May 30, 2011

Sunday Special ~ Introducing Home Tours

Home tours are my favorite, be it on any website, TV show or on the blogland. For me, sneak peeks are a wonderful means
  • To get some amazing decorating ideas
  • Decide on what works or does not work for me (without a trip to the store)
  • Visualize my dream home, or
  • Just feel pleased to have seen a well put together space
People all over the world share their love for their home. It would not be an understatement to repeat the saying - "Home is where the Heart is!!".  I feature amazing kitchen tours on my food blog and now extend this pleasure onto my design blog as well. 

Having said all that, let me introduce the new series on the Design Enthusiast - Home Tours and Sneak Peeks. ~ At home with **** :-). *** to be filled with the home owner's name.

Beginning this Sunday, I was all set to share some fascinating vignette and corners of wonderful homes. However, my health issues kept me from doing it. So please watch this space for a wonderful home tour. I appreciate your patience. Before I leave, here is a preview :)

May 27, 2011

Friday Finds ~ Porringers

Another item I see in most antique stores ~ Porringers

Porringer is a small dish from which Europeans and colonial Americans ate their gruel or porridge, or other soft food. These bowls are generally 4" to 6" in diameter, and 1½" to 3" deep.

Colonial porringers have one handle 

whereas European ones tend to have two handles on opposite sides

Vintage 20s 30s Colonial Pewter Porringer Bowl 2 Handles
I found a few pieces with the owner's initials engraved on them. A few came with a lid as well.

Vintage Pewter Porringer
It is believed that these bowls, with single or double handles, originated in the medieval period in Europe. They were made of wood, ceramic, pewter or silver

Later ones were made of brass or aluminum as well. Peculiarity of these bowls are their flat handles. And unlike regular cups or bowls, their handles face upwards :)

Interesting facts
Original porringers are very rare and uncommon today. This is because, porringers made in USA prior to the American Revolution (c. 1776) were looted from kitchens and turned in, to make bullets for soldiers. The most famous colonial porringers are probably those made by Paul RevereNowadays, Porringers are given as a gift for the Christening of a child. Porringers resemble smaller quaich, a Scottish drinking vessel.


Engravable Gifts : Engravable Celebration Keepsakes : Highland Quaich with Thistle Design

May 26, 2011

Happening Now ~ Green Week Conference in Brussels

No, this post is not misplaced and yes I intend to put it up here on the Design Enthusiast as well..My green ideologies are not different from the design enthusiast part of me. I appreciate reuse, repurpose and refuse fundamentals..and do not believe in recycling...not everything is recyclable and nor is the process very eco-friendly...I do not associate with the idea that you can get away with non earth friendly choices and just use the "REcycle" excuse..

want to know more...hop over to Environment/greenweek/

May 25, 2011

Amazing Antiques ~ Chrome and Glass furniture

Yes, you heard me right, Chrome and glass antique furniture. I always thought that Chrome and Steel with glass were a thing of the 80's. Thats until I came across some iconic designs by the talented Irish furniture designer and architect, Eileen Gray. 

Furniture: Side table

This particular table was coded - E1027 and was designed circa 1924. E-1027 was both compact and open. I think it was very futuristic, coming from someone born in the Art Nouveau period. Eileen is said to have been persuaded to explore her interest in architecture by a fellow Romanian Architect, Jean Badovici. The codename is derived from: E for Eileen, 10 for Jean (J is the tenth letter of the alphabet), 2 for Badovici and 7 for Gray.

Another iconic chair from Eileen Gray's kitty: Bibendum chair

 Comfortable Lounge Chair with Eileen Gray Bibendum Chair
Bibendum chair is considered one of the finest and most recognizable furniture pieces of the 20th century. This chair was called the "triumph of modern living" in the 1930's. Bibendum chair fused the tubular steel design of the Bauhaus Modernists with the comfort of padded upholstery. I feel that her need to move away from her previous traditional designs resulted in this chair and many more later on.

As such Eileen was also known for her love for lacquer, and her very works are an ode to Art Deco period. must have been inspired by the tubular chrome platted furniture designed by other modernists and remarkable designers of her times - Mart Stam and Marcel Breuer. (remember my post on bentwood furniture!!)

Who would have imagined that one could envision such exquisite design in times when Art Nuveauo was in vogue..hmm... this reminds me of The Fountain Head..

Now, compare the Bibendum with the Chairs which were popular in the 20's (worldwide I guess :)...and now imagine the break-from-the regular design trend by Eileen, Mart, Marcel etc... :)..

 or this

More on Bibendum
She designed the chair as part of re-design assignment for Madame Mathieu Lévy's apartment on rue de Lota in Paris. Levy was a successful boutique owner who sold stylish hats and hoped to have a home with new and original, with innovative designs. The project took four painstaking years, from 1917 to 1921, and Eileen Gray created the Bibendum chair along with the interior walls, furnishings, rugs and lamps. 

Ever since I found out about Eileen and her designs, I was hoping to do this post...but wanted my write up be an honest attempt at showcasing the creativity of an icon who passed away before I was born :). What surprises me most is that these designs are so inspiring and in use even today. While on this blogging journey, I hope I am able to convey my awe for design and creativity and document what I learn.  And before I leave, here is a peek into Eileen Gray's apartment

Want to know more about her work...hop over to > Eileen-gray Designs. and hey...not before you leave your comment here :P

May 18, 2011

Artist Showcase ~ Aarti Verma

I love to feature wonderfully creative people who are passionate about Art in any form. This time around, I am glad to be writing about Aarti Verma, the very talented lady behind the Mumbai based independent fashion label 'Art meets fashion' 

Art meets Fashion, an 8 month old label, deals exclusively with hand painted and handcrafted stuff, particularly fashion accessories. Aarti Verma has an art teacher diploma from Sir jj school of Arts and also a crash course in fashion designing. After working as an Art and craft teacher for a year, Aarti pursued her passion and combined her love for Art and Fashion, and thats how Art meets Fashion came into existence. 

Aarti describes AmF as "a very quirky and Artsy label, every piece is handpainted and handcrafted with love..." This very creative lady makes Handpainted tote bagsHand painted cushionsHand painted tunics/kurtis and very pretty jewelery.  

I ll let the pictures do the talking, and you will know what I mean :)

Handmade totes

madhubani inspired

Beautiful Pillows

Hand painted Kurti

Hand made Jewelery

Want to see more...just hop over to her blog and see all the handmade beauties she has for sale...Wishing Aarti the very best with her venture - Art meets Fashion.

May 17, 2011

Amazing Antiques ~ Hutschenreuther Gold Overlay Cream & Sugar Set

Found this creamer and sugar set listed on the local Criagslist for a reasonable price...I loved the make and researched a bit on its histrory.

Seller listed it as Hutschenreuther creamer and sugar bowl set

A brief history:
Hutschenreuther China Karl Mangus Hutschenreuther set up Germany's first private porcelain decorating factories in Hohenberg, Bavaria in 1814. Hutchenreuther wanted to produce his own patterns, and after an eight year struggle with the Bavarian Government (which was not interested in creating competition for the state-owned factory), Hutschenreuther received the necessary permission to begin production in 1822. Upon his death in 1845, his son Lorenz founded his own Hutschenreuther Porcelain company in Selb. Son Christian and widow Johanna also worked to carry on the company tradition.

In the early part of the 20th century, Hutschenreuther grew quickly by absorbing factories at Altrohlau (1909), Arzburg (1918) and Tirschenreuth (1927). The branches of the company were united in 1969. Hutschenreuther was a trend-setter and enabled Germany to gain an excellent reputation in the European china industry. The Hutschenreuther "Mark of the Lion" is a symbol of excellence that continues to this day. source

A few more pictures of the set

lovely details...

Perfectly glazed!

It is in amazing condition considering its age...I would have bough it..but for the lack of space :)

Lovely and very classy isn't it!!

Pctures source: CL seller; the listing

May 5, 2011

Friday Finds ~ French Butter Keeper (Butter Bell)

This week's find is a very utilitarian, antique pot/crock used to store butter  (with out the need for refrigeration :)
French Butter Keeper (or) Butter Bell 

Before refrigerators came into being, butter was kept in earthenware pots, and sometimes submerged in water. I keep bumping into antique and modern versions of the Butter crocks/pots. The original water submerged  butter crock /bell is said to have originated in France in the Middle Ages. (5th to 15th century)

There are two pieces to the crock, the interior piece which holds the butter and the exterior which holds approximately 1/3 cup of cold water. The water works as a seal keeping your butter fresh and spreadable. If used correctly, butter is said to remain fresh for up to 30 days. Cool isnt it!!...Just keep changing the water every three days. Although butter may slip out in higher temperatures, this is better than a refrigerator because the butter is protected from the air, and it remains at room temperature. 

Off late, I see a lot of well known brands reproducing the old style crock. Which one would you want ??

Marble bell


Glass Butter Bell
ceramic or vintage Enamel 


I may end up getting one home soon...funny part - We don't eat

May 2, 2011

Vintage Love ~ Floor Lamp

Came across this beautiful teak floor lamp and had to share it on TDE :). The owner repaired its broken stem with twine thread...and it still looks lovely


I go weak in my knees when I see wooden lamps. Here is another one (a very detailed view)

My grandfather made one in the late eighties. It is a simple lamp, but holds a special place in my heart. I lost the original shade but replaced it with a traditional Leather, Hand painted one (crafted by artisans who make puppets for Tholu  Bommalata ( traditional puppet show - Andhra Pradesh)

adding pinterest script 3. Changing the Position of the Pin it! button The cool thing about this code is that you have some freedom over where the Pinterest button for Blogger will go over the image. Take a look at the code that you just copied and pasted into the HTML for the word 'center'.