Home and Interiors: Spruce up your home

You can work wonders on a modest budget to give your home a brand new look, writes Shilpi Madan

We are well into this year and you are dying to give your residence a makeover. Except that you have a shoestring budget in mind. Take heart. Decor experts share clever tips to outfit your apartment in a stylish way.

A visual rhythm

A seamless blend of spaces makes way for a fluidity of movement, both visually and physically. Says interior designer Minnie Bhatt, “An array of mirrors on the wall in the tiny lobby at the entrance of your home expands the space instantly, adding a touch of glamour as well.” You could even arrange the mirrors in a pleasing configuration of size and frames to do up the wall lining the passage of the entrance to your house. A lick of paint on this wall revs up the visual sweepstakes admirably. “You can opt for a wallpaper to create a feature wall here, using bold stripes, and geometric patterns or large motifs, depending on your personal choice. Remember to sustain the vibe you create here through the rest of your house,” says interior stylist Jasmine Jhaveri. “Either go bold and dramatic or soft and understated.”

Pools of light

A unique light fixture revs up any space instantly. Shop for antiques, buy in sales, take on gifts from friends packing up and leaving town... “Sometimes, old light pieces may require a little buffing or a new paint job, but can look like a million dollars in just a few bucks,” says Jasmine. "Candles in the living area create soft, amber pools in the evening. You could place a cluster at the centre of your dining table or the coffee table to dress it up. Use candles of different heights with dry or natural flower accents,” suggests Minnie. Investing in aromatic candles in neutral colours like beige, ivory and cream gets them to blend with any part of the house you bring them in. Yet, if there are small children in the house, it is better to opt for fairy lights in glass jars.

Breathe in the fragrance

A wonderful fragrance the moment you enter your home puts the spring in your step. Unless you are one of those enviable souls who is an ace at baking and leaves a slurp-worthy waft of cinnamon in her wake, choose suitable options to rev up the olfactory quotient of your apartment. “Your home should always smell great,” exudes decor specialist Shafali Dewanji. You could choose a pure aroma oil diffuser, carrying the same fragrance, for different parts of your home, including the bathrooms. Avoid the plug-in varieties though,” she says.

Colour up

Nothing succeeds like a burst of fresh hues to sass up spaces. From big throw pillows to nouveau runners to long-stemmed, fresh flowers, candy-filled big-bellied jars, and photo frames in an antique gold finish, the realm is endless. “Try decorative hangings that can be hooked to curtains, or window blinds in the living room,” suggests Minnie. “New and dressy curtain tiebacks can also bring in a completely different complexion to space. You can glam up your living area with large candelabras in effervescent shades. Or even try a silk or woven throw on a couch to make any space look totally different and more enhanced.”

A strategic display of artworks on the walls helps in stepping up the momentum. Why fret over Hussain and Picasso? “Frame a series of art prints to form a gallery wall. Paint the backdrop wall in a deep colour picked up from the prints to make the wall jump out, adding more impact to the composition,” suggests Jasmine.

Rearrange to renew

Sometimes, reorienting the furniture and accessories in your home gifts it a fresh, new appeal. You need not comply with the aspects of vaastu to make the basic changes for a harmonious visual appeal. “A cluttered space makes your home look shabby and uncared for. By doing away with that extra ottoman or a corner table, sometimes, makes all the difference. Make your living spaces more visually appealing and inviting by regrouping your furniture pieces and balancing them out so that one part of the area does not look visually 'heavy',” explains Jasmine. “You could even bring in a statement piece like a high chair in a bold colour, or a ceiling to floor open shelf display unit with a mirror back for a truly attention-seeking affair. Try reupholstering your existing furniture and give it a high-end designer look at a fraction of the cost.” Borrow inspiration from decor spreads.

Jog your mind and the essence of re-energising your home will flow in on its own. After all, it is all about creating your own comfortable cocoon.

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