Elevating spaces effortlessly

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Elevating spaces effortlessly

Thursday, 01 July 2021 | Disha Bhavsar / Shivani Ajmera

Elevating spaces effortlessly

Disha Bhavsar and Shivani Ajmera highlight ways in which you can enhance your homes with minimal changes

Over the past year, the human race has been in a state of limbo with respect to every facet of day-to-day life. Staying home for prolonged periods became a mandate and we have come to occupy our residences in a manner that is enforced with a sense of awareness.

Our homes in the truest sense have become our safe haven, a refuge that shelters us from the adversities that envelope the world outside. The time spent by homeowners at their residences has also urged them to rethink their spaces, how it functions and what can enhance its character.

Any change related to the realm of interior design or space enhancement is often subconsciously linked with frittering money away. On the contrary, a minimal spruce-up of one’s space can be achieved cost-effectively. It is all about small changes that manifest a significant impact. These inputs on sprucing-up make spaces feel anew and how!

Open and lighter spaces

Nothing uplifts a space like ample daylight and maximised ventilation! When spending long periods indoors, our interaction with the external environment is dramatically lowered. However, sunshine and natural ventilation are essential for our productivity levels and well-being.

We would recommend starting by analysing one’s furniture layout intrinsically. Move loose pieces of furniture around to create a viable and open layout to optimise the floorplan. This instantly instils a sense of renewed functionality in your space.

Opt for sheers and lighter translucent fabrics as drapery material for curtains wherever possible. They let daylight filter into spaces, creating a dappled effect of light that morphs across the day. Minimal fabrics give the space a lighter and brighter feel while enabling the right amount of illumination throughout the day.

Create core functional zones like work nooks and reading spots against windows or any large fenestration that offers views of the outdoors. This is a great way to connect with the outdoor from the comfort of your living spaces — one can witness notable surges in productivity when functioning in a space that’s flushed with natural light and optimum cross ventilation.

All about the hue

An element that can transform a space with its sheer presence, colours are one of the most versatile hacks when refreshing a space! It is one of those ideas that can be interpreted in a plethora of ways and one can be reassured that there is something in it for everyone to resonate with.

Keeping the overall shell of a space neutral in its hue and adding colour in the form of smaller doses would be a pragmatic approach. This could be achieved through the introduction of artwork, bric-a-brac or even textiles across surfaces.

Feeling bold and experimental? Wall paint in statement hues would be the way to go. Create a colour-blocked vignette, an accent wall or even a textured backdrop. Striking wallpapers adorned in geometric prints or eclectic patterns can make quite the visual when curated in tandem with other design elements in a room.

Furniture pieces with colour incorporated into their make can be subtle, yet conspicuous contributions of hue into a living space. Art has always been and will continue to be one of the most stimulating ways of introducing colour into a designed space; it tells a story via its visual narrative while becoming an integral part of the sensory experience of a built environment. These methods let one steadily, but surely, foray into a spatial design that embraces colour wholeheartedly.  

Textural play

With a spectrum of textures that coexist in a living space, ‘layering’ is key! For any room to look put together and inviting, the collaging of textures is imperative which imbues the space with an element of interest.

Various textures coming together in a cohesive space conjure a sensorial feel, both visually and to the touch, making spaces tangible to our senses. Upholstery in varying forms, layered floor rugs, textiles and the inclusion of a diverse material palette are myriad ways of creating texturally rich spots across spaces.

Creating a material board is a quick and evocative way for users and designers alike to get a preview of how spaces will ‘feel’ when a bunch of selected finishes and materials come together. This makes the whole experience of curation tactile and comprehensive.

Aside from adding visual and physical appeal, textures can also define the design palette of a space. Smooth and seamless surfaces may suggest a modern interior scheme. Natural, layered and coarser textures may indicate an earthy and rustic persona.

Get the greens going

Doses of the outdoors indoors are always a welcome idea! Introducing indoor plants into your space is one of the most pocket-friendly and simplest ways of bringing a nook to life. This design tip is the epitome of ‘freshening up’ spaces, with the goodness of indoor greenery that harnesses the potential to transform any corner!

Indoor plants can enliven a room regardless of the design scheme that underscores the space, making them welcoming and warm in an inherent manner. Plants and any form of greenery indoors are proven to boost moods, propel productivity and reduce stress levels, while simultaneously eliminating air pollutants — creating an indoor environment that is physically and mentally wholesome. The introduction of plants in the indoor scheme blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior, allowing inhabitants to feel rejuvenated whilst having something to nurture. Indoor plants such as monstera, snake plants and pothos are great examples of low-maintenance options that can be paired with a plethora of stunning planters to add interest! Brass metal, acrylic, ceramic, stone and FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) planters can add to the visual appeal of your indoor plant corners.

Decoding details

Spaces genuinely come to life when they are a reflection of their inhabitants; after all, God does lie in the details! Decorative pieces, in a home especially, need to tell a story that finds its roots in the lives of its end-users and the abode in particular.

When it comes to styling, less is always more. A few key pieces can build on the identity of the space at hand. Tapping into one’s functional needs, a space’s character and the user’s personality allows the space to have a curated look and feel.

Pieces of art, statement decor additions, trinkets, memorabilia and special DIY projects can all be contributors in creating a space that resonates with its user, enabling them to feel surrounded by a familial warmth that amalgamates with an aesthetic design scheme.  The spaces individuals inhabit become a conduit of self-expression in many ways. We are sure to feel our best when the surrounding spaces feel familiar, well put together and functional.

All it often takes is a series of minimal changes to stir a transformation for a space that anchors its strength in its original physical form while feeling renewed with its every weave!

(The authors are principal designers and co-founders of Quirk Studio, an avant-garde interior design firm based in Mumbai.)

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