Design Lessons from Model Apartments

We’ve been apartment hunting for the past two months. The apartment where we live currently has more pluses than minuses: practical utilization of space within the apartment, ample lighting and cross-ventilation, large rooms, functional amenities within the property, great location for public transport, highly convenient for groceries, reputed schools within a 3 Km radius, hospitals, well-maintained public parks, and is safe. The only reason we’re looking to move is because I would like to have a small space for indulging my green thumb and more open area for our son to play. Having looked at 27 odd old and new apartments/row houses/villas over 8 weeks, we’re on the verge of taking a break now. This would be our second apartment, so the expectations are high. And, it’s a little strange but true that we will need to spend double the price of our current apartment to get a new one, and still not get one which is satisfactory.

But, I’m very glad we did this exercise for I’ve learned a lesson or two in design by looking at all those tastefully decorated model apartments. Those perfect living spaces got me thinking: what if we spend just a fraction of the amount set aside for buying a new house and transform the interiors of the apartment we live in currently? We may fall in love with this place all over again…who knows? I may find new ways to pursue gardening indoors – with more varieties of houseplants in balcony, indoors and the utility area.

Have you ever fallen for a property with a bad floor plan but great model apartment? There was this apartment which had a kitchen to your left as soon as you entered and another one that opened to a guest bedroom.  So, I prefer seeing the floor plan first before falling for the interiors.

If you are planning to design the interiors of your new apartment or redoing the one where you live in, here are few tips that could be of help:

Mustar yellow curtains to match other furnishings

Crisp mustard yellow curtains to match other furnishings

Curtains:

1. Replace the rods. Or better yet, hide them if you can, like in the picture above.
2.Take the curtains all the way up to the ceiling. High curtains give the illusion of high ceiling. If you have a false ceiling, the top of the curtains can go behind.
3. Try sheer curtains for contemporary/modern furniture and heavy silk curtains for solid wood/teak/antique furniture.

4. Experiment with different fabric/material like a old silk sari or bright cotton sari/dupatta to make a blind or curtain.

Let the light come in  - sheer curtains

Let the light come in - sheer curtains

False ceiling and concealed curtains

False ceiling and concealed curtains

5. Similarly, keep the fabric and color subdued when there are other focal points in a room and you don’t want to draw too much attention to the blinds.

In neutral shades

In neutral shades

Plants:

1. Bring the greens inside. The freshness of plants can make a world of difference to a room. Even if you don’t have a fancy curio or a pricey art work to showcase in your living room, tactfully placing a palm or fern in the corners or between furniture can bring the desired effect.

Electronics:
1. Plasma/LCD : Flaunt your latest possession. Be it a 50″ Plasma or a 32″ LCD, don’t hide it with wood paneling or above a stone-clad wall. Make it the focal point with a pristine white background, unlike the image below.

LCD/Plasma

LCD/Plasma cluttered with wood

Though the pictures are from some elite projects such as White Meadows and Notting Hill, the concepts can be applied universally to however small a room is.

Accent Wall: There’s always that one odd wall in a house which make or break the look. This large painting with a focal light on a wall, which would otherwise be barren, seals the look.

Painting

Painting

And lastly, get all the clutter out of the way.

Image courtesy :

1. Prestige White Meadows
2. Prestige SouthRidge
3.Prestige Kensington

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