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Transform your space

Thursday, May 03, 2018

You can have a great looking home with a little thought and care

So what if you aren’t a professional interior designer? You can still have a great looking home with a little thought and care. Everyone has their creative side, and only you know yourself well enough to understand what will work for you. Involve the husband and kids if you must, but design your home in a way that makes you comfortable.

There are some basic principles to follow, of course. Keep them in mind and then let your imagination go wild.

Plan your furniture
We often make the mistake of overcrowding a room, but if you want your home to look elegant, be careful not to do this. Give yourself some space to move around the furniture you possess. Buy fewer items and make sure each one adds value to the room.

This will also give you some elbow room to buy better quality stuff if you are on a budget. Better to do more with less than to stuff your space with ugly bargains.

Build a focus
In every room, choose one item that will immediately catch the eye and be the ‘star’ of the show. If everything is strong enough to demand equal attention, you will only end up with a lot of visual noise. In the living room, it could be a work of art or a statement piece of furniture; in the kitchen, maybe a dramatic chimney hood will work. Let the lighting match the item so that it draws attention to your focal point.

Add rugs
Make the most of the dry season because once the monsoon begins, you will need to put away all your rugs.  Pretty up your space with some attractive floor coverings and think about how you will place your furniture on it.  There are different ways to do this. You can get a rug that is large enough to place all your furniture legs on; just leave about 18 inches of uncovered floor surface on all sides. For this you will need a bigger carpet. If your room is small, keep your furniture off, but make it seem as though the rug could touch the front legs of each seat.

Make the most of your artwork
Here’s a fun fact: the average human eye level is 57 inches, which is why galleries usually hang artwork so that the middle of the painting is about 55 – 60 inches from the floor. Take a cue from them, and put your art at the right level. If you live in one of those palatial homes where the ceiling stretches to the sky, you can consider hanging it a little higher, but for most Mumbai homes, this is the ideal height. If you are not sure what the right height is, take a pic on your smartphone and check. Does it make sense to add a tall plant in the space instead?

Paint it perfectly
Don’t be in a hurry to choose the colour of your walls, though this is probably the first thing you will want to do since it has the most impact. The number of paint choices in innumerable shades and tones will make each space look different, so what might work in one space won’t necessarily be right for another. The lighting, artwork, upholstery and so many other factors will affect the final look of the paint. So choose your paint colour last, once everything in your home is in place. It will make all the difference.

Light it right
Layers of light can add depth and texture to your space. Don’t settle for one large light; build shadows and focal points for a true touch of atmosphere. Most lighting professionals will tell you that yellow light is always better than harsh white lights, but if you are more comfortable with the latter, then try and camouflage the naked tubes. Add an unusual table lamp to ignite your space.

Make it personal
Even if you are hiring a professional, ensure that it is your personality that comes shining through when all is said and done. You want your home to reflect you, not the interior designer who put it together. Take your time; your home will evolve with you and will be with you for a long while.

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