HI! I am Mayuri Bajaj, the face behind @merakilous.aura!
"Finding aesthetics in the ordinary" is my thing. I believe true beauty lies in the imperfection & every detail tells a unique story. When designing any space my ultimate goal is to create a feeling of warmth, and comfort that gives you an ultimate sense of belonging. I strongly believe in taking time to curate meaningful spaces, and bringing them to life. Designing spaces isn't easy...we often get carried away with the different styles, moods or tones. From abstract asymmetrical lines to soothing decor with whitewashed textured plaster walls and anything in between. It truly doesn’t matter as long as it’s a reflection of you! It doesn't have to be full of high end classy stuff & break the bank. My effort always lies in creating spaces that reeks of intriguing stories, transitional elements with meaningful decor for the relaxed yet refined vibe.. perfectly imperfect on a budget!
Our first DIY project : Brick wall in our living room - A direct portal to my home town.
Until the pandemic hit I was busy with my graphic design work from home. During the first 3 months of being home bound we attempted our first home improvement project together as a family. Growing up in India ..the love for brick walls was real! Obsession only grew until we brought the dusty building material in our living room. These brick walls have been my cocoon for years. I needed their sanctuary. An exposed brick wall with broken chipped rustic ends - isn't that imperfectly aesthetic?
The wall stands firm before me, as my eyes wander their rugged clay surface, their rosy color bright yet earthen. It feels warm to the touch, dry beneath the finger tips. Absorbed by the pathway of the mortar reminds me of money plant vines, making their way up between the cracks. This project was all about bringing in the slowness of time and the chance to let daydreams drift in, so wonderfully silly as they are. The longing was strong and deep rooted! I realized the warmth in the house is missing… unless you create a portal to take you home away from home!
Quick tip: ‘If you know you have bricks behind your walls then perhaps it’s worth ripping off the boring plaster and injecting some personality into the space.’
This was the beginning of @merakilous.aura on IG. Before I deep dive into my ideologies behind my work. Let me brief you why 'merakilous' - it comes from the word M E R A K I of Greek Origin! “When you leave a piece of yourself, your soul, creativity, and love in what you do.” I stumbled across the word Meraki one day and instantly fell in love with the meaning. We all know words have power, but this one is special. With the meaning so beautiful it resonated with me in every way. As you read further you would know what I mean… :)
I signed up for ORC during fall for the POWDER ROOM MAKEOVER but couldn't meet the deadline - details take time! However, I was successful in creating a perfect space I had envisioned. The vibe is moody, with a hint of my roots to transport me home every time I step in. The highlight of this bathroom is the faux stone sink that I handmade with a basic porcelain one as the starting point. While I was still putting the plan together I wanted to go with the stone sink that caught my eye on Pinterest. The hunt was real and aggressive … to get it delivered as soon as I found one I could afford. I did click on some options but as expected they ranged from $3500 to $4500. I wasn't ready to settle with anything less and resorted to plan B - build it yourself! Ordered a couple of items I needed to pull this together. It took me over 2 weeks to achieve this look and I couldn't be more proud of myself! Did you see that yet?! I spent roughly $150 to make this!!! Can you believe it?! The look of a natural stone is jaw dropping! It's unbelievable how an ordinary bagged material (cement, sand, mortar, grout ) could come together and create extraordinary results! "If I can, you can do this too!"
Quick tip: For a similarly inviting and grounded environment, get inspired by nature. Think seagrass, rattan, jute, wood, brushed concrete, dead trees/ branches, marble, anything that draws your attention. This space is rich with texture, which creates warmth and dimension. There's plenty of character added with small inexpensive changes. The texture of clay walls! From trash to treasure - the dried eucalyptus stems/roses get featured on the wall!
DIYed this bunch from fresh roses & eucalyptus
Here's another example of finding aesthetics in the ordinary: If the walls in any space look tired, or lackluster, add a gallery wall. Bring in antique frames, or hit up a thrift store or flea market, feeling creative? think about what other things you can hang on the wall ex. mirrors ...grab 'em all and arrange a ton of them and turn it into a gallery wall. Interesting! Ain't it?! or simply hang some melancholic art prints on the wall for a laid back take on it.
Engaging Moody prints. I printed them on canvas for a more real feel.
T E X T U R E!
Quick tip: While these are some of the ways you could bring in aesthetics while working in any space, that naturally brings in the warmth and creates visual interest to any eye! Don't forget to keep it simple, add items of various shapes or colors, keep it classic with an antique. If you have treasure collected over time , install a floating shelf and show them all for that beautiful sense of nostalgia these vintage items could bring.
Antique wall mounted soap dish and my ethnicity- Salvaged Jharokha mirror
Swap your window treatment for an alternative texture, like bamboo/ wooden if you're done with fabric drapery and Roman shades. Its Natural Texture, Earthy tones and Woven Pattern give all the sophisticated vibes I would have selected the cordless option to operate the blind but with a slight trigger of the cord reminds me of slow living adding a touch of romance and a good privacy. Make it feel special and intimate with the texture on the wall. Make it SOULFUL. Make it TIMELESS.
Woven wooden shades- add a touch sophistication
One of my life callings is my home decor blog and sharing my passion with the world. I have always wanted to teach people that beautiful DIY Home Decor is attainable. And that creating an aesthetic space with things on a budget can be a reality. To me your home is a reflection of yourself, ...turn inward, find yourself and enjoy the new space as you take flight with every sip you take.
Turned a basic store bought vase into a “ Found EARTHENWARE”
I hope you find all of these tips helpful while you're working on designing any space. Follow me @merakilous.aura. Hit me, if you need any help planning the space/ moodboard. Dm me with any questions you may have or just drop a friendly wave, I would love to hear from you my friend!