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Dining Furnishings

The dining room should be a place where people can sit down, relax, and enjoy a leisurely meal. If you use your dining room on a daily basis, you will have to be practical and accommodate your furniture according to the traffic flow the room sees everyday. But if you serve meals there only a handful of times during the week or month, you can be a little more daring.

The dining room often opens to the living room, kitchen, or foyer, so the style and colour should coordinate with those spaces. As a designer, I like to create unorthodox dining rooms for entertaining and special occasions.

The dining room looks great with wallpaper that includes a colour found on the adjoining room's walls. Stay away from overbearing patterns. Soft floral and stripes are good choices in traditional dining rooms, while faux finishes and textured looks can perfectly complement contemporary or transitional decors.

The focal point of a dining room is often the table itself or an interesting hutch or a china closet is practical and aesthetically appealing. Dress the dining table with colours you love, whether muted or bold. Collect a wardrobe of table linens, dishes, glassware, and centerpieces in your favourite hues. The center piece of a dining table is also very important as it creates visual appeal. Vases, plant pots, china and glassware are modern, helping to bring the room up to date and balance out its traditional elements.

Our feature this week focuses on furnishing a dining room. Furnishings in a dining space should not only be visually striking but also good to the touch. In a dining space, the fragrance and flavour of food, the clatter of conversation, and the flicker of candle light stir the senses. No matter which textures you like, the experience of touch should be thoughtfully addressed through the fabrics, the finishes, even the dishes you choose. Depending on the event or the season, you can change the way everything feels in your dining space. When it's cold outside, dress the table with luxurious fabrics like velvet, satin or bold-coloured crockeries to convey warmth. In the hotter months, lightweight cotton or even an uncovered table or glass top with white or natural toned contemporary dishes and glassware help keep the mood light and fresh.

In a dining room, organisation is very important. A row of glassware, a stack of pretty plates -- simple things that are neatly arranged become lovely decorations. Fine china dinnerware makes a statement of elegance for any event from a casual family dinner to an elegant wedding reception. Choosing the perfect fine china manufacturer and pattern is a matter of your own taste and décor, whether you like flowers, designs, or a certain colour.

Cutlery is also very important for furnishing. Table cloths, runners, throws, placemats and napkins are essential furnishing linens. While table cloths add elegance, throws or runners make the table more formal. The colour and texture of table placemats and runners can be selected according to the event you are hosting. Napkins are simply hemmed pieces of fabric, usually square, and made to coordinate with the tablecloths and tablemats. Now various styles of holders are also available and clay, brass or crystal napkin holders can be used to add elegance to your table.

Celebrate your year ending parties with special décor. Display thoughtfully your collections, keep comfortable handling spaces and remember to include some green plants or seasonal flowers that add an element of nature to your table.

Interior Consultant
E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo Credit:
Special thanks to Mrs. Fahmida Afroz Nargis


Form Icon

The yellow and black of the logo is bound to catch your eyes. Intrigued by both the colour and the name, many have already visited the store Form Icon either virtually, through their Facebook page, or physically, at their store in Gulshan 2. We have been part of that curious crowd and brought back the details of this new store's offering to the Dhaka crowd.

Form Icon is the brainchild of Zareen Mahmud Hosein, managing director of the firm. Zareen does not have any formal educational background in the field of furniture design or interior decoration but instead possesses an eye for the unique and the beautiful. “In choosing what to display in the store, I ask myself: will I put this in my own house? If I can answer in the affirmative, the piece gets store space.”

With this as the guideline and some years of experience in providing furniture-related advice in her blog of the same name, Zareen set out to establish this lifestyle store. Yes, Form Icon is a lifestyle store. It is not about furniture only, neither is it only about functionality. This high end retail outlet is all about quality and the subtlety of style.

The store design itself is the first step into the contemporary world of the shop. Two stories of store space have been converted into an eye-soothing display of plush couches, soft rugs and comfy beds. There are many more tidbits to decorate a house displayed as well, but the store's philosophy seems to be built on two basic tenets -- soft colours and sophisticated beauty.

Now we come to what's different about this store. Well, a lot actually.

To begin with, Form Icon is different in terms of its material sourcing. That means the store obtains all of its products from around the world and what's more, from the best of the world. The furniture and rugs are from China, the kitchen ware made its way from America and Turkey, Hong Kong, Indonesia all joined hands to deliver the different home décor products. The outlet is also the country distributor to the Australian home décor brand Aussino.

Another refreshingly new concept the store is introducing is that of wedding registry. “The close friends and relatives of brides and grooms want to give significant gifts on weddings. This used to be gold but as gold prices go beyond people's reach many are turning towards home décor items instead.” Building on this idea, Form Icon is introducing an age-old Western concept to the Dhaka wedding scene. Form Icon allows the bride and groom to 'register' with them online or off and pick and choose the items they would like to own for their new house. These items are placed in the registry which is then made available for the guests who can pick up the items and hence not be worried about going wrong in their choice.

Zareen has travelled the world and her collector's eye has spotted the strengths of each nation. Form Icon is the cumulative result of her travel discoveries in the home décor arena. The store will be fully open for business from January 2013.

By Raisaa Tashnova
Photo courtesy: Form Icon


Mosquito warfare

Winter isn't only about memorable walks in the chilly breeze or hibernation; there are plenty of bad things to worry about. Living in a tropical country, one of winter's most notorious elements are the mosquitoes. Nothing is more annoying than the pesky little beasts but since you can't squash them all, here are a few things that can keep the nuisance tolerable.

Go White: Mosquitoes are attracted to whatever resembles mammal flesh or sweet nectar. Use that knowledge to decide what to wear when going to bed. Instead of going all black or complete colourful opt for light clothing in colours of white, beige or even khaki. Cover yourself as much as possible while you are at it.

Soapy Solution: For some odd reason, mosquitoes don't like soap. You can either use a bubble-machine or leave solutions of soap and Mountain Dew in little glasses around house corners and they'll act as mosquito repellants. Use water if you want to be all practical. Whatever you use, it's the soap that'll keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Neutral Colours with Neutral Smells: Mosquitoes are immensely attracted to smells for some reason. It probably has to do with nectars. Thus, if you find yourself to be the most bitten person in a crowd, it's probably because you smell the nicest. Drop the heavy cologne and try to use shampoos, soaps, etc. which are as odourless as possible. Unless of course you are going to a party.

What Do Vampires Hate?: Mosquitoes are basically mini-vampires minus all the neck-puncturing and glam. Mosquitoes suck your blood and their palate is similar to the Count Dracula and thus they too hate garlic. Munch on some garlic laden meals and watch the mosquitoes run away from you. Along with a lot of other people.

Prevention is better than cure: Prevent mosquitoes from breeding as a starter. Frogs and spiders are natural mosquito hunters so save a soft corner for them. If you must live around a pond or well, drop some guppy fish in them to eat the mosquito larva. Finally, try to avoid having pools of fresh, still water around your house. These steps should help reduce the population of mosquitoes around your vicinity at least.

There's more to mosquitoes than just the occasional bite; remember dengue, malaria and cholera as well. Keep these tips in mind and avoid a fitful sleep every night.

By Osama Rahman


Discount at Biborton

Biborton Boutiques is offering a whopping 50 per cent discount on every purchase. Hand embroidered cotton shalwar kameez sets, fatuas, tops and children's wear are available here. The dresses play with winter colours such as red, blue, magenta, yellow, orange, green and blue. This offer will last till the end of January at their Uttara, Malibagh and Dhanmondi showrooms.

Contact: Shop 211, (1st Floor), Plaza A.R, Dhanmondi; Shop 217, Alauddin Tower, Sector- 3, Uttara. #0171 636 4439.



Since its inception 13 years ago, Jatra has been the first go-to shop when it comes to handicrafts. With offerings ranging from clothing to homeware to gift items and other tidbits, Jatra is a place which has on its shelves a very unique range of artistry; one look at which says that the product belongs to Jatra. Each and every product in this store has a touch of Bangladesh in it, be it the eccentric slippers, notebooks and photo frames with scenes from Dhaliwood films painted on them in unconventional colours much like those seen on the backs of rickshaws, or the boxes with scenes from the Bangladeshi village depicted with vivid accuracy.

The Banlgadeshi heritage is so intertwined with this brand that on certain days, when visiting the shop, you will hear folk songs being sung by a group of musicians and singers sitting in a circle in the middle of the shop adding to your shopping experience.

The various beautiful products at Jatra are the creations of its fve-member designer team. Each year the designers at Jatra work according to a number of themes throughout the year. Each and every product range at the store goes through a theme make-over accordingly. Jatra's newest theme is 'gamcha' and the colours used in Jamini Roy's paintings. A combination of these two is the basis of the designs of the new collection of Jatra. This collection will be available throughout the New Year till around the time of the Bengai New Year.

Since the theme is partly gamcha, this time around some of the designs in the clothing section is of pure gamcha, while keeping the winter season in mind, materials such as khadi and endi cotton have been teamed with 'gamcha', and dye and thick cotton have been used.

When it comes to clothes Jatra has always offered contemporary wear with a local character as well. With the winter winds blowing, Jatra has in store jackets with hoodies for men and women and leggings in a range of colours as well. Dress tops, long kameezes, casual tops are widely available in this new line. Also the designers have played extensively with the cuts in this collection and you will find skirts in unconventional cuts very apt for wearing to hangouts or a casual lunch with friends.

To go with the clothing Jatra has a diverse collection of jewellery with neck pieces, earrings and bangles in very earthy and ethnic tones and designs. Also you can team the outfit you pick from here with a pair of the many sandals they have in store.

The new collections will hit the stores from January. So do plan a visit sometime in the New Year. Happy Shopping!

By Karishma Ameen
Photo : Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Airin and Ana
Wardrobe: Jatra
Make-up: Farzana Shakil


Black is back

With winter already here, go all black. Beat the chill in style. You can never go wrong with black. Summer, Autumn and Spring are a thing of the past. Drop the fruity colours in the wardrobe for a while.

Mufflers and outdoor dining

Mufflers are in. It doesn't have to be a Ek Tha Tiger thing. Mufflers are the practical fashion statement of the season. On the other hand indoor parties are out. The weather is much too cool to waste the evening locked away in your room. Get out and revel in the cool breeze!

In keeping with our motto to continually reinvent ourselves, we have recently launched our very own Facebook page. Take the time to browse through our content, unseen pictures and much more. Be sure to leave your comments and suggestions.

We hope that our dear readers will not only be part of this change but lead us in new directions by expressing themselves and letting their views and preferences be known.
Like our page now at https: facebook.com/lifestyleds


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