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Smart tips to decorate studio apartments

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Go for neutral coloured walls

Small or studio apartments are often difficult decorating. Sapna Sarfare suggests ways to convert them into your snug dream home

Look around anywhere and the struggle for buying the dream home has become ruthless. Many are buying or renting small or studio apartments. You dread decorating such smaller spaces. The solution here is to reach the right balance.

Make some space


There are challenges. And there are more challenges. Interior designer Ayushi Kanodia feels the biggest challenge is of space planning including furniture layout. Experiential Designer Heena Handa, who is the Founder and Creative Head, Design Board, adds that designers do not keenly provide services for such properties. So owners rely either on a contractor or struggle on their own. The results are not that great. Aashna who is an Interior Architect and Furniture Designer at Expressions accepts struggles to keep the space functional and uncluttered. “Plan of your space with pieces you own and see what fits best.”

Declutter your rooms with just basic, but classy pieces in furniture

Simple and sound

Yes, you have done your research. There are still chances of missing out on things. Ayushi applies the KISS rule here. “It stands for ‘Keep It Simple Silly’. Using stylish multi-purpose furniture not only makes the space look bigger but also saves a lot of space. Nowadays, there is some really stylish multi-functional furniture created for small spaces.” Aashna supports Ayushi’s concept. “Also, it helps to have furniture with legs where the floor surface is visible as much as possible. It makes the space look bigger.”

Heena considers colour to be the deal breaker here. “People assume that dark colour means space looks small – but that’s just not true! For fabrics, they usually choose browns because it will last longer and the dirt won’t show! Again, not true! Space utilisation can be critical to the quality of life of the family. See what the Japanese do in tiny space.”

Aspects to think

Before starting, just have a good look at what you want, suggests Heena. “Judge what you can re-use, make a list of what you need, close your eyes and feel the room once it is ready – and start from there. It’s good Vastu to unclutter, and you will be getting a fresh start with the essentials. You can also rent furniture and appliances these days. So you can test run something expensive before buying.”

Aashna suggests the use of earthy or pastel tones, less use of many textures in the same room and artwork on each wall to make it attractive and add depth. “It also helps to have the furniture in a similar colour to the walls.” If asked, Ayushi thinks coloured or stylish wallpapers gives a nice texture to the wall and breaks the monochrome nature. “The accessories too should bring in the needed colour but should be simple and unique. Finally, bring in your personality to give the house a sense of uniqueness.”

Break the monochrome, add interesting accessories

Store-well

Aashna suggests creating storage cabinets within the wall. “The brick wall is replaced by a partition which has built-in storage cupboards giving you storage vertically. Materials for upholstery should be light and airy and materials used should have minimal or no patterns. If the room has natural light coming in, take most advantage of it by giving a big window otherwise keep the room well lit using artificial lighting. The ceiling should be as high as possible. Spread out the storage vertically by giving open shelves or in glass cabinets for books, etc.”

Ayushi recommends wooden furniture, simple furnishings, and accessories as decor. “In terms of material, we need to look at items that are sustainable, sturdy and are self maintained. In terms of colour, white looks really elegant. The exposed white washed brick look also looks great! To break the monochrome, one can have colourful accessories in the shades of coral blue, peacock green and lime yellow.” Accent chairs and hanging lights complete the look!

Materials like MDF painted over is a good material along with pine wood, says Heena. “Online stores are good places to shop like curtains. You can reuse/re-dress old curtains in a good shape as well. Add colored panels on either side and voila! Buy bedspreads like the Rajasthani ones and get them machine quilted in 2mm foam.” LED bulbs mean low bill and carbon footprint.

Unclutter the room with neutral walls, coloured accessories and wooden furniture

The tech mind

Your home also consists of electronic items for use. Heena talks about TVs doubling up as a monitor and vice versa, Wi-Fi connection and a separate CPU. Or else follow Aashna’s idea and use wall mounted TVs and speaker systems for a neater look. “For the kitchen, use a built- in microwave and oven stacked one on the other spreading vertically and the same for other appliances hidden behind a rolling shutter.”

There is another trend suggested by Ayushi. “Have an electronic free living room which takes up a lot of space and the wiring are also visible.” Those looking for a/c option can go for ceiling inbuilt ones.

On a parting tip, Heena recommends using easily washable polyester curtains. “Avoid carving as it attracts dust. There should be no coves in false ceilings as things live there. Non-textured surfaces will look larger, cleaner and are easy to maintain. Try using tiles for flooring.”

Aashna just wants everyone to use easily maintained materials. “One does not necessarily have to go with all light shades. Even a dark floor with lighter walls can make the space look big.”

Photo Credit: Design Board