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Healthy Homes With Bamboo

Friday, May 13, 2016

With people becoming more conscious of what they consume and of the effects that the products they own have on the environment, eco-friendly items are here to stay! The Mumbai Mix Team tells you how you can use bamboo in your décor as you join in on the new trend

Bamboo is the world’s fastest growing plant and can be used to produce strong, eco-friendly products, making it an excellent option for home décor. It can give your house a zen-like aura and create harmony by bringing dull spaces to life. As it complements modern furnishings, it also adds a natural, decorative accent to your space, transforming the look and feel of your room without being over-the-top.

“Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly materials and is becoming popular building material for both designers as well as consumers. Its affordability and health benefits, like being anti-bacterial and deodorising properties are added advantages. It lends a charming aesthetic to your décor too, which makes it a must-have for your home,” says Divyan Gupta, CEO and founder of artanddecors.com.

BUYING TIPS
Bamboo may be your golden ticket to fulfilling the eco-friendly dreams you have, but you need to make sure that you choose well. Here are a few things to remember when you’re buying bamboo décor.

“Try to buy bamboo products from local shops around you as they are more likely to be authentic and devoid of toxic finishing. This way, they retain their eco-friendly attributes,” says Yukta Mathur, editor at housefull.com.

“When you’re buying bamboo furnishings such as blinds and table mats, make sure to consider maintenance in terms of cleaning and protection from direct heat and moisture. If you live in a humid area, always clean your furniture with anti-mildew products once every six months at least. Try to shop for pieces that complement your existing interior, and fit well into your home,” she adds.

“If you are buying items online, check where the bamboo was grown and bought from by reading the details section carefully. Always ensure that you’re buying products that have been made from organically grown bamboo and not a fake substitute. Also, check for adhesive details — they should be environment-friendly, water-based, solvent-free and non-toxic. These products may cost more, but are worth having to ensure good health,” says Divyan.

“Make sure you buy from a reputed retailer or from a renowned local manufacturer. Also, if the furniture includes bamboo veneers, the glue used should be non-toxic and the stains water-based to ensure that it is eco-friendly,” Yukta adds.

Divide & rule
A room divider that is made from bamboo is a great pick. It adds a bold, rustic statement to the area and will make way for contrasting spaces in the same room.

“In India, bamboo poles are used as home décor in order to create an element of space. For instance, you can place thick poles to form a decorative screen divider between a master bedroom and an en-suite bathroom. Similar styling can be done in a garden area too,” says Divyan.

But, bamboo poles can be used for much more than just dividing spaces. Yukta says, “Combine them with indoor plants and abstract accessories made of concrete, or paint them in vibrant colours to add a quirky edge to your décor.”

Versatility wins
Yukta explains the versatility of bamboo as a home décor item, telling us, “Bamboo is an eco-friendly material, but it needs maintenance and care. It goes very well with all décor styles, whether it is contemporary, traditional or rustic. So, if you are an eco-conscious consumer, bamboo is the most convenient option available to you.”

With so many benefits, it is safe to say that bamboo is a very strong contender in the Indian home décor market. Divyan tells us, “The versatility that it offers from potted plants to poles and furniture along with its eco-friendliness make it very popular, and over time, it’s going to be adopted more and more in homes.”

So, what are you waiting for? Go shop for     some bamboo products!

THE WONDERFUL BAMBOO FABRIC
Bamboo fabric is made by processing the pulp of the bamboo plant. It is not only resilient and durable, but also bio-degradable and eco-friendly. And since it is organically grown, it has no added pesticides or fertilisers. You might think that fabric made from bamboo wouldn’t be as soft as other types, but it is (surprisingly) as soft as silk and cashmere.

  • Bamboo fabric The fabric from bamboo has anti-bacterial properties, which protect the cloth from smelling bad, even when it’s used on consecutive days. It also helps people who have allergies and sensitive skin, since it is anti-static and skin-friendly.
     
  • Bed sheets When you compare it with cotton or polyester, bamboo has been found to be much stronger and has better moisture wicking properties. And, since bamboo fibre is created as a monofilament yarn, there is hardly any chance of strands breaking.
     
  • Curtains This fabric is porous and tends to be more absorbent than others, which is probably why it tends to be fresh for a longer period of time. In a way, bamboo fabric adjusts to your body temperature — it tends to keep you warm during the winter and cool during the summer.

Décor & directions
According to Feng Shui for your home, the east signifies family and the south represents wealth. So, it is believed that placing a bamboo item in the eastern and southern areas of your home will improve your relationships and your finances. Feng Shui consultant Jayshree Dhamani tells us, “If you place the right amount of wood in the right direction of your house, it will bring a lot of Sun and Mars energy into your vastu. So, whether it is bamboo furniture or accessories, place them in the eastern and southern areas of your home.”

Lucky bamboo
The lucky bamboo plant, also referred to as a Chinese bamboo, is a decorative indoor plant that resembles what you think of as a bamboo — the tall, fast-growing and strong plant used for reinforcement and in scaffolding in India. But, it’s not actually bamboo. Here’s what you need to know about care and the meaning associated with the plant.

Growing
You may have seen Chinese bamboo growing in pots with stones, plain water, soil and even gel. You can leave this plant in its container and it will continue to grow. However, make sure that the plant isn’t left in direct sunlight and keep its roots submerged in water. If you’re growing it in soil, make sure that the excess water is drained out of the container regularly. If the plant gets too tall to stand up straight, you can twist the stems into decorative shapes, or cut the stems and place them in water (they should grow new roots).

Feng Shui
The plant is associated by many with luck and prosperity. Some believe that a single stem (with leaves but no roots) is a symbol of strength and prosperity. Two stalks signify an expression of love and it is believed that this doubles your luck. A pot with three stalks symbolises happiness, a long life and wealth, while four stalks should be avoided at all costs, because this is associated with negative energy and death. Five stalks are the best option, because each stalk in this arrangement signifies an area of your life — emotional, intuitive, mental, physical and spiritual.

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