Here's an example of how we at Sanskriti Lifestyle use traditional wooden furniture, and give it a contemporary twist. Featured here is an antique furniture piece- an old planter's chair. The chair's seat originally had a weaving of Singapore cane. Instead, we've upholstered it with leather instead, making it more comfortable and current.
The easel and side table are made with old, recycled teak wood, collected from houses that have been demolished. All three pieces have the signature golden sheen of polished teak wood.
The birth of lord Krishna is a huge celebration all over India. Devotion to this Hindu God is very apparent from the day-long fasts by millions of people on this day. Also popular is the traffic-halting "dahi-handi", where men clamber onto each other's backs to create a human pyramid high enough to smash an earthenware pot suspended high up in the middle of the town square. Imagine, just for an instant, that the person perched right on top slips, and slides slowly down his compatriots' shoulders. Remind you of something? The free-falling Indian Rupee? Let's hope that one year from now, we are looking at a stronger Rupee, down from its dizzying heights of 68.80/-. Happy Janmashtami!
As sourcers of Indian handicrafts, we get to see the breadth and diversity of craftsmanship in every corner of our country, whether it's in wooden furniture, textiles, or gold and silver jewelry. These artisans have skills that have been passed on from generation to generation, and going forward, the fate of this craftsmanship will depend on the relevance of the designs for today's lifestyles and homes. Here are some successful hybrids:
Stylish home decor is surprisingly easy. Look around you and draw your inspiration from nature. Hydrangeas are beautiful flowers that contrast beautifully with wooden furniture. Here's our style tip- gather a bunch of this beautiful flower and group it with clear class and white artifacts for a really classy look. We've used clear candle stands, but you could use a clear glass vase. Sanskriti Lifestyle has a variety of glass vases to choose from. They do surprisingly well in Mahabaleshwar and even the outskirts of Pune around the monsoons and winter. The flowers change colour based on the soil's acidity or alkalinity, which is why they're called nature's litmus paper. So a bunch of pink flowers can be turned to blue or purple by making the soil more acidic.
Here's how you can get your hydrangea fix. Get them at a florist- they are expensive, but look great even after they've dried. Worth the extra cost. If you have a garden, get a plant. After it blooms, let the flowers dry on the plant, then cut them and use them as a dry arrangement. As a last resort, get artificial hydrangeas. Ok, I'm not a big fan of the factory-made variety, but if it works for you, go with it.
Kundan jewelry is gorgeous. Full stop. No Indian marriage or major festival is complete without a kundan "set"- a heavy necklace with a pair of almost impossible-to-wear earrings. Too many of us have suffered through the pain of aching, angry earlobes, just to wear this show-stopper.
But times have changed. While we Indian women appreciate the artistry of our rich heritage, it just isn't practical to wear these opulent, not to mention expensive, pieces. Kundan artisans caught onto this and adapted the classic art form into more wearable, smaller designs to suit modern sensibilities. Today's designs smaller and more affordable, since they're made in silver, with a gold polish. Precious stones like diamonds, emeralds and rubies are substituted with glass and semi-precious stones.
Cultures need to adapt in order to survive, and kudos to these artisans for making kundan so wearable and easy on our purses! I love wearing my kundan earrings with jeans and a white shirt- that way, I'm in touch with my past, while being solidly rooted in the present.
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