12 Styled Days of Christmas with West Elm

MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_MAINGosh, I’m soooooo excited about sharing this post with you guys as it’s been long-awaited!! I am totally honoured to have been invited to take part in this AMAZING blogger collaboration with West Elm and good friend, Teri of The Lovely Drawer where myself and eleven amazing bloggers were asked to style our dining tables in the spirit of Christmas. Each one of us will have our styled table tops featured on both West Elm’s blog Front + Main and The Lovely Drawer over the first 12 days of December so that you lovely readers get the chance to see how we all celebrate the festive season and of course, inject our distinctive styles to the table. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better way to kick-start the festivities! Well, we’re halfway through the 12 Styled Days of Christmas series and I’m up today for Day 7! :)
MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_02I wanted to create a table that reflected both my cultural influence and personal tastes that developed over the years; an east-meets-west inspired setting by combining Indian and Scandinavian elements that embodied a warm yet stripped-down simplicity and elegance. The handmade paper star lanterns, have for decades, been a tradition back in India that were hung out in the porch – like the Christmas tree here in the west, it represented Christmas and why I felt it was essential to incorporate into the overall styling as a reminiscent nod to my background.
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I kept the table relatively minimal and neutral, dressing it up with leftover paisley-patterned Liberty fabric and geometric-patterned napkins from H&M I had at home to fuse the two styles together even further. Subtle hints of gold are introduced through the organic dinnerware and cutlery to add a bit of understated glamour to the relaxed setting. We were so fortunate to be gifted with West Elm products of our choice and use into our styling challenge so I picked out their gold-rimmed organic shaped dinnerware, the gold cheese knives and pie serving set; all of which tied in perfectly to my fusion table setting I wanted to achieve (Aren’t they simply divine?!!)MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_06MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_03Growing up in the Middle East with most of our school holidays spent in India, our Christmases were somewhat different to what we’d have here in the UK. While Santa, turkey dinners, and gift-swapping traditions were more of the western influence, ours typically revolved around carol services at the church followed by family gatherings around the table for a relaxed meal at lunch (be it at home or eating out) that usually consisted of a medley of both east and western dishes.

I wanted the edible props in my styling to tie in with my east-meets-west theme too; fruits like figs and pomegranate I used to eat in abundance as a kid (a luxury here!) along with ‘western’ favourites I’ve grown to love like quiches and cheese boards, I thought fitted nicely to the overall look and feel of the table.
MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_07MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_08To this day, it’s the coming together of families around the table, sharing and celebrating in the spirit of Christmas that really sum up the festive season for me. With our families spread across even more continents, I guess it’s particularly important now more than ever! Getting together becomes a lot trickier, so any chance we get to gather around the table is something I cherish dearly and why laying the table out at Christmas plays a central part in all the festivities….even if it ends being me and hubby at the table! ;)MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_09

This Christmas, we’re heading to the Green Isle to spend it with my parents-in-laws and catch up with all the extended family over copious amount of food….and tea!! ;) I always find it so blissfully peaceful being out in the countryside and Christmas is just even more cosy especially when it snows (fingers crossed!). Just the thought of it is making me excited! And boy, with the crazy busy year we’ve had this year in London, I know for certain that the rural retreat will be just the thing we need!

I would of course, love it we could have both families get together around the table every Christmas like something out of a movie with everyone stretched across a loooooong big table, nattering and laughing to our hearts content. Some day I guess, so until then it’ll be a jet-setting affair to be with one or the other which isn’t all bad! We’re actually hoping to visit my family in India in the new year sometime, which would be amazing as it’s been over two years since we were over and I can’t tell you how much I look forward to spending time with my little grandmother and stuffing our faces with all her delicious home-cooked meals! *sigh*MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_10

Well folks, that’s my festive east-meets-west table top styling! I do hope it’s inspired you to get creative and inject your own personal flair to your tables this Christmas. Remember that you can find a recap of all the styled tables here over these 12 days (as well as West Elm’s blog Front + Main) or just follow the hashtag #kindredspirits on Instgram, FB or Twitter if you fancy an up-to-date sneak peek of all the past and upcoming posts! :) There’s soooooo much festive inspiration to swoon over!

Have a wonderful week ahead and good luck with all your festive plans……..Christmas is not that far away!! (eek!) x

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[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

[Real Weddings] when East-meets-West

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One of the many things I’ve been meaning to share on here since the summer, is this fun ‘fusion’ wedding project I did back in May. Some of you may have seen a few behind-the-scenes snippets back around springtime so I’ve now complied a few images of the finished elements to give you an idea of the project as a whole.

The couple (she’s of Indian descent and he’s of english-irish descent) had got in touch looking for bespoke wedding stationery to fit their ‘east-meets-west’ wedding after stumbling across ours on the blog (the power of search engines never ceases to amaze me!) They wanted something that signified them as a couple (fun, fresh, modern) and their cultural backgrounds, but one that also tied in elegantly with their quintessentially english country house setting in Oxfordshire where they were to get married in. With this being my first wedding job of the year, and the first ‘fusion’ one since our wedding, I was excited at the prospects (and challenges) the job presented…so instantly agreed to take it on. Plus, it’s not often you find clients you instantly get on with and wholeheartedly trust your judgement! :)
MbM_M&N-INVITATIONS-04 MbM_M&N-INVITATIONS-07So, inspired by folklore illustrations and patterns traditionally found on Indian textiles, murals, and religious occasions that depict poetry and enchanted tales, the final design route created brought a sense of romance and mystic to the couple’s fusion countryside wedding. The Stationery suite consisted of 5 elements: Invitations for both Civil & Hindu Ceremonies, RSVPs and Order of Services for both ceremonies. Once the illustrative designs were finalised, we decided that each stationery element would be distinguished by colour from the colour palette we agreed on for this project (A ‘thank you’ card was added later in the same style and fashion)

I also made on-the-day elements and hand painted signage, which for me is the most fun part being so tangible, particularly with the welcome sign and the large photo-backdrop. Again, the folklore-inspired illustrative designs were incorporated so that all the pieces looked completely unified.

MbM_M&N-SIGNS-04[All Images above: ©MadebyMolu]

Well, the overall experience of this project was simply amazing – not only did I get to explore avenues I didn’t think I’d envisage doing much of (i.e. illustration), but I was also extremely fortunate to work with a truly delightful couple who made the entire process seamless for me. It’s people like them that make all the hard work so worth while! A huge heartfelt thank you to Mita & Nathan for being a.w.e.s.o.m.e. in every way possible and for letting me be a part of their gorgeous fusion wedding!! And of course, for the lovely professional photos you see below (courtesy of Matt Horan Photgraphy) that shows some of the signs in-situ. :)

Until next time..! xx

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[Image credit: Matt Horan Photgraphy ]