Photography Styling Challenge # 11- Living Room

While writing this blog post for M’s Photography Styling Challenge, I realised how décor trends and home trends have evolved over time. Bringing in the western décor/home layout, into the traditional Indian home has emerged as a great fusion of the ‘west meets the east’ and the transition is so seamless that it doesn’t seem western anymore.Practice interior styling and improve your photography in the Photography Styling Challenge. Participants welcome! | Redesigned By M

Indian homes have this concept called, the ‘Drawing Room’, a formal or a designated seating area meant for guests and STRICTLY guests… a very colonial concept, still very prevalent in many Indian homes. I remember as children we were banned from entering this area (whether it was enclosed or an open one); and just the sheer restriction of entering this sacrosanct area meant for guests would make it the most appealing/inviting/enticing room in the entire house! The forbidden always seems the most tempting! Most of the homes still have this concept, including my parents & in-laws’ place (the place that serves as the Living Room is actually the Dining Room).

When we got married and set up our first home, my husband and I agreed that we don’t need a ‘Drawing Room’ instead we opted to have a place that we could use unabashedly/ freely, no boundaries, no knocking over stuff or breakables… with or without children… The Living Room… the most used room in our home, where ever we have been posted to. Although we did have a small formal area designated exclusively for ‘unofficially’ official discussions/meetings in my hubby’s study area (in the base homes) but no Drawing Room as such.

So when we were renovating the home where we live now, we did away with the Drawing Room completely, pulled down a wall to have a huge Living Room instead, where we come together as a family to watch TV, play games, entertain, work, laze, eat… the decor is hassle free and nothing really to worry about… yet inviting and comfortable.

Sometimes this area doubles as the ‘Nightover Room’ for my children’s sleepover parties, as our media unit is in this room (we consciously decided not to have TV in any of the Bedrooms).

Although it is a constant effort to keep the Living Room organised, comfortable and appealing but over the years we have learned how to… I have trained my children well! And they know the drill. I took these photos on Saturday when I made some lemonade for us, the temperatures are soaring here it has already crossed 36 degrees centigrade. I used the bottle and the glass that my daughter had as her share, as my props for styling.

To see the ‘after’ and ‘before’ of our Living Room Click Here. And to see what the other participants of this group have to show, click on the following links!

Redesigned By M

At The Corner of Happy and Harried

My Food Tapestry

Inge Kathleen Photography

City Girl Searching

The Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

A Tree Grows in the Bayou

I Live Under a Rock

Samta Photography

Miss Wang Photography

Simply Vegetarian 777

Coconut Craze

To check out my previous Photography challenge Click Here.

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Liven Up A Dull Corner

Last weekend one of my ‘pretties’ broke…:-(  I had taken it out for some sun bathing. Although my money-plant is safe but I am unable to forgive myself for not being careful enough. I will soon be on a lookout for something similar. In the meanwhile I wanted to do something to liven up the sad and lonely corner next to my refrigerator… I really do miss my planter and as a penance (for breaking it) I challenged myself to liven up a dull corner without buying anything, at least for a couple of months.

Khurja Pottery Planter

Khurja Pottery Planter

I went around my home collecting things which I felt would help liven up a dull corner in my home, although nothing can replace my planter except another similar looking one , here is what I did…to add a little happiness in this corner of our home.

I found this low height step stool (it was meant for I don’t know what!) lying in the basement.

Decorating a dull corner with things around my home!

Decorating a dull corner with things around my home!

I painted it with some left over paint (at 10 @ night). Placed a low height grassy plant next to it. The following day I added a few things I had collected…

The straw mat is a one of the dining mats, I added a few brass ware… if you remember I retrieved them in a sad condition from our native place last year. To know how I polished them, organically, click here.

I clipped some branches of a creeper from my garden and placed them in an old whiskey glass (the branches would stay good if I keep changing the water and sun it every once in while). To balance the branches I added an ornamental glass rose (I left it with a broken stem the day it was gifted to me, couldn’t bring myself to part with it. Finally I found a good use for it!) plus, it kind of looks pretty in water!

And finally I added a glass dish (which was occupying a lot of space in my crockery cupboard!), threw in some coloured glass pebbles and filled it up with water. I like to float-in flowers (when I have them) otherwise the coloured pebbles too look pretty in water.

Decorating a dull corner with things around my home!

Decorating a dull corner with things around my home!

All it took was 10 minutes of styling the corner, that is, if I exclude 30 minutes of painting (no sanding or priming), the previous night and roughly 20 minutes of collecting & coordinating stuff around the house!

I am happy the way it has turned out…more so, since I didn’t spend a penny! How would you liven up a dull corner in your home?

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Floor Seating Ideas

Floor seating may have become a decor fad in recent years but it has been a culture (& tradition) in India from time immemorial. All our religious & traditional ceremonies take place sitting on the floor. Not only in Hinduism but also in many other cultures sitting on the floor connects you to Gaia (Greek personification of Earth)- the energy of Earth, one of the five elements of nature. The other four elements being Fire, Sky, Water and Wind; all five form a part of all religious, traditional or cultural rituals in India.

Coming back to the fad, floor seating definitely has become a more evolved universal concept; luxurious rugs, giant fluffy floor cushions, low tables and lamps & lights, it creates a very relaxed & informal set up for lounging; although not everybody is comfortable with it for various reasons. For those who enjoy sitting on the floor here is a quick and simple floor seating arrangement with things around your home.

I, for one, have always enjoyed working on various projects sitting on the floor (in fact most of them!) hence there is always a corner in our home which has a comfortable, fuss free floor seating (which can be picked up and set up in five minutes flat for cleaning & mopping). All you need is:

  • Any old/extra mattress (you can fold it or keep it full length, depending on the space you have chosen for the arrangement)
  • A single bed sheet/bedcover
  • A mat/straw mat/ thin rug (even a table runner would do) on the wall for your back.
  • A small rug/mat (any shape)
  • A few extra cushions/bolsters (any size)
  • Any low table or cabinet to stow/stash your things (optional)
  • A table lamp (optional)

Choose your space for the seating, I chose this corner

Hang the straw mat/thin rug on to the wall(if it is against the wall) just a couple of inches above the floor or directly above the skirting, assemble the mattress as desired or as the space allows, throw in a few cushions and add a rug in front of the mattress and it’s done! Addition of a low table or a low cabinet acts a utility piece than a mere accessory.

This arrangement was (for one of  our ‘base’ homes) done with the stuff that was otherwise lying in boxes/storage (didn’t buy anything!). It may not look plush in terms of style or luxury but it’s functional and fuss free. 


It won’t take more than 20 minutes of arranging time, from scratch till the end, if you have everything you need.

I am planning to do a floor seating for my son’s room… maybe next weekend, I have started digging for the extra stuff that I need. Till then here are some pictures for inspiration 🙂



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