One thing which I frequently come across as an architect and interior designer is people’s fear of making permanent changes to their living environment. Often, parents and elders are scared to make radical alterations to their homes or offices. Perhaps they are afraid of expensive redesign, losing familiarity with their space or are just too attached to old furniture or layout. As a result, they stick to the same items or décor which has been in the house for decades. How can we change that?
The value of heritage items or family heirlooms can never be paralleled. Yet, new items bring liveliness, curiosity and freshness to one’s surrounding. I always assure clients (including my parents) that to achieve this freshness, we do not have to replace everything with something new. A redesign also does not have to mean a huge expense. Upcycling, DIY and re-use are topics which have been stressed umpteen times on my own blog. We can use interior design to revamp old set-ups at minimum cost. Interior design courses, like the one at Cindrebay School of Design, emphasizes on décor and set-ups.
Home décor basically entails the use of artefacts, show pieces, soft furnishing, frames, wall hanging or plants (among many many other things) to elevate the look of a space. Set-up on the other hand comprises a temporary layout or a small intervention taken in case of special events like a family gathering or party. For example, when you make space for a buffet table in the dining room for additional guests or when you lay mattresses on the terrace to sleep under the stars. Changing décor or adding a set-up, surprisingly, is also possible when there’s no festival or guests coming over! Who knew! Let’s discuss how we can do that.
- THE RESHUFFLE : Repeat after me – A sofa does not have to be placed against a wall! Most Indian households have rectangular spaces which makes them ideal for reshuffling furniture. Changing the layout once in a while gives you a good perspective of the things you need and the things you don’t. Reshuffling your furniture actually helps you spend less and achieve a new look of the space every week. This triggers minimalism i.e. less hoarding and less buying! Win – Win.
- NOW OR NEVER : We tend to postpone using items simply waiting for that one special occasion. Remember all the gifts lying in the attic waiting to be used on that perfect day? Well, the honest outcome of that is – they never get used. Over time we forget we ever had them and end up buying new stuff. Avoid that by applying the Now or Never rule. Go through your storage / attic / go-down / garage and select items which you use now or never. The ones in the Now category go into your space and the Never go on e-bay.
- STYLE HACK : Using the same clothes paired with different stuff results in different looks or outfits. We can do the same thing with our spaces. Using the same items paired with different things or settings result in unique looks. A very innovative trick is to change the placement of showpieces. Try this – hang every artefact which is set on a table / dresser / cupboard and set everything that’s hanging on a surface. This simple idea can change the look of the space radically. Wall frames scattered or set on tables and dressers and showpieces like vases, mementos or souvenirs can be hung below a wall light or passages. This restyling hack will save you tons of money in buying new paintings / wall hangings and showpieces to change the look of the space.
- YOU AND YOUR SPACE : Another restyling hack is displaying collections. For instance, use a blank wall to display all your books, vinyl (records), instruments, sketches, comic strips, cassettes, gift wrapping paper or any collection you might have, which is lying inside storage or in racks. This way, you can add a touch of your personality in your living space as well as revamp the décor without any expense.
- SPACE INCEPTION : Creating a space inside a space is an easy set-up to change your surroundings. Think of it as your personal fort house. This is why a four poster bed, a tepee tent or even a bathtub holds so much allure. It guarantees personal space and alone time. You could create this set-up for a more invigorating work from home space, for developing a new hobby or simply to get some time for yourself. Try using cardboard, paper, sheets, curtains and or cushions to create this special corner. Your inspiration could be a date time set-up – but this date is with yourself!
- YOUR SPACE, YOUR RULES : Who said a house could only be a house and not a cinema hall? If you are not willing to spend too much money converting a whole room into a home theater, invest in a small projector (a lot of mini projectors are available online or on social media) and convert your living room into a cinema hall! Small purchases can revamp the feel of a room. If you are not interested in making a permanent massage room in your house, how about temporarily converting the bathroom using scented candles, shower steam and essential oils into a relaxing sauna space for a few hours?
- SUBTRACTION, NOT ADDITION : A redesign could also mean subtracting a few elements instead of adding new ones. For instance, the kitchen walls could be subtracted to achieve a brand new open kitchen. A partition could be removed to get the illusion of a bigger space. Subtract the cupboards and wardrobes from a child’s room (maybe one who no longer lives there) to make room for yoga, painting or dancing! Remove some of the showpieces or souvenirs from the shelves to declutter. Remember, minimalism is key!
- DYNAMIC SET-UPS : Want to create new set-ups but don’t have the time? Add plants or living things to your space. An ever growing and changing element in the room will guarantee changing set-ups every week. Dynamic set-ups can be achieved with plants, a small water feature like a fountain, a koi pond, an aquarium, etc. A fireplace, a kinetic wall or an installation can help create new looks with no effort.
Interior design is not only about changing false ceiling or designing furniture. It is about creating new looks and styles with your space. This is as important as updating your fashion. A new space makes a new you. Redundant monotonous living environments can cause fatigue or depression. Changing the layout of your home or office can be therapeutic. At Cindrebay institute of Interior Design, courses like home décor, home styling and sustainable design are given their due importance. This enhances the idea of minimalism and design on a budget in the upcoming interior designers. They are hence equipped with the know-how to reimagine a space without proposing large budgets or suggesting radical measures. Hire a decorator or interior expert to know the million ways you can restyle and reshape your space. Do keep coming back to the Cindrebay blog to get more hacks and interior tips! Drop a comment if you like our work!