Wondrous use of water

Wondrous use of water

Decor

Wondrous use of water

We can’t go without using water even for a day. But to use it as a decor item? A Dyuti explains the different ways water can be used to deck up the house, while providing a soothing environment.

“The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land,” asserts Joseph Conrad. Sure, water soothes and even heals. But, have you thought of employing it as a decor element? Indeed, water wonderfully enhances the aesthetics in any room that it’s used. For those weary of the artificiality of urban living environments and looking to bring a dash of Nature inside, there’s no better way to achieve this than to add water elements to your interior decor! You’re certain to relish the touch of tranquillity and freshness that these will lend to the ambience. Let’s consider your options.

Fountains

You could have indoor fountains or waterfalls. Ranging from little table-top models to large-scale replications, these features create a soothing atmosphere inside the house.

For a moderately-sized room, one table-top suffices. For a sprawling one, you could go for a couple of them. Else, in the latter case, you could opt for a big-sized fountain, complete with lighting and indoor plants and other decorative items. Factors to be considered here are your budget, space and maintenance-effort constraints. These also apply in the case of magnificent waterfalls that could be made to cascade in your living room. Both will turn into the focal point of the room’s decor. Heighten the charm by adding appropriate lighting effects. The murmur of water drowns undesirable background noise like traffic sounds from the street. So, not only is the sound soothing, but also the atmosphere imbued with freshness.

Indoor fountains can basically be of three types – the table-top versions, floor water fountains and wall water units. Tabletop fountains are available in the greatest range of materials and textures.

They can incorporate candles, fake mist, slate, granite, glass, bamboo, aquatic plants, fake stones/pebbles, sea-shells and so on. Indoor floor fountains are also similarly constituted, only on a larger scale. Wall-mounted features contain framed slate, stone, fibreglass or resin surface over which water flows to create a wonderful piece of moving art. Wall-mounted waterfalls come in many styles – simple, elaborate, abstract and so on.

They can also accommodate live fish inside! Since most water walls are of a few inches’ depth, ensure you’ll have enough space for people to walk about after installation.

Ponds

You could also go for an indoor koi pond. Koi, a docile and friendly species of colourful fish can be your pets besides boosting your living room’s appearance! First, as koi are very sensitive fish, pond maintenance is quite rigorous. Plus, calculate the cost of filtration equipment, water-supply, drainage, electricity supply for pumps, heaters, lights and water-treatment devices. Can you spare the required time, patience, resources and energy? Next, is there adequate space within? Check if the floor has weak spots before installing the pond. Provide for adequate halide lights to make up for the weakened sunlight infiltrating into the house. You’ll also require a dehumidifier to clear the surrounding walls and space of moisture. Often, Koi tend to jump out of the pond.

So, provide for enough depth besides secure netting or a low fake glass wall around the pond.

Aquariums

And then, there are aquariums! First decide on the type of aquarium. Marine/saltwater aquariums (fish-only/fish-with-live-rock/reef types) requiring precise water-chemical levels are difficult for beginners. Freshwater aquarium fish adapt more readily to your tap water’s pH level. Marine aquariums are expensive too, reef tanks (with in­vertebrates, corals, anemones) especially so. Identify a suitable location for your tank with proximity to electrical outlets and reasonable distance from doors/windows. Leave enough space behind the tank to move about. Prevent shocks by looping the electrical cords to direct leaking water towards the floor instead of the electrical outlet (‘drip loops’). Place the tank on a stand sturdy enough to bear its weight, on an even surface. Custom-made ones with cabinets for the equipment are convenient and elegant.

Choose the substrate – live-sand, crushed-cora, etc.

Rough gravel hurts bottom-dwellers but very fine sand spawns ‘anaerobic’ zones. Pick decorations – real, silk, plastic plants and artificial caves, tunnels for the fish to frolic about. Fluorescent light tubes retard algae growth, enhance fake plants’ durability and stimulate natural plant growth. Every week, change 10-15 per cent of the tank’s water and scrape algae off the tank-walls. Check daily if your fish are fine. Dying fish indicate overcrowding, overfeeding or infrequent water change.

Pools

Did you know that indoor swimming pools not only offer excellent recreation and exercise, but could also double as decorative features?

But, first decide upon the extent of usage and the corresponding pool-type along with the maintenance-effort, and your budget. Depending on these factors, you could choose from materials like concrete, aluminium, fibreglass and steel, of which steel is the most durable but also the most expensive option.

Pool covers for safety of kids, pets form an added expense. Lighting, heating, water management, ventilation and dehumidifiers are other requirements.

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