Muted tones, clean spaces

Muted tones, clean spaces

 Well, things can change, if you wish to not just impress your girlfriend, but employ room decor for hygienic and organised living.

If you think decor implies floral-patterned sheets and drapes and walls painted pink, you’re mistaken. Interiors can be refurbished to cater to masculine tastes too. Whether your home is a little shack, a studio apartment, a luxury flat or an independent villa, a facelift transforms your cave into a home. Select decor elements adhering to the comfort criterion. Which other aspects will you add: maintenance-ease, opulence, aesthetics...? Use partitions for clear demarcation or privacy in a single-room apartment. For the living room, pick a sturdy leather couch, recliner, daybed and low coffee-table in minimalist style. Mount a widescreen plasma-TV on the wall. Arrange your music system and other electronic gadgets in an entertainment unit. Keep the cords tied and concealed. Crates shouldn’t serve as tables, CD-towers and storage-units. A sober carpet heightens the minimalist look.

An ottoman serving multiple purposes such as seating, storage and a glass holder helps save space. Display memorabilia on shelves and travel photographs, souvenirs in grid-patterns. For wall art, posters fixed with tape and nails appear overly school-boyish. Get some framed prints of bikes, cars and sports, if they are your interests. Spread light magazines and a coffee-table book on the coffee-table. Consider whether you want a mini-bar in the living-room. Get an aquarium only if you’re prepared for heavy-duty maintenance effort.

Light colours make the space look larger. If colour combos are not your style, stick to a two-colour scheme: beige-white, blue-gray, mud-cream, pale-yellow for the walls and a bright colour for the accent wall - dark-red, lime-green/periwinkle. A lighter shade than the walls makes the ceiling appear higher. Muted tones for the upholstery can be contrasted with bright throw-pillows. Coordinate wall-colour with these as well as with area rugs. Off-white rugs look elegant but if you have any pets, dark hues best hide the stains.

Tastefully arrange no-frills floor and table lamps, inset lighting for cabinets and shelves, pinpoint lights to highlight artworks or corner-tables and a floor-lamp with a coloured bulb in one corner. Avoid bright lights. They hurt the eyes and rapidly heat up the area. Create a ‘spa’ niche/room with white walls, calm lighting, wooden floor, a Zen garden and sheer drapes for window treatments. Use a comfortable chair or meditation mat. Bamboo plants in clear, glass vases and aromatherapy candles complete the Zen scenario.
Accommodate a neat, little workstation. A flat-screen computer, ergonomic chair and sleek table with ample storage are essentials. For the bedroom, opt for a simple platform bed and a futon-style mattress with sheets of high thread-count (280-500). Garnish with a headboard in dark wood tones. Stash away belongings in boxes/baskets arrayed on shelves. Sheer and pale window treatments allow more light inside. A big, framed mirror over the sink, heated towel racks and multiple showerheads are basic bathroom denizens. The luxury-loving can throw in a Jacuzzi!

If your wallet doesn’t approve of swanky, modular kitchens, pick a stainless steel oven range. Install a rack over your stove for hanging pots and pans. Squeeze into your budget a stainless steel exhaust hood, coffee-maker, refrigerator and retro-appliances like mixer, blender and toaster.

No decor can fulfil its duty where cleanliness is a casualty. De-clutter and vacuum constantly to banish dust. Dark rugs, carpets too need it once a week. Dust furniture regularly. Wiping away spills, stains on the kitchen counter, island, tables immediately makes for convenient cleaning. Toothpaste globs in the bathroom sink/floor are a definite no-no! A clean toilet-bowl, mildew-free tiles and odour-free atmosphere are mandatory.

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