Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 14, Tuesday, April 05, 2011




Classic comfort

In the last two decades, our 400 year old city has undergone a period of drastic change in terms of architecture and construction. Individual houses have long been reconstructed into apartment complexes by developers, but regardless of this popular trend, some fortunate people still have their individual houses preserved.

This week we have concentrated on an individual, duplex house situated in the Uttara residential area. When the house was initially built, a lot of inspiration was taken from classical architecture but the house has not undergone any major renovations over the last decade and a half. In keeping with classical architecture, a curved staircase with wooden railings is used to connect the ground floor to the first floor and a small fountain is accommodated aesthetically under the stairs. A large formal living room, dining area, guest bedroom and kitchen and service area are housed on the ground floor, and, as in most duplexes, all bedrooms and the family living area are situated on the first floor.

I began my work on revamping the interiors from the foyer. The foyer is a small space, but one of the most important areas of a house nonetheless. A foyer speaks for a house, a place which reflects the residents' choices and tastes. Due to space restrictions, I opted for a vertical design. I arranged a long, vertical mirror and brick bonding rustic tiles on the wall. The opposite wall stands against the fountain tub. A sleek false ceiling was also attached to this curved wall and three spot lights were attached to provide illuminating effects on top of the fountain. The curved wall creates a vivid mood and it was adorned with a glass painting and some greenery at the foot of the stairs.

In the formal living room, previous pieces of furniture were kept intact but all the upholsteries were changed. It is pleasantly surprising to find how different a room can look after making simple sofa and cushion cover changes. To maintain harmony with the rest of the room, curtains of a greenish-grey hue were chosen and collector's pieces like antique stools with attractive upholstery were included in the room.

Owing to my preference for wooden doors in residences, I opted for a six-parted folding door instead of a Thai aluminium divider. A light beige and dark coffee colour palette was used for the ground floor, with yellow light and mellow wood furniture lending an added element of warmth and cosiness, while simultaneously creating a space quite distinct from the rest of the common area.

Similar to the formal living area, the upholstery was also changed in the family living room. We replaced the old upholsteries with trendy, deep brown fabrics and replaced a bulky, age-old television with an LCD screen, accentuated by a wall decoration in the backdrop.

In a duplex house, as in any other residential dwelling, the informal dining area is a very important space. However, it is both impractical and inconvenient for members of the household to have to go down a flight of stairs leading to the ground floor every time a meal is consumed. Thus, I added a small, curved counter table to the family living room on the first floor, with a sleek shelf attached above where glasses, mugs and cutlery can be placed.

I have made use of paintings and potteries in different locations throughout the house. Paintings that were previously arranged at a very high level were placed at eye-level to create a sense of comfort and harmony. Taken as a whole, the house represents a refreshingly quaint interpretation of healthy, clean living-a cosy rendition that gives inhabitants a welcome reprieve from the daily buzz of city life. Welcome home.

Interior Consultant

E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo Credit: Journeyman Archive
Special Thanks: Mr. Abdus Satter.


Ages and stages - individual differences


Developmental milestones give a general idea about what to expect from children of different ages. However, there will always be differences between individual children. Some children begin to walk at 10 months, some at 15 months. Some toddle along quickly and smoothly, getting the "hang of it" right away.

Others fall down a lot, hesitate, or even give up for a few days. Some children will start to talk very early, others may disappoint their parents. Some will always be quiet people. Some abilities become clear in one child, but may never be very strong in another. Recognise the individual in the child and look for differences based on the following:

Sense of security
Some children need more consistency, more reassurance and more confidence. Insecurity sometimes can cause a child to withdraw or behave aggressively.

Activity level
Some children need more active play than others. They need the opportunity to move around, jump, run, and bounce many times throughout the day. Other children need a more peaceful environment or more rest.

Response to stimulation
Children are inherently different in their tolerance to noise, activity, visual stimulation, or changes in the environment. An environment that is sensitive to this need in children will provide interesting activities for some but not for all.

Thinking style
Some children think quietly through possible solutions to a problem; others push in and try the first idea that occurs to them. Some children are interested in experimenting to find out how objects work; others choose to ask friends or adults for help.

Dear parents and teachers, developmental guidelines should be used as a general rule of thumb. In your work with children, do not confuse earlier or faster development with better development. Early talking by a one-year-old does not mean that the child will be a chatterbox or a brilliant conversationalist at age 10. If the child begins to talk later than usual, it may mean that the toddler is putting more energy into physical growth and motor exploration than attempting to speak.

Development or the lack of it that falls outside the normal range may indicate a problem that requires attention. Parents should recognise the possible problems and special needs, such as poor vision or hearing. Teachers and parents should together find out the best solution of addressing the real concern by consulting with professionals.

Watch the development of each child closely. Be there always. Be happy!


Dental wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan
BDS, DDS (BSMMU), PhD (Japan), Associate Professor, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM
Hospital and Ibrahim Medical College, Shahabag, Dhaka. www.aikodental.com 9885426

I wonder if you can give us some tips about food habits related to dental decay. You have written a lot of articles about oro-dental diseases, but you never mention this.
-- Afsana Ahmed, Dhanmondi

Dear Ms Ahmed,
Thank you for this good question. Actually, I have published this food-related article three years ago. Anyway, with some new information I will try to give some tips for the readers.

Eating sugar, as you probably already know, is a major cause of tooth decay. When and how often you eat sugar may be more important than how much you eat.

When you eat sugary foods or drink sodas frequently throughout the day, the enamel that protects your teeth is constantly exposed to acids. Many experts suggest that you take a 3-hour break between eating foods containing sugar.

Sugary or starchy foods eaten with a meal are less harmful to your teeth than when they're eaten alone, possibly because the production of saliva, which washes away the sugar and bacteria, is increased.

However, sugary foods eaten before you go to bed can be very damaging (especially if you don't brush your teeth afterward) because you don't produce as much saliva when you sleep.

For most people, it's hard to cut out sweets completely, so try to follow these more realistic guidelines:

1. Eat carbohydrates (sugars and starches) with a meal.
2. If you can't brush your teeth after eating, rinse your mouth with water, mouthwash, or chew sugarless gum.
3. Don't eat sugary foods between meals.
4. Eat non-sugary foods, such as cheese, popcorn, raw veggies, or yoghurt.

Dear Dr. Khan,
I am 18 years old and all my front teeth have grown yellowish in colour. My teeth are very well arranged as if I have worn braces before, but I cannot be satisfied with them because no matter how many times I brush, there happens to be no noticeable change.

I have used many so-called 'extreme' whitening toothpaste products. Only a small number of them work on my teeth for a few hours and then they return to yellow again. I am afraid to use whitening strips at such a young age as they might harm my gums. Please tell me what would be the best thing to do?
-- Sharmin, Moghbazar

Dear Sharmin,
Although without examining you it seems a very difficult job for me to know the exact cause and treatment plan of your tooth discolouration, but I will try my best to explain the causes and solutions. Before discussing your particular query, I think it will be better if I can give a brief analysis of tooth discolouration and you can get your answer by reading carefully.

Tooth discolouration
This can either be on the tooth surface (extrinsic) or be present within the substance of the tooth (intrinsic).

Intrinsic causes
In a tooth with an intact blood and nerve supply, the causes are:

Hereditary disorders: In this conditions the teeth are coloured in brownish blue and a brownish red.

Tetracycline (Antibiotics) medication: Tetracycline administration during pregnancy can lead to discolouration of teeth as the tooth erupts in the newborn. Depending on the severity, discolouration can range from yellow-orange in mild cases and bluish grey in the most severe cases.

Excessive fluoride intake in drinking water: Flurosis is a condition seen in places with increased fluoride content in the drinking water. Beyond a certain level, fluoride can cause yellow staining of teeth.

High fevers associated with early childhood disease: High fever due to childhood infections can lead to areas of poor calcification within the teeth resulting in the appearance of prominent white spots.

The loss of blood supply and nerve supply can by itself cause discoloration of the tooth.

Extrinsic causes
Extrinsic stains can be classified based on colour of the stain into:

Brown stains: It is caused by a thin translucent, bacteria free layer covering the teeth. It is seen in individuals who do not brush their teeth adequately, or in those who use toothpaste with inadequate action.

Tobacco stains: Dark brown or black surface accompanied by brown discoloration of the tooth substance is seen. These stains results from coal tar combustion present in the tobacco and also due to the diffusion of tobacco juices into the substance of the teeth.

Green stains: Green to greenish yellow stains, sometimes of considerable thickness is seen in children. It is usually seen in upper anterior teeth and has been attributed to fluorescent bacteria and fungi.

Orange stains: Occurs in front teeth, and is caused by colour producing bacteria.

Metallic stains: Caused by metals and metallic salts, which may be introduced into the oral cavity.

How can we diagnose tooth discolouration?
Diagnosis is made based on the colour of the stain. If the stain still remains after meticulous cleaning of the teeth by the dentist, it is understood that the stain is present within the substance of the tooth. A careful history taking can be useful in differentiating between an internal stain and an external stain.

How can tooth discolouration be treated?
Many people have definite aesthetic problem from internal or external stains, where as others worry needlessly about the overall colour of their teeth. In the latter instance the dentist must decide if the colour of the teeth can be improved enough to justify treatment even though the patient insists on having something done.

For example, a person with a light complexion may believe that their teeth are too dark when actually they are normal in colour. A suntan, darker makeup or a darker lipstick will usually make teeth appear much whiter by increasing the contrast between the teeth and the surrounding facial features.

Most external stains can be removed by thorough cleaning of teeth, with an instrument called “ultrasonic scaler”. This instrument removes most of the stains caused by tobacco, food debris or bacteria. If a broken down filling or a cavity is the cause, filling the defect will improve the discolouration.

Discolouration resistant to cleaning can be corrected or greatly improved through conservative procedures such as bleaching, it generally has an approximate life span of 2 - 3 years.

Another effective treatment option is making a porcelain cap/crown. Stains caused by tetracycline medications are usually much too difficult to treat, and might require a radical approach.

Hello Dr Khan,
I can never chew properly, esspecially hard food, with my artificial denture. I am thinking about making a bridge but before that I want to know, is there another way I can have a tooth replaced other than a bridge? Can I make a very good quality artificial denture? Do you have any newly added technology to make the denture more comfortable?
- Abul Hossain, Rajshahi

Dear Mr Hossain,
Another good option will be a dental implant. Unfortunately we are yet to start dental implants in Bangladesh. You will be happy to know that we are going to start dental implants in the department of Dentistry, BIRDEM hospital by end of this year. But for performing a dental implant, a pre-assessment study is very important for overall success rate. So I strongly recommend that you go for a pre-assessment, and wait for the dental implant.

You can make a good quality denture also. I think you should go to your dentist to check your denture to see whether any laboratory error exits. Metallic denture (Cast) will be another more comfortable option.


When time bails on you

You've overslept. A lot! Or you've spent so much time trying to remedy a bad hair day that you have hardly any time left to put make up on your face. The easiest solution is to eschew makeup altogether, but for those who lack the confidence to pull off the barefaced look, here are a few suggestions to get you out the door feeling a little braver.

Accentuate your best features
Now that you've minimised your trouble spots, it's time to pick out your best feature and draw attention to that.

Perhaps you have great lips, so work the glamour angle with a bright lipstick that flatters your skin.

Maybe you have gorgeous eyes, so play those up with colourful eyeliner (pale gold to bring out blue eyes, purple to enhance green eyes, navy or turquoise for playing up brown eyes).

Finishing touches for on-the-go makeup
All you have to do now is brush your eyebrows into shape, since nothing will throw off your look worse than the facial equivalent of bedhead.

Now add a little mascara and you're good to go.

Once you've tackled your worst features, and accentuated the best ones, nobody is going to pay attention to the rest, and if they do, they probably have too much time on their hands. Either way, you'll be out the door and ready to face the world without putting mascara on in the car.


The fashion queen

Last week saw the end of a legend. Elizabeth Taylor, the fashion icon, passed away at the age of 79 leaving behind thousands of fans. One of the most memorable actresses of Hollywood, Taylor was famous for her fearless fashion sense. The violet eyed beauty was born with a mutation causing her to have two rows of eyelashes, something that any girl would kill for, giving her those accentuated killer eyes.

During the 50s, Taylor was seen to flaunt dresses with plunging necklines and off shoulder straps with her short dark hair. Be it the white tube dress she wore in “A Place In The Sun” or the white slip she had on in “The Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”, Taylor managed to take people's breath away with whatever she wore. In the seventies she was seen in mini-skirts and elaborate head gear, and the eighties saw her sporting feather bows, striking blue eye-shadow and puffy dresses. And, how can anybody forget her role in the 1963 movie Cleopatra.

In 2002 Taylor wrote a book My Love Affair With Jewellery where she talked about her fascination for jewellery. She owned pieces by leading jewellers such as Boucheron, Bulgari, Cartier to name a few. In 1993, she chose another means for showing her love for jewellery by launching a line of costume jewellery bearing her name.

Even in her later life, Taylor, while in a wheel chair, was seen to be dressed elegantly in silk kaftans with fur and velvet wraps draped around her. Although she is gone, this diva will definitely be remembered by the world for her sultry beauty and her daring fashion sense.


Breathe, apparently

Turns out wanting to breathe not just keeps us alive but also works at reducing stress levels. When faced with a moment of stress, usually accompanied by hot coffee spilled on the lap, breathe deeply. Several times. Someone at office stabbed you with the proverbial knife? Want to hit that person with the coffee mug so hard that their Facebook status disappears? Breathe deeply. The increased intake of oxygen releases tension in the body and as a result calms the mind. With a calm mind, you can think of better ways to get even with that offending colleague.

By E.R Ronny


Deshidosh raising funds for the Liberation War Museum

For the past two months, Deshidosh, situated on the 7th floor of the Bashundhara City, has been collecting funds from everyone who passed its threshold for the Liberation War Museum.

On the eve of 31st March, amid passionate patriotic songs by Shomogeet, Shahin Ahmed, the coordinator of the event on behalf of Deshidosh, handed over the sum to Mofizul Haq and Assaduzzaman Noor, Trustees of the Museum. In addition to the raised amount, donations of Tk. 1 Lakh were made by both Kay Kraft and Shada Kalo.

In his welcome speech, Shahin Ahmed, thanked all the customers and staff of Deshidosh for their generous contributions. He also stated that this event was in congruence with Deshidosh's inaugural declaration of upholding the pride and heritage of our nation.

Assaduzzaman Noor, in his speech stated how this initiative, the brainchild of 8 likeminded friends of his, was first 'hijacked' by the people of the nation. He elaborated how school kids saved their tiffin money and even rickshaw pullers saved up to put in their contributions for the benefit of the museum.

“Deshidosh coming forward with this initiative was not a surprise to any of us” said Assaduzzaman Noor, “After all if the bearers of the torch of our culture such as Deshidosh do not come forward with such initiatives, then who will?”

The event was concluded with many more songs by Shomogeet and amid wishes for the fast completion of the Liberation War Museum so that the next generation can see our pride displayed.

Raisaa Tashnova


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