This is part of a series of posts that takes you through the whole process of getting interiors done for your home – whether it is new or renovation. In this post, two interior designers tell you how much to budget/allocate for interiors of your home. “What is your budget?” “What is your budget?” “What is your budget?” We had no frigging clue. And you know how frustrating it is to keep hearing a question when you are not clued in. This is one question that all interior designers ask you and sometimes even begin with when you approach them for interior design of your home. And yes, I am not ashamed to admit that we had no frigging clue of what it should cost.…

I’m not a trained interior designer.   Wondering why this disclosure? Because I learnt the nuances while designing our house, as I’m sure many of us have. How? Didn’t we have a designer? It makes for an interesting story that I will tell in another post. Every room took days, but the ones that took up maximum time were kitchen, pooja and the foyer bench.    In this post, I’m going to answer all the queries about designing an Indian kitchen using the ones designed by Livspace to illustrate each point. My son and I cracked the kitchen design one evening after several spatial permutations of the triangle – sink, hob and fridge. I credit the final design to him. He was just 7…

There is something to learn from every hotel. Some of the well-designed hotels offer you a crash course in design. All you need is to look around with open eyes and an open mind. There are a few things I always observe and make a mental note of, if I like: the layout of the bathrooms the closet design, if anything different art I’m listing the four design aspects that appealed to me at Hyatt Hampi: Double the handle as a towel hanger: by placing the handle horizontally, it doubles up as a hand towel hanger. This eliminates the need to buy a towel rod and drill holes on the tiles.  A tile/granite partition instead of glass partition. The layout is not clear in the picture…

Admit it.

The minute you saw the words “design”, “kitchen”, and “secret tips” in the title, you were tempted to click, weren’t you?

It’s not just you. For most of us, life revolves around the kitchen, and the kitchen is built around the family. The fragrance of freshly baked cookies or the sweet aroma of rice kheer envelops the house..and you know it from the smile of the family as they walk in through the door at the end of the day.  No other place in a home works as hard or brings as much joy.

Kitchen is also the most difficult part of the house to design. One area where it is a tough balance between aesthetics, functionality, and personality. I’ve included personality because the style of cooking and a family’s habits is individualistic, one that plays a critical role in a kitchen’s layout.

When it comes to kitchen design, everyone talks about the famous triangle linking the sink, stove/hob and the refrigerator. But, rarely does anyone talk about these secret tips that stem right from your dreams, your vision of your dream kitchen. So, let’s dive straight in as I share my secrets with you:

1. Focus on one element: Pick a  focal point. Each one of us dreams of how we want our home, especially kitchen, to look like. It could be anything. For me, it was a window in the center of the kitchen with sink beneath it and an east-facing kitchen to let the morning rays flood in. For you, it could be open shelves, color of the cabinets, placement based on Vaastu or Feng Shui principles, and just about anything. Identify that element close to your heart and work around it. Everything else in the kitchen should complement that element. What do you think is the focal point of the kitchen below?

Or, an exposed brick wall kitchen?

Scared of 3D design software to design your home?

Struggling to find a way to communicate with your designer?

I hear you. I was in your shoes. Not too long ago.

In this post, I’m going to share three tools and a bunch of tricks to help you design your house and communicate effectively with your carpenter/designer. A small caveat before we begin: I do not have any formal training in interior design, but I have used all of these and it has helped us immensely. So, if you think something will not work or can be improved, please feel free to bring it up.

Let’s get started.

There are some houses you can relate to by seeing just one picture: it’s a reflection of the house you want to live in some day, if you are already not living in that kind of a house, yet. Know what I mean? I’m sure you do if you dream … This is my kind of house. Some may say it lacks character; there is no warmth; there is no lived-in feeling; the walls are bare..too boring colors and lacks drama. Sure. The list can go on..but I love the place with its sunlit bath and zero clutter. This is a studio designed by Guilherme Torres. You can read all about the perfectionist, his astute attention to natural light and minimalism here. Image courtesy:…

How’s the mid-week holiday treating you? A blessing for the kids, I’m sure:)

OK before I begin, thank you so much to each one of you who went to great lengths to explain your design concept; for participating;  for harboring the courage to let others know how you would do it. I’ve never been this thrilled for a post before. Every comment offered an insight; laced with a practical thought.

Now, it’s time to clarify the title. Whether or not, Namratha actually goes with one of the designs (which would be tough for anyone, to be fair), I’m sure all of your inputs have helped her think of the space in a different perspective. As I see it, if I were to actually design the room, and execute it, aspects I’d have never considered before would strike me like a rug, or a unit running across the walls. Thanks to your suggestions, of course.

So, this is what I did – created a Pinterest board called Work Space. Study Ideas. All your suggestions are pinned there in addition to a few more I liked. In this post, I’m collating a few of the designs (not favorites, just randomly picked) with the pluses and minuses highlighted.

This post is different from the hundred other posts on this blog because it is about you all – the readers of “dress your home” who have kept it going for so long with your kind words of encouragement. Namratha, a reader, wrote to me about a fortnight ago asking for suggestions to do up her study room.

I could have replied as I usually do and not reached out to you. But, I felt this project is like a clean slate to begin with and a great platform for us to tap into our design sensibilities collectively, toss the ideas back and forth, and see what would work and why. So, I’m reaching out to you all to suggest how you can transform Namratha’s existing study into a more fun, efficient and functional space where work doesn’t seem like work (if you know what I mean).

I asked Namratha a few questions to better understand her requirements, the layout of the room and any special preferences for colors. This is what she had to say —

We haven’t done this room for last 6 years and now with a baby we are forced to redo stuff to meet her and our requirements. We have a temporary storage unit which I want to dispose right now. 
I the room, I want to create space for all the books in the house, for the computer and all its accessories like printer, scanner, fax, wires, wi-fi, papers etc..

The room measures 9.5 X 11.5 feet. Her daughter has a separate room, so she wants to use this room as a library and an office room. Eventually if she wants to use it, she can use the same room. So, nothing in specific for the kids. It just has to look more organized.

A desk and chair occupies one corner of the room.

Good morning! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. When it comes to dressing up one’s balcony and learning a thing or two about container gardening, I look no further than the Nordic region. The design sensibilities, the color scheme (mostly whites offset with colorful furnishings), simple furniture, tall ceilings, and natural stained wood goes with what I believe in : keep it simple.

This post is about decking up one’s balcony along with the beautiful plants you may have. Most of the apartments featured here are much smaller than a typical 2 or 3 BHK in India. So, if they can look this beautiful, I don’t see any reason why we can’t do the same. Of course, the views from the Nordic apartments overlooking some quirky cafes, a clear night sky above, red rooftop houses, clean streets, lush green views, ancient architecture – it’s all a heady combination that we can’t bring home. But, why not try and make the most of what we have.

It need not cost a fortune to get this look. A simple rug from Cottage Industries or FabIndia, garden/outdoor chairs from Fab Furnish/Urban Ladder/Home Town, a lantern and colorful cushions are all you need to get this look.  Many apartments have only one balcony that are rectangle in shape and double up for other things like drying clothes. So fitting in plants, clothes and furniture may be challenging. What you could do is move plants to rail planters and free up the ground space.

It need not be as perfect as the first image. A unkempt place looks just as pretty with the same components mixed and matched in bold colors to your taste.