Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back to Mom, The Original A

I'm Anjali, Anisha's Mom (Harold's grandmother, grudgingly) and I think the idea of Anisha being into interior decor is rather funny if we really want to go Back to A - the beginning. Anisha was into books and writing and Barbies, but the idea of decor would put her to sleep. You know what they say - they all turn into their mothers. So welcome to my home, and let me take you for a small tour - my style is very traditional and even though I do enjoy the modern, I have to admit it's china, silks, silver, tassels, and crystal chandeliers which immediately put a smile on my face.

I do agree with Anisha that your home should make you happy, and I have filled my foyer with some of my favorite things, Julie Andrew's style! I once took the kids on a tour bus through the hills of Austria which played every song from The Sound of Music - I sang my heart out - it's a still a mystery to me why the kids weren't equally enthusiastic.  What could be more fun?

I think entrances should define your personal taste, and the pinstriping on the wall is actually an idea I stole from Anisha's previous apartment.  It's the same color paint - you can pick any shade you like, but the trick is to alternate with gloss and matte. Framed on the console is a sketch and personal note from the artist M. F. Husain - he's been called "The Picasso of India" by Forbes and is an incredible talent.  I have this crazy habit of chasing down artists and making them do an impromptu sketch for me - and this one is probably my most treasured!

Moving down the hall towards the kitchen, I thought it would be fun to have a mural painted on the pantry wall of one of my favorite pieces of art, Garden in Bloom by Vincent Van Gogh.

I found a street artist on the West Side, and being a trusting Jersey girl invited him to paint the mural. Both my kids threw a fit and reminded me that inviting strangers to paint in my home was a complete no-no. Anisha came up with the idea of a babysitter, so I paid one of my doormen on his day off to sit in the kitchen and keep an eye.  The painter turned out to be lovely, and I think he did a fantastic job!

I loved Rebecca's post about adding wallpaper to the back of china cabinets or bookshelves, and the bookshelves in my dining room are lined.  The runner on the dining table is hand embroidered and comes from my favorite store in New Delhi, The Good Earth.  If you are ever there, it's a must stop.  Rooms can serve several purposes, and I enjoy having a library in my dining room. . . but interspersed with all the books are collectables from my travels.

The Herend owl is from Dubai, the Buddha above the mini-lamp is from Vietnam, the image of Jesus and the Virgin Mary is from St. Petersburg, and another bird is from Peru.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture - these unique pieces also make for interesting dinner conversations as they all have stories and remind me of my travels.

In the living room is Anisha's favorite piece of art in my apartment - it's above the pink couch and called A Patch of Moonlight by the artist Surjit Akre  - I simply loved it because it reminded me of Paul Gauguin's island series. Anisha is very much a child of her zodiac sign and likes anything to do with the moon. I broke the living room up into two seating areas which is always a good way to space, and I have done a variety of groupings, which is something I love to do.  For example, there is a grouping of candles on the coffee table. . .

. . .then there was a period during which I was fascinated by the lladro clowns and bought as many as I could find.  Not everyone likes clowns, but they just appealed to me .  I thought they had such beautiful, expressive faces, and reminded me of life and how we sometimes have to put on a face.  Be a clown through life.

In the other corner of the room is a piano both Anisha and her brother took lessons on as children (Anisha still loves to play - anything artistic and she's lost for hours - she's the dreamer in our family) and above it is a grouping of picture frames featuring people I love. The cabinet has another collection of lladros - ballerinas, mostly - as I found the dancers so elegant, and the large painting in the back is by a famous Indian artist named Bimal Das Gupta - one of India's most noted abstract painters who died in a tragic car accident many years ago. It reminds me of Georgia O'Keefe, another artist I love. Finally, I must say a word about the tablecloth skirt -it's new and I just had to have it made in India because a certain Harold Moscowitz freely used the last one as his wee wee pad.

In the other corner of the room is a card table - I am an avid bridge player - but I think it is fun to have a game table if you can squeeze it in somewhere! The ceramic plate on the wall is by a Turkish artisan named Kol Han, and the mirror above the mantle is from good old ABC Carpet & Home - they have a beautiful collection of mirrors! The cushions and the planter are from McKinsey Child - they have the most amazing and whimsical pieces no matter what your decor style is!

I love grasscloth wallpaper, which I had put up in a mini-foyer which separates two rooms.  As always I try and bring in something from my travels, so the pictures are from Bali and the green lusters are from an antique store in Ridgewood, New Jersey where we lived for many years.

Moving into the TV room (you'll see I love hanging tassles on every doorknob possible) I have fabric instead of wallpaper on the walls because I think it adds great texture.  This room is all about functionality and comfort - important that every house or apartment has one - and so the couch is a comfy leather Natuzzi I found at Bloomingdales, and instead of a coffee table the ottoman allows me to stretch my legs while watching TV.

In the adjacent bathroom you will be reminded of my earlier declaration - yes I love chandeliers and will hang them wherever possible! - A bathroom? Why not? The vintage Mikasa Erte plate I simply framed, and this time the grouping is of perfume bottles which I have collected over the years, and reflected in the mirror are cross stich pieces I did in my youth when I had patience for that sort of thing.

Lastly, my bedroom. . .on my dresser I have my favorite picture of my mother and sister, and another black and white of my grandparents.  Most treasured is a personal note written for me by Mother Theresa - my mother got this for me when she visited her in Calcutta (also where Anisha was born) years ago.

Oh Harold, must you follow grandma everywhere. . . get off my chair.  Why can't he just sit on the floor and remember that he is a dog?

Thank you for taking this tour with me - I think this site is fun and creative and Anisha has always had an enormous capacity to harness both, which is something I love and admire about her.  I hope I gave you some ideas even if your style may vary from mine - it's always fun to peep into someone's apartment and hear the stories of all the pieces that make a house a home.  Have a wonderful day, and please remember that it's one of the most important holidays of the year next Sunday. . .


Stephanie N said...

Love this! Please include more guest posts from the original A. I particularly enjoyed the dining room/library, as I am hoping to do something like this myself. Keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could use your tablecloth as MY wee-wee pad.

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