Mistakes that Make Your Home Look Smaller

Thanks to the soaring prices of properties, every inch of the home needs to be utilized completely. Here is a list of some things that usually go wrong while decorating a home & making it look smaller. Avoid these mistakes and get the most out of your every square foot.

Matching everything:

Decorating every aspect of your room in the same colours, fabrics and patterns blends everything in each other; and everything visually becomes one. Bring variation by mixing styles for cushions, upholstery and curtains. If you want a co-ordinated décor, keep the same theme either for walls or furnishing, but not both.navy-walls-and-trim

Using dark colours:

Avoid using dark colour wallpaper or paint to decorate your walls. Dark colours absorb more lights making rooms look smaller. Using light colours will make the spaces feel airy and open.

 

Misplacing furniture:

Whoever has ever owned the furniture will surely understand the pain of arranging it. Pushing all of your furniture against the wall is not a good idea. Empty centre of the room makes the whole space feel smaller. Arrange the furniture away from the walls in a strategic way with cosy groupings.White-and-Grey-Living-Room-Livingetc-Housetohome

Overdose of ornaments:

Those knicky-knacky pieces you think make your home adorable, might actually be making it look cluttered. Stop littering every surface of a room. Instead, you can create seasonal display of minimal items and change them regularly.

Bad lighting:

A single source of light, which is common in many homes, makes the room feel smaller. Keep two to three light sources in your home; the light will bounce off the walls and will make your home look bigger.

 

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Keep Your Home Cool in Summer

Summer isn’t all about vacations, trips and ice-creams; it is also about sweat, humidity and rising temperature which turns your house into an oven. It is true that you don’t have control over the climbing mercury, but you can keep your home cool and comfortable even on the scorching days using these simple methods.

  • Become a fan of fan: Electric fans, ceiling fans, box fans, and exhaust fans… they are all available out there to cool down your home. Point box fans out the windows so they extract hot air.
  • Reduce indoor humidity: Minimize the tasks like midday washing and drying of clothes, and cooking on an open fire. If you can’t skip these household chores, turn on ventilating fans to remove warm, moist air.Hygrometer
  • Choose cotton: Ditch those satin, silk, or polyester sheets and switch to light-colored bed linens, drapes, curtains that are made of breathable lightweight cottonicefan-500x375
  • DIY Air-condition: use this trick to get a cool breeze without shooting up your electricity bills. Position a shallow pan or bowl full of ice and chilled water in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.
  • Low is good: Hot air rises, so beat the heat by setting up your bed or cot as close to the ground as possible. If you live in a multi-floor apartment, sleep on the ground floor instead of an upper storey.
  • Turn off the lights: Light bulbs give off heat. Fortunately, in summer, light stays longer; sometimes even till 7.30-8 pm. Take advantage of these naturally extended lit hours and reduce the use of bulbs, tubelights, etc.light-switch-100593819-orig
  • Go Unplugged: Literally disconnect electronics. Do not have things running that don’t need to be on. Gadgets and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off. So do not forget to unplug them.

 

 

 

HDFC awarded with ‘Best Home Loan Provider of the Decade’

7352_292964794221747_4374836849414998444_nHDFC Ltd. is honoured as a ‘Best Home Loan Provider of the Decade’ by CNBC Awaaz, one of the largest business channels in the country. The announcement was made at “10 Years of CNBC Awaaz Real Estate Awards” function held in The Trident, Mumbai. Mr. V. S. Rangan, Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of HDFC Ltd.

HDFC Ltd. have already won ‘Best Home Loan Provider’ award from CNBC Awaaz for two consecutive years, and this year, the award has been given for being the best home loan provider of the decade.

It was a pleasant coincidence that HDFC Ltd. received the award on the same day the company celebrated 105th Birth Anniversary of Founder Chairman Mr. H. T. Parekh.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Phadnavis marked his presence at the event as a chief guest. Prakash Mehta, Minister for Housing, Mining & Labour, Maharashtra was also present at the event.

The CNBC Awaaz Real Estate awards are one of the largest and the most respected awards on Real Estate and Housing in India.

Bring the Outdoors in

Looking for easy-to-do ways to make your home green? Breathe life in your home with low maintenance jar garden. No, we aren’t talking about those conventional pots but a terrarium –a miniature indoor garden inside a glass container.

It is a self-sustainable ecosystem that mimics nature’s own life. Closed terrariums create a warm environment for your plants, allowing moisture to recycle providing a consistent level of humidity. The closed lid lets water recycle itself, organic substance to be reused as plant food, and helps it to maintain its humidity.

Here is a step-by-step guide to make your own self-sustaining mini garden with terrarium.

What material you will need?

  • Pebbles
  • Charcoal
  • Baby tear/ Starfish / Aquamarine plant (Select any moisture loving house plants or even grasses, ferns and miniature shrubs are also fine)
  • Soil

Method:

4– Take a glass container with lid and wash it thoroughly.

– Then spread some pebbles at the base of container. It will provide drainage to the terrarium.

–  Make the second layer of charcoal, and then make a thick soil bed over it.

–  Place the plant in container and spread soil over its roots.

–  You can also place some toys in the container to decorate it. Once done, close the lid tightly.

Create some more containers and keep them in your balcony and windows. You can even keep them on your study table, kitchen shelf, and also hang them with wires and save some place.

Watering:1

Do not over-water the terrarium. Condensation is a sign that your plants are brathing. However, if you are worried, leave the lid open for a while. When the right humidity is established, a closed terrarium can go a month or more without watering. So, even if you are on-the-move or do not have time to look after your plants, you can still bring the outdoors in and make your home greener.

 

Financial Record Keeping For Your Family

Life is very unpredictable and many aspects of the future are beyond our control. However, you can take a few precautions to limit the impact of unforeseen situations on the life of your loved ones. In case of accident, if you get injured (or dead), it is extremely necessary for your family to have complete and detailed information of your finances.

Here is a plan to keep your financial records handy for your family and make your loved ones emergency-ready.

  1. Prepare a list:

Jot down your all-inclusive emergency list which should contain information about the important documents and where they have been kept.2.

You can include information like location of Safety deposit box key, Birth certificate, Bank accounts’ details, Credit and debit cards, Investment details and relevant information. Don’t forget to mention the places where you have kept Home/Property deeds, Income tax returns, life insurance policies, and such important documents.  It is advisable to have a safety locker in the bank, so all the documents can be found at one place itself.

  1. Organizing financial information

Informing your family where you have kept all financial documents is just first half of the story. It is equally important to keep the information is kept systematically in an organized manner. Understanding finance is quite a tough job. If all the documents are properly filed, then only your family will be able to understand it correctly. Arrange your documents chronologically or alphabetically. Keep all relevant information in one file. Eg. The file of income tax returns should also have the information of your CA, so your family can contact him/her, in case of any confusion.3

If possible, scan all your important documents and name them properly. Segregate these documents in appropriate folders and save them on your email and hard drive.

  1. Handing over the information

You should hand over your financial information in a very right manner and to a right person. It could cost you a lot if the wrong person gets access to your financial information. You can hand over the list to a third party like attorney or trust.

No one likes mishaps in the life, but they do happen sometimes. All we can do is be prepared and ensure that our family is able to overcome such situations and live a happy life. Making this emergency list is a first step in ensuring that our family can handle finances strongly even in our absence. So, start maintaining your proper financial records today.

Home Decoration Ideas for Festive Season

As the festive season is in full swing, here are some options to jazz up your home. Whether it is Navratri, Diwali, Christmas or a New Year party, your home will look beautiful and magnificent with these decoration tips.

2 (1)Let there be light: Festive season is all about lights and brightness. Lighting can make a big difference in the look of your home.  Buy some eye-catching chandeliers and lamp shades to create a vibrant and cheerful ambiance. Using a range of lighting in varied heights and locations will let you try different variations at different times.

Make your home smell great: A good fragrance can breathe life into any ambience. A good smelling home is always inviting and appealing. During festive season, light one or two scented candles in your home. You can try different scents for different times of the day.

Burn scented candles to make home smell good.

Burn scented candles to make home smell good.

If you are running out of scented candles, just sprinkle some baking soda on your carpets and sofas, and vacuum it up after 10-15 minutes. It will absorb a bad odour, if any, and leave your home with a neutral pallet.

Change your furnishing: Changing furniture for a festive season could be very expensive; try changing your furnishings. New curtains, drapes, pillow, sofa and table covers will give your home a new look without spending a fortune.T_51689

Shuffle your furniture: Sometimes the way to improve the room is not through buying new furniture, but to rearrange the pieces you already have. Shuffling your furniture will give your room a new look instantly. Moreover, it will save your carpet from permanent marks and stains that cause due to heavy furnishings.

Give your home breathing space: In an attempt to make home look dazzling, we sometimes end up filling up space with unwanted items. Go minimalist this festive season by keeping fewer but better-quality pieces. Toss all unwanted stuff and keep  your home clutter free.

Buying your first home? Here are the extra expenses you need to consider

The journey of finding a home to putting your nameplate on it needs a careful planning; especially, if you are a first time homebuyer. Along with the actual cost of a home, there are many associated expenses that you need to take into consideration. Here is a list of expenses homebuyers often forget to take into account.  Keep these expenses in mind so you won’t jumble your finances.

  • stamp_dutyStamp Duty and registration: You have to make provision for stamp duty and registration in your budget. The amount of stamp duty and registration may vary depending upon the size and location of your home.
  • Moving cost: Household shifting and moving to a new place can be both expensive and cost-effective. The distance, the size and quantity of your households will determine the cost of shifting. 
  • Renovation: Whether you are buying a new home or the resale property, there can be some itsy-bitsy changes you would like to make. It could be changing the paint of your bedroom or fixing up the leaky faucets. While inspecting your potential home, make a note of the changes you will be making before moving in. If these are the major changes like installing home partition, changing bathroom tiles, POP and ceiling design or so, it will easily cost you in a lot.
  • Home insurance: As home is an investment for a lifetime, many of the homeowners opt for the home insurance. Though home insurance is not an expense but the security, don’t forget to make provisions to accommodate your home insurance needs.
  • Buffer cash: No matter how meticulously you plan your home purchase, there can be some expense which may arise out of the blue. What if you had budget of 50 thousand for the renovation and the bill exceeded to 70K? What if you have to pay more for ownership transfer because your new society has changed the rules? What if you have to hire packers and movers twice because you have more belongings? There can be expenses which you didn’t plan for, but have to bear anyhow. So, always keep some cash in buffer for such unexpected expenses.

Apart from these major expenses, getting electricity bill transferred on your name, buying a new gas connection, changing addresses in banks, transferring your internet connection, installing DTH and many such small things pile up and take away a considerable amount and time. Keeping in mind all these expenses will save you from the financial trouble, and your dream home will turn into reality without any disappointment.

Top Myths about Real Estate Advisors Busted

When it comes to buying or selling homes, it seems that everyone has advice to offer about the real estate market. Many of us tend to make decisions based on the assumptions, misconception and someone else’s experiences. Biased stories, false information, invalid assumptions not only confuse you but also might derail you from the right track. And when it is about real estate, even a smallest wrong move can cost you in Lacs. Here are the top 3 popular and commonly heard myths about the real estate advisors. So, next time, if you hear any of these babble, run miles away from that ‘so called’ well-wisher.

3_1Working with a real estate advisor is waste of money: This is perhaps the most commonly heard real estate myth. All those advises like ‘You can sell a home on your own’, ‘hiring an advisor will cost you a bomb’, ‘do your research on the Internet, why do you need the advisor?’ proves often wrong when you try to apply them in real scenarios. Real estate advisors understand the market deeply. Whether you are a buyer or seller, your advisor will make sure that you get a good deal. Saving few pennies for an advisor’s commission might actually cost you huge money by getting into a wrong deal.

1Real estate advisors will force you to make the decisions: A professional real estate advisor will make you understand a fair picture of the scenario and advice you on the choices you have. He will never force you to take the decision in haste or make commitments to the other party without your consent. Working with an advisor is like having a valuable and reliable expert with you. These days, when even small real estate transactions cost for Lacs, it is good to trust an expert than playing a blind game.3Good real advisors are hard to find: This is unfortunately the truth. With so many estate adviors popping up like mushrooms, it is really hard to find a good and professional advisor. However, if you want to work with a really good real estate advisor, check his/her track record and experience. HDFC Realty is a one stop solution for real estate requirements. Right from buying, selling, leasing to even consultation and valuation, HDFC Realty provides a host of real estate services. We are a team of professional real estate advisors known for our remarkable services.  In case of a new home (not the resale one) HDFC Realty do not even charge brokerage to the buyers. Click here to know more about our services. Images used are for illustration purposes only.*

Create a Bathroom Retreat with These Tips

Planning to revamp your bathroom? Here are some amazing ideas to help you create a beautiful bath retreat.

  • Tiles: Bathroom tiles not only give your bathroom a refreshing look, but also keep it hygienic. Tiles keep your walls safe from moist and dampness. Use a combination of small and big sized tiles to create variations in the design. Choose a color that will not show the water stains and spots.2
  • Fixtures: Sink, faucets, showerheads, toilet seats, hand showers, geyser and every fixture in your bathroom contributes in creating a pleasant ambience.  Make sure that you choose high quality fixtures. There are different types of bathroom fixtures available in the market. Choose a design that will complement your bathroom’s ambience. Storage also plays a key role in keeping bathroom tidy. Create enough storage space with cabinets, cupboards and shelves.

    Think both, usability and beauty.

    Think both, usability and beauty.

Lights: strike a balance between bright and soothing lights in the bathroom. Lights in the bathroom should be bright enough to shave, put on makeup, and do other chore. There should also be some soothing lights that will create a relaxing ambience. These lights should be able to withstand a humid environment. Hidden lights in the bathroom are in trend these days. You can also install key lights over the mirror and above the shower.

  • 10Curtains: Take your bathroom décor to a new level with the bathroom curtains. Different types lace shower curtains, ruffled curtains, crystals curtains will create your dream bathroom without causing a fortune. Curtains in the bathroom have to withstand humidity, soapy water, hair sprays and many more. So choose the fabric, length and style of curtains wisely. While buying curtains, choose the ones which are easy to clean and dry quickly.
  • Electronic Gadgets and appliances: Installing a music player has become a common phenomenon these days.  Music can change the ambience of your bathroom instantly. Along with a music player, there is a wide range of electronic bathroom appliances available in the market to convert your bathroom into a high-tech thrilling zone.
  • 14

    If it is clean, it is awesome!

    Cleanliness and hygiene: No one likes messy and smelly bathroom.  No matter how beautiful curtains you have, and how elegant tiles are installed, if there is no hygiene maintained, your every morning will be miserable. Keep bathroom surface as dry as possible. Make sure your bathroom is properly ventilated. Toss empty shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes and useless chunk immediately. Keep the sanitation supplies such as sanitizer, toilet papers, soaps, towels easily available. Installing bathroom fragrance dispenser will keep your bathroom smelling clean and fresh.

Decorate Your Rental Apartment to Make It a ‘Home’

Even if you are living in a rental home, it doesn’t mean you cannot decorate it to make it look yours. Give your rental apartment a personalized touch that will create the feeling of being ‘at home’. Of course, it is not wise (and generally not allowed) to undertake major reconstructions at rental apartments, but there are some small ideas you can apply to make your rental house a ‘home’.

  • Revamp with drapery: Changing soft furnishings like curtains, cushions, rugs can give your apartment a personal touch. There are different types of curtains available in the market to choose from. Moreover, if the flooring is discolored or stained, lay a carpet or rug over it.

    Attractive drapery would simply change the scenario of your home.

    Attractive drapery would simply change the scenario of your home.

  • Become a minimalist: Rental homes are temporary addresses; so be patient and try not to buy too many things. A few essential pieces of furniture, choosing quality over quantity and de-cluttering the home regularly will make your home pleasant and welcoming, even though it is a rental property.
  • Spruce up the walls: No don’t worry about making holes in the wall. There are many alternatives like masking tapes, sticky hangers, wires that won’t damage the wall but decorate it. If you love DIY, try some handmade Décor.

    Bring nature in your home.

    Bring nature in your home.

  • Add greenery & Change the lighting: Terrariums are great ways to bring nature inside the home without blocking the space with huge and heavy plant containers. Changing old lighting and lamps will also give your home a fresh look.
  • Wallpaper Magic: This is the best option at your disposal to decorate your rental apartment without annoying the landlord. Wallpaper can really change the entire ambience of your home. Just choose the colors wisely that will compliment the ‘already existing’ furniture and other fixtures at your rental home. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about paint spills and splatters.

    Spend less, decorate more!

    Spend less, decorate more!

Whether owned or the rental one, a home is an important place indeed. Follow these simple techniques and create a space that will feel like a ‘home’ and not a rental property.