artfully decorated living room in london townhouse by shalini misra

AD Middle East

How To Decorate Your Home? This Thoughtfully Curated Townhouse Offers a Blueprint

You can view the full article by following the link below.

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artfully decorated living room in london townhouse by shalini misra

indian stepwells rugs by shalini misra for cc-tapis

Wallpaper

India’s stepwells inspire Shalini Misra’s rug collection

You can view the full article by following the link below.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE
indian stepwells rugs by shalini misra for cc-tapis

For our first exclusive rug collection produced by cc-tapis, Shalini Misra looked to the thousands of stepwells in India for inspiration.

What are stepwells and what do they represent?

For our first exclusive rug collection produced by cc-tapis, Shalini Misra looked to the thousands of stepwells in India for inspiration. Usually referred to as a ‘Vav’ or, ‘Baoli’ in Rajasthan, the stepwells are a vital component of India’s architectural, cultural, and social history.

Historically, stepwells were renowned as India’s most efficient water-harvesting systems, acting as reservoirs while also doubling up as unifying spiritual centres, social gathering spots and a place of refuge for ritual purification and prayer. For women in particular they were a safe haven, offering protection and shelter from the overpowering heat as they fetched water for the community.

Though stepwells are disappearing and deserted due to modernisation, governmental and heritage organisations are striving to conserve the architectural phenomenon – something that we at Curio are passionate about.

indian stepwells rugs by shalini misra for cc-tapis

Why did we choose cc-tapis to produce the limited-edition rugs?

cc-tapis has a strong respect for natural materials, which is reflected in its eco-friendly approach to production. Each rug is made using the finest natural Himalayan wool and sourced from the surrounding areas of the studio’s atelier in Kathmandu, Nepal. No machines are used and everything is handmade by expert artisans following ancient traditional techniques.

Each rug passes through many hands. The raw materials are first carded and hand-spun by one team, dyed by a master colour expert, knotted by Tibetan artisans and finished by a team of expert craftspeople who shave, trim and bind the final piece.

cc-tapis also cares about its people, practices and impact on our world, undertaking a path of transversal reduction through its production and distribution processes, whilst paying attention to social, human, and economic factors. They also launched the non-profit organisation cc-for education which provides the children of Nepalese weavers private education. From launching plastic-free packaging using discarded clothing, to attaining carbon neutrality, cc-tapis offers much more than its soulful, high-end textiles.

How are the rugs made and how were the stepwells translated onto the materials?

The complex and ancient production method of hand-knotting is favoured by the atelier – a common technique in the Middle East, India and China. Every stage of production is managed in-house, from refining raw materials to dying processes, enabling full control to create unique, bespoke pieces. Every Tibetan knot is handmade on a vertical loom holding a warp made of hundreds of stretched strands of cotton. A single rug can have up to 232.000 individual knots per square meter, indicative of the lengthy production time which ranges between 14 to 17 weeks depending on the quality and size. Once the knotting is complete, the rug undergoes extensive finishing processes including hand-cutting, shearing and embossing. The final piece is washed in recycled rainwater, stretched, and sun-dried in the Himalayan sun.

The images of Indian stepwells are translated onto the rugs by weaving exceptionally delicate gradients of hand-dyed Himalayan wool. To evoke a surreal and sculptural effect, cc-tapis’ Nepalese artisans integrate different pile heights, textures and an original combination of colours to define the varying levels of stepwells and elaborate carvings – thoughtful craftsmanship at its finest.

What does this collection mean to Curio?

Curio is rooted in community. We nurture, spotlight and celebrate under-represented talent all across the globe to bring to market out-of-the-ordinary artists and makers. Here, we want to celebrate the talented Nepalese artisans and tight-knit team who soulfully stitch each bespoke piece.

Rugs, as functional and textural foundations, have a unifying power, serving to bring people together and act as grounding elements for both entertaining and everyday living. This draws parallels with the historical use of stepwells; the fundamental heart of community.

Shop the rugs here

To mark the launch of our exclusive rug collection by Shalini Misra, produced by cc-tapis, we organised a little fireside chat with Shalini and cc-tapis’ founder, Fabrizio Cantoni. Together they dive into the cultural significance of stepwells, the creative process, and the intricate production methods that give each piece its unique soulful character.

Shalini, what drew you to the stepwells of India as a source of inspiration?

The stepwells of India, known as ‘Vav’ or ‘Baoli,’ are an integral part of the country’s cultural and architectural history. Their historical significance, acting as water-harvesting systems and spiritual centres, deeply inspired me. They also served as safe havens, particularly for women fetching water, reflecting a rich cultural tapestry that I wanted to honour in the collection.

Shalini, why did you choose cc-tapis to produce the limited-edition rugs?

cc-tapis stood out for its commitment to craftsmanship and eco-friendly practices. With a deep respect for natural materials and an emphasis on handmade techniques, they aligned perfectly with the vision for this collection. Their dedication to social and environmental responsibility, as seen through initiatives like cc-for education, really resonate with Curio’s values.

Fabrizio, could you describe the step-by-step production process and any special techniques used?

The handknotting technique is at the core of our production process, a method common in the Middle East, India, and China. From refining raw materials to dying processes, every stage is managed in-house. Our artisans pour everything into each rug. Pieces can include up to 232,000 individual knots per square meter. The finishing processes, including hand-cutting and embossing, contribute to the exceptional quality.

How long does each piece take to make, and how many artisans are needed to create one?

The production time varies, but on average, each piece takes 14 to 17 weeks to complete. A team of skilled artisans work closely together to ensure the rugs meet our exceptional and responsible standards.

How were the stepwells translated onto the materials?

The images of Indian stepwells are translated onto the rugs through delicate gradients of hand-dyed Himalayan wool. Our Nepalese artisans integrate different pile heights, textures, and an original combination of colours to define the varying levels of stepwells and elaborate carvings.

Sustainability has become an overused term across interiors and fashion industries. How is cc-tapis practicing responsible design?

cc-tapis prioritises sustainability through the use of ethically sourced materials and eco-friendly production practices. Our commitment goes beyond words – from using plastic-free packaging to achieving carbon neutrality. And, through our non-profit organisation cc-for education, we’re not just designing rugs; we’re creating a positive impact. It’s our way of weaving responsible design into every thread of our work.

Shalini, what does this collection mean to Curio?

Shalini: This collection holds profound meaning for Curio as it celebrates the talent of Nepalese artisans and the collaborative spirit within our tight-knit team. It is a testament to our commitment to spotlighting under-represented artists globally and bringing unique, meaningful pieces to the market.

Do either of you have a favorite piece from the collection?

Shalini: Each rug is special, but if I had to choose, I’m particularly fond of Ujala for its embodiment of the stepwell’s arch-shaped niches. I’m also drawn to the contrasting blue and grey tones.

Fabrizio:

“I love all of them. I can’t just mention one, as each rug has its own distinct personality. We have developed the collection working closely with Shalini, pushing our production processes to be sure that the images of Indian stepwells were tangible in each design. I couldn’t be happier with the final result.”

To read more about the rugs, read our article here [link to article]

dining room gleaming tableware

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Diwali 2023: How To Decorate Your Home in 7 Easy Steps

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dining room gleaming tableware

how to mix and match materials

Homes & Gardens

8 Ways To Mix And Match Materials In The Home, According To Interior Designer Shalini Misra

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how to mix and match materials

This week the V&A opens its fabulous new exhibition, Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto.

Few would argue that Gabrielle Chanel was a true creative visionary, and in many ways she wrote the rulebook for contemporary style. Thinking of some of her most quoted wisdoms – we can’t help but notice how relevant they also are for interiors…

This could absolutely apply to the design of your house itself. Gabrielle Chanel always believed it is better to be underdressed. Accessories are key – but it’s easy to overdo it. After you’ve styled your room, think about removing one display item, and see the difference it makes.

Again, a timeless truth. Surround yourself with the things you love, and beyond that, with very best you can afford.

“The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive.”

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Just swap out fashion for design and dresses for rooms and you have our approach in a nutshell. Widen your view: your surroundings don’t simply define your tastes, they can be an expression of your whole world.

Similar to that often-repeated phrase from Mies Van Der Rohe ‘Less is more’ – but we much prefer Chanel’s take.

Chanel Exhibition photography, 11th September 2023

Chanel Exhibition photography, 11th September 2023

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Similar to that often-repeated phrase from Mies Van Der Rohe ‘Less is more’ – but we much prefer Chanel’s take.

“Fashion changes, but style endures.”

When it comes to interiors, the distinction between fashion and style is important. As a design practice we seek to make sustainable choices wherever possible, and that means building in longevity.

Do you agree? Remember if you are searching for the perfect accessories for your space do visit Curio for elegant pieces we think she would approve of.

Chanel Exhibition photography, 11th September 2023

Chanel Exhibition photography, 11th September 2023

picures in living room
picures in living room

Every detail counts when it comes to designing a home, and this is especially true of the first thing many people notice when they step inside a house: the art. At Shalini Misra we believe it is the art that gives a space its soul, and for this reason our clients’ art collections are often the focal point of our designs. our aim is to create a space that is not only visually pleasing but also emotionally resonant, and while art curation can greatly enhance a space’s ambiance, truly transforming any interior scheme, but is all too often an afterthought. In this article, we will explore five key aspects of art curation in the home that will bring any space to life.

Entrances: first and last impressions

As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nowhere is this more true than the entrance to a home. The hallway is an opportunity to set the tone for what lies beyond and should reflect the personality of the space. Consider a bold, eye-catching piece that encapsulates the essence of the interior.

Stairways: embrace vertical space

Stairways often offer unique opportunities for art curation. Vertical wall space can create a captivating visual journey, and a curated collection of framed photographs or paintings ascending along the staircase can tell a story.

entrance to house with artwork on wall

Gardens: nature and art

Sculptures, fountains, and outdoor art installations can add delight and intrigue to outdoor space, harmonising with nature, and transforming a garden into a place of both beauty and contemplation.

 

Statement Pieces: less is more

Sometimes, one or two statement pieces can speak volumes. When selecting these pieces, consider the emotional resonance they evoke. A striking contemporary painting, an antique sculpture, or a thought-provoking modern installation can be a conversation starter and a focal point in any room.

The Finishing Touch

Well chosen sculptures and art accessories will add layers of depth and character. Opt for pieces whose stories resonate with you personally as well as considering their fit with the overall design theme. For those seeking to explore curated art options, Shalini Misra’s sister platform, Curio, offers an exceptional array of original works to choose from.

artwork in garden space

It’s somewhat ironic that art curation in interior design can seem to be an art form in itself. When approached with thought and consideration, it can imbue a home with elegance and personality, making a focal point of creativity and beauty, and bringing colour and material palettes together. By focusing on entrances, stairways, gardens, statement pieces, and art accessories, it’s possible to create a curated space that continuously uplifts and inspires its occupants on a daily basis.

home gym entrance
home swimming pool

Designing a home gym that perfectly suits your needs and aesthetic preferences can greatly enhance your fitness journey. In this blog post, we will explore various design elements that can help you create the ultimate workout space. From choosing more muted colors to incorporating must-have equipment, showcasing the space with glass, utilizing mirrors and metallic finishes, ensuring proper airflow and acoustics, and adding essential amenities like a fridge and stereo, we will cover all the essential aspects of designing a home gym that will inspire and motivate you.

Choosing Muted Colors for a Calming Environment

Unlike commercial gyms with their vibrant and energetic color schemes, a home gym can benefit from a more serene and calming atmosphere. Opting for muted colors such as soft greys, earthy tones, or pastel shades can help create a relaxing ambiance that promotes focus and concentration. These colors also provide a neutral backdrop that allows the focus to remain on your workout equipment and personal achievements.

Views and Wall Finishes for Inspiration

If your home gym lacks a picturesque outdoor view, you can still create an inspiring environment by utilizing interesting wall finishes. Consider landscape-inspired wallpapers, motivational quotes, or even large-scale artwork that resonates with your fitness journey. These design elements can provide visual stimulation and keep you motivated during your workouts.

home gym entrance

Must-Have Equipment for an Effective Workout

Selecting the right equipment is crucial for a well-rounded home gym. Focus on incorporating versatile pieces that cater to your fitness goals and preferences. Essential items might include a treadmill or elliptical machine, weight bench, dumbbells or kettlebells, resistance bands, and a stability ball. Investing in quality equipment will ensure a safe and effective workout routine.

Showcasing the Space with Glass

To create a sense of openness and connection to the rest of your home, consider incorporating glass elements into your home gym design. Large windows or glass doors not only bring in natural light but also allow you to showcase your fitness haven from outside the room. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a beautiful backyard or garden that can serve as an additional source of inspiration during workouts.

Utilizing Mirrors and Metallic Finishes

Mirrors play a vital role in any gym, as they provide a visual feedback of your form and technique. Consider installing full-length mirrors strategically to create an illusion of a larger space while also reflecting natural light. Additionally, incorporating metallic finishes on the ceiling can add a touch of luxury and elegance to your home gym, making it feel more like a personal retreat.

home fitness gym equipment

Ensuring Airflow and Acoustics

Proper ventilation and acoustics are essential for creating a comfortable workout environment. Install ceiling fans or invest in a good HVAC system to maintain optimal airflow. Additionally, consider soundproofing the room or incorporating acoustic panels to minimize noise disturbance and create a peaceful atmosphere.

Essential Amenities for Added Convenience

To make your home gym feel more like a complete retreat, add essential amenities such as a mini-fridge stocked with water or healthy snacks, a stereo system to play energizing music, and storage solutions to keep your equipment organized. These small touches can enhance your overall workout experience and make your home gym a space you look forward to spending time in.

kitchen island

kitchen island

In recent years, the open concept kitchen has become increasingly popular in interior design. This innovative layout not only maximizes space but also fosters a sense of togetherness by eliminating barriers between the cooking and living areas. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and strategies of creating a seamless flow in an open concept kitchen, where cooking and entertaining blend seamlessly.

Enhancing Communication and Social Interaction

open concept kitchen living room

One of the main advantages of an open concept kitchen is the improved communication and social interaction it offers. With the absence of walls or doors, family members and guests can easily engage in conversations, whether they are relaxing in the living area or preparing a meal. This layout encourages a sense of togetherness and creates a more inclusive atmosphere for everyone.

Unifying Design Elements

To achieve a seamless flow, it is crucial to ensure that the design elements in both the cooking and living spaces complement each other. This can be achieved through the use of consistent color palettes, materials, and finishes. For example, incorporating similar cabinetry, flooring, or countertops in both areas can create a harmonious visual connection. Additionally, the strategic placement of furniture, lighting fixtures, and accessories can further enhance the cohesive feel of the space.

Thoughtful Space Planning

round kitchen table & units

An open concept kitchen requires careful space planning to optimize functionality and flow. The layout should consider the placement of key elements such as the cooking range, sink, and refrigerator. It is important to ensure there is sufficient counter space and storage within easy reach. By arranging these elements in a logical and efficient manner, the kitchen becomes a practical workspace that seamlessly integrates with the living area.

Creating Zones

While an open concept kitchen connects the cooking and living spaces, it is essential to create distinct zones within the layout. Defining specific areas for cooking, dining, and lounging helps to maintain organization and purpose. This can be achieved through the use of furniture placement, lighting, or even architectural features like half-walls or columns. By clearly delineating these areas, the open concept kitchen becomes a cohesive yet functional space.

Balancing Acoustics

One potential challenge in open concept kitchens is managing sound and noise. The absence of walls can result in increased noise levels and echo. To mitigate this, it is important to consider acoustics when designing the space. Incorporating sound-absorbing materials such as rugs, curtains, or upholstered furniture can help reduce noise reflections and create a more comfortable environment for conversations and relaxation.

Incorporating Multi-functional Furniture

To further enhance the seamless flow between the cooking and living spaces, consider incorporating multi-functional furniture pieces. For example, an island with bar stools can serve as both a preparation area and a casual dining spot. Additionally, a sideboard or console table can provide storage and display space while doubling as a serving station during gatherings. These versatile furniture choices contribute to a flexible and integrated space.