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February 19, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

5 Jumping-Off Points for Decorating a Blank Space

Whether it’s a home you’ve been living in for years or a new one that you’ve just moved into, there is bound to be one area (or more) which has received no TLC at all. It always takes time to fill up a blank space with the perfect furniture, art and accessories, especially when there is no dearth of options.

Most of us face a metal block akin to the notorious writer’s block when it comes to decorating blank areas in our homes. This could be because of lack of inspiration or the opposite – so many choices that we just don’t know where to begin!

Tips to Get You Started on That Blank Space!

When you’re adorning any empty space, treat these five basic points as a map and make your design decisions according to them:

1. Furniture – It has been said that the right piece of furniture can make or break a room. While this might seem like an overstatement, it’s definitely true that your furniture choices have a huge impact on the overall design of the space. Pick out a piece of statement furniture, one that is beautiful and functional in equal parts, and make it the center of attention.

The perfect piece of furniture can become the center of attention! (CC Image Courtesy: Wonderlane on Flickr)

The perfect piece of furniture can become the center of attention!
(CC Image Courtesy: Wonderlane on Flickr)

If your space is meant for entertaining guests or relaxing, a large comfy couch is perfect, while a storage cabinet or set of bookshelves would be ideal for little nooks and crannies. Play with colors too – if you have a colorful bunch of cushions, display them on a neutral-hued couch for maximum impact!

2. Paint – A lick of paint can bring new life to a blank space and fill you with fresh inspiration too. Play with unusual ideas, like painting a large table in an eye-catching shade of purple, while keeping the rest of the decor subdued. When you’re picking out paint for walls or fixtures, try to strike a contrast between plain and textured, neutral and vibrant, etc.

A splash of paint in an unusual color is the best way to add some interest to a blank space

A splash of paint in an unusual color is the best way to add some interest to a blank space

A blank wall can be spiffed up with a coat of green or blue, offset by white or off-white furniture and pictures of the seaside for a beach cottage-y appeal!

3. Art and Accessories – One of the best ways to brighten up any space is to display hand-picked pieces of art. You could opt for a set of nesting dolls or a large papier mache figurine for a side table, vinyl records or canvas wall art displayed on the walls and a variety of other decorative accents for the rest of the area.

Make a special piece of art the center of attention

Make a special piece of art the center of attention

While you definitely want to add some spice to an empty space, remember that less is indeed more. Don’t try and display too many ‘objets d’art’ together, since that makes the area seem cluttered. Instead, let there be a statement piece that grabs attention instead!

Striking artwork is the best way to brighten up a plain space!

Striking artwork is the best way to brighten up a plain space!

4. Lighting – When you choose lights and fixtures for an area, pick out options that suit the space. Harsh lighting is never a good idea, but you should pick bright lights for spaces where you may spend time reading, drawing or writing. Soft, warm lights are better for bedrooms, living rooms and dining areas, while colorful fancy lights make beautiful accents outdoors.

Pick the right kind of lighting to illuminate the space

Pick the right kind of lighting to illuminate the space

Functional spaces like tables work well with overhead lighting while seating areas can be lit with table or floor lamps. Use the lighting arrangement to call attention to special areas, e.g. if you have art on the walls or on flat surfaces, use subtle backlighting to make them glow!

5. Rugs – Floor treatments are often neglected when it comes to indoor decor and design, but they are amazingly effective at adding color and appeal to a space. A large patterned rug or multiple smaller ones can add a much-needed touch of warmth and visual impact to any space.

Colorful patterned rugs can offset and complete the design scheme of any area

Colorful patterned rugs can offset and complete the design scheme of any area

Coordinate these pieces with the furniture, walls and fixtures to ensure they fit the grand design scheme. Luckily, there is no shortage of carpets and rugs in every kind of design style, ranging from traditional to super-funky!

Treat a blank space as an empty canvas that is just begging for some color. In fact, the best part about decorating an area in the home or office is that you can change it around when you get bored of it. :)

Header CC Image Courtesy: zoetnet on Flickr

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February 4, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Be Inspired by India in Your Next Home Decor Adventure! – Part 2

When it comes to Indian art and design, it really isn’t possible to discuss everything in a few hundred words! So, in continuation to the previous post on this topic where we discussed bandhini, ikat, kantha, batik and kilim, let’s take a look at some of the other incredible textile styles that the country has to offer!

Of course, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, since the variety of beautiful fabrics and textile treatments that have become synonymous with India would take up a whole book. Still, there are a few that deserve a mention, especially since they are perfectly suited for home and interior decor.

1. Warli – This art form that originated in Maharashtra is becoming a major player in the textile design game today, for apparel as well as interiors. The ‘stick-figure’ styled representations of village life and everyday activities are presented with a simplicity that is childlike and endearing. Usually painted with light colors on a darker background, Warli painting has captured the hearts of design enthusiasts in a big way!

The childlike appeal of Warli painting makes it ideal for adorning your home! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

The childlike appeal of Warli painting makes it ideal for adorning your home!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

There is no shortage of applications for this beautiful textile treatment, since you can use it for pillows, bed linen, lamps and much more. You can even paint these lovely designs on walls outside or inside the house. If you want to capture the effect, try a hand-painted Warli border on a mirror frame, fabric lamps or even table linen!

2. Zari – This is possibly one of the most famous textile embellishment styles associated with India. Gorgeous designs created with metallic thread form breath-taking borders for saris, accessories and now, home decor too. The opulence and beauty that zari defines is making it the textile treatment of choice for luxury home decor and interiors!

The metallic embroidery in zari-work adds subtle shimmer to home decor! (Image Courtesy: indianroots.in)

The metallic embroidery in zari-work adds subtle shimmer to home decor!
(Image Courtesy: indianroots.in)

Fashion and interiors design gurus all over the world have been using zari-adorned fabric in heavily embellished clothing, bags, shoes and home decor accessories for years now. In India, zari was traditionally reserved for bridal and festive clothing, but you can make a statement by using it in the home too. Handmade book covers or folders with zari on the spines can create a beautiful effect for your book shelves!

3. Kalamkari – The art of kalamkari (kalam – pen, kari – craft) is one of the oldest forms of textile treatment that exists even today. The practice of telling a story by painting it on cloth with vegetable dyes and makeshift tools is one that has fascinated the whole world for decades now.

A kalamkari piece displayed as wall art is an undeniable conversation piece! (CC Image Courtesy: Anuradha Sengupta on Flickr)

A kalamkari piece displayed as wall art is an undeniable conversation piece!
(CC Image Courtesy: Anuradha Sengupta on Flickr)

Indian kalamkari artists in Andhra Pradesh still practice the original technique, immersing the textile in resin and milk to create an extra-shiny effect. The revival of this beautiful and intricate art form has seen it being used in high-fashion clothing and home decor. Add a touch of old-world charm to your bedroom or living room with framed kalamkari panels!

4. Patchwork – The gorgeous patchwork quilts that we see at any handicraft exhibition are probably the most famous examples of this textile design technique. While patchwork masterpieces can be created with any fabric at all, the most popular ones are those made with recycled silk saris.

Patchwork quilts and other home decor accessories are quirky, colorful and 100% Indian! (CC Image Courtesy: Lokesh Dhakar on Flickr)

Patchwork quilts and other home decor accessories are quirky, colorful and 100% Indian!
(CC Image Courtesy: Lokesh Dhakar on Flickr)

Whether they are embellished with beads, sequins and embroidery, or simply coordinating pieces stitched together, patchwork accessories are definitely attention-grabbing. A plain couch with a selection of colorful patchwork cushions would liven up your home in an instant!

Of course, there are many other beautiful textiles that are unique to India, which you can use as design inspiration for interiors. Block-printed animals, paisleys or floral designs, intricate wool embroidery, beadwork and Shisha mirror-work are some examples of breath-taking craftsmanship that have the whole world going ga-ga.

The variety and vibrant options in Indian textiles make them perfect for interior decor (CC Image Courtesy: rajkumar1220 on Flickr)

The variety and vibrant options in Indian textiles make them perfect for interior decor
(CC Image Courtesy: rajkumar1220 on Flickr)

When you use Indian textiles to adorn your home, make sure you pick the right furniture and accessories too. Balance them with natural wood furnishings, like carved wooden swings, low seating and plenty of pillows. Lamps, decorative figurines, wall art and fixtures should all complement these fabric choices that are rich in color, pattern and texture!

CC Header Image Courtesy: Shashwat Nagpal on Flickr

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January 30, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Be Inspired by India in Your Next Home Decor Adventure!

Indian art and design have a huge role to play in today’s creative world, with a vibrant and exotic appeal that simply cannot be denied. At the root of it all is the simplicity and inherent charm that is evident in everything from ancient carvings to modern paintings.

The use of colorful and eco-friendly Indian textiles for fashion and decor has become a huge trend, both within the country and internationally. Top designers everywhere are falling in love with the versatility and visual appeal of Indian fabrics. Interior design trends are also incorporating the incredible range of textiles that reflect ‘Incredible India’.

Let’s take a fresh look at these gorgeous materials, the way the world does!

1. Bandhini – Known to the world as tie-dye, this art form has roots in India, Japan and other South Asian countries. Tying off areas of the fabric before dyeing them creates unique and beautiful designs on the surface. Traditionally used for creating colorful scarves and clothing, bandhini can now be seen everywhere!

Bandhini is colorful, appealing and versatile, so you can use it anywhere in your home! (Image Courtesy: limeroad.com)

Bandhini is colorful, appealing and versatile, so you can use it anywhere in your home!
(Image Courtesy: limeroad.com)

The variety of colors and patterns that you can find with this beautiful textile is practically unbeatable. This makes it ideal for pretty curtains, cushions, clothing and many more fashion or home design accessories. Pick up a gorgeous tie die cloth and use it as a table runner, or ask the local framer to mount it on canvas for a new piece of art for your living room!

2. Ikat – Like tie-dying, ikat is a technique that uses resist dyeing to create patterns and designs on fabric. The difference is that the fabric for tie-dye or bandhini is treated to resist color after it is already woven, while ikat uses dye resist on the threads themselves, before they are woven into the desired pattern.

The elegant and colorful designs of ikat fabric can brighten up any space in your home! (Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

The elegant and colorful designs of ikat fabric can brighten up any space in your home!
(Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

This is an extremely precise art, since the thread needs to be colored and woven perfectly to ensure the final design emerges. The gorgeous textile can be used for bed sheets, pillow covers, clothing, bags and just about anything else you’d like. In fact, a colorful ikat table cover or lamp might be just the pretty accent your home needs!

3. Kantha – This embroidery and textile treatment is unique to West Bengal and Odisha, with layers of silk or cotton stitched together using a simple running stitch. The beauty of kantha-work lies in the fact that it is one of the oldest techniques of re-using old fabric like quilts, clothing or linen to create new ones.

Kantha is one of the most beautiful forms of recycling old fabric to create works of art! (Image Courtesy: houseproud.in)

Kantha is one of the most beautiful forms of recycling old fabric to create works of art!
(Image Courtesy: houseproud.in)

Repurposed clothing and home decor is a huge winner in today’s eco-friendly and carbon-footprint-conscious world, so kantha embroidery is definitely a winner. In fact, you can display a gorgeous kantha-work quilt on the wall for a really unique piece of art!

4. Batik – Created using a precise technique that uses wax to create ‘color-resist’ areas on fabric during the dyeing process, batik is one of the most popular Indian textiles in the world. Designs can be simple or intricate, but they all have one thing in common – it takes a lot of effort to bring them to life!

The allure of batik has made it incredibly popular for home and wall decor! (Image Courtesy: exoticindiaart.com)

The allure of batik has made it incredibly popular for home and wall decor!
(Image Courtesy: exoticindiaart.com)

Since the batik technique is usually performed on fine cotton, you can use this fabric on everything from pillow covers to wall hangings. Add a classy touch to your home with a large batik painting on the wall, or even a cluster of smaller ones in similar colors or styles!

5. Kilim – This gorgeous woven textile is usually created on a tapestry loom and features geometric designs in bold colors. Traditionally used to create rugs and tapestries, the revival of kilim has seen this material being used in a variety of products, from fashion accessories to upholstery.

Colorful and vibrant kilim home accessories are ideal for a touch of sophisticated style! (Image Courtesy: designemporia.in)

Colorful and vibrant kilim home accessories are ideal for a touch of sophisticated style!
(Image Courtesy: designemporia.in)

It can be difficult to find hand woven kilim in most areas, but you can usually get printed fabric with designs inspired by the art form or machine woven variants. Use the fabric for cushions or bolsters on your favorite couch, or even to add a pop of color to an indoor ‘jhoola’!

With the rest of the world being enamored by India’s colorful history and culture, it’s surprising that a lot of us automatically turn to the West for design inspiration. The variety of traditional design elements found in the country have served as a base for countless projects across the globe. It’s time we look at our motherland with fresh eyes!

(Header CC Image Courtesy - proxyindian on Flickr)

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January 26, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Glam Up a Small Space with Smart Design Ideas!

Living in a big city can be a lot of fun, but finding a large space to live in can be super-challenging. Most of the time, small apartments are all we can manage to find, since large homes are either too pricey or just not available. The next challenge, after finding a home, is making it comfortable and beautiful.

A common misconception we all fall prey to is that a small apartment or home can’t be decorated well. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Design and Decor Ideas for Teeny-Tiny Spaces

When it comes to dressing up a small space, there is no shortage of great ideas. Your own creativity and sense of style can go a long way toward transforming your home, no matter its size. If you don’t let yourself be restricted by the thought of limitations (most of them are not as important as they seem), the sky really is the limit!

Here are some ideas to get you started on your creative journey:

1.  Create Magic with Mirrors – Since time immemorial, mirrors have been used to create the illusion of space and light in buildings all over the world. While ancient architects and designers may have used sheets of beaten metal to reflect light, today you can walk into the nearest store and pick up mirrors in any size, shape or design you like!

Mirrors can make your space seem larger than it is! (CC Image Courtesy: Kai Schreiber on Flickr)

Mirrors can make your space seem larger than it is!
(CC Image Courtesy: Kai Schreiber on Flickr)

Large mirrors on one wall of a room can reflect natural light from a window and amplify it, as well as the glow from lamps and indoor lighting. They also create a visual trick where the room seems like it’s larger than it really is. Other than walls, you could also use these beloved accessories on table surfaces or doors.

2. Define Separate Spaces – If you have a small studio apartment or one-room flat, it’s quite likely that you work, sleep and eat in the same area. Creating clearly defined spaces for each of these tasks can help improve the functionality and visual appeal of an itty bitty ‘all-in-one’, especially if you dress them up in similar colors!

Coordinating colors and patterns can bring separate pieces of furniture together (CC Image Courtesy: Greg Watt on Flickr)

Coordinating colors and patterns can bring separate pieces of furniture together
(CC Image Courtesy: Greg Watt on Flickr)

If your bed doubles as daytime seating and you only have enough room for a few chairs and a table, pick out coordinated pieces. A medium-sized table can serve as a coffee/side/dining table, as well a workspace during the day. Stackable chairs are perfect for times when you have friends over, since they can be taken out only when needed.

3. Furniture with Storage – These versatile pieces are perfect for tiny apartment dwellers. Tables with shelves underneath, couches or beds with box storage, window seats and banquettes are all ideal for storing stuff you can’t throw away but don’t use often, like spare linen, keepsakes and books.

Tables with storage spaces are perfect for multipurpose use, especially in small homes! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Tables with storage spaces are perfect for multipurpose use, especially in small homes!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

If you have the time, search for pieces of furniture that fit into awkward nooks and crannies. A window niche is the perfect space for a small settee, divan or storage box. In fact, here’s a trick many Army wives use when they live in small assigned quarters – fill a box trunk with extra possessions, then cover with a small mattress to create an adorable two-seater!

Use a trunk that doubles as seating, to save major space! (Image Courtesy: pepperfry.com)

Use a trunk that doubles as seating, to save major space!
(Image Courtesy: pepperfry.com)

4. Play with Size and Fit – Planning the size, style and amount of furniture for a small home can be a little tricky. Most interior design experts advise matching the size of the room and the furniture you plan to place in it. Compact and fuss-free items look best in smaller rooms, while larger items can make them seem cluttered.

A single eye-catching piece of oversized furniture can also do wonders! (CC Image Courtesy: PoshSurfside.com on Flickr)

A single eye-catching piece of oversized furniture can also do wonders!
(CC Image Courtesy: PoshSurfside.com on Flickr)

On the other hand, a large piece of furniture can work well, but only if it is the main focus in the space. Oversized beds in elegant neutrals can do double-duty, as super-comfy seating during the day and a soft cocoon for sleeping in at night. Similarly, a big sofa or divan could be the only furniture you need for a dual-purpose room!

Large, gorgeous wall art can become the center of attention!

Large, gorgeous wall art can become the center of attention!

There are many other ways to turn a small space into a comfy and gorgeous home, especially when you play with ideas and make them your own. Bare walls can instantly be brightened up with a large art print, which acts as a statement piece and fools the eye into believing the room is larger than it is. Long window curtains in light colors work exactly the same way. The next step? Look around your space and let your creative juices take over!

Header Image (CC Image) Courtesy - Charles & Hudson on Flickr

January 18, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Wall Decoration Ideas that can Brighten Up any House in a Day!

Wall decoration is the easiest way to brighten up your home (Image Courtesy: Melissa Girard on Pinterest)

Wall decoration is the easiest way to brighten up your home
(Image Courtesy: Melissa Girard on Pinterest)

Most people think that adding a touch of style to their home is a long-term process, one that will take them days, weeks or even months to accomplish. The fact is, a bit of creativity and effort can help you turn around your home in just one day. All you need to do is let your inner artist out to play, and each of us has one of those, even if we don’t think so!

Walls are the easiest part of the house to start decorating, since they are essentially blank canvases just begging for some attention. When you’ve been staring at the same walls for even a few days, you get used to the way they look and it becomes a little difficult to come up with ideas, doesn’t it?

Easy and Quick Ideas for Wall Decoration

Luckily, you don’t have to strain yourself too much! We’ve collected some great wall decoration ideas here, with the intent to start you off on your creative journey. Use these as they are, or let them inspire you to revamp your home:

1. Display Jewelry on Them – Cheap beaded jewelry, single earrings (for which you’ve lost the partner), old pendants and chains – these don’t need to be hidden away in a box under your cupboard! Instead, install a few hooks at a strategic height and hang these little baubles from them. You can place them in a straight line across the wall, inside an empty frame or pick a random display, whatever you prefer.

Who says only museums can display jewelry on their walls? (Image Courtesy: itsaluvthing.typepad.com)

Who says only museums can display jewelry on their walls?
(Image Courtesy: itsaluvthing.typepad.com)

2. Books as Shelves – No, we don’t mean bookshelves, but old books use as interesting alternatives to traditional display shelves. Head to your nearest used book store and pick up a bunch of large and sturdy hardcovers (if you don’t have any lying around at home). Install the same wall brackets that you would use for regular shelves and screw on a single book, spine facing out. Then, use it to store more books, collectibles or anything else you would place on a regular shelf! Detailed instructions here and a simpler version here.

Create a shelf made from books, instead of just for books! (Image Courtesy: utterlysmitten.com)

Create a shelf made from books, instead of just for books!
(Image Courtesy: utterlysmitten.com)

3. Empty Picture Frames – These are literally the most versatile bits of wall decor you could imagine. You can paint them all the same color and hang them up as is, add a picture, painting or even a mirror inside. Here’s an unusual way to use picture frames – Mount them on the wall and install a hook in the center of each one. Then, use these hooks to display jewelry, pretty plates, dreamcatchers, crochet doilies or just about any other knick-knacks!

Picture frames are versatile and affordable, so you can keep playing with them! (Image Courtesy: handmadeology.com)

Picture frames are versatile and affordable, so you can keep playing with them!
(Image Courtesy: handmadeology.com)

4. Art Prints and Paintings – When you don’t have time to DIY your wall decoration, just pick out a gorgeous print and display it in a prominent space. There is a huge range of amazing prints available online, so you can choose one that fits your sense of style and aesthetics. You could also get a painting to fill out a blank space, if you can find one that fits your budget (they tend to be a bit on the pricey side).

A gorgeous art print can take your wall from drab to fab right away!

A gorgeous art print can take your wall from drab to fab right away!

5. Newspaper Art – Even if you’ve never tried making paper collages before, a newspaper collage is simple to make and super-elegant too. The best part is that you can find all the materials you need lying around your house, so just get some friends together or ask your family to join in and create some eye-catching pieces of art in no time! Instructions here.

Newspaper art is easy to make and looks amazing when it’s complete! (Image Courtesy: craftedlove.com)

Newspaper art is easy to make and looks amazing when it’s complete!
(Image Courtesy: craftedlove.com)

You could also decorate your walls with colorful tiles (as a collage or single pieces), create paper collages and frame them, or even hang unusual objects like kites from them. If you have some spare time, try painting one wall in a room with a vibrant and eye-catching color, letting that form the center of interest!

January 15, 2014 0 comments Home Decor, Interior Design, uncategorized

Hey, Spruce up That Boring Old Kitchen Now!

When we think of an Indian kitchen, the first image that comes to mind is of a cluttered room, with a lingering smell of soap or the last ‘tadka’ that was cooked in it. Even with the modern modular kitchens that are designed to offer a space for everything that is part of the cooking process, most kitchens are still treated as purely utilitarian spaces.

This is what most kitchens end up looking like - drab, boring and messy!

This is what most kitchens end up looking like – drab, boring and messy!

It doesn’t need to be this way! The kitchen can be as awesome as the rest of your home, with a bit of sprucing up and adornment. In fact, a beautiful kitchen will make you want to spend more time in there, cooking up delectable meals for yourself or your family.

Simple Ideas for Creating a Brighter and Prettier Kitchen

Use some of these tips to create a more fun and vibrant space that will give your kitchen a boost, and make everyone’s jaw drop with awe!

Tip #1 – Replace Your Old Kitchen Linen

One of the worst culprits in a boring kitchen is old and shabby linen, which makes you cringe when you look at it. Invest in some bright and cheerful printed or embroidered aprons, napkins and towels. You’ll actually find yourself wanting to hang them up on display rather than hiding them away in a drawer or cupboard.

Display and use adorable kitchen linen instead of old rags! (Image Courtesy: jabong.com)

Display and use adorable kitchen linen instead of old rags!
(Image Courtesy: jabong.com)

Tip #2 – Give Your Walls Some Love

When you decorate the rest of your home, you put in an effort to make the walls look appealing, with paintings or photographs, don’t you? Do the same thing with your kitchen, hanging delightful art prints, family photographs and even colorful pots and pans. You could also consider changing the color of the walls with a fresh coat of paint.

Treat your kitchen walls the same as the rest of your home!

Treat your kitchen walls the same as the rest of your home!

Tip #3 – Add Some Interest to Shelves

Shelves are the most versatile storage solutions for any room, but they can get cluttered in no time at all. Use open shelves to display and store pretty crockery that you don’t use too often, and give them a lick of bright paint or metallic gloss. If you can’t paint the whole shelf, spruce up the edges or cover them in pretty paper!

Use colorful shelves for display and storage! (Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

Use colorful shelves for display and storage!
(Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

Tip #4 – Add Glam to Ordinary Items

Shelves, walls and linen are not the only things that you should look at, since there are quite a few everyday items that can also act as decor. Install coat hooks on the wall or door to hang your ladles, pots and pans, or use a peg board to organize them. Cover large bottles (the ones we use with dispensers) with a pretty cover to create a tiny but eye-catching area of interest!

Decorate everyday items that you would never look twice at otherwise! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Decorate everyday items that you would never look twice at otherwise!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Tip #5 – Bring the Garden Indoors

Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to ensure you are eating fresh all the time. Even in a small area, you could get some hanging planters and grow coriander, chilies or salad veggies that don’t need much care or room. If you can’t grow stuff indoors, a few vases filled with fresh flowers or greens will instantly brighten the space too.

Brighten up the kitchen with live plants like lettuce or herbs, and use them too! (Image Courtesy: 9gardens.com)

Brighten up the kitchen with live plants like lettuce or herbs, and use them too!
(Image Courtesy: 9gardens.com)

If you need to de-clutter your kitchen and make it more visually appealing, it’s a lot easier than you’d think. A few small changes are pretty much all you need, and the effects are enough to make you want to keep the space clean and pretty. Once you get used to your new kitchen, you’ll never go back to treating it as ‘just’ the kitchen!

January 10, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Home Decor Styles 101 to Create Your Happy Pad!

When it comes to design ideas for the home, most people tend to look for inspiration in interior design or lifestyle magazines, blogs and websites. There are literally thousands of home design ideas that can be found online or offline, but finding one that strikes the right note is the key to a successful design scheme!

Design your home to be welcoming and comfortable, rather than just ‘beautiful’!

Design your home to be welcoming and comfortable, rather than just ‘beautiful’!

The trouble with most decor styles, contemporary or classic, is that they tend to look artificial and contrived. Most interior designs don’t seem to be created with the intent to live in them, while they look gorgeous in photographs or even in person. What’s the use of a beautiful house that no one would be comfortable lounging in?

Make Your Home More Welcoming and Comfortable

Try out some of these awesome design and decor styles for your home and create a space that is both visually appealing and hospitable.

1.  Shabby Chic – When shabby chic was first introduced as a design style in the late 80’s, it became an instant hit with the glitterati and everyone else. The appeal of this form lies in the fact that it treats well-worn furniture and vintage accessories as items to be displayed, not hidden or thrown away. The use of textured pastels and whites plays a predominant role in upholstery, cushions and throws, while shiny gilt accents and crystal add visual interest.

Think classy refurbished vintage – That’s what shabby chic is really about! (CC Image Courtesy: Faylyne on Flickr)

Think classy refurbished vintage – That’s what shabby chic is really about!
(CC Image Courtesy: Faylyne on Flickr)

2. Boho Charm – With its roots in the European gypsy culture, bohemian decor has been a popular choice for interior design through the ages. The use of bright colors and patterns in upholstery, rugs and even on the walls defines the essence of ‘boho’ glam, so you could start by hanging a vibrant art print on the wall. Beaded accessories and decor accents also play a huge role, as do hand-woven macramé curtains, vibrant vases and tinkling bells. Bohemian design schemes create a warm and welcoming effect, since everything is colorful but well-used.

Colorful accessories and wall art combine with well-worn furniture for the boho look

Colorful accessories and wall art combine with well-worn furniture for the boho look

3. Rustic Appeal – There is no denying the appeal of a lodge or cabin in the mountains, or a farmhouse in the plains. Old-school wooden homes were created for comfort, with limited access to traditional decorative accents. Today, many top designers and home owners alike try to bring the cozy atmosphere of a cottage or farm into apartments and city homes too. If the rugged and lived-in look of a cottage strikes your fancy, use old wooden furniture accented with classic floral or checkered prints in cushions and linen, hand-embroidered samplers, and colorful patchwork quilts.

The rugged and rustic appeal of cottage-style interiors is undeniable!

The rugged and rustic appeal of cottage-style interiors is undeniable!

4. Folksy Ethnic – There is no dearth of kitschy style in the ethnic diversity of India, and designers have been taking inspiration from these areas for years! Think of the colorful rugs you find in the deserts of Rajasthan or the Portuguese influence on the architecture of Goa and Pondicherry. The wealth of mind-blowing beauty that our country offers leaves us with a huge variety of design choices that are ideal for home decor that is warm and inviting. If you need some ideas, just pick up a book on regional clothing or handcrafts, or search for them online, and then let yourself be inspired by the effect of each region’s unique style. Be warned, this can get extremely addictive!

Embellish with colorful and comfortable ethnic accessories like patchwork cushions!

Embellish with colorful and comfortable ethnic accessories like patchwork cushions!

Designing a beautiful home is something all of us dream of, but we might forget that fancy furniture and expensive fittings might not be the most comfortable to use. A home is meant to be lived in, so comfort should be your top priority. There doesn’t always need to be a ‘disconnect’ between beauty and functionality – the two can actually get along really well!

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December 20, 2013 0 comments Home Decor

Easy-Peasy DIY Holiday Decor for a Joyful Home

When the holiday season rolls around, the first thing that comes to mind is the gorgeous decor you see everywhere you go. Christmas trees, fairy lights, shiny ornaments, tinsel, the list just goes on and on. It’s hard not to get into the festive spirit when you’re surrounded by so much beauty and excitement!

DIY Decor is the Best Way to Go!

DIY your home decor for the holidays with these easy tips! (CC Image Courtesy: CocteauBoy on Flickr)

DIY your home decor for the holidays with these easy tips!
(CC Image Courtesy: CocteauBoy on Flickr)

When I think of the holiday season, my favorite memories are the afternoons spent with my family, indulging in crafty goodness – creating and embellishing beautiful decor accessories for our home. Just like cooking a meal from scratch, handmade decorations, greeting cards and gifts always seem more special than just buying something off the rack.

Let’s look at some really easy ideas you could try out, even if you’ve never DIY-ed anything before!

1. Glam Up Your Candles – This is really simple – all you need are some plain candles, glue, glitter, sequins and – most importantly – your own imagination. Glue sequins and glitter all over the candle, creating designs or just randomly strewing them on. Alternately, you could cover the sides of the candle with glue (about halfway up) and then just dip them in sequins or glitter for super-sparkly impact.

Dip candles in glitter for instant holiday charm! (CC Image Courtesy: mamamockingbird77 on Flickr)

Dip candles in glitter for instant holiday charm!
(CC Image Courtesy: mamamockingbird77 on Flickr)

2. Show Off Your Photos – This is another simple and effective way to instantly add festive appeal to your home. Get a bunch of family photographs that you love (friends are family too!) and display them all over your home. You could get them printed on canvas for a large design, or place them in frames on your tables, walls or even hang smaller ones from the Christmas tree.

The holidays are about family, so let photographs of loved ones take pride of place!

The holidays are about family, so let photographs of loved ones take pride of place!

3. Create Paper Ornaments – Three-dimensional paper stars, trees and hearts are quite easy to make and if you use colorful patterned or metallic paper, they are really eye-catching. Just cut two identical shapes for each ornament, and then cut a slit halfway up the center of one and halfway down the center of the other. Slide them together at right angles and string them up. Voila, instant holiday decor!

Paper trees and other 3-D shapes are very easy to make (CC Image Courtesy: George Hodan)

Paper trees and other 3-D shapes are very easy to make
(CC Image Courtesy: George Hodan)

4. Embellish Your Walls – Give your walls some holiday love too, with art prints, wall stickers and decals in festive hues like red, green and gold. You don’t even need to go looking for these since you can easily find a huge variety of designs, shapes and colors in online stores and have them delivered to you. Do you want to know the best part? Wall decor is not just for the holidays – it can add visual interest to any area of your home all year long!

Art prints in festive colors or designs are a great choice for your walls

Art prints in festive colors or designs are a great choice for your walls

5. Make Some Wreaths – Holiday wreaths don’t have to be complicated and you can whip one up in a matter of minutes. It couldn’t be simpler – just take an embroidery hoop or round frame, colored tissue paper or netting fabric in a festive shade and start looping the material over the frame. Scrunch it up for volume and glue it in place every few inches, continuing till the whole frame is covered. Then, just add a few beads, twigs, paper snowflakes, artificial holly sprigs or plastic berries and you’re done!

You can make easy holiday wreaths with tissue paper or gauzy fabric (CC Image Courtesy: Pleuntje on Flickr)

You can make easy holiday wreaths with tissue paper or gauzy fabric
(CC Image Courtesy: Pleuntje on Flickr)

Making your own holiday home decor is an experience that you will never forget, especially if you get the whole family involved. As a bonus, guests and visitors will not be able to believe you did it all on your own!

December 17, 2013 0 comments Home Decor

Digital Art and How to Embrace it for Your Home

The use of digital media for artwork has opened up a whole new world of options for home décor, merchandise, movies, web pages and even book covers. Everywhere you look today, you will see examples of how digital art has changed the traditional concepts of the way art is created and depicted.

While some artwork might be created from scratch, like digital paintings and vector or mathematically generated pieces, others might involve re-touching a traditional painting or photograph. In fact, photomanipulation is a huge art trend, where an existing photograph is used as a base, and various techniques (lens flares, color filters, etc.) or elements (like fantasy wings or backgrounds) are added to it!

Using Digital Art to Adorn Your Home

One of the most popular uses for any kind of art, traditional or digital, is displaying it in homes. Interior design schemes the world over include examples of how paintings, posters and other design elements can change the way any area looks. Here are some ideas on how you can add use digital art to decorate your home (or office):

1. Canvas Prints – Like traditional paintings on canvas, artwork created or modified on a computer and printed on canvas can be used to add visual appeal to your home. Canvas wall prints are the perfect way to combine the best of both worlds, creating a gorgeous contrast between modern and classic art. If there’s a classic painting you really like, or even a piece of contemporary art, all you need to do when you get a canvas print is to hang it up on a blank wall!

Canvas prints are a great way to liven up a blank space!

Canvas prints are a great way to liven up a blank space!

2. Printed Home Accessories – Similar to the way canvas wall prints are created, digital printing techniques can be used to embellish a host of items. Today, you can get a gorgeous piece of art displayed on home decor accessories like cushion covers, blankets, calendars, clocks and much more. These can be used as decorative accents or form the centerpiece of your home design theme.

Today, calendars and other home decor features amazing digital art

Today, calendars and other home decor features amazing digital art

3. Walls Stickers and Decals – If you’ve seen pictures online for interior home design, you’ve probably noticed that many of them feature wall stickers or vinyl decals. These used to be limited to cartoon characters or nature themes for children’s rooms, but the variety available now is mind-boggling, all thanks to digital prints.

Wall stickers and decals are easy to use, with countless options available

Wall stickers and decals are easy to use, with countless options available

4. Photo Prints and Collages – When you want a truly unique idea for displaying your wedding pictures or family snaps, get them printed in large sizes for wall display. Even old photographs can be scanned, enlarged and enhanced for large-scale printing, while pictures captured digitally are already ideal for this. You could get a customized piece of art that can take a place of pride in your home.

You can turn your own photographs into eye-catching wall art, too!

You can turn your own photographs into eye-catching wall art, too!

These are some of the most basic ways to use digital art for home decor. The good news is that you don’t even need to go hunting for the ultimate piece of art any more, since you can get whatever your heart desires in online stores. Use your creativity and personal tastes to pick out images that appeal to you, get a large canvas print or poster and you’re ready to go!