Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 94, Tuesday, December 8, 2009




Of light and air

Kimu, returning from Pakistan with her husband, found that she couldn't quite use the degree that she had qualified in and decided to study interior designing. Her interest in interior décor was there from the outset and with a young family to manage, she found it convenient to operate from home. Kimu studied with "Exin" and has been working there since 2006.

Asked if it is easy to adapt Bangladeshi homes to new western ideas, Kimu says, "The materials that you get abroad are not always available here. If you do get any you have to mix and match their designs with ours. In the west today the furniture used is often of a very slick quality. Instead of using Burma and Chittagong teak, which we find expensive, we use board, which we get from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and China. Wood is long-lasting but board can be durable too."

She says that so far she has dealt with five homes and an office (DHL). Talking of elements that people in Bangladesh go for which should be avoided, Kimu says, "We must avoid a clutter of furniture, as our area today tends to be limited. We must also keep light and flow of air in mind. I tend to use a lot of indirect light. When we enter a room, the interior is already decided. I can't just bring in a skylight if I want to. I also try to paint the walls, ceiling and interior in a manner that light is best felt. The curtains and furnishing that I choose are often muted."

What should be done to avoid claustrophobia?
"As I enter a room, I think of how to make it more open. Often the client wants a wall to hide something or the other in the living room. Here decorative dividers, which can be put away, may be used."

Asked what she could suggest to reduce the cost of furnishing a new home, Kimu says, "Everyone has a budget. One must keep this and proper space utilisation in mind. We try, for instance, not to encourage the use of wooden doors, as these are expensive and often not properly seasoned. Boards that come from Singapore, China and Malaysia prove to be quite satisfactory. You get them at Old Dhaka, Gulshan and Baridhara.

"At places like Elephant Road, Islampur and Gulshan you get good curtains and furnishing materials. When my clients speak of getting curtains and furniture from overseas, I always try to discourage them."

Asked if women do better than men in interior décor, Kimu says that a profession is for all sexes. She says however, that workers tend to prefer to take orders from a male and that it is easier for a man to go to various places to check out on the raw materials.

By Fayza Huq

LS Shuffle

Weekly buzz

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last….
Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after 2 a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her
- A long December, Counting Crows.

Winter brings in a feeling of solitude; the mercury dropping down, the chill outside the confines of our home and the warmth of the cosy blanket, somehow remind of lost friends and lost love. But as days pass by, the anticipation of the coming New Year brings hope, hope for a new day and a new beginning.

Anyway, now the shuffle:
Kseniya Simonova, a sand painter, has amazed and astonished viewers and audiences with her remarkable talent. Manoeuvring sand on her board to depict images, and precisely dropping grains to draw lines, she creates beautiful images, and what's more, keeps modifying them to tell a story through the pictures. And what better medium than sand to depict the passage of time? In one of her pieces the sands tell the story of a boy being born and growing up to adulthood and beyond, and all in a space of a few minutes.

Search for her work on the World Wide Web. You will surely be amazed. Our pick #1.

My Sister's Keeper, based on Jodi Picault's 2004 bestseller, is a film about the slow death of a child but rest assured, this is not your everyday melancholy movie. The subject matter provides enough food for thought not only on society, the relationships and love but also what lies ahead in our futures. Our pick #2.

The soundtrack for My Sister's Keeper includes memorable tracks from a variety of artists, and features the previously unreleased Jeff Buckley song “We All Fall In Love Sometimes,” written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. “Life Is Beautiful” by Vega 4 is truly amazing. Our pick #3.

On a different note, 20 years ago the Berlin Wall fell, and along with it the Red Flag no longer flew mast high. The recent, global crisis however, has brought the socialist view under limelight once again. Free market economy, finally has showed its pitfalls.

Interestingly a new concept is brewing, a silent revolution led by Nobel Laureate Dr. Mohammed Yunus that may transform business as we know it.

Dr Yunus hailed the global economic crisis "an excellent opportunity to reflect and redesign" businesses, and devote creative ones to solving social problems. Recently Yunus told the media in Germany: "Any problem has a potential of being addressed with a social business.

"Social business being a business where you don't make money," he explained. "Zero profit for the investors."

Dr. Yunus is backed by corporations like food giant Danone, global water group Veolia, sportswear company Adidas, software pioneer SAP and academics at Kyushu University in Japan.

So, do your research and get acquainted with this novel concept. Social Business is our Pick #4.

Until next week. Ciao!

On The Cover

Colours and cuts abound with the new line by Adivasi designer Tenzing Chakma at the Cultural Diversity Festival 2009. Reinterpreting tribal textiles and craftsmanship into contemporary looks, the collection brought the best of the hills out.
Photo: Zahedul I Khan


Winter care

As the season swiftly diffuses into the air, our heat-absorbed hearts are drenched with sheer tranquillity- winter is almost here.

It comes draped in various cloaks. Pithas, our local delicacies; a few drops of honey in a blissful warm mug of tea, the soothing sun, and a game of hide and seek, are just a few of the many facets of the soothing winter.

Along with winter comes the need to indulge oneself into an ocean of enriched skin and hair care. Re-hydrate yourself with plenty of water and fruit juices. The suppleness of your skin radiates from within with internal medicines: your diet and intakes.

Scrubbing your skin becomes essential to remove any impurities or dead and dry skin from the surface. Apply a day moisturiser and a rich night moisturiser on a daily basis for your face. Use a petroleum based lotion for the rest of your body. If your skin is extra dry, add in a couple of drops of olive oil to tame the skin.

When in the shower, a concoction of honey and milk can be applied on the skin to moisturise. Vitamin E and proteins should be added to your regular diet for the uprooting of dryness from within.

A chocolate dip, molten chocolate laid on your skin can penetrate the dryness to reveal glowing skin. Drinking green tea with a hint of lemon detoxifies your bloodstream and supplies antioxidants in plentiful.

Slow your clocks down. Your body mechanism is smarter than you think it is. An age-old secret reveals, with a frenetic lifestyle your biological clock speeds up and results in aging skin whereas, if you move at a relaxed pace your biological clock slows down and aids in retaining a youthful skin.

Hot oil-massage your hair once or twice a week to soak your hair in nutrients. Treatments are available at spas and saloons in a wide array for you to choose from.

Get succulent lips this winter with conditioning lip balms or lip butters. Add a few drops of olive oil at night to wake up with lustrous lips. A soft toothbrush with scrub can be used to remove chapped skin. Drink plenty of water to retain a pout-filled smile.

Hand salves or petroleum jelly should be applied to your hands and your feet to avoid cracked skin.

Carry a small jar of lotion to moisturise your skin after every wash. Soak your feet in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of lemon juice and moisturiser. Scrub away with a filer and apply olive oil and moisturiser. Nail oils should be applied and massaged in, to provide subtlety this winter.

By Sanjana Rahman




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