Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |    Volume 7, Issue 32, Tuesday, August 07, 2012




Dressing up your HOME

Eid-ul-Fitr is undoubtedly one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

It is also a good reason to dress up your house, because “house-hopping” is something everyone does on Eid, and one must be prepared to face the crowd in style. Because the truth (sorry to burst your bubble) is that no matter how many hours you spend getting yourself ready, your guests are more likely to notice your home more than your outfit. So here are some important things you can change around the house to make your house look as beautiful as you on Eid day:

Table mats and cushion covers: These humble home accessories may be small in size, but with the right colour combinations can have a big impact. Whether you prefer to contrast them or colour-coordinate them is up to you, but don't doubt their ability to please the eye. Good quality cushions can really dress up a sofa, and although I'm sure your food is attraction enough, colourful tablemats can make a dining table look very appealing.

A statement decoration piece: A unique sculpture, beautiful artwork or a one-in-a-million souvenir that you got from your travels are all brilliant ways to add some signature touches to your house. The key is to display it in such a way that it stands out and is not overwhelmed by your other show-pieces. Under a spotlight, solo on a coloured wall, over a sofa or at the entrance of your house are all good places to place them to make sure they get the admiration they deserve.

Coloured walls: this is a very drastic step that can be taken to completely transform your house. If you are hesitant, stick to one shade on one wall, which can be your feature wall. Terracotta colours, greens, yellows and reds tend to go really well with the furnishings found in a typical Bangladeshi household. This is of course a general idea on what you can do, but if you are feeling more adventurous you can pretty much go for any shade you feel would be best suited to your furnishings (although black is not a good idea for small rooms!). Companies like Berger have a very comprehensive catalogue of colours that you can choose from.

Curtains: The right curtains can add the finishing touches needed to transform a house. If you are thinking of changing your curtains before Eid, hurry up because these take a while to make. Alternatively, many craft stores like Aarong and Jaatra sell beautiful patterned ready-made curtains that are reasonably priced and look great if your room is plain and you want to spice it up.

Re-upholstering furniture: Tired of your furniture but can't afford to buy new ones? The solution is simple: re-upholster! Changing the fabrics of your chairs and sofas around will also give you the chance to change the colour scheme of your house to prevent you from getting bored.

Where to go: For fabrics, although the usual choices are furniture fabric and curtain shops like Weavers, do not underestimate other fabric stores. Also, instead of buying ready-made cushion covers that are hard to match with your house, why not make some yourself? Try Sopura Silk Mills for furniture and fabric stores for cushion cover ideas. For decoration pieces, places like Aarong, Ideas, Jaatra and the Gulshan-2 market are good places to start or gather ideas from.

It is difficult to pinpoint particular stores from which you can get the perfect accessories for your home, because it honestly all depends on your tastes and preferences. You only have to visit three different houses to conclude that people have radically different tastes, and your being different does not mean that you're unfashionable (in fact, it usually means the exact opposite). So while coming out of a clothing store, why not pop into the décor store next door to get an idea of what you could do in your home? And make sure you are proactive about this, because this is the busiest season of the year and everyone is overbooked!

By Mehereen Aziz


Space and budget-conscious Eid furniture from Otobi

Eid-ul-Fitr is all about the happiness of having successfully completed the trial of Ramadan. The way we express this happiness is through dressing up in new clothes and dressing up the house for guests who would inevitably be paying that Eid visit.

Keeping this in mind, Otobi has brought out its Eid collection of furniture which is the perfect solution for the new families. The Eid collection is focused on the living room area since that is where the Eid-ul-Fitr action is. The collection comprises sofa sets which are constructed keeping in mind the space and money constraints of any new family.

“The modern day apartment is 800 square feet on average.” says Alvin Colin Furtado, Deputy General Manager of Otobi. “Within this space there is the bedroom, the kitchen and the dining/living space. Otobi is in general promoting the studio apartment concept with its furniture all being space conscious and this Eid collection is an addition to this concept, geared more towards the living room.”

The sofa sets come in three designs and fit comfortably within a 7 feet by 8 feet space leaving adequate room to move around in the average 10 feet by 10 feet living room of the modern apartments. The main purpose of this collection is to utilise the living room space most effectively and hence the sofa set does not provide a cramped look as many might be tempted to imagine. The sofa sets are also budget-conscious costing between Tk.55,000 to Tk.60,000 for the set of three two-seater sofas.

These sofa sets are the main attraction of Otobi's Eid 2012 collection which also includes a number of living room decorative items. In the décor department, Otobi is promoting cushion covers and curtains made from cotton, in bright pastel colours. “These will aid in cheering up the living room space,” says Colin. Colin also says that Otobi, with its products, hopes to bring in some extra colour and happiness to this year's Eid-ul-Fitr.

By Raisaa Tashnova
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Special thanks to Otobi


By Nazia Farzin Shafiq

Eid has always been very special in our home. I remember the day before Eid, my father used to divide our living room in two portions and asked me and my elder brother to clean up the whole living room. The one with the better-cleaned portion would get special Eid gifts. The reason I am sharing this story is because for many of us, Eid is not about new dresses and good food. It is also about cleaning and decorating our house. The smell of fresh flowers, polished tables, new pillowcases and curtains makes me nostalgic about my childhood. In the sprit of those special memories, I am sharing a simple DIY curtain.

The curtains are made using (fabric loops) linen, and are quite simple to make.

A light shade of linen fabric, preferably the heavier kind
A dark shade of linen fabric, also the heavier kind
Wooden buttons (for decoration)
Sewing machine

First, measure your window and see how much fabric you will need. Cut out the panels, and make sure to take edges into account. Hem the sides of the panels first. Then hem the top part where the loops will attach. Here fold down about one inch to create a slightly wider edge.

In order to hang, you will need curtain rings. Rather than metal rings, let us go for fabric rings. Using the light-coloured linen fabric, cut out several pieces of fabric that measure 7 x 2 inches. Take each piece of fabric and hem by ironing and sewing. Measure out where you want the loops on the panels. I placed them every 4 inches or so, and sew on.

For the darker border, cut out about two-inch wide strips of the darker linen fabric. Iron in the edges and attached them to the fabric with pins. Sew them onto the fabric, and then also finish off the edges of the stripes.

You can add multiple dark borders. As you can see from the picture, I added two borders.

Sew on wooden buttons where the loops meet the curtain.

Before hanging, it's best to iron the curtains.

Eid is a time for welcoming family and friends into our homes. Wouldn't it be nice to freshen up your seating area? A simple way of doing so is to update your pillow covers. Your sofas and chairs will thank you!

Let's get started. Before cutting your fabric, you'll need a pillow insert or stuffing. I prefer using the stuffing from old pillows.

Measure your pillow from one side seam to the other. If it's square, the cross measurement will be the same. If it's a rectangle, you'll need the other measurement too. Then, add an inch to your width and height measurement for a seam allowance. For example, I cut 2 squares of my flower fabric that were 19.5 x 19.5 inches, which will allow a 1/2 inch seam allowance around all sides.

Place your two squares together, with right sides together, and pin around all the edges to keep fabric from slipping while sewing.

Sew around 4 sides (with a 1/2 inch seam allowance), leaving a wide opening along one side. It needs to be big enough to shove your pillow in, but you also want to be sure to have all four corners sewn, so that those corners look nice and crisp from the “right” side.

Clip each corner. Next, either zig-zag stitch or serge the raw edges. (But just leave the opening alone.) Trim off any excess fabric if necessary.

Turn right side out, poke each corner out, and then shove the pillow insert inside.

Now, fold the raw edges of the opening towards the inside 1/2 inch (just eyeball it) and then hand-stitch the opening closed. Nothing fancy needs to be used here because the fluffiness of this fabric is very forgiving. Just whip-stitch the opening and… Ta-da!

Continuing with our theme of refreshing our home for Eid, this colourful, ruffled table runner will brighten up your dining area. Let's get started.

Burlap fabric (I used a piece about 17 inches wide, 45 inches long)
2 different fabrics about 1/4- 1/2 yard of each
Sewing machine
Scissors, tape measure
Seam ripper

First I cut the burlap fabric into a 17 x 45 inch piece. The method for cutting burlap fabric is different. You make a little snip where you want to cut it, then pull out a burlap thread. This will make a straight gap through your burlap! Now you can use scissors to cut along the burlap fabric.

After you have cut your burlap fabric, iron it. Mine had lots of creases in it.

Cut the 2 other fabrics into strips about 2 inches by 34 inches long (twice the amount of the width of your runner). I cut 4 strips of one fabric and 3 of the other fabric.

Now here's the fun part: ruffles. I hated making ruffles until I learned how to make them. My machine is very basic electric machine and I know every machine is different, so this next step will depend on your machine. You turn the thread tension up to the highest number around 8 or 9. Next, you turn the stitch width to the highest. Mine is 5. All you have to do is guide the fabric piece through the machine, and it makes the ruffles for you! This works perfectly! Remember, don't back-stitch. If you don't have these options in your manual machine, you can do the ruffles by stitching it with your hand. You do big hem stitches, and at the end you hold the fabric and pull the thread, this makes nice ruffles too.

Next, I placed each ruffle about 6 inches apart.
Pin each ruffle onto the burlap in a straight line.

Sew each ruffle down, right down the center, but make sure you are not sewing on top of the stitch you sewed to make the ruffle. Get as close as you can to it. Then after each ruffle is sewn on, take your seam ripper and take out the ruffle seam (the one on the right that my seam ripper is pointing to). The seam should come out really easy.

After picking out the ruffle seam, I frayed each ruffle a little along the edges of the fabric. I also cut any threads that were hanging.

Sit back and admire your fabulous work as it lies on your table!


East Way

East Way fashion house has brought out their Eid Collection with exclusively designed clothes for fashion-conscious men. All branches of the fashion outlet are displaying a colourful array of shirts, t-shirts, panjabis, blazers, vests, suits and ties for men of all ages. There are also branded shoes, perfumes, sunglasses, watches, belts and many more of the necessities of a man. Showrooms: East way, Elephant Road, Suvastu Arcade, Bashundhara City, Uttara H. M. Plaza and Mirpur-10 Parbatta Tower.

Adroit Eid Collection 2012

Adroit is once again ready with their diverse Eid collection.

One of the major attractions of this year's range of offers is the dhuti-styled pajama with kameez. The Collection also contains saris, fatuas, panjabis, t-shirts and shalwar kameez sets in bright shades including red, green, pink, blue, yellow and more. Embroidery, appliqué, block, hand-stitch, etc. have been used to execute the designs on the fabric.

The prices are well within range, although there are some high-end designs which command higher price tags. The saris (in cotton, silk and Jamdani) range from Tk.900 to Tk.20,500; shalwar kameez sets are priced between Tk.820 and Tk.5500; fatuas between Tk.350 and Tk.1200; shirts range from Tk.200 to Tk.1050 and panjabis are priced between Tk.520 and Tk.4500. There is also an extensive range of children's wear on offer.

Available at all Adroit outlets. Be sure to check them at the recently inaugurated “Shodesh” at Uttara.


Take Professional Courses

Institute of Innovative Design launches Event Management Course for the first time in Bangladesh for those who want to build careers in this sector. Admission begins in the new session in Interior Design and Glass Décor Professional course also.

Please Contact: House: 37, Road: 15, Block: D, Banani, Dhaka. # 9899038; 01733969644.


Star Lifestyle has recently expanded to 20 pages. In keeping with our motto of continually reinventing ourselves and keeping things fresh, there will be some changes made to the format and content of the publication. And this time, we are hoping that our dearest readers will not only be part of the change, but lead us in new directions by expressing themselves and letting their views and preferences be known. Lifestyle readers can send story ideas, suggestions, articles and letters at lifestyleds@yahoo.com and raffat@thedailystar.net Selected input from you will be published. Here's looking forward to hearing from you and continuing to bring you the best in lifestyle journalism.


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