Kettles Vases To Book Tables: You Will Love Food Stylist & Blogger Ambica Selvam's Decor Hacks

Suzanna posted on 12 January

Bangalore-based food and product stylist and blogger, Ambica Selvam, isn’t afraid to get quirky and creative. Just one look at her tastefully done up home and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Through her work, {check out her blog here} she has ended up hoarding a lot of quirky props and backgrounds with interesting textures. While some get used for her ongoing projects, others find pride of place in Ambica’s home, as whimsical decor pieces as opposed to just storing them in a props room. Here are some of her best, easy and thrifty home decor hacks that we are stealing for sure.

Alternate Vases

Stay away from the typical vases and go for random household knick-knacks instead, suggests Ambica. If you look around the house, you should be able to find plenty of interesting, rustic and creative, easy vase alternatives. Old bottles, jar, metal boxes, watering cans, mugs are just a few of the vase substitutes she can name off the top of her head, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Spruce these up with roll-up leather belts, old scarves wrapped around jars and boxes, flowers, twine, ribbons to add a bit of oomph to these alternative DIY vases. Ambica has transformed a few utensils into quirky vases at home, like a metal kettle, old rusty milk can, and an antique cooking vessel.

Where: If you’re looking for pickle jars or glass bottles to do the trick, pick them up from Imported Crockery Shop in Thippasandra. You can find basic chai kettles and milk cans at Pots and Pans in Indiranagar or from any crockery & utensil shop in your neighbourhood.

Kitchen Supplies

BEML Main Road, Near Khadims, HAL 3rd Stage, New Thippasandra, Bengaluru

DIY Collages For A Pop Of Colour

Take a nostalgia trip back to the days of school projects and art class, by getting down and dirty with newspapers, magazines and loads of glue to make collages. Turns out paper cut-out collages were a big part of Ambica’s childhood too. Follow the old-school route — pick a theme, find images that will bring it to life, stick them together creatively and frame it — And you have your very own piece of high art.

Ambica prefers to do things a little rough and ragged around the edges without any scissors. The natural, uneven tear with a bit of those tiny paper shreds visible that lends it so much more character, she thinks. Based on the theme, stick the cut-outs {using a glue stick} on a chart paper in a colour of your choice. When ready, head to the nearest framing store and get your artwork framed. This makes for fabulous wall-art or even thoughtful personalised gifts.

Where: You can pick up old magazines from second-hand magazine and books shops like Surya Bookstall in Malleswaram, Akruti Books in Rajaji Nagar and Book Bonanza in Jayanagar. To frame your collage, Ambica recommends Balaji Frame Works at Thippasandra

Book Stores

183, 10th Cross, Sampige Road, Malleshwaram, Bengaluru

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Hang Your Pots And Pans In Style - DIY Metal Mesh

Pans & pots can always find a place in deep drawers or cupboards in the kitchen, but an interesting, clutter-free way of creating a space for them would be to hang on the wall. Ambica suggests using a wire mesh or a peg board to hang the cookware as it saves space, doesn’t damage the wall and looks lovely. Wire mesh is a perfectly thrifty way of storage. They come in a range of colours and varying thickness too. You would also need S-shaped hooks to hang the pans and pots, ladles etc. A slightly more expensive option would be a peg board, that would add a bit more quirk to the kitchen.

Where: Wire mesh and S-shaped hooks can be bought at Hindustan Wiremesh Industries on Avenue Road. Pegboards should be available at stationery or art supply shops. They’re available online on Amazon as well.

Other

Avenue Road, Dodpete, Nagarathpete, Bengaluru

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Try Painting Your Own Furniture

Breathe new life into your old furniture with a DIY paint job. Ambica gave her dining table and open bookshelf {made from dark wood} an upgrade by painting them herself. It is extremely easy, she says, and anyone can do it at home. All you need is paint {in the colour of your choice}, base primer, brush/ spray can/ roller, sandpaper, rubber gloves, wiping cloth and varnish/furniture shine.

Clean and smoothen the surface with cloth and sandpaper rub and then wipe the dust off with a moist cloth. Apply primer and let it dry. Once dry, go ahead and paint away and then leave it to dry. Apply a second coat if you want and wait for that to dry up completely as well. Finish it off with a coat of varnish or shine if you’d like a glossy finish.
Note: You can paint on laminated sheets or furniture with laminate or sun mica, as opposed to popular belief.

Where: All of these materials can be sourced from Krishna Hardware And Paints on CMH road.

Home Décor Stores

18, CMH Road, Stage 1, Binnamangala, Indiranagar, Bengaluru

Makeshift Magazine Or Book Tables

What do you with all the books and magazines that you hold close to your heart and just can’t part ways with them? Well, stack them up and use them as tables, says Ambica. Keep light shades, tea light candles, vases, or other small and big decor pieces on them. Stacking it up is a great way to de-clutter, organize and decorate your space.Take the concept a notch higher and keep a glass top or wooden plank over it, if you wish. Or skip this step entirely and stick to plain stacks of books.

Where: Looking to add more books and magazines to your collection. Here’s our list of where to score books and tomes, if you’re looking to make your own makeshift book and magazine table.