Home is where Chennai is

The decision to leave home is never an easy one, especially if it’s Chennai. But you might find yourself in such a position when there’s a new career path to follow or when you’re simply pushing out of your comfort zone. Whatever the case, the pangs of longing never fully disappear.

And when you return, there’s a singular moment when you emerge amidst the sound of traffic, taxis and autos bombarding you. In that exact moment when you can hear vehicles honking, a feeling of belonging slowly warms you from the inside. It is a homecoming for sure, even though you might be tempted to call your port of origin home now.

When others ask, “What’s so special about your city?” you might appear dumbfounded – but that’s only because you might not know where to begin. Take Mount Road, for example. The arterial road has been around since time immemorial so it’s not skirted by just malls and eateries, but also heritage buildings. One might even venture so far as to say the city wasn’t built with concrete but with art.

Mandarina in Kotturpuram, is an ode to this old world charm – a cluster of well-planned residences, designed after vintage Spanish houses, that offers a sense of community. This magnificent and lush residence is tucked away with a host of ultra-modern amenities, while being strategically located within city limits. It is a perfect place for peace and privacy, away from the stress of everyday life.

Apart from the culture, there is of course, the indigenous filter coffee and podi dosa from Murugan Idli – both excellent reasons to fall in love with Chennai all over again. And conversations you have with street stall vendors can quickly turn into a highlights reel of the city’s past

That’s the thing about Chennai – it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you’ll be welcomed into the fold, and Appaswamy strives to provide the best slice of Chennai for every homeowner.

Bloomingdale is the epitome of a gated community with every amenity imaginable within its boundaries. Boasting a supermarket, ATM, clubhouse, mini-theatre and walking trails all in the same place, it leaves nothing to wont. Pammal is an oasis of greenery and serenity where you can experience blissful living with comfort, luxury and style.

Cerus on the other hand is a towering promise of luxurious living in the heart of Vadapalani. With close access to some of the best schools in town, and shopping options hardly a few kilometres on either side, you will wont for nothing at Cerus.

home

Organic pest control for your home

The bigger your house, the more the effort that goes into keeping it free of pests. While you may do your best to make your living space a no-fly and no-roach zone, you may find that some pests always make a comeback. Not only are these pests frightening and off putting, but they can also do quite a bit of damage to your furniture, clothing, and health. Pest control is your only true friend in these instances

First off, a simple method of pest control is to not invite them into your living space. After all, prevention is better than cure. Most of these pests need food and water for survival. So, maintain a clean kitchen, clear out your garbage regularly and store food and drinks in airtight containers. If pests find their way through these measures, here are few homemade remedies to choose from.

Got ants?

Let’s start off with the tiniest but the most annoying pests to deal with. Ants, for the tiny creatures that they are, sure do cause a lot of problems. But there’s no cause to fret. When you struggle with ants next time, try and use the below natural insecticides to shoo them away.

  • Vinegar and water: Ants can’t stand the smell of vinegar. Mix it with water in equal ratio and fill it in a spray bottle. Use it to get rids of ants sneaking in through cracks in the doors or windows.

  • Lemon Juice: A solution of lemon juice and water can act as an all-purpose organic spray to control many pests.
  • Mint leaves : Place a few mint tea bags in the areas where ants are active.
  • Cornmeal: They cannot digest cornmeal. So you can place it near them and this will eliminate their numbers.
  • Borax Powder: Use cotton balls soaked in a mixture of 1 litre of water, 1 teaspoon of borax powder, and 1 cup of sugar inside an empty cup. Cover the cup with a plastic wrap and punch holes. Ants will succumb to the bait and return to their colonies, which will eventually die out. Do not use this outdoors or within reach of kids or other animals.

Cockroaches

Roaches are troublesome pests that seem to magically reappear no matter what you do to keep them at bay. The most important step in pest control when it comes to roaches is to get rid of all eggs and seal off all hiding places. Closing exposed spaces or areas where they infiltrate your home is necessary. There are a number of sprays and repellents in the marketplace to get rid of them but some people may be allergic to them. There are various organic pest control methods that can be effective. Here are a few natural pesticides to keep them out of your house.

  • Lemon slice: The smell of citrus brings in freshness. This powerful natural agent will keep the them away. You can either spray lemon juice to keep your house fresh or make a paste out of the lemon peel and use it.

  • Boric acid and sugar: It’s an effective combination which can help you get rid of roaches naturally. Things you need to do is make your own bait at home by mixing boric acid and sugar in 3:1 ratio. This mixture must be placed near their hiding spots. It’s important to find out where they nest for maximum efficiency.

  • Bay leaves: This can be used as natural cockroach repellent anywhere. Roaches cannot bear the smell of bay leaves. You just need to crush a handful of bay leaves, powder them and place them in different bowls in every corner of your kitchen. Who knew keeping spice near a cockroach nest can eliminate them?

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes carry and spread life-threatening diseases. They usually enter homes in the morning and evening. It is important to protect kids from mosquitos as much as possible. Though there are many repellents available, overusing them is unhealthy. Here are a few natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes at home:

Mosquito repellent candles:

Use essential oils and melted wax to make your candle. Remember to use ½-1 ounce of essential oils for 1 pound of wax. You can make them with any of these recipes.

Mix 1

  • 5 parts Citronella Oil
  • 5 parts Lavender Oil
  • 5 parts Clove Oil

Mix 2

  • 5 parts Citronella Oil
  • 5 parts Lavender Oil
  • 5 parts Peppermint Oil

Mix 3

  • 10 parts Citronella Oil
  • 10 parts Cedarwood Oil
  • 5 parts Eucalyptus Oil
  • 5 parts Rosemary Oil

House flies

Flies are really hard to get rid of especially when the weather is warm. Sticky fly traps, UV fly traps, fly baits that have been treated with insect growth regulators, impregnated strips, etc., are the usual ways to go. However, the efficacy of pest control lies in carrying out the treatment every month or two because insecticides break down or lose their potency after a period of exposure to the atmosphere/rain. Here are few homemade tips to get you started:

  • Basil: Grow basil in containers and keep them near doorways. Flies will stay far away from the area. You can also carry a bunch of these leaves with you if they are excessive in public areas and make sachets out of them. This works for mosquitoes too.

  • To make a fly-free zone, dip some eucalyptus oil in a small cloth and place it in the areas that are infested with flies.

  • Flypaper: Make a DIY flypaper at home using brown sugar and granulated sugar. Dip craft paper in this sugar solution and hang it up to control flies.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic, which makes it tough to spot and tougher yet to eliminate. They literally exist in our clothing, beds, furniture, book shelves and stuffed animals. People with asthma or those prone to allergies have a tough time fighting them. Try the below methods to hold off dust mites.

  • Wash your blankets, bed covers, etc., with detergent at high temp.
  • Do not keep stuffed items like rugs, books and laundry in the bedroom. Also, dust and clean stuffed toys often.
  • Avoid humidifiers as dust mites thrive on warmth and humidity.
  • Wrap heating ducts with filters that trap miniature dust particles.
  • Plaster mattress and pillows with laminated covers to prevent penetration by dust mites. Avoid fabric-covered headboards.

While these methods will help your house from pests it is also important to keep your house and surroundings clean. A clean kitchen and bathrooms are good for your personal hygiene as well. Many insects breed in dirty corners – so a clean home keeps them away. Organic pest control methods are more cost efficient and long term solutions that you may want to begin using.

How do you choose between the many new projects in Chennai

Chennai has an intangible quality that makes her unforgettable no matter how far you go. Sure, there are other cities with beaches and nightlife, but that’s not what makes you stand up and root for the men in yellow. Even those who leave eventually dream of returning to her shores and putting down roots. It’s no surprise then to see emigrants invest in land or an apartment inside the city. But why should you pick one of the new projects in Chennai to call home?

The juxtaposition of East and West

Life is slower in Chennai than in most metropolitan cities, but every interaction meaningful. Our temples root us to our heritage, while our ever growing contributions to technology and education put us at the forefront of the world!

The choice to live here is an easy one – yes the summers can be hot, but the mangoes and tender coconut more than makeup for it.

This city begs the question – why can’t you have the best of both worlds? And there’s no place where this is more obvious than in the many apartments in Chennai.

New Projects and Apartments in Chennai

While you might enjoy the occasional evening on a balcony reading a book, there’s a whole realm of joy just beyond your front door when you live in a gated community.

A common feature among many new projects in Chennai is the access to amenities that make it easier to get to know your neighbors. Whether you bond over Whistle podu or Lungi Dance, it’s a great way to get away from a virtual social life and build significant relationships. (Of course, Rajinikanth is always an excellent catalyst in any situation.)

A new home brings with it exciting prospects. You could spend your days lounging by the pool or breaking a sweat in a fully equipped gymnasium. If none of that takes your fancy, a quiet session of yoga can relax your mind, body and soul.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy

Another salient feature you’ll find in many apartments in Chennai is that maintenance comes easy. Most have a dedicated handyman on call, who will be at your doorstep in a mere matter of minutes should you face any electrical or plumbing issues.

And finally, there’s the question of security. While it is a safe city, it is only human nature to be cautious. With round the clock security guards and top of the line digital locks, it’s not a question of when you’ll invest in a place of your own, but which of the new projects in Chennai will become your new home.

What’s all the hype surrounding the new apartments in OMR?

If buying a home was one of the items on your to-do-list this year, it’s time to get moving. Buying a home isn’t a cakewalk for most people, but when you find a place with tranquillity, free from the flurry of traffic, pollution and at a beautiful location, you know you’ve found home. While we’re on the subject, why don’t you consider one of the new apartments in OMR?

The famed IT corridor

OMR, or the IT corridor, was once a questionable investment because it did not offer the facilities it does now. However, if you’re looking to escape the chaos of the city but want to maintain proximity, consider apartments in OMR the solution for you. They provide improved facilities, and the housing projects have an edge over any others at the heart of the city. Managing the delicate balance between tradition and advancement is something the area does well.

If you ask anyone who has moved across town why they would leave such a central hub, they would most likely respond that it was to circumvent rush hour traffic and move away from the chaos. Apartments in OMR have well-connected roads, buses and rail services making everyday transit convenient.

Nowadays, before investing in a home, the first thing to do is check for travel time to and from work. When you live on OMR, traffic is no longer the first thing you think of every morning.

Another important factor to consider is the presence of reputed schools and colleges nearby. The schools on OMR are modern, provide a global outlook and promise educational excellence. The locale also has hospitals lined up on either side of the road, making them accessible. The stretch is also filled with extraordinary real estate properties, and a number of new apartments in OMR offer world-class amenities.

Follow a process before buying new apartments for sale in OMR Chennai

Before jumping on the bandwagon, fix your budget and look for the home you want, whether it is a 1BHK apartment or one of the many apartments for sale in Chennai. Most apartments on OMR are inside gated communities and have amenities such as supermarkets and ATMs available within the compound. It only makes life simpler. Moreover, a gated community allows you to mingle with neighbors promising a better social life for you and your kids.

Sometimes, apartments for sale in Chennai do not come with a hefty price tag. OMR is your place if you’re looking for affordable homes with new lifestyle and a perfect work life balance.

Making the decision to purchase a studio apartment

Buying a house is a huge investment for anyone. But buying comfortable studio apartments in Chennai that do not cost a fortune, is the one to really think about.

Once decided, a dilemma for most is whether to live in a gated community or in a standalone apartment. However, there is a misconstrued notion that developers only have expensive apartments to sell.  While premium builders may quote a higher price, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Unraveling the puzzle

Exclusivity is the first thing we think of when speaking of gated communities. And from the outside, it might seem like a puzzle behind large gates. Well, before you decide, consider the following advantages of living in gated communities as opposed to independent apartments.

Security is one of the most impressive features of a gated community because not everyone can enter the property. Guards ensure only authorized persons enter the premises. Moreover security cameras, CCTV and smartphones monitor all movements. On the other hand, there is no promise of security in a standalone apartment.

An additional benefit of apartment complexes is the availability of community halls. These are excellent for parties you might want to throw for your friends and family as they provide ample space – something you don’t find in most budget flats in Chennai. What’s more, with visitor parking spaces your friends can simply drive in and partake.

For a family with kids, the elderly and working professionals, gated communities greatly improve the quality of life. Some of the new age apartments even have supermarkets and ATMs within the premises!

Budget Flats and Studio Apartments in Chennai

Despite the obvious perks of living in a builder maintained apartment, owners of budget flats in Chennai have the freedom to pick and choose a service provider. If they are not satisfied, they can stop their services and hire someone else at any point in time. Unfortunately, in a gated community even if a service provider like the pool cleaners, for example, are not doing a good job, you can’t just stop their service. A committee must debate and decide before arriving at a resolution. The same applies to the gardeners, security & maid services and other common area services.

All-in-all studio apartments in Chennai whether standalone or within a gated community, offer distinct sets of perks and challenges, and it’s up to every buyer to understand the compare their needs to what’s being offered before making a choice.

Why buy it when you can make it yourself?

Do you wish you were creative and could decorate your house the way it looks in magazines, and not get bankrupt in the process? Don’t worry, we’ve got the perfect starting slate for you. Impress your family and friends with beautiful statement pieces and make them wonder how you did it. Also, a personal touch will make your house feel even more like home.

We’ve rounded up few DIY decor ideas to show you how to decorate with style without spending a fortune. The best part of these is that they can be done in a couple of hours! So, roll up your sleeves and get cracking.

Make your own frame:

Choose your favourite motivational quote that can uplift your mood and that you wouldn’t mind seeing everyday at the corner table at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Poster Board
  • Letter Stencils
  • Paper Cutter
  • Tape
  • Patterned Fabric
  • Vintage Frame
  • Pencil, Eraser

What to do:

Step 1: Lay a piece of poster board on a flat surface. Use letter stencils to spell out the quote you picked, you can experiment until you like the placement.

Step 2: Spell out the quote backwards, then flip the stencil over. Trace the letters onto the board with a pencil.

Step 3: Carefully cut out the letters with an paper cutter, then use hem tape to stick a patterned piece of fabric to the poster board. Flip the poster board over to reveal the work and then frame it.

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser:

Repurpose the classic Mason jar as a soap or lotion dispenser in your bathroom. It can add a classic touch to an otherwise boring bathroom, or even introduce an old-world charm to the space.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar
  • Old Lotion Bottle Pump
  • Drill and Bit
  • Pencil

What to do:

Step 1: First measure and mark the center of the jar’s lid.

Step 2: Using a 1/2″ high-speed steel drill bit, drill a hole to fit the width of a soap dispenser pump. You can also use pumps from old lotion bottles.

Step 3: Fill the jar with liquid soap, screw the lid back on, and insert the pump. You may need to trim the bottom of the pump to fit your jar.

Patterned paper clock:

Do you have an old and boring wall clock that’s been bugging you? Patterned paper is all you need to spruce it up and create an eclectic clock that expresses your tastes!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wall Clock
  • Patterned Paper
  • Pencil
  • Craft Glue

What to do:

Step 1: Use a screwdriver to pop off the clock’s backing and battery, then lift out the face. Gently remove the hands, nut, and washer with pliers. Set aside all parts, noting their order for reassembly.

Step 2: Trace the shape of the clock face onto your wallpaper or printed art, then cut out the circle. Center the paper atop the face, patterned side facing out, and secure with craft glue.

Step 3: Use a T-pin to poke a hole through the paper for the clock hands; reassemble all parts and hang.

String Art:

Stringing is one of the more meditative arts. It’s a tricky sort of balance between knitting and sculpting clay charms. But with enough practice you could create a true masterpiece.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wooden Plaque
  • ¾ inch nails
  • Hammer
  • String
  • Patterned Print

What to do:

Prep: Begin by painting a blank basswood plaque with two coats of semigloss, allowing one hour of drying time between coats. Let dry overnight.

Step 1: Download any art you want, it can be a rabbit, dog, horse or even an apple template and resize it to fit your wooden frame. Print and cut.

Step 2: Center the shape on your plaque and tape it down. Following the marks indicated on the template, hammer 3/4-inch brass nails 1/4 inch deep into the plaque. Also you’ll need between 50 and 80 nails for each animal,then tear away the paper.

Step 3: Double-knot the loose end of a spool of 0.035-inch waxed cord to the bottommost nail. Working clockwise, stretch the cord to the next nail, loop around once, and pull taut; repeat for all nails to form the animal’s outline. After you return to the initial nail, continue stretching and looping, working across and diagonally at random points, to fill the outline shape. Once you are satisfied, tie a double knot to the nearest nail and cut the cord.

Which one are you going to start with? Let us know!

Green Apartments

City life is a hodgepodge of cultures, cuisines, social life, diverse opinions…there is just no end! What it lacks, however, is space to allow nature to flourish in the ever expanding urban landscape.

It might seem like nurturing plants in a busy city is an impossible task, but the truth is, all you need is a little bit of time and the desire to maintain a garden. It’s quite easy, since natural minerals, sunlight, plants and fresh air are available in abundance and at low cost.

Before you grow your own garden, ask yourself this – what is the purpose of this exercise? Is it just a new hobby that you’re interested in, or are you doing it to reduce your carbon footprint?

If it is a hobby, you can start by growing plants that require less sunlight and maintenance.

If you take up gardening to grow your own food, that comes with its own advantages as well. It gives you instant access to fresh produce, so you’re not forced to visit the grocery store every time you want a few vegetables. You can save time, and money on gasoline. Depending on the type of vegetables you plant, you’ll also save on food costs. Not to forget, watching your garden go from bare soil to full-grown plants gives you a unique sense of satisfaction.

Whether you have a balcony, a patio, or just a small sunny window, take advantage of any opportunity. Creating an eco friendly apartment is about going back to basics. Here’s where you can begin.

Start small.

Plants like philodendron easily adapt to low-light conditions, and come in both vine and shrub varieties. A quick tip for any gardener is that the soil must be kept moist but not wet. Similarly, peperomia is a small, striking and adorable houseplant that doesn’t take up much space. Due to its thick foliage, it is often mistaken for a succulent.

Some other options for a first time planter include tomatoes and salad greens. Tomatoes can flourish in a garden or a small pot but they need a lot of sunlight. Salad greens such as kale can also be grown in a small pot.

   

If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint, you can reuse old containers or a flat tire to grow your favourite vegetables and greens. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants, and it sucks up four times more carbon dioxide than trees. Of course, bamboo plants will eventually require quite a bit of space.

Use quality soil.

Your first batch of soil needs to be of high quality. You can then reuse it for years. If you are not sure about the type of soil to use, you can seek advice from your local nursery. While soil quality takes prime importance, nutrients and fertilizers also determine how well your plants thrive.

Would you be surprised to know that you could have a vermicompost in your kitchen? This not only fertilizes your plants but is another great solution to decrease your carbon footprint. Dump all your kitchen waste in the vermicompost without mixing any non recyclables in. It’s easy, and when done right it, doesn’t smell or draw rodents.

This way, you can create the right mix of nutrients for your plants at home, while preventing the formation of methane in landfills. (This greenhouse gas is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.)

Do your research

Learn about plants before you buy them. You don’t want to buy any fruit or vegetable until you are sure they work for you. In general, most plants will need a grow light, a pot that allows for drainage and potting soil. Some may also need a humidity tent if the air in your home is dry.

Ginger is a remarkably easy plant to grow from scraps, and can be planted just the way you found it at the grocery store. Try to look for a piece that has sprouts already. If you have trouble sprouting scraps, transferring small plants from your local nursery to your home garden is the way to go.

Go the herb route

Herbs are a great place to start for beginners, because they are generally grown in a window box using natural sunlight. Oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, and spinach will do well planted in any soil and left near a window. If you don’t have a window that gets enough light, you could invest in an indoor growing light.

You might be tempted to rearrange your plants, but know that plants like to stay put. Once you have found the right place for a plant in terms of sunlight, let it be. Also find out how much water your plants require and prepare a watering schedule accordingly.

You don’t need to have an exceptional green thumb to give your plants a happy home. With some research and water, your plants can thrive well.

Some find this activity relaxing and stress-relieving, while others believe it will provide overall mental health benefits. Caring for plants can also be a good family activity. Additionally, if you have neighbors who also garden, you can turn it into a community activity!