Since we have been all talking flowers, seeing flowers & working with flowers to do up our Diwali decor this month, its only fair that this month's Design Talks series introduces you to someone who has completely, madly, deeply in love with flowers. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Lakshmi Arvind from Celebrations Decor.
Well, to begin with our readers would love to know the lady who cannot live without flowers! The mind & heart behind Celebrations Décor. Lakshmi please tell us something about yourself, your family & of course what do you do in life other than coming up with such colorful & fresh posts day after day?
Lakshmi: I am a doctorate in horticulturist by education and a 'willingly-stay-at-home' mom to my lovely daughter. I love to spend my time shuttling between the intricacies of my offline life and the colourful design details of my online life. I blog my everyday musings in the Blog "Celebrations of Life" while my Decor blog "Celebrations Decor" is all about my love for Indian decor, Indian interiors, Indian art and designs. I have also recently created a Facebook page for my photography, where I share my work with everyone and where people can contact me.
I love the way you bring your two loves; flowers & travels into each of your posts. How & when did you fall for both?
Lakshmi: Having spent my formative years in God's own Country, Kerala, my avid interest in nature and arts are only obvious. Flowers have been my best friends since childhood. My mom’s carefully tended garden has been my playground. Travelling has always been a passion even though I’ve not got too many chances to travel when I was young. After my marriage to Arvind, he has been instrumental in unleashing the travel bug in me. We travel regularly to take a break from our city lives. Travelling to new destinations fill me with ideas and fill my camera with images for my blog posts.
And we love those images. They are breathtaking. Do you retail your prints as well? Where can we buy them? Or do you plan to do the same in the future? Please say YES!
Lakshmi: Thank you. My take on photography has been more of a passion. An expression of the places that I’ve seen. I’ve not contemplated selling my prints yet, but if I can get clients who’d value my snaps as works of art , then I wouldn’t think twice before venturing out to retailing them.
That’s good news for many of us who eye your pictures. Getting back to flowers, we love flowers too. But we don’t know to make them live longer in our vases. Any pointers.
Lakshmi: Ummm, that’s easy. My educational background in horticulture should help in answering that. Flowers, especially cut flowers have to be chosen well. They cut end of the stem has to be cut at a slant, exposing maximum area to the water. The water in which the flowers are immersed should be fresh. One can add a teaspoon of sugar or a few tablets of asprin to the water. They help in keeping them fresh for longer. Moreover, the water has to be changed daily and the tip of the stem sliced a bit daily. For roses and other flowers with sturdy stems, the water should be filled to the neck of the vase for better results.
Besides dewy flowers what rejuvenates your mind & soul. What inspires you?
Lakshmi: I love travelling with my family, spending time at home, chatting for long hours with my family over phone, trying out new recipes, organising gatherings with family and friends. Whenever I get time off from my responsibilities, I end up doing what excites me the most –Photography, Reading and Writing. The results of these passions are well evident on my blogs. I love watching the rain, smelling the fresh earth, walking on a sandy beach with the waves tickling my feet….all these little pleasures of life inspire me to celebrate life. My husband has been the biggest inspiration in my life, without whose encouragement none of this would have been possible. My daughter has also been my muse. She loves to pose to my snaps, many a times she’s the one who picks up fallen flowers and leaves and urges me to click them for her.
There are so many wonderful design blogs around us. We’d like to know the ones you heart. Indian & International both please.
Lakshmi: Blogs are like a sea of thoughts be them Indian or International. There are many blogs that I love and follow. Indian Design blogs are many. I try to read them whenever I get time and I think I wouldn’t do justice by pointing a few, because all of them contribute in their own way in inspiring all of us. International design blogs are also too many, it’s now that I have started following some of them and they are patricia gray inc, style court, small space style, purple area, décor 8,my Marrakesh, mochatini and lots of others
Do you follow Indian design magazines as well? Any favorites?
Lakshmi: Well, not really. Whenever I get time, I do try to read all the Indian design and décor related magazines.
What are the ten décor accessories in your home that you just can’t dream of living without?
Lakshmi: A Typical south Indian who always had a love for the typical south Indian feel…
Some of them are the reclining chairs: a fascination for them from childhood, south Indian lamps, some antique brass wares, some tanjore paintings, typical south Indian swing, quite a number of ganeshjis at home, then it would be the colourful cushions and curtains that change along with the changing seasons, filling up my rooms with a different hue every season.
To wrap up, any tips for the readers for an instant makeover...you know when unexpected guests call up to say hey we’ll be there in exactly ten minutes.
Lakshmi: For me it’s all about making the unexpected feel welcome in my home. Hospitality is so important to receive, to welcome them in your home along with other genuine acts of kindness
Declutter,Clear and Reorganize are the best things you can do for an instant makeover.
Some instant drink choices and food ideas are the two instant things that come to my mind when given very little notice to prepare. For morning and afternoon tea drop ins, you can't beat a fine selection of flavoured teas. There are so many beautifully designed teapots you can purchase to serve your tea in as well. Glass teapots are a great option as you can watch as the tea diffuses. For hot summer afternoons you can't beat homemade iced tea. It's easy to make, and looks great in a tall glass with a few ice cubes. Keep a jug of it in your fridge if you suspect you might be having guests.
By having a few items in your pantry or fridge, you'll find it easy to create a delicious light meal and accompanying beverage when those unexpected guests drop by.
I hope these tips would help.
Oh yes! They do! Thanks so much for being a part of this series. I had so much fun knowing you. I wish you the very best for all your future projects and we hope to hear a photography exhibition announcement soon:)
Would you like to ask Lakshmi any questions, leave her a comment and she’ll try and answer them soon.
If you are a new reader and or have missed meeting the other talented bloggers we met , tune in here!