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Happy Onam to The Keybunch readers

Aren't they adorable?

Onam is a lovely festival! It is Kerala's harvest festival and celebrated wholeheartedly by Malayalees - Hindu, Muslim and Christian alike. Which is what makes it all the more special!

And with Onam Sadyas becoming known to more Indians, there are tons of people from the rest of India celebrating too!

In the pic (l-r) Samah, Samir and Sarah, the adorable triplets of my school friend Sameena, have just brought in the harvest from their garden - beautiful flowers, which will be used to make the pookalam at school!

Happy Onam everyone!

Pic courtesy - Sameena Yasir
Models - Samah, Samir and Sarah
Location- Trissur, Kerala

5 Lovely Decor Products that Caught my Eye this Week


My first  'list of decor products that caught my eye', had lots of people telling me I should do this more often. So here we are with the 5 gorgeous decor products that caught my eye this week!

Oodees  is the colorful, fun, and playful brand of a design startup from Bangalore. Their products are made by women artisans using a 200 years old traditional lac ware craft. Oodees does not use any plastics, chemicals, arsenic, batteries etc. It uses only natural colors and does not generate any toxic waste. This paperweight caught my eye - it is unique, creative, and very functional!

up-cycled Perrier bottle candleholder

Sweccha Store is India’s biggest green product aggregator that produces and promotes upcycled products and fair trade practices in its capacity as a social enterprise. I love the bubblies in this curvy Perrier bottle. The aloevera aromatic candle will relax you!

Papersky bed set
Papersky Home  When Moscow-based Suvidha Gandhi emailed me Papersky's 2015 lookbook, I was wowed by the happy prints that sprang out of every page. The brand specializes in hand-printed and dyed bedcovers, cushions and table linen. I especially loved their bedsets!

patchwork coasters handmade by runa

HaathmadebyRuna is a delightful brand. Runa is based out of Mumbai and makes each piece personally. This gorgeous pair of patchwork coasters are well-interfaced and quilted on both sides. I love the happy burst of color it will bring to a table!

binocolar mr.nice gaai
Binocolar, a brand for cups and saucers, currently retails on a website called This nice guy mug with a pic of a cow (gaai) had me in splits! What a lovely Raakhi gift!

And talking about Rakhi gifts, do have a look at my Pinterest Rakshabandhan board. It's full of handmade and other gift ideas for brothers of all ages. and even includes recipes for homemade rosemary mint shaving cream and coffee bean soap! :)

So what caught your eye this week? Email me, or connect with me on our Facebook page.

A Fitting Adieu to Godrej's Last Batch of Typewriters

What does a company do with a phased out product? Especially a product as loved and revered as the typewriter? It was with extreme regret that I declined an invitation to attend an exhibition by world-renowned typewriter sculptor Jeremy Mayer in Mumbai hosted by Godrej. I am a big fan of typewriters, and the artist had given a new lease of life to the Godrej Group's last batch of typewriters.

Jeremy created an exclusive Lotus sculpture for Godrej & Boyce under its ‘Artist in Residence’ programme. The magnificent sculpture, was unveiled by Mr. Navroze Godrej and Ms. Pheroza Godrej at Hubble in Godrej & Boyce, Mumbai.

The approximately 13 feet tall metallic Lotus has been sculpted using parts from 60 typewriters manufactured in the last batch by Godrej & Boyce. It consists of 15 petals with each petal being made with more than 200 parts from the typewriters. “We have used 60 Godrej typewriters for the sculpture, inspired by the Godrej Archive ethos”, said the celebrated Jeremy Mayer

Jeremy working on the scuplture
In the year 2009, Godrej made the last manual typewriter that that was sent to the Godrej Archives. This marked the end of manual typewriters. The last batch of Arabic typewriters manufactured at Godrej was not introduced in the market and the machines remained on the campus as a silent reminder of a bygone era. This masterpiece by Godrej and Jeremy serves as a tribute to that golden era of typewriters.

On the occasion, Mr. Navroze Godrej, Executive Director, Strategy & Innovation, Godrej & Boyce said, “The typewriter has always intrigued me for being one of the earliest design led technology that India has witnessed. Beginning from locks, refrigerators, vegetable oil soaps to typewriters, I believe Godrej has always been shaping the future with design and innovation being the key drivers. Art continues to be one of mediums through which we showcase our passion for design and innovation and hence Godrej Archives has collaborated with Jeremy for not only celebrating the 54 years journey of manufacturing typewriters but also to inspire and nurture imaginative thinking that drive innovation and develop futuristic technology.”

lotus sculpture with typewriter parts
Jeremy at the Godrej Archives Studio

Located in Mumbai, Godrej Archives is a business archive of the Godrej Group. The Archives is responsible for selection, collection, management and preservation of records covering 118 years history of the Group. Records of its history - its people, its products, its plants, its customers and its stories- are being carefully collected, organised and made available for research. Godrej Archives works in collaboration with preservation and conservation experts in the country to conserve historical company records using state-of-the-art standards and practices. By restoring the past so meticulously and making it accessible to its larger audience including employees, researchers, academicians, historians, Godrej Archives believes that new histories will emerge and will keep inspiring people to reimagine the future in better way.  In line with its motto - ‘Restore. Reflect. Reimagine.’, Godrej Archives, since its inception in 2006, has been constantly exploring ways to bring alive business history in a more relevant and enjoyable manner – through lectures, film screenings, exhibitions and so on. More recently, it has taken this endeavour a step further to encourage artists, through its Artist-in-Residence Programme, to use archival material as an inspiration to create original art – painting, writing, sculpture, etc. The collaboration with Jeremy Mayer is the first instance in this effort.

Photographs: Chirodeep Chaudhuri

Easy DIY decorations to Celebrate Independence with the Kids

Why, oh why, are we so lackadaisical when it comes to celebrating our national holidays? Our festivals are over-celebrated, and for our national holidays, we are 'okay' with winding up the festivities after a solemn flag-hoisting ceremony, maybe sometimes watch the parades on television. Let's change this!

Here are some amazingly simple ideas to put into action right now. Other than a short trip to the local stationary shop, you don't need much else.

But your kids will enjoy 'feeling' festive all this week until Independence Day.

5 amazingly simple ideas for Independence Day decor:

The Indian rangoli tops the list. You don't have to go overboard or stick to traditional patterns. My daughter did this one freehand. It is not perfect, but the colors are just right! And what joy to see it as soon as we step out the door, or as soon as we reach home! Not to mention the smiles on courier delivery men, the post woman, the newspaper delivery guy and the milkman.

We made pompoms out of crepe paper in green, orange and white, and strung them in the living room :) To make pompoms, cut out squares of paper, stack 7 of them, and fold them together accordion-style as if  making a paper fan. Pinch the middle and fasten with wire, curve or point the sides with a scissors. and then peel back the layers, half one way, and the other half the other way. Took my kid all of 10 minutes.
When you trim the pom poms you are left with lots of little scraps of white, orange and green paper. We just strung them together quickly with needle and thread to make these cute garlands.

Out of craft or glaze paper in orange, green and white - cut out little flower shapes, and stick them at the end of wooden kebab sticks. Place them in interesting up cycled glassware for a lovely effect.

Use your tableware for interesting tiranga vignettes around your home.

 So you see, we didn't do anything big - we didn't change our upholstery or curtains, we didn't paint the walls, and we didn't buy anything new. Get creative, and start lovely new traditions for your family!

Happy Independence Day!

Jai Hind! :)

Have anything to share on this topic? Leave a comment below, or write in to us. We love to hear from our readers! :)

 *edited*here is a lovely list of  i-day posts by other visit their blogs for more ideas.
  1.  Hema Priya brings you Independence day activities for kids
  2. Shruti has 50+ i-day crafts for you and your kids.
  3. Roy shares a wonderful recipe for Hyderabadi Murgh Lazeez (Royal Chicken cooked Hyderabad style)
  4. Sangitha Aanand talks about respect for our flag and introduces you to a new eco-stylish product brand.
If you are a blogger and would like to add your i-day post here, please get in touch.

5 lovely decor products that caught my eye this week

Have you been enjoying the recent home tours here? Well, there are more coming up on this blog. And while I was scouting around for beautiful homes to feature, these lovely decor products caught my eye this week.

The Monsoon Collective is happening right now in Bengaluru. It is an initiative by A Hundred Hands, a venture that focuses on handmade products. If you are in Bengaluru, do go!
It is taking place at NIFT Campus, HSR Layout until Aug 9. Contact No 9845008482

monsoon collective handmade bengaluru

Anu Viera Tandon of The Retyrement Plan sent me a picture of the gorgeous new Sumos getting ready in her workshop. They certainly caught my eye!
anu viera the retyrement plan

The Upcycle Project started by Amishi Shah has a host of beautiful upcycled pieces. They are about to launch their Atlas Tray made of MDF wood and a real vinyl record. It will be sold at a launch price of Rs.1200/-

Stitched2Save 9 is a private venture that operates with the intent to make available and accessible as many cloth bags as possible to reduce the use of plastic bags. They are therefore sold at affordable rates.

The Purple Turtles needs no introduction. This Bengaluru-based store has given me several "heart be still" moments this week, as they uploaded picture after picture of gorgeous collectibles on facebook. Their antique brass and copper vessels are hard to put out of my mind!

copper and brass vessels purple turtles

So what caught your eye this week? Email me, or connect with me on our facebook page.

Anoop and Dorrie's homestay in Kochi

exterior front gate bougainvileaAnoop and Dorrie are pretty well-known in Kochi. Their artistic ventures Kashi Art Cafe, Kashi Art Gallery, and Kashi Art Residency in Fort Kochi which they ran for 15 years, are frequented by the culturati of Kochi.

In 2006-07 they built their home Jade Garden in Kochi on eco-friendly principles. Dorrie, although without formal training, did the architectural plans and designed the structure and interiors.  Anoop acted as the contractor and oversaw the procurement of all materials.

Here they tell the story of how their home was built.

orange bedroom homestayThe house is constructed with at least 80% recycled building materials, many collected and stored for years prior to the construction.  The walls are built of laterite stones, sourced from locations where old English bungalows were being torn down.   
red room homestay
blue bedroom washroom homestayAll wood, beams, rafters, window, doors, inner and outer terracotta ceiling tiles, stair cases and railings are all recycled from the district court building during their demolition.   The house was designed and fitted incorporating all of these found items.

The interior is designed to allow natural light in from the roof to make the whole living space bright and cheerful, while saving energy.  The double storied living/dining room, encourage hot air to rise and there are old “air release” tiles at the top to keep the area comfortably cool. 

 furniture old antiques, joola, bhavnagiri, bodhi tree, colonial furniture

The furniture was collected from resale and second hand shops in our locality that we repaired and refinished as necessary.  Our art collection was built slowly over the years that we owned Kashi Art Gallery.  

The open office area allowed us to keep an eye on what was happening with the children and made us easily accessible while we did our work.  The light fixtures in the house are all low consumption LED’s and many of the actual fixtures were sourced from Italian lighting companies.

antqiues bhavnagiri joola, painting, table antique

 The decor is kept light with an eclectic collection of antique furniture, including sofas that are actually Gujarati  swings, second hand re-caned chairs.  Other furniture pieces, that were not sourced, were designed by Dorrie and built with the help of many talented craftsmen in the area.  Contemporary Indian art is highlighted throughout the home, in every room and hallway.  The collection includes works from Anant Joshi, Prajakta Aher, Zakkir Hussain, Gopikrishnan, Siji Krishnan, NN Rimzon, Ratheesh T, KG Subramanian, and more.

work area, upstairs, homestay, wood features

The large verandas and gardens were designed to bring the outside as close to the inside as possible.  The garden is laid out with assorted flowering trees and plants.  The garden paths were laid with stones, once again- sourced from discarded materials from nearby old bungalows. 

Our life style has always incorporated environmental values and considerations and we attempt to tread lightly, leaving only the faintest of footmarks.  We are not hard core environmentalists, but we do make our sincere efforts toward sustainability.

wrap around verandah, garden
I loved those old-world elements like the bench in the wrap-around verandah, the bhavnagiri jhoola, and of course the profusion of art in their home. Thank you Anoop and Dorrie

Foot note:Recently, Anoop and Dorrie sold their business and moved to Munnar where they live a quiet life and run their home as a homestay Jade Munnar. Jade Kochi is still with them, and it is being run by a lovely couple. 

All photos courtesy Jade Garden Kochi