How ‘Louvres’ Bring an Old World Charm into Your Home

A ‘Louver’ or ‘Louvre’, is a window blind or shutter with horizontal slats which are angled to admit light and air while keeping the rain and direct sunlight away. Louvers in the modern world not only help in light modulation but are also a source of aesthetic stimulus. They are not just windows but when brought into facades as fenestrations, they act as a space defining feature. Louvers can be used in various ways which add to the style and elegance of a room bringing forth an old world charm. With modern technology these old world windows have given a new twist to our rooms’ interiors.

As Facades

Louvers can be used as facades giving new and rustic charm to a building i.e. Clay tiles are used these days which rotate round a horizontal axis. This is an example of a modern interpretation of louvers—this kind of dynamic façade changes throughout the day with the breeze. The volumes within the room stay animated by magnificent play of light. Louvres are often used in modern contemporary homes to give a touch of the old.

How ‘Louvres’ Bring an Old World Charm into Your Home
How ‘Louvres’ Bring an Old World Charm into Your Home

Use them as windows

If you have no dearth of space and want a different look, a wood-louvered window can be used for clerestory light which can easily be complimented with a brick wall to bring in a rustic charm. These louvres with a touch of innovation will make for beautiful windows in your home which adds to its style, chic and charm quotient.

Use it for Interiors

Don’t underestimate the use of Louvers within homes. They can act as great dividers and yet maintain the openness. Horizontal wooden louvers or pivot windows are a fantastic way to open and close the spaces within the house when required.

In Doors

Louvers can also be used in closets and storage spaces and help in letting them breathe! This will not only add style but adequate ventilation to your room. Moreover, your closets will no longer have that musty smell.

Partial Covering

Accentuate the outdoor connect with nature by installing open or closed Louvers. They are great as weather protections and for providing privacy. Partial cover allows the magnificent outdoor view while protecting you from rain. Also, the cover shades you from sun’s rays and blocks the harsh weather outside.

For Roofing

When rotated on vertical axis, Louvers can act as a cover overhead for your courtyard. Protecting you from the rain and harsh sun, this very concept is awesome.

As Walls

Replace walls with Louvers. Use wooden louvered dons with rotating frame and witness the magic. They are a treat for the outdoor areas as they tender the right amount of privacy and yet giving you the complete view.

Whatever reasons may be, go find an excuse to use these magnificent ‘Louvers’ and add their charm to your room.

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Big Decorating Ideas for Your Small Balcony

If you are longing for more balcony space then take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. A lot of people live in high-rises in big cities, yet are amazingly creative and have balcony decorating solutions. Whether you live in an apartment with a tiny balcony or you reside in a home with compact second floor outdoor space, you can use some tips given below.

It’s All about Plants- The key to creating an outdoor space is signs of the outdoors! There is nothing more sterile than a bare balcony. If you put plants, your balcony will have an element of natural beauty. Plants add an element of privacy and bring a sense of color and depth to the spaces. Tiers of plants create an illusion of being in a decadent garden. Sometimes just a few carefully selected plants can make a big statement and help in keeping your home smelling fresh.

Add Furniture- Hang plants on the outside of the railing and pick pieces with a smaller foot print. A small bench or a little more than a chest with a cushion top makes a great place to have your morning cup of tea. Remember, even if you have space for just a couple of chairs choose them in cheerful colors so that they brighten up the balcony’s atmosphere.

Big Decorating Ideas for Your Small Balcony
Big Decorating Ideas for Your Small Balcony

Get the Right Plant Pots- Choose your plant pots in different sizes and spring colors. Your plant pots will be your balcony’s most important accessories. Besides this you can add a nice decorative lamp too!

  • Plants can also act as a screen and give you the much needed privacy, especially if one can look into your balcony from their homes. Using vines and creepers will help create a green screen for you.

  • You can also adorn your balcony with wind chimes and bells that can add a melodious calming touch to it.

  • Most home stores nowadays have small portable water fountains that fit easily into small spaces and create an illusion of a natural spring, plus the sound of running water is very soothing.

  • Adding a mirror to one of the balcony walls creates an illusion and a sense of space.

  • If your balcony is where you go to do your thinking, adding a single swing to it makes for comfortable seating.

It’s all about making each design detail count whether you are designing for a small balcony or a large yard. Don’t fret about not having flower beds rather treat each planter as one. Meticulous attention to such intricacies adds to the character of your balcony.

A large part of the patio design involves clarifying your priorities. You may have to make some crucial choices. Are plants your first love? Do you want to sit and enjoy the view or do you want to make it a place where you entertain people? There are lots of options but the choice is ultimately yours.

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Global Décor Styles: Renaissance Homes from Italy

Italy has been a global trendsetter and has produced some of the greatest furniture designers in the world. The renaissance style deals with that period in history where antiquity was the style statement. Renaissance was born in Italy, but in the 16th century the beauty and wealth of the Italian cities impressed the European princes so much that they started to attract the artists to their home country and that resulted in quick expansion of this style.

Global Décor Styles: Renaissance Homes from Italy
Global Décor Styles: Renaissance Homes from Italy

Italian style works well in any room of the home; it blends Renaissance style opulence with a casual rusticity that complements a range of décors such as color flair, accent wall décor, figurines and more. The kitchen and the dining room are the best places to start with.

Think Tuscan hues, Venetian gliding and Rome’s iconic architecture.

Color- The color flair in an Italian kitchen is the important aspect which always sticks out in peoples mind. While decorating in this style remember to use a lot of clay pottery with distressed glaze and colorful tiles in an elaborate backlash.

Furnishings and decorative arts- Furniture is rectilinear and massive with classical ornament and proportions. Most common pieces include sedia (box shaped armchair with runners), X-form armchair like the Dante (X-form with four legs, sometimes the seat of honour), trestle-table, Cassone (chest or coffer with a hinged lid) and Cassapanca (a long wooden bench with a seat and a back, and seat has a hinged lid). Walnut is the main wood but cedar, oak and cypress are also used. Some furniture is made from iron. Cassones are used for storage and seating.

Beds- The lettiers, four-poster beds and simple boards with legs derived from the middle ages are very popular. Textiles used are mostly velvet or leather, some seat covers, cushions and coverlets are made of tapestries, embroidered fabrics, cushions, and wall plus bed hangings.

Arabesque- These patterns consist of interlacing stems, leaves and swirls are widely used to decorate walls, ceilings and even furniture. Usually executed with gilt they create very opulent and splendid look.

Human busts- Figures, human busts and portraits were very popular during this period; they were sometimes depicted by circles called roundels. Busts were often used for supporting tables, cabinets and other furniture. Another popular element includes acanthus leaves, lion’s head, strap work, festoons, etc.

These were some main features of this period. The modern designers use this with a touch of modernity, creating the nostalgic feel of the period at the same time making it functional. Italian designs are known for being elegant, distinguished and casually grand. So if you want that antique Renaissance elegant look, see that you get the right furniture and textile, with sculptures and art from that period. Go for a touch of practicality along with the period look.

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Exposed Brick Walls: Giving Distinct Style to Luxury Homes

‘A timeless treasure’ that is what an interior brick wall can be to some, an eyesore to some and a quick feature to others. To each, his own imagination. A bold brick wall certainly draws a lot of attention and sometimes a lot of flak. But with the right design and know how, a brick wall can add the right amount of drama, chic and style to a room. Its original organic character, not found in simple walls, can suit modern, traditional, eclectic or contemporary spaces.

For most of us, brick houses have been associated with architecture that is eco-friendly, stylish and cost effective all at once. Increasingly contemporary architects are using brick in unusual ways, making it a statement of luxe in homes.

Preserving Brick

If you are lucky to have a home with an exposed brick wall, you may not have to do much, other than show it off. However you will need to seal and protect the surface to keep it looking good and to reduce the risk of disintegration over time. A slight gloss finish can help your brick look lustrous, which is perfect for hallway space. Otherwise, a matte sealant won’t change the look and help keep out mites and dust and make it appear beautiful for a longer period of time.

Exposed Brick Walls: Giving Distinct Style to Luxury Homes
Exposed Brick Walls: Giving Distinct Style to Luxury Homes

Options

In a room with a long exposed wall, the amount of brick can be overwhelming. But rather than changing the original colour, try breaking up the brick with art, furnishings or a mirror to give the eye a visual break while letting the texture peek through in smaller doses.

Mirrors

A large floor-length mirror will also reflect the opposite wall, making the two disparate surfaces feel more visually tied together. Conversely, in a smaller space or where less brick is exposed, a mirror can help the brick visually repeat so it seems more present in the full space and appears to be sprinkled throughout.

Art

A brick wall can make a nice backdrop for a gallery wall. But be careful before hanging art, making sure that the wall is strong enough to hold it. You will also have to choose the style of the artworks wisely so that the wall and its decoration do not look disconnected.

Open shelves

Layering open shelves on a brick wall specially in a kitchen, creates a very warm, intimate feel.

Punk

For an edgy appeal, consider a graffiti inspired look, especially for a teen bedroom or a cool hangout space.

Colors

If your wall is already bringing in lots of color, the best bet is to pair it with a variety of neutrals. However if you want to mix in more hues, consider a traditional Persian rug. Co-ordinate colors like rich blues or pops of hot orange.

Want an authentic brick effect without tearing down the space? Create a half brick dressing, which can be layered over an existing wall or fire place column, to give it true depth and texture.

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Global Décor- The Royal Touch of Mughal Style

The Mughal style of decoration was a conscious creation by a line of Indian rulers who encouraged and financed excellence in the efforts of the artisans. The Mughal style of design relies completely on color and intricate patterns. Nowadays, young millennials of India are increasingly drifting their attention to a global décor theme that gives their house a well-travelled look. Mughal style is one of the themes that is gaining popularity among urban dwellers.

Global Décor- The Royal Touch of Mughal Style
Global Décor- The Royal Touch of Mughal Style

A Mughal interior design need not be a stereotypical caricature. It is possible to capture subtle influences and recreate a resonant design with a contemporary feel. Mughal décor is all about opulent beauty tempered by an aura of contemplation and reflection. It is a space that celebrates the exuberance and passion of designing details.

In this kind of décor, the room should exude the calm grace of an era gone by. The strong use of rich and multi layered geometric patterns exemplify this look. Do not limit yourself to traditional materials; have a go at experimenting with calligraphy or even decorative steel. In this décor creative possibilities are endless, as these innovations with carved intricate designs, manage to display the rich depth of the artist.

You can also bring in traditional Mughal style to your home with handmade wall coverings, chairs along with world famous Mughal miniature art. Miniature Mughal painting can also be used as these depict court life and human personalities, events and actions of the Mughal times.

The Marble work which significantly originated from Mughal days is now an important part of Modern day architecture. Marble flooring can add beauty and a cool elegance to your room. The Taj Mahal has inspired a lot of designers and marble has become an integral part of home décor.

Furnishings like embroidered carpets or tapestries woven with gold and silver threads add a touch of class. Using Jaali work in the Mughal period was very common. This same work is used in a modern contemporary style. One can use the Jaali partition to divide a room, by creating a separate niche, while being a part of the room at the same time. This traditional design can be used on furniture as well.

You don’t have to possess old, antique stuff and turn your home into a museum. Mix and match, so that a touch of royalty is evident, depicting the Mughal period. All these elements- chairs, tapestry, carpets, Jaali work, miniature art and paintings; placed strategically, will not look overdone and will help in achieving the right effect.

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Beautiful Windows That Compliment Luxury Homes

With a focus on innovation, durability and style, the windows in our homes provide more than just a functional benefit, they also make a strong statement about the quality and style of our home. Having great windows is a major plus in any home- they add character and provide much coveted natural light.

Beautiful Windows That Compliment Luxury Homes
Beautiful Windows That Compliment Luxury Homes

Windows come in different shapes and sizes. You want to add a romantic flair to your home, go for ‘French windows’. You can have the classic casement windows, these provide excellent ventilation control. Besides this, combining innovative design and traditional quality joinery techniques, timber windows are a significant feature of every luxury home. Customizing unique shapes and sizes to suit the style of the home is not uncommon.

Picture and Specialty Windows

These windows create interesting aesthetic statements for your home. What picture windows give up in ventilation, they make up in versatility. You can have a floor to ceiling glass composed picture window.

Casement Windows

These can create a wall of light for your contemporary style without sacrificing the need for ventilation. A series of open casement windows will look appealing from outside, making your home look more welcoming.

Bay and Bow Windows

These work well in the living room or your sitting rooms. A cozy sitting area set in a bay window offers intimate space for a gathering or relaxing on a lazy afternoon. A large and dramatic arched bay window allows light to stream into the room.

Entry Door Windows

A well designed entryway makes a positive first impression and reveals the tone of the rest of the house. From sidelights to transoms, windows serve an important role in entryways, providing views, light and architectural interior and exterior spaces.

Window Walls

These help in maximizing views and lights. Window walls offer the airy openness of a sunroom and connect indoors and outdoors.

Contemporary Windows

The clean lines and open spaces of modern architecture call for windows with a contemporary edge. The new technology provides both style and energy efficiency.

Stained Glass Windows

This is an easy way to bring character and color to a neutral room and admit light without surrendering privacy.

From squares to circles and arches to keyholes, windows come in all shapes and sizes. A beautifully shaped window can be a work of art and can be designed to match a historical style. Your windows can be uniquely tailored to your homes look. Custom windows are the ones that help you make a specific architectural statement.

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Global Decor Styles: Earthy Tones of Africa

When you are decorating your home there are lots of inspirations you will come across. From color patterns to furniture styles there are lots of ways to give your home a well-travelled homely look. What about an earthy African theme. African styles are very diverse. The home décor rules of Africa are inspired mainly by nature, as well as colorful fabrics, wild animals and various kinds of traditional wood carvings. There are many different ways you can adopt the African style into your own environment.

Global Decor Styles: Earthy Tones of Africa
Global Decor Styles: Earthy Tones of Africa

African décor can be dynamic, creative and inspiring. Colors can be evocative inspiring you and bringing nature very close to you. Using African pieces in an interior or external environment gives one the opportunity to use unique pieces to portray artistic and spiritual nature of the African people. Their culture is a sure way to reflect one’s own passion and creativity.

One can divide African décor (furnishings and decoration of a room) into the following categories:

  • Antique/ traditional which includes both tribal and colonial pieces

  • Nature inspired

  • Ethnic or tribal

  • Safari/wildlife

  • Recent

  • Contemporary

African art (paintings, sculptor, photography and installations), textiles, crafts and furniture all contribute effectively to the styling of an African inspired home.

Earth tones are primarily featured in African décor, from the very neutral tans and creams, to the deep rich, greens, blues, rustic, dark reds, orange and gold. If you want a more powerful look you can paint your walls the color of golden sunset or rich green foliage.

Give the room an exotic feel with dramatic lighting that provides a warm glow to go with your exotic décor. Hurricane lamps are great accent lighting in an African room and also Moroccan lamps that are handcrafted. Add some plush pillows and throw blankets with animal skin graphics.

African wall hangings and art works is a must in an African themed home. From paintings to tribal masks for the wall to intricately carved statues of people and animals, every element adds charm. Objects such as drums, clay cooking vessels, woven baskets, and plants also make great additions to this décor. Motifs that feature animals or throws with animal designs or prints create striking look.

Having a few higher quality pieces can really make a statement for creating this style. If you can afford it, furnish your room with hand carved natural wood furniture. If the walls of your living room are already painted then go for a wall paper border inspired by the African theme. There has been an explosion on the world furniture and design market of the African décor inspired product. An individual has so many ways to make a statement with the African décor and the best part is that everything need not be expensive.

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How to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh All the Time

You walk into your home after a tiring day at work or from a hectic shopping spree and whoa – something hits you. It’s a peculiar funky smell, which makes you wonder from where is it originating? You dump everything and start searching for its point of origin. You can’t find it, you are stumped. This happens very often not only to you but to others as well. You have all the essentials of a luxury home but the bad smell ruins its charm. Your home can be filled with all sorts of things that can make it smell unpleasant. You reach out for that room freshener spray or open the windows, but these are temporary remedies.

How to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh All the Time
How to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh All the Time

There are some homemade, natural and easy ways to deodorize and freshen up your home. Essential oils, plants, aromatic candles, there are lots of things to keep the odor out.

A home diffuser for every room

Fill the diffuser with water and add a few drops of essential oil into it. When you turn it on or light a candle under the shell, it creates a light mist that transports the fragrance of the essential oils throughout the air in the house.

Essential Oil Spray

No diffuser, never mind. Here is another way to do it. Fill a small spray bottle with 4 oz. of water and add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils and use as a room spray. Lavender is a natural choice because of its calming properties but citrus oils like lemon, tangerine, wild orange and grapefruit are great fragrances to perk things up.

Freshen up your bathroom with naturally scented toilet paper

The toilet is one of the most important places where one needs to infuse a fragrant touch. Take a swap of cotton and dip it in your favorite essential oil and fasten it inside your toilet paper roll. You can also add one of those dissolving scented cubes into your toilet bowl that infuses fragrance into the water every time you flush.

Vanilla scented light bulbs

Put a dab of vanilla extract when the bulbs are off. Once the lights come on the bulb will heat up the extract and emit a delicious smell.

Air purifying plants

Potted plants aren’t just for the ornamental appeal; they are also natural air purifiers. Some of the most effective are different kinds of palm trees, orchids and peace lilies.

The magic touch of baking soda

For those stubborn odors that refuse to quit- mix a few table spoons of baking soda and water in a slow cooker and set it on a low flame with the lid off. The warm baking soda removes the odor from the air.

Simmer a stovetop potpourri

It’s a great way to freshen air anytime of the year. Fill a saucepan with water, add sliced lemon and your favorite herbs and simmer on a low flame. The fragrance will spread through the air and freshen up the room up. This is especially useful for kitchen odors.

Incense Sticks

No Indian household is complete without incense sticks. Not only are they used for religious reasons, but they also drive away bad odor. The same applies for Camphor sticks/Loban.

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Global Décor Styles: ‘Simple and Clean’ Scandinavian Theme

Scandinavian style is traditional, simple, clean and un-cluttered—in a super-stylish natural way. Also called Scandi, this décor is comfortable and casual and at the same time functional and organized. The Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway are the trend setters, and influence the décor. These places have long dark winters so long windows to let in natural light form an integral part of this décor.

Global Décor Styles: ‘Simple and Clean’ Scandinavian Theme
Global Décor Styles: ‘Simple and Clean’ Scandinavian Theme

Simplicity is the key to luxe lifestyle and so the rooms in the Nordic homes are usually bright and open without heavy draperies covering the windows. A clean look is achieved by having white walls, white kitchen cabinets and simple elegant furniture in wood. The homes are a blank canvas on which you can add design elements with textiles and colour. The secret is that to keep this stark design stylish is layering of textures—rugs, lighting, fabrics and accessories.

Color

The basic colors used in the Nordic homes is white, dove grey and a touch of black. These neutral shades provide a natural backdrop for some vibrant splashes of color in accessories. Touch of pink and blue help in creating visual impact by giving cheerful burst of colors.

Textiles

Fabrics add life to the décor giving a feeling of luxury and style. The fabrics normally used are light weight cottons with small patterns or polka-dots or maybe geometric designs creating a dramatic effect. To add a luxurious look these are accompanied by throws of mohair, sheepskin and wool. Chunky knit blankets add a more modern design element.

Flooring

Wall to wall carpeting in Scandinavian homes is rare, they prefer hardwood or grey-white painted decorated with jute or sisal rugs that infuse natural warmth and dimension. White tiles are found in the kitchen and bathrooms. The bathroom fixtures are usually suspended off the floor giving a floating look.

Furniture

Scandinavian furniture has simple clean lines and smooth round edges. Light wooden tapered legs on sofas, coffee tables, chairs and footstools give an open, airy look that gives dimension to the space.

Accessories

Accessories such as art, lighting and mirrors add personality to the décor. Lighting is a mixture of manmade and natural lights, and a key component in infusing a casual, ambient mood in the Scandinavian décor. Candles are an important part of the décor and are regularly used.

A must in Scandinavian décor are fresh flowers and plants. These people love nature and try to bring the outdoors in, thus creating something that is visually pleasing and refreshing.

Thus a Nordic décor is along plain, simple and clean lines yet simply stylish with a class of its own.

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Fun Ways to Celebrate Holi at Work

Holi is a festival of colors and positive vibes, it is a time to forget your differences and don the color of love for people. But alas! You have no option, because your office is on a commerce roller-coaster ride and you have to have your nose to the grind-mill. Don’t get disheartened, bring the colors to the office or your work place—(not literally) but have a blast at work with the same zest and enjoy the day as you complete your dead line.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Holi at Work
Fun Ways to Celebrate Holi at Work

The world is a splash of vibrant color outside and you are trying to figure out your excel sheets, it is really painful but there are a few things you can do to brighten and lighten the atmosphere making it more festive for yourself and your friends.

Colorful workplace- You certainly can’t bring in the colors in so make sure your workplace colorful. Add a little colorful vibrancy to your tiny work cubicle. Get in some pop colors to your desk or get colorful props for a photo session with your friends.

Say a big ‘No’ to social media- Block the social media pictures of your friends and family playing Holi and getting high on bhang is not going to boost your self-esteem. Sure at the end of the day you are going to be miserable. No chatting, no Facebook or Twitter—today you will be happy celebrating Holi at office.

Pacify yourself- Tell yourself it is good you are not out there playing Holi but doing something constructive, think about all the dirty color and the ordeal removing it. Break the color rule and wear the fluorescent top you wanted to wear but did not have the guts, so a colorful you and your friends will add life to your workplace.

Holi Treats- Bring them in- Bring Holi treats to the office and share it with your colleagues and friends. Bring all the mithai, the gujhias and namkeens, party with your friends. You are sure to have a blast.

Play a virtual Holi- In these modern times of hi-fi technology you can test the limits of what technology can do and play virtual Holi. Pick a face and then splatter color on it. Play contests. You can play contests on the internet there are lots of online contests on Holi based themes. This way you can make the best of your misfortune and turn them around.

At last, let it go. You can’t control the urge so let your hair down and color your colleagues and your boss (once out of the workplace).

BURA NA MANO HOLI HAI. Happy Holi!

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