Is your house festival-ready?

It’s Sankranthi time, when the house is bound to bear signs of the yellu-bella mixture. So, begin with cleaning and de-cluttering.

Remove stains on furniture surfaces and carpets, rugs and mats about the house. When you are dusting the house, using a damp cloth makes your chore easier. Washing the kitchen counter-tops/sink come next. Move your living-room furniture. Vacuum and wipe the spots you haven’t cleaned in a long time. Then, rearrange the furniture and perform your normal cleaning routine. 

The festival has traditionally been celebrated at harvest-time to express gratitude to the rain, sun and farm animals that helped raise the crop. No wonder, then, that sprucing up the house with lime-paint and decorating with rangolis and flowers occupied centrestage. Today too, we believe in dressing up the walls with a fresh coat of paint. 

Splash some pleasing hues about! First decide whether you’ll dabble with some paint yourself or hand over the job to a painting contractor. Choose a new colour or repaint the old one. The latter translates into just a single coat! Select the type of paint – water-based or latex-based. For a DIY job, first tackle the preparations. Move furniture out of the room or to the room’s centre.

Cover them and the floor too with old sheets or blankets. Scrape the walls with sandpaper. Fill up small cracks or nail-holes with joint compound and spread it smoothly on the wall.

Now, paint one wall at a time in thin layers in a zigzag pattern rather than in a straight line up and down, using both roller and paintbrush. Apply the second coat after the first is fully dry. Smoothen out drip-lines while they are still wet. Place the accent on lending an ethnic touch to the decorations around the house.

How about arranging cane furniture in the living room?! Hang window curtains that contrast with their respective wall colours, but confine them to the beige, butter or brick colour range. Terracotta, coir and cane artefacts gel well to lend an earthy look. Prepare festoons with coloured, golden or silver paper. Fresh flower garlands are forever in vogue! Decorate tables with cane baskets filled with fresh fruits and flowers.

Add a dash of novelty by throwing in some fresh coloured vegetables as well – say, coloured peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, sugarcane lengths... use your imagination to whip up an attractive table arrangement. After all, doesn’t this time signify the harvest bounty?  
Rangolis or kolam are drawn in the pooja-room, the drive and in front of the entrance of the house. If you are not confident about pulling off the conventional intricate designs in white curling mysteriously around a myriad dots with the perimeter bordered with red, stick to simple, geometrical patterns that you can fill with colour.

Choose from between dot-connected designs or free-style drawings. The more fastidious could resort to complicated, stencilled patterns filled in with colour from sieves. But, remember, free-hand creations heighten the ethnic feel.

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