Just a poetic way to say
OMG! It's hot and summers are here!
When did this happen!
What was I doing?
Was I sleeping?
If you still don't believe me, just go through this post, ok? And listen to the playlist I put together for you. I was browsing through El Mueble, and I was drawn, like a bee to a flower, to summer-ish decor. You know, all light and white, and pinks and blues, and flowers and glass, and oh all that grass! Grass of the green-growing-under-your-feet kind. Maybe of the other kind too. Just maybe. Who can say. It's summertime folks! :)
No-Mad and I go way back. I still remember my conversations with Valerie and Anuj, about this splendid creative idea and vision they had, and I have been waiting with bated breath for the launch of this vision, the lifestyle brand: No-Mad. The wait has been worth it's while - No-Mad showcases, yet again, Valerie's brilliance as a designer and Anuj's enthusiasm as a creative entrepreneur. No-Mad products are quirky, they are contemporary, colorful and bright, elegant yet exuding a sense of comfort & familiarity. I can see the attention to design detail and the high standard of production quality from the images, and can't wait to feel that fine fabric and trace the intricate embroidery in person.
The driving force behind the products at No-Mad is India. India and it's culture, it's day to day objects, how people interact with these objects. Valerie has brought in an interesting viewpoint - creating products that are quintessentially Indian in nature, but using design inspiration from outside; Morocco specifically for the current collection of Red and Black. That's the reason why Valerie and Anuj like to call No-Mad, 97% Indian, with 3% (more or less :)) influence from outside India. Read more about their creative journey together right here.
With current collection of products ranging from pillow covers to bags, to poufs and 'moodas', specially formulated incense and candles, No-Mad is getting ready to launch a new color and more product lines. All products are shipped world wide and are available via No-Mad's online store.
I already have my favorites wishlisted and as expected, the list runs long! It has to be for where else can we find the brilliance from India and Morocco together? No-Mad has hit the nail on the head with it's design philosophy and products. I am eagerly looking forward to what next the team at No-Mad conjures up!
Shop at No-Mad right here, and tell us what you love. :)
[Copyright - All Images: No-Mad. Creative storyboarding: An Indian Summer]
You know what it feels like when you lie down, and cover your eyes with soft cotton wool, soaked in cool rose water? You feel the coolness seep in, your breathing becomes calmer, your mind pauses it's constant chatter and gently, you relax. That's exactly what I feel when I soak in visual imagery. The calmness and aesthetics of beautiful images, speak and do more than words can, many a times.
So, after a tumultuous January, an unexpected February, a frenetic yet fun March, I decided to spend this first day of April, indulging in some visual therapy. I don't have a story to tell, a post to write or a message to convey. Just some 'cool' image collages I made, to inspire me, and to inspire you.
Oh, and what is relaxation without music?
Listen to this, as you stroll through the rest of the post
Here we are again. Beginning of the post, and I don't know where to begin, what to say, what to skip, what not to miss. Spending the last few hours sorting and sifting though my stash of pictures from last week hasn't helped the cause much. I am back in Singapore, reminiscing the many streets, alleys, cafes, restaurants, galleries, shops, riverside, seaside, gardens - phew, all that I walked through. While pictures do tell a story, I have so much to share that I just have to sit you down and talk to you. So, hope you have your cup of coffee/tea/milk/whatever-your-heart-desires in place, and are sitting with feet tucked in, for here, my dear readers, is what I did last week, apart from the Design Week!
When the fabulous team from MSL and The Singapore Tourism Board reached
out to me with the invite for The Singapore Design Week, I knew that the
trip and the agenda would be incomplete if I didn't experience and
bring back the design and the vibe from the streets and neighborhoods of
Singapore for you. As I shared my ideas with the team, they put together a
comprehensive itinerary that really hit the nail on An Indian Summer's
passionate spot. [Erm, it isn't meant to sound like the way it might be
sounding. If you get what I mean, hush, move on, don't linger. There,
read ahead]. This trip has me wanting for more [Ok, I give up. It's all in Your mind by the way!], and I can't wait to go back and revisit every nook and cranny again.
I absolutely love exploring and feeling the character of a city; the
heart behind the steel and glass exterior. The streets that have a past
and buildings that have a tale or two to tell. Talking to the locals, the young and the old, finding commonalities and discovering something new. Singapore particularly has such an interesting juxtaposition of glitzy, modern, state-of-art architecture and traditional shop houses, stately old buildings reminiscent of Singapore's colonial past and beautiful old architecture and design influenced by the native country of origin of the early settlers. I fell in love with the louvered windows in China Town! And gasped at the gorgeous colorful facades in the Joo Chiat neighborhood. The art deco style in Tioang Bahru reminded me of parts of Bombay. The vibrancy of Haji Ali Lane took me back to the urban villages turned chic designer hubs in Delhi. The sprawling bungalows at Dempsey Hill had me doing quick mental calculation of how much one of those might cost, and then giving up mid way. [The calculation bit ie. Quick calculation is a misnomer in my case. Nothing is quick where numbers are involved. Time slows down considerably] The pride with which residents maintain their heritage, their residential areas, the public spaces is commendable. It all adds to a city and a country which is very pleasing to the eye and easy on the aesthetes soul.
And then came the food! I wish and wish that I had a larger frame and a larger appetite - Singapore is truly an epicureans delight! And this coming from a non foodie, who craves home cooked meal the moment she steps out of her beloved country, goes to show that I not only noticed food for a change, but also enjoyed a variety of gourmet meals! I have to admit that I was wildly distracted by how prettily the restaurants, cafes were done up; the wine glass was always in my hand to make space for the omnipresent camera on the table. From being served a specially cooked vegetarian Peranakan dinner at True Blue, a home dining establishment, to one of the best soup & salad (& dessert) lunches at The Black Swan, to the delicious nasi goreng at quirky Coastal Settlement, some good ol' Indian food at Earl of Hindh and well, fabulous stone bowls at Open Door Policy, and a bunch of other places. In almost all places, I could have sat for an hour or two easily, soaking in the ambiance and the decor.
Design - check marked. Architecture - check marked. Food - check marked. What about cats? You know that cats and I have a certain affinity and they invariably find a way on this blog of mine. Well they definitely found their way on this trip of mine! To make sure that I have uninterrupted supply of purrs, I spent an hour at the Cat Cafe in Boats Quay. And then, my favorite book shop so far in Singapore - Books Actually, had a cat AND books! What else can a woman ask for? Well many other things, but stay with me for now. Cats and books for us. Yaaay!
Boutique hotels, museums in homes, antique shops, cute little bookstores, indie designers and boutiques, chic cafes, cosy coffee houses, edgy pubs and bars, eclectic shopping, and and louvered windows...sigh! All and more on one island. I had a brilliant time discovering and exploring this facet of Singapore, hidden behind the many malls and high rises. I am already planning a trip back. You should too :)
As I mentioned, my little camera [little, my foot! it's heavy as a rock!] and I went berserk and clicked everything clickable, and more often than not, the not-so-usually-clicked. Check here on Monday, and you will be delighted [please do be delighted!] to see a fresh album with all the above pics independently and many more. More design, more cafes, more quaintness, more art, more craft and, more cats! Remember to visit me on facebook on Monday!