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Home is where the art is...


A premier aesthete shares the perfect primer to reinvent your living space. Altering one's home décor has come a long way from being a rarity triggered by occasion. Changing times, exposure to global trends and the desire to reinvent our living spaces to complement our personality have driven us to seriously consider home improvement on a more frequent basis. Be it the big floor lamps that you picked up at the flea market last summer or those brass plates that you inherited from your grandmother, we only need to learn the art of repurposing to meet our present domestic decor needs.

"People are keen to make their home an extension of themselves, their personalities, likes and dislikes. Gone are the days when an interior designer would completely restructure your house. People are also travelling more today -and their travels reflect in their home décor,"  "Also I don't believe in trends. We need to bring our own self' into the living space."

Patience is the key

One has to be patient. Many a times, we wish to accomplish everything in a go - for we feel it's less tedious. By doing that we shut ourselves to options. When one wants to change the look of one's home, don't assume and expect that you will find everything -the couch, cushions, throw rug -all under one roof. And sometimes, the best bargains and chosen items can be found at the most unexpected of places. When you buy a couch, wait to buy the complementing cushions, or the corresponding coffee table.

Be brave

Picking up an unconventional piece of furniture or narrowing down on a neon-coloured upholstery for your couch calls for a certain amount of bravery. For ages, we have allowed ourselves to be governed by conventional palettes. But a blue couch need not have blue cushions. A bright orange cushion will do wonders to uplift the mood and vibe of the living room and enhance the blue couch. If you want a slightly formal look go for a dark forest green velvet cushion with gold brocade work. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Things can always be rectified. If you don't like the print on the couch -change the upholstery, instead of buying a completely new couch. If the centre table is too bulky - place it in a corner.

Go with a neutral-coloured couch

This is a must have. It's an investment. Either get it made, or scout the many furniture shops -online or in the real world. It's where you come back to and relax after a weary work day. A linen couch will do the trick. I suggest stick to neutral colours –light blue, whites and other pale shades. This would allow you to play around with the cushions and the rugs.

Invest in an accent piece

A big Chinese accent piece could be the defining trait of your room. It could be a low lying centre or a coffee table or a chest of drawers. The darktoned accent pieces go with almost everything. And they have amazing utility value, and they never go out of fashion.

Lay out a rug

A good rug makes a lot of difference to the overall feel of a room. A Persian rug would be lovely, but there are many alternatives available today which have simple yet modern designs. They add warmth and help create an illusion of more space in the room. This is a big bonus for Mumbai houses -given the space crunch we all inadvertently feel.

Hang a chandelier

If we have small room, one needs to create an illusion of space. Fill the room with big standalone pieces like a chandelier. Having a chandelier is like adding jewellery to your house. Gone are the days when chandeliers were those ostentatious and heavily crystallised pieces. There are many light weight ones made with dark wire and are very easy to maintain and install. They make a room very glamorous and make it look bigger than it is.

Decorate with flowers

Fresh flowers are essential to every room. They go a long way in setting the mood for the day and the occasion. It could just be a sprig of bougainvilleas, in their full bright red and pink glory. But just placing them on the dining table when you are hosting a brunch will make the whole affair feel very breezy and refreshing.

Mirrors are a must

Get the mirrors out of the dressing room. Add a mirror in each room, if you can. They magnify all the space you have. They also reflect light. Place a rectangular mirror behind the couch. Or place a small square mirror near the doorway.

Wallpapers are your new best friends

Indians are yet to warm up to wallpapers. But they can help define the character of any room. And one doesn't need anything else to pair it with. Big prints work better on small rooms. They have the effect of making it look grand and are perfect for a single feature that contributes to the much-needed drama to the house.


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