Saturday, March 31, 2007

SIAL Montreal

Last week, it was my turn to help Sanj out with his tradeshow, SIAL Montreal. I gained 5 pounds and skipped the gym to partake in the gluttonous wonderment that is a food show. I don't care, I got to see my husband in action and that was hot.

Speaking of hot, the talented and witty Chef Ali Hassan of Lime Catering, cooked up some spicy Moroccan Lamb on day 2. The aromas wafting from the booth during his three demonstrations were a real crowd pleaser and with promise of exotic foods, he successfully lured prospective buyers over. Even I got a chance to add my own flavor by creating the recipe cards! For three days, my sister in law Neige and I passed the cards (along with tamari almonds, curry and ginger beer samples) out to overstuffed but still curious passers-by.

But the real winners were Sanjeev and his brother Kamal. The first tradeshow for their second generation family business, Shah Trading and the unveiling of their new look, I was completely floored by the 300 sq feet (almost the same size as my old NYC apartment) booth they put together. I wasn't the only one impressed, these guys connected with big buyers (HUGE) and they did so with as much respect, confidence and humility as they did with little buyers. WOW. Great job guys, I learned a lot from you last week and was happy to be a part of it.

Off to the gym!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


A documentary filmmaker, an author, a radio producer and a really good cook, Tally Abecassis was one of the first people I met here in Montreal.

A longtime friend of Sanj's, Tally was my own private welcome wagon when I first moved here and her kind gesture helped me feel settled here. I'd always think, "Wow, I can't believe someone this cool is taking the time to welcome me here." Yeah, she's cool.

Since graduating from Concordia in 1996, Tally has worked on various film, TV and radio projects. Some of her current and recent work includes:
-- A long term documentary on small stores, "Think Big"
-- Directing a few episodes for a new French documentary series by local creatives at Urbania magazine, UrbaniaTV
-- Several radio pieces for the CBC
-- Curating "This Really Happened", a bi-monthly non-fiction reading series
-- An engaging book on Barbershops with amazing photographs that's been receiving excellent reviews

-- A major achievement in her professional life was the documentary film she wrote and directed, Lifelike. A quirky film on a quirky topic, Lifelike delves into the world of taxidermy by following the lives of four taxidermists and one customer. From InformAction, "Funny, touching, and sometimes just plain absurd, Lifelike will make you think twice about human nature and our relationship with animals." Lifelike quickly caught on in the filmmaking world and her movie was featured in several film festivals around North America

One of my dream projects is to do a video press kit for OM home with Tally. A piece on the often wacky production process of OM home's textiles, including some history on the art of Alpona. Hmmmm, someday. In the meantime, Tally's next major documentary piece, Radio Waves will focus on children in West Africa; how they see their lives and their future. For this documentary, Tally traveled solo to Burkina Faso to gather some initial data, we were all very inspired by her diligence and creativity-- we are all very inspired.

In the spirit of this blog entry, I've asked Tally to send me some information about someone that inspires her. She wrote me about Marci Denesiuk, her friend and colleague. Tally writes,
"Marci Denesiuk is my wonderful friend and a wonderful writer. Marci is always pushing herself creatively to try new things. For the launch of her book she put together a quirky claymation film (very hard to do!) to accompany her readings. It was hilarious and a great way to change the dynamics of a reading. And of course, her writing is beautiful."

Thanks Tally, I'll miss you in Toronto!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

OM home on Apartment Therapy

Thanks so much to Lisa over at San Fransisco's Apartment Therapy and to AT reader Kizha, for posting a photo of our bathroom! If you'd like to learn more about our apartment, including sourcing, we've put together a list here.

Lots of people have been writing us about the bathroom ceiling for a stencil of the pattern. Besides being completely flattered, I'm also intrigued. I'm looking into sourcing for the stencil and will keep everyone posted.


To everyone for their genuine appreciation of our apartment and the few inquiries that came our way for those that are looking to move, we are truly flattered, thank you.

Yesterday, we accepted an offer from a young Parisian guy who really loved the space, we hope he enjoys it as much as we have. We got the price we wanted and feel fortunate to have sold the property so quickly. We're also relieved to have this off of our plates so we can focus on our move (well, we won't actually start packing until the last minute because we tend to procrastinate, but it seemed like the thing to write) and the next stage of our lives.

But we're really going to miss it here! We spent most of yesterday walking around the Plateau, people watching, croissant eating, shoe shopping (couldn't help myself), meeting up with Sanj's brother and his wife (Dixx and Neige) and I really felt thankful that I had the opportunity to live in such a funky, young, artsy, easy going area that inspired me everyday (except the really cold days, that made me cranky mostly). Our move out date is officially May 31 and we hope to enjoy our hood as much as possible before then.

Merci beaucoup Montreal, you will be missed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Toca Imports

Beautiful Montreal, a city I've called home for the last year and a half and a city I've come to love not only for the beautiful architecture, fashion forward women, yummy bagels and the low cost of living but for the awesome friends I've made and the family (Sanj's) that's become my own.

In honor of Montreal, I'm going to post bi-weekly about local entrepreneurs that I've met, admired or patronized during my time here.

My first posting is about a jewelry import business, Toca Imports that I first discovered last summer at a local shop. Imported from jewelry designers in Brazil, Montreal based owner Liliana Turecki has assembled a full range of jewelry to suit any style or budget. Liliana sent over some images yesterday of some new pieces that I think are gorgeous!

I love the colors and concept behind Sonia Coelho's BAI line of jewelry. Made from recycled materials like paper and fabric, Sonia creates colorful works of art! Starting at $40 CAD, her products can be found locally at Quelles Sensations on Sherbrooke or via Toca's website.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

OM home on Design*Sponge and Product Sourcing

Thanks soooooooooo much to Grace at Design*Sponge for posting our apartment on her blog yesterday. We are really touched by her kind words and overwhelmed by all the positive feedback. Who knew? We certainly didn't! *blush*

As most of you already know, we're relocating to Toronto so we had Darren Curtis take these awesome apartment shots during our photo shoot for OM home's new products. Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like more specific information on the property.
We've been getting lots of emails from people asking us about different pieces in our apartment so I thought a list of references would make it more readily available. We took a lot of trips to area second hand stores and purchased items on our travels, so my apologies for some of the vague references. If I've missed anything please contact me and I'll be sure to post it. Hope the information helps!

Thanks again to everyone for their kind words, it means a lot to us!

The entryway was a spur of the moment weekend project last summer. This space is on it's own floor so we kept it black and white to offset all the colors in the rest of the house. SOURCES: Coat Hooks: Harry, G Bench (spray painted black): West Elm (circa 2002), Wall mural and Bottom Framed Drawing: Me!, Chandelier: Urban Outfitters, Yellow hat: J. Crew, Top Drawing: Street artist on Queen St, Toronto, Curtains: IKEA, Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White Semi Gloss (2143-70), Mural: Home Depot Black Enamel Paint

The main living area is a constant evolution for us as it’s usually the initial resting space for all of our new purchases. SOURCES: Chair in the back nook: A hand me down from Sanj's folks! , TV: A gift from my folks (Both sets of parents have donated to the space so I had to get them both in to be diplomatic)! , Other furniture: A second hand store in the Mile End area, name TBA , Painting above the fireplace: Street artisan in New Delhi, India , Pillows: OM home , Photographs on Bookshelves: Sanj! , Book on the Coffee Table: Barbershops, Wedding photograph on Mantel: my sister-in-law Anita, Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White Semi Gloss (2143-70)

We love the extra cabinetry we built into the dining room side of the kitchen counter. Because of the extra storage, we didn't have to crowd the area with a credenza. We heart the table. SOURCES: Dining Table: We've gotten some inquiries about the custom made table in our dining room. If you're interested in getting one made, feel free to contact me, Chairs: A second hand store in the Mile End area, name TBA , Clock and frame: Local second hand stores (amazing what you find if you keep hunting) , Table Runner: a piece of Americana for when I’m homesick: Antique store in New York near the Canadian border, Vases: IKEA and West Elm, Red painting: Street artisan in Buenos Aires, Argentina , Antique Cabinet: Abhishek Accessories Store, Kolkata (I think?), Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White Semi Gloss (2143-70)

By far our largest remodel, we started last year after our honeymoon and finished 5 long weeks later. We're very happy with the way the bottom cabinets soften the rest of the space. SOURCES: Cabinets: Covered with walnut veneer by a local artisan friend, a different (and fairly cheap) way to update cabinets , Bottom Cabinets: Benjamin Moore Nacho Cheese (2018-40) , White Shelves: West Elm , Magnetic Spice Holders: Bed Bath & Beyond , Lighting: Local secondhand store , Storage rack above stove: IKEA, Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White Semi Gloss (2143-70)


I freehand sketched and painted the ceiling when I first move to Montreal, I suppose as a way to mark my new territory! The vanity was custom made to match the kitchen but we added one of my designs onto the vanity and mirror to make it more fun. Now it’s my favorite room in the apartment. SOURCES: Bathroom vanity: A local artisan friend built the vanity and mirror from my designs and specs. I've actually received several emails about this piece... We can custom make a similar piece (or other piece of furniture) for you, contact me to discuss details! Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White Semi Gloss (2143-70), Ceiling: Betonel Teal (8612 M) closest Benjamin Moore match is Teal Blast (2039-40)


We love waking up in this room every morning because it’s so bright and airy. By keeping the room simple and clutter free, the warm woods are able to contrast well with any colorful accessories we put in the room. SOURCES: Wood Furniture: A second hand store in the Mile End area, name TBA, Bed: West Elm, "Peter Hvidt" daybed (closest find to what we have, the back is removed): A second hand store in the Mile End area, name TBA , Hanging Lamps: Bombay Kids , Right lamp and frame: Local secondhand stores , Handmade Paper: Au papier Japonais , Blue Mirrored light: Spoutnik , Retro Reproduction Stereo: TEAC, Walls: Benjamin Moore Mirage White Hi Gloss (2116-70)


This is where you’ll usually find me working on OM home, either on the drafting table or in front of the computer. Growing up, my father’s office was orange, so it only made sense to make this space orange too!SOURCES: Handmade Paper: Au papier Japonais , Antique Chinese Table: Tola , Orange Cabinets: CB2 , Orange Accessories: Hold Everything (defunct) , An original Joe Colombo Boby Storage Cart next to the drafting table, they have started production of these carts again: Spacify , Couch: A store in NYC on the SW corner of 30th and Park near my old apartment. The manager was extremely rude to his employee while I was picking out the fabrics. I’ll never go back there again and never recommend them to anyone , Mini Storage Unit on left: Target, Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White Semi Gloss (2143-70)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Meg's Call for Submissions in Toronto

Jen over at Toronto Craft Alert and Irene over at Bloesem have been kind enough to help me on my quest to find other home stylings with an ethnic twist.

Meg Mateo Ilasco over in California is working on a book showcasing the homes of everyday people who have successfully incorporated their culture into their homes. Sanj and I are super super excited to be a part of this and feel very fortunate to have the chance to share our rich heritage with others.

In order to make the trip north of the border more fruitful, if there are other homes in the Greater Toronto Area (we'll be in Toronto by the time she starts her trek) that might fit the bill, check out Meg's Call for Submissions or send her an email!

Thanks again!

Monday, March 12, 2007

OM home Gets to Make a Wish Come True!

The lovely and talented Rachna Vohra joined Make a Wish Foundation recently and helped a child in need fulfill a wish.

Sweetly, the child's one wish was to have her parent's bedroom redecorated because they couldn't afford furniture and were sleeping on the floor. The foundation was kind enough to decorate the child's room (see picture).

I feel very lucky to have been asked to donate a C.C.F.C. Bolster to the cause and frankly, would have done whatever they asked of me for such a sweet and inspiring little girl! Thanks Rachna for including me in such a wonderful cause.

While being a part of the design community is wonderful, being a part of the volunteer community is even more wonderful (and addicting). Last October, I was lucky enough to be a part of a silent auction for the East Harlem School Annual Benefit and OM home products raised $300 for the school. I hope they ask me again for this year's benefit! Speaking of EHS, if you're free tomorrow night and in the New York area, EHS is holding their annual Poetry Slam to raise money for their school, should be fun!

OM home on Trunkt Blog

Trunkt was kind enough to post a write up about OM home on their blog! Trunkt was also recently listed in Zagat's, how cool is that?!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Thank You!

Thank you to the design community for the wonderful comments pouring in from all over the world about our apartment. I'm overwhelmed by what people have been saying. Wow.

When I did the mural on the ceiling, I had just moved up to Montreal and really missed my family and friends. Alpona designs, which I've based the patterns from, are usually painted on the floors. Because I felt a little like my life turned upside down, somehow painting the ceiling was a way to make me feel at home in an unknown city. Now it's as refreshing as a summer day (especially good during the Montreal winters) and Sanj and I will be really sad to leave our comfortable nest.

But we are also really excited to start the next phase of our lives! On Wednesday, we found THE house of our dreams and after an emotional afternoon of imagining our future together, we feel very fortunate that our offer was accepted! The house itself has wonderful bones and doesn't need any major work on it (thankfully) but I can already see some nooks, crannies and ceilings that wouldn't mind a personal touch!

The New Pad

Clockwise from top left: Front of the house, main living area, upstairs
sun room and master bedroom. Photos are courtesy of Sutton Realty

Thanks again to everyone, it's very touching to hear people respond so positively to my work. If anyone decides to paint their ceilings, please send me a picture, I would love to see it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Some Blog Mentions!

Got some sweet blog mentions over the last few days:

Susan over at art esprit, OM home
Holly over at Decor8, OM home New products
Jan over at Poppy, OM home for Spring
Terra over at Love My Earth, Spring and New Beginnings
Jen at Toronto Craft Alert, IDS Coverage and Blog Love
Mel at Mighty Nice, In my spare time
Audrey at Bijou Kaleidescope, What you can do to Add some Pizazz above you

Thanks so much to all of you for the kind words and support, it makes running a small business a little bit easier and a whole lot sweeter.

OM home at Trunkt in NY

Just wanted to let New Yorkers know, our products can now be found at:
393 Greenwich Street
New York, New York 10013
betw N. Moore and Beach Streets.

For those in Brooklyn, we have some products at:
619 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY

Monday, March 5, 2007

Pictures of Our Apartment

We're moving to Toronto soon and will be sad to leave our little apartment that's been home to me for the last year and a half and 7 years (off and on) for Sanjeev. I asked Darren to document our apartment this weekend while he was here taking shots of my new products. We're really going to miss this house!

Our Entry This space is on it's own floor so we kept it B&W to offset all the colors in the rest of the house. We used "Harry" hooks and I painted the mural on the wall.

Living Room Always filled with light, this is our main living area. We've filled the space with splashes of color, including a painting over the mantel that we picked up from a street artisan in Delhi during our honeymoon. All the way in the corner by the window is a somewhat kitschy represenation of Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music and creative arts.

Kitchen and MezzanineWe redid our kitchen February by getting new corian and granite countertops and having a local artisan walnut veneer our cabinets with one long horizontal strip of veneer. Although you can't see it in this picture, the bottom cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore's Nacho Cheese color, a deep yellow/orange color that warms up the space. The lighting and frame were vintage finds and Sanj bought the red painting from a young artisan in Argentina. We designed the table and had it custom made here in Montreal. In the back is the door to our bedroom and upstairs is my office space and a lounge area. There are lots of pillows and fabrics in the office and bedroom, so I didn't post those spaces *blush*.

We had our vanity and mirror custom made locally from my designs. The ceiling design is another take on alpona that I painted one day when I first arrived here in Montreal. A way to make the space feel like home. Our first purchase as husband and wife was the washer/dryer set. Coming from a small apartment in New York with questionable laundry facilities, this was a momentous occasion for me and I refuse to cover it or hide it.

Birthday Wish for my Wonderful Husband.

You are my favorite person in the world and I feel lucky to be your wife. Your positive outlook on life is always an inspiration to me and I am extremely grateful to have that influence in my life.

You have my utmost respect, admiration and love and I look forward to living out the rest of my life with you. Happy Birthday Sanjeev, I hope all your birthday wishes come true.

New Products at the IDS

Darren Curtis over at Actaeon Photo came by this weekend to take some shots of our new products. The Tolly line, named after the Tollygunge club in Kolkata is a more sublime line in our collection, in honor of the acres and acres of green found at the club. You can find more information regarding our products at OM home products. Here are some of the shots:

Tolly Pillows in Avocado and Almond

Tolly Napkin in Avocado, Tolly Placemat in Walnut

Tolly Pillow in Walnut and Lime Green

Tolly Pillow in Lime Green and New Market Pillow in Bachelor Blue