How to make your wall come alive in 60 bucks.

What you need:
Tinted sheets in 6-7 colours. They are easily available in the market for 10 rs. per sheet. I’ve gone ahead and bought them in rainbow colours.
Double sided tape.
An ordinary pencil.

What to do:
Stencil out or sketch a butterfly outline of your choice on the tinted sheet of paper. Make at least 10-12 butterflies per colour.
Cut them and fold them across the central axis to give them 3d effect. Paste double sided tape on one side.

After you have finished butterflies in this fashion on all colours, start pasting them on a wall of your choice. I’ve pasted them in an arc. You can get as creative as you want.

Tadaan! My boring living room has come alive! 🙂

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Contemporary wardrobes vs walk-in-closets.

Wardrobes are an integral part of every home decor. The conventional metal almirahs have eventually been replaced by wooden cupboards which can be custom built or picked up from a wide range of furniture showrooms in the modular form. These are convenient for people who live in rented spaces or are constantly on the move. The entire wardrobe can be dismembered and reassembled making it a very commercially viable option. However, their life span is much shorter than their solid plywood counterparts because these are made of mdf boards which are basically composed of left over wooden chips.

With progress in the design industry, we now have a variety of options in wardrobe designs. The latest trend in the market being of sliding shutters as against the typical front opening shuttered wardrobes. These are a great choice in rooms which lack enough circulation space for shutters to open.
Common french polish and paint have been replaced by veneers, laminates and mostly recently with glass and pu polish for the ultra modernistic interiors.

Walk-in-closets or dressing rooms have been common in homes abroad. However this trend is picking up pace in India too, with builders into high end construction making special dressing areas to increase the luxurious feel of the apartments. In bungalows too, since the designing rests with the owner, walk in closets are becoming a common practice.

How are walk-in-closets better than conventional cupboards:

Walk-in-wardrobes are basically a small room that may accommodate either shuttered wardrobes or open shelf and hanging systems. Unlike stand alone wardrobes, walk in closets allow better space utilisation in the form of better segregation of spaces for every item. Special dressing areas means the need for dressing units in the main bedroom area is automatically eliminated.
This makes the rooms look more spacious.
Besides, since these units are normally attached to the bathrooms, one can simply get in for a bath and walk out completely dressed in complete privacy.
Walk in closets are cheaper in terms of finishing too. Unlike their shuttered counterparts, even simple shelves are enough in walk in closets thus saving ply and lam-veneer costs entailed in completely shuttered wardrobes.

In the end, it’s just another feeling of ultimate luxury to walk into a beautiful space to get dressed!

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Choose your wallpaper wisely.

Wallpapers have been around for the longest time, especially abroad. But its a fairly recent trend in India. While our American counterparts wallpaper every wall in their homes, here we use it as a highlighting feature, which in itself is a new approach to using a conventional material.

Wallpapers are making a huge statement in the modernistic contemporary interiors lately. However, recent observations into the interior scene prove that even oriental or traditional decors are using wallpapers too. Which brings us to the variety that’s available in the market.

Wallpapers are available in various materials. Paper and vinyl being the most common. The vinyl based wallpaper is just perfect if you have a bunch of kids in the house or you just can’t keep your greasy fingers off the walls. So the first step, when you decide to put up wallpaper in your space is to decide what material you prefer according to the feel.

The next step is to decide the area where you will wallpaper. Here you need to take into consideration whether it will act as a highlighter or will completely cover the entire room. based on which you can determine the colours and the textures and the patterns on the wallpaper.

Now it’s important to remember that when you plan to use it as a highlighter, the area of the wall matters. Don’t go for a very plain wallpaper. That will not add the interest you are trying to create in the space. Here you have the scope to go for something bold if you are into bold stuff. Bold patterns, colours and textures look brilliant on a small wall.

On the contrary, if you are going to wallpaper an entire room, then first take into account the utility of the room. If it is to act as an bedroom, select soothing colours and patterns. Something with too much noise in terms of design affects sleeping patterns. The same rules apply when you are choosing wall colours too.

Wallpapers can be used in bathrooms too. They are also being commonly used in false ceilings these days. The choices and locations are endless. It is important to know what kind of look you are aiming at. And more important the kind of ambiance you are trying to create.

Also, the most crucial point to be taken into account is the decor of the space. If you are selecting the wallpaper first and then going on to the furnishings, then your choices are limitless. If however, you decided you want a wallpaper after you bought everything else in the house, then make sure you look at your furniture and go for a wallpaper that compliments the present look of your home/office.

Presently. cartoon wallpapers are popular for kids rooms, while metallic or rustic wallpapers are making a statement in contemporary interiors. Even wallpapers with traditional paisleys and prints are widely being used.  Its ultimately a matter of personal choice , your space and your budget. But keeping in mind the few simple pointers I mentioned earlier will help you choose wisely.

All the best!

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The seriously patterned type of wallpaper. You will notice in this case that the furniture is a neutral white colour and the wallpaper has been used to create the contrast interest in the space.

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The Traditional rustic wallpaper.

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The signature wallpaper. It has limited pattern.

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The metallic wallpaper.

New kitchen trends

Brilliant new trends in Kitchen decor. Black granite is passe. Quartz, marble, laminated counter tops are making a brand new fashion statement in kitchens. Make the lady of the house happy with a wonderful new kitchen.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-new-kitchen-5-top-trends-184706?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DAILY+3513+-+The+New+Kitchen+5+Top+Trends&utm_content=DAILY+3513+-+The+New+Kitchen+5+Top+Trends+CID_2cc19f5dbfc7d814e634733910feb837&utm_source=email_newsletter&utm_term=Go+to+full+post

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The Plight of Designers in India

You could be oozing gold for all anyone cares, so does Bappi Lahiri, but that surely does not mean you are classy. Or that you pay people for their work.
It seems to me, that designers in India especially generally tend to suffer for being designers. The problem with the entire thought process here is that people want to live in beautifully designed functional spaces, they love the idea of having an interior designer achieving their goals for them, but when it comes to paying the designer for their ingenuity, understanding and creativity, the immediate response (on completion of project) is, “What did you do? All these were my ideas, you just drew a couple of lines!” It’s so ludicrous, I cannot even laugh. Really? I drew some lines, I put them together so that they made sense. And for that, I deserve to be paid.
The psychology here is, “ I didn’t get anything tangible, why should I pay?” Go to a vegetable market, Aunty. When will people realize, that a designer sells IDEAS, THOUGHTS, CONCEPTS. He sells DESIGN. Design IS intangible, thoughts are Intangible, creativity is INTANGIBLE. Does it mean I should not be paid? No. Some people accept this argument and agree that a designer must be paid. But pay they will, after you give them five star quality work in five rupees. The “swastha ani masta” era is long past. You pay, you get. You don’t pay, you don’t get. Same applies for quality.
Recently, while working on a particularly hideous garage (which was to be converted into a beauty parlour), I came across people with the exact mentality I just spoke about. This is a girl I know since school days. 16 odd years of acquaintance and at one time a pretty good friend in school. That was the reason I agreed to take up the project.
I was taken to an ugly little outhouse/garage. It was falling to pieces. And this monstrosity was to be converted into a beauty salon. I took it up as a challenge. And according to me, I did a great job. I’m not the one saying this; anyone who has entered the place has said it. But of course, a project is not successful until your client has a word of appreciation for you. Which, I did not get. What, however, I did get in abundance was sleepless nights and a nasty, mean spirited excuse of a person to deal with. Big fat claims were made. Screaming matches over the phone. Her mother went as far as calling me a “cheapskate”. Of course, it doesn’t matter that she or her daughter do not answer calls and have not cleared their dues after torturing me for two months over something that should have been completed within 15 days. To make matters even more interesting, they threatened to drag me to the police WHEN THEY ARE ONES that OWE ME money. Pretty “rich”, huh.
The other point that is pretty bothersome in this entire fiasco is that these “convent educated” people while, dealing with anyone from the labourers working on site would say, “look at their level, look at our level”. Whatever happened to “dignity of labour”? Or is pulling out the underarm hair of complete strangers a more respectable job than a carpenter? On what basis do such people talk about “class” when they cannot even pay the needy people who spent days and nights getting that horrible excuse of a place functioning? They talk about quality, not taking into consideration the fact that they did not want to pay for anything more expensive than the most mediocre of materials and the place to be converted itself was falling apart. Add to that the fact that they made countless changes in the design. Once damaged, always damaged. You cannot cut a thread and then tie a knot and expect it to be as strong as a whole thread. Same goes for furniture. Conveniently, the designer was blamed.
The girl in question would scream over the phone, “I come from a good family, we are not cheats, we don’t hold back anyone’s money”. Her parents too would scream the same. No amount of screaming and shouting can change the fact that these people are in fact extremely cheap. The project was completed 1.5 months back, there is still no sign of the remaining payment after repeated phone calls and meetings.
They wanted me to “put my soul” into their work. They wanted me to “sell my soul” for a sum of twenty thousand rupees. I can only laugh at the sheer audacity of the expectations and pray to god, that these people pay in Karma, which they will.
 
Moral of the story: Money cannot buy you class, tolerance or the understanding of dignity of labour. No work is big or small, nor is the person performing them. The people that claim to not be cheats are in fact the cheats. Beware.

In That Corner

That empty space next to the Tv unit is an eyesore, a blank. It needs a dash of colour. Or that corner table in the crook of the perpendicular between two sofas. Or the barren looking console. We all have empty spaces in our home, which we want to fill, not with clutter, but with something to accentuate the surroundings. Even in a minimalist home, you will often find the corners are adorned with something, a big lamp, or an arrangement of dry flowers, just a simple set of vases or a recliner.
Corners are technically the useless spaces in the house, when one comes to think of utility. These spaces, however, when artfully decorated can add the glamour quotient or a simply, some character to the space. I have always been a very big fan of a colourful daree spread, with floor cushions thrown in and a small coffee table with little knick knacks in a corner. A hookah maybe. Reminds me of Morocco. Not only does it look very inviting, it can also be very versatile in terms of the kind of rug you use, the cushion covers and what you keep on the small coffee table. Make it look ethnic, indo western or completely minimalistic, the choice is yours.
Coming to the question of what to adorn those corners with? The often neglected space, where the maid makes a quick run with the broom and that’s that? No. Go crazy with some eartherware stuff so readily available in the market these days. They come in terra cotta finish, which you can make over in your own style. Bring out the artist in you, paint, personalize and decorate your home!
 
WHAT YOU NEED:
MATERIAL

 

1.     1.Any  earthenware object you find appealing while looking at the wide array on display at the potter’s.
2.      2.Primer (which acts as a base coat for the oil paint. If you don’t use primer, the clay soaks in the paint and the final layer of paint ends up looking dull in a couple of days.)
3.      3.Oil paint (in my case, I used bright red and black. The choice of colour is completely up to your personal taste and the way you want your object to look ultimately)
4.      4.Gold bronze powder (this can be used to add a bit of drama or glow to an otherwise solid looking object.)
5.      5.Linseed oil (to mix the bronze powder with)
6.      6.Rag cloth, paint brushes and plenty of newspaper to spread on the floor)
7.      7. Turpentine (to wash off the brushes and paint off your hands)
Getting started:
The first step to any art activity concerned with permanent paints (oil based) is to spread newspaper on the floor space that you will occupy for the activity. After all, you don’t want a nice piece of marble flooring in YOUR house to look stained an ugly. Then clean out the clay statues with a clean rag cloth to get rid of any surplus dust or stray mud particles. Shake the primer well and paint the statue with a thin layer.  Make sure to fill in any nook or cranny which is not directly visible too.
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Allow it to dry properly. Normally takes about an hour to dry, but allow it to rest for 2 hours to be on the safer side. Then apply a coat of the colour you want your finished statue to be. I’ve used bright red oil paint on all part except for the jewelry, the musical instruments and the turbans which I wanted to highlight with gold bronze paint. Again ensure that all visible and not directly visible areas are properly painted.
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After the first layer dries, apply the second coat and let it dry. In the meanwhile, take an old palette or a left over diya used last diwali and mix some gold bronze powder with linseed oil.

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Then apply black paint for just the mustache to add a defined feature to an otherwise neutral face .

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VOILA! You have something hand painted by none other than you to decorate your home! Keep these on a coffee table with some throw cushions to go and you have a mini hookah parlour ambience right in the beautiful space of your home!
The red men would look beautiful against a dark toned dari or a yellow wall, or both. Or visualize a white room, with just these little beauties as the center of attraction. Who says corners are boring!

 

Business and Friendship are parallel Lines. And Always should be.

“I love the way you design, look at space, understand it, understand requirements and incorporate them into the design. Will you please be my interior designer? We are friends, don’t refuse, please?”
Did that sound familiar? It’s a common occurrence in ever designer’s lives. You don’t have to be an interior designer, it is common to all of the designing fraternity. We are all taken for a ride, by the so-called friends. There’s nothing wrong with taking up projects that mean dealing with friends. In fact, that’s how you start your own practice; go from being a slave to a boss to a free bird, who later turns into a boss. But make sure you clarify the terms and conditions well in hand. It is your profession, your bread and butter and there’s no reason why you should feel bad about asking for fees for your consultations.
Here I’d like to share one of the several incidences that have damaged my perception on taking up work for a friend. I’m always wary now of doing anything for “friends”.
One of my friends brought new property and wanted me to do up the interiors of the apartment. Knowing the kind of person he was (or so I thought), I only clarified my consultation charges and scope of services over text messages (which, by the way are not considered proof in case you wish to take Legal action). I never thought for a moment that the same loving, caring, brilliant guy would make my life hell 8 months later when it was time to pay up. Thinking he would not trouble me when it came to payments, I put in every last bit of effort in beautifying his home. Right down from meeting his finicky parents on every minute detail to selecting the accessories for his home, I did it all, without complaints, in spite of being employed full time, running for meetings before and after office hours in every weather. On one occasion even risking an important exam I had to appear for when the project was on going. The norm is to extract payments with every stage of work, but that’s something I did not do in this case because of the close friendship we shared.
Anyway, at my parent’s behest, I did broach the subject of payment in stages once, but was reproached with, “Don’t you trust me?” Well, I did and I paid for it dearly with my mental and financial peace. So 6 months down the line, his project was complete, with a few glitches as is normal for anything that involves a mixed bag of people.
Now came the time for fruitation, to get paid for the endless hard work I had put in to make a beautiful home. 6 months, it was my baby. I nurtured it. Conveniently, at the same time, he had his company auditing. He promised to pay as soon as that ended. I trusted. Waited. Then, he had some serious “financial crisis”. I trusted. Waited. Then he had to go abroad for urgent meetings and apparently lost his passport. 2 months, no news. I waited. But of course patience ran out.
He got back and I pounced. The situation had reached a stage where I could not extract money from him without involving my parents. His parents had suddenly turned deaf and dumb to my existence, behaving as though they did not know me. And my darling friend had gotten abusive to a level that still makes my skin crawl. Then there were fights on the project cost, following which a consensus was reached and an amount was fixed. I was called (I went with my mother, for moral support and also cause the person in question showed violent tendencies, suddenly). He was shamed into giving me two cheques, dated a month from the day of issue. I thought this was the end of my worries.
Just how wrong has been amply proven in the last two month. The cheques bounced. Mails were exchanged. Fake apologies on his part. Fake reassurances. I sat through it all hoping he would come to his senses. In the meanwhile, while he made claims of going through a difficult time financially, I saw facebook status updates about his new blackberry bold 4 which costs 30 thousand INR. That was the end of my patience. He had money for his whims and fancies, but when it came to paying someone for their work, he was broke. It spoke of his character in loud and simple words. That’s I threatened legal action when nothing else seemed to work. Life had fast turned into a travesty, revolving around getting him to pay up. Drunken scenes, abusive scenes, hate mail, I saw it all.
It’s been 9 months; I have got only 40% of the payment that was due to me. I see no end to this trauma. And why did I deserve this? Because, I trusted a friend. This was not the first time I was cheated of money that was rightfully mine, but only now did I realize that Money can break the strongest bonds.
 
Moral of the story: Never mix friendship with business. They are parallels. When they intersect, there’s unwanted fire. If you still must, be very clear on the terms and conditions of payment. Be adamant. If they don’t agree, they won’t pay and they are definitely not your friends.