Back to blogging and blank canvas art!

I’m back with a fresh post after a loooong hiatus – during which we got pregnant, had our beautiful baby girl and now we’re finally starting to get into some semblance of a routine (well…as much as a 7 month old allows)!

Just wanted to stop by and share how I created the artwork below. I worked on this back in 2016 and even started writing this post but clearly didn’t get around to posting it. Soooo here goes!


All I needed was a blank white canvas, some laminate samples (The ones I used were outdated and were about to be tossed out from our materials library at work!), Mod Podge (or any other suitable adhesive), paint brush and a bright paint (I used acrylic paint) to paint the background.

Using the laminate sample pieces I created a pattern I liked – took some fussing about till the hubby and I were completely satisfied. Once we were happy with the pattern, I started to glue the pieces down using Mod Podge one by one. Once all the pieces were secured down, I used bright yellow paint for the background to give it a modern aesthetic and make the wood pop! The yellow is also a great contrast to the teal blue wall we hung the art on. I painted all 4 edges of the canvas yellow as well so you don’t see any white surfaces.

You could use any shape, size or type of wood pieces or any other objects that can give your art some dimension – coins, buttons, mirrors, quilled paper perhaps?

That’s it folks, a very simple 3-dimensional art project which can be completed in an afternoon. Hope you enjoyed this go try it out and let me know how it goes!

Share Button

12. May 2017 by Charu
Categories: Art, Fun, Interior Design | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Trees: A fun DIY craft!

It’s finally getting chilly out here and Christmas is just around the corner! Before the eating and partying takes over everyone’s schedules I decided to invite some friends over to make a little Christmas craft! What’s better than making your own decorations to add to the season’s I right?!

We already tried our hands at  wreaths last year so this time we made adorable little Christmas trees inspired by this post at Little Inspiration.

DIY Holiday Trees!

The completed trees line our fireplace along with last year’s wreath!

If you’re on board, here’s what you need:

  1. Styrofoam trees of various heights
  2. Various fabrics/festive papers to cover trees (we bought pre-cut squares from Michaels)
  3. Ribbons
  4. Little glittery garlands
  5. Hot glue gun
  6. Sparkly foam balls/star tree toppers (optional) like these

Christmas tree supplies


And the rest is really your own creativity, so plug that hot glue gun and stick away! It took us a little over 2 hours of effort to finish these off and we munched on some goodies and chatted in between = an evening well spent :).


Our completed masterpieces!

Our completed masterpieces!


Happy Crafters!

Happy Crafters!

Happy Holidays to all of you and your families! I’ll see you in 2015 after my travels to see family in Hong Kong and India :).

Share Button

13. December 2014 by Charu
Categories: Fun | Tags: , | 1 comment

Five Stylish Space Dividers

While researching for privacy screens for a project recently I came across some amazing products which were worth sharing! Although I was mainly looking at options for commercial applications, these options are well suited for residential spaces too. Each of the products below has a unique geometry and can be a powerful design element in a space while also acting as a device to create visual separation. So in no particular order of preference here are the chosen five stylish space dividers:

1. 3form Parametre

The Parametre is a flexible textile partition that comes in a variety of circular and rectangular patterns. It’s fire-rated (Class A here in USA) and as shown on the images below, can be installed flush with the ceiling using a magnetic cross bar at the top and bottom, or suspended using a straight or curved rail. It comes in a variety of colors and is UV rated so it can be used as a window shade! It reminds me of cutting paper patterns using scissors as a kid…the repetition of simple geometric patterns is clearly quite beautiful!


3form Parametre Partition

3form Parametre Partition

2.Bloomming Facet

Bloomming is a modular space divider made of diamond shaped modules which can be joined together and moved independently offering infinite possibilities for creating patterns of your choice! I love the simple geometric shape and the fact that each diamond module rotates independently allowing the user to play with light and shadow. You can easily disassemble the system and take it with you if you move and reassemble! The material is also recyclable and UV rated.


Bloomming Facet - Space Divider

Bloomming Facet Space Divider

3. LagoLinea Weightless Shelf

Made by the Italian furniture company Lago, this is a slender shelving system which suspends from the ceiling (inspired by Stalactites!). It’s a stylish way to divide your space using a piece of furniture and the objects you place in it become the art! The image below demonstrates how the shelves save floor space while dividing two spaces and keep your belongings organized.

LAGO weightless

Lago Weightless Suspended Shelf

Lago Weightless – Suspended Shelf

4. Abstracta Aircone

The Aircone is a tapered triangular module finished in sound absorbent felt. The modules are joined together using plastic clips and come in a variety of colors. They can be suspended from the ceiling using a rail or applied directly to a wall to create better acoustics in a space while adding some dimension. Combining any number of modules allows you to create a variety of patterns to suit the needs of your space!




Abstracta Aircone Partition

Abstracta Aircone Partition

5. Abstracta Window

The Window is most suitable for public spaces where it can absorb noise as well as act as a display for magazines/brochures. Made of recyclable felt it comes in three neutral colors – black, dark grey and light grey. I think it’s a great solution for hotels, libraries and office lobbies!


Abstracta Window - Space Divider/Display

Abstracta Window Space Divider/Display

Hope some of these ideas fulfill the functional and aesthetic needs of your next project! Feel free to let me know if there are any others I’ve missed in the comments below.

Share Button

09. November 2014 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design, Product | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 comments

Designing Our First Home

2014 has been entirely about finding the perfect humble abode, setting up and settling in for us and this post is for all of you out there who are first time home owners or anyone looking to renovate their current space.

What do you do after all the boring paper work is done (phew!), you’ve got the keys in hand and you’re ready to move in? How do you turn an empty shell into what will become your home? Here’s a guide based on my personal experience:

1. Survey the house

I cannot stress how important this step is. Imagine you find the perfect bed. It gets delivered after weeks of waiting (because it’s the fancy kind as you’ve finally graduated from Ikea!)…but once it’s all set up you notice it’s just a few inches too long and you can’t fully open your closet door…yikes! The adage “measure twice, cut once” can be applied here.

As soon as the paperwork was done I dragged my husband to the house with both a normal measuring tape as well as a laser measuring tape (the laser isn’t a necessity but if you’re measuring a very large or tall space, it makes the job quicker). We used the laser to measure all the ceiling heights and the overalls for each room. The normal tape was handy in measuring all the fixed millwork in the bathrooms and kitchen. It took us a little over an hour and the husband was royally bored that I was measuring every corner but it was time well spent. You will see why in the next step…


2. Draw up your findings

I used AutoCAD to draw up a plan of the entire house as I’m familiar with the software on a professional level. If you’re not familiar with AutoCAD or don’t have access to it, you can use a variety of free online tools which allow you to create 2D/3D floor plans/models to plan your space such as Room Sketcher, Autodesk Homestyler and SmartDraw just to name a few. A lot of other professional softwares out there such as SketchUp allow you to download a trial version which can be used for this as well.
Below you can see the first floor plan I drew up showing all the measurements of the space:

Translating our survey information to AutoCAD

Drawing up the information from our survey using AutoCAD

After this stage I started to populate the plan with furniture, rugs and floor lamps in all the rooms. I played around with various configurations, two of which are shown below:

Trying out various furniture configurations

Trying out various furniture configurations

…Till I came up with this final version:
Plan_final copy
This took weeks of tweaking and changing my mind about what we wanted to buy which was frustrating at times. But it was extremely helpful to have something drawn to take with us as we shopped so that even if we changed our mind in the store, we had an idea of what sizes/shapes would fit best in our space. I’m happy with what we finally ended up purchasing and it’s definitely better to redraw on paper many times over than spending the money on something you won’t like or end up returning.

3. Research and Planning

This was probably the longest running part of my design process. I created a secret Pinterest board much in advance and started to dump all of the items that caught my eye from both physical stores and online sources. I had over 100 items on my board – furniture, lamps, rugs, vases to little organization baskets for under counter cabinets! I added the price of each item as I pinned them so I could make a budget.
I focused on the big furniture items first – Sofa, bed, the coffee and dining tables. With these narrowed down, it was easier for me to select smaller furniture items (poufs, chairs, side tables) to go my main furniture. Selecting the big items in terms of size/price first (like furniture and appliances) also gives you a sense of how much money you’ll have left for accessories, art and other stuff you might want!

Pinterest board showing some of my initial selections

Pinterest board showing some of my initial selections

4. Selecting Paints Colors

We both love bright hues, so this was an important step in our process. We wanted to see a bright color as soon as we walked in so when I saw the image below at A Beautiful Mess, I knew this hue was the perfect blend of our love for the brights and beach! I chose something inspired by this color but with a little more green in it (Benjamin Moore – Capri Seas).

Inspiration image for our paint color

Inspiration image for our paint color

Feeling a little restless about how it might turn out in the end, I put the paint color to test by clicking a photo of our living/dining area and applying my paint color in Photoshop! We were pleased with this little test and finalized this color! Another common way to do this is to buy a small paint sample from your hardware store, apply it to a small portion of your wall and live with it for a few days to see if you’re happy with it.

paint test 1

Testing out how the paint would look in our living room using Photoshop!

Testing out how the paint would look using Photoshop!

I wanted the bedrooms to be a little muted and cozy so I went for a shade of navy for only the back wall (Benjamin Moore – Symphony Blue) and left the rest of the space white (Benjamin Moore – White Diamond). For the bathrooms we picked a very bright yellow (Benjamin Moore – Sun Porch) at the hubby’s request who wanted to be in a room as bright as sunshine!

Screenshot 2014-10-19 16.46.31

Once we decided on all the paints I did a quick “paint diagram” showing the extent of each paint color for both ours and the contractor’s reference so there’s no room for mistakes:

Paint Diagram showing which walls need to painted with the paint colors we finally selected

Paint Diagram showing which walls need to painted with the paint colors we finally selected

In the next post I’ll share our experience on finding a contractor, dealing with some renovation mishaps and post photos of our finished home!

Hope this post has been helpful in breaking down the steps to what may feel like a daunting task! Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or share any other thoughts.

Share Button

19. October 2014 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , , , | 7 comments

Five Surface Treatments for the Fearless: Beyond Paint & Wallpaper

In some of my previous posts I’ve talked about the two most common ways to enhance walls – using paint (see the posts on Painting 101: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3) and wallpaper (see To Wallpaper or Not to Wallpaper?)

Continuing the conversation, here are 5 alternatives for those special applications where a 2-dimensional color/pattern just won’t do. All of these options are available in the US and can be used for both residential and commercial applications:

1. Paperforms – 3D Wallpaper Tiles

These beautiful modular tiles are made of 100% pre and post consumer waste paper and come in 12″ squares. Installation Instructions can be found here and are as easy as using double sided tape for temporary installations or wallpaper paste for more permanent ones. Because it comes in modules, damaged tiles are easily replaceable without waste.


2. 3-form Profile Panels
Profile is a modular system which gives you the flexibility of selecting 4’x8′ panels or individual tiles. 14 patterns and 18 different finishes are available making it suitable for a variety of applications.
3. Offecct Soundwave Acoustic Panels
These gorgeous lightweight sound absorbing panels are made of recycled moulded polyester fibre and come in 24″ squares. The product is available in the United States and is manufactured in Sweden.
Soundwave panel swell
Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 8.10.38 PM
4. Unika Vaev Ecoustic Panels
These felt acoustic panels are tackable and come in a variety of thicknesses depending on the sound absorption requirements of the space. The panels are available in some amazing geometric patterns and sizes of 8′-11″ x 3′-11″.
5. Wall Art by Submaterial
Submaterial is a New Mexico based company which handcrafts some unique felt wall coverings as well as wall hangings both of which offer great textural quality.




So what do you guys think of these bold choices for your walls? Let me know in the comments!

Share Button

26. March 2014 by Charu
Categories: Art, Interior Design | Tags: , , , | 11 comments

A Home Lighting Makeover

2014 began with some changes for consumers on the light bulb front in the US. Due to more stringent regulations, the 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs of the past (which generate light through a filament source) were put to rest. Longer lasting, higher efficiency incandescent bulbs are now out in the market. This great article over at Remodelista breaks the changes down in great detail.

As a designer I understand the importance of good lighting and what a difference it can make to how you feel in a space. So of course I was curious about this new generation of bulbs and couldn’t wait to test them out! Here’s the bulb used for this review:

GE-Lighting-Halogen-Reveal-75-Watt-Package-400x400 copy

I have to say I wasn’t expecting to see such a noticeable difference in my humble rental abode.

After installing the GE Reveal Halogen bulbs, we’ve been using our living room for longer hours and were inspired to reorient some of the furniture to make the space more conducive to reading/working. It almost feels like a new space now!

Lighting makeover_before after
Here’s what I noticed and you’ll be able to see this in the shots above:

  • These bulbs filter out the unsettling yellow-ish color seen in the ‘Before’ shot.
  • The light emitted resembles day light which I really like. The color seems to fall somewhere between a fluorescent and halogen which is a good balance in my view!
  • My living room and all the objects/furniture it contains look cleaner and sharper.

Not to mention the bulbs use $28% less energy which would definitely amount to some savings if your fixtures use multiple bulbs like mine. Apart from the above, the GE Reveal family of fixtures have a variety of options depending on what you use: LEDs, CFLs, track and recessed light bulbs as well as vanity and pendant light bulbs. You can find more information on them here.

At the end of the day you should decide what kind of lighting is most functional and appealing for your space and I hope this review is helpful to all of you in making that decision :)!

Disclosure: I received the GE Reveal Halogen Bulbs free of charge from GE Lighting. No monetary compensation was received for this review and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Share Button

25. February 2014 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design, Lighting | Tags: , , , , | 3 comments

Win a box of GE Reveal Halogen Bulbs and a $10 Target Gift Card

Update: Thanks a bunch for participating everyone! The winner has been selected randomly via Rafflecopter and the box of GE Reveal Halogen Bulbs + $10 Gift card will be shipped to: Soha M., congrats Soha!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great lighting is the cherry on top in any space, even the most well designed spaces can look drab without the right lighting. I’ll be posting my review on the GE Reveal Halogen bulbs soon and wanted to give all my readers a chance to win a pack of these (along with a Target gift card) this week! The give away closes next week on February 24th and I’ll be posting the name of 1 lucky winner here (selected randomly).

Here’s some useful information and the guidelines to enter:

Discover how GE reveal® light bulbs bring out colors & patterns that can go unnoticed. GE reveal® bulbs provide amazing clean full spectrum light that filters out the dull yellows of standard incandescent light bulbs.


GE reveal® light bulbs are now available at Target and with great savings using Target’s Cartwheel savings app. With the app, you can browse for savings ahead of shopping or while at Target, you can scan the barcode of any product to see if there is a Cartwheel saving. Download the Target Cartwheel app on your IOS or Android.

You can find a current discount on Cartwheel for 25% off reveal by searching for “GE reveal”. Offer expires 2/28You can also print and use the following coupon for even more savings:
$2 off GE reveal at Target – Expires 2/8

Here’s a video featuring four tastemakers discussing the importance of good lighting and how quick and easy it is to do a reveal® lighting makeover.

You can win the makeover experience by entering this contest. Just share this post on your social networks and let us know which room you would like to makeover with GE reveal® light bulbs!

To Enter:
1. Must be U.S. resident
2. Share this blog post on your social media and comment below.
3. Tell us which room you’d like to makeover. Here’s an example:
If I win #GEreveal bulbs+ #Target gift card, I’ll makeover my _____ with reveal’s beautiful clean light!
4. Hashtag #GEreveal + #Targetgiftcard

Enter this giveaway here!

* GE and Target are only providing the product and not running the giveaway.

Share Button

17. February 2014 by Charu
Categories: Giveaway, Lighting | Tags: , , , , | 16 comments

← Older posts