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It’s Now the Turn of Fine Home Design
May 4 2012 , 09:05 AM   #11
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Don’t let renovation drive you nuts

Renovation — the very mention of the word evokes mixed feelings. While one the one hand renovating your home can mean a better, trendy and contemporary look for your home, on the other hand it also means a lot of expenditure and hassle of tackling the contractors and running around to get clearances and buy materials. So renovation, no doubt is a daunting task which gives cold feet to many a braveheart. Here are some basic steps to follow which would help you to a certain extent:

Do thorough research

Advance research is always best to know what you want and how you want to renovate your home. A detailed study of the current trends and your needs and budget will go a long way in achieving a perfect harmony between ideas, desires and the ground reality. There are ample sources where you get options on how to renovate your home properly. Ensure that you make a list of things you want to refurbish.

You can consult professional home renovators who can renovate your home the way you want it.

Another easy way to search is to surf the Internet where you can get vast options that suit your priority.

Look into magazines, books and websites for new trends and designs.

Visit your neighbours, friends and relatives who have renovated their homes recently and hear their experiences. This would be a great help for you to get ideas, insights and inspirations.

Setting a budget is one of the major steps involved in renovation. Apart from the renovation cost, there are other things also which you should consider while finalizing your budget. These include cost of labour, materials, interior designer, cost of architect, cost of paints, furnishing and also cost of living arrangements — i.e. an alternate place to live during renovation. Proper budgeting will help you in the long run because for every single thing you have a pre-determined figure. You can also visit professionals who can help you to set the total cost of renovation.

Seeking pre-approvals

If you are planning to take loan for renovation then secure the loan before starting the renovation. It is better to secure a loan at an early stage because getting a loan approved may be time consuming, which can cause delay in your renovation process and you can have problems with the contractor or builder. There are loans for renovations such as home-improvement loans, construction loans, personal loans etc.

Engage a builder to turn your renovation concept into blueprints and with the help of that you can approach the contractors. Good builders will always give you fruitful ideas and suggestions regarding designs and cost outlook that will match perfectly with your budget. You can ask your builder to quote the overall price for renovation. Ensure that you provide all required information to your builder to avoid further difficulties in future.

Approach a renovator

In renovation process, this is one of the most important steps. Ensure that you approach a professional renovator for your home as it involves costly investment. Before approaching a renovator, do a quick search about the renovator and past work experience. You can ask your friends and relatives about their experience on some professional renovators and their style of work. To avoid future hurdles, you need to get good renovator to hand-over your home for renovation.

Contract procedure

After you have decided the budget, contractor and the renovator, it is time to sign the contract papers. The contract paper should include all the work details and specifications, start date of construction, payment schedules etc. before signing the contract, read every detail mentioned in the contract paper.

Be watchful

Signing the contract and assigning your home for renovation is not the end of the story. You have to be attentive and keep an eye on work progress. It is your home so it is your responsibility to look whether the renovator is going in the right direction or not. Check on the renovation process and see the work is going in the way how you wanted and your home is going to look the way you had wanted it to look. Check with the renovators whether the trend and design you’re looking for being executed properly or not.
May 5 2012 , 04:39 PM   #12
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Carpets enhance bedroom decor

Carpets are a great way of introducing colours in your bedroom. Usually carpets are rarely found in one's bedroom. But off late especially in large bedrooms, luxurious carpet is a customary . Carpets and rugs have always been used to add personality to a home.

When doing up bedroom spaces, one should always has a theme and specific colours in mind and same principles have to be applied when buying carpets for bedrooms. One should opt for a more casual or semiformal look for the bedroom. And keeping this in mind, choose carpets that are bright in colour with contrasts, and the size of the design should be proportionate to the size of the room. Thus, small motifs are apt for a small room and larger ones for a large room.

If you want a semi-formal look, then go in for colours that are neither too bright nor too pale and subtle . You can use pastels, earth tones or clear bright colours depending on the mood you want to create and the colour of your walls. While patterned carpets look good, plain colours can brighten up your room while giving it a neat and sophisticated feel. No more cold and stark, but rather a mix of earthy tones and neutral colours that are more warm and welcoming.

You can enhance the positive features and compensate for factors such as small or dark rooms in home by selecting the right colours. A carpet in a lighter colour than the walls will brighten a room and create a more pleasing flow. Besides looking good and lending charm it provides coziness and comfort.

Designers are using new textures, colours and patterns today to make carpets and rugs more interesting. Besides looking good and lending charm carpets provide coziness and comfort. It is ideal to use a carpet to cover the large expanse of flooring, if the bedroom is large enough. Carpet makers are flexible and make hexagonal, triangular or starshaped pieces.

Before buying a carpet, consider factors like the type of beds, dressing table, bedside lamp, study table, curtains and wall hangings in the room. Select one to match with the overall decor. Carpets are available in a variety of materials like wool, synthetic, jute, coir, bamboo, cotton, and silk. Ensure that all the colours blend well with each other in the bedroom than ensuring that all the colours are identical.

It is ideal to buy stain resistant carpeting for your bedroom and any other room of the house, especially if you choose a light colored carpet. The carpet you choose for your bedroom is also a very important part of the overall look of your bedroom decor. Always try to buy stain resistant carpeting for your bedroom and any other room of the house, especially if you choose a light colored carpet.
May 5 2012 , 04:40 PM   #13
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Sophisticate your living space with miniature art

For design accessories that can fit safely in the palm of a child's hand, it's ironic that miniatures are fastbecoming the next 'big thing'. The obsession with living life large has found a place for the tiny and petite too. Move over, large statuettes. You now have miniatures that rival the intricacy and detail large accents have always flaunted.

Miniatures offer a mixed bag in art decor that is a scaled down version of larger conventional pieces. Miniature portraits, painted with water colour or oil paints, flourished in Europe in the 17th and 18th century and continue as collector items today. As little as 40x30 mm, these miniatures can awe you with their sense of detailing, often missed out in larger items of decor.

Some artists have decided to stoke their passion for these creations to the hilt. Who can forget Willard Wigan's efforts at creating art in the eye of a needle , a painstakingly wondrous creation that beats rational thought? Or the equally striking miniature maritime models made through the mouth of glass bottles, piece by piece. Art on grains of rice from China or mini-books from Europe are tying the world into knots. Miniatures are a lot more than freak art. They are a labour of love.

Placing such objects in one's home demands a sensitively-chosen location that highlights its towering worth while being surrounded by other larger artifacts. Do not overcrowd a shelf space with many of them as their worth is belittled. Highlight these objects in prime locations. Make them a focal point in your living room. Given their size, it may be necessary to highlight their presence using glass, frames or illumination of some sort. Crystals are a perfect representation of the subtle and sublime. Softly illuminated, these works of art mark the ultimate sophistication.

Miniatures can also turn on the style in you. Till recently, champagne cork creations wear a rave in France and Italy. Fashioned out of the 'poppedout' cork, these objects ranged scaled-down furniture lookalikes to human figurines. Accentuated with a mirror backdrop, such art pieces command attention. Tiny buildings and papier-mache models of world landmarks are popular choices in miniature models.

True to the spirit of these works, keeping the composition muted and understated is the key. A single model on your bedside table, a few scattered on your window sill , one propped on your study and the other on the centre table of your living room is all it takes to highlight this area as being an artist's canvas, not merely a functional space. Be deliberate with your arrangement and choose these areas with care. These objects, small as they may be, blend an artist's sensibilities with a fashionista's taste.

Sophisticate your living space with miniature art - The Economic Times
May 21 2012 , 08:28 AM   #14
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Let there be light!

Don't we wish we could save energy and make our homes ‘greener’ and also cut down on our power bill? Yes most of us would like to do that. In fact, by increasing our dependence on natural lighting during day time we can conserve precious energy and save on our power bills.

Which explains why new -age architects are being driven by a sudden sense of urgency. The realisation of dwindling energy resources has seen a dramatic alteration in construction plans and homes are being designed in such a way that they make abundant provisions for natural light.

However, those living in relatively older houses are realising that there is hardly any scope for making use of the free light beaming down on them everyday. Is there a way out for them? Architects and interior decorators say that by making a few changes they, too, can reduce their reliance on artificial lights and illuminate their homes naturally.

New windows

Designers say that if you have wall space, then you can either carve out new windows or simply enlarge the smaller ones. Traditionally a window has been a hole-in-the-wall. But today, windows signify much more. If made properly they give the house an abundance of natural light.

To get the optimum natural light it would be best to try and create a window on the southern wall as this gets the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day. However, you would have to take professional help to create a new window in order to avoid disturbing the wall structurally.

This must be done aesthetically so as not to affect the overall look of the house or apartment. The rule of the thumb is that a window should not be more than 15 per cent of the total wall area. This is an adequate size to effectively light up the room with sunlight.

Glass walls

Alternatively, you could break down a window and convert it into a French door. Another bright idea employed by some architects is to change wooden doors into glass doors which can let in plenty of sunlight. In some apartments an entire non-load bearing wall can be made of glass.

But large windows, French doors and glass walls will not entirely illuminate the room. There will be nooks and corners that will still be dark. Here designers recommend a clever use of decorative mirrors that can be positioned to reflect light where direct sunlight does not reach.

Clear out the blocks

Once the windows and glass doors are in order it would be important to clear any bushes or trees or any other external growth that blocks out sunlight. Though cutting them is not advisable it would be best to trim them in such a way that you get the maximum natural illumination inside the house. This process would have to be repeated every few months.

Change the drapes

Once the windows are re-done, it would be time to change the drapes. These should be made from a special light fabric that can be tied back. Or, if privacy is an issue you can go in for sheer fabric of voile or muslin that lets in the sunlight but shuts out nosy neighbours.

You could also consider using blinds. These are a trendy, no-fuss and easy-to-maintain smart option to let in as much light as you desire. Do not use heavy curtains as these would block out the light and defeat the very purpose of having large windows in your room. Also you should make sure that the window glass is spotlessly clean. A dirty window can block almost 60 per cent of sunlight.

Tubular skylight

A trend that is becoming increasingly popular in upmarket homes and apartments is of ‘tubular skylight’. This is a periscope kind of devise that transmits sunlight through a roof opening of around three sq. ft. by the means of a cylindrical tube made of a highly reflective material. The skylight lights up a room but does not transmit the heat. So no matter what floor you are on the flexible tubing will reach your apartment and illuminate it with natural sunlight.

With the increased emphasis on natural lighting in homes, designers are coming up with novel concepts of letting the sun inside the rooms. Numerous studies have shown that natural light beaming down from the sky is great for health. It regulates the body's rhythm, energises us and positively impacts the mood. It improves general well being besides conserving energy that is becoming scarcer by the day…and night!

A view of the sky

Another popular way to let sunlight cascade into the house is to have an open-to-sky shaft with sloping fibreglass panes. This will let the sunlight in but shut out the strong winds and rain. However, the panes should be the ones that open easily. This will ensure not just adequate natural light but also ventilation when required.
May 27 2012 , 07:49 AM   #15
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Get floored in style

Choosing a right type of floor to best fit your place is an important step in planning the installation of your new floor. Here are a few tips to maintain your choice of flooring


Vitrified tiles are almost maintenance free, vitrified tiles are non-abrasive and you can use them in areas of high traffic with ease. One more major advantage that vitrified tiles have over other flooring options is that all designs on the vitrified tiles are printed using soluble salts which are pigments that penetrate the surface to about 2 to 3 mm of depth. This actually means that the designs on vitrified tiles are at a depth of 25 per cent of the tiles thickness. Since the tiles are so hard and non-abrasive, the design is practically permanent. Even some of the floor polishes only exist on the surface and have nil resistance to abrasion. Any change in temperature or moisture does not lead to expansion and this makes tiles an application free of any joints.

All you need to do to your vitrified tiles in the name of maintenance is sweeping. However, to ensure longevity, here are a few cleaning and caring tips.

Maintenance Tips

Use a floor mat at entrance points to minimise the presence of any abrasive dust particles.

Do not use any harsh chemical based cleaners for your vitrified tile flooring. Since these tiles are not porous, damp mopping should do the cleaning well.

Make sure that the grout joints are cleaned annually, scrape out any powdery or cracked joints and refill them once in a while to keep them in good condition.

Wooden floors come in a wide range of widths, stains and finishes. Planks can either be solid wood of different thicknesses or they can be engineered planks that feature a thinner layer of natural hardwood affixed to an engineered substrate, which can be applied directly over a concrete floor. Solid wood floors must be applied over a plywood sub-floor. Wooden flooring adds warmth, beauty and value to your home. Wooden floors enhance the decor of any room. It lasts much longer than carpet and lino that have to be replaced often. New technology in wood stains and finishes means just minimal sweeping or vacuuming to take care of your wooden floor. Wooden floors do not collect as much dust or harmful allergens as carpets and other types of flooring, nor harmful allergens.

Maintenance Tips
If you already have wooden floors, re-finishing can give them a new, updated look. But this is a daunting process since sanders are difficult to control, generate heaps of wood dust and can damage your floors if not handled properly. You’ll also need to apply a polyurethane or urethane finish, both of which are difficult to use and produce dizzying fumes. Some floors can be refinished using what is known as a screening process, which some companies define as sandless refinishing. For a natural, nontoxic DIY refinishing option, consider using a soy-based gel finish remover and a tung oil finish.

Environment friendly ceramic tiles are made from raw materials, including clay, sand and glass. These materials are combined with other recycled materials to form ceramic tiles. These help reduce energy use (and bills) by keeping your house cooler in summers. They also add some insulation qualities to your home during winter months.

Low maintenance: Ceramic tiles are easy to maintain, from simple cleaning to optional sealing over time. Besides cleaning, there is no special maintenance involved.

Easy to clean: Sweep and wash. It doesn’t get simpler and cleaner than that. Ceramic floors make excellent kitchen floors as they can be easily wiped and disinfected from spills. If the grout gets dirtier than you like, you can use a specially formulated grout cleaner to help get the dirt off.

Scratch resistant: Class 3 and Class 4 ceramic tiles (tiles which are made for moderate to heavy floor traffic) don’t scratch.

Reduces household allergens: Unlike carpets and rugs, ceramic tile does not attract dust and dust mites. Homes with ceramic floor tiles have less dust in the air, making the air in your home much healthier by reducing the amount of household allergens.

Moisture resistant: You won’t have to worry about accumulation of moisture in ceramic tiles. You can also wash the floor with lots of water if desired.

Marble magic
Real marble tiles have a beautiful, unique look like no other surface, with all their whirling patterns and shade variations. There is a vast variety of colours to choose from so marble will work with any colour-scheme. The colours can be light and airy to deep and rich. And like other hard- flooring surfaces, marble is ideal for allergy sufferers because it doesn't hold allergens.

Then there is the "awe" effect. Using natural materials in your home enhances the appeal and value manifold.

Caring for marble floors
It is certainly a beautiful material and you do need to look after it to keep it that way. Make sure you treat it with respect and don't clean it with harsh abrasive cleaners or brushes. A damp rag will do the trick for wiping off the dirt. Be sure to remove any large pieces of debris that may scratch the surface.

Marble floors also need to be resealed depending on how much use these get. You may need to re-seal it every year in high-traffic areas. This will help increase the life of the floor. When your marble floor becomes dull, having it buffed will bring it back to life.
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June 9 2012 , 08:55 PM   #16
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Wood still the best bet

For the past three decades, many materials have been used to replace the wood used in door and window frames, popularly called chaukhats. However, no material has seen a major success and wood still remains the most preferred material for door and window frames. PVC, aluminum and iron has seen some success while stone has fallen flat. PVC and aluminum have been adopted by a few apartment builders while angle iron or pressed steel frames are being used in some constructions in order to keep the cost low. But by and large a house builder's choice invariably remains the wood only.

Choice of wood: Wood is the first item that a house builder should purchase immediately after finalising the house plans and working out the quantity of wood. This is important because the wood takes time to dry and be fit for being used in construction. The surface of wooden sleepers doesn't give an idea of the moisture inside it unless you have a moisture meter with you. Watch a dry-looking sleeper being cut to sizes and you'll find some surfaces of the cut sizes completely wet. The choice of wood, however, depends on one's budget. MP Teak is the best wood but is very costly. Other woods used these days are Ivory Coast, Sudan teak, Hollock, Kali Tahli, Shisham, Meranty etc. All woods need a time of minimum two to three months for drying up. For those who don't have this much time, seasoning can be got done from a reliable source.

Section of frames: These days, the most common section for door and window frames is 6 inch X 2.5 inch. Earlier, the section used to be 4.5 inch X 2.5 inch. The bigger section looks better and attractive. For the main door of the house, a 10 inch X 3 inch section is often chosen. Same section is preferred both for single rebate and double rebate doors. The section should be decided in advance as you need to get the wood cut to this section after purchasing it. Similarly, the door thickness and section of stiles and rails should also be finalised. The wood is usually purchased in one lot and after getting the required quantity cut for the frames; the balance quantity is to be cut into planks for door and window shutters. The rebate should be 35 mm X 15 mm for each door. Here, 35 mm is the thickness of shutter and 15 mm is the depth of the rebate.

Assembly of frames: For the assembly of door and window frames, a carpenter gang needs to be engaged. The type of joint in frames should be decided beforehand. Carpenters quote different rates for different type of joints in frames. The rate demanded by the carpenter for frames is in rupees per running feet. For a mitred joint frame, commonly called kalam, the rate is more than a mortise and tenon joint frame or dovetail joint as more work is involved in the mitred joint type of work. Further, the rate depends on whether you want to save the wood cut off from the frame to make rebate for doors. The rate is more if this wood is to be saved for making use in other items like cupboards etc.

Actual frame sizes: The size of door and window openings should be carefully listed from the drawing. Further, the single rebate and double rebate frames should be clearly identified. In case the frames are to be fixed after the construction of the structure of the house, the carpenter should visit the site and measure the actual sizes of openings as the actual sizes may differ from those shown in the drawings. He should also check the diagonals of the openings to arrive at correct sizes for door and window frames. In case the frames are to be erected during the raising of wall masonry, then these can be assembled as per the sizes shown in the drawing itself.

Detailed drawings: While the work on assembly of door frames can be started once the opening sizes are available, for door-cum-windows and the windows, detailed drawing should be prepared for each frame. These drawings show the intermediate legs in door-cum-window frames, fixed glazing portions and open-able shutter portions in windows. The carpenters have their own system of working. First of all, they cut the wood to required lengths. Next, they take out the grooves in all lengths at the required locations. Then they draw the rebates. Only thereafter, they proceed with assembly of prepared pieces. Therefore, a carpenter doesn't proceed with the work unless he has all the drawings available with him.

Precautions during assembly: All the horizontal and vertical members should be fully smoothened before assembly. Preferably, sand paper of 80 number should be applied to them. The horizontal member at top in door frames and both horizontal members in window frames should project by 3 inch beyond the outer surface of vertical members to insert them in masonry and to provide better anchorage to the frames. No wedges should be inserted by the carpenter in the joints to tighten them. The joints should themselves be tight fitting and without any visible gaps. Sometimes, there are very fine gaps at joints which should be filled with a mixture of fevicol and wood particles by the carpenter. Two nails of 4 inch length should be driven at each mitred joint for stiffness. Ask the carpenter to always check the dimensions and diagonals of each frame before driving the nails in position.

Holes for holdfasts: After the assembly of frames, the locations where holdfasts are to be attached to the frames should be marked. While the door frames and large sized windows should have three holdfasts on each side, smaller frames may have two holdfasts on each side. The holdfasts should be located with one at the centre and the others two at one foot distance from top and bottom respectively. The carpenter should now make holes in the vertical sides of frames to fix bolts for holdfasts through them. Provide a temporary horizontal wooden strip at the bottom of each door frame and nail it well to the two verticals. This strip is provided to avoid distortion of frame during handling and is to be removed later after fixing of frames.

When to fix? Some people prefer to erect the frames for doors and windows as the masonry work progresses while others fix them in position after completion of the structure. In the first case, advantage is of proper embedment of holdfasts and no masonry needs to be dismantled to insert the holdfasts. The disadvantage of such erection is that the frames are repeatedly subjected to application of water and may undergo warping. In the second case, the warping of frames is avoided but masonry needs to be dismantled at a number of locations to insert the holdfasts. Therefore, in case the wood is fully seasoned, one may go ahead with erection of frames with the progress of masonry. Otherwise, these should be erected after the completion of the structure.

Fixing of frames: While fixing the frames in position, care should be taken that these are fixed on the inner faces of external walls and not on the outer faces. For inner walls, the frames are to be so fixed that the doors open along the jambs. The frames should be checked to be truly in plumb. While fixing, these should so project from the faces of walls that after the plastering of walls, the frames should become flush with the plastered surfaces.

Protection of frames

Before fixing of frames at site, the surfaces coming in contact with masonry should be painted with two coats of hot coal tar creosote oil conforming to IS 218. This oil protects the wood from moisture and insect attack. Add 20% chlorpyriphos to it for termite resistance before application on the frames. The carpenters are in the habit of applying mansion polish on the door and window frames to save them from water used for curing during construction. Mansion polish is like wax and even though it is removed later, its residual effect resists proper application of polish on the wood at later stage. One should, therefore, avoid using mansion polish and prefer application of a mixture of fevicol or glue and chalk mitti on the frames. This mixture saves the frames from water , is easy to remove at a later stage and doesn't resist polishing of frames in any way.

June 17 2012 , 03:02 PM   #17
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A fan-cy affair

Having metamorphosed into a coveted lifestyle product, the humble fan has truly come a long way. Daring to break into the monotony of staid and placid ceiling space, an array of designs available in the market now are fast redefining the llook of ceiling fans

Beating the heat this summer has suddenly become a trendy affair. Spelling style, elegance and a piquant charm, the new-age 'designer fan' has emerged as the latest showstopper. Having caught the 'fan-cy' of discerning customers, the ceiling fan in its latest avatar in trendy designs and swashbuckling features, can be seen embellishing the homes of many a design-conscious home owners, interior decorators and connoisseurs of art and beauty.

Having metamorphosed into a coveted lifestyle product, the humble fan regarded as a mere utility till a few years ago, has truly come a long way. Daring to break into the monotony of staid and placid ceiling space, the classic, modernistic or minimalistic designs available in the market today are fast redefining the concept of traditional ceiling fans. Crafted with multiple decorative wings, these elegant and stylish ceiling fans come in several designs that seamlessly merge with the home décor. With all modern day trapping and bling to satisfy fashion-savvy customer, the range of designer fans available in an array of colour, luxurious finishes and ranges adorn the house with a brand new look.

An eclectic mix

So what is it that makes these fans stand apart from their age-old counterparts? Even though the placement and acceptance of these new age pieces more or less remains the same the purpose has been completely altered and beautifully so, feels Satnam Sandhu, Senior Vice-President, Usha Shriram, "With rising aspirations and income of people, there is a shift in preferences towards more decorative and premium range fans that are beautiful to look at and can become part of interior decoration. These elegant pieces are increasingly being used to beautify the décor as they not only add style and look exquisite but accentuate the design quotient of a room," he says.

No wonder that our modest ceiling fan has moved from just being a mere functional item to the one having an aesthetic value. Leaving its poorer cousin behind, the modern designer fans add to the décor of the house. "These fans never fail to work as conversation starters and dazzle the guests with their sheer magnificence and out-of-the-box design element," says Saumya Bhatt, resident of a posh locality in Delhi and an art curator by profession.

There is an eclectic range of designer fans available in the market that one can choose from depending on one's taste and pocket. From the fan blade made of delicate organza and lace to the very androgynous looking fans with purposely enhanced mechanical fixtures or from minimalistic one-winged fans to the ornate ones with light fixtures that could replace a gorgeous chandelier, one can make a pick from a variety of styles and colours available. And it's not just the ceiling mounted fans that have attained a new avatar; the most humble table fan has also transformed to fit into the new uber modern and style conscious homes.

Customised grace

If what is available in the market is too ordinary for the connoisseur in you then some brands also offer the option of customising the fans according to an individual's need and the respective home décor. The level of customisation offered by studios such as Mumbai-based Anemos, Gurgaon-based Fan Studio and Delhi-based Prizm ensure that the piece gels well with the theme of the room or matches the style and even the colour of the walls.

The variety available in the market also comes laden with interesting features such as fancy lights underneath that can double up as a chandelier. The exquisitely crafted under lights not only add a design element to the space but can be switched on and off depending on the setting of the place.

Such fans are simply flying off the shelf with clients coming in from far away places in the country. This sudden splurge towards designer fans has certainly taken an upturn swing in the past few years. As Raj Jain of Anemos puts it, "The latest designs are a testimony to people's changing taste towards fans which has truly evolved into an art form." Having experienced a slow response initially, Anemos has witnessed a meteoric rise in demand of these exquisite fans ever since it opened in the year 2002. Anemos now boasts of outlets in Mumbai, Gurgaon and Ahemdabad with more than 30 varieties of table, ceiling and exhaust fans.

As a result even old players like Orient and Usha, a trusted name in the league of home solutions known for its sturdy designs, has lately entered the arena of designer fans. Their collection of decorative fans that comes packed with decorative ring on the motor as well as the canopy includes Florence, an elegant metallic creation in shades of matt blue, coffee brown and yellow beige and goes both with indoor and outdoor setting. Other favourites are Elena, available in pristine white and ivory, Croma, Proton Silver, Proton Golden, Polo white and Breezer.

Toeing similar lines are fans from the house of Havell's and Orient with decorative wings, eye-catching colours and designs. Although the range of high-end designer fans starts at Rs 10,000 and goes beyond a lakh, decorative fans fall into a bracket of Rs 5000-Rs 15,000. Another big player Khaitan had launched its first Khaitan retail outlet in 2007 that sells designer fans, priced between Rs 7,000 and Rs 1 lakh.

Booming business

The market for designer fans in India, though still at a nascent stage, is likely to expand in the coming years. However, being a luxury item than pure utility with a niche audience makes this a low-volume high price business which is spared by the vagaries of nature or rather seasons. Designer fan is a booming business with fans being adorned for their ornamental value feels Prateek Sah of Fan Studio. Situated in the heart of Gurgaon, Fan Studio caters to the upwardly customer base and having started with a modest beginning it plans to spread its wings to all major metros across the country today.

Offering similar views Sandhu of Usha says, "Unlike ordinary fans, designer fans, being a product of the lifestyle segment caters to a well-defined customer base. However, the prospects are endless with more players making a foray into the segment, thereby steadily increasing the prospects of decorative fans.

A world of Fan-tasy

With modern lifestyle ushering in a phase of luxury living in every sphere, people are no more apprehensive about adopting radical changes or think twice before spending big bucks on doing up the interiors. As Sandhu puts it, "Fans available in the market today are no more part of the utility brigade but are beautiful and premium décor items."

So, why your furniture and upholstery alone should get your coveted attention! It's time you moved the much paid attention to finer details that make your home a cut above the rest. When even your bathroom and your kitchen match your personality then it's time you stepped into the designer fan market and take your pick from the classic to the punk and in between. Let these fancy new things breathe a fresh air into your home and up your style quotient. Even though in this age of ACs and trendy coolers, fans have always been and will always be evergreen. Its time to move beyond the ordinary and explore the world of Fan- tasy!
June 17 2012 , 03:07 PM   #18
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Manoja jee aap badi research karte hain. may i enquire where in himachal are you.building flats. somebody in tge family is very interested
June 17 2012 , 03:35 PM   #19
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This is off topic, but the apartments to be constructed r between Shimla & Kufri ( near Wild Flower Hall - Oberoi Group of Hotels has a Seven star resort here ) . Construction hopefully commences by March/ April 2013 . Bookings to be accepted only after 70-75 % of the structures & 90% of the landscaping gets over .

Not looking to use this forum for selling purpose . Just sharing the information, since u asked .
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June 30 2012 , 09:00 AM   #20
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Stylish little kingdom

With fancy furniture, colourful accessories and customised interiors, children’s rooms are the latest style statements. Take a peep into the trends that are making little hearts go gaga

For many wealthy families the drawing room is no longer the best-decorated place in the house. Designer bedrooms for children are the new fashion statement. Many parents like Anita Khullar, mother of 3-year-old Avisha, believe, "Children must have their very own special room. It gives them privacy and a sense of belonging."

Yes. Time spent alone in their little kingdom implies that it should have a study area as well as a play area. Children's rooms are coming in for a sea change. Elaborately designed, they have space for computers, musical instruments, electronic gizmos and of course toys.

Take a look at five year old Aman's room. A double bed set in an L shaped room with a storage and display unit for his toy cars and planes. On each side of the bed there is a cupboard with Mickey and Minnie Mouse painted on it by an artist.

Vibrant colours

Designers are going in for vibrant colours that hold immense fascination for children. Delhi based interior designer, Vandana Gogia, says, "Whenever I am called in to design such a bedroom, I generally prefer to sit with the kids and discuss what they want. They can be quite clear headed about their preferences".

Malik has designed her own two daughters' bedroom, "as they wanted it to be". The main attraction being the bunk beds and elephant shaped chairs. "I love animals. When I sit on the chair its like I am taking a ride on an elephant", says eight year old Shreya.

But setting up an elaborate kiddie room can cost a bomb. Interior designers charge anything from Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh depending on how far the parents are willing to go.

As Vandana says, "Most moneyed parents really don't mind fulfilling the desires of their children". Pencil shaped cupboards, beds designed like school bags, Jacuzzis instead of tubs, florescent walls, giant TV sets enclosed with a rubberized cartoon casing. Imaginations can run wild. And so can the bills.

(Left) WONDER YEARS: Kiddy prints having cartoon characters like Sponge Box to Superman have found a new and a ready clientele
(Right) FANTASY WALLS: Walls painted in different story-book themes like this Jungle Book scene are a big hit with the little ones

New fads

Doing up the junior's room is a new indulgence for parents. It is as much a status symbol as owning an Omega watch or a vacation on a European cruise. That's where the designers step in.

Call it a fad of the rich but the fact is that kids are being pampered with a room of their dreams. After all your child's well designed room would surely make you look more caring, successful and considerate.

With the rise in nuclear families and parents spending more time out of their house, a bedroom is a very private haven for children. Bunk beds and geometry box shaped table tops define their territory.

But not just the rich, the trend is catching on even in upper middle class homes as well. Even though it may not necessarily be a room straight out of a picture book, it certainly fulfils a child's need for privacy. Abha Arora, a Delhi based housewife, agrees that it is important to have a separate children's room furnished by a designer.

Most designers say that children's rooms should be colourful and reflect joie de vivre. Natural light should be in abundance. Open spaces lend a sense of unrestraint appeal.

Kiddie prints

Rudyard Kilpling would have never dreamt that Mowgli or Sher Khan would ever be printed on bedsheets. Kiddy prints ranging from Winnie the Pooh to Superman, Cinderella and Tin Tin have found a new and a ready clientele. These can be purchased from any store dedicated exclusively to children.

Furniture too has to be sturdy, safe, colourful and imaginatively designed. Mickey Mouse chairs or those designed like yachts and boats are put in the centre of the room as sitting arrangements to let the kids' imagination sail and rainbows on the walls to fill a little colour in their lives.

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