Hand-crafted brass objects date back thousands of years. The purpose of these delicate artifacts was utility in some shape or form. But it speaks to man's inherent nature to create things that are aesthetically appealing. Master craftsmen were skilled at making all sorts of brass items, right from utensils and tools to statues and decorations. This skill is slowly dying as demand for these items fade. Like with everything else, craftsmen need to evolve their art so it suits people's design sensibility. But this is a tough nut to crack. The trend today is cleaner, more modern lines. Traditional brass craftsmanship is intricate and detailed, at odds with a truly modern look. Craftsmen have diversified their skills, making popular items like letter and vine bottle boxes with inlaid brass. There is still a market for the truly traditional items as well, like sindoor boxes and diyas. Not surprisingly a lot of our clientele is from Indians living overseas, who want to stay connected with their heritage and want their homes to reflect a part of who they are.
As a community, we should be working towards preserving traditional handicraft methods. It would be a shame to hav skills that have been handed down for centuries die because we didn't care enough.
Featured in the picture on top is a set of antique brass utensils and wooden boxes with brass sheets. The picture below has replicas of sindoor boxes and combs from a bygone era.
Ah, blue pottery and white flowers. That's as classic as it get. And so striking. Group them together, split them up, place them in front of mirrors or on a mantel. The contrast of blue and white is simply eye catching. I've sees them in both modern and traditional homes, and the effect is always dramatic.
Blue pottery urns and vases at Sanskriti Lifestyle come from kilns in India, like Khurja. I am happy to see our traditional potters adapting their craft to a more contemporary palette. I love the traditional styles and colours of khurja pottery and hope we don't lose it to a chinoiserie fad, but for any craft to survive in this age of machines and mechanisation, the artist must adapt. The Indian version definitely has it's own design elements, where some of the Khurja or Jaipur style that tends to be more Mughal in its influences or just plain intricate, trickles through. Personally I love the blending of these influences.
Original Chinese blue pottery is also abundantly available in stores across India. It comes in a wide variety of quality, but unless you're a connoisseur, it serves the purpose pretty nicely.
I personally have a beautiful 18" urn from a discount store in Seattle and an antique ceramic and bronze combination vase that I bought from a garage sale.
For more design ideas on blue pottery, check out Ballard Designs. They have an amazing range of products, if you happen to live in the United States.
Depending on the type of wood and type of finish, there are simple things you could do that will refresh the look of your furniture.
Stained or dull furniture
If your furniture has too many glass rim stains, or is looking dull, here's a simple trick- beeswax. Make sure you use one that has no stain or colour so it doesn't alter the look of your furniture. Simply apply some and rub it along the grain.
Teak wood lost its golden glow?
Teak that is exposed to the elements will turn grey and lose its golden glow. The teak itself is still good, it's just bleached. Linseed oil is a good way to bring back the glow. Be prepared to do a fair amount of rubbing as this is what burnishes the wood.
If you just want a new look to your furniture, try a bright colour like a purple or yellow. Keep in mind that while any oil based paint will do the trick, it wouldn't be easy to strip the paint off if you decide you don't like it. Paint adds a good layer of protection, so if you want to place your teak wood outdoors, the paint will add a more protection than wax or oil.
We don't recommend placing Sheesham or mango (local hardwood) outdoors. It's simply not strong enough to withstand the elements and will crack, even if it has oil paint on it.
Protecting your carvings
Carving are best protected with wax or oil. Make sure to use a soft brush to get all the details.
How the pros melt wax
Here's a trick I've seen our polish guys use for wax that's solidified- they light a match and throw it in the tin that has the wax. Then they shut the lid tight. The match melts a small portion of the wax, and extinguishes when the oxygen in the jar is used up. Don't try it at home though!
A smart strategy to design your home can prove to be extremely beneficial to you in the long run. Here's how we can help you get started-
Running out of storage space in cupboards? Use the empty spaces on the walls instead! A small shelf built on walls can prove to be very helpful in storing the lighter home decor accents. You could even make pots and jars stand on shelves against walls in order to give a quirky countryside feel to your homes.
These rolling shelves maximize spaces and are one of the easiest ways to store away upholstery. Rolling shelves under beds are a great storage place for towels, linens and other delicate material.
Trunks and Boxes
The classic way to store things is to put them away in boxes. The boxes can also be used as side tables and coffee tables to give a rustic look to the interiors. Wooden boxes also lend an elegant, royal charm to your homes.
Maximise your bookshelf space by stacking your books vertically. If you're feeling a little adventurous, you could also use a step ladder as a make-shift bookshelf! Categorize your books by color for better organization.
It's important to utilize the floor space effectively. Install shelves at the base of a closet or even in the small space between the door and the bed and you'll never have to rifle through items strewn across the floor.
Home decor can be made both appealing and functional. Please feel free to share with us tips on de-cluttering and organizing homes. We'd be glad to hear what you have to say!
With Christmas round the corner, it's time to start thinking about the decorations. And this year it goes much beyond the traditional lights and Christmas Tree. Get your homes Christmas ready with the following tips-
Light it Up!
Lights during the festive season are a no-brainer; spruce it up with colored lights and funky lampshades. To give it a traditional appeal, stick to red, green and white lights for the perfect Christmas effect. Fairy lights hung on trees and around windows will give a delicate and feminine touch to the exteriors.
Enamel pots offer rustic style and sophistication. They also add a pop of color to your exteriors. Add in drama to your gardens. Switch over from flower beds and small pots to large terra cotta ones. Place them in an area you want attention drawn to- maybe the entrance or the side-walk.
Chairs and Benches
Add a dash of color to your gardens and outdoor spaces with vibrantly colored chairs and benches. There is no fixed rule when it comes to choosing a color- go with the one you’re comfortable with. If you're not feeling too adventurous, you could always start with a white bench and throw in printed cushions. The warm sun streaming through the window, the rustic charm of some vintage furniture and traditional upholstery- create your own cheerful nook in your gardens.
Dress up your Porch!
Outdoor decorations cannot be complete without Santa Claus! You could purchase a light up Santa, or simply have small, stuffed Santas all over the porch. If your home is a two-storey you can have Santa positioned to make it look like he’s climbing up on his way to the chimney! Wreaths are another way of decorating the front porch, especially the door.
Lead Them On!
To keep it traditional, line the walkway from your gates till the front door with miniature Christmas trees. Add some fairy lights to these trees and you could have the perfect Christmas welcome.