Smart Security

For a person on the move, we understand there is nothing more important than the safety and security of your loved ones. We have done a little digging and rounded up the best security solutions you should invest in:

Remote monitoring

Having cameras installed at home is a foolproof way of keeping it secure. It gives you real-time monitoring of what is happening in your house. It is also convenient and easily accessible on your phone, tablet or laptop on-the-go, and there is absolute clarity with just a 1080p device that streams at a steady 30 frames per second. When selecting the right cameras, you must keep in mind two things – (a) the Video Management System (VMS) that records video feed and manages the network of cameras, and (b) real-time access through an application. SimpliSafe comes with cameras, alarm monitoring, motion detectors and several sensors that can predict natural disasters. All of them are controlled with a  single keypad lock in case of a manual override.

Image from Pinterest

Smart door locks

A smart lock lets you open and close doors from your phone and you can also modify it to unlock on voice command. There are different levels of access you can share with your family, friends, and staff while maintaining logs of people that enter and exit your house. Go keyless with touchpads for times when you don’t have your phone. The HomeKit-enabled August Smart Lock is one of the best smart locks in the market with voice activation, geofencing, and its dedicated IFTTT (If This Then That) channel that triggers other devices in the event of a break-in.

Image from Pinterest

Fingerprint scanner

The key and lock method of securing your home is fast becoming outdated, and keycodes can be hacked easily by unauthorized personnel. Biometric access provides the highest level of recognition accuracy and security with sophisticated technology. Our skin forms unique patterns that make it virtually impregnable, leaving you less vulnerable to a break in.

How to create multi-functional rooms

Like any good investment, your space should work for you! Whether you want to easily transition a bedroom into a study or create a little reading nook, here are ways you don’t have to sacrifice functionality for décor.

Find a purpose

The best way to find a style that works best for you is to identify three or four main functions of the room. For example, would you like to have an office with an art studio and a reading nook, or a kitchen with a dining room and pantry? Plan your furniture by prioritizing the functionality of the room.

Make use of the vertical space

One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make is not optimally using their vertical space. A lot can be stored even in the smallest of places as long as you are a little creative about it! Use space-dividers or stack storage bins one on top of the other, to make the best use of your closet.

Keep the décor light

Find furniture that works for many purposes – like a pull out sofa for your study, or an ottoman that you can store items in. Go light on your decor but personalize your space.

Splurge a little

Have one element in the room that you have really splurged on. It could be a swanky leather chair, or a really large desk to work on, but indulge a little to really make the room your own.

Open floor plan

Nothing screams out space quite like an open floor plan. Wherever you can, avoid putting up walls and allow for portions of the room to seamlessly blend with each other. If you want some privacy, invest in wooden dividers or screens that can be easily moved or dismantled. While using an open floor plan, keep one consistent tone throughout and make sure that the décor does not clash.

Hide the wires

Not only are wires unappealing, they are also a tripping hazard. They ought to be hidden far from the line of sight. If you don’t feel like drilling holes to tuck wires away, you can use binder clips or even keep them hidden behind a fancy storage box.

Bamboo Wooden Charge Cable Organizer. Image from Pinterest.

Whatever your choice, creativity is limitless. What are your favourite hacks? Let us know in the comments below.

Smart Lighting Solutions

When it comes to home décor, lighting can make or break it… and we’re not talking about your everyday tube lights and LED bulbs! There are ‘smarter’ ways in which you can make your lighting solutions work for you. Not only do they enhance the setting, they are also easy on the pocket and can stand out as a statement piece.

Helia Smart Bulb by Soraa

This bulb is best suited for those that have trouble putting away their smartphones before bedtime! The most unique feature of this bulb is its night mode that uses violet lights instead of blue to ensure that you get your beauty sleep. It also has a module that softly lights up your room for those midnight trips to the loo, without breaking your sleep cycle.

During the day, the center of the bulb comes with a Smart Snap Module that can assess if the room is occupied or not, co-relate it with the time of day, and adjust the brightness accordingly. Unlike other smart lighting systems, Helia lights connect to each other over your home’s existing electrical wiring and eliminate any dependency on a Wi-fi or a hub.

Image from: helia.com
Image from: Engadget

Philips Friends of Hue Personal Lighting Bloom

A stunning home deserves a spotlight. With Philips Friends of Hue Personal Lighting Bloom, you have over 16 million colour options to choose from. The device comes with a standard plug and a long cable that allows you to place it wherever you want. Whether you are uplighting a room or using the light to create a glowing effect around furniture, Bloom is easily adjustable to add just the right amount of pop to any space.

Image from: Netbaes
Photo from: Electronic House

Sony LED Light Bulb Speaker

As the name suggests, the LED Light Speaker is both a light and a speaker. Its standard plug, inbuilt hardware, and lack of external wires make it user-friendly and easily portable. With 32 different brightness settings, and an array of colour options (from classy pastels to vibrant pop colours) you can control the device through your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. If you might want to add music to the ambiance, you can also play your favorite tunes through the smart app.

Image From: Yanko Design- From Beyond Function
Image from: Yanko Design- From Beyond Function

 

 

 

Dine like royalty

Gone are the days when dining room décor was playing second fiddle to the living room or kitchen, with homeowners placing increasing importance to where they dine! Whether it is a Victorian style of low chandeliers or a more contemporary take on a classic black table, here are ways you can amp up your fine dine game and create a space fit for royalty.

Patterned chairs

The days of solid colours for furniture are a thing of the past, giving us much more to work with! To give your dining room a rich opulent look, select a dark toned wood table and pair it with leather chairs that are accented with gold or silver embellishments. Colours like purple, scarlet, or fuschia add to the grandiose of the room. You can also think outside the box with contemporary stone-finish tables and metallic chairs. Balance the furniture with light coloured walls and some pop art.

Metallics

One of the central themes to any elegant space is metallics. While we don’t suggest you go overboard with gold or brass, you can be a tad more restrained with contemporary metallic highlights, or emphasize your stone table with a metallic finish. Another way to go is to commit to small pieces with candle holders, vases, or metallic cabinets to display your good china!

Modern chic

If you are looking for more of a youthful vibe you can have a dining table with mismatched chairs (not unlike Monica’s apartment in F.R.I.E.N.D.S.). Add an eclectic vibe to the walls with bright pop art in wooden frames. You can also spruce up the place with an accent wall, or (if you are not scared of commitment) paint the entire room! Balance out the bright colours with some neutral colours like black, white, or beige.

Dramatic and classic

There is nothing that screams drama like floor to ceiling wall papers. Choose a vintage wallpaper, and adorn your space with white curtains and wooden panels. Lend a weathered look to your room by using well-worn furniture and contemporary cutlery.

Mix it up

One of the best ways to infuse life into your room is to allow ample sunlight to enter! Use floor to ceiling windows and a neutral colour for the walls. A crystal chandelier will bring the room together, and use vintage patterned chairs for a wholesome dining experience. You can use velvet drapes and decorate the walls with art in metallic frames and create a space that oozes class.

Designers off the runway – into your home

When Gucci first introduced home décor, other designers were quick to follow suit. The result – we can wake up under luxurious Missoni duvets, curl up in a Versace bathrobe, settle down with a book on Brunello Cucinelli cushions, or much more. Here are ways you can add some panache to your home with décor lines of these Indian fashion designers!

 

Rocky S

The edgy and eccentric home décor company Bent Chair has partnered with Rocky S to feature his own line ‘Rocky Star Home’. This line features furniture and accessories inspired by gothic hues. By using baroque and botanic patterns in vibrant pop colours, his pieces lend an eclectic feel to any space. These statement pieces are available on both online and offline channels.

Sabyasachi

Sabyasachi’s line of wallpapers is the right blend of opulence and décor sensibility, making it a must-have for your home. Through his collection, the designer pays homage to his humble beginnings and his home state, West Bengal. The collection features rich, earthy backgrounds with bold Mughal inspired motifs. Produced by upcoming artists at the Sabyasachi Foundation, each motif is hand painted and outlined with 22K gold. The wallpapers start at INR 17,500 onwards, and if you are faint-of-heart we suggest you start with an accent wall in each room.

Kaschmir. Image from: Sabyasachi for Nilaya.
Image from Pinterest

J J Valya

With a style best defined as maximalist, J J Valya is known for his decadent bridal couture. He believes his foray into home décor is a natural progression when he opened ‘Valaya Home’, a luxe décor studio in New Delhi. The offerings of this studio range from furniture to wall-to-wall installations, so you can choose a style that works best for you. Make sure you check out his signature line of tapestries and home linen that are heavily influenced by Moroccan patterns and textures. Next time you are in Delhi, book a consultation ahead of time!

Unusual suspects of Kotturpuram

Nestled away in a green corner of our glorious city is Kotturpuram – arguably one of the most sought after locations in Chennai. Its broad roads, central location and affable society make it a haven for residential real estate buyers. However, we know there is more to buying a house than an ideal location. Here are a few things to do in and around Kotturpuram:

The Green Mile

When you take a drive down the winding roads of Adyar, it is hard to keep your eyes off the lush green canopy. You can get in touch with organizations like Nizhal that carry out tree walks to help you acquaint yourself with the local fauna and flora.  

 

You can also spend your days volunteering with animal organizations and give the furry four legged friends some much deserved TLC. If you’re not shaken by reptiles, plan a weekend getaway to the Madras Crocodile Bank, live with the Irula tribe, and learn how to catch snakes from Romulus Whitaker – the reptile man himself!

During the Olive Ridley nesting season, sign up for a turtle walk and scour the beaches for nesting mothers or little hatchlings.

 

Entertainment

Take a break from real life and immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality at Nassa Uth hub. Try your hand at their rooftop artificial turf futsal ground, or bowling in their four lane alley. If you are looking to refuel between games, there is a food court with delectable munchies to snack on, and a killer view overlooking the sea.

With the mushrooming of new malls, cineplexes, and parks, Chaos Entertainment is like a breath of fresh air. The laser tag outfit allows for healthy competition between your friends and families, so put on your glowing jackets and start shooting. Be warned, this game is highly addictive!

Cook-a-meal

If you have Masterchef-esque dreams, this is the place for you! Foodology is a relatively new concept where you are given ingredients and a recipe book, and you can unleash your inner chef in a restaurant-grade kitchen. If you (like some of us) have no culinary skills whatsoever, don’t worry! They also have a restaurant where you can choose from a wide spread and, yes, it’s prepared by professionals.

Say it with velvet

When the runways of fashion bigwigs like Prada, Gucci and Fendi sported velvet, we knew it was only a matter of time before it invaded our homes, and we are not complaining one bit! With its deep tones and luxurious textures, the allure of velvet is not lost on us. Here are a few ways you can use this multidimensional fabric in your space:

 

Couches:

Velvet has an earthy opulence which makes it a great fabric for your living space. It creates warm inviting rooms, and we recommend using rich hues as they will never run out of fashion. The visual richness of velvet can easily be offset by using other fabrics like linen, silk or wool. If you have a single deep toned statement sofa, balance the room out with light colored furniture for a chic, eclectic vibe.

Juel in your Crown. Image from Pinterest.

It is worth keeping in mind that velvet is an absorber of natural and man-made light and can cause heat retention. If you are thinking of adding a velvet sofa to the mix, make sure you find a place away from direct sunlight or any other heat source; otherwise, it can be impossible to use as the mercury starts to rise.

 

Cushions:

We understand if you are a little reluctant to get on the velvet bandwagon (especially after memories of your childhood velvet dress), but why not start small with accent cushions? The right set of cushion covers can totally transform your living space, and the good news – you are spoilt for choice in this regard! Whether you want to infuse energy into your space with a vibrant red or ocher yellow, or add a dash of suave with grey or ink blue, you cannot go wrong!

Pink and Gold Velvet Couch. Image from Pinterest.

If you feel a little bolder in making changes to your décor, consider buying a velvet pouffe or a single armchair.

 

Lamps:

Of all the versatile uses of velvet in your space, velvet lamps are our pick! They are the perfect infusion of fashion without the commitment.

Place a lamp in your living room, bedroom or reading nook and watch the instant transformation. Since velvet is a fairly translucent fabric, the light can travel either upwards or downwards, based on how you place the fabric. If you pick the right colour to complement your décor – the result is breathtaking!

 

Curtains:

There is something to be said about the plush decadence of a full length velvet curtain and the opulence it brings to your room! While a fully laid out dining table with deep blue floor length curtains or a bedroom with earthy brown tones does sound appealing, we recommend you don’t get out your tape measures just yet! Velvet has the tendency of being highly visible and has strong colour retention so we suggest you look for simple and tassle free options to prevent it from becoming over dramatic or overbearing.

Atelier Velvet Curtain. Image by Michelle Williams Photography.

The best part about velvet is that like wine, it only gets better with age! After a few years of use, it tends to develop a rich patina, and a little wear giving it a timeless appeal. So don’t be afraid to really live it in, and rest assured you have a piece of decor that will withstand any change in trend!