How to Escape the Stereotype
Make your home stand out…
So, you’ve bought or rented a flat in one of those mammoth apartment complexes, which look like something churned out from a factory – no individuality, a dull sameness that permeates the entire complex…just block after block of concrete – nothing to state that yours is different. Nevertheless, living in flat among hundreds of other identical ones need not force you into conforming with stereotypes. You can make your flat look different – imbue it with an individuality that will make it stand out like an oasis in a desert!
Let’s start with the exteriors. Most of us take pains to stamp our individuality on the interiors of our homes, but forget about the exteriors! Little inexpensive touches can go a long way in giving your exteriors a distinct appearance. Potted plants in attractive decorative pots can add a touch of flair and a welcoming feel to any home. Depending on the space available, place one on either side of your door, or cluster them together on one side. Add on a couple of terracotta Bankura horses or Ganeshas for a lovely ethnic feel.
The front door is an important aspect of making a style statement. If it is your own home, and budget permits, why not invest in a fancy door, depending on your tastes. If it’s ethnic you prefer, go in for carved teakwood doors or even an antique door. Otherwise check out the sleek, stylish options that are available today. For a touch of class, opt for stained-glass panelled doors – they look charming. If you are in a rented house, you can paint the door in a shade that reflects your taste or personality. Be bold – try out post-box red or a bright sunny yellow!
Name-plates can reflect style too. Depending on your preferences, there are a plethora of choices starting with the traditional brass name-plates. Even those can be custom-made to suit your choices; you could experiment with different typefaces and fonts to create something distinctive. You could embellish the front door with a small painting – a Ganesha if your taste veers towards the ethnic or something modern and colorful. Inexpensive prints are available nowadays in the market to cater to varied choices. Today you can also get an attractive variety of door-hangings in lovely colors with embroidery and mirror-work. They add a hospitable touch to any home.
Within the home, there are so many factors that go into making your house special – furniture and furnishings, the color of the walls, bric-a-brac, paintings, prints and wall-hangings…each and everything you put in can enhance or detract from the appearance of your home. But, yes, you can make your home different from those around you. If it is your own house, you can even knock down the walls and restructure the rooms to suit your needs.
If budget is a constraint and you cannot invest in buying new furniture to give your house its own style statement, there are inexpensive ways to skirt the problem! As mentioned earlier, potted plants can work wonders to spruce up both exteriors and interiors. Let your veranda overflow with a wild profusion of plants – they not only look beautiful, they soothe the eyes too!
For curios and knick-knacks, scout the pavements and craft sales for enticing odds and ends that have a personality of their own. Combine these with what you already have to transform your rooms. Make curtains, bedspreads and table covers out of saris for an exclusive effect. Instead of using the lampshades already provided for within the flat, buy table lamps or floor lamps, or if you want something economical but beautiful, get hanging paper lanterns. When they are lit, your room will look truly special! Paint the walls a different color from the standard color used in your flats. Again, if budget is a constraint, then transform the walls with pictures, wall-hangings, photographs, old bone-china plates…anything to make it look unique!
The trick is in combining your individual taste with a discerning eye to create a special space. Keep your eyes open, recycle and reinvent uses for products, Scout around at sales for good bargains and of course, invest some time and a little money to escape the stereotypes!