Smaller homes need not necessarily be devoid of the many roles a home plays. Intelligent planning can incorporate different utilities in the same space.
When it comes to real estate, everybody wants a little more space. Especially those of us who live in houses that are at the beginner’s level equivalent of the real estate industry.
Of late, smaller apartments in the city have been getting a lot of attention from builders as well as buyers. Whether it is the increasing floating population that Chennai is playing host to, or the space crunch that is the bane of every big city; whether you picked a small house because it is your first real estate investment or simply because a small apartment fits your requirements, the bottom line is that a little more space is always welcome.
According to Navin, director, Navin’s Housing, even the smallest of houses can be more spacious than they look, if planned intelligently. “For any residential unit, every inch needs to be efficiently planned. But when it comes to small houses, functionality of space is paramount and so special attention needs to be given to various aspects of building to ensure this,” he says. Even when the overall area is not as much as one would like, there are quite a few ways the space crunch can be addressed at the time of construction itself. “For small houses, one needs to ensure that the flow of the house is compact and efficient. There can be absolutely no unutilised spaces in the house. One way to do this is to give functionality to all the odd spaces in the house. Also, thinner walls inside the house can add a precious few inches to the overall area,” he adds. The basic layout, the design, the reusability of space, use of lighter colours and maximising natural light, are some of the basic things to keep in mind, he feels.
Although the best way to go about increasing space efficiency is to work with the idea right from the planning stage, it is not always possible. Today, the real estate sector is giving abundant thought to space efficiency. However, residential units constructed in the past continue to struggle with the minimal space they started out with. “In most existing homes, renovating can increase usable space to a great extent. Simple things like breaking down half the wall between the kitchen and dining area not only increases the open area but also brings into play an extra platform that can provide functional usage to both the segments,” says Nikita Bharat, a senior architect, Framework Solutions. For a long time, the idea of renovating consisted mostly of covering up the balcony space so that it became part of the room, thereby increasing internal space. Although this does make sense, there are better ways to do it.”When you decide to cover up a balcony or verandah, you are reducing the outdoor space of the house which in turn actually reduces the feeling of space rather than increasing it. What one could do instead, is to take in the balcony but instead of covering it up completely, install wall-to-wall windows. This ensures enough natural light and exposure to the outdoors in such a way that you don’t feel boxed in,” she adds.
Use of multi-purpose furniture is also a sure shot way to make your home accommodate more than it could. “Dual usage is a great idea for smaller homes since any space can be tweaked according to personal needs and requirements. There is a lot of variety in terms of space-saving furniture that is available these days. Intelligent use of such furniture can help the hall double up as a second bedroom and the bedroom could be used as a study or office during the day, thereby increasing usable space,” says Rithika S, a senior designer.
Source Divya Menon, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai
Nature can be your best friend, even when it comes to living spaces.
Home decor is incomplete without a touch of greenery.
Gardening and landscaping is only possible when you have large spaces and the ever shrinking living spaces leave little option for greenery inside homes. But in recent times, interior decorators have helped bring greenery inside homes through a variety of elements. Apartments, small houses or villas, people now are seen having small gardens or an artificial tree in the living room.
The enthusiastic ones are utilising every possible space to place potted plants. Home decorators are leaving no stone unturned while incorporating classy and unique styles to bring an air of freshness in the ambience.
“Plants change the way you look at a space. I am a nature lover and was thrilled when my interior decorator suggested placing pots outside my window. Later, I decorated my balcony wall with hanging plants. For the kitchen area, I have small pots with mint and chilies growing in them. Although I live in an apartment, the greenery in and around is refreshing,” says Madhavi S, a home maker. “People are becoming aware of the environment and want to be eco-friendly. There are a lot of accessories like swings, bird houses, lanterns, trolley pot stand, etc, that people have started using in their gardens and balconies. Plants and flowers are good for homes and bring a balance in the overall home environment,” says freelance interior decorator, Chaaru Patel. Various garden shops have now opened up that sell plants and unique show pieces. Plants have also become popular gifting items.
Traditional nurseries have opened online stores for people to purchase plants and flowers of their choice with accessories and basic gardening necessities. Another style in vogue is the use of native plants that attract birds, bees and other insects. This helps bring a beautiful atmosphere in the house. Native plants like cactus, bamboo shoots, hibiscus, lily, purslane and many more are planted in terrace gardens, the courtyard or open balconies. Artificial flowers are a minimalist’s dream when it comes to lasting beauty and low maintenance.
Quality is the most important factor when you chose artificial flowers. “Designed to look just like their real counterparts, these flowers never need to be watered, put in sun or replanted. People use large pots and arrange beautiful artificial flowers in them. They are usually placed in the corners of a room, along the staircases or on tables. Also, we are seeing front gardens and containers that include a combination of edibles. More and more people are turning into gardeners and are adding fruit trees and bushes into their home gardens,” informs interior designer Vishesh Mehta.
Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai
Moving to a New Nest – Here is the checklist !
Concerned about moving to a new nest? Confused about where to start from? Here is the solution to all your ifs and buts. Undoubtedly, moving from your old house to a new one can make life chaotic. Your routine and everyday life gets tossed randomly.
Moving and rearranging household articles at some other place can become quite a cumbersome task if not planned well. So here’s the checklist on how you can plan to relocate an easy way
Do it all in an organized manner
Prepare a checklist dedicated to your move. Jot down little details as it will turn out to be useful to you. Starting from your house-hunt days, it will come out to be your partner until and unless you get settled down in your new nest.
Let me tell you how it will work for you !
Still confused about the best place to live in from the numerous options available, Why don’t you just write down every single bit of information you have stolen about a property. Once you are done with that, just give a comparative study to every house you have in your options and look, the major cause of your headache is treated. Finished with the selection, now jot down what all things which you want to take with you in your new “ Aashiana”.
Shed the extra luggage
It is just the right time now to get rid of those extra items from your luggage which you have never used in a lifetime and will not even use it. You just brought it to fulfill your fantasy or after seeing the same thing in your neighborhood. Remember that you are starting from scratch and it’s better not to carry unused belongings so as to make room for new things at your new place.
Keep a close watch on your pocket
Have you started tracking your expenses? Not yet, It’s high time to start with it now. From the time you start planning to relocate, from then only you should start keeping a track of your expenses.
Whether you are buying a small needle or a sky, you should know how you are spending your hard earned money and is it worth spending or not. Also set your budget prior to buying anything so that you don’t end up empty handed. Some money can be kept aside in case your expenses gets exceeded than the planned budget.
Go for right transportation
If you are on a go to a small distance then it is not a matter of much worry to you but in another case if you are really traveling a long way with all your household stuff moving with you, then you need to make sure that you opt for the right size of truck to carry all your belongings in one go.
Are you in a great need of information on how to choose a right size truck? I am right here to help you out. If you are moving your one bedroom stuff then you will be need 16’ cube truck and If you are moving your two and three fully furnished house then you will at least require 24’-26’ truck to fit all your stuff in one load.
Check for education and job opportunities
Once you will relocate to a new place then it will be cumbersome for you to search for some elite schools prescribed for the specific board you want for your children or to search for the job opportunities matching your profile, so it is preferable that you search for them beforehand. It is advisable to go for the residence which is close to the school of your children. For instance there are many apartments in Delhi which are in close vicinity to renowned schools, colleges and workplaces.
- Flourish a good social network
It could be nerve-wrecking sometimes to move to a new place where we hardly know anybody. If you are not the type of person who easily gets involved with people or can easily start a conversation with random people, then this time internet can help you out with many forums, groups and pages. You can make new friends over there or can keep yourselves updated with the latest happenings in your surroundings.
Keeping these pointers in mind, you can assure yourself with the hassle free new nest with ‘Gem of a people’ all around !!
Prakshi Agarwal writes SEO articles for Real Estate Portal QuikrHomes. She contributes articles about Trends in real estate, ways to make the house more beautiful, how to efficiently buy property in Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida, Gurgaon and every such Indian city etc. Besides that, she is an ardent reader, a passionate writer and is currently focused on flourishing her new blog “New and View”
Smart windows for smart living
With the advent of new technology, many are opening up to the idea of incorporating automation in their homes, making it a regular feature.
Technology in homes is making life easy. Everything is available with a simple touch on your tab or phones. This recent revelation that is making tech-savvy residents happy. With the concept of smart windows, Indian houses too are all geared up to embrace this boon. With motorised window shades and automatic blinds, the modern living experience has become more convenient.
The new age Indian is going the extra mile to avail the luxurious lifestyle and convenience by getting the latest technology home. Be it drapes or shades, these tech windows open and close based on pre-programmed timers. One also can operate the blinds with just a click. Motorised curtain rods are time and energy saving. However, app controlled drape rods are yet to enter the market. Currently, drapes unlike windows are being controlled by remotes. Automated windows not only eliminate the need to manually open and close windows, depending on the time of the day, but also add a certain aesthetic appeal to the house.
When opting for a technology upgrade, the budget plays a crucial role. These smart window accessories cost a little more than the regular windows. The purpose of the room also plays an important role. Each room can be designed differently using different kinds of blinds and colour combinations.
In the entertainment room, where one wouldn’t want too much of natural light since it could ruin the viewing experience, app-controlled windows can be used. It not only helps the room to be lit when the room is not in use, it also helps to diffuse the light thus providing an uninterrupted watching experience. Automations like motorised shades and blinds add an extravagant feel while bringing in convenience as well as safety.
Seema Ahuja, a smart window user shares, “Even when I’m not home, I need not worry about the sun light ruining my furniture or fading my upholstery. With the help of these smart windows, I can now I pre-set the opening and closing window time. I have set it in a way that they automatically shut after letting the morning sunlight brighten the house. My smart window is also connected to my smart phone.”
Pre-programmed timers and smart phone applications can help users avail this luxury from anywhere in the house. The technology is available on most smart phones and connects easily to any WiFi router.
It is also a stepping stone towards safety and security. If one forgets to shuts the window before leaving the house, one can easily operate the windows using the app on their phones.
Garima Malvanker, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai
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