written by five women passionate about interior design, art, architecture, gardening and cooking, among many other things! Visit them to get your dose of inspiration :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

There are...

...nine million bicycles in Beijing

That's a fact,

It's a thing we can't deny

Like the fact that I am not in Beijing but in Bangalore!

[Hate to mess with this lovely song..but well, I already did! Please listen to my recent infatuation - Katie Melua, while I spend busy busy two days in Bangalore]

This is a desk. Meant to represent that I am busy with work. 'Duh!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Venetian Islands Real Estate - Home Reduced To $1,525,000

Venetian Islands House On Miami Beach

UPDATE: (Nov. 5, 2008) Now reduced to $1,295,000

A very charming, updated house on Dilido Island was reduced in price from $1,695,000 to $1,525,000 just a few days ago. The charming 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms pool home has an ample 2,750 square feet of interior living area, and sits on a 7,020 square feet lot in one of the best locations on Miami Beach. The Venetian Islands home located at 30 E. Dilido Drive, previously sold in 2002 for $518,000, before any restorations to the house had been made.

Pinetree Drive Waterfront Lot 2.8 Acres Sold

A huge 2.8 acre Miami Beach waterfront lot located on Pinetree Drive, priced at $13,900,000, recently sold for $12,100,000. It is one of the largest waterfront home sites on Miami Beach.

The largest home site on Miami Beach is a marvelous Star Island property measuring 6.1 acres, and belonging to former Ivax (now TEVA) chairman Phil Frost and his wife.

The Pinetree Drive lot boasts 300 linear feet of waterfront, and is large enough to build one of Miami’s grandest estates, or up to 3 spacious houses. Dockage is available for even the largest of private sea going vessels. The property address is 4567 Pinetree Drive, Miami Beach, FL.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

South Beach Condo In Continuum Sold For $6,025,000

Continuum condo in South Beach, Miami BeachA magnificent condo in the Continuum on South Beach in Miami Beach which was listed for $7,500,000, very recently sold for $6,025,000, which is a reduction $1,475,000 or 20% of the asking price. That is still $1,376 per square foot of living space.

The sale is quite remarkable, because the apartment was on the market for sale for only 67 days before closing.
condo in Continuum, South Beach Miami BeachThe 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms condominium has a generous 4,378 square feet of interior living area and 8,000 square feet of wrap around balcony.

The views from this South Beach condo are unobstructed, so that one can see the amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, Fisher Island, the Miami skyline, and the luxury cruise ships going by. The Continuum is located at 100 South Pointe Drive, and the apartment that sold is on the 16th floor (1606/7) of this wonderful 40 stories high South Beach building.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Star Island House Sold For $8,100,000

Star Island house, Miami Beach Florida 44 Star Island, Miami Beach Florida

Star Island is one of the very exclusive islands on Miami Beach, and properties there are at a premium. 44 Star Island was listed on the market for sale for $9,750,000 and just sold and closed for $8,100,000. The 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms home is in need of substantial renovation, but the property sits on a 48,266 square feet lot, which is well over an acre, and boasts 215 linear feet of bay front. The sale is worth mentioning, because it is another step in the right direction, in a market that is beginning to see signs of change.

Indian Style ~ How to?

Hello world!

As promised, this post is all about tips on how to create an Indian styled room of your own. On Demand! of a lot of readers, I am also including a list of boutiques and stores from where you can buy Indian or Indian/South Asian products. This post, or the list is in no way all encompassing ... as I was putting it together, I once again realized the vastness of India, and the richness of design - not just from one region to the other, but also from one design genre to other. But despair not! I hope to present more and more India and Asia oriented design tips in future...so keep watching and reading!
Talking of design genres, one way (and not the only way!) to look at Indian design is to look at the transition from traditional to modern.

While you have traditional design that is rich in colors and art....

you also have interiors that are very simple and utilitarian

And styles that I personally favor ... a judicious, as well as creative influence of traditional elements in current setting...

Also popular is the subtle and classy Indian contemporary design

Then there is also the Indian kitsch that has been the rage for quite some time now

Coming now to how you can recreate Indian Style in your home - to begin with, you can play with the furniture, furnishings, walls and decor knick-knacks to get an Indian styled room.
~ Furniture:
If you can source or buy Indian furniture [traditional or contemporary], nothing like it. You don't need to do up the entire room with Indian furniture; just a couple of well placed accent pieces would also do.
~ Furnishings:
The right textiles and fabrics will immediately transform your room into a mini India! Indian/Indian style furnishings work work very well with regular furniture too, so you don't need to worry about first picking up Indian furniture before you do up your room. You can define the mood and genre of your room, and go for kitschy and colorful furnishings or pick up a more subtle color palette of Indian fabrics and prints. Sarees, used as decor accessory [window drape, bed drape, canopy, framed on the wall], instantly brighten up a room
~ Walls:
Color them bright - mustard, ochre, saffron, peacock blue; or use Indian print fabric drapes; or use Indian wall art, specially paintings from Indian folk art like madhubani, warli, tanjore, mughal etc; or take a wooden block and block print your favorite Indian motif on the walls; or hang your favorite Indian rug or kilim up on the wall!
~ Decor knick-knacks
Sky is the limit here! Though moderation is equally important so that your room does not end up looking like a museum or an Indian fair ;)

Given below is an example of use of Indian furnishings, ornate mirror and a bunch of peacock feathers to add an Indian feel to the room

Still wondering how you could get your own India inspired room? Well, if you look at the following images, I have tried to create some options using rooms from Pottery Barn and Ikea. You just need to replace or add some touches that will help give your interiors a feel of India!
Changes to the room: Mughal painting on the wall, cushions/pillows covered with Indian fabric, small painted chest instead of the small table, a rich rug below the table, table accessorized with Indian/Asian artefacts, raw silk throw and andhra leather lamp shade

Changes to the room: Block print fabrics! Curtain, bedspread and duvet all block prints with Indian motifs. Ornate lamp can be nice touch to an otherwise simple room. Wall can block printed with a motif from the fabric

Changes to the room: The same bedroom now in more vibrant colors. The white cupboard can be replaced by a handpainted armoire. The bedspread and cushions are made from sarees. Curtain is block printed cotton- voile, that allows sunlight to filter in. Wooden 'jharokha' above the bed completes the look 

Now for list of some online stores from where you can source the magic to turn your room or home into India!  (image credits to a bunch of links below for today's post)

Happy decorating and re-decorating!
More inspiration here...

And if you need my help in converting a room or home into a slice of heaven from India, send me an email!

[Image credit: Allposters.com]