Thursday, February 28, 2013


As a rule, I love design that packs a punch. Giant prints seem much more contemporary to me than the slightly old lady-ish delicate patterns. Indian-born painter Shirin Sahba has totally busted my preconceptions with her paintings that are like miniatures blown up. Sahba (who looks like a 1960s film star herself, check out pics of her below) and her husband have lived all over the world, and her art is inspired by places like Morocco, India and China, all of which have a long history of intricately detailed artwork. It's fitting that for her own apartment in Beijing, she commissioned an Indian miniature artist to draw an enormous painting that hangs over her bed. Check out more of her art here, and ogle her apartment here. If you want to buy her paintings, and I guarantee you'll covet most of them when you see them, email Shirin directly.

'Wanderlust grips the Maharani'


Shirin Sahba
Sahba's Beijing apartment, featured on Design Sponge.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Indian design geniuses Play Clan created a quirky set of maps of Delhi for the Indian Design ID 2013 symposium held in Delhi last week (15 - 17 Feb). I challenge you to visit Play Clan's site and not want to buy most of their stock that has super hot stylised Indian imagery on it (plus they ship internationally, hurrah!). Even if you don't buy anything, their free e-cards (or as they put it a 'Greeting without Meeting') of Indian city maps are pretty adorable. My favourite is the watercolour vibe of the Kochi map.





Things may get a little bridal on this blog as I'm getting married in July (squeal!). Don't worry, I don't have the bridezilla gene. If I have any virtues, it's that even in extreme pressure, my heart rate rarely goes over 65 (which came in handy when I was a news editor). The other thing is that I can't bring myself to fret over flowers or invitations, or worry about which guests need to be seated far away from another. If grown adults want to act like gimps at family reunions, that's their business as far as I'm concerned. Luckily as it's a small affair of about 100 people (ok, so the title of this post was slightly deceiving, but hey, you need a good headline to hook people in dont'cha?) everyone pretty much knows and loves everyone else.

As I write this, I'm slightly mopey about the fact that just a couple of days ago, I was in Bombay with my sister at the tail end of a chaotic holiday to shop for my wedding dress, and go to a cousin's wedding in Bangalore. A week later, and I've got my dress and matching jewellery tucked up at home. What's more, I snagged a boatload of jaw-droppingly gorgeous silk fabric from Crawford Market in South Mumbai to decorate my venue with. A word on Crawford Market - don't even dream about setting foot near it unless you have the stamina of an ox, and enough patience to withstand people waving all manner of crap in your face in the hope that you'll buy the towels/calendars/underwear/rattles/guitars they are selling. Once you've made it through, and trust me, you'll feel like you've broken into Mordor, there are endless stalls selling fabric so pretty and so ridiculously cheap (about $3 a metre), you'll go nuts. Well we did, anyway, and it took several vodka cocktails to recover. My cousin's wedding in Bangalore, on the other hand, really WAS a big fat Indian wedding, and I'll write about that asap as my brain is still processing the five day shindig with 5000 guests.

I'll post pics of all these goodies very soon, but for now, they're still sitting in Bangalore waiting for my Dad to cart them back for me. In the meantime, feast your eyeballs on the stuff by a sweet little online company called Zarbaft sold only through their Facebook site. It's got a lovely vintage 1970s vibe, very Zeenat Aman, and pretty reasonably priced too.

Zeenat, in all her 1970s glory.

Love this shade of green, plus the style hides batwings (ie, flubby triceps) too; Image: Zarbaft
Price on enquiry at Zarbaft

Rs 40,000 or about UK£500; Zarbaft