Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Kumarakom Lake Resort

It’s been a long time since I last blogged – blame it on a combination of a lot of work and a little laziness. 

Hubby & I just spent a week holidaying in Kerala – a much needed vacation and a chance to recharge tose fading batteries. We spent a few days in the hills of Munnar and Thekkady enjoying the lush green tea plantations and thick forest, and then wound down amidst the backwaters of Kumarakom.
We stayed at Kumarakom Lake Resort. The resort is set against the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake and is rated one of the best backwater resorts in the world. And I could see why. As soon as I caught a glimpse of the resort I was captivated by its architecture.

Spread over 25 acres, with gabled cottages sheltered within tropical foliage and narrow winding waterways,  this heritage resort is unique and pays homage to the traditional Kerala architecture style while still maintaining a modern feel and luxury standards.  
Stapati Architects, the firm behind the design of the resort, have painstakingly re-used elements dismantled from traditional houses around Kerala. From intricate carvings showcasing incredibly skilful workmanship to doors dating back 300 hundred years recovered from temples and old mansions, one can really enjoy Kerala’s rich architectural heritage and appreciate the care and sensitivity shown in putting all these elements in place.
Here are a few images.

[All images courtesy Shalini Pereira unless mentioned otherwise]

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Color White

According to the scientists, white is not a color at all- it represents white light in which all colors are blended. While the argument of this may continue, there is one fact that is indisputable- there is no color that is as timeless as this classic color.

White can be gentle and soothing, soft and comforting, romantic and wistful and even sexy.
It can celebrate the past or look to the future.
White has many faces-it can be classic and cool, warm and comforting or stark and edgy.

White has a certain inexplicable beauty. With its myriad shades it is both magical and mysterious. It constantly assimilates the colors around it while undergoing subtle variations with the changing shadows of the day.

Its simplicity celebrates textures and gives them new significance.

It serves as a perfect foil for objects d’art as colors seem to be seen in their purist intensity against its backdrop.

Timeless, classic and never out of style- this is what comes to mind when I think of the color white.

(Image Sources: I have collected these inspirational images through web searches over a period of time. Unfortunately, I don't have the links to them. So thanks to all the sources and if anyone can place the sources, please let me know and I will be happy to put them up.)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cobogo House

I have a tendency to ‘stalk’ architects and designers whose work I find really inspiring. I once determinedly tried to visit every space designed by one of my favourite Indian architects, Sandeep Khosla. If there was a restaurant or lounge designed by him in the city I was in, I’d drag my friends there.

Another architect whose work I’m a real fan of is Marcio Kogan. He has a knack for creating buildings that are beautiful and minimal. Cobogo House, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is another one of Marcio Kogan’s designs that I have fallen in love with. This building has a simple form that appears gracefully elegant, and, as the tropical sunlight bathes the structure, it becomes a fascinating contrast of light and shadow.

What I love about this house is its almost seamless connection to the outdoors. Nature is embraced- indeed it is celebrated through its dialogue with the architecture. One of the elements that encourages this dialogue and forms a defining element of the architecture is a modular screen with hollowed out patterns, a work of art designed by Erwin Hauer. These hollowed-out elements take on different forms with the incidence of the sunlight during the day and artificial light during the night so that the house is continuously changing.

Enjoy the images below.

[Images courtesy ArchDaily]

Monday, 5 March 2012

Melt-in-the-mouth Cinnamon Rolls

I've caught the baking bug. I've been dying to try my hand at baking bread and finally worked up the courage this weekend. Its convenient since I've had this craving for cinnamon rolls for ages but have been tragically disappointed with what I've bought from pastry shops here.

I stumbled upon this amazing recipe on The Pioneer Woman. The steps were incredibly easy to follow which made the entire process much less daunting, and the results- pure deliciousness! My husband went out for a cricket match early Saturday morning and returned to freshly baked cinnamon rolls which he happily wolfed down. He claims they are the best he's eaten so Thanks Ree of Pioneer Woman!  

You can find the recipe for these yummy cinnamon rolls here. I halved all the quantities mentioned in Ree's recipe and made them without the frosting because I didn't want to be too sinful, but I'm definately going to try the frosting next time round.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Yallingup Residence, Western Australia

It was love at first sight when I chanced upon this beautiful house designed by Wright Feldhusen Architects of Australia. This building, with its crisp, clean lines, is predominantly modernist in design. I love the stone wall that makes up the lower part of the structure. This wall gives such character to the house and forms an amazing feature element that connects the building with the land. The stoic solidity of this massive wall contrasts so well with the glazed upper structure that rests atop it. There is a beautiful balance of solidity and transparency in this house, with the living and dining areas forming part of a large glazed pavilion that captures the stunning valley views that the setting has to offer.

[Images courtesy Wright Feldhusen Architects]

Friday, 24 February 2012

Some of my favorite lamps

Here are some of my favorite lamp designs- some are iconic pieces that are instantly recognizable and others may be less well known, but still much loved by me.

1. Tolomeo Task Lamp by Michele De Lucchi for Artemide(1987)
The iconic Tolomeo task light is a perfect marriage of design and engineering.

2. Arco Lamp by Achille Castiglioni & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos (1962)
Beautiful, elegant,  functional and timeless- these words best describe the Acro lamp.

3. Signal Lamp by Jean-Louis Domecq, France (1950)
The Signal Lamp has a fun, quirky, vintage appeal and is one of my favorites.

4. Archimoon by Philippe Starck, for Flos, Italy (2000)
With it’s silver aluminum arm and fabric shade, the Archimoon exudes understated elegance.

5. Grasshopper Lamp by Greta Magnusson Grossman (1947)
This modern, functional lamp has a decidedly vintage appeal that would look quite trendy in a modern, minimal setting.

6. PH5 Pendant Lamp by Poul Henningsen (1958)
Made from spun aluminum and sand-blasted glass, the pendant was designed to hang low above a table. The best part of this design is that regardless of how the lamp is installed, it is completely glare-free.

7. Beat Light Fat by Tom Dixon
Made from brass with a black external lacquer, this modern, minimally designed lamp was inspired by the sculptural simplicity of brass cooking pots and traditional water vessels on the subcontinent.

8. Calimero Oversized Pendant Lamp by Cattelan Italia
This lamp is a little retro, a little modern and a lot sexy. I know it’s a bit shiny and reflective but it would look great in a contemporary, minimalist space.

9. Nizam Brass Lamp by Viya Home
These lamps scream opulence and luxury and are a contemporary twist on traditional Indian motifs.

10. Recycled Artichoke Paper Lamp by
Allison Patrick
Each of New York based architect, Allison Patrick’s hanging fixtures is hand-made, unique and made from scrap material- a cool idea and a really funky design.

11. Wood Lamp by Studio TAF
Honesty in design is the idea behind this lamp, designed by Swedish design & architectural studio TAF for Scandinavian design company Muuto.  Another one of my favorites- I love its minimal simplicity and almost toy like character.

12. Anglepoise Lamp by George Carwardine (1933)
Inspired by the constant tension principle of human limbs, this is a truly iconic lamp.

13. Akari 3A Lamp by Isamu Noguchi (1951)
This classic is a harmonious blend of Japanese handcraft and modernist form.

14. Artichoke Lamp by Poul Henningsen (1958)
PH Artichoke is a 360-degree glare free lamp created by 72 leaves. The PH Artichoke is considered to be a classical masterpiece even today.

15. David Trubridge Coral Pendant Lamp
Inspired from coral, this form is based on the structure of a geometric polyhedron made from delicate Pine plywood fastened together by aluminum or plastic rivets.  This lamp comes into its own when soft light shines through its skeletal frame casting surreal shadows on darkened walls.

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