Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Designing your own home

Preethy Sunil avoided interior designers and decided to do up her home in her own way. The effect is homely and cool

By Shevlin Sebastian

In Preethy Sunil’s flat at Vennala, one of the first things that you notice is how cleverly space has been utilised. In an alcove just opposite the door, she has fitted in a small aquarium, and just above it, there is an altar with an open Bible placed on a wooden rack, and a picture of Jesus Christ looming over it.

For the living room, on one wall, the paint is a mix of peach, yellow and orange, while on the opposite wall, she has put a cream colour, to create a contrast. “The living room should have colours that are warm, while at the same time, it should give an impression of being cool,” says Preethy.

In the bedroom, she has put in a shade of blue, with the chairs and a table also painted in blue. She used the colour blue, since it gives an impression of serenity. “Since my husband, Sunil, is a busy man, I thought blue and white colours would calm him down when he goes to sleep.”

Alongside one wall are cupboards with mirrors and she has managed to put a small steel almirah inside one. “I did it to save space,” she says.

For her children, Nikita, 10, and Namita, 5, the walls have been painted in pink. “Girls like the colour pink,” she says. Apart from the figure of Sleeping Beauty drawn on a wall, there are two bunk-like beds, one on top of the other, with a small wooden ladder attached at one end.

“Inevitably, the children end up sleeping together on one bunk,” says Preethy, with a smile. In the children’s bathroom, the tiles have designs of floating bubbles and Preethy has also added a shower stall to prevent the water from being splashed about.

Off the dining room, there is another alcove, which Preethy has cleverly converted into a bar, where bottles, glasses and an opener can be kept. Incidentally, one wall of the dining room is painted in a stunning metallic finish.

In the kitchen, the cabinets are in a bright red colour, with contrasting white panels. “I wanted the kitchen to give off a bright feeling since we housewives spend so many hours there,” she says.

Overall, the effect is neat, stylish and tranquil. It is clear that Preethy has made the maximum use of an area of 1400 sq. ft.

Says James Thomas, Chief Manager, DLF Home Developers Ltd.: “The colour combination in the children’s bedroom is very attractive. Preethy has a knack for interior design.”

Preethy’s good friend, Asha Surendran, says, “I like the way the master bedroom has been designed, with the cupboards on one side. And the TV mounted on the wall in the living room takes up very little space.”

The good news is that Preethy managed to do it without the help of an interior designer. “I just read up on a lot of books on design,” she says. “A lot of women can do the same thing.”

She says one of the main drawbacks of doing up your own house in style is the prohibitive cost. She herself spent Rs 6 lakh over six months. “But you can avoid adding to the cost by hiring an interior designer,” she says. “To design your apartment well, all you need to do is follow your instincts.”

(Permission to reproduce this article has to be obtained from The New Indian Express)


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