Saturday, August 6, 2016

Home Tour: A journey into a Texas Home...with a Uttar Kannada Influence!!

I am happy to be back Aalayam!! 

It's been a long time and we have not featured a Home Tour in this space in forever! Deepa had a baby, board exams and a new career happening to her, and I just got sucked into the world of corporate America, business school student consulting, and some trailblazing Ted Talking! 

In order to bring balance to our lives, both Deepa and I realize that being invested in the rich cultural fabric Aalayam has woven already, is imperative! 

A sun kissed living room, with bamboo drapes, deep rich tones and lots of style!!

So, here I am, privileged and pleased to be bringing to you a Home Tour, featuring the home of my friends Mallika and Vinayak, a fun couple who, growing up, set the example of what falling in love, and getting married really should look like..and feel like! 

Mallika and Vinayak are new parents, who have recently moved to the Houston, United States, from Sydney, Australia. They have lovingly decorated their new, modern Texas home with it's signature wide spaces, sunny living areas and high ceilings with generous touches of rustic splendor, that speak to their roots in India..and of course, the resplendence of Mallika's native Uttar Kannada origins!!

A delightfully welcoming entrance to a gorgeous home!

Join me, as I virtually traverse through this loving abode. Partake in my excitement as I make interesting connections between the Boppanakeri (Mallika's native village) vistas and vintage bungalows, to this fabulously classy Texas home! Replete with the "bring the outside in" mantra, you will see lush green potted plants bringing in the reminiscence of the coastal foliage of Uttar Kannada. 

Color, deep rich color! Roof top drying of local produce in Mallika's native village, back in India!

You will also see rustic red splashes and deep burgundy wood tones that render your heart aflutter, making you fondly recall the terracotta terraces, and deep red chillie carpets from your native locales!!

An aerial shot of Mallika's family home in Boppanakeri, Uttar Karnataka, India!

Mallika and Vinayak have subtly adorned their home with all the right touches.... imperial looking wood chests and ornate carved mirrors, masks and gilt edged accessories, intricately woven baskets, mats and blinds that bring in a delicious throwback to traditional textures, and instantly invoke flashes of "Ajji Mane" or "Halli Mane" decor! 

Mallika and I playfully pose near a enchanting little pond, in her family home!

So, without further ado, I will present to you Mallika and Vinayak's home, and their delightful journey to make it their own cozy abode! 

In their own words!

Wood tones and furniture bring about a solid sensibility to the home, played up by colorful and meaningful accessories!

First of all, thank you for letting me and Aalayam readers take a virtual tour of your home!! Tell us a little bit of your story - how did you meet? How did you imagine your home is going to be when you "grew up"?

Vinayak and I have known each other for almost 14 years. We met in Bangalore where we used to work together. We were dating for a few years during which time Vinayak decided to move to Sydney, Australia to pursue his studies which led to 2 years of long distance relationship! We then went on to live in Sydney for almost 10 years after marriage before making the move to Houston in Nov 2015 for Vinayak's work. We now have a little boy who is almost 2 and keeps us on our toes! We always imagined having a beautiful spacious house with a big backyard and a dog. Most of it has come true other than a dog :-) 

Woven bamboo textured planters, and gorgeous tropical foliage, bring the outside in!

What makes your house "your home"?

Our family makes our house a "home". People ask me if it has been a tough move from Australia to the States and I tell them not really. Of course the way of life is different and sometimes challenging but my home is where my family is. We brought with us all the things that we have collected over the years and it now adorns our home and the familiarity of it all gives us a lot of comfort.

The combination of the ornate carved mirror, the golden urn and the textured planter, work in a sublime fashion in this sunny fireplace!!

Does the decor in your home fit the bill for any one particular style - if so, what drove you to that style?

We think our style is mainly contemporary with spots of Indian, Balinese and Moroccan pieces. Vinayak likes modern sleek comfortable furniture and I on the other hand like ethnic, colorful, rustic items so we have made a home with a combination of both modern and ethnic pieces. It's true that opposites attract :-) 

The dining room gets the balance of modern and traditional, just right!!

How does your personal decor style influence your personality or the other way around? 

Our personality influences the decor in our home. It reflects our passion for travel. It reflects modern and comfortable living but reflects our roots, where we come from and where we have been.

Adake (Betel) trees  in the backyard, from back home! A inspiration!!

Where do you draw your online inspirations from - any favorite resources that you can share?

I really like Pinterest and I also really like a FB page called Home decorating mummas. Vinayak and I watch a lot of home renovation and makeover shows. These truly inspired us and we bought our first home in Sydney as a renovation project. For a year, we worked on the house every weekend while living in it. We are really proud of how the home and the garden was transformed by us. This is a true passion for us and we are looking forward to our next project.

Lounging in style...!

Are there influences from your home state  (Karnataka/ Boppanakeri) in your décor? How do you balance the modern, clean convenience of the western decor to the intricacy and nostalgia of Indian decor? 

There is definitely an influence of my home state and my native place. Whenever i am shopping for the house, I tend to get attracted to items that are colourful, rustic and remind me of home. I have too many Ganeshas and elephants around the house  All our big furniture is modern  but is surrounded by decor that reminds us of home.

Strategically placed art work adds color and character, while traditional textures add visual interest!

Masks from wanderings around the world! Bringing back influences of "Yaksha Gaana" or traditional native Uttara Kannada dance dramas, where ornate painted faces form the visual cynosure of the drama.

What are your favorite places to shop for your home? Are you budget savvy or would you rather own pieces that truly strike a chord with you even if they are expensive? 

A lot of our decor items were collected during our travels mainly from local artisan markets and our furniture is mainly from Australia. 

Can you tell, Mallika is an accessory enthusiast, just like me!

Here in the US, we go everywhere..Ikea, Target, Pottery barn, Home goods, World Market. As for being budget savvy, if the both of us truly like something we usually go for it as long it is does not cost an arm and a leg.

Traditional accessories pepper into this modern Texas home!

Finally, what is your favorite place in your home to relax, recharge and rejuvenate?

We love our kitchen. When we entertain, all our guests just hang out in the kitchen as there is heaps of space around the kitchen island. But our favorite has to be our living room. We spend most of our time here as a family. It is cozy and has big windows which brings in a lot of light and you can see the whole backyard through it. 

Mallika and her beautiful family!

Thanks a ton for sharing your home and your perspectives on what Home means to you, with the readers of Aalayam! I personally loved the peek into your beautiful home, and cannot wait to come and luxuriate in its beauty in December!! And to the readers of Aalayam, feast in this glorious Texas home tour and let us know what you think of Mallika and Vinayak’s soul refreshing journey!!

Until next time!
Love always,


Throwback to 2006! Mallika and me in her Boppanakeri family home, surrounded by smiling faces and verdant landscapes!


  1. Well decorated home and has a good balance of traditional and modern accents. Good to see the blog gets more active.

  2. Beautiful home indeed. Lots of inspiration all around. May be you meant to say Uttar Karnataka instead of Uttar Kannada? Kannada is the language where as Uttar Karnataka is a region (norther part of Karnataka with its own unique Kannada dialect, cuisine and culture etc). Thanks for sharing this fabulous home with us.

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