Do we have any diligent readers (read: obsessively checking Google Reader for new posts) of Apartment Therapy here? If yes, you would know that a good chunk of posts are about restoring or transforming old furniture through painting and replacing the hardware. Images of antique, worn wooden cabinet/dresser/table painted into white or turquoise blue are swimming in my head now.

For me, when it comes to home renovation,  there is nothing more satisfying than giving a face lift to old furniture. To discard the old and buy new stuff is easy work, don’t you think? There are a few odd pieces of furniture in every house such as a chair, cabinet, side table that look aged.  A polish or a new coat of paint will do them good. I want to get started off with a old cabinet first.  It’s about six years old and in good working condition. It has lost its sheen so I’m toying with the idea of retaining its natural finish with a coat of lacquer or doing something radical like painting it in a bold color combination of white-lime green or white-turquoise blue.

I’ve been looking around for ideas and there are quite a few interesting ones that I would like to share.

For a ethnic, Indian theme, bright colors such as fuchsia, red or violet are a good choice to complete the look. However, if you have a monochromatic or minimalistic theme, a single of furniture in a dashing color will look out of place. In the picture below, for instance, Kishani Perera has used a good mix of ethnic elements like hand-carved open book case, painted trunk as center table, cradle-styled chairs, and printed cushions. All the accessories blend well with the bright orange colored walls.

After doing a couple store/studio tours, I’m returning to my first love – gardening. Thanks to Natti, I discovered the nursery at Jeeven Bhima Nagar in Bangalore. Managed by physically challenged people, the nursery is well planned, maintained and customer-friendly. In absolutely no hurry to rush back home last Saturday morning, I indulged myself looking at the plants. Over to you all now :)

Flowering plants:

The nursery stocks only basic flowering plants as of now. According to the manager, they should be getting more of the Gloxinias, Star clusters, Passion flower and Petunias by this weekend.

What I liked about the nursery:

If you are a novice gardener like me, these are questions you will relate to. Do I need to water everyday? Will this plant require too much sunlight? Will it grow well in semi-shade? Sometimes, our questions tend to irritate the nursery folks. This nursery solves that formidable selection problem for us. The nursery is segregated into three sections: full sun, semi-shade and full-shade. Every plant in each section, is further labeled with its name and price making it a lot easier to choose. If you still have any doubts, the folks are pretty helpful and knowledgeable.

Price is another talking point of the nursery. For instance, you can get an aloe vera plant for Rs.15 or a lilly for Rs. 50.

Watering the right amount at the right time is essential to your plants’ well-being. Plants have a way of communicating to us through the color of their leaves when they receive too much or too little water. Find out if your kindness is killing them. Yellow leaves? Brown leaves? Dried tips? Water – check. Repotted soil – check. Ample sunlight – check. No pests  – check. A quick look at the checklist says everything’s taken care of.  So, what’s killing them? Sometimes you wish there was a plant doctor who could diagnose what’s wrong with the plants, don’t you? I…

Detailed steps on how to polish or restore the shine to your wooden furniture and artifacts. Has your wooden cabinet in the kitchen lost its sheen? Do the wardrobes in the bedroom wear a outdated look? Does the prized artifact, which you proudly show off to your visitors, retain its original shine? Restoring the look of wooden furniture, art work, and cabinets is easy. You don’t need to hire a painter or the polishing person, or worry about spending thousands on restoration. Unless you want the furniture to sport a distressed, aged look, you can give them a new lease…

Are you itching to transform your bedroom, study or, even the living room, for that matter? Tired of seeing the same interiors when you walk in at the end of the day? Has it been a long time since you got that painting job done or spent some money renovating your apartment?

Walls are the most easy spaces in a house to bring about a quick transformation without spending a fortune. There is also enough room for experimentation when it comes to walls. I present you with three quick ways to re-do one wall of a room under Rs.10,000.  I say, one wall, because this wall become the focal point of the room and overdoing it can make it look cluttered, small and remove the magic.

1. Cladding: It is a technique for applying non-structural material to the walls of a room. More and more apartment owners are choosing to apply wall cladding to their living rooms, of late. It was a popular decor option for exterior walls but cladding has now moved indoors. Materials range from stones and tiles to fabric and wood. Stone cladding in earthy colors such as sandstone and beige are very popular. Fabric cladding is not very ideal for tropical conditions. A 8*10 ft wall will roughly cost you Rs.7,000 for stone cladding including labor. stones and mosaics come in a wide range of colors and sizes. It takes about 4-6 hours to complete a wall of this size. Once cladding is done, it is easier to maintain. Of course, there is a downside to every good thing. You cannot change the look of the wall easily.

The weather is changing; it was hovering over 39 degrees burning us alive with the heat just two days back and today it is all cloudy and chill. The drastic change in weather is a welcoming change to our moods but not so much for the plants. Have you noticed how the growth of plants suddenly slows down when seasons change? Just as we adapt ourselves in clothing and eating habits based on the weather condition, it’s important to modify feeding patterns for plants through the year. In her book on homemaking tips, Household Wisdom, author Stephanie Donaldson writes, “There…

My maternal grandparent’s home had a vast collection of  black and white pictures. The framed pictures adorned all the walls in a line, just below the ceiling. Some were group pictures; some cute ones of my 10 uncles and aunts when they were kids; some taken in a studio in the traditional pose with the husband seated in a chair and the wife demurely standing beside him; some wedding pictures of the first born. What totally intrigued me was pictures of totally unknown people stayed up there. There was this picture I remember vividly of a bearded old man, in…

Every once in a while, I get tired of modern home furniture and crave for something natural and minimalistic. I came across a flyer of bamboo furniture among some old magazines a neighbor lent me to read. The furniture was very impressive despite the rustic look.  I logged on to see if the company still(Logasree creations)  existed and what their current products looked like; it was quite disappointing to find no trail of  it any more.  But, that didn’t deter me from exploring further on Bamboo furniture.

If we ever buy a house on the countryside, this is how the furniture is going to look like :)

Doesn’t the living room look uber-cool with this bamboo sofa set? However, I think it would be nice to not have such a polished look for the walls and flooring; the earthiness is missing.

What does it take to transform the look of a home in less than 30 minutes? Any home décor site will preach the same mantra in different words: bring out the silk cushion covers, add a few throws to the sofa, change the curtains, light a few candles, and make the bed with the finest linen you own.  There you go, no secret after all, huh? Yes, new upholstery in rich colors is all it takes to turn on the magic.

I went looking for what’s hot this festive season. Two stores that caught my fancy are Zara (site defunct now) and Good Earth.

What I liked about Zara:

The embroidered with minute detailing, the liberal use of contrasting colors, and the sequined red cushion with the rich look. Don’t you think the red cushions will look great on a white/cream colored sofa?