Sunday, October 13, 2013

Design Dungeon

Every time Russell Peters mocks the Indian accent and lifestyle, I always laugh with sheer disbelief thinking who even talks like that or behaves like that. I guarantee so many of you will roll your eyes at this post in exactly the same amount of disbelief but trust me, shit happens!! This post is in no way trying to belittle anyone's choices or question their taste. We, at HFA, always maintain that design and decor is subjective and beauty, of course, is in the eyes of the beholder. There are no hard and fast rules for anything but certain common mistakes if avoided can make a lot of difference.

I will try listing out the most common decor mistakes that we make and you can take it up from there, whatever works for you -

1) The Not-So-Cute Teddy - If I had a penny for the number of women's obsession for it, I will be rich enough to never lift a finger. I don't want to judge but if you are old enough to rent or own a place, you are old enough to not decorate your living room with teddy bears/snuggly soft toys. I can understand if your husband/partner has gifted it to you on some special occasion but lining it up in your living room - BAD DECOR MOVE!!
If at all, they belong in a Nursery or a Play room. And if your sentimental reasons are not letting you get rid of them, line them in your bedroom or just create some space in your closet and keep it in such a way that you get reminded of the sentiment every time you see it (I did not just say that!!!)

What does work, like in every other thing, is to use it in small measure. Like this - 


2) Wallpaper Mayhem : I don't know who declared Wallpaper to be the ultimate in high-fashion home decor that people have been lining up their walls with it - all 4 of them!! Most importantly, it's expensive and you are breaking your bank on something that you will eventually tire out of in the long run. If you are tight on space, be assured that decorating with wall-paper, specially a dark colored one is only going to make it look smaller and in some cases, claustrophobic.

The smarter way out is to choose the focal point of a room - say, behind the bed in the bedroom - and wall-paper it up. You can choose a dramatic pattern for that wall and hang a mirror on the opposite wall. In this way you are not only creating an illusion of space but also mirroring the wall-paper on the opposite wall, without spending a buck. The other trend doing the rounds is wall-papering the insides of a book-case or a crockery cabinet adding much required visual interest in these neglected zones.

3) Death by Wires : Our current dependence on all things electronic and their depends on electricity has left us lost in a maze of wires. We have the TV wires, Set top box wires, the laptop wires, the cell-phone charger wires - the list is endless, all collecting dust-bunnies. I understand the portability concerns one has for laptop and mobile chargers but the TV wires HAVE to be hidden.

Source : Courtesy

The solution is very simple - you just have to stop being lazy and call your electrician!! Get them hidden behind furniture or get a cord cover matching your wall color and just get them out of your sight. This is one non-negotiable decor mistake and it surely doesn't depend on your taste.

4) Cheap v/s Inexpensive : There, really, is a very thin line between the two. We all look for a good bargain. Hell, my whole existence is all about it. Saving a dime, though, comes with a "conditions apply" clause. You have to draw the line where to not skimp on quality. If a deal is too good to be true, trust me, there's always a catch. Always research before buying key pieces and budget accordingly. It's better to wait to save up to buy the best you can afford than compromising on quality because it's burning a hole in your pocket.

Also remember certain rules - decorating with Plastic (esp. Plastic flowers) and serving dinner to guests in Melamine plates shout cheap. 

I know fresh flowers (daily) as well as bone-china dinner sets are expensive but the latter is a necessary extravagance. The fresh flowers issue can be easily tackled. You can always plant some roses or hydrangeas and have a beautiful floral decoration free of cost (excluding the planting and maintaining costs). Alternatively, you can decorate with dry twigs too - it's the Fall Season after all.

5) To Purge or not to Purge : Getting rid of something that you absolutely hate, you shouldn't think twice before getting rid of it. I am not saying it is easy, especially if its NOT something you bought yourself. The gift-er, in question is bound to ask about the beautiful (according to them) chandelier they gifted you for your wedding. Remember, it's YOUR home! It should depict your style, your aspirations and your past, present and future. Give hints to friends and family about your taste and don't let them impose their style on you. Also the passing of furniture over generations is something I don't get on board with. If it matches my style, I will ask for it. I don't like being forced to use something just because someone wants to unload it on to me. Flats are getting smaller and those bulky teak-wood furniture from the 70s just does not make any sense. Please, for God's sake - OLX pe bech de :). 
Like the images below, they are beautiful but not my style - 

6) Match Mania : So you like Pink and you have in your bedroom - pink walls, pink bed linen, pink frames, pink furniture, ad infinitum- till everyone gets a Paris Hilton induced nausea. Liking or choosing a color for decorating a room is an excellent starting point but being stuck on it and matching everything to that particular tone of color is only going for an overkill. 
Paris Hilton called, she wants her room back :P

You add personality to your room by introducing an accent color in contrast or playing with the same family of colors but adding different textures. Like this one below - 

The tone variations in Navy and the introduction of White as accent color with brown frames balancing the dark Navy tone, this room, below, is a winner in my books.

This is just a beginning of this series, we will surely come up with more. This post is, definitely, not intended to mock anyone's choices nor is it for you to accept everything we say at face value. Every home is different and every individual's idea of their personal space is different too. Also, we might have missed something quite vital in your books - care to point it out? Do you think this post helps? What is your opinion on this line-up, pls share :)

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