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Feeling Inspired.

For reasons, (that I am not going to get into)…I have embarked on a Dude Detox / Man Ban/ Men Zen.

 

It is day 22…

 

Anyways, the purpose of this whole ‘exercise’ is to spend time focusing on being the best person I can possibly be (i know it sounds a little cheesy…) but I believe that we can sometimes get so wrapped up in our daily routine that we often forget to ‘slow down’ and spend a bit of time looking inward and alone.

 

I am using this time to really do things I enjoy and not worry about what the future may or may not hold. In just 22 days I have visited an art events (Sydney Contemporary & Art Up Late 10th Anniversary), visited a museum, spent a whole afternoon in a bookstore café by myself just reading/writing/drinking coffee, gone on a bushwalk with my parents, attended a nude drawing class, swam countless laps (whilst getting 4 shades darker), attended numerous yoga classes, watched a foreign film, went to a hipster ‘soup party’, made 4 new friends and have re-connected with old friends…

 

However, I believe the best part that has arisen from this whole ‘dude detox’ is my discovery of the Achillies Running Group. It is a fantastic group which I am now proudly a member of!

 

Every Sunday morning (at 8am…a killer!) I now go running with visually-impaired individuals around The Domain & Centennial Park. Ok, so I am not going to lie….it has been a MASSIVE personal challenge. I was born with the ‘directional’ segment of my brain missing. I honestly can’t tell my left from my right. It is not a joke.  wish it was. I even repeated Year 1. The only way I can tell is from a small freckle on my left hand. This does not always work. At 3am after a big night out…. this ‘freckle’ becomes a little hazy (I apologise to ALL the Sydney taxi drivers who have driven around in circles….).

 

I really do need to improve my directional abilities as I nearly ran my visually-impaired friend into a tree last week. Luckily she had an amazing sense of humour…..I on the other hand was mortified.. (I am now spontaneously ‘pop-quizzing’ myself every day; ‘Point left….Quick, turn right..”. I Do it waiting for my morning coffee. I do when driving my car. Practise makes perfect…right?!

 

Spending time with the members of Achillies, has made me realise how our culture is so visually dependent. We rely on our vision so heavily, that sometimes we ‘forget’ we have 4 other wonderful senses.

 

Each Sunday I am paired with a different visually-impaired friend. Each with their own story and experiences. It has honestly opened up my world. I am almost a little envious – they experience the world so differently…in a way people with full-sight will never understand. I just feel so lucky to be a part of this group so atleast I can get a glimpse into a world without sight.

Just this morning one of the members told me; “Nikita, it is so great being blind – my electric bill will always be lower than yours and every time I go on a date the girl is a 10/10”.

Who needs man-dates when I can have multiple (amazing) blind dates each Sunday morning?

 

My job working at an Architecture & Design publishing firm is centred around the visual. What is the colour scheme of the space? Are all the pieces of furniture compositionally-balanced? Is the lighting to harsh? It seems that we neglect our other senses in favour of sight.

We should also be asking; How did the space filter sounds? What did the texture of the finishes on the wall feel like? Did the openness of the space make you feel a certain way?

 

However, spaces have so much to offer our other senses. Weshould really be making a conscious effort to invite all our senses to experience a space to endeavour to have a ‘holistic’ experience.

Since volunteering at Achillies, I have definitely become more conscious of sound. I know this is a little strange, but the other day I even tried to have a shower with my eyes closed. It was a huge struggle….I ended up getting shampoo in my eyes and then burning myself with the hot water. But after I relaxed a little I began to experience the shower like I never ad before. I focused on the sound of the water to gauge it’s pressure. I focused on the feel of the water. I also focused on the sound of my beautiful voice singing “Can’t Hurry Love” (Jokes! Ok, maybe not joking…something has to get me through dude detox!). It was a real eye-opening experience (excuse, the pun!). You should give it a try….

 

Architectural acoustics contribute significantly to the enjoyment and function of a space. For example a hospital or university lecture theatre require sound to be absorbed, whilst a concert hall needs to be designed to accentuate the characteristics of the music or actors voices. In the workplace, unwanted noise can interfere with privacy, concentration and productivity. Acoustic panelling is an important feature of many building spaces. Acoustic Panels help control or eliminate sound waves from bouncing off hard surfaces. See below for a round up of some aesthetically pleasing and well-designed acoustic panels.

acoustic panel

(Image via Formnation)

acoustic panel

Origami-inspired acoustic ceiling panels…gorgeous!

(Image via Designboom) 

acoustic panel

I love the texture and shapes of these panels.

(Image NoShapeNoShade) 

acoustic panel

(Image via Co Design)

acoustic panel

Meeting Space by Richard Shed Studio. So cute!

(Image via Yatzer)

acoustic panel

Hexagonal acoustic panels – a great way to add colour into a space.

(Image via Pinterest)

acoustic panel

(Image via mostbeautifulpages.com)

acoustic panel

(Image via designboom.com)

acoustic panel

(Image via Bertrand Grimont)

acoustic panel

Hoshakuii Station

(Image via Architonic)

acoustic panel

Gorgeous lines!

(Image via Designboom)

OK, I’m off to cook some dinner!

Happy Sunday NIght.

N x

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For the last 3 days I have been getting absolutely SID faced.

No it is not a spelling error – SID is the abbreviation for the Sydney’s number one design event “Sydney Indesign” (This event is created/run by Indesign Group – the company I work for).

Although….admittedly, every night last week I was also getting quite sh*t faced too. Don’t judge…we had reason to celebrate!

nikita sheth

It has taken over a year to organise this event. Like when organising most big events, there is a certain void when it is comes to an end (although I think my liver and voice box are celebrating it is over).

Check out the website here: http://www.sydneyindesign.com.au/

How it works:

– The event was over 3 days.

– 6 different precincts around Sydney open up their showrooms. Buses take participants around to all the different showrooms.

– The Galleria (see below)

Whilst the event has been going for over 10 years. This year we decided that it was time to evolve. Drawing inspiration from Milan Fair, we introduced the “Galleria” – a gorgeous industrial warehouse at Australian Technology Park.

We aimed to step away from the whole ‘tradeshow’ concept and use this 3000 sqm to encourage to create an experiential space. We encouraged suppliers to encourage people to engage with their brands rather than their products. We encouraged creativity and collaboration. We wanted attendees to walk away feeling inspired, rather than with a catalogue.

It was an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase to the industry what they are all about – their personality, culture and energy – and gives our audience of architects, interiors designers and creatives the opportunity to discover new design, build their industry knowledge and develop meaningful relationships. It’s about educating, networking, socialising and exchanging ideas.

The result…..was truly unique. A complete visual feast. Your eyes couldn’t help but darting around the space – up to the ceiling down to the ground.

I met lots of inspiring people. I saw lots of truly innovative products. I couldn’t take the smile off my face (EXCEPT when I stacked it down the skateboard ramp (with a wine in hand) created by Mafi, a flooring company – SO embarrassing and I have a nice bruise on my elbow as a memento).

I feel so lucky to have been a part of Sydney Indesign. It was 100% a team effort and I admittedly am a little shocked that we managed to pull it off!).

Highlights; Special Sydney Indesign inspired Gelato Messina (by Designer Rugs), Indigenous dancing (by Tapetti Rugs), Educational Discussion Series (My favourite was; ‘Adaptive Reuse – Is the Old New New?’ involving Tim Ross), Beer Pong (at Blu Dot), a delicious lunch (by Coco Republic & Smeg)….and SO much more…

If you are interested keep your eye out for all the news on www.indesignlive.com and www.habitusliving.com.

Indesign event will be in Melbourne next year & it is free to register so keep your eye out…

Last night was our after party, it involved a lot of pizza and a little too many glasses of wine. We all definitely let our hair down…we deserved to ‘treat ourselves’!

Here is my roundup of the event…

sydney indesign

 

Bump in day…(on a side note: So many hot men constructing ‘things’…definitely made the day a little easier!)

sydney indesign

 

I never want to see a cardboard box again. Yes, we had to construct 800 of them for the Habitus lounge ‘feature wall’ #nobudget.

sydney indesign

 

The outside of The Galleria!

sydney indesign

 

Birds eye view of the Kezu showroom – such a stunning set up.

indesign

 

Nikita to All…I suck at this walkie talkie thing. Copy that. Over.

sydney indesign

 

Gorgeous umbrellas by Basil Bangs.

 

sydney indesign

 

Yes…this is the one I stacked it down.

sydney indesign

 

indesign

 

I am absolutely shattered. It’s only 8:19pm…but I think it is time for bed.

nikita sheth

Over & out.

N x

It took me….

4 years.

3 coaches.

2 pairs of boots.

Countless bruises.

Countless hours of training.

Countless hours of embarrassment (yes, I once ripped the entire back of my shorts whilst jumping over the fence to retrive the ball…and yes, I have run the wrong way…many times)

BUT I DID IT!!!!

YES….last weekend i SCORED my FIRST FOOTBALL GOAL.

It wasn’t exactly the scissor kick that i had imagined it would be. But who cares? It went in..

My celebration was also not how I imagined. Instead of pulling my jersey over my head and doing the ‘aeroplane’ move….I CRIED. Yes, tears uncontrollably welled up. I was just overcome with pure joy. I honestly, have not felt that type of happiness in SO long.

I had finally done it. The intense happiness lasted for at least 48 hours. In the supermarket, I walked down the aisle smiling to myself (slightly creepy…i know). In the shower, I fist pumped the air. In the car, I pumped up Ricky Martin’s ‘Living la vida loca” and sung my heart out. I also…admittedly…watched the ‘Bend it Like’ Beckham film clip on youtube…on repeat.

I really felt connected to Jasminder…

Check it out here…you know you want to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0-m2XNxOLA

Feeling all inspired, I scoured the net for some cool football inspired design ideas and spaces. Enjoy!

soccer

york minster cathedral interior covered in grass – makes me want to play soccer in there

(Image via Tumblr)

soccer

New office chair?

(Image via Housemaintain)

soccer ball car

(Image via Media)

soccer handbag

My new handbag…jokes.

(Image via Haute Nature)

soccer

(Image via chungdesigns.freehostia.com)

soccer

Cool idea for hooks!

(Image via Depoques) 

Let’s hope this it doesn’t take me another 4 years to score my next goal!

N x

I remember it so clearly, my grandmother (we called her Nani and she lived with us in the last two years of her life) would arise at 6am every morning and complete her yoga practice – breathing exercises, graceful fluid movements and deep ‘oohhhmmmmsss’. My immaturity always seemed to get the better of me, watching my nani in the strange poses and blowing her nostrils so aggressively….i couldn’t help giggling. Wondering, why an earth she went through all these motions every morning. I never understood why she practiced yoga….

I do now.

After my Nani’s passing, in an effort to keep her memory alive and deal with my grief, I decided to enrol myself in a beginner’s yoga course.

This was 10 years ago and I have never looked back. Yoga is a fundamental part of my life.  I secretly love the Indian historic roots tied to the practice yoga – it really resonates and deepens my connection to my own indian cultural heritage. It makes me proud.

My yoga practice has helped me, get through many trying times – the passing of loved ones, stressful exams, relationship break-ups and general uncertainty about jobs etc.

It sounds so cringe-worthy, but yoga is a medicine for my soul. it forces me to turn inward and silence my (usually crazy) mind.  The yoga philosophy has taught me the importance of compassion, mindfulness and patience.

After trying many types – bikram, iygengar, asana…I now practice power yoga. I love the playfulness and dynamism that it offers. I also love how every time I practice yoga, it is a different experience – depending on the instructor, my mood, my day and…..my lunch (yoga after a bowl of pasta is not ideal).

Last week, I had a very, very fun yoga class. I attended it with my friend Franni. After a busy day in the office, we both were suffering from a touch of cabin fever and were in a bit of a crazy mood. The class was packed. We had no option, but to situate ourselves at the VERY front of the room, literally on top of the instructor.

The instructor was hilarious. A 30-something year old man. Tanned. Muscular. Long mousey blonde hair, tied back in a pony tail. And….tight, tight, tight bike pants.

I felt like I was 16 again. As he demonstrated rolling back and forth, due to my positioning, his ‘package’ was literally in my face. Drips of his sweat flinging across my face – SO GROSS. I had to bite my cheeks as I couldn’t stop laughing. He embraced his inner gangsta by saying ‘Get into ‘downward dawgy dawg’ and then proceeded to tell a random story about an Indian guru….whilst staring directly at me. Maybe you had to be there….

I honestly had to hold back my laughter. I pretended to drink my water…but nearly spat it out as I tried to suppress my giggles.

It was a class I will never forget.

Yoga studios have many design elements which must be leveraged properly, in order to create a  a space that is conducive to yoga practice. Lighting (ie. no flurolescent lighting), studio mirrors, flooring (ie. wooden flooring to ensure sweat can be wiped up easily…), space in general must be wide and expansive enough for a class to be able to practice a range of movements, colour scheme (ie. neutral and calming) and external noise (ie. can’t be situated near a busy street or bar) and ofcourse scent plays a big part (ie. incense aids relaxation)….

Check out these beautiful yoga studios – just looking at them, makes you feel so calm…

yoga studio design

Beautiful light…

(Image via on-display.tumblr.com)

95f3e84474767acd839c1c3b0839f386

My dream…yoga in the trees.

(Image via Pinterest) 

yoga studio design

(Image via Pinterest) 

yoga studio space e8085fcbf5f184de63af63e6e2647ddf

 

Yoga in the attic – love the rugs.

(Image via Free People) 

 

 

yoga studio

(Image via Alfies Design)

yoga studio

(Image via Furniture & Design)

yoga image

Magic Carpet yoga mats – amazing!

(Image via From sophieleiningermagiccarpetyogamats.com)

adca18ed48f237b1890dad06e04dadf6

(Image via 101 WooniDeen)

OK, I’m off to light some incense….and drink some coconut water. Just to balance out the toxins I will be inducing tonight – hey, its a public holiday tomorrow after all!.

N x

One of my closest friends (Alina), is making the move over to London in a few months. As my ‘gift’ to her, I have promised to make her a ‘Bucket List’ of things she must aim to achieve.

Upon commencing Alina’s list I realised that I too, should probably make one for myself.

Creating my bucket list has been harder than I originally thought. I guess, the essence of any good bucket list consists of overcoming fears, achieving goals, realising dreams and enjoying simple pleasures.

It has called for a lot of indepth self-reflection…It is still unfinished (I aim to have about 50 items)

Here is a sneak preview:

1. Stay in a really cool designed treehouse (this is my ULTIMATE dream – preferably somewhere in Africa)

tree house hotel

(This one is the Redwoods Treehouse – Warkworth, New Zealand)

2. Ride a hot air balloon in Capadocia, Turkey (this has also been my dream forever…i love hot air balloons)

3. Finish a really, really hard jigsaw puzzle.

4. Join a hip hop dance crew in NYC (ok…this one is a little ambitious, but hey? no one said it was going to be easy)

5. Star-gaze at Atacama Desert of Northern Chile

star design

6. Learn to speak Hindi fluently

7. Get passionate about a cause – The Angawadi Project (www.anganwadiproject.com/about/our-mission) would be ideal.

8. Attend a FIFA world cup – Brazil 2013 – anyone want to join me?

9. Milk a cow (a little creepy I know…but I would love to embrace my ‘inner farm girl’ for a week or two)

10. Publish a book…

11. Be a movie extra

12. Do a handstand in Yoga (nearly there…..)

13. Go to the airport and take the next random flight.

14. Skinny dip in the ocean (YES it is true – I am yet to still do this!)

15. Create my own Jewellery range

OK….that is enough…I am sure you get the drift!

Life is shorter than we think. I feel that Bucket Lists should be mandatory. Even if I can’t achieve all my items – it is inspiring and reminds me of the ‘bigger picture’.

One of my all time favourite projects is Candy Chan’s – ‘Before I die’ social experiment. You have probably heard about it before….but for those of you have not….I thought I would share it.

So simple – yet so powerful.

After losing a loved one, Candy searched for a way to maintain perspective. She wondered if people felt the same. With the help of friends she painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with a grid of the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.

The next day, the wall was bursting with handwritten responses and it kept growing.

The wall reminded her that she is not alone. Everyone has their insecurities, problems, issues….These ‘Before I Die’ walls are now being created all over the world. I love it.

bucket list project

bucket list project

bucket list project

bucket list project

bucket list project

bucket list project

OK…I am off to have a cup of peppermint tea & finish of the rest of my bucket list! I think you should do the same…

Wait before I go…here are some ones which I am contemplating putting on my list…

nikita sheth bucket list

nikita sheth bucket list

nikita sheth bucket list

I LOVE LOVE LOVE SUNFLOWERS…

N x

For the last couple of months, my life’s mantra has been “Treat yo’ self” (derived from the series Parks & Recreation)

It began as an offhand attempt at a bit of light-humour at work. When colleagues asked me…. “Nix, should I have a chocolate bar from the charity box?” or “Nikita, do you think I should skip my gym session for a mid-week glass of wine?” Clearly, they knew which one they would like me to say. Clearly, they wanted me to rationalise their decision. So instead, i just began to say; ”Go on…Treat yo’ self”.

99.9% of the time they would leave any doubt behind and in high spirits reply “Yes, you are right Nix…I deserve this!!!”. And off they would go…Feeling proud. Feeling happy. Feeling content, about their decision.

I then began to experiment with the tone and accent; “Go on gurrrll, treat yo’self… If yo’ ain’t gonna treat yo’self..then who will?” It has now evolved to sound like an African-American Momma. Don’t mean to boast, but I have nailed that one phrase.

It has caught on like a wildfire.

It has now snow-balled….to the point of no return.

It has now officially entered the “Nixasarus” (My personal phrase dictionary).

My waistline has increased. My alcohol consumption has increased. My credit card expenses have sky-rocketed. Overall,  my general self-control is non-existent.

By definition a ‘treat’ should be something which is not consumed or experienced at irregular intervals. However, since integrating this one phrase into my life, my happiness, spontaneity and general life outlook has improved. Don’t believe me? Try it for yo’ self. Go on…I dare you. In the face of temptation or indecisiveness – just say “I think i’m gonna treat myself”

It is the perfect phrase that motivates you to do what you actually want to do…not what you think is right.

And you know what i am going to do? I am going to treat yo’ all with a round up some general design ‘visual treats’ ….

treat yo self
I love everything about this space – the rug, the bedspread, the textile wall hanging, the hanging lamp.
(Image via Apartmentherapy)
chair party
I love this image – it looks like all the chairs are having a dinner party…each with their own personality!
(Image via Pinterest)
architecture inspiration
Stunning…
(Image via designboom.com)
work design
Jealous of this moodboard….and the plaster feet!
studio-wg3-hypercubus-mobile-hotel-room
Hypercubus mobile hotel room….totally cool.
(Image via designboom.com)
bathroom design inspiration
This is the coolest bathroom.
(Image via Tumblr) 
moodboard
Love the clipboards…
(Image via Tumblr) 
nle-architects-floating-school-in-makoko
Makoko floating school by NLE Architects
(Image via designboom.com)
styling inspiration
Beautiful styling….
 (Image via trendenser.se)
i could live here
I can actually see myself, drinking baileys & eating peanut M&M’s on this chair.
 (Image via trendenser.se)
Treat-Yo-Self-Pink-Parks-and-Recreation_Print
Next time you face the deicison ; Should I get one scoop or two scoops of tiramisu gelato?…..Should I get a massage?……..Should I splurge on this pair of shoes?.….
I say…”Treat yo’ self”.
nikita sheth

My boys. My two loves.

Words can not convey how much I love my two dogs.

nikita sheth

 

nikita sheth

I am certain that all dog owners/lovers instinctively know the unique love that can only be described as ‘dog love’ – its the intense, all encompassing, overwhelming feeling of unconditional love that resides in the pit of your stomach when you even look, think, pat, walk your dog/s. You just want to squeeze their furry face, your voice goes high, you start yabbering jibberish that only you and your dog understand. Dog Love. One of a kind.

Thirteen years ago we rescued Mojo. Formally named ‘Party Cracker’ he grew ‘too big’ (by show standards) and could not longer compete in the dog shows. Subsequently, he was abused and mistreated as he was no longer bringing in income from any winnings.  Mojo was even illegally ‘de-barked’ (vocal chords cut). It still makes me sick to think about it. NB:- We did report his breeder to the authorities.

A year after getting Mojo, my father came home one night (unknown to us all) and surprised us with Perry Mason (named after the inquisitive explorer). Perry was also only a year old and needed rescuing.

Mojo & Perry do not like each other. They co-exist. Mojo is a little flamboyant for Perry. Perry just gets up in Mojo’s grill. Full stop. Complete opposites. Nevertheless, they are brothers. I still believe that some love between them does exist…..it is just hard to locate.

They have been in our lives for over thirteen years now – Cliche as it is, Mojo & Perry are family members. They have experienced so much with us – the passing of loved ones, the awkward introductions of boys to my father, embarrassing stacks down the stairs, delicious meals cooked by my mum, dancing like Beyonce in my bedroom…they have seen it all….

Of late, I have had to face the gut-wrenching reality that they are getting old. They have both lost some teeth (doggy dentures are required). Yet,  when we take them for a walk, people still ask how old our our “puppies” are. It must be the ‘Lowchen’ breed (google it, Lowchens are an actual full breed) – known as the family dog – they are renowned for the way they can ‘adapt’ to the family vibe. As biased as I am, we have had a maltese terrier & highland terrier before Mojo & Perry, and honestly they are a gorgeous breed.

Ok, enough of stating my undying love for Moey and Perriwinkle. In celebration of dogs everywhere – here are some amazing dog bed designs….designer dog bed

(Image via Pinterest)

designer dog bed

A bamboo hammock – I want one!

(Image via House Obsession) 

designer dog sofa

I love this design by Seungji Mun – it was designed to express the notion that our lifestyle is incresingly becoming shared with pets!

(Image via DesignBoom)

designer dog chair

designer dog bed

dog bed

Both of the above….Dog Beds from the Chimere line designed by Marc Ange of Bloom Room was part of an exhibition, Design France.

(Image via Eclectic Living Home) 

indesign

Just launched with a dedicated website, the project was founded by Kenya Hara (Creative Director ofMUJI) in collaboration with Imprint Venture Lab.

(Image via Indesignlive)

I am sure Mojo & Perry would love those beds – instead they just get a furry purple and green blanket and mattress to sleep on…..or ofcourse my sister’s bed (100% illegal in the eyes of my parents)

Have a great week!

N x

nikita sheth