Conjuring up a magical makeover!

Beautiful Spaces
Last Updated 10 January 2013, 13:03 IST

If you are thinking of giving your home a new look, then A Dyuti has some useful tips for you. Another year has just begun! Are you contemplating a makeover for your house? Let’s examine a few good options.

To begin with the floor, you can either go for tiles or spread a carpet. If it’s tiles you’re after, you have mosaic, marble, ceramic and the more uncommon wooden tiles to choose from.

While mosaic and marble, though durable, are losing charm owing to their dated and expensive nature, ceramic tiles are all over the place. So, if uniqueness is your cup of tea, consider wooden tiles. They aren’t slippery unlike marble, tile or stone floors.
Hygiene, health and freedom from allergies endear it to fitness freaks. Besides, the current crop of wooden floors are easy to maintain.  

If you don’t relish doing up the floors afresh, carpets, area-rugs and throw-rugs are an aesthetic alternative. Pick soft floor-coverings that absorb sound. Toying with the idea of wall-to-wall carpeting? First, hit upon the right carpet-type. Identify foot-traffic amounts in the rooms and pick correspondingly suitable types or let uniformity reign supreme.

Next, choose the fibre-type (wool, acrylic, polyester, nylon, olefin) depending on one/many of these criteria – softness, durability, price, eco-friendliness or natural/synthetic fibres. Higher density, twist and pile-height spell greater carpet-quality. On offer are cut-pile, berber, frieze and patterned carpets.

Select the carpet-colour that’ll gel with the hues of wall-paint and furniture. A neutral tone is often the safest choice. Dark grey ensures maintenance-convenience for well-trodden floors or houses teeming with kids and pets. Employ cool or neutral colours to make small rooms appear larger and low ceilings higher.

Warm and bright carpet colours shatter the monotony of a large room and make it attractive. Dark carpets ally with rooms receiving lots of sunlight. Rooms robbed of adequate light can be turned cheerful with lighter-hued carpeting.

The next important element is wall-colour. Water-based (latex) paint is convenient. Just soap and water can clean brushes/hands after a day’s work. Oil-based (alkyd) paints require odorous solvent or turpentine for the clean-up and take longer to dry. But, they’re more durable. Repainting with the same colour? One coat will suffice.

A change of colour requires a double coat. Paint comes in different finishes. High gloss paint is more durable, stain-resistant and easier to wash but makes surface/painting imperfections conspicuous. It’s best suited for heavy-duty areas (kitchen/living-room/etc). Flat paint hides surface imperfections and presents a uniform, non-reflecting appearance. Stain removal, being difficult, is best suited for lesser-used areas.

Choose right

Choose the colour scheme carefully. One option is to pick three colours (or perhaps, the same colour’s three different shades) – one each for trim, walls and ceiling. Retain the same colour for the trim throughout, alternating wall and ceiling colour for adjacent spaces. Else, pick complementary shades, neutrals or earth tones.

Reserve the lightest shade or white for the ceiling for an airy effect. Darker ceilings lend a warm and compact look. Use darker colours for walls where plenty of natural light streams in.

Wall paper can highlight accent walls or those containing alcoves for displaying special decor items like antique pieces or icons. Perhaps you can use a suitable pattern as a background for walls where you display a landscape or a portrait.

If it’s a photo-wall, where you’re displaying multiple photographs in a particular pattern, visualise whether it is wallpaper or plain wall colour that’ll best suit the display before the actual purchase.

Furniture and decor options depend on whether you’ll go for the Spartan minimalist or Zen look or you’ll love a trip back to the good old opulent classic decor style. For instance, window treatments could be sheer and light or heavy drapes made of silk or velvet. Or again, chandeliers with matching wall sconces come in different avatars that help them go well with either classic or contemporary decor items in the room.
Strew indoor swings, bean bags, couches, recliners and ottomans about the house wherever the ambience sought is casual.

Ensure the lighting is appropriate for particular points. Spotlights over wall-art and floor-lamps/table-lamps in the lounge-corner in the living-space, chandeliers above the dining-table and track-lighting or hanging lamps above the cooking area are examples.

For ambient or general illumination, select wall sconces with open candelabra or clear glass casing, installing them high up on your room’s side walls.

For task lighting to facilitate your performance of particular tasks, be it reading, watching television, studying, or cooking, choose sconces that hang low and use relatively brighter bulbs.

Accent lighting helps draw attention towards particular pieces in the room, be it a painting, sculpture, figurine, portrait, antique piece, mirror, plants or architectural elements.

Decor items bringing in a natural touch are indoor plants, plants in window-boxes, aquarium/terrarium or a table-top fountain. A water feature like an indoor koi pond or mini-waterfall lends tranquillity and freshness to the room.

Terracotta and cane artefacts add an ethnic touch.  

(Published 10 January 2013, 13:03 IST)

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