Hassle Free Table Tops!

Knowing my children and my hubby (sometimes, even, myself!), I had to think of extremely practical surface tops for the heavy traffic area in our home. By ‘practical’, I mean rugged, heavy-duty and breakage resistant material and water, tea, coffee, aerated drinks, nail polish remover, colours, paint proof material! I haven’t covered more weirder stuff! I wanted absolutely hassle proof table tops as I wanted some peace of mind! Glass was an option but it’s very common. I could have tried toughened coloured glass…I don’t know why I didn’t. Anyhow, I decided to settle for this lovely looking yellowy natural granite (Mysore Granite). I used this granite on my bedside tables, chest of drawers and my son’s extended study unit; these are the places which attract the most spillage/staining in my home… not even on my dining table suffers that much!

We measured these tables and got the granite cut to fit the size of the top with an inch of an overhang. The tricky design of one of my bedside table is dictated by the concrete pillar which is oddly placed in the master bedroom. The bedside table was designed to occupy less space yet provide ample storage. It basically hugs the pillar!

I have tested these tops and love its look… most importantly I don’t go nagging after my family for the spillage & staining that they cause; they find it easy to clean. And I don’t mind their mess anymore!

Whats your story… how do you keep up your table tops/surfaces?

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My ‘Hall of Fame’ Photo Montage

I love to take a lot of pictures with my cell phone and digi cam. And what do I do with the photos? Mostly these photos stay in soft copy FOREVER or they stay stored on my slave drive! My hubby keeps chiding me… not for taking pictures but for not doing anything with them. With the invasion of digi cams and cell phone cameras it has become easy to take innumerable pics but tough to actually organise photographs into traditional albums or develop hard copies. I guess the hardest part about photography is actually printing the photos that you click. After loads of chiding, and moral lectures, I made a resolution this year… And NO, I haven’t broken it as yet! My resolution- develop 10 photos a month, which, actually, is not much. Armed with my new resolution, a couple of  months ago, I decided to create a photo montage on one of my living room walls; I call it my ‘Hall of Fame’ wall (I know…I have this weird habit of naming just about every corner of my home!) not every photo gets a place here…only the special ones! It’s a photo montage of candid moments of our adventures and of other great memories. Here is a BEFORE and AFTER picture of my DIY!

I took the measurement of the area to be used for the photo montage and bought two strips of wooden beading/ crown molding to frame the area; it didn’t cost me much… 80 rupees (INR) per strip!  I procured re-usable photo frames in different sizes, all in similar frames for my DIY project. Having nailed the wooden beading, I painted the inside space in yellow ochre acrylic emulsion (matte finish).

Now comes the toughest part…thinking of a suitable photo layout. I tried out a few layouts on the floor and settled for this one.

I used a patterned roller to create the leafy effect below the lower beading strip (I guess I got too adventurous! I am not very happy with the leafy effect…I am going to repaint it soon).

Creating a montage of photos can be a daunting task, especially when you are a Libran! I can never make up my mind… I end up tossing a coin! The toughest part is to figure out where to begin, how to balance out the photo frames and their layout. I have somehow managed to put up my photo montage but only I know of the horror story behind the layout and the number of holes behind every photo on this wall! I find driving nails into the walls the toughest, especially when the walls are of solid concrete.Here is my 2 pm @ night DIY weekend project! My neighbours must have cursed me that night!

UPDATE: As of now this Photo Montage has been given yet another makeover! Do take a look at the Photo Montage in its New Look, and let me know which one looks… or looked better!

Before I decided my photo layout I did some research on what’s trending, on the internet. Here are some pictures that inspired me for my display. Sharing with all…You may like them to plan yours! Happy Nailing the Walls!

Linking up with:  Redoux InteriorsMiss Mustard SeedFunky JunkNifty Thrifty Things,The Foley FamThe Tablescaper, Born Again Farm Girl

The Heart of Your HomeDIY Showoff, Creating My Way to SuccessI Should be Mopping the FloorThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouBeacon Time with the Hungry HippoA Blossoming Life

Sugar Bee CraftsThe Recipe CriticNap Time CreationsA Bowl Full of Lemons,Cooking Mimi, My Uncommon Slice of Surburbia

House on the Way, Ginger Snap CraftsSew Much AdoOh My CreativeSomeday Crafts, Not Just a Housewife

The Newlywed PilgrimageBeyond the Picket Fence, 733 Blog, A Glimpse InsidePut a Bird on itKrafty Cards , The Charm of Home

My Romantic Home, NancherrowThirty Handmade DaysAngels HomesteadI Heart Nap TimeMy Turn for UsCrochet CrazyCity of Creative Dreams Tidy MomThe Bold AbodeBeacon Time with the Hungry Hippo

Six Sisters StuffBe Different Act NormalNatasha in OzMommy on Demand


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DIY Tiled Dining Hutch

I had a full mind to go in for a built-in Dining Hutch… but going by my mom-in-law’s experience I decided to drop the idea. It’s extremely dusty here in Noida (India), so much so that you can dust the entire day and yet not feel satisfied that your home in dust free. I have learnt to live with  the dust and can ignore it… to an extent!  Going by that experience I decided to go in for a ‘bureau’ look Dining Hutch… a little less dusting! My better half, Akhilesh, drew the design and we explained it our carpenter.


The exterior finish is a combination of veneer and the leftover laminate pieces from the kitchen cabinetry. I wanted this combination so that it would seem as an extended counter of our open kitchen. Since it was designed to be a be an extended counter, we wanted a hassle free counter top. These were the options that we explored:

  • Granite (We could’ve put the same granite that we used in the kitchen but I wanted something different as this hutch is also a part of our living room).
  • Marble / Glass / Matt finish Steel / Tiles

I have always liked the idea of using tiles on tables; they are inexpensive (in comparison to other options), come in a variety of colours and sizes. And you can always change them if you want to bring in a new colour scheme! So easy to lay in… and so easy to clean/maintain! I have had fun using tiles as my table tops in, almost, all the Defence Base houses that we have stayed in (How I wish I had taken pictures!).

We picked up tiles that matched the lime green in our kitchen and I tried out quiet a few combinations before settling for just a plain layout. Actually…the truth is… we argued so much about the combination layout that the only truce was a plain layout! It turned out to be pretty pleasing.

We scoured the markets in Delhi to look for large ‘spoon and fork’ kind of handles but couldn’t find them, finally we settled for these.


I chanced upon these cute little handles much later, I bought them just to add pizzazz to my dining storage. I am still on a look out for a bigger size.


My Dining Hutch may not be  a ‘hutch’ in the traditonal sense but it’s a work-horse; it’s two tier design allows me to keep my trays, readily accessible; it serves as my extended counter for laying out accompaniments and it’s also my coffee machine, pepper mill and breakfast cereal & cookie jars’ permanent station! All this…apart from storing all my party dishes!


Linking up with – Miss Mustard Seed

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My ‘Charm’ Wall!

A collection of photos or pictures can be displayed in so many ways. How you pull together a display depends on the size of the collection and the area/wall you will be using. The best way to know what will suit your wall is to arrange the display on the floor (inside the same dimensions, you can draw lines on the floor) and then take a photo of the display. Rearrange the pictures on the floor and take some more shots. Compare your shots and choose the best suited option. Put the same on your wall!

The talisman/ lucky charm wall in the living room is one of my favourite displays at home. I call it my ‘charm’ wall as the framed pictures are an assortment of lucky charm for home… from different religions. These charm are supposed to ward off evil and bring in positive energy in the house. I am superstitious but I like the idea of these symbols. Besides, these pictures have always been a very good conversation starter! It’s a collection built over 17 years. It began with these three pictures, which were presented to my husband by the monks at Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh. For many years I just had just these three.

The other two (on either corner at the bottom row) were added from Lamayuru monastery in Ladaakh… again a gift. Rest of the pictures kept on adding from our holidays across the country.  I decided to give distressed vintage look to the pictures by burning the edges uneven… tedious job but totally worth the effort!

Since the wall in the living room is creme I mounted these pictures on different coloured cartridge sheets just to break the monotony of crème (earlier all these pictures were mounted on a maroon paper, you can see it in the first three pictures of my collection, I didn’t do much to these pictures).The initial display was minus the wooden frame.

Something felt amiss in this display. Weeks later, after lot of brainstorming, I decided to add the frame (made of left over pieces of door beading) around the pictures, to pull the look together. Now I am on a look out for an eye-catching ‘OM’, a mystic Sanskrit syllable, considered the most sacred Hindu mantra and a ‘Cross’ to complete my collection; so far nothing interesting has caught my eye, I hope I find it soon.

Many of our guests ask me about the significance of these pictures… I have now mugged up my answers! Here is what each of these picture signify:


  • The symbol/talisman in mauve background has TAVEEZ- it protects the bearer from harmful forces.
  • The symbol/talisman in purplish pink background has SIMURHG- the protector in Zorastrian beliefs.
  • The symbol/talisman in bottle green background has face of a TIGER in two colours depicting Rahu and Ketu (the planets in hindi- protects from natural calamities.
  • The symbol/talisman in deep pink background has KAALBELIA mirror charm to protect from negative spirits.
  • The symbol/talisman in leaf green background has MAHAMRITYUNJAY script- a verse from the Vedas to overcome every obstacle.
  • The symbol/talisman in striking blue background has BISMILLAH- a verse from the Holy Qoran – a guarantee of protection.
  • The symbol/talisman in red and maroon(the picture in centre) background has KAAL CHAKRA- an ancient vedic tantra for protection from the evil spirits.
  • The symbol/talisman in dark green  -786, the holy number from Qoran that stands for protection.
  • The symbol/talisman in sap green background has TARA, the most beloved deity in Buddhism for compassion, healing and long life.
  • The symbol/talisman in dark purple background has NITYOTSANA- an ancient vedic yantra for annihilation of negative desires.
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