Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home |Volume 5, Issue 50, Tuesday, December 21, 2010















Brown, black and beige

Everyone desires something different for their bedroom, a space that stands out as the most important and the most private in the household. For an interior designer, bedrooms are often the biggest challenge, as it demands furnishing within a small space. But a little imagination and ingenuity often results in unexpected outcomes. Irrespective of the size of the room, looking into the finer details often yields good results and creates a sense of warmth.

Today our focus is colour, from the walls to the furniture in the room to the adjoining bathroom's tiles. We shall look into the bedroom of a warm, charming teenager but the concepts can be used in other spaces with equal success.

Teenagers tend to think differently, they prefer to set themselves apart from the rest and quite naturally they crave excitement and drama in everything they like to call theirs. Rafi, this dynamic individual, is seventeen and he made it clear that his preferences of colours are deep brown and black.

Bedroom is a space that greets you early in the morning every day and sends you off to sleep every night. The colours chosen should therefore reflect your persona. It should come from the heart. Choose a colour scheme that accommodates your changing preferences.

Colour is sometimes the best furnishing of all. It can be used to subdue or boldly highlight areas, and it need not be pale to feel restful. Strong colour choices can have surprising effects.

In this particular room we took a cue of colour palette from the room for the attached bathroom. Space is pivotal for good décor and we were blessed with a south-facing, rectangular bedroom. The bed of course will serve as the focal point of the room and we placed the sleeping provision against the west wall.

The design of the bed, made of Burma teak with deep walnut polish, was contemporary, semi-double with a height lower than a regular bed. The unusual component was the headboard.

I decided to add on an added attraction, a backdrop that was the wall panelling. The concept of which is not new to décor. Even in the classical periods, people used to cover their walls with original wooden panels. In recent times, designers have only changed their style and approach, mostly in the use of cheaper-than-wood material.

We introduced a contemporary, two-stepped wall panel. One in deep brown and the other, in white. As said earlier, we made a colour cue from wall panel to bedcover, table lampshade and so on.

We placed a reading table opposite the bed. A sleek table with open shelves arranged as a study corner. These too are of Burma teak board, polished in deep walnut. On the other side we placed a closet cabinet and a sitter. The closet is also made of Burma teak board with wooden moulding beats in deep-brown polish. These are the basic furniture of this room.

A brave colour on a single wall can often transform everything around it, especially in modern spaces where a subtle palette can seem too weak. Vivid colours add life and stand up to designs. We opted for white and deep brown; actually only one wall was in a brownish shade while the rest of the three walls remained white.

White is a significant colour when the goal is to neutralise a deeper hue. Although the dominating colour was brown, black and beige, we still used white for counteraction.

The floor is also important for décor aspect. We used beige, Perlarto marble and black marble for design. Sometimes curved or different shapes look gorgeous, so I suggested a triangular, black marble patch for this trendy room.

An attached bathroom is an essential part of modern living. The bathroom's tiles are also in brown, black and white. We used a standing Jacuzzi for shower. A sleek counter basin placed in the right position.

This room has the perfect balance of privacy and intimacy for friends. We kept TV, CDs, DVDs, books, and a guitar for their entertainment.

Layering different shades of a single palette creates a multifaceted and engaging colour design, as this particular room shows.

Nazneen Haque Mimi
Interior Consultant
E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo credit: Hasan Saifuddin Chandan


Christmas at Radisson

Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka is ready to celebrate the Christmas with outstanding decorations and due festivity.

On Christmas Day, special menu will be served at all the restaurants. Guests are sure to fall in love with beckoning treats of traditional cakes and pastries, Christmas pudding, Yule logs, fruit cakes and freshly baked cookies and many more delicious items at the Chit Chat Deli Café.

On the other hand, signature restaurant Sublime is offering a special Christmas menu at dinner on the 25 December. Moreover, Spice and Rice restaurant will be offering authentic exotic cuisine from Asia to the Far East at the dinner menu on Christmas night.

In addition, Water Garden Brasserie restaurant is offering a special Christmas lunch and dinner menu where guests can find stuffed turkey with Cranberry sauce created from the finest ingredients from all around the world, smoked seafood and roasts, and more mouth-watering dishes to satisfy their culinary desires.

As usual, a grand children's gathering will be held in the Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka where the Santa Claus will be visiting to share exciting gifts with the children. In addition, there will be weeklong performances by the in house international band Straight Wise to rejoice the festive spirit.

Christmas Kiddies Party @ Westin

Keeping the festive season in mind, The Westin Dhaka will be celebrating “Christmas Kiddies Party' at Grand Ballroom on 25 December, 2010. The party will start at 9 am and will continue to till 2 pm.

The kiddies' party will be filled with some festive holiday games like Pin the donkey, Wii play, Bouncing Games, Dress as you like, Pass the pillow and a magic show by the world renowned magicians from UK. Also available would be karaoke, face painting and delicious treats.

On the other hand Santa Clause will be distributing various gifts to children and will take part in a photo session under the tallest Christmas tree in the country.

So let your children enjoy Christmas with infinite fun and indulge in assorted Mini Pizza, Peanut butter, mini burgers, fish finger and jelly sandwich. Pop Corn station, Cotton candy station and Ice-cream are additional offers. Entry fee is Tk 1250++ per person.

For more information or to buy tickets, please call #9891988 or visit Westin reception desk from 15-25 December, 2010.


Bambiland Day Care Centre

Bambiland Day Care Centre opened in July 2010. The centre consists of whole day activities for children who are 6-months to 4-5 years old. Bambiland is not only a day care centre but also a pre-school for children who are about to join schools.

It has teachers and trained assistants to keep an eye on the children at all times and to make sure they are safe and sound. Owner, Shamim Akhter, has told us how she got the urge to open a day care centre to help working mothers around the city.

“A lot of parents nowadays are working and not everybody can trust their housemaids to keep them safe at all times as they might be busy with household chores. I wanted to make sure these parents have an option to keep their children at a safe and trustworthy environment,” says Shamima.

Shamima was a schoolteacher previously and has 23 years of experience with children. The day care is running successfully considering her knowledge in how to take the best care of children.

Bambiland has been getting good responses not only from children but also their parents. “The children enjoy a lot here with the kind of activities they do. We are, of course, planning for a lot more for the children but so far, so good,” Shamima says.

The activities include singing and rhymes in the morning followed by lunch and refreshments. Afterwards, they spend the day with playtime and drawing. For the children a little older, there are free hand exercises to be practised.

Bambiland is also planning for other activities to be included like practising basic math and English for children who are about to get admitted to schools. Shamima stays in Bambiland full time with the children to help them with their day-to-day activities while their parents are out to work.

Shamima says, “I also let the children, who want to join, come and stay with us for a couple of days without payment so that their parents could earn a good amount of trust in me to keep their children here.”

Bambiland's admission fee is Tk20000. For half day, they charge Tk6000 and for full day, Tk8000. Bambiland's interior decoration is done by Shamima herself to make it a wonderland for children, with slides, swings and toys of all sorts. It is perfectly secure and safe from any harm whatsoever.

If you are going through the dilemma of where to keep your children safe while you are out working, look no more! Bambiland is situated at Block D, 9/6, Lalmatia Housing Society.

For more information, contact Shamima Akhter #01611790602, 01711790602.

By Naziba Basher

Persona @ Banani

For over a decade Persona has been a shining name in the world of beauty and glamour. And for that reason, Persona feels an urge to offer their services at the most convenient of locations - Gulshan, Mirpur and Uttara for its clients.

On 18 December, 2010 Persona opened their fifth outlet at Banani for it's distinguished clientele. The programme was inaugurated by entrepreneur and former Advisor to the Caretaker Government Rokeya Afzalur Rahman.

The Banani branch has 'Exclusive Suites' for priority services and special care. The immaculate floor space and aesthetic inner décor is sure to leave you stunned. The highly trained executive and service providers will cater to your demands, every moment.

The entire salon has been crafted to compliment your taste, elegance and comfort. The company puts emphasis on customer satisfaction, innovation and excellence in the service provided and is aiming to take it to the next level with the Banani outlet. It will truly be an extension of your persona.

For details contact: 76/A, Second Floor, (near Banani-Gulshan connecting bridge), Road #11, Banani. # 0167164 6464, 8812698, 8812699, 8831340.


Tips to save the planet

Maintain your vehicle: Not only are you extending the life of your vehicle, but through proper maintenance you are creating less pollution and saving fuel. A properly maintained vehicle, clean air filters, and inflated tires can greatly improve your vehicle's performance. And it might not hurt to clean out the trunk, all that extra weight could be costing you at the pump.

Plastic bags suck: Each year people use over 500 billion plastic bags worldwide. They are not biodegradable, and are making their way into our oceans, and subsequently, the food chain. Stronger, reusable bags are an inexpensive and readily available option.

LS Desk


In quest of the quintessence of “Kathak”

Isabella Anna mesmerised the audience at Alliance Francaise in concert recently. Her Madonna face, lissom figure, and gazelle eyes could have belonged to a North Indian Rajput princess or one of the idyllic figures of the Moghul miniatures. With her dazzling eastern jewellery over the neat pulled back bun, she mesmerised not only the eager sea of general dance enthusiasts but also any critical onlooker, used to the “kotha” dance from way back.

The “ghungar” on the feet, the black “tang pyjama” on the delicate feet and the dazzling choice of colour was just right for the evening viewing. Isabella -- who happens to be a choreographer as well -- as trained from Kala Kendra under Biju Maharaj's pupil in the subcontinent, has studied with a government-to-government scholarship in India, for several years.

Isabella Anna has mastered several genres of Indian classical dancing including Kathakali and Bharat Nattyam. Her public performances, at various places have been innumerable. Isabella's footwork, including pirouettes, the sashays “jettes” in her fusion dance of the Spanish piece, that followed, based, as she said on “Kathak”, were impeccable.

The accompanying piped in music and lighting effect were superb, even though this sounds a bit too much of a “ga-ga” response. But the audience had gone wild with their appreciation for this endeavour of the Alliance Francaise.

The seating arrangements, the ushers, the translators, and the welcome, including words in “Bangla”, and the Islamic “Assalam-Alaikum” by the Director of Alliance Francaise in her gentle lilting tone were appreciated by the eager, pleased barrage of audience. This included people of various ages and backgrounds.

The seating arrangements, with their neat, white dust covers, as well as the large cosy rug in front, spoke of the eagle-eyed and enthusiastic staff, who appear smiling, and always “on-the-double”.

“I was lucky to have been born and raised in a family who were connected with the spreading of the genre of Indian performing arts in the south of Paris. My parents were connected with the Indian Cultural Centre in 1975. I was therefore in an environment of concerts, dance performance coming from everywhere in the world. My parents travelled to various places of India, promoting dances. My mother went to India in 1963, and was more into Kathakali , and so went to South India to do research on Kathakali.

“I myself began dancing when I was four or five. I gave my first performances when I was eight. I began 'Kathak' eight years ago and learnt 'Bharat Nattyam' for about 15 years. In 1998 I discovered 'Kathak'. I was also trained in music and drama. I felt that everything was there in 'Kathak' -- drama, music, rhythm: It was a very complete form of dance,” she said.

“In 2001 I had an Indo-French scholarship from the French government to learn in India for a year. I was at ' Kathakkendra' in New Delhi. I decided to stay longer, staying on for nine years, till July 2010. I have just shifted back. I like India's summer; in the month of May, I like the dry heat. But of course when it pours in the Monsoons it is a bit much for me.”

She had learned under Pandit J Krishin Maharaj, the elder son of Bijou Maharaj, who teaches at the “Kathakkendera” at New Delhi. She has done her honours and post diploma under him, from 2001 to 2006. As she went home to France quite regularly, she was homesick only in the beginning. She says that if she felt lonely she wouldn't have stayed on for nine years. She says that she was mostly in India, where she performed. Speaking of where in India she had performed, she smiled and said, “The list is too long.” She toured twice with Alliance Francaise in India. There were others like “Chakradhar Samaro” which was a big event, for the “Khajraho” festival, also a big 'do' last February. She went to various other places in the Subcontinent. She is on the panel of ICCR as a “Kathak” dancer.

Talking of her career as a choreographer Isabella says that she was doing research on the origins and evolution of 'Kathak'. She also did work on the links between 'Kathak' and other dances, such as the influence of Greek, Spanish and Persian music in its 'raag'.

She found the cultural links very interesting. She also discovered that 'Kathak' was the ancestor of flamenco. In her choreography she adds a few touches of her own. As for the costumes, they too are Isabella's creations, including the black one with the vermilion silk border. Vocals is also a part of her integral training. She is also into the “tabla” and yoga.

By Fayza Haq


Its all about having fun

Plan too much. If you want to spend most of the lazy days of Christmas in a chocolate-coated haze of lethargy, go ahead. It's been a long year. You've earned it. Be in your best mood for Christmas day, though. There's a reason the carol, 'tis the season to be jolly', was made. But just make sure you don't let little things upset you. The holiday season was made for your happiness. Sit back, relax and just let the good times roll.



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