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5 interior decorating challenges and how to solve them

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As far as décor is concerned, everything seems just about fine at home. But like with a pea under your mattress, you’re tossing and turning over some ignored part of your home that’s trying to get your unsolicited attention. Something unavoidable, like a pillar in the middle of the room, or a tiny window that you don’t know what to do with. You have tried to think of ways to deal with it, only to give up and make peace with the devil. But if you haven’t completely caved in then we have a few suggestions you may want to try out. 

Picture windows or windows that are small in size are a common sight in apartments. Most people cover it with a curtain the precise size of the window. It’s convenient, but is it ideal? No, it’s not. It looks like a big square in the centre of the wall. Here are some other options, based on possible locations: 

1.    Suppose your window is on an empty wall and you’re not
      planning to place any furniture below it, you can make it look
      bigger by treating it with curtains that start a few inches below
      the ceiling and almost reach the floor.

2.    If your window sits above a piece of furniture or a full-length
       curtain isn’t feasible, you can then either opt for shades or
       blinds, depending on how you want to control the light. This
       option also works if your window is just very small.

3.    In areas like the kitchen, you could style your windows with
       café-style short curtains, which only cover the bottom part of
       the window. You can then layer it with a valance (a creatively
       draped short curtain that only covers the top section of the
       window). This will let you control the light, maintain privacy,
       look styled and it is easy to clean.

Photography by Madhurjya Saikia, Styled by Aishwarya Bhonsle

Nowadays a lot of Indian homes have custom-built wardrobes that fill the entire span of a room. A sense of frugality, tendency to hoard, or perhaps we just have too many things, whatever the reason, in the interest of creating concealed storage options, rooms have been overtaken with wardrobes. If the wardrobes have been designed creatively and does not overpower the room, then that’s great. On the other hand, if it does overpower a room then perhaps you could try one of these solutions:

1.    Blend the cupboard with the wall by cladding it in a colour that is the same as the rest of the room. This works best if your cupboard is wall-to-

2.    On the opposite side of the spectrum of solutions, turn the wardrobe into a feature. Do this by covering it in an interesting wallpaper, or
       cladding it in a contrast colour, that complements the rest of the room. Or even paint it with an interesting pattern that will convert it into almost
       a piece of art. 

In a tiny bathroom with little storage space and bite-sized surface area, go vertical! 

1.    Use at the back of the bathroom door efficiently. Hang baskets there to keep essentials. 

2.    Insert adhesive hooks on the wall for hanging fabrics or tools.

3.    Stack below, stack above. A medicine cabinet can be efficiently placed above a sink. And below, stackable shelves, and storage on wheels
       (waterproof wheels, of course), are great options. 

4.    Use wall-mounted holders for toothbrushes and other tidbits instead of placing it on the sink. 

Photography by Shamanth Patil, Designed by Vinithra Amarnathan

How you deal with a pillar depends on its location, how close it is to the wall, and which activity area it is in. Here are a few things you can do with an eyesore pillar…

1.    If the pillar is in your living room, and if you are able to place
       seating furniture opposite it, you can use this for the television.
       If it is wide enough, then mount a flat screen on it, if it’s not
       wide enough, then add additional wall space around it. 

2.    If it is positioned close to the kitchen or dining space, then use
       it as an anchor for a table or kitchen island. This way it will look
       like a part of the set up.

3.    If two pillars are close enough to each other, the pair them by
       converting it to an arch, or fill the space between the two with
       shelves and make it into a storage or display space. If the
       pillars are not very close to one another, then turn it into a
       room divider.

4.    If a structural pillar sits in the centre of the living room then 

turn it into a centre of attention. Colour, clad, or cover it with something that takes your fancy, even a row of runaround shelves for a bit of extra shelving space. 

1.    Paint the ceiling a lighter shade than the walls. And make the floor slightly darker, such as a dark wood finish. This will give the illusion of a
       brighter and bigger space.

2.    Paint the ceiling with a glossy finish. The reflective surface gives the illusion of a bigger space.

3.    Use tall accessories around the house. For e.g. thin and heighted vases and flowers. Decorative sculptures or floor lamps. 

4.    A large commanding piece of art will also make the room seem bigger, rather than smaller. It is counterintuitive, but always works.

5.    Use floor length curtains that start from the ceiling. Even the doors can be up to the ceiling. Long curtains and doors make your walls look
       bigger than they are. 

6.    Choose furniture that is not too high or bulky. Having visual space also makes a room look bigger. 

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