A new post is in order to welcome the New Year. If you have plans to give your home, office or personal space completely new look, this blog post might just be of help. I had interviewed Shabnam Gupta of the acclaimed The Orange Lane design studio for India Art n Design, an e-zine that celebrates creativity in all spheres of life, but mostly focussing on interior design and architecture. This story was a part of a bigger Trend Special that had professionals from the design world talk about upcoming trends from their respective fields.
Samir Raut and Amit Mayekar of Studio Eight Twentythree design Birdsong Café in suburban Mumbai as a contextual response to the surrounding heritage precinct
Starting out by ensuring that the design speaks the same language as its historic neighbours, the material palette has been restricted to concrete and wood – the former, a not-so-modern material and the latter, a centuries-old one. For Samir, these materials with their enigmatic charm fascinate because of their ability to age elegantly, almost as if they are able to tell stories of the space as it ages along with them.
Head over to India Art n Design to read the entire piece, complete with gorgeous imagery of the equally gorgeous cafe.
I had read so much about Ubud and had even heard about this little town from a dear friend. And here I am, sitting at the cafe of my guesthouse, Jati Home Stay (Wi-Fi is freely available at most cafés), after a long day of walking around and, of course, the press meet for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2014.
I arrived last night and was booked for a night at Honeymoon guesthouse, one of the many properties owned by the festival director Janet De Neefe. Staying in a traditional Balinese villa, although just for a night, was such a treat. I find it a bit daunting to arrive at a new destination in the dark of the night when travelling solo. I took a little walk outside and chanced upon Nick’s Pension, where I devoured a meaty club sandwich after travelling for hours from Mumbai. Yes, the adventurous side in me was dulled. But I knew I had plenty of time to sample Indonesian cuisine at its best.
Each room has a huge, ornately carved patio—something that I only noticed once I woke up. It was here that I thoroughly enjoyed a strong cup of Balinese coffee and felt much better, ready to take on the day. The rooms are clean and the bathrooms rustic, while breakfasts are as perfect as can be. I had to check that day as their rooms were already pre-booked but all went well as I would soon come to see.
I’ve been meeting many new people, mostly writers, many of whom are from Australia given its proximity to Ubud, as well as journalists from Jakarta and Bangkok. The town is a small one, so you can walk around if you have time to spare. But since I’ve to be at festival venues, some of which are over 15 minutes away, I’ve decided to take a ride every morning.
An office—shaped like a cave or even a weaverbird’s nest—within an office is just the kind of space we’d all love to experience. I recently came across this trend while doing some research for an article that I was working on and I think it’s rather exciting given that offices are fast adapting to become more employee-friendly. Such temporary or permanent hubs within offices are bound to be nice and productive, besides being conducive to the process of ideating and brainstorming.
Baya Park, a sales company in Mumbai, recently hired the well-known Mumbai architecture firm Planet 3 Studios to install a wooden pod that resembles the woven structure of a bird’s nest. Perfect for meetings, the design of this pod was influenced by the Baya weaverbird, after which the company was named.
While this has much more of an organic form, the Paper Cave installation in a Japanese office is all about fluid curves and a surreal ambience. Now that’s one conference room I’d love to sit in!
This photo, of a traditional Kinnauri home, was shot during the first leg of my trip to Kinnaur in the eastern part of Himachal Pradesh a few years ago. We first stopped at Sangla and then moved on to Chitkul and Kalpa (more on those towns in future posts!). While Sangla is a small town, its main market road can get very busy. So we didn’t really spend too much time there except for the few meals we devoured at the tiny restaurants serving local vegetable preparations and momos.
We prefered to walk further down the mountain that houses a tiny hamlet made up of charming houses and plum trees. Most of the houses in Sangla and other districts in lower Kinnaur are two-storeyed wooden houses with stone roofs. This technique, also known as the Kath-Kuni style, alternates layers of wood and stone for better longevity of the home.
This particular house, with its conical gabled stone roof, intricately carved walls, decorative ram skulls and a carved wooden dragon, stood out among the others. It looked much like many of the temples (Buddhism and Hinduism are practiced in tandem here) I had seen across Kinnaur. Woodwork is largely practiced in Kinnaur and the dragon motif seems to be a favourite among the locals. It’s also interesting to note that the houses here, this one included, incorporate Tibetan elements due to the proximity of Kinnaur to the Indo-Tibet border.