Friday, February 26, 2010

Have a great weekend!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! It is grey, cold and stormy here- we are in for some late winter thunderstorms. You would never believe how sunny it was yesterday. What plans do you have for your weekend? I am meeting some friends, have some blog posts to write- I sometime write a skeleton post for every day of the week on the weekend and add details and pics later and post it during the week. It helps me stay more organized. Also, I love blogging so I don't want to miss a day if I can help it :). I also take a lot of pictures on the weekend. Talking of which, I played around with some photo-editing etc on Picnik and this is what I did...
Once Upon A Tea Time..Design Stories

I have been wanting to create collages, add text etc and finally got around to learning how. I like it! SO, I will see you later. Have a great weekend and do something that YOU love!
Teapots full of fragrant tea

Magazine Inspiration: House Beautiful, March 2010

House Beautiful's March issue focuses on the color blue and its infinite variations. Loving this wallpaper and the blueness of it all!

Image from House Beautiful.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Over a cup of tea: For the love of old things



It's always teatime.1

Hello! How are you? I hope you are having a wonderful week. I had the day off which is why I am still awake :). Tea with an old friend, puttering around the house, straightening this and that and taking a picture or two. And as I was photographing this old teapot, I realized that lately I have been shopping more at antique and thrift stores. I have always been drawn to garage sales, flea markets and antique stores because it feels like a treasure hunt. I wonder what I will find next. And think of the story behind it- if there isn't any, I have a wild imagination that can fill in most blanks. What do I shop for? Paintings, old books, vinyl records and other objects of curiosity. I feel nowadays my antique store obsession has gotten worse. How about you? Some people are just not attracted to old things. What are YOU drawn to?

It's always teatime.2

The mini teapot is from some street-side stall in Singapore and the book is from the gently-used books for sale section of my local library. 

Loving your home: Victoria in San Francisco

Victoria Smith aka sfgirlbybay has a lovely apartment in San Francisco. She is a professional blogger and writer and writes the very popular design blog, sfgirlbybay. I have been a fan of her blog and her bohemian decor style for a long time. Golden California sunshine, endless blue skies (when there is no fog:), and a light-filled apartment in the city.

DROOL! I am building a similar collection of portraits. They add such drama to the room. And since Victoria also seems to believe in the why-hang-one-when-you-can-hang-ten philosophy, you can see why I like her home so much! The contrast between the white walls and dark floors makes the rooms glow.


I am originally from India which, according to me, means I am genetically and inexorably drawn towards intricately carved antique wooden furniture, brassware, crisp cottons and/or luxurious silks.  I still love those (it's genetic, silly :)) but after living 14 years in the United States, 10 of them in the San Francisco Bay area,  I have come to adore the style of this city which is embodied in Victoria's home. Thanks for sharing your pictures, Victoria!
All images courtesy of and copyrighted to sfgirlbybay, Victoria Smith. Visit her on the web here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shopping Bag Find: Terai Folding Chair, Ikat

Terai Folding Chair in Ikat from Anthropologie
(I will love you forever, ikat!)

Artist Profile: Nilofer Suleman's Paintings

Colorful, individual art is everywhere in India. Brightly-colored art in the form of elephants and peacocks on the back of trucks. Big hand-painted posters advertising Bollywood films. And lots of stores with their unique signs. Though things are changing now, Mom and Pop stores are more common than big stores with multiple, citywide branches. The art on the store sign is as individual as the store.
The art on these signs forms the backdrop for Nilofer Suleman's motley group of characters. They come to life, enjoy flirtations and make important decisions like whether to trust a sign which says "Special Coaching to Grow Haight!" Nilofer is a Bangalore, India-based artist and I am a big fan of her paintings.


About a year ago, I had done a series of artist profiles, titled "It's all in the eyes" and I talked about how in every painting, I always looked at the eyes. At first glance, the eyes of all the characters here look the same (pun unintended :) but wait, and you will see the smugness in one pair, the confusion in another. The array of emotions they convey is just amazing. Visit Nilofer and view all her paintings here.
All images courtesy of and copyrighted to Nilofer Suleman. Thanks for sharing, Nilofer!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stylist Inspiration


 I have started using my camera more and more and with it, my respect and admiration for stylists has grown exponentially. I am realizing how hard it is to create that 'perfect' room, vignette or a tablescape. A good picture (and because I focus on design and decor on this blog) is one that makes you want to reach out and run your hands over the objects in the picture...






Or better, that makes you feel that you just have to step into that room and explore it for yourself...



I don't get a case of "I want that". What I respond to is the feeling conveyed by the picture- the relaxation and the feeling that time stands still inside the picture. What do you feel? Do email me your comments. Also, check out decor8's Holly Becker's Interior Styling group on flickr for some wonderful inspiration.


Image credits: 1. Styling by Lili Diallo, via here. 2.Photography by Tim Evan-Cook via here. 3. Image from Anthropologie. 4. Styling by Lucyina Moodie  5. Image from Anthropologie. 5. Styling by Rose Hammick, image via here. 6. Styling by Lucyina Moodie 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Amy Butler Designs=Instant Spring


Hello! We had a cold, grey and wet weekend here. So I went looking for bright colors and nothing shouts spring and joy and sheer exuberance louder than Amy Butler's designs. I love her new LOVE collection of fabrics for quilting, fashion and home decor. Sure to brighten any dull day!

All images from Amy Butler Designs. Visit the LOVE collection here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Loving your home: Anuradha Sarup in Gurgaon, India

I consider myself privileged because so many people have shared their homes with Once Upon A Tea Time. I have enjoyed seeing the difference in styles and have liked each one of them. The home tours are a very popular feature on the blog, so I guess you have liked them too :). Today's home is in Gurgaon in India and is the home of Anuradha and her family. It is located in a quiet part of the Millenium city. Anuradha is a wonderful photographer, capturing the quiet and the serene and always, the beauty of everyday
I have lived away from India for a long time now, but if I had to paint a country by its colors, I would choose browns and greens to represent India. Add the dull gleam of gold or bronze and the picture is complete.

At my request, Anuradha sent me a number of pictures to share on the blog but I have chosen those that I think are really the heart and soul of her home. The warmth of the home reaches to you. Anuradha is a graphic designer and works from a studio in her home.




I loved the casual warmth of this home and of course, what really drew me is Anuradha's photography. Lovely! Visit Anuradha on the web here and here.

All photo are courtesy of Anuradha Sarup.

Country Living, March 2010



Some awesomeness from the March issue of Country Living, 2010. I love this closet-turned-into-office..talk about an inspiring work space!




Also caught my eye, this DIY project..I might try it, except with more dramatic colors on the teacups. Perfect if you, like me, collect vintage tea cups and sometimes only have one of a particular pattern.


All images from the March issue of Country Living.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Loving your home: Jane Schouten in the Netherlands

These days, I turn more and more to vintage, recycled and thrift store finds to add new character to my home. Which is why I really admire Jane Schouten and her style. Jane lives in the Netherlands and is an artist and graphic designer. She also runs a store called All the Luck in the World. With such an intriguing name, my curiosity was aroused. I first found the store on the web and loved the vintage treasures offered. From there on it was a short journey to Jane and her lovely home.
Jane crafts, sews and restyles vintage and thrift store items and gives them a new lease on life. Like her wall vases seen in the picture below which began life as "ugly heater dishes".
And maybe, if you are regular on flickr, you have seen her famous Christmas tree created from her vast collection of vintage items. Definitely reminds me of the I Spy books!



 It seems every time I turn on the radio I hear yet another expert talking about how all the plastic that has been manufactured in the world in the last 100 years, is still on the planet, in landfills or adversely affecting our atmosphere/environment in some way. Which makes it all the more important to reduce, reuse, recycle and of course, you can always re-style :). Visit Jane at her online store All the Luck in the World here.

All images are courtesy of Jane Schouten.

Shopping bag finds: India Rose

India Rose is a Northern California-based design company that sells lovely stuff whether its the Bali-inspired fabric lanterns pictured above or the tall beeswax pillar candles in the most gorgeous colors! Check them out here. (I can't wait to visit their store in Brisbane, CA.)

All images from India Rose.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Loving your home: Parul in Mumbai, India

Start off your week with tantalizing glimpses of an apartment in Mumbai, India. It is the home of writer Parul Sharma, her husband and their son. I would describe the family's style as eclectic. Parul says she loves Indian arts and crafts and they can be found throughout their home.  Isn't that beautiful blue wall to die for? I really love how it brings out the colors of the thangkas  and makes them pop! Parul says she wants to collect antique clocks but till then these pretty look-alikes will do.
 My favorite item in the whole house would have to be this bookcase and even better, it is crammed with books. I am thinking of June or July in Mumbai. Outside, it is raining all the time and its just you and this bookcase in the house. Sheer bliss! Parul says that she bought the bookcase few years ago from a store called Camelot. What's wonderful about shopping in Mumbai is the array of choices you have, from old dusty antique stores to little furniture shops with the most amazing craftsmen and now, the malls and shopping enclaves that carry most international brands.



I like this bench- it's from FabIndia, and the seat is "upholstered in a green and gold fabric to match the wall behind it."

Mumbai, or Bombay as I will always think of it, has a lush vegetation that casts a luminous glow inside the home. So for all the high rise flats/apartments, you can still get your green fix! Parul says, "Like most Mumbai homes, we fulfill our need for greenery by having loads of pots and planters outside all our windows. It also serves the purpose of maintaining a certain semblance of privacy."
Thanks, Parul for sharing your wonderful pictures! You can find Parul on the web at her blog, Bringing Up Adi, here
Link via intern Blue Mist. All pictures courtesy of Parul Sharma and taken by her husband.
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