Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Suparna's Vibrant Abode in Kolkata

2020 seems to be passing by quickly despite the global pandemic that has crippled the world. Staying indoors has made all of us into homebodies. Somehow, the comfort of home is something we can no longer take for granted. The four walls of our homes has become out safe refuge during these uncertain times. Today, I am happy to share a warm and vibrant home from India.

Suparna Deb's home is full of color and artifacts. She seems to be quite a collector. I am drawn to the various corners of her home. There is so much life and creativity in the vignettes she creates. Suparna and I clearly share a passion for fresh flowers :)

I asked Suparna to share her home and her story in a few words. 

" I am Suparna, and I am a member of Central Civil Service of India. At present I am based in Kolkata.  I am an an avid traveller, with a  love and passion for writing, heritage, history and  art and crafts. I am a storyteller and my home reflects the same :)
My favorite quote is one by Kahlil Gibran to define what home decor means to me.Your house is your larger body. It grows in the Sun and sleeps in the stillness of night, and it is not dreamless. Not only comfort your house and home decor should reflect your personality and inner self "

Beautiful words Suparna. Words I think, that resonates with all of us who are  home decor enthusiasts.  
Enjoy a peak into the corners of Suparna's delightful home. It is a kaleidoscope of colors that exudes warmth and beauty.

Thank you Suparna for sharing your lovely home with the readers of My Dream Canvas. 

Images: Copyright Suparna Deb and cannot be used without written permission.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Sudha's Vibrant Home in Bangalore

Home tours on MDC have always been special for me. The homes featured here have always been a mix of styles. That is just the way I like it :) Today, I have a bold and vibrant home to share with you. Splashes of colors and an abundance of greens fill this warm and traditional home. Sudha Chegudi's home in Bangalore is spectacular. Each and every corner of her home is vying for your attention. I am particularly drawn to the plants in her home and the gorgeous brass utensils. 

Sudha invites you into her home today and describes her journey in her own words. 

"I am a garden enthusiast, wife, a mom and a total believer in sustainable and functional décor who has turned a rental “ House” into a Home. I am a Business Solution Architect by profession working in Bangalore. The world I work for, and where my heart lies are far apart. My career started with Dakshina Chitra in Chennai, a heritage museum and then I went on to work for Cottage Expositions that dealt with Indian handicrafts. A hardcore Vintage lover, I love things that have a stories, history and a character to it. The history of it intrigues me.I  had the opportunity to travel extensively in South India to source handicrafts. That is one of the reasons I’ve been bitten by the handicraft bug :)
Our home is a reflection of simple sustainable decor. We have a collection  of antiques and artifacts gathered over the years. Some old and some new. I have  never really believed in splurging and following the latest trends. I started by sharing my garden space, décor with plants, flat-lay photography on my instagram. The motive was to focus on the finer details and capture the magic that lies in it.
Most of the time, my décor comprises of roadside finds -fallen flowers, chips of wood bark or even  dry foliage. I am very unpredictable in terms of what I could use next. Life’s like that isn’t it? My personal style statement has always been heaps of vibrance and colors and that pretty much reflects our personality. I can’t handle whites or beige tones:)
I like to keep it simple and effective. That is my personal mantra.
Some days it’s brass, and on another day it is ceramic or a mix of both. They don’t necessarily have a format and don’t have to co-ordinate. I love anything Indian! Most of the things in my home are travel finds, souvenirs or from flea markets and gifts that friends bring over. I also like textures and patterns of fabric from different states in India.  don’t really follow a plan while decorating. My main objective is to make our home inviting and stress free . “Going out of fashion” doesn’t exist in my world of  décor. Some days there are framed fabrics that go up the wall, a vintage tiffin carrier becomes a lampshade, along with doodles and paintings made by the siblings, a Kanchi cotton saree border adorns a rose wood mirror frame and so on...
 I love having plants and bright natural light around me. Almost all my furniture are from thrift stores or seconds sale. This is a conscious effort on our part.
I can handle clutter and chaos, but I can’t handle a spic and span museum like house with no life and warmth in it. The warmth is what draws my family and friends back to our home .....and that is the feeling which pretty much sums up my vision of my ideal home."

Thank you Sudha. I love the way you have described your home. Authenticity in decorating our homes is what keeps it unique and personal. 

Follow Sudha on Instagram for lovely updates on her home.

All Images Copyright Sudha Chegudi @ pottedpassions and cannot be used without written persmission. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Happiness is Homemade So Let’s Go Find It :)

 I am a sentimental fool and I am quite happy being one :) I am very zealous and protective when it comes to my family and I love preserving it scraps of paper, frayed photographs, heirlooms and so much more. Every trip back to India, I insist on working on some project or the other related to the past! It keeps everyone including my parents on their toes :) During this lockdown,I have dedicated even more time to this passion of mine!! While there is lots to do, I have made a few strides that I am proud of. 

I think along the same lines about my decor. I want our home to be a visual collage of our memories, our life and our roots! Do you believe that authenticity works in home decor? I would like to think so and highly recommend it. I think trend, styles, fashion, fads...... whatever you call it has a very limited shelf life. It is always refreshing to come across a home that is not trying to prove something. Many of us share a common desire to keep a beautiful home. However, the key is not to get too swept away by the plethora of fascinating ideas and trends of the design world :)

Maintaining or decorating a house should not feel like pressure. I cannot speak for others but my blog is merely a platform to share my thoughts and present you with a selection of pretty things and interesting ideas. However, I would humbly like to believe that it is also a happy place for you to stop by:) A place which leaves you energized to create, enjoy and appreciate the little things you surround yourself with.

Appreciate the beauty around you and on my blog :-) but be the person you naturally are. Find the beauty and the desire to create within "YOU". Thank you for stopping by. It has been a decade of blogging for me, and its your constant support that has given MDC this longevity. Life in general this year, seems to be throwing a lot of punches, yet, we all have to bond together, stay calm and find some peace and happiness doing the little things. 

Today, I am finding happiness seeing these pretty flowers on my table. I picked them up on my walk over the weekend. I feel a sense of happiness and belonging when I step into my home and I wish the same for you. Happiness is truly homemade. So go find it :)

Sharing the link to my little boutique filled with curated finds for your home! Visit The Shop At My Dream Canvas to view the entire collection. 

Images: Copyright My Dream Canvas and cannot be used without written permission. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

An Ode to My Grandfather and his Photography!!

As you can clearly see from the date, this post has taken me a few days to pen down. Whenever, I have to write about something extremely personal it takes me longer to write down my thoughts. While, this is a lifestyle blog, it is also my online diary. It is a space where I share my passion for interiors, travel and photography. My home is greatly influenced by those who came before parents and my Grandparents. Today, I am writing about my maternal grandfather. It is one of my biggest regrets that I never got to meet my grandfather as he passed away at a very young age. He was only 50 when he died. However, his legacy has stayed on with me through the stories my mom shared with me. As I look around my home, many of my prized possessions belonged to my grandmother and him.

My Nana was a man with varied interests. Nana loved cooking and photography. My mom recently shared some of his photography with me. I have some of his photographs and I plan to frame them for my home.

He had a vegetable garden in his sprawling home where he loved to grow salad leaves and herbs that were not so easily available in the market. The image below is of the vegetables from his garden. A brilliant photograph in my opinion. This image dates back to 1959-60 and was taken with a Rollieflex camera. There is something so compelling and beautiful about black and white photograph, don't you think ?

I am completely besotted by this image. A wonderful composition and the vegetables look absolutely fresh and crisp :) In my quest to know more about him and his passion for photography, I asked my mom to share some stories about him.

In my my mom words........

"Papa it has taken me five decades since you left us to write this . You left us much too soon, you were just 51 and I was mere 21. Life changed for us that day forever . There is not a day when have not thought of you. It is Arundhati  (my daughter in law) who inspired me with her brilliant suggestion to pen down my thoughts in letters to you. Anu insisted that I start writing about one of your favorite hobbies and pastime, Photography for her blog . So here goes......

I, like all daughters, think that there is no one like you. You are my idol and my inspiration . It is difficult to be objective but there is no denying that you were a perfectionist in whatever you did. Though a student of Physics, your interest ranged from academics to sports, arts, crafts , gardening and above all photography. For me and my siblings our favorite treat was to assist you in the “Photo Kamra" (Dark Room). You were a patient teacher.You always explained each of the steps, from developing negatives, making contact prints, enlarging photographs, the process of drying and even finishing them. What was fascinating for us was gently rocking those large trays with the magical liquids and to see the images emerge as the stop watch ticked and signaled us to stop. You waited anxiously every month for the post to bring in your favorite magazines from overseas. Amateur Photographer and Popular Photography were some of these magazines . Your prized possession and the envy of your photographer friends was the annual issue of Wallace Heaton‘s Blue Book which catalogued from A to Z the latest in the field of photography. Underlying all this was your desire to be the best and now I do feel that you were always competing against yourself. Amma, my mother, always remembered your two month stay in Wimbledon in London in 1962. You made two trips a week to Wallace Heaton, a photography store on Bond Street. It was not so much for shopping but more to interact with other keen photographers. You enjoyed discussing the latest trends and the nuances of photography. You made many contacts and kept constantly in touch with these friends discussing photographic trends and innovations. 

Today, when I see the brilliant large images on the billboards along the road shot with an iPhone, I am awestruck by the progress in technology. I remember your heavy camera bags with the cumbersome telephoto and wide angle lenses, filters, lens hoods, exposure meters etc. etc. Our home was like a mini studio with flash guns, lights, reflectors and screens. Knowing you, you would have kept up with the times time and enjoyed seeing these new innovations. You had an array of cameras. While you had your the favorites like Leica and Rollie which you held on to for ever. You had others like Pentax, Zenith, and Nikon that changed with time. For quick snapshots you even got the tiny Minolta 16 , but your favorite was always the SLR. Your interest was also in shooting 8mm movies and the favorite was the Bell and Howell Camera along with a projector. We loved the home movies.  The special ones were the ones with us as babies, our riverside picnics and our innumerable road trips.

There were some priceless movies shot by you like the inauguration of the Constituent assembly in Delhi in 1946. Also the signing of the Constitution of India in our home in Patna. My Baba (grandfather) was unwell. He was the first Interim President of the constituent assembly but he could not travel to Delhi for the ocassion so it had to be signed in our home. We enjoyed  Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and the Abbott and Castello movies. Those evenings were so special. Our movie watching included freshly home made potato chips or chana jor garam along with a glass of orange Squash or a scoop of home made ice cream:)  My greatest regret is that  I do not have copies of the brilliant photographs taken by you. However, the  memories live on in my mind. Those were such beautiful days and Amma and you made it so special for us." 

Thanks mom for sharing Nana's story with me on MDC.

Here is another gorgeous photograph by him. This was his entry for a photography competition. The sandals belonged to my Nani and I believe the sandals were bought in Tokyo in 1960 by a close family friend. The model here is his niece!

Last, but not the least, is this historical photography taken by my Nana in December 1946 in Delhi. He accompanied his father to Delhi to attend the inauguration of the Constituent Assembly. This is a picture of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India and the first Governor-General of independent India (1947–1948). With him is Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of india.

I was clearly awestruck when I first saw this photograph :)

I am on a hunt to find more of his photographs. I love collecting memories and stories from the past. Writing this post has inspired me! I will now commit to using my SLR more to take pictures instead of my phone.

This is a photograph of my Nani ( grandmother) taken by him that I have at home. Apparently, he called out to her, she turned, and he took this candid shot of her:) I love the fact that I have this picture of my Nani taken by him. She was my most favorite person in the world!!

Signing off is a proud Granddaughter :)  My Grandfather was a truly remarkable man and I am grateful for his stories, his photography and his legacy.

Images: Copyright My Dream Canvas.