Hello my loves,
Hope you all are safe, well, and indoors. Speaking of indoors, with all this time we’ve been spending at home, I couldn’t help but wonder if ‘home’ is a space we’ve focused on enough. In the busy lives we (usually) lead, have we bothered making it a place that truly reflects our personal aesthetic? I got in touch with my interior designer friend Neha Changwani of INC Design Studio to shed some proverbial light on how we can tweak our homes to make them more beautiful and liveable. A self-confessed Marie Kondo fan, she emphasized BIG TIME on decluttering – something we can incidentally start doing right away, while in lockdown.
She adds “What I’ve learned with working on so many sites is, the shell of your house is made by us designers in one go, but it’s a gradual process to accentuate your house, I would say start slow and build on because if you hurry you might buy things you don’t relate to. Also keep experimenting, move things around; it moves the energies and changes them vibes. With my clients, I help them to infuse their personality into their home by asking the right questions. In short – add your vibes to your home, it makes you more positive and helps you relax. Remove all things that make you cringe or complain and surround yourself with all that you love. It’s honestly that simple but I’ve broken it down further below.”
The first step to decorate your home is to declutter; give away what you do not use and make way for new things to come into your life. We don’t end up using things which are stored away in lofts etc, try to lighten up the space by removing unnecessary items. A nice bookshelf or a bar can be added to that space. Think of spaces where you can make storage to make sure your knick-knacks are concealed. This will ensure that only a few items are outside, and then they will be used regularly and look aesthetic.
Get rid of the plastic from your kitchen as much as you can. Explore different materials like cane, ceramics, upcycled glass, slate, wood, etc. Bring out your silverware and use it.
Lights play a very integral role in all my work, and I cannot tolerate bad lighting ever, white tube lights make me cringe, so I choose all locations be it travel or sitting at a café based on its lights.
So, for my home, I like warm dim lights, an easy tip is to change your existing bulbs tubes, if you find yellow too dull, then day light is a good option which is soothing like sunlight.
Table lamps, floor mounted lamps can easily be added to light up your home, just have to plug them in. I’ve added pendant lights so as to keep my nightstands clear.
Fairy lights can serve as nice night lamp, I also light up diffusers often, light and aroma, best combo. Of course, candles are used for special candle light dinners or just when you want to feel special.
I love agarbattis (incense sticks) great way to uplift the vibes of your home.
I’m not much of a shopper, but when it comes to souvenirs/ memorabilia I’ve unknowingly been collecting them all my life. Bring them out and use them to decorate your space. A smiling Japanese cat welcomes everyone to my home, shells in the beach in a glass jar, I’ve also put some souvenirs in my bar with my bottles, I use some as paperweights and bookends … I would suggest first digging at home, you are bound to find some great treasure for sure, to begin with. Add a globe, compass, a large map, or any object which you cherish and make you feel good. A nice bookcase or books kept on your coffee table is a great way to make sure you’re engaged and away from the phone.
My newest love is for crockery, I find food tastier when plated properly, so I keep picking from all over, and love setting up the table for special occasions, and also I do it myself for my site photoshoots, You don’t need much, just some creativity. Use things from your home; I used twigs, ribbons, flowers to set up the last time for my mother’s birthday. Must invest in a nice vase, fresh flowers add life to your table, can add plants as well.
I mix match the mats with the crockery, its better than buying a readymade matching set. It adds your personality to the collection when you mix. Be imaginative needn’t use kitchen items only for the setup, can use your mother’s hair decoration as ties for the napkin. I use platters to hold my cosmetics on my bed side table.
Build slowly over the years, and don’t hoard the crockery for special guests, bring them out and enjoy them.
Cushions are the simplest way to decorate your home, add as many as you can maintain, it adds a lot of cosiness to the space. I have cushions of all sizes always ready with me, I’m kind of like a supplier, don’t want anyone to fall short on those.
Also please pay attention to the bedsheets, these are the most overlooked. I can’t bear sitting on flowers or colour; I got myself plain, pinstriped and checkered ones. Choose what appeals to you, don’t use the ones which were gifted to you and the designs that have been used for generations.
Add a simple neutral bedspread to your bed, it adds an extra element of style to your bed. You can even use your duvet to do so. It’s makes the bed look complete, ideal when expecting guests.
I prefer blinds, I got all my curtains changed to blinds, it saves you from the dust allergies, neater, easier to maintain. Gone are those days when blinds were used only in offices. A quick fix and also quite reasonable.
Add your own personality
Windchimes, dream catchers are some things I’ve added to our home. Add interest with clocks, replace that boring wall hung one with something interesting. I’ve put up some of the paintings from my dad’s collection which were just lying somewhere in the loft. Bring out your art paintings, frame them, hang them. I’ve added loads of plants to block the view to my home, and of course feels wonderful go open your eyes to the greenery. Let it trickle in your home with money plants, terrariums, succulents, etc. If you cannot maintain, buy flowers, or some artificial flowers are allowed too. Another tip is to display coffee mugs or glassware in the glass showcases already present in your home, something I unfailingly do.
Neha Changwani has to her credit more than 70 projects that she has completed successfully. To each project she has lent, a distinct style and individuality that have taken them from being mundane spaces to abodes that reflect the distinct identity of its owner. She has created through her versatile designing, unique brand identities for IT startups, fashion brands, living spaces, and cafes. For your designing needs or any questions you may have, you can reach her on Instagram at @nehachangwani or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org