Wishlist Wednesday: December 17, 2014

I’ve been thinking about rearranging our living room lately, and one thing that bugs me is our bookcase. Our apartment is pretty decent-sized, but it’s astonishing how much real estate a 2×8 Ikea bookcase can take up.

There are definitely some gorgeous bookcase designs out there, but many of them still take up more space than might be ideal. Martina Carpelan, a Finnish designer, has a cool storage solution that I love.

martina carpelan corner bookcase storage shelfSource: Martina Carpelan

The design could just as easily be used in the kitchen or other rooms. What I like most is that you could use it both a positive or negative corner of the room. The downside is, one shelf wouldn’t hold too many books, and at 95 euros a pop, that’s quite a bit to spend. Even so, it’d be cute as a bedside bookshelf – if your room has weird proportions – and it’s also inspiration for a DIY version of your own.

Something else that I’ve been thinking of lately, is the large wall in our staircase landing. It’s pretty high, and it’s a lot of blank space to look at, which is rather uninteresting.

Eazywallz has a pretty awesome collection of removable wall murals, and you can customize the size, as well as create one with your own photos. I’m in love with this one (I couldn’t get a larger size):

SF pier 7  Source: Eazywallz

That’s a shot I’ve been wanting to get for a while now, and I’m considering attempting to DIY a photographic mural if I get the perfect shot. The biggest challenge would be covering a large wall, as well as figuring out a way to make sure it’s removable. The more I think about it, the more excited I am to try this out – so this is going on the project list for sure!

xo Rucha

Pebble Beach sunset twilight

Monterey Musings and Hotel Inspirations

I spent last week at an anti-fraud conference in Monterey, and the location couldn’t have been nicer. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, which is a lovely resort-style hotel, with plenty of wood tones in its exterior and spread across a few buildings restricted to a couple of floors. In the crazy schedule of the conference, I wasn’t able to get good photos of the exterior, but I did capture a few things I liked about my room. I’ve stayed in many hotels before but I especially liked how things were laid out in this one, particularly in the bathroom.

Monterey Hyatt vanity

To the right of the sink is counter space for soaps, etc., but as you can tell by the orange and wood ottoman, the space also doubles as a vanity. The large mirror spans that entire wall, and the light is built in behind the frosted glass frame. I love that touch, and it’s something I’m filing away for when we get our own place.

Frosted glass light frame mirror

That hotel was so nice, they even provided toothpaste! That never happens anymore.

The room, like the bathroom, was a soothing palette of neutrals with the warm wood tones grounding everything together.


The wood paneling and shelves are also in my inspiration pile, though a mounted TV would be better. There was another “pop” of color (like the orange ottoman in the bathroom) in the form of a random teal pillow.


As much as I love orange and teal, they did feel a little random in this space so I wasn’t really a fan. Rather, I liked how color was incorporated without it being random and stark, in the paintings above the headboard.


There was also lighting built in behind the headboard, but I wasn’t able to get a good picture of it. Overall the space was soothing and it flowed between the room and the bathroom without any wasted space or unnecessary embellishments, but it also avoided being too minimalistic.

I was able to take my camera along on one of the evenings to a dinner event, which happened to be right on Pebble Beach. The weather was beautiful that day, and the location was gorgeous, so I’m really glad I did!

Pebble Beach field flowers   pebble beach surfing surf

Pebble Beach sunset twilight

My vacation time started after the end of this conference, so I’m actually writing this from India where I’m visiting family. When Matt gets here I hope to go out to some of the beautiful old buildings here that are being restored, and I’ll be posting about them soon enough.

xo Rucha

Through the Lens: April 7, 2014

Sometimes DIY can be incredibly frustrating, even when the project isn’t too big. More so when you’re blogging about it and set deadlines for yourself. Ever since I posted about updates in our bedroom, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with that awful storage cube thing. I had a few ideas, but I kept running over them again and again. When I finally got to working on it, I ran into some issues half-way.  I’ll post about that soon enough, but this weekend, I decided to just let that project be for a few days, and focus on my camera.

mussel rock beach sunset

I went out to Mussel Rock Beach a couple weeks ago with a photography group, to do sunset photography for the first time, and worked on those photos this past weekend. Photography can be an equally frustrating hobby, but sitting through the cold, taking hundreds of photos just to end up with a couple good ones…it’s all worth it when you step back and appreciate how beautiful nature is, and how incredible it is to be able to capture it. It’s landscapes like these that allow me to take a breather, re-energize and be newly motivated to tackle my projects.

mussel rock beach sunset


xo Rucha

Twin Peaks San Francisco Rucha Tatke

Through the Lens – February 26, 2014

Part of my quest to address my creative side involves practicing photography. Matt and I got an SLR camera last July, since we both wanted to pursue photography as a hobby. I thought a “Through the Lens” series would be great for non-decor/DIY days, so here goes.

I love cities, always have. I was born in Mumbai and raised in Singapore so really, I don’t know any better, but I couldn’t imagine living outside a city anytime soon. What I love about San Francisco is the unique landscapes you come across – jagged rocks and rough ocean to the west, calm bay waters to the east, and a glorious city in between. In the last couple of days I hauled my camera and tripod with me and explored some of the places I hadn’t been to before.

Twin Peaks San Francisco

Night view from Twin Peaks

I love that I can go from the busy cityscape to a beautiful natural landscape without actually venturing out of the city.

Baker Beach San Francisco

Baker Beach on a cloudy evening

Definitely love being able to call San Francisco home, and can’t wait to explore the Bay Area more. 

xo Rucha

Love Notes

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I know, I know, February 14th is a giant cliche wrapped in a big red bow, but it’s still fun. It’s great seeing people get gorgeous flowers and people going the extra mile for their loved ones. For my part, I took it as an opportunity for some inspiration and decided to have fun with some DIY projects. Well, I didn’t submit Matt’s present to the risk that my attempts would fail, he got a monogrammed somethin’:

Chewie approves

Chewie approves

I was thinking of making some cupcakes for the occasion, but decided to do something a little different. I’ve had this black soap dish lying around for years, and most days I use it as a candleholder, but this time it gave me an idea. Why not make some themed heart-shaped soap? It’s decorative and practical. Guys love that, right?

Themed Valentine's Day Soap!

Themed Valentine’s Day Soap!

So I grabbed a bar of Yardley’s Shea Butter from our local pharmacy, some dried cranberries, and some oatmeal I had at home – to make sure that Matt didn’t think this was too girly for him to use 🙂

Looks good enough to eat

Looks good enough to eat

I chopped the soap up and melted it in the microwave for a minute. Because this was soap with additives and not just a soap base, it was a lot harder to melt. I had to use a double boiler (well, stacked pots) for nearly an hour, with added water before it melted to a smooth consistency. This is when I added the cranberries (chopped up in – get this – our coffee grinder) and oatmeal, before pouring out the entire mixture into this adorable mold I found at Sur La Table. I added some vanilla essence to kick up the scent, and I almost forgot that it was soap I was making for a second there…

I got the last mold in the store, lucky me

I got the last mold in the store, lucky me

I cooled those overnight, and voila! Wouldn’t these be great little gifts for just about any occasion? Best part is, you can get creative any mold, and they’re inexpensive. Word of caution though, if you plan on trying this out and giving it to someone, do your research. Fresh ingredients in Melt and Pour soap can rot if you don’t do it right. Blech.

The second project is one I’ve wanted to try ever since we got an SLR camera: custom bokeh. You make a lens hood out of construction paper and insert a shaped cutout in front, one that is just the right size for your lens: Bokeh Hood

Then you throw your aperture wide open, and go nuts. Well I did, anyway.

Recessed Light Hearts

LED Bokeh

Okay so I went really nuts - these are lights on our kitchen hood

Okay so I went really nuts – these are lights on our kitchen range hood

Moon Heart Bokeh

Yep, that’s the moon

I’ll leave you guys with a shot from our roof deck:

San Francisco Hearts Bokeh

How’s everyone celebrating? Any unique plans for this holiday? Feel free to share in the comments below!


xo Rucha