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Show your true colours

With summer turning your home into a sauna and the monsoon threatening to turn it into a grey dungeon, it’s time to change your home into a haven. Since, in this weather, you are spending more time at home, add colour to your living spaces or subdue existing colours to create a happy ambience.

india Updated: May 29, 2012 16:23 IST
Aruna Rathod

There’s no doubt about it. With summer turning your home into a sauna and the monsoon threatening to turn it into a grey dungeon, it’s time to change your home into a haven. Since, in this weather, you are spending more time at home, add colour to your living spaces or subdue existing colours to create a happy ambience.

“Colour brings in vibrancy and refreshes living spaces during the heat and rains,” says Nandini Somaya Sampat of Somaya and Kalappa Consultants. “But it is important to control the use of colour, depending on how it is utilised.”

The living room

Windows bring in light, which can heat up the room. Fabric and colour consultant Nandita KwatraRoom advises, "In the living room, it’s best to use two sheers. Use soft, summery prints in the bedroom." She recommends blue and beige, soft blue and white with a dash of lime green, or cream and apple green with a splash of rose accents.

A little tweaking of the décor is all it takes to create an ideal atmosphere for chilling out. If you have leather sofas, don’t fret (or sweat). Kwatra advises, “Get loose covers stitched in cotton. They are cool, easy to wash and economical.” Another tip is to have a few throws in light cotton over chairs and sofas.

While some shun white for its high maintenance, for others it’s still a preferred colour. Architect and interior designer Ashustosh Wad advises, “White is not an option for our climate. Instead, light colours like beige can be paired with bright wallpaper to create a soothing look.” He adds, “Green suggests a feel of nature in the house, which calms the mind. You can add a cushion or chair in white for a chic look. Also, indoor plants are a great décor idea for this time of year.”

The Bedrooms
Does your bedroom remind you of a dungeon? Do a quick makeover. Invest in pale blue/soft green/beige and mushroom bedcovers. “Solid light colours are a good bet, as are floral prints in light shades,” advises Kwatra. Block prints with tiny motifs on a white background also work well for bedcovers, bedsheets, pillow covers and curtains.

Living-roomIf you want a brand new look, re-look at the walls. "You can use wallpapers if you want a quick makeover," says Wad. "Bright colours like oranges and yellows might be better than cool colours because these really stand out in the bright sunlight." Pink also draws mixed reactions. Sampat explains, "Peach pink is an uplifting colour for any space."

The Den
If you have a study or den, offset the décor with cream-coloured cushions. “Green is a colour that allows the transition from the exterior to the interior seamlessly. Using it in a study can create a calming atmosphere. Studies must be well lit and often contain a variety of lighting,” advises Sampat.

Keep your cool! Reduce the number of artefacts and curios in your home, as these tend to collect dust. Replace them with urlis or crystal bowls of water with real flowers floating on the water. n No amount of change will help if there is clutter in your room. Put things away for that relaxed feel. Add a couple of cane boxes to cover what is exposed. Light and affordable, cane looks good in this weather.

Transition spaces
Transition spaces are important areas that are often ignored. Using colour leads to more harmonious connectivity within the home and creates areas of interest that can be utilised properly.
The juxtaposition of a floating wooden staircase against a yellow wall creates interest. White paint also keeps spaces like a corridor light and airy.
Natural light creates shadow patterns on walls, which can add an interesting element.

Spa roomWarm and cool colours

Colours can be termed warm or cool depending on what they remind us of. "Cool colours evoke a feeling of calm and peace and using them can go a long way in tackling the hot months," says psychiatrist Niraj Ravani. For instance, green remind us of nature, blue signifies the sky and the aqua and turquoise of oceans – which are all cool, while orange and red remind one of fire, heat – that are warm. "But warm and cool is conventional and this does not always necessarily hold true in all cases. Innovative and selective use of colours matched creatively can do wonders," adds Wad.

- From HT Brunch, June 12

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