Friday, December 30, 2011

Helpful Tips for Accepting Bids

If you have chosen not to be your own service provider, you will have to discover someone to build your home. Don't cut crevices when you decide on your service provider. Thoroughly analysis and get offers from several installers. It is worth the effort to discover a designer that fits your budget specifications and makes you feel assured in them.

Decorative Columns & Millwork

Whether you use content as an cosmetic style factor or provide a assisting role — the house will be greatly improved by appropriate content into your executive plans. Since the past content have enriched private homes as both attractive and architectural — assisting a surfaces or roof.


The outside you choose for the house will have the most effect on the look. Home owners are usually trying to make an impression on most with the outside. Look for content to suit your homes design, your way of life, and geography. The outside will be on the house for years, so choose that will be eye-catching to you for years. When you have the house on the sides, the work is the greatest price, so remember that the bigger the house the more the work. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

India's Morning Song

It turned 100 years old yesterday, the song first popularized as India’s Morning Song and known today, as our national anthem. Though ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was not adopted as India’s national anthem till much later, it was first sung by the Indian National Congress at its General Assembly on 27th December, 1911.

Since it was first penned the song’s seen many controversies and its path to becoming India’s national anthem was undoubtedly riddled with craters more than potholes. It is said that Tagore was first asked to write the song as an appeasement to our imperial rulers. A request that angered and offended the patriot so much that he wrote a song that might have been interpreted to sing praises of His Majesty but was in fact meant to extol the praises of the motherland.

He is believed to have said, “…The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India’s chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song.”

However, whatever may have been his intention behind the song its significance remained attached to the invaders. And when it came time for the newly born India to choose its national anthem the choice of Jana Gana Mana astounded and offended many patriots who thought that bugle of all patriotic hearts and the battle cry of the freedom struggle, ‘Vande Mataram’ should have been the winner by a mile, Tagore being one amongst their number.

However, laying down his adamant objections, Pt Nehru is believed to have laid the pragmatic opinion that Jana Gana Mana had that essential quality of all national anthems, the ability to be able to set to music and played easily in India and abroad. Needless to say, his reasoning came as a shock to India. Whatever may be said to be the guiding criteria of the selection of the national anthem, it should most certainly not be that! However, Nehru’s word was final and the seal of approval was stamped by the Constituent Assembly. And so, in the opinion of many, did India retain some dregs of the foreign yoke even as it sought freedom and Jana Gana Mana came to be immortalized as our national anthem.

Though the intention seems to have been to award Vande Mataram the same status, whether that has actually borne fruition is for us to judge …

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let there be light!

Have you ever considered the difference the right kind of lighting can make to your home? The right lighting can effortlessly set the mood apart from making a palpable difference to the way your home looks.

Nothing can, of course, beat natural lighting. A well-planned home should be built such that it gets the best light in all seasons. While you don’t want to build a house where you can’t escape the heat in the summers when you want to, you want to ensure that your house gets the most of the meagre winter sunshine. Now this might sound like it needs to be a conjurer’s trick but that’s not strictly necessary! To set off, matters are greatly helped by owning an east facing home which will ensure that you get sunlight for the maximum amount of time through the day. But since we can’t all have east-facing homes without making for a very lop-sided world the intention should be to allow as much light into the principal rooms as possible. Using light tapestries and furnishings will also go a long way towards the cause.

Natural light apart, there are three basic kinds of lighting a place needs – task lighting, accent lighting and general lighting.

Task lighting is basically functional and used in high concentration, perhaps for reading or being able to examine things clearly.

Accent lighting, like the name suggests is meant to highlight paintings, plants or other interesting things about interior design or landscaping and is basically decorative. That being said accent lighting rightly used can bring your home alive in a variety of ways. Just see the difference it makes over a painting or tucked artfully behind a plant.

General lighting or ambient lighting fills up the gap between the two and is used for the basically illuminating an area.

And playing with just these three basic kinds of lighting there are so many things you can do to revamp the feel of your home! From alcove lighting to recessed lighting or even a soffit lighting to accentuating the pattern on an interesting wall, there are innumerable options you can explore to achieve whatever effect you want!

Monday, December 26, 2011

5 ways to bring the holiday cheer home

Time does indeed seem to fly and it’s hard to believe the holiday season is here again! But though celebrating in the delicious winter cold is something to look forward to, the holiday season inevitably means a spike in expenditure. From gifts for family and friends to vacation or celebration plans, all of it spells money. And yet, it isn’t quite a celebration if your house doesn’t reflect the cheer.

However, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your house looks like the happy place it is as you end one year and get set to usher in another one on a high note.

1.     1. Your furniture might look like the same one you’ve been looking at for years and perhaps, the ‘s joy it once inspired is a long lost memory but you’d be surprised at what a lick of polish or paint, as it may be, can make to the way your furniture looks. What’s better is it something you could even do yourself if you chose.

2.     2. Have you tried a new look for your home recently? Again, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive changes. In some cases it could just mean moving your furniture around a bit. Bring out a piece of furniture that’s been hidden in one of the inside rooms and make it guest of honour in your living room. Or even better try and find an old family heirloom that’s been ignored for years, polish some shine into it and bring it out!

3.     3. Reupholster!  There’s no better way to make your old furniture look like new. You could pick out your own patterns of upholstery and give it to the furniture maker. You could even get curtains to match! When we say furniture, it includes lamp shades and anything else you please!

4.     4. Get some flora into the house. From plants to artistically done floral arrangements, they can all look great if done right. Consider artificial flowers as there are some really great choices available in the market today and these have the benefit of lasting longer and hence being a one-time investment.

5   5. Another great way to revamp the way your home looks is wallpaper or wall stickers. Now before you shy away at the thought of the labour and money that’s going to involve you can relax. With several very attractive wall border patterns also available in the market today you don’t need to take the trouble of papering a whole wall. You can even opt for a more interesting option in the wall stickers. Read our other post on the topic.

So, what are you waiting for? The holiday season awaits!

Tattoo it in!

Even though a lot of cultures and countries look askance at the practice of getting tattooed, tattooing is, in fact, a very ancient practice across the world. If you need proof, you just need to observe, most likely, the forearm of one of your older relatives and you would most likely find a bluish-green etching on them, which would probably be either their own name or that of a patron God or Goddess.

A Maori moko
Even though the cultural significance of tattooing differs across cultures history is evidence that the practice has been extensively followed throughout the world. In fact, not just tattoos but facial tattoos were a strong tradition followed by many ancient tribes. From the tribes of North Africa to the Maoris of New Zealand and tribes in Turkey and Taiwan, facial tattoos have been accepted traditions amongst all these tribes and are usually of great significance. For instance, the facial tattoos of the Maoris called Moko are said to depict their spiritual tattoos and it is believed that much like your fingerprint the facial tattoos of no two people look the same. And amongst the Koita people of Papua New Guinea a girl child received her first tattoo at age 5 which was added to every year till the final V created around her neck indicated that she had reached a marriageable age.

There also appears to be an interesting connection between tattoos and crime from the prison tattoos prevalent in the prisons in the US to the mafia tattoos of Japan which led to tattooing being banned in Japan. The prison tattoos are believed to be an indication of the status of the prisoner and have to be earned. Though considering they’re made with rudimentary machines created in the prison itself they should probably be considered as a mode of punishment in themselves! The vibrant and colourful tattoos of Japan, on the other hand, evolved more as an underground trend amongst the public since the tattooing practices of the mafia there led the ancient art form to be banned by the Government.

But unlike the machines used nowadays most of these traditional techniques involve physically carving out the tattoos on the skin and are a lot more painful. Different tools and techniques are preferred by tattoo artists across the world. Some of these have even disappeared over time due to being incredibly painful to be replaced by more sophisticated methods. However, like most tattoo artists will tell you it’s usually the pain that you will remember long after the tattoo becomes something you’ve gotten used to.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hanging out in Babylon!

When we speak of design and architecture there’s no denying that there are several jewels of the ancient world that leave us mesmerized. If in an era that saw next to no mechanization such marvels could be created it’s almost anybody’s guess what – given the right resources – could be achieved today.

From the Pyramids of Egypt to the Coliseum in Rome to the temples of India, one cannot help but wonder how any of those engineering feats were ever achieved! What must it have taken to hoist and put in place those enormous rocks and in some cases to carve beautifully detailed structures out of it! And today, nothing tells the stories of the world gone past like these structures can.

There are, however, some of these engineering revelations that have been lost to the world forever. Destroyed due to natural calamities, not all of these structures unfortunately were blessed with a fate like Pompeii which after being literally buried for 1700 years in obscurity was rediscovered by chance. Some like the hanging gardens of Babylon have now disappeared so completely that they’re nothing more than legends of whose grandiosity only random travellers’ accounts remain.

Of course, historians say that the name “Hanging” gardens is probably misleading since the gardens didn’t so much hang as they did overhanging. Legend has it that much like a predecessor of the Taj Mahal by several centuries the Hanging Gardens were a gift by a King to his Queen. And also like the Taj, the construction of the Hanging Gardens was nothing short of a miracle in dry and arid Babylon (modern Iraq).

Commissioned by their King to this impossible task of creating a man-made green mountain in a place where there was not only no stone but also no water the engineers exercised all the ingenuity at their disposal to fulfill their orders. The result was a green mountain indeed; one built out of mud and lead and then rare stone graced by huge trees and other plants continuously fed with water by what is supposed was a chain mechanism of barrels and tubs that in a continuous motion carried water up the mountain and fed the trees; a mountain which, hopefully, gladdened the heart of a homesick queen.
Unfortunately, it is said the Hanging Garden were destroyed in an earthquake in the 2nd Century BC. But for the time that they stood as architectural marvels they awed all those that saw them and earned a permanent place in history as one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. And perhaps were the earliest known forerunners of the modern roof top gardens!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fact or Fiction - Fireplace Sprinklers

MYTH: Fireplace sprinklers could harm my home if they go off accidentally.

FACT: The chances that a landscape sprinkler will accidentally eliminate due to a developing flaw are incredibly rare; 1 in 16 million. Overall, landscape sprinkler injuries are generally less likely and less severe than injuries including home domestic plumbing systems.

A Home Fire Sprinkler System

While fireplace landscape sprinkler techniques have been used retail for over a millennium, this engineering has only been available for single-family houses for about 25 years. Wide-spread misunderstandings about house fireplace landscape sprinkler techniques have stopped most home owners from the set up of these techniques. Thanks to businesses like the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, U.S. Fire Supervision and American Fire Sprinkler Connections, people and contractors are becoming more knowledgeable about fireplace landscape sprinkler security and willingly choosing to set up these techniques to secure their family life and resources.

Insulation Material Resistance Value

Every place in the house has a suggested R-value, which is the insulation material material's level of capacity warm circulation. It may not be a discussion your service provider wants to have with you, but one well truly really worth time and in a while - well truly really worth money. Installers can charm home owners with top-of-the-line heaters, wood losing ranges and fire places, but none of that will matter if the insulation material isn't acceptable enough to keep the warm in.

Art the Raja Ravi Varma way

Raja Ravi Varma

‘A prince amongst painters and a painter amongst princes’ - the name of Raja Ravi Varma, artist extraordinaire, is one that few art lovers in India would be unfamiliar with. Born in 1848 at the Kilimanoor Palace in Travancore, Ravi Varma displayed early signs of his exemplary talent as he scrawled on the walls of the palace with charcoal.

Fortunately, the talent of the youngster was not scolded away as vandalism as his uncle recognized his gift. While he, Raja Raja Varma, gave the artist his preliminary lessons his formal training began at the age of 14. However, it was not till he was about 17 that his introduction with oil paints came about and the rest, as they say, is history.

Renowned for his depiction of Indian culture, particularly mythology, there is something near magical about his work. It has been over a century since the artist breathed his last but if you look at his work it shines as though it were painted yesterday. Quite apart from the exquisite detailing of the works one thing that would never fail to catch your eye is the way his subjects seem to breath as though rather than being trapped in a painting they were just looking at you through a window.

The ones that leap to mind even as I think of his works are the one he did of Rani Lakshmi Bai where the queen stands in her regalia, her hand placed on a stack of books, where even the intricate border of her sari and the name of each book is discernible; and the painting depicting the scene from Ramayana where Ravana slays Garuda as he attempts to intervene with his abduction of Sita. Even though the face of the heroine is hidden in the painting the artwork is alive with her anguish.

Closely acquainted with the habits and graces of Indian royalty his paintings are unsurprisingly flawless in details of not just the finery but also their attitudes and poses. A lot of his works depict Goddesses where he has used South Indian women, who he considered beautiful, as models. But whether depicting mythological characters or real people, his paintings, more than anything else, look like a moment frozen in time where some real people were just caught as they went about living their lives. 

A-way with walls!

While on this ‘wall trip’ we’ve discovered several other interesting ways you can bring your walls, which you’ve so far probably only considered as a necessary part of your building structure, to play a greater role in your home décor. You can paint them and paper them, make them out of glass and fiber, or train creepers over them! And now you can also dress them up with wall art! Move over paintings, wall art is here! It’s different, dramatic, eye-catching and now comes in a variety of materials!

Wall art isn’t necessarily a new concept but the dimensions it’s taken on in design metal and vinyl. It could be an eclectic looking wine rack that you hang on your wall, or perhaps an ornate light fixture that becomes the cynosure on a wall. It could even be a very ornate mirror that your visitors wouldn’t be able to keep away from. The interesting thing about metal wall art is that though they’re usually not particularly small, irrespective of their size, they’re so eye catching that they easily dominate attention while instantly dressing up the space. The result is that you can design the rest of your décor the way you want to and choose to keep it either bold or simple.

Another fascinating new trend, particularly of interest to people wary of trying wallpaper, is wall stickers. Available in a variety of materials these stickers are exactly what their names indicate. But before you go picturing the Disney characters currently “stickered” in your 7-year old’s wardrobe, don’t. These wall stickers are interesting cut outs that you can stick on your walls, usually without damaging the paint, and come in several interesting silhouettes in colour or black and white. All you need to do is stick on the piece of art you like best and you’ll transform your room! You can get hardier materials for areas with more moisture, vinyl wall art is designed to last for several years; whimsical designs for your personal workspace or cute or educational ones for the kids’ rooms. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's on the wall!

An interesting way to change the way your home looks could be with the use of wall papers. As the trend picks up in India an extensive variety of wallpapers is now available for you to choose from. Or if you so decide you could even create your own wallpaper designs with the help of your computer! You could opt for a natural look with wood finish design wallpaper or choose to go for something dramatic instead.

You could wallpaper an entire room or accentuate one wall to dramatic effect. You could also choose to dress up the interiors of a cupboard with a glass front or that of a sideboard etc. Wallpapers in light colours can make a room look bigger and darker colours can have the opposite effect while also making the space feel cosier. While vertical stripes have the effect of making the ceiling look higher and is ideal for tight or small spaces. If the wall you are looking to wallpaper has some surface flaws then you could choose to go for an embossed variety or one that has been made out of natural fibres. However, if you’re planning to attempt the wallpapering yourself and it’s your first time it is recommended that you pick wallpaper that’s easy to line up. For instance, if you pick drop match wallpaper you have to ensure that every strip of wall paper you cut matches exactly with the last one. Most of the intricate patterns fall under this category. But if you still find yourself leaning towards one of these designs it is recommended that you seek professional guidance.

But if you’re not quite sure of being ready to experiment with wallpapering a whole room you could also use it to interesting effect by dressing up a lamp shade or the surface of some other furnishing. You might just be enthralled enough with the result to decide to take on something bigger!

The Shaker way

An old image of a Shaker village
The Shakers or the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing are a religious sect found today in the United States of America and widely known for being the forerunners of gender equality as also their cultural contributions especially in the field of music and furniture. Their unique culture and dedication to hard work and perfection is legendary and has resulted in a unique range of architecture, furniture and handicraft styles.
Shaker Weaver's Chair

And their fame is well-deserved as they made their furniture with care believing that doing something well was in itself “an act of prayer.” You can imagine then what exquisiteness was the result of such dedication to excellence. Until the 19th century they rarely made anything with an elaborate or complicated design. Everything was crafted with a specific purpose and only for an intended use, form followed function rather than the other way round. Most of their furniture was crafted out of pine and other cheap wood and hence was light in colour as well as weight. In fact, the exquisite simplicity of Shaker furniture is said to be the basic inspiration behind a lot of modern furniture.

Even when in the post 19th century era Victorian influence was noticed in Shaker furnishings its basic character remained simple with clean lines and an inimitable elegance. As the late 19th century saw the dwindling of Shaker colonies experts and collectors recognized the need to protect their unique heritage in furniture building. Thanks to this early vigilance several pieces of Shaker craft have survived such as the Shaker cabinets, tables, chairs, and rocking chairs etc which have continued to inspire furniture makers and designers across the world even today. The interesting thing about Shaker furniture is that it is maintained that if you closely examine the furniture you wouldn’t be able to find a single nail anywhere in it!

Of course, apart from its very obvious influence on modern furniture-making Shaker furniture was also a symbol of their honesty, the reason that their products were considered amongst the best. You could always be assured of having paid for true quality, and nothing quite matches that in terms of worth.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The lie of the land

Do you have a yard or a garden or some space around your house that you can develop? Whether you want to do it on your own or call in an expert for the job it always pays to be aware of exactly what you’re looking at. Not only will it give you a better idea of the cost estimates it will also help you get a clearer idea of what you’re looking at in terms of the project. And if you decide to take a shot at it yourself, well, there’s really nothing better than getting your own hands in the dirt and making so part of your home on own!

Plan your project depending on the season you’re in and the gestation period of your plan. Create an image in your head or go online or to your local library and do some research. Zero in on ideas that are suitable for your weather as well as the space you have to work with. The idea eventually is to create a space that never fails to delight you whenever you visit it and to have enough variety for there to be something for every season.

Depending on the look you want for your garden you can decide what to do first and how to go about it. Do you want to create a water garden or a gravel garden? Do you want to create a small bower in a corner where you can put a bench and enjoy the late afternoon sun or would like some place to put a swing set or like some space where your kids can play? While you’re brainstorming learn to differentiate between things you need in your garden and the things you want. Once you’ve zeroed in on the basics draw a rough image of your plot and start putting in the essentials. After which you can move on to the things you’d like to put in. You might learn that instead of a lily pond in the corner you’ll have to contend with a basin with two lilies in it!

Also before planting anything it’s a good idea to consult an expert so you know the exact quality of your topsoil and the care like, the amount of water, sun and shade, the plants you’re putting in will need. Who knows you might find out that you can, after all, plant that one orange tree you really wanted!

And remember landscaping your garden isn’t like waving a magic wand and creating your own fairyland overnight. It takes sustained work and patience so reign in your horses and do your landscaping in stages if you think that’ll work better!

Pooling it in!

There are, inarguably, few feelings in the world quite like sinking into a pool of water that’s at just the right temperature at the end of a long day of work. So if you’re considering fitting a pool into your house no matter what its size it’s probably a good idea. Provided of course, you’re prepared to bear the cost. And if money’s not the problem then go right ahead and set the ball rolling!

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of a pool you’re looking at. Are you looking for a pool in which you can do laps, or are you  short on space? Do you have young children at home; in which case you might want to ensure you in a baby or a wading pool.  You also need to pick between in-ground and above ground pools.
If it’s an in-ground pool you’re considering there are several options you can consider.
1.     Freeform pool – a freeform pool is a naturalistic pool that’s designed to look like a natural lagoon and is often fitted out with rockeries and small waterfalls.

2.     Lap pool – the idea behind a lap pool, as the name suggests, is for a swimmer to be able to do laps in it so the pool is usually long and narrow. If you want a lap pool make sure you have plenty of space.

3.     Play pool – play pools are usually not very deep, generally about 5 feet deep, and are made such that people can wade or play sports in them. You can choose to either just sit and relax in your play pool or even do laps.

4.     Geometric pool – a geometric pool is basically a traditional pool with very straight lines or a consistent radius.

5.     Diving pool – a diving pool is usually about eight and a half feet deep or more and because they’re so deep they need to be built to specifications and you need to take due care when you fit it in.

6.     Infinity pool – and infinity or negative edge pool is very specifically designed to look like it extends all the way to the horizon. While they’re a breathtaking sigh they’re expensive to install and their engineering and architecture cannot be compromised with.

7.     Spool – a spool is basically a spa and a pool. It’s like having your very own over-sized spa that you can relax in whenever you want. Since they’re small in dimensions they’re great if you’re short on space. However, the smaller size of a spool does not mean they’re any cheaper to install.

8.     Perimeter overflow pool – if you’ve seen pools that are filled with water right up till the top of the pool deck and look like they should spill over you’re looking at a perimeter overflow pool. Around the perimeter of the pools is a channel or a notch through which the water drains.

Most in-ground pools take some space as well as time to fit in. And pool maintenance once the pool’s been fitted in is also very important. So before you think of getting a pool make sure you call in the experts and check out the viability.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Panel Or Flush Doors

In the largest conditions, inside gates can be classified either as section or remove gates. A section home involves stiles (vertical side pieces) and tracks (horizontal pieces) created from timber. The spaces between stiles and tracks are filled with loose-fitting sections created of timber or ply board. The sections fit into lines in the home stiles and tracks.

Cooktop Designs

There are a wide variety of cooktop designs to select from. They variety in price and specifications. The alternatives are gas burning, power rings, cup clay materials, and clam shell burning.

Zoning, Lot, and Code Factors

Other factors you have about the lot are what function best for that lot. When selecting your home style, think about the size of the lot and what models function with that size and still allow garden place. Consider a home with a walkout underground room or garage area below on plenty that are considerably steep. Cellars, examine spots, and multi-level houses are good alternatives for a minor mountain.

Modular kitchens

Are you thinking of modifying your kitchen? Bored of the same old tiles that you’ve been staring at for what feels like ever? Thanks to modular kitchens we believe you can stop fretting now. These stylish kitchens, nowadays, encompass not just your basic needs in a standard kitchen but come with all sorts of fancy additions depending on what you need.

Modular kitchens are also created to fit every size of home. So if you have a small home you can still get a modular kitchen with, perhaps, just the basic amenities fitted in it. And since there’s a fairly large variety for you to pick from you can find one that goes perfectly with your home or if it so suits your fancy create your own little modular world in your kitchen depending on how much time you actually spend in there! Some places also have in-house architects to help and guide you according to your requirements. Of course, since they are modular they’re pre-fabricated and you literally walk into a store, point at one and say ‘that’s the one I want’ and the kitchen can be yours! They come in a variety of colours (mostly fully coordinated) and materials too.

Modular kitchens aren’t just created to fit your house they’re also created to fit your pocket. So you can pick a kitchen that fits in your budget. The higher your budget the swankier your kitchen looks of course! They’re easy to maintain too so you can forget the necessity of buying 50 different products just to keep your kitchen clean!

Once you’ve chosen the modular kitchen that’s for you the team of experts will come and fit it out for you and usually, also guarantee some post maintenance.  

Model homes!

It’s not really a concept that’s catching on in India yet but modular homes are definitely something that should be on your “To Consider” list when you’re considering making a house for yourself.  

In case you’re wondering what exactly a modular home is it is – simply put – a sectional prefabricated building that’s manufactured in units somewhere else and is then assembled into the building you want it to be on site. Of course, unlike a computer this is not something we’d recommend you try to assemble at home!

There’s so much that works in favour of these modular buildings whichever way you look it! Topping the list for anybody looking to build a new home, of course, would have to be the cost factor. The cost difference between a brick and mortar house and a modular house is considerable, apart from the substantial difference in gestation time. A modular home can be constructed anywhere between 3 to 6 months by a qualified team. There are no nails used in these structures and they’re literally screwed together!

What’s more, these homes are truly green with their low electricity consumption and low maintenance requirements. In fact, there’s a modular house I know of that is entirely lit with a total electricity consumption of only 99 watts! And if you’re picturing a dimly lit cave knock that image off now! That beautiful house is perfectly well-lit! And if that is not enough these structures are pretty well insulated and you can maintain the interiors temperature without needing an AC in every room.

Also the exterior wall surface does not need a repaint for several years and any dirt accumulated on the surface can simply be hosed off! Talk about low maintenance and oh-so-green!

Bring in the green!

Bring in the green! And we don’t mean the money though we’re sure that’s always welcome too. Today, however, we’re more interested in plants and what they can do to transform your home in so many ways!

Irrespective of what the size of your home is or whether you’re perched up on a fairytale princess tower a few plants in your home can make a tremendous amount of difference to not just the look of your home but also its feel.

To be perfectly honest I don’t have much of a green thumb but since my father definitely does I’ve grown up with all manners of plants filling our house, not one of which I could name today except for cactus! I’d listen to people talk enthusiastically about the therapeutic feeling of working in the mud and tune out after the first three words. That being said, I recently brought two plants into my bite-sized house (and yes, I know their names and no, they’re not Paul and Polly). I’ll admit to feeling anxiety akin to the kind accompanied by the advent of pets but the excitement was just as high. Eventually, the image I had in my head of a couple of bright and cheerful plants in my home weighed out every other consideration. And so came home the Button Roses and the Jasmines, chosen carefully for the flowers and the fragrance, respectively. And as of this morning, they were still alive, thank you very much. Point being, that if I can get home a plant so can you – unless you’re a convicted plant murderer!

And there’s such a vast variety to choose from! From the flowering plants to the cacti – hybrid and otherwise, to the creepers and climbers there’s so much you can do with them! You’d be hard put to find a place in your house where flowers don’t look good! Put them in small planters and keep them in your kitchen window or even the bathroom window. You can add leafy plants to a corner in the drawing room or put them at the entrance to your house.

Bring home the climbers and creepers if you have a balcony, terrace, arched gateway/ walkway, or any ugly outdoor area you want to cover up! Just plant a vine and watch it work the magic and transform the area! If you’re not sure about letting them take over a whole area, get a money plant or something of the kind and train them over moss sticks. You’ll have to occasionally water the moss stick to keep it damp but it isn’t really messy and smells pleasantly of the wet earth irrespective of the season outside! If you’re a frequent traveler and don’t have the time to maintain plants you can always get a desert variety that hardly require any TLC and pretty much look after themselves!

If you’re worried about your expensive and high maintenance flooring put the planter in an interesting container. This will not only contain all the excess water the planter may leak it will keep a terracotta one damp and the plant happy. And think of the favour you’re doing to the environment!

However, it’s not all rainwater and sunshine, plants do need some care. There’s nearly nothing that looks worse than a dying and carelessly (un)kept plant. So make sure you water them when required, move them from a sunny place to some shade occasionally, and gently turn over the soil once in a while too!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Closeted in!

So here’s an interesting spin on closets… It wasn’t too long back when somebody told me that in parts of Japan it’s considered quite de rigueur to live in one. And yes, I do mean a closet. 

I’m sorry but Tokyo Drift notwithstanding, try as I might I just could not wrap my head around the idea! How in the world could somebody live in a closet? I had all these strange images in my head of coming home to a closet in somebody’s bedroom like it was no big deal. Just smile, wave and say just passing through! And plug in your earphones the instant u were “home”. But of course living in a closet would also get rid of your smoking habit pretty fast for several reasons not least of which would be the danger of losing your home tout de suite. I mean who would want a smoking closet? On the up side if you lived alone you’d never lack for company. All you’d have to do is open your closet door! 

Unsurprisingly, curiosity finally got the better of me and I turned to that heaven of all questions absurd – Google – which very graciously informed me of the popularity of the trend especially around the time the economic crisis struck. Apparently living in a closet was the closest alternative to living on the road and Japan had people actually living in the amount of space which would just about suffice for an adult to stretch out in! In fact, the whole structure would be like one giant pack of cards where the sound of human beings breathing or snoring at night would resound like a prayer!

And then I came across the story dated a year before that of a homeless woman who’d apparently lived in a man’s closet undetected for a year in – you guessed it – Japan! And the first thought in my head was still ‘how big was that closet’? 

Alas, for most of us a larger closet space wouldn’t bring joy because we could rent it out and make more dough. I, for one, would just be thrilled to finally be able to find a home for all my stuff!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Workplace decor

If you were to think about the one place in your life where you spend the maximum amount of time your work place would probably win the contest hands down. It’s the place you’re rushing to get to every morning and the one you’d like to get to rush from every evening. And as such, have you ever considered what it is your work space says about you? Is it the kind of place that makes you and your employees happy? Or the kind of place that instantly grabs the attention of everybody who walks in through that door! And why not? You have, after all, worked hard to make your mark and that too the kind of mark that people have a hard time forgetting. So, let your office space speak for itself!

The use of glass in buildings gained popularity a long time ago and it hasn’t diminished one bit and with good reason too! Irrespective of whether your office is closer to the ground floor or in a high rise glass walls give the impression of space apart from affording a panoramic view of your surroundings. And there could be no better excuse to make sure that your surroundings are as panoramic as they can be!

Enhance the effect of the glass by using the right kind of light. Add intermittent vibrant splashes of colours to your interiors with the aid of paintings, bright clusters of flowers or even plants. In fact, even if you don’t live in a glass house go right ahead and use the colours nonetheless. Warm colours add character to a space. While it makes sense to have functional furniture for your employees’ use, if you have guest waiting areas you could try using interesting colours for your upholstery.

However, it’s a better idea to keep your office space clutter free so reign in your enthusiasm when you’re trying to do it up; it does still need to look professional!

Colour me mine!

They’re probably the most interesting and the most versatile tools at your disposal to dress up your house. There’s so much you can do with them and in terms of their variety sky is, literally, the limit!

Yes, we mean colours. There’s almost no limit to what colours can do for the interiors for your house; and not just by their presence but by their very absence. Colours can add warmth to a cold place to be like a breath of fresh air in a cramped environment. And today, with varieties from “Rascal Red” to just-about-anything-under-the-sun being available you have that many more hues in which to express your personality!

The technology today is truly in the paint. If you think your home needs a new lick of paint we’d suggest you brace yourself because this isn’t going to be an easy fight. Do you want the sheen of lustre paint or a coat of velvet emulsions or would you prefer paint from which you can wipe off the signs of your young Picasso? You could carefully consider your choices or alternately just close your eyes and point.

But when it comes to the question of picking which colour we wouldn’t suggest that as the best approach. And we aren’t just talking about your walls where it could be nearly disastrous if you get stuck with the wrong shade of yellow. You can add life to a simply done up room with the aid of a few colours.

Add reds and yellows for warmth and vibrancy. But remember that red demands attention and yellow can be a hard colour to please. Purple has long been considered the colour of royalty as has maroon; but be careful when you use these colours as they can add considerable weight to their surroundings. They’re still a good choice if you’re looking for elegant and touches of the colour in upholstery or lamp shades and such will go a long way in transforming the room. Though a high maintenance colour if used in the right material nothing can beat white in creating an illusion of light and open spaces. Don’t let pink scare you off. The colour is versatile with its shades and used right it communicates a feeling of freshness and youth; a light pink can easily create the illusion of coolness if you live in a hot city.

Also if you’re going ethnic with your décor remember that colours, especially warm ones, are very popular in Indian handicrafts. If you go overboard you’re very likely to look like you’re living in a psychedelic colour effusion. Remember to balance the burst of colours with sedate shades and whites and off-whites; nothing will set off the Indian-ness of your décor better!

rug-ged looks!

No matter how beautiful your floor maybe, the right rug or carpet can add tremendously to its charms. The history of the not-so humble carpet closely charts that of mankind and exquisite rugs have been gracing the floor beneath the feet of royalty for the longest time. In fact, it is believed that the first ancestors of the carpet were seen as far back as the Neolithic Age when the first traces of man’s attempt to cover the floor in a woven covering were found.

Easy Moving Process

The key to a successful switch is company. Get written quotes and look at for a excellent performance record if you choose an experienced moving company. Look at with a few different organizations before choosing one.

Attractive Lighting Styles

Here are some attractive lighting style thoughts to help you light up your new house like a professional  -  whatever your funds, style or needs. With these tips from the United states Lighting Relationship (ALA) you can make the right lighting style to boost the overall look and feel of the house - within and out.

Lighting Accessories

Selecting your fixtures

The choice of which type of accessories to use is a personal decision based upon what you like. Some property owners not like floorboards and lighting and opt for threshold hi-hats to provide all the types of lighting style required. This also allows greater mobility while making the keeping your furniture. Others found this tough, and desire the comfort provided by lighting. This, however, needs that you know where your furniture will be so you can identify sites close to the area you want to have a desk light. If you can decide exactly where furniture and pillows will be placed, you can also have floorboards sites that conceal obvious power wires.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ceiling Treatments Add Dimension

Style and design limit therapies are becoming more well-known as people look for unique and creative ways to boost the look and design of their properties inside. New materials such as imitation wooden, a special adhessive millwork, PVC reduce and plaster are eco-friendly, light and portable, inexpensive and very flexible, so you can easily dress up any region in your new house.

StairCase Design

Since your steps are a lasting and important part of your properties inside, a lot of thought should go into its style and quality of step areas. Your steps regularly set the degree for the style of your properties inside by your decision of balustrade and handrails. It's easy to get preoccupied by styles and style, so you need to properly stability actual protection with appearance to make an excellent steps.

Traditional Glass and Acrylic Block

A realistic and exclusive way to boost a home is to use cup and fat prevent. With lots of new products, colors, designs, and custom made variations available, there are endless suggestions. While looking excellent, they are also powerful, sound-deadening, energy covered, good security and fireplace safeguard, and allow sunlight to get into while still supplying comfort.