MapleNest Blog

How to Stop Killing Your Plants- Container Gardening for Beginners

Its spring again, and like every year, your thoughts turn to trying gardening this year. Yet again. But you do not want to kill plants like you did last year.  Oh you tried to grow them in pots and in planters, in the sun or in the shade, all over  your little apartment, and, yet none survived. Secretly, you had begun to wonder if your green thumb was the Incredible Hulk, destroying everything it came in contact with! But help is near. Read our 5 must-do’s for plants to survive.

  1.    Gardening Soil is not equal to Garden Soil!  Potting Soil for containers cannot be the dense garden soil, instead it has to be a mix of peat, perlite, vemiculite, clay, sand, leaf and compost. Add to this a handful of the garden soil as well. Light and loose potting soil makes for good drainage and growth of roots.  
  2. Don’t drown the plant!  The most common mistake novice gardeners ma ke is to overwater the plant. They treat water as a substitute for love! A dry looking top-soil does not mean the plant is starved of water.  Try and approximate their natural habitat. If a succulent can survive in waterless natural habitats, spraying water every day will only rot its waterlogged roots. Water sparingly.
  3. The right container makes a big difference! Here I dont mean you should buy only certain types or size of containers. In fact every container can be a good plant abode; however be sure to match your plant to it. A flat and shallow container is great for a plant with spread-out, fibrous roots, but not so for a plant which sends down one single deep tap root. So match your plant and especially the root and foliage to the container.
  4. Drain the Swamp(!) Container plants may need a bit of help in draining off excess water if you over-water them. You can rescue them by pushing down a ball of blotting paper, or lining the bottom of the pot with pebbles, broken bits of china or even bits of terracotta or pottery.   
  5.  Two is company, but three is definitely a crowd- Resist the urge to showcase the container by planting many different types of plants together. Ideally give each plant its own planter; if you do want to plant more varieties make sure that the growing requirements of both are similar. You cannot plant a succulent with a water seeking annual.   
  6. Not a windowless room please! Plants need the sun and air. If you have to keep them in an air-conditioned or windowless room, give them a visit to the morning sun once a week at least. We have no doubt, with these few simple tricks you can fix that green thumb this spring. Happy Gardening!

Setting up a Small Home Office? Guide to buying furniture for your SOHO !

The world of work is changing with the growing popularity of distributed workers. Organisations are increasingly allowing their employees to work from home. And many people are opting to become independent workers, prefering either to telecommute, or work out of their homes as freelancers or part time consultants. This is a global trend and it has led to a rising demand for what is known as the SOHO – Small Office Home Office. A SOHO is nothing but a cosy, comfortable office setup within your own home, where you can work professionally in a relaxed manner, with the added flexibility of juggling work with personal tasks through the day. Something else – your small home office can be a stylised reflection of your personal tastes – a welcome respite from the cookie cutter, disciplined feel of corporate offices.

At MapleNest, we love the idea of a life that’s well curated. So we’ve put together an assortment of products from the MapleNest range that may be worthy of your elegant home office.

Work Table/Desk: The Roost Roubaix Teak Desk with modern lines for a well-appointed office creates a minimalist work-space in a living room or bedroom. Made from solid reclaimed teak, the desk has open storage cubbies, finger joint construction and iron brackets and leg brace. A top hutch, sold separately, provides extra storage. The hutch and the cubbies together provide ample space for organizing and sorting paper, books, stationery etc. The desk may require some assembly to put it together.

Desk Chair: We’d strongly suggest you give the typical corporate office chairs a miss and go for something refreshing from a design and aesthetics standpoint. Check out the Roost Rouler Chair, which makes smart use of reclaimed materials and is inspired by Mid-Century Danish chairs. The back and seat are woven from rubber straps cut from recycled – tire inner tubes; the legs are made from solid reclaimed teak. The Rouler chair can make a great combination with the Roubaix Teak Desk, fitting in nicely into its leg spread.

Book Shelves: If you are looking for a light-weight shelf that shouldn’t add too much gravity to your home office, the Roost Leaning Book Shelf is a great option. Made of handcrafted shesham, the shelf rest on an industrial steel frame to give it an elegant leaning look. The bookshelf features a blackened steel finish that enhances the richness of the wood. You can display books, periodicals or other treasured curiosities on this neat and versatile unit.

Letter Rack: Move over plastic or wooden table organisers – for your home office, we think you should instead go for the vintage looking HomArt Brass Letter Rack. This will bring back nostalgia of classic correspondence, when handwritten letters were delivered by mail, postcards were saved, and return trips to the post office were a daily occurrence. In our updated world, these brass beauties can still be put to good use, corralling magazines, mobile phones, pens, stationery and yes, perhaps even a postcard or envelope. Each of these racks in uniquely made.

Waste Basket: The Go Home Slate Waste Basket allows you to add a touch of natural decor to your home office. Crafted from slate with an earthy finish, the Slate Waste Basket is a handy product to take care of all your home office’s trash needs. The size is just right to slip it into a corner under your desk, so you dont have to get up and walk around to drop something into it. Shelf Bookends: HomArt’s Eiffel Tower Bookends are crafted from cast iron with impressive attention to detail and then hand painted in a tasteful antique bronze. These attractive stylish decorations are not only useful but will add just the right accent to your home office. You can use these to stack up books on your shelves, or even your desk. Additionally they also make wonderful gifts, for book lovers, art lovers, and for those with French-themed, travel-themed, or landmark collections.

Wall Clock: Inspired by the vintage style decor of the old Paris flea markets, the Kalalou Black And White Wooden Wall Clock is a rustic time piece that will surely add to the charm of your home office. With its bold white numbers, ornate arms, and old world texture, this beautiful clock sports an industrial wooden look. This one of a kind piece is embellished with bold white numbers laid on the dial along with elegantly placed arms and a cultured vintage world texture on the body.

 So here’s wishing you a great home office. Do send us some photos once you’ve set it up!

Guide to building a home bar on a budget!

Imagine you’ve just bought this awesome apartment or a condo. The rooms are all done up, the flooring is spick and span, the furniture is just arriving….. and that’s when you get this irresistible urge to set your own home bar. Why not – this is the lifestyle you’ve always dreamt about. The connoisseur in you wants to have your own cosy bar, stock it with all the liquor and wine you relish, invite friends over for dinner and raise a toast over the barbeque or the dinner table! And all this at a cost that doesn’t blow a hole through your pockets.

At MapleNest, we love the idea of a life that’s well curated. So here’s a quick do-it-yourself guide to help you build up your home bar. We’ve put together an assortment of products from the MapleNest range that should do justice to what you’re yearning for!

Bar Storage Cabinet: If you want to save space without having a dedicated standing storage cabinet, this Kalalou Wire Bar Cabinet is a great option. It can be hung easily on a wall. Its long slender design takes little space and can be the best abode for your wine, beer and other bottles. Another advantage – the cabinet is see through, which means you can pick your beverage from a distance without opening it up.

Wine Rack Console: If you are looking for a wine rack, check out the Kalalou Wine Rack Console – a 40 inch wide slim wood multi-use console with a metal insert that is designed to display and distinguish your favorite varietals. With rustic looking wood and a contemporary design, this wine rack console can fit into any home decor style. Try putting this against the wall and keep a vase or book case over it.

Bar Cart: The Roost Voctoria Bar Cart is a great choice for those wanting something that can be wheeled around lightly. Its visible metallic hardware gives it an industrial character.  Practical and pretty glass shelves complement its dark iron framework. The bottom shelf has extra height for storage, while the top shelf is sized just right for serving. This might require minor assembly, but is a great option for adding a rustic charm to your home bar.

Wine Bucket Set: The wine buckets in the Roost Alvarado Wine Bucket Set are perfect for festive functions. Made from galvanized iron sheet, the bucket is double walled for extra insulation, which keeps the bottles cold for a longer duration. Their antique finish makes it a special combination along with the Victoria Bar Cart. We strongly suggest you buy both these together.

Bar Accessories: No bar would be complete without a Ice Bucket and handy Snack Serving Accessories. That’s where we suggest you check out the Roost Hemingway Ice Buckets & Roost Hemingway Linked Snack Bowls . The Hemingway Ice Bucket features coopered construction, a stainless steel insert, and a lid that cleverly stows accompanying tongs. You can prepare drinks with it and serve snacks in style with the solid sheesham wood made Hemingway Linked Snack Bowls.

Wine Glass Decanter: If you’re a believer in decanting wine, don’t miss the Kalalou White Wine Glass Decanter With Ice Pocket, which comes with a special ice pocket. Made in the crowded city of Bogota, Colombia, these decanters are made by a small family owned glass factory, where talented glass blowers create these handmade works of art. These are free form organic pieces (not made from moulds) using recycled glass from old windows, automobile glass, and bottles. Each design is one-of-a-kind!

Wine Goblets: Any home bar that boasts of a wine rack must have some exquisite wine goblets to go with. That’s why we recommend the GO Home Set of Coil Red or White Wine Goblets. This will enhance the ambience of your dinner party and bring a level of elegance, style and flair to any dining room. Made with hand-blown glass, each glass boasts a delicately ornate look and is adorned with glossy finish to add a touch of elegance to your serving. This set can also be a perfect gift for any wine lover.

Aperitif Glasses & Absinthe Spoon: You can add style and flair to your home bar with the Roost St. Remy Aperitif Glass and Absinthe Spoon Collection. Use the aperitif glass to serve a smooth drink before a meal to stimulate the appetite of your guests. The glassware is mouth-blown and hand-pressed and comes in mixed sets of six. The collection of silver plated absinthe spoons are inspired by antique spoons from southern France. Each of the three designs features a slotted pattern to support a sugar cube or to simply add glamour to the home bar.

Ice Scoop: Looking to top up your drink refill with some ice! Use the Kalalou Zinc Scoop with Brass handle – refilling a drink with ice has never been so stylish with the beautiful scoop made of zinc and a brass handle. The scoop is adequately sized to allow a generous ice scoop if needed.

Bottle Opener & Cork Pull: Last but not least, your home bar needs a handy set of bottle openers and cork pulls. We recommend a utilitarian multitasker – the HomArt cast-iron Skeleton Key Bottle Opener and Cork Pull which is hand painted with an antique silver finish. The handle of the key is a bottle opener, and the shaft pulls apart to reveal a hidden corkscrew. This is suited for many types of wine collections and accoutrements. It can also be a perfect accompaniment for a gift of wine or as part of a gift basket.

So here’s wishing you a great home bar. Do send us some photos once you’ve set it up!