Home Office Ideas in Small Spaces

Work is no longer a 9-5 ordeal, and we often tend to bring back things to do. As a result it’s important that we have our working nook in the house so we can isolate work and personal space as much as possible.

 

  • The room under the stairs: The space, the famous Harry Potter lived in, can be well utilised to carve out a fancy work space. If you are a space optimiser freak, you could also build a cabinet in the staircase.

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  • The landing between the stairs: This usually is the most under utilised space, as it is used more as a pathway between the rooms. However, this space could be used to build an unobtrusive work area with a table built in within a cabinet, and a chair.

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  • Folding tables in cabinet: Tables take a lot of space, but a book shelf with a folding cabinet can really cut a lot of space while creating an office like nook, when one wants to work or transforming into a library of sorts, otherwise.

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  • Table extentions in bed side tables: You could create a small laptop extention in your bed side table, if you end up working into the night.

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  • Having sleek and nifty work tables allows you to be more creative, as they can fit into any space and concept. Such tables can in fact become an essential part of your living room or bedroom, adding more layers to your rooms and your identity.

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Hope these little space optimisations and furniture innovations help you create a small office space at home.  For more such tips, stay tuned.

 

Renovation before the Monsoons

While many people curse the monsoons for stalling construction, the rains prove to be a good test of the quality of the construction.

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  • Testing the Waterproofing: Monsoons are the best time to test your waterproofing without having to fill up the basement or the roof with water, manually, to test the seepage. You can easily check for leakages and see where the water is seeping from and take corrective measures.

Roof-drain-system

  • Testing the plumbing and drainage: While building, it’s important to check if the water is draining right and if the roof is slanting correctly. It’s important to check that the water doesn’t collect anywhere and then alter drainage, accordingly. Monsoons are the best time for such tests. This is also a good time to test the drain pipes and check for blockages.

wood swelling

  • Woodwork: wood tends to swell in the monsoons, hence it is a good idea to wax or oil the wood before the rains arrive. In any case, the wood may swell a bit, and it is important to cater to the same, before fixing the same in the house.
  • There is usually a gap between the floor and the door, through which rain water tends to get in. Monsoon is a good time to check this and build a mount or add a rubber contraption to the door to stop the water from entering the house.
  •  Walls: Monsoons are the perfect time to check all the interior walls, especially those in the bathroom and the kitchen, for any spots of dampness so that if there are any cracks these can be repaired and waterproofed right away.

Do take care of these three factors, while planning your renovation project.

5 Renovation Ideas to Make a Rented Apartment Look and Feel Like Your Own

Usually, people who intend to put their homes on rent get minimal furnishing done. So when you rent an apartment, you’re likely to find it quite bare. Here are some changes you can make to personalize the space, without too much hassle.

construction

1) Removable storage options: Removable cupboards ideas are clever way to add storage in your new apartment. Easy to install kitchen islands are again a great way to add extra storage and informal dining space where your family can gather for meals.

internal storage

kitchen

2) Light fixtures: Many a times landlords install ordinary fixtures when they plan to give out the house on rent. These most often don’t reflect your style. You may discuss installing shades of your choice, with the landlord, and agree to replace the old ones back, when you vacate the house.

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3) Wall decals: Wall decals are quick and easy way of renovation of your home. It is a very helpful decorating idea to give a fresh look to you old apartment.

decals

 

4) Wall Paint: You could ask your landlord if he is okay with you creating a textured wall. Most often, landlords do the whitewashing before they hand over the flat. If you have any colour preferences, you could specify them at this time. You may have to pay for a textured wall, but it would personalize your flat a bit more.

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5) Curtain fittings: When planning of small renovation you can finish your window makeover with a beautiful new set of curtains. Curtains can render an entirely new look to the existing look of your home and they are too easy to install.

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These cosmetic changes along with your classy decorative interior décor items, would certainly give your home that extra edge, and make you feel at home even in a rented apartment.

 

Tips to keep your Home Cool In the Summer Heat

Rooftop Garden

Summer, along with the scorching heat, also leads to higher electricity bills. This is more so, because our homes are not optimized to beat the summer heat. It’s time you prepped up your house before the summer sets in. Here are some ideas to optimize your home for the summer.

Terrace Gardens: If you happen to have a house on the top floor or a bungalow, you’d be grappling with the exposed ceiling getting all heated up. Planting a terrace garden is an excellent way to ensure all the sunlight falling on the terrace gets absorbed and doesn’t heat up the floors below. There are however some measures you need to take before you plan the same. You need to ensure there is a proper drainage system on your terrace, such that the water flows through the appropriate channels; and you need to get layers of waterproofing done, to avoid water seeping through.

Terrace Gargden                 Source Credit: www.evergreenlandscape.in

Insulated Films on Windows: If you have big windows adorning your house, worry not. You could easily install an insulating film on your windows. These films reflect the sun’s rays and reduce your home’s overall heat gain. As a result, your home feels cooler, and your air conditioner runs less. Insulating films also retain up to 55% of your home’s heat in winter. These films provide comfort you can feel and savings you can see in your utility bills. Insulating films also block out up to 99% of UV (ultraviolet) rays, which we all know are bad for the skin.

Insulated Windows

Reflective Paint: Reflective or insulative paints use a technology where a broad spectrum thermally reflective coating is applied to block heat radiation and to dissipate heat rapidly. This type of paint reduces heat transfer through the coating and reflects back 90% of solar infrared radiation and 85% ultraviolet radiation. This paint should be applied on rooftops, asbestos sheets, exterior walls, and most importantly, roof top water tanks- to avoid water from heating up in the harsh summer.

Reflective Paint              Source Credit: www.decorationlife.net

Awnings: Way to reduce the amount of sunlight entering the house in the summer is by installing awnings. These retractable window and door shades are very effective in blocking sunlight and offering shade right outside windows and doors.

Awning         Source Credit: www.tmucd.com

Frosted Glass, Blinds: Other ways of blocking the sun are, installing frosted glass and blinds. If you plan on adding a green touch to the house, you could hang a lot of planters from the ledge over your window, and add to the beauty and the comfort of your house.

Frosted Glass            Source Credit: www.sanssoucie.com

Kitchen: While planning the renovation, install effective kitchen chimneys, to ensure the kitchen doesn’t heat up.

Chimney                Source Credit: www.uniwoodproducts.com

Aside from these, you could integrate solar cell panels as an alternate energy resource to supplement your incremental power needs in the summer.

Energy Regeneration                 Source Credit: www.energyinformative.org

 

6 Home Design Trends to watch in 2016

LED Lights

If you’re building or redesigning your home, you might be interested in what’s trending in home fashion these days. We’ve put together a few we feel are in vogue this season. If you have more to add, tell us about them on our Facebook Page.

1) Graphic Tiles: If you haven’t gone shopping for tiles lately, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. Gone are the days of monotone tiles. Todays graphic tiles are inspired by everything from art, to geometry, and come in textures and grains that leave you wondering if they are really tiles. Spice up your kitchens, and bathrooms with something that expresses your style.

Graphic Tiles

2) Open and Airy: Open design is changing how people think about boundaries between types of spaces. Transitions between living, dining, and kitchen spaces are being blurred giving a more spacious and airy feel to the house. It also allows for better ventilation.

Open and Airy Design Plan

3) Inbuilt Kitchen Appliances: Kitchen design these days needs to revolve around convenience and accessibility. Smart and Integrated appliances are the mainstay of every kitchen these days as people have limited space to cook.

Inbuilt Kitchen Appliances

4) LED Lights: There is a significant growth in LED lighting trends in home interiors in recent times. LED lights give your interiors a cool and futuristic look. They have additional advantage that they do not produce heat and are exceptionally energy efficient. They give the flexibility to segregate your task and ambient lights, thus creating an ambiance while being functional.

LED Lights

5) Designer Stairs: Modern staircase designs have become a stunning focal point and often set the tone for the entire house. Besides the practicality of connecting floors within a home, they also integrate fun and artistic interest.

Modern Design Stairs

6) Colorful Interiors: In recent times we have seen an increased use of color in interiors. People are now experimenting with color tones and adding a bit more drama to their interiors.

Color Interiors

 

7 Indoor Plants with Air Purification Abilities

Ficus Weeping Fig

Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the World. In fact, you may be aware that the Delhi government recently trialed the odd-even rule for vehicles to control air pollution. It’s a common misconception that air pollution is restricted only to the outdoors and doesn’t affect the inside of our homes. On the contrary, it’s imperative for us to find solutions to purify air within the confines of our walls. What better way to do so than by adding a green-eco friendly solution to your home, plants. Here’s a list of indoor plants you could place to reduce the air pollution naturally.

1) Palm Tree: These lean and beautiful palms don’t just have an ornamental value, they are best air purifiers as well. NASA ranks palms as the most efficient air humidifiers. Palms are known to continuously remove chemical toxins from the air. Palms enhance the decor and they need some humidity to grow, for this reason they can be placed in living rooms and kitchens.

Palm Tree

2) Bamboo Plant: Bamboos are not only significant in feng-shui they are intense air purifiers too. These attractive and soothing indoor plants are quite effective at clearing out benzene and trichloroethylene. They will flourish in your home if well watered and placed in shade or indirect sunlight. Bamboos keep the air fresh at night so they can be placed in living room as well as in bedroom or bathroom.

Bamboo Plant

3) Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a great indoor plant to improve your air quality at home. It is easy to grow and it helps to keep your home free from benzene which is commonly found in paint and certain chemical cleaners. Aloe vera emits oxygen at night and so they are best to be placed in bedrooms. Since they have anti-septic properties and fight burns well, it’s best to keep one in the kitchen as well.

Aloe Vera

4) Boston Fern
Boston ferns act as a natural air humidifier, they remove formaldehyde and generally are good air purifiers. They are also highly efficient at removing indoor air pollutants. Bathrooms are an ideal location to place boston ferns because of higher humidity levels needed to grow this plant.

Boston Fern

5) Spider Plant: Spider plants are not only decorative but also easy to grow. They are also a part of the NASA list of the best air purifier indoor plants. Spider plants produce more oxygen during the night and should be kept in a bedroom.

Spider Plant

6) Ficus / Weeping Fig: Ficus has some serious air-cleaning abilities, it can also be taken outside in late spring and brought back indoors when it gets warm outside. Apart for being a great air purifier it also is a great accompaniment to endure carpeting and furniture. Ficus should be kept in a living room near a window or a balcony to get bright light.

Ficus Weeping Fig

7) Snake plant: This plant is also known as Mother-in-Law’s tongue. This is one of the best indoor plants for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. The best part of this indoor plant is that it gives you a slight oxygen boost while you sleep. Hence, it would be a great idea to place it in the bedroom, on the side table.Snake Plant

Want to know more? Here are some additional tips for cleaner air at home

Things to Keep in Mind While Setting up a Nursery or Kids Room

Decorating a nursery is always very special because you are about to welcome a new and wonderful life into the house. This space should therefore be soothing, interesting, stylish, and comfortable for your little one and you; after all you both will be spending a lot of time in this room. Here’s a guide to what you need to know while putting together a happy place for your baby.

Kids Room Design:

Consider putting the crib close to the entrance so that you don’t have to walk around things or risk tripping over something when you come to watch over your baby in the middle of the night. Avoid putting the crib right next to the window. Never place a crib near anything that dangles, like a curtain or blind trimmings, as the baby can tangle itself in these.

Nursery Layout

Kids Furniture:

  • Baby Crib: The crib should be the focal point of your baby nursery. You should invest some time and choose its Shape, finish and durability wisely. Make sure the crib does not have any sharp edges or corners.

Baby Crib

  • Baby Bedding: Your baby deserves a healthy environment. Look for bedding that’s soft and 100% cotton that has been produced without chemical pesticides, to keep baby’s sensitive skin protected. It’s important that you read up on SIDS before you decide upon the pillows and bedding for your baby.

Baby Bedding

  • Changing Table: You can keep the changing table close to the crib. When the baby has wet accidents, you don’t want to carry the baby across the room so be sure you have all the essentials close at hand.

Changing Table

Walls: 

  • Consider using nursery wall decals with colors that are calming and nurturing. This could also be influenced by your nursery theme. Anything goes, from flowers to butterflies, or something more modern, such as blocks or stripes. You should also consider using washable paint, so that it is easy to clean if the baby tries honing its artistic skills on them.

Nursery Wall Decals

Flooring:

  • Babies spend a lot of their first two years on the floor- crawling, playing, and falling. Wooden flooring is warm and appealing, but one needs to ensure it is splinter-free.  Wall-to-wall carpeting in the nursery is a good idea, even though cleaning and maintaining it can be a challenge. Choose a very low pile, a loop carpet, or commercial-grade carpet which is easier to vacuum and keep dust free. Instead of going for a wall to wall carpet, you could also cover some parts of the nursery with rugs.

Nursery Flooring

Décor:

  • You may choose to use socket covers or modern sockets that have built-in automatic shutters to stop children sticking their fingers or other objects into them.

Nursery decor

Windows:

  • Choose curtains and blinds without cords. If you do have cords, tie them high up and out of your child’s reach. Always open windows from the top and fit them with locks to prevent your child from opening them from the bottom. Ensure all your kids furniture is placed away from the windows as your child may be tempted to climb onto them.

Nursery Window

Doors:

  • Young children often end up hurting their fingers between slamming doors. Ensure all your doors have door slam stoppers to protect your child’s fingers.

Nursery Door

Tips for Kids Furniture:

  • Use stable furniture that won’t topple over in your child’s nursery. Remember to close drawers to prevent your child from bumping her head or trapping her fingers. Put latches on any lower drawers to prevent your baby to open them. Attach protector cushions to furniture corners so that your child doesn’t hurt himself.

Nursery Furniture

Most of the furniture you install in this room should have storage space to store toys and books. Toy storage should always be covered with a lid so that the toys don’t gather dust, as babies tend to put toys in the mouth very often.

Keeping these points in mind, we really hope you enjoy setting up your nursery and welcome the little one.

P.S: If you’d like to get a baby or kids room built or renovated, and are looking for help, feel free to reach out to us at (http://buildingblox.in/form)

7 Kitchen Design Ideas to Best Utilize Your Space

A kitchen reflects your personality and style. Want to know how organised a person is? Just take a look at their kitchen.

The one common grievance everyone has at home is that ‘there isn’t enough space’. Thanks to innovations in kitchen design, today we have a number of kitchen hardware options in the market that help us organize ourselves and also save space. If you’re designing a new modular kitchen, or renovating your old one here are some tips for you.

  • Pull Out Cabinets– Pull out cabinets organize, de-clutter and help utilize every inch of your cabinet space. You can easily access 100% of your cabinet space without kneeling or stooping, and also get heavier items from your cabinets with minimal effort. It’s best to place pull out cabinets below the kitchen counters and push up cabinets overhead, to make things more accessible and provide better ergonomics of working within the kitchen.pull out cabinet
  • Corner Sink/Wash Casket– The kitchen corner is often the toughest space to utilize, whether its inside the cabinets or on top of the counter. A corner kitchen sink, though often more expensive than a straight one, can be a good way to utilise the corner. Corner sinks are now being manufactured in India by brands such as Nirali, and are easily available. Corner sinks also add a unique visual appeal to your kitchen.

Corner-Sink

  • Magic Corners– Magic corners have also made a significant impact on how corners are used, these days. With these circular shelves pivoting around a rod, all you need to do is swivel, and things kept at the far end come to the front. There are L-Shaped variations to these as well, wherein the front part is pulled out and a side shelf magically appears.

Magic Corner

  • Dish Drying Cabinet– Having a dish drying rack over the sink makes life very convenient as the water falls into the sink straight. The rack can be concealed with a wooden front cabinet cover, like the rest of the shelves in the kitchen, so that it blends with the rest of the kitchen design. Thus the utensils can be dried without making the Kitchen look cluttered and compromising the design.

Dish drying rack

  • Piped Gas (Instead of cylinders to save on space)- If you live in an area where gas pipelines are available, you may want to consider getting a connection as it saves on space and is safer to use. However, if you don’t have that option, you could create a rack outside the house, to place the cylinders and connect it to your burner via a pipe.
  • Drawer Systems/Organizers– What could be more delightful than finding the potato peeler exactly when you require it? Modern kitchen drawer fittings transform cluttered drawers of cutlery, cooking spoons,or snacks, into an organizers delight!There are also plenty of attachments that can help you organise your pots and pans so you don’t have to sift through 10 of them before finding the one you’re looking for. Imagine the difference this could make to your cooking routine.

modular cutlery drawer

  • Wine Glass Holders– Keep your stemware protected and sorted using a Hanging Wine Glass Rack. The rack, which is easy to install, is placed on the ceiling of the cabinet and helps save shelf space the glasses would have otherwise taken up. If you’re wondering, these attachments are fairly easy to clean as well.

Wine Glass Rack

We will keep updating this list from time to time, to help you organise your kitchen better. In the interim, do share your ideas with us in the comments section.

Update 16 feb 2019

Here are some more innovative ways to maximize storage efficiency in your kitchen.

 

Hanging

Add hooks to any free areas to create hanging space for your pots and pans. This might be under the top cabinets or above the window.

 

 

Use the tops of your cabinets

Put rarely used crockery and cutlery into fill-up bins and store them above your upper cabinets.

 

 

Put in a shelf above your window

Window walls are usually wasted, add a shelf to make the most of the space.

 

Add shelves to your splash wall

Use the space between above and lower cabinets to store glasses and other small containers.

Hope you find these tips useful, we will be back with more shortly!

Be sure to leave your comments and suggestions.

Get creative by reusing old materials for sustainable and cost effective renovations.

Sustainable development begins from sustainable thinking. Before you begin building, do take a good idea of the direction of the breeze and sun at different times of the day. Speculate how seasons would change the course of the wind and light, and then build accordingly to optimize on the breeze and natural light, thus saving electricity consumption. Apart from this, here are few more points you may want to keep track of:

 

1) Re-Use whatever you can.

2) Dispose of material in a responsible manner. Recycle whatever you can.

3) Use effective insulation.

4) Try and use as much solar energy as possible.

5) See if you can create a small rainwater catchment and use that water for irrigating gardens.

6) If possible, create a roof garden to keep the interiors cooler.

7) Choose native plants that are accustomed to the climate, as they would require less water and maintenance

8) Refurbish furnishings to reduce landfills

9) Locate rooms most used (kitchen, lounge and bedrooms) on the side of the house orientated to the North. Locate rooms to take advantage of winter sun and cooling summer breezes. Thermal mass can be achieved by locating utility areas (laundries, bathrooms and garages) on the south or west where possible, avoid locating sleeping rooms on the west.

10) Consider window size and placement to promote and enhance cross- ventilation to the south, east and west.

 

Hope you find these tips useful. To look up some products that would help you create a sustainable home, Click Here

Glass isn’t Just a Sleek and Stylish Material. It Has Many Uses.

    When people refer to glass, they are generally thinking about the sleek and sophisticated material that offers unparalleled style. However, there are many varieties of the same and very many uses, good to keep in mind when deciding on what to look for in your project. Some of them are listed below:

Flat Glass

Flat glass

    This glass is chiefly used in windows, mirrors, room dividers, and furniture. This variety is made in the form of flat sheets. There are a few exceptions though, such as the glass used in automobile windshields is reheated and curved over moulds.

Fiberglass furniture

Fiberglass 

    Fiber glass consists of fine, solid rods of glass. Each rod is usually less than one-twentieth the width of a human hair. These tiny glass fibres are loosely entwined to serve as heat insulators. Fiberglass has many other uses. It is used for electrical insulation, chemical filtration, and fire-fighters’ suits. When combined with plastics, fibreglass can also be used for making Airplane wings and bodies, and automobile bodies. Since Fibreglass is fire and heat resistant, and is washable, it is also used as curtains.

laminated Glass

Laminated safety glass

    Laminated safety glass is used where broken glass might cause serious injuries, as in automobile windshields. It is a “sandwich” made by combining alternate layers of flat glass and plastics. The outer glass layer may crack but the inner layer of plastic, which is elastic, stretches, and holds the broken pieces of glass together.

Tempered Safety Glass

Tempered safety glass:

    Tempered glass is several times stronger than regular glass. But unlike laminated glass, it is a single piece that is given special heat treatment. It is used widely for all-glass doors in stores, side and rear windows of automobiles, and other special purposes. It’s extremely hard to break, but when it does, it collapses into small, dull-edged fragments.

Coloured Glass

Colored structural glass

    Colored structural glass is used in building facades and for interior walls, partitions, and table-tops.

Foam glass

    Foam Glass is widely used as a heat insulator in buildings, on steam pipes, and on chemical equipment, and is extremely light. It can be cut into various shapes with a straw. In fact, when the glass is cut, it looks like a black honey comb filled with tiny cells of gas, which are separated from each other by thin glass walls.

Glass Block

Glass building blocks

    These are made from two hollow half-sections sealed together at a high temperature. Glass building blocks are good insulators as they contain dead-air space inside. The blocks are laid like bricks to make walls and other structures.

Photochromic glass windows

Photochromic glass

    Photochromic Glass is used in windows and sun glasses, as it darkens when exposed to ultraviolet rays and appears clear otherwise.

Curved glass

Curved glass

    Curved glass is among the growing glass trends across the globe, adding movement and dimension to traditionally static structures. This rise is due in part to advances in curved glass production, which have introduced efficient and inexpensive systems to handle what was traditionally a costly and difficult process. Modern adjustable glass ovens eliminate the need for molds while increasing the degree of glass flexion and expanding the design possibilities.

Double Glazzed Unit

The Double glazed unit

    Double glazed windows consist of two layers of glass with a layer of inert gas sealed between them. This creates nearly twice the insulation as single glazed units. Once sealed, the unit becomes airtight. This kind of glass comprises of seven components:

  1. A Spacer Bar – a frame that separates the two panels of glass, creating a cavity. The spacer bar can be aluminum or warm-edge.
  2. Desiccant – a silicon material used in the spacer bar to dry up moisture trapped within the cavity
  3. A primary seal – the main barrier to air or moisture migration into the double glazed unit (DGU)
  4. The glass – clear, solar control, Low E, self-cleaning, acoustic, toughened, laminated or a combination
  5. The secondary seal – the main structural adhesive around the outside edge of the unit, holding all the elements together
  6. The cavity – the void formed between the component parts
  7. The gas filling the cavity – dehydrated air, argon, krypton or xenon.

    Glass, as you can see, serves a number of purposes, and hence it is vital that the right kind of glass is used at the right places.

Take a look at Glass products we have.