Take your room from drab to fab


Interiors done well, storage optimally used, and a proper cleaning schedule can create a warm and welcoming home

Interiors done well, storage optimally used, and a proper cleaning schedule can create a warm and welcoming home

During the pandemic years, the only place where we could be and watch things unfolding around us, gradually for the better, was our homes. That sense of safety and feeling positive could come from nowhere else. For homes to stay warm and welcoming — to us and our guests — there are a few things to do. These are not necessarily challenging, but require our time and thought.

First impression: Before you can welcome visitors, your entryway does. To create a sense of expectancy, choose a single dramatic element. Paint one wall a bright colour or splash out on designer wallpaper/ fabric. “An eye-catching collection, be it photos, masks, shot glasses or posters, draws interest. A smart array of lighting fixtures creates a sense of drama as does a bespoke front door,” says Sonali Desai, a Vadodara-based architect and designer. Don’t forget to close interior doors — you don’t want guests to see the dirty dishes in the sink!

Operation Cleanup: Small or big, every home is at its best when it’s clean. A cleaning schedule (that’s followed) ensures that the basics are always dealt with and you’re never snowed under cleaning tasks. Draw up a fairly easy sked (keep the entire family in the loop if you want them to help). Things to put on the weekly list include bed linen and curtain changes, linen laundry, toys, windows, kitchen, bathrooms, verandahs, and fans, lights and switchboards. Monthly tasks can include turning out kitchen shelves, bookshelves and closets.

Organise: Ample storage is no use if you don’t organise efficiently. Done regularly, organisation takes about 15 minutes a day — a small price to pay for a life with reduced stress levels. Organise the point of entry to weed out the last-minute rush. Opt for multiuse furniture in all rooms. Coffee tables and ottomans with storage options, entertainment units with drawers and cabinets, box beds and built-ins keep clutter tucked away. “In the kitchen, arrange things such that you spend minimum time looking for them. Bills, papers, and documents need to be sorted and put away in clear files regularly,” Sonali says.

Stay safe: Safety products ensure that your home remains your sanctuary. Choose from intrusion alarm systems (wired, wireless or hybrid), biometric fingerprint door locks (that allow you to open the door by pressing the sensor with your fingerprint), and video door phones. Hang the fire extinguisher in sight. Keep the outside well lit and inform neighbours when not in town. “Inside the home, the bathroom is the number one accident-prone zone. Don’t forget grab bars and non-slip bath mats. Cleaners, acids and other possible toxic items should be stashed away safely,” advises Kirtan Bhatt, an Ahmedabad-based designer.

Make a wish: And fulfil it. Splurge and add one feature that you’ve always wanted in your dream home — it could be a breakfast counter, a silk carpet, a la-di-dah bar, a home theatre system, a built-in barbeque on the terrace, or that fancy La-Z-Boy. Save up if you need to, this one addition can take any room from drab to fab.

Sit back and relax. Everything ship-shape, but no fun? Try to get some family time. It may be impossible to cut the connection to work completely, but take time off. You could catch up on things you’ve not done in a while, or try doing something for the first time. Either way, you are going to have a great experience.

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