Make space for better living

Make space for better living

How many times have you moved homes in the course of your career? Chances are, quite a few times, as global citizens of today travel time zones and geographies in search of exciting opportunities and newer experiences. And most often, you move from one rented apartment to another.

In the older days, if there was a nook, it was meant to be a corner that was full. And anything that was broken was always fixed, no matter how bad its state. But
lugging around truckloads of furniture, accessories and mementoes is not the most sensible thing to do today, irrespective of the sentiments attached to each piece.  The vintage trend of displaying heavily-carved furniture, with a profusion of artefacts, cupboards of books, heavy sofas, marble side tables, thick carpets and gilt-framed paintings seems to be a thing of the past.

It’s now impossible to fit such a full life into a Manhattan loft. Or a Bengaluru
duplex, for that matter. So, gone is the trend of amassing assorted curios, along with the vast spaces of our youth. Today, you need to create a feeling of space in a cramped apartment. Keeping things minimal, and using multi-purpose functional effects and foldaway furniture could be called the ‘New 2017 look’.

Picking that perfect piece

It takes an eye for detail to pick out the right accessory or furniture for your home. The key is to add elements of your personality while keeping the room
composition as minimal as possible. Choose accessories and furniture that are unique, easy to maintain and add value to the space.

What fits nicely into a sprawling house in your hometown might not work in an urban studio apartment. Choose one large sofa and perhaps easy-to-move futons.
Perhaps, your kitchen counter could double up as a dining table. And your kid’s beds could be foldaway, giving them ample space to play during the day.
Your furniture multitasks too

Multipurpose decor and accessories are becoming popular as they save space. Any piece of furniture or accessory that can be stored easily, folded back and utilised in more than one way is definitely something that is worth keeping.

Asymmetrical wall cabinets turn empty spaces into multi-purpose areas that make efficient use of space. Beds with pull-out storage space underneath are immensely popular.  And coffee tables now cunningly open up to reveal a bar cabinet.

Less is more

Clutter doesn't arise out of nothing; it slowly and slyly creeps into your life. You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago (that you swore you’ll read) or those antique napkin rings that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion. But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts to come to terms with the truth.

Very often, you pick up artefacts on a whim, on a holiday or at a flea market. Some become showstoppers on your mantel, while most just end up gathering dust and ultimately becoming clutter. It is vital to think about whether your home really needs to have that big aboriginal didgeridoo or not. Most times, impulse-buying doesn’t work out for your home, even though you may have really liked it at the time of purchase.

Define a room’s purpose, and don’t let unnecessary objects move into your home. If your bedroom isn’t the official laundry room, move all linen and laundry-related items, including clothes baskets — even if you have a room with multiple purposes, such as your living room. Organise what belongs in it by defining zones, limiting the number of items in each zone by what you need and removing anything that doesn’t fit.
Have a sale!

Every once in a while, sell the old, and acquire something new. Online platforms and social media groups like ‘Garage Sale – Bengaluru’ are perfect for getting rid of unnecessary stuff, even as you reach out to prospective buyers very easily. Seasonal cleaning provides perspective about what is important to you and what you would like to change in your current lifestyle. Ask yourself whether you’re really emotionally attached to something, or whether it’s just lying there, adding to the mess.

Start with emptying drawers full of unneeded items like rubber bands, old
batteries, or old keys.  You’re certainly not attached to them — but they’ve just been lying there, because they’ve become permanent decor! Clear out closets full of clothes you no longer wear and remove decorations that are no longer meaningful. That kitchen cupboard with unmatched coffee cups and orphaned pieces of
crockery? Get rid of them immediately!
As an end-note; clutter has now proven to cause people to feel oppressed, stressed and distressed, explains Dr Trisha Macnair, author of The Long Life Equation. It can raise your pulse, blood pressure and stress hormones, taking a toll on your health. Be ruthless – sell, donate or chuck unnecessary possessions. And feel lighter already!

(The author is co-founder,Homecanvas.com)

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