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

6 Home Renovations to Plan When Getting Married

Home Renovation when getting married

 

Weddings are a good time to plan your home renovations. You may want to add an extra room or storage space to accommodate a new person’s belongings, and make a few more additions to make your spouse comfortable. Here are some changes we recommend while you plan your renovation.

Start Pinterest board together (e.g. http://ow.ly/YswK4) This way you can get a sense of each others design sensibilities and go through the tough task of shortlisting designs for your home before getting started on site.

  • Extra storage units:  You may want to add an extra cupboard or cabinets to store clothes and other belongings when you get married. You may want to mount a full length mirror on the cupboard or on a swivel, with the swivel revealing shelves and hooks- ideal for your belts, bags and scarves. Position a low chest of drawers at the foot of your bed and use it to store your bed linen. Think vertically, adding shelving to walls and possibly extending them to the ceiling.
  • The master Bedroom:  Look for Bedroom design ideas to help you put together the perfect bedroom to welcome your life partner home. Apart from adding storage, you may want to shift to a bigger bed and add a dresser or walk-in closet to it. Ensure you have a dedicated bathroom attached to the room. You should also look at adding more plug points to the room as the number of chargeable devices would increase once you get married.
  • The Bathroom: Bathroom designs can be tricky to implement. If you have the space, you could go in for his and her sinks. You could also add a tub or a Jacuzzi. If you don’t feel the need to include a bathtub; you can use that extra space for a large storage cabinet instead. Walk-in showers are also popular but bathtub with shower combos offer the best of both worlds. If space is a constraint, wall-mounted cabinets and medicine cabinets are helpful too.
  • The Kitchen: You should look for modular kitchen ideas to add style to the belly of your home.  Opt for open shelves instead of upper cabinets to provide display space and make a small kitchen feel larger. The most popular kitchen upgrade one can do before getting married is installing new state of the art energy-efficient appliances, such as a dual-fuel range with double convection ovens, a high-tech range hood, an energy star certified refrigerator and a water-saving paneled dishwasher.
  • Living Room: If at least one of you is a movie buffs, you may want a separate living room with a TV installed, to snuggle in and watch a late night flick. This space should ideally be separate from a formal drawing room that isn’t prim and proper all the time.
  • Another Bedroom: A spare bedroom is always good to have since guests visiting tend to increase after you’re married. Additionally, it could come in handy down the road when you start planning your own family. More so you can always benefit from the extra storage in this room, since there will almost certainly not be enough.

5 Storage Ideas Using Spaces You Never Realised Existed in Your House

Every house has pockets which you never realised existed, but could be used to organise and store many things. This blog post talks of such pockets and how they could be used.

1) The Area under the steps: This area, often ignored, can be used for utility drawers, a small washroom, a showcase, or a small utility room for the washing machine/ ironing table. Much depends on the space available though.

Under stair shelf

Under stair shelf

 

Under stair shelf

 

2) Wardrobe doors: These are usually unused, but hooks in the wardrobe doors could help you organise ties, belts, shoes and even clothes.

Wardrobe Door Storage

Wardrobe Door Storage

Wardrobe Door Storage

Wardrobe Door Storage

3) Bathroom Storage: Even if you have a small bathroom, some storage area can be squeezed out to store cleaning material, towels, and other utility items.

  • The area under the sink is perfect for storing cleaning products and detergents.

Under Sink Storage

  • A ‘behind the mirror cabinet’ for extra shampoo and soap.

Bathroom Storage

  • To stock Towels and Toilet Paper.

Bathroom Storage

4) Capitalizing on ceiling height using hydraulic garment lifts: We are most often limited by height, and don’t prefer ceiling high cupboards for obvious reasons. However, these hydraulic hangers really help in using that space for hanging suits and other important clothes which you want to keep away from the clutter. You can find these hangers at Hettich.

Garment Storage

5) Innovative Furniture: Furniture with storage can be a big plus point especially if you live in a rented accommodation wherein you really can’t build in storage space

  • Beds with storage

Bed with storage

  • Sofa with storage

Sofa with storage

  • Coffee table Bookshelf

Coffee Table book shelf

  • Coffee table with storage

Coffeetabe storage

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)

Bathroom Designs: Your Basic Product Buying Guide

Gone are the days when bathrooms were the most neglected spots in the house. Now days, one can notice a paradigm shift in the way most basic utility items are being designed and offered within a reasonable budget. Bathrooms are a place for relaxation and rejuvenation; they are zones where people spend much needed ‘me’ time. If you are planning to renovate your bathroom, here’s a quick primer on some of the major bathroom fittings out there today. It’ll help you start to figure out what kinds of products you like.

Sinks or Washbasins

  • Bowl or Vessel Sink: These stylish sink bowls are placed on the counter, and give a simplistic uncluttered look to the bathroom.

Bowl or Vessel Sink

  • Corner Sink: These sinks help maximize space in small bathrooms, and bring corners to good use.

Corner Sink

  • Vanity Top Sinks: These sinks have a sunken bowl and are available in different shapes eg: Circle, Oval and Rectangle etc.

Vanity Top Sink Circle

Vanity Top Sink Oval

Vanity Top Sink Rectangle

 

Toilet / WC / Commode

While you can certainly find some fancy WCs in our earlier blog post, here are some neat and simple ones you wouldn’t have to hunt for.

  • Wall Mounted WC: The biggest advantage of having a wall-mounted WC is that you can adjust and install it basis your height and comfort. Plus, water and dirt doesn’t stagnate in the crevices.Wall Mounted WC
  • Concealed Cistern WC: Most of the latest WC designs involve a concealed cistern, housed in the wall behind.

Concealed Cistern WC

  • Conventional WC: Even the conventional WCs come in sleek and modern designs to add to the simplicity of the bathroom.

Regular WC

Bath Area

  • Bathtub: Soak in luxury today with the perfect tub for your bathroom. A decorative bathtub can be the centerpiece for any bathroom. A tub shower combo also offers the luxury of both together, if you do not have the space for a separate shower area in the bathroom.

Bathtub

  • Jacuzzi: Jacuzzis are wonderful stress relievers and they take relaxation to a whole new level. You can easily soak in your worries in the Jacuzzi, feeling fresh physically and mentally.

Jacuzzi

 

  • Shower Enclosures: They are quite beautiful and can even be custom made to meet your requirements. The best part of shower enclosure is, it keeps the rest of the bathroom floor dry as the water and steam stay inside.

Shower Enclosures

  • Open Bath Area within the Bathroom: Open Bath Areas are best for small bathrooms, as they make the bathroom look spacious and add versatility and visual aesthetics to it.

Open Bath Area

Shower Fittings

  • Shower head: Most of these have water adjustment options. If you want a hard jet or a soft drizzle, just turn the shower head and get it going.

Shower Head

  • Hand Shower: Most shower panels have an option for hand showers too, for a comfortable bath.

Hand Shower

  • Rain Shower: Experience the Sensation of Soothing Rain with a rainfall shower head. You can make every shower a luxurious spa-like experience with these.

Rain Shower

  • Ceiling Shower: This is the next generation showerhead that literally looks like a chandelier for your bathroom.

Ceiling Shower

There are a lot more options available for bathrooms these days. While we will keep updating this list, do share any others that come to your mind.

 

7 Kitchen Design Ideas to Best Utilize Your Space

U Shaped Kitchen

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.

Home Improvement: 6 Tips on How to Start

carpenter worker installing laminate flooring in the room

    A home renovation or home improvement project can be very chaotic; however, the following steps can make it much more organized than you think.

  • Browse Home Design Ideas

    It’s a good idea to start by building a sense for what you want in terms of the interior design of your space. Today there are plenty of options online to browse home design ideas and create your lookbooks, with Pinterest and Houzz being two of the most popular ones. Organize your thoughts by room, or project so you can tell your service providers what you’re looking for, and why.   Incorporate your design ideas and get a broad blueprint ready before you start your planning process.

  • Plan, Plan, Plan

    The most critical thing you can do at the start of a home improvement project is to spend time planning, and figuring out how to go about things. It can be vital in achieving higher quality, and lowering your renovation costs.  This will also avoid you from springing up last minute surprises on yourself and adding on little details at the last minute, spiking up your costs. This will also prevent you from constantly changing the scope of work, thereby avoiding delays and cost overruns.

  • Decide on the services you need

    Think about whether you need help with Interior Design, it comes at a price. Involving a designer doesn’t mean you don’t do your research on which designs you like and which you don’t. You also need to check if you have major structural work required, in which case you may need an Architect. Else, you would just need contractors to get your work done e.g. Carpenters, Plumbing, and Civil construction.

  • Determine your Budget

    While you may not have an understanding of what your project might cost you, it’s good to think about the outer limit of money you are willing to spend on getting your project done. Keep 10-20% aside in anticipation of cost over runs. The rest of it will essentially split into two buckets, services and products. For midmarket products, the thumb rule applies that the products to services cost ratio is 2:1. Picking luxury products or cheaper products can change this mix.

  • Find Contractors

    Next, you will probably need to start looking for contractors who can do the work for you. Try to find at least 2-3 people, whom you can get quotes from so it helps you validate your budget expectations. Take a look at the service provider’s work, through past references to evaluate which one best fits your needs.

    To find contractors, you could look online, ask your friends, or visit construction sites in your area and speak to contractors there.

  • Project Management

    All of the above should help you get started. However one key piece in making sure everything runs smoothly is project management. You need to have a level of supervision on your project. Whether you choose to give your own time, or hire a part-time/full time project manager, this is a layer that cannot be emphasized enough. Your project manager will help deal with the labor, ensure material arrives on time, check the quality of work and material, clean your place, and overall produce a higher level of quality of work that will last you longer and reduce mental stress (really!).

    Once you have the above steps in place you will realize that renovation need not bog you down. In fact, proper planning and your presence during the renovation can make the entire process stress free and effective as well.

Light Up Your Home, this Festival of Lights

1

Diwali is all about lighting. If you are planning a home makeover this season, then lighting should be something you should upgrade. Here are some tips you could use to light up each room:

 

Kitchen

Kitchen lighting should not only be practical, and functional, it should also be jazzy especially if you have an open kitchen.

  • You must go for fixtures that are easy to clean as Indian cooking leads to a lot of greasy deposits around the kitchen.
  • With Indian cooking, you may want to ensure recessed lighting is used a little farther from the stove, as cleaning recessed fixtures is a task.
  • Under-cabinet lighting provides direct illumination of kitchen work surfaces, and are out of sight!
  • You could also use Pendant fixtures over areas you use a lot.

 

8

Living Room Lighting

  • If you have a TV in this room, you need to ensure that the lights don’t reflect on the TV’s surface, else it will hinder your viewing
  • Recessed lights work best in this room
  • You may want a mixture of directional LEDs or focus lights and ambient lights here. Focus lights to highlight artifacts and ambient lights to create am ambiance

 

4

Staircase Lighting

  • Another great application for LEDs is stair lighting. Install an inexpensive LED stair lighting kit to guide you down safely in the middle of the night, and also because it makes your stairwell look really cool.

 

7

Dining Room

  • Ensure that the lighting focuses on the eating area or the food. You could use a pendant fixture or two to illuminate the dining table for this purpose.
  • You could also use inexpensive LED rope lights. these are extremely versatile. They give a nice festive and homely look to any space they are used in.

 

2

Bedroom

  • Ensure the lighting is relaxing.
  • A combination of recessed lighting and directional lights are needed if you read a lot and have a study table in the room.
  • Ensure the dresser has a good task right as well as reasonable ambient light. So that the face is well lit when you stand in front of the mirror.
  • Ceiling lights in front of or inside wardrobes are a good idea.

 

For More Lighting Products, Click Here

Handy-man tips for exposed brick walls.

albumcover

What’s the point of owning house if you don’t mess around with it once in a while? Creating an exposed brick wall is more of a hands-on, DIY project, not meant for the faint hearted. Work closely with your contractor and follow these steps:

  • Pick a wall you want to expose.
  • Drill a hole to check if there’s actually brick back there.
  • Removed the plastering off the brick – this is a labor intensive and messy job so don’t start without enough help available.
  • Consider removing the damaged brick by drilling holes on all four corners of the mortar around the brick and shaking it loose or painstakingly chiseling it out.
  • Use a wire brush to scrub the wall.
  • Use warm water to sponge down your wall.
  • If you don’t want your house to collapse, grab some mortar repair (cement filler) and fill in the cracks and obviously replace any bricks your might have removed.
  • Clean the bricks again with warm water.
  • Use a sponge or brush to apply sealant onto the exposed brick wall, use a brick sealant with matte finish rather than a polyurethane sealant which will give the wall an unnatural glossy finish.

71ab3783ab4800677ae3deb5ce630f21 62089a9c97722216e4ce97a2d28bafa4

 

BONUS TIPS:

  • To hang pictures and paintings drill your holes into the mortar rather than the brick.
  • Use exposed copper pipes as conduits to run wires if necessary rather than chasing the wall.
  • Compliment your exposed brick wall with some sleek contemporary furniture.

So what are you waiting for?  Head to your local hardware store and get started today..

Have you ever exposed a brick wall? Do you have any tips on how to do it? Leave your comments below.