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February 09, 2024
At Anacua House, we are passionate about promoting independent brands that create modern, relevant designs while using and honoring heritage craftsmanship. In addition- Anacua House founder Angela Bodnar, like Melissa, left a career in business to take a chance on the design world.
With so much in common, we just had to ask Melissa to tell us more about her design process and journey with Azulina.
July 25, 2023
Here at Anacua House, we’re passionate about global and diverse voices in design. When our founder, Angela, saw pictures on social media of Daysie, an all-day casual bar in Bangalore launched by a coworker from her university days, she had to reach out. Daysieis making waves in the design world for its maximalist, highly-instagrammable environment that draws the city's tech-foward, trendy crowd of young professionals.
May 15, 2023
I see this as an extension of the overall warming trend in colors – the popularity of sages, terracotta, and warm reds, along with the general appreciation of natural materials and craft.
Here’s a couple shades that work perfectly for a 2023 take on Beige:
March 30, 2023
March 27, 2023
March 22, 2023
This post is the most personal so far, touching on a major motivator in how I choose things for my home, and ultimately, curate things I hope you’ll love.
For new readers, I’m Angela- founder of Anacua House and design aficionado.
Growing up as the youngest child of a single mother living on a public housing project, we didn’t have a “lot” (by American consumer standards), and much of what we had were thrift finds, hand-me-downs, dollar store, or sale finds. I’m not denigrating the thrift-store lifestyle- recycling and upcycling are economical and environmentally friendly ways to find unique furniture, décor, and clothes. But when your towels have frayed edges and old food containers are reused as Tupperware (a habit I still have), it’s easy to feel like you’re just getting by- nothing special.
This feeling isn’t limited to the low-income; who hasn’t perched on the corner of their couch, eating takeout from the container?
I propose a simple upgrade; but first, a story:
My mother had a set of pretty little faceted-glass bowls, gifted to her at her wedding well over a decade before I was born. She used them. All. The. Time. She filled them with buttered popcorn (extra butter) for home movie nights. She used them for instant pudding or boxed jello, making a cheap dessert extravagant. They appeared at our Thanksgiving table, and with snacks on random weeknights.
Those glass bowls hold a special place in my memories; a night at home watching movies became a special occasion, a budget dessert an elevated treat. They made the mundane magical, a real “treat yourself” moment.
In tough times, you can return to these routines for solace. The crystal glassware or glow of candlelight can be a surprising ally in healing or maintaining relationships; creating a space to connect with your partner amidst the chaos of parenting and careers or unwind with a friend after a long week.
My mother’s glass bowls were my inspiration for stocking these fluted glass beauties at Anacua House; the concept of the glass bowls is evident throughout the shop. I only curated items I could see being in someone’s home for years. Well-made and -designed pieces that elevate your home and add that little bit of magic to everyday moments.
We all have the power to design our lives: define our traditions and celebrations, and curate the objects that surround and support our daily lives, some of which become personal heirlooms. How will you create extraordinary moments?
March 14, 2023
Is it just me, or has the world gone candle-crazy. Not just scented candles, which have always been a mainstay, but especially dinner candles- the type that used to grace my grandma’s dining table. After decades of being old-fashioned at worst, and an afterthought at best, taper candles are everywhere.
March 08, 2023
February 28, 2023
India has a rich history of decorative arts and crafts- the vibrant colors, rich paisley patterns, finely carved gold-tone jewelry and ornaments, and distinctive architecture have captured imaginations around the world for generations. Even creations for everyday use- like sarees, are artistic statements, showing off the skill of each artisan contributing to the design.
With the popularity of mass-production and cheap materials, and the societal emphasis on scholastic achievement, traditional Indian handicraft skills are endangered- losing both audience and talent. With ever-evolving aesthetic tastes and modern expectations of functionality, you could ask if there is a place for traditional craftsmanship in today's home.
Some Indian designers, passionate about their roots, are dedicating their careers to saving these old techniques, re-imagined for modern tastes. These are the New Wave of Indian designers- a focus on craft, high-quality, sustainable materials, and sleek design aesthetic that effortlessly translates centuries of artisanal skill for the modern consumer.
I love when people add a new, intentional twist to tradition- an avant-garde eatery in a historic neighborhood; a ballet to rock music, or-in this case- using heritage skills for modern design. There’s something special about objects honoring the maker’s roots through today’s lens- the process utilizes both skill and craftsmanship and vision. Here are two Indian design-oriented brands carried at Anacua House and their stories:
Fleck was founded in 2019 by Shruti and Nishant, a design-minded couple looking for quality home items utilizing traditional materials with a modern design. Fleck is their story of finding balance between beauty and embellishment, functionality, and modern minimalism. Shruti and Nishant believe in modern design as an evolution of the past and that great materials are essential to telling the story of a design. Heritage techniques and practices are used to bring out the best in materials while refined, modern designs elevate their products for homes of today.
Brass features prominently in Fleck’s collection- a material Shruti’s family has worked with for generations. A copper and zinc alloy, brass has been used in India since the 3rd millenium BCE for everything from decorative arts to cookware.
“Brass is close to my heart because it’s a material my family has been working with for over 4 decades & 2 generations. From getting the zinc-copper ratio right to moulding the molten brass to its final form, each part is done by my folks who know have mastered their craft over years of practice. I want to bring it to the mainstream in shapes and forms that are relevant in today's world,”
– Shruti Gupta
Fleck’s brass accessories are defined by clean, sleek lines, glamorous in their shine and simplicity. The functional shape of their designs takes center stage, while the genuine, heavy brass construction keeps the look decidedly luxe. Their Kavya bowl and wine chiller are accented by natural wood bases- a contrasting touch that manages to lean upscale and not rustic.
Shop our full line from Fleck, including brass accessories and organic cotton textiles here.
Ichcha was founded in 2011 by three sisters passionate about traditional Indian arts- including one sister, Ruchika, with a master’s degree in block printing. Block printing is a method of creating stamped, repeating patterns on fabrics utilized before modern mechanical printing technology became available.
Seeing the knowledge of this heritage technique fading, they decided to take action- working with artisans to promote and preserve traditional block printing methods with sustainable resources. Patterns are hand-carved on wooden blocks and transferred onto hand-spun fabric using natural dyes. The result- high quality textiles with the eclectic-bohemian look of a slightly imperfect print. Their vibrant but coordinated color palettes speak firmly to the modern aesthetic, with print designs ranging from waves to florals, palms, and dots.
Shop our full line from Ichcha here.
February 24, 2023
Notes about creating an eclectic, joyful space, interior design trends & independent designers, and home design.