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Dan, Mom and I in front f the main temple in Chennai

Dan, Mom and I in front f the main temple in Chennai

Hi!!  I was totally MIA for so long because I took an amazing two week trip to India!  India is a place I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel to and I feel so lucky to be able to share my experience with you!

What a different world than the one I live here in DC!  The colors, sounds, smells, everything was so brilliant.  I won’t sugarcoat the fact that poverty was very apparent, but the people were so friendly and happy, and willing to make our experience as rich as possible.

Some pretty flowers at the temple

Some pretty flowers at the temple

I travelled with my mom and one of my brothers, Dan.  We flew into Chennai after (a 17 hour flight!) which is a huge city on the Southeast coast.  We spent two nights there, then travelled down to Pondicherry (with a short 3 hour stop in Mahabalipuram on the way down to see the ruins) and spent a few days there.  “Pondy” is a much smaller coastal town about 3 hours south of Chennai that was once a French colony.  Not quite as chaotic as Chennai but still has a small city feel.  Next stop was Goa which was a 2 and a half hour flight out to the West coast!  Goa is such a beautiful and tropical place, and a complete contrast to the bustling dense city of Chennai.

Here are a few snapshots from my photo album, with some stories along the way.  Enjoy!

The paintings and details are stunning!

The paintings and details are stunning!

Some of my favorite places we visited were the temples in Chennai and in Pondicherry, as well as the ruins in Mahablipuram.  So much history and culture.  And the colors are unlike anything that can be found here in DC!

A peek inside the temple in Pondicherry.

A peek inside the temple in Pondicherry.

I loved the 10 heads!

I loved the 10 heads!

Color and pattern is everywhere!  Even on the ground.

Color and pattern is everywhere! Even on the ground.

Mandalas

Mandalas

color, color, color!

color, color, color!

I am obsessed with elephants, and love this one in Mahablipuram

I am obsessed with elephants, and love this one in Mahablipuram

IMG_5847

More ruins and more elephants!

More ruins and more elephants!

Dan and I inside

Dan and I inside

The carvings and details were amazing

The carvings and details were amazing

The beach-life in Chennai and “Pondy” is so different than the beach-life we know here in The States.  I think of Miami or SoCal and all the beautiful almost-naked bodies laying on beach towels soaking up the sun.  In India, all women (and men) play games in the water fully clothed in their brightly patterned Sarees.  Games of Cricket are always in play, and people having picnics and family gathers were everywhere.  The beach for Indians is completely a social meeting area and full of life!  So much fun!

Watching their game of Cricket!

Watching their game of Cricket!

So I mentioned Sarees; I am totally obsessed with these stunning textiles that the women wear!  They are some of the most beautiful colors, prints, and patterns I have seen!  And no two Sarees are the same! The photo below was taken at a temple in Pondicherry.

I am in love with the teal!  Along with all of the other vibrant colors!

I am in love with the teal! Along with all of the other vibrant colors!

One of my favorite things that we saw in each city we visited was the use of color on the buildings!  The bright neon and pastel painted buildings was so cheery and such an interesting contrast to the dull and dirty streets, just like the Sarees what women wear.

I tried to capture the city of Goa from the car, the bright flecks of color are eye catching!

I tried to capture the city of Goa from the car, the bright flecks of color are eye catching!

IMG_6039 IMG_6036
IMG_6033

Most of the buildings we saw were from the car so I attempted to take as many decent pictures as I could of some of my favorites.

Here are some more fun things!

The details of these massive doors in the ITC Grand Hotel are stunning.  I love the peacock pulls!

The details of these massive doors in the ITC Grand Hotel are stunning. I love the peacock pulls!

We made friends with the owner of a small gift shop in Chennai!

We made friends with the owner of a small gift shop in Chennai!

These are handmade paper mache painted ornaments, I wanted them all!

These are handmade paper mache painted ornaments, I wanted them all!

Large stained glass ceiling in Spencer Plaza

Large stained glass ceiling in Spencer Plaza

Burning candles at St. Thomas Church

Burning candles at St. Thomas Church

And of course I have to show you some of the delicious food we ate!  I love India food, but the Indian food I eat here in DC cannot be compared to the flavors of true Indian food made in India!  It was absolutely amazing!!  (Try not to be too jealous.)

Yum Somasas!

Yum Somasas!

One of my favorite meals at the ITC Grand Hotel in Chennai

One of my favorite meals at the ITC Grand Hotel in Chennai

Have you been to India? I would love to hear about your experience!  Or if not, where have you travelled to that has been inspiring?

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Source: Dkor Interiors Blue Agate Walls

Source: Dkor Interiors Blue Agate Walls

I have noticed an abundance lately of agate accessories!  These really take me back to my childhood growing up in Tucson, AZ when my family would take trips to museums and I would always be mesmerized by the little gems in the gift shops.  The different shapes, colors, and shimmers really caught my attention, “isn’t Nature amazing?” my mom always say.

Source: West Elm

Source: West Elm

Needless to say, I am really excited that these geological rocks have emerged from the Science classrooms into our homes!  Not only do they add some color, but can be functional as well!  Take a look…

Source: Willy Daro

Source: Willy Daro

Source: Zgallerie

Source: Zgallerie

Source: HSN

Source: HSN

Source: West Elm

Source: West Elm

Source: Coco Kelley lamps

Source: Coco Kelley lamps

Source: Taylor Llorente, bronze agate tables

Source: Taylor Llorente, bronze agate tables

How would bring agates into your home?

If you need help accessorizing your own home, or adding a touch of color, contact me!

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Source: cbgarden.org

Source: cbgarden.org

As of yesterday’s Daylight Savings Time and 62 degree weather, it is sort of starting to feel like Spring in DC (and yes, I know that the first day isn’t officially until March 20th)!  Taylor and I also just got back from a wonderful and much needed vacation to Cabo, Mexico so I am really in the warm weather mood right now.

Taylor and Me

Taylor and Me

The resort we stayed at was gorgeous and had amazing landscaping with all sorts of cacti, flowers, and water-features.  IMG_4101 IMG_4100 IMG_4120

The flowers on this tree were the most amazing shade of red!tree

So to keep my springtime day dreaming a reality, I found these fun, bright, and cheery spaces I can drift off to.

Source: decor8blog.com

Source: decor8blog.com

Source: home-designing.com

Source: home-designing.com

Source: HGTV

Source: HGTV

Source: denydesigns

Source: denydesigns

Source: denydesigns.com

Source: denydesigns.com

Source: niahome.com

Source: niahome.com

If you need help adding some sunshine to your own space, contact me!

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Source: 1700lousiana.blogspot.com

Source: 1700lousiana.blogspot.com

Everybody needs a little sun, right?  (Okay, okay, I know I was just in AZ last month, but it was a cool 45 degrees there!  Who would have thought that a climate where the temp reached over 105 on average could be so cool?!)  So Taylor and I planned a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and we leave Wednesday!  I cannot wait!

Source: travelsort.com

Source: travelsort.com

Here are some warm and sunny pieces of inspiration to brighten your day!

Source: oceanhomesmag.com

Source: oceanhomesmag.com

Source: southernliving.com

Source: southernliving.com

Source: Las Ventanas

Source: Las Ventanas

Las Ventanas is the resort where we are staying, so beautiful.

Source: Las Ventanas

Source: Las Ventanas

Source: destinationdesignblog.com

Source: destinationdesignblog.com

Mexico, here we come!

Do warm and sunny places inspire your design?

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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Sky Interiors team!!

Source: 123rf.com

Source: 123rf.com

So I got back from my trip to Arizona Tuesday night and had an absolutely amazing time.  It was great to see my brothers, family, and spend some time in the state where I grew up! 

My brothers and Me

My brothers and Me

I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle in their gorgeous house in the “Paradise Valley” area of Phoenix.  We went hiking one morning, and went on a walking tour of her neighbor hood another where I was able to take a few pictures of the houses in community.  Talk about a dream, most of these houses average about 10,000 sq/ft I think. 20130210_111932 20130212_112703 20130212_104945

Below is the view from my Aunt and Uncle’s Family Room.

My brothers and I hiking!20130210_114524 20130210_124412 20130210_114159

How do your travels influence you?

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Source: Elle Decor

Source: Elle Decor

In 4 days, I am going to Phoenix, AZ to see my family!  I will see my Dad’s whole side of the family and let me tell you, its been a while.  I think this will be the first time in…easily 10 years that “the Triplets” will all be together in AZ and we cannot wait to surprise my 101 year old Grandma!  (She has NO idea we are coming.)

So anyway, to get even more excited for my trip, here are some totally cool Southwestern inspired interiors.

Source: strandinteriordesign.com

Source: strandinteriordesign.com

Source: locatiarchitects.com

Source: locatiarchitects.com

What I really love about this decor is that it reflects the natural environment and heritage of the area.  “Flat roofs, open floor plans and extensive courtyards and gardens are hallmarks of a Southwestern home” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Source: Architectural Digest

Source: Architectural Digest

Source: Architectural Digest

Source: Architectural Digest

Source: HGTV

Source: HGTV

Source: scasamagazine.com

Source: scasamagazine.com

Source: HGTV

Source: HGTV

I can’t wait to share pictures of my trip when I get back next week, so stay tuned!

If you need help designing your own space, contact me!

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Source: HGTV

“Feng Shui offers us the opportunity to achieve health, happiness, and prosperity by living in harmony with our environment, and taking control of our own space so that it becomes more balanced.” (Feng Shui Home, Gill ; Martin, Stella)  In other words, the goal of achieving Feng Shui is to create balance in one’s home as a way to escape from the destructive anomalies of modern life.

Source: dobel-id.com

The art of Feng Shui is so complex and detailed, but so interesting.  There is just so much to learn and not enough time to write about it all!  Here is my “dumbed-down” cheat sheet on how to achieve Feng Shui in your own home.

Furniture should be placed based on location of N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and this is determined for each individual person based on their “magic number”.  Read about this here: http://www.mountainvalleycenter.com/store/html/fengshuiyearchart.htm

If a room has edges, corners, or slanting walls, they will need to be softened and most likely brightened which can be done by use of plants, flowers and mirrors.

Beams are not recommended in Feng Shui as they are considered oppressive to the people living beneath them.  Placing beds or dining tables beneath them is not recommended.  However, if the ceiling is high or vaulted, the beams may not have the same impact.

Materials are thought to have energy and their physical appearance can affect us by how they feel and look.  It is important to surround yourself with materials that promote positive chi throughout the home- wood, bamboo, wicker, rattan, sisal, sea grass, fabrics, plastics, metal, glass, clay and ceramics, and stone and marble.

Source: kennedyhomedesign.com

Mirrors should always reflect something pleasant such as a landscape, but should never distort or cut into a person’s reflection.  Mirrors should also always have a frame to contain the Chi.  It is not recommended to place a mirror across from a door or window as the purpose is to reflect the Chi back into the space which cannot be done if it is facing outside of a room.  Also, mirrors should be used in long corridors to slow down Chi, or in dark corners to brighten them.

Source: diydtressrelief.com

Plants are known to bring life inside the home and also to clean the inside air.  Color and shape of the plant can resemble the 5 elements (water, fire, earth, wood, and metal).  Cut flowers are technically considered dead so potted plants and flowers are the only option.

Source: styleathome.com

Life on earth requires light to survive.  The lighting in a space, whether direct or indirect, or natural or artificial is very important.  In spaces where we are active like an office or kitchen, direct lighting is necessary.  In a room where we relax such as a bedroom, diffused or indirect light should be used.

Source: House Beautiful

Color can affect our mood and can affect how comfortable we are in different environments.  The five colors are associated with a different element and depending on the location of the room, all elements should be represented in every room.  Each color has a meaning as well and is considered to have limitations or to be ideal in certain rooms.

I have found some great sites to check out to learn more about Feng Shui:

Feng Shui 101- http://organiseme.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/nine-essential-feng-shui-tools/

How to get started- http://fengshui.about.com/od/thebasics/qt/fengshuibasics.htm

If you need help with your own design project, feel free to contact me!

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