Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 34, Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Special Feature

Invite some colour for Eid

Festive times call for festive measures. As a culture, our festive tendencies usually gravitate towards buying new clothes and accessories in bright colours. Colours are naturally tied to festive occasions, as the latter provide a break in the humdrum monotony of our lives, which is reflected in the bright colours we don on special occasions. But why stop there? An outfit can only be worn so many times.

While we are very willing to redecorate ourselves for a big event, we are rarely as willing to redecorate other aspects of our lives, such as our rooms or homes. Painting our walls in colours that best suit our dispositions can often be thought to be prohibitive in terms of cost and/or the permanence one associates with it. More and more are discovering that it doesn't have to be that way.

“Eid is definitely a very busy time for us,” says Muhammad Fahad Hasan, Colour Consultant at Berger Home Decor. “Very often it has happened that we have had to say no to customers ten days before Eid because our painters want to go home for their holiday.”

This reflects a trend that sees the painting or repainting of our homes as not just an activity brought about by necessity, but also an expression of our individuality in times of celebration. Not long ago, such expression was reserved for clothes; now, happily, it has spread to our walls.

“Painting one's home has generally been seen as too much of a hassle and too costly,” says Nazneen Haque Mimi, renowned interior decorator. “But the reality is that it's neither. You can have a wall painted for as little as two thousand taka, and putting the furniture back where it was is only an hour's work, at the most.”

So if you do take the decision to invite a little variety into your home, how do you go about it? Of course you can opt for anything you want, but there are some guidelines, which if adhered to can make the resultant effect of painting your home in new colours more of a joy than a fright.

“Such decisions (which colours to choose) are often influenced by the climate one lives in,” adds Mimi. “For example, in colder climates such as those found in European countries, walls are often painted in darker colours. In tropical countries such as ours, with high temperatures, the norm is to have our homes painted in light colours. That is why you see so many interiors with whitewashed or off-white walls.

“It is very much like the clothes we wear; in hot, sunny days wearing black is not a good idea because the colour absorbs heat and will make the wearer feel hotter than if he/she were wearing a light-coloured ensemble.”

Having chosen the shades one wishes to paint one's room or home with, the issue of colour harmony comes in. This is very important because the colours we paint our walls are not just for us, but also for the guests who frequent our homes. Therefore, it is imperative that we get the right mix of colours to present a soothing and harmonious environment.

“It is very important to take into account the character of the room,” adds Mimi. “For example, if a middle-aged man wants his living room painted, he might go for light beige, off-white brown, light coffee or brown, all neutral colour tones. On the other hand, if a teenager wants his room painted, it is going to be different. He might want it to be blue and white, deep brown, green, aqua blue, or even a darker colour. If he wants a dark colour, I wouldn't suggest that all four walls be painted dark. It is better to have one wall painted in a dark colour and the others painted in lighter hues, so as not to make the room too dark.”

Hasan from Berger echoes these thoughts. “Our basic theme is for the three walls of a room to be painted in one colour, and the remaining wall to be painted a different colour. For example, in a bedroom, one wall can be painted a dark shade of blue, while the others can be painted in lighter shades. It is thought that if the wall behind your bed is of a deep colour, it induces sleep, while the lighter shades on the other walls lend the room an overall lighter tone.”

There are also many techniques that can be used to give your walls the texture and feel that you desire.” You can choose to apply sponge paint, which give the wall some depth and also masks any structural irregularities in the construction,” advises Mimi. “Then there is cross brush technique. Suppose you have a room with red walls, you can take two brushes and soak them in different colours, say shocking pink and copper, and paint across the walls. Or you could opt for stripes. In a girl's room, for example the walls could be done in thin strips of dark pink and light pink.”

Berger Home Decor also offers Berger Illusions, a range of more than fifty designs to jazz up your home. It also includes cartoon themes for children's rooms. One design that has proven to be very popular is that of a star field painted on the ceiling, and customers can choose between stars that glow at night and those that do not.

To take up a painting job, Berger requires a minimum of a hundred square feet to be painted. In other words, that is a wall of 10 feet by 10 feet. Berger Illusion is their most expensive product, at Tk45 80 per square feet. Their non-designer hues are classified as distemper at Tk8/sq. feet, plastic paints at Tk10-13/sq. feet, Luxury Silk at Tk12-14/sq. feet and Easy Clean at Tk14-16/sq. feet. All prices are inclusive of painter charges.

“People should not be afraid to experiment or take the leap for a special occasion. Why not paint a room bright pink for a newborn daughter. It will brighten up the day for anyone who visits the room,” Mimi said.

Do the math, redoing your walls is not going to cost you much more than a high-end shalwar kameez or jamdani set. Look around, it might just be time to say goodbye to those monochromes. This Eid, use your imagination and brighten up your lives.

Photo Courtesy: Berger Illusions


Twice as nice

Are they jeans? Are they leggings? They're jeggings! With skinny jeans and leggings both enjoying so much popularity, the invention of this wonder hybrid was inevitable. And, this fun garment is rocking the scenes around the globe.

What are jeggings, exactly?

They're denim leggings, or super-skinny jeans that look and are worn like leggings. They're a slimmer fit than your 'normal' skinny jeans, and have the same silhouette-emphasising effect as a pair of tights, and since they're made of denim, you don't have to worry about covering your rear end.

How do I wear them?

In many different ways! You can pair them with tunics, bubble tops or shirt-dresses as you would a pair of tights, accessorizing with broad belts, beads, scarves, as you see fit. Or you could go down the jeans route by teaming up with comfortable tees and cute tops. Experiment and see what works for you. The only thing you have to remember is that it has to be comfortable.

The last word

It's always better to start simple, then amp up the look as you get more used to it. Try some pairs in basic, dark monochromes before you go nuts with the colours and embellishments.

Even though these are a runaway trend, as are skinnies and leggings, if you don't feel comfortable in them, go without. After all, there's always harem pants!

By Sabrina F Ahmad
Reference: styletips101.com


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