Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 6, Issue 41, Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Beautiful bathrooms

A bathroom should have the characteristics of safety and comfort while being well-equipped and maintaining a balance between openness and privacy. Many homeowners generate inspiration from hotel bathrooms to replicate an atmosphere of five-star luxury at home. Clean lines, good lighting and stone surfaces have gained popularity in recent years, alongside stainless steel accessory holders, towel rings and so on.

Although comfort and functionality must prevail in a bathroom, an intimate space that allows you take a break from the rest of the house can easily be created. The contemporary bathroom is a space where functionality and aesthetics live side by side with new creative approaches and

Today's bathrooms are normally small in size and therefore order and storage- such as cupboards, containers, shelves, boxes, and baskets are essential. These details and accessories turn the bathroom into a more welcoming place. This week, we discuss furnishing arrangements for a modern bathroom, with a focus on towels, shower caddies, soap holders, herbal products and other accessories.

When designing a bathroom, small technical pointers go a long way in solving common problems. Contemporary bathrooms seldom have storage provisions, often featuring one small pine corner wall unit and a mesh trolley with overflowing toiletries. This leads to a perpetually cluttered space, although even compact bathrooms can be designed to provide a clutter-free ambience. Slim built-in units create handy storage options and attractive glass-front cabinets can be used for pretty toiletries. In the bathroom we designed, we also customised a shelf unit to fit under the sloping ceiling.

Although we placed one mirror in front of wash basin, another one can be added to the wall depending on individual preferences. Towel racks, tissue holders, soap cases, toothbrush holders and small baskets for toiletries are vital accessories for well-equipped bathrooms. Many types of toiletries' shelves are available in the market and clients can opt for ready-made shelves for that are easy to maintain. Low maintenance products that support busy schedules include double towel holders, covered tissue holders, hand towel rings, liquid soap holders and hand dryers and automatic air fresheners.

Alterations in presentation can often lend a whole new ambience in a room. For example, you can attempt to recreate a spa setting in your bathroom by using herbal fragrances, aromatic soap, and soft scrapers to soak away our stress. To tantalise your senses, incorporate bright berry colours and inviting fragrances into your 'home-spa' experience. Focusing on your senses will ease your nerves, and you will feel soothed and comforted after a long day.

Unconventional towel presentations can also add character to a bathroom and it is not always mandatory that we hang towels on a rack. Hand or face towels can be rolled and placed in small baskets to add an element of interest and you can make them more aesthetically pleasing by tying them with matching ribbons or dry ropes and single flower buds. Spread a towel in a bright, earthy colour over the bath tub railing. Remember that colour is the key transition for space and natural palettes are ideal for tropical wash zones. Beige, light brown, white, or ivory tiles and appliances look calm and sanitary; but if you prefer bright hues, opt for the Balinese style of washrooms. Deep rustic tiles and colourful appliances can also be used to create a dramatic effect.

The most satisfying bathing areas crafted from earthen materials. To create the sensation that you are bathing in warm, natural spring water, add two or three smooth stones, snails etc to the ledge of your bathtub. To enhance the atmosphere of cleanliness and abundance, add a blooming rose, or a money plant to incorporate elements of nature to your bathroom.

Nazneen Haque Mimi
Interior Consultant
E-mail: journeyman.interiors @gmail.com
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Malaysian Food & Cultural Festival @ Dhaka Regency

With its culinary delights and amazing ambience, Dhaka Regency's rooftop garden restaurant, Grill on the Skyline, has always been an entertaining place to go to. Till the 19th of this month, the hotel provides yet another reason for you to flock to their rooftop.

Welcome to Malaysian Food & Cultural Festival, the hotel's latest endeavour to keep you entertained. The hotel inaugurated the carnival on 13 October. His Excellency, Jamaluddin Sabeh, Malaysian Ambassador to Bangladesh, was the chief guest at the event.

The buffet table was a rich assortment of Malaysian cuisine, featuring items like Kerabu Jantung Pisang (fragrant mixed salad in banana flower), serunding ayam (chicken floss), daging gulai lemak (beef stew in coconut cream), nasi goreng kampong (a type of fried rice derived from rural Malaysia), ikan bakar (grilled fish parcelled in banana leaf) and jemput-jemput pisang (banana dumplings).

These alien names might mean nothing to you, but you are likely to fall in love with them once you taste these delicacies. The hotel has brought in the services of guest chefs from Malaysia, courtesy of the festival's culinary partner, Putrajaya Marriott Hotel & Spa.

The festival partners include Malaysia Airlines, Boishakhi Television, The Daily Star, The Daily Kaler Kantho and Radio Foorti.

On the other hand, the event hosted a number of performances, spanning both cultures.

Singer Rafat diffused Sufi magic onto the rooftop. A popular dance troupe, Anggun Entertainment, hailing from Malaysia, mesmerised the crowd by performing various Malaysian tunes. Last but not least, Elita Karim enchanted the audience with her songs.

The festival will continue till 19 October and can be enjoyed at a price of Tk.1950 (all inclusive). For more information, call #01713332616.

By M H Haider

Mermaid Gallery Café turns 1

It has been a year since a slice of Cox's Bazar has been nestled in a tree-shrouded nook of Baridhara, and Mermaid Gallery Cafe celebrated it from 13-15 October in grand style, marking the occasion with some new additions to their already extensive menu.

The three-day celebration also featured Italian DJ Chiara, who performed house music for diners on the sun deck. Food-wise, the cafe went all out to give their customers a treat, putting out a buffet table for lunch and dinner, cooked by Executive Chef Naorose Bin Ali and chefs from Mermaid Cafe Chill & Grill and Mermaid Eco Resort in Cox's Bazar.

On the occasion, Anisul Hoque Shohag, Managing Director of Mermaid Eco Tourism Ltd said, “The first year anniversary of Mermaid Gallery Café dictates our integrity and dedication towards providing great service and mouth-watering delicacies for our guests. I welcome the food lovers of Dhaka to chill, absorb and be inspired by the luscious space and mouth-watering arts of the Brand new menu at Mermaid Gallery Café.”

A meal at Mermaid is also an opportunity to indulge your aesthetic sense. The full-fledged restaurant is also a gallery. Numerous paintings adorn the walls with their prices displayed, so that diners can have a look around and do a little art shopping if they so choose.

Mermaid regulars will be happy to know that they will have even more options with twelve dishes added to the menu. The starters now include Grilled Calamari, Cox's Crab Masala and Butterfly Grilled Golda Prawn, the salad section has the new Fresh Salad from Ocean and Earth, while Spinach and Fresh Herb Soup and Fine Cream of Mushroom are the newcomers to the soup section.

Seafood lovers now have four more options to tantalise their taste buds in Grilled Mussels with Butter Curry Sauce, Spaghetti with Crab, Lobster Thermidor and Tuna Oreganato. The vegetarians have not been forgotten with Beach Style Stir-Fried Vegetable with Fresh Herbs and Lime making an entry in the vegetarian section of the menu. Finally, the Chocolate Tart makes an appearance in the desserts section.

Meat lovers need not be disappointed, however, as their food of choice is doing pretty well without an adjunct to the selection; according to chef Ali, the Spicy Thai Chicken with Organic Rice and Beans is the hottest selling item on the menu.

So whatever fills your plate, odds are that at the Mermaid Gallery Cafe, the taste buds will be tantalised.

Mermaid Gallery Café is a part of Mermaid Eco Tourism Ltd and is the first eco-friendly restaurant in Dhaka. For reservations, guests can call at +01841416468-9.

-- LS Desk


Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel, as part of their commitment to bring new experiences to their Dhaka clientele, are staging the traditional German festival 'Oktoberfest' till the 19th of this month.

Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day beer festival held annually in Germany, usually from late September to the first weekend in October. It has been celebrated since 1810, and other cities around the world also stage this festival along the lines of the German celebration.

Radisson launched their event on 10 October at their “Water Garden Brasserie”. During that time they will play host to the best of German cuisine, as well as beverages. The finest imported produce will ensure the delivery of authentic taste, with Daniel Steiner, the celebrity chef, supervising the festival.

This festival will be a particular delight for meat lovers, with items such as Braised Prime Beef Strip Loin, Classic German Chicken Salad and Jaeger Schintzel starring in the buffet line-up. Also, the live cooking station boasts the best meatloaf you will have; it is definitely not to be missed.

For reservations, please contact: 8754555

-- LS Desk

Bonsai course @ Radiant

Radiant Institue of Design is offering a Bonsai course over a two-month period . The course will take place every Friday, and students will be taught about the finer points of growing the miniature trees. Other than the Bonsai course, Radiant Institute of Design also offers numerous courses on fashion design, interior design and Ikebana.

Address: House 2, Road 28 (Old), Orchid Plaza, Dhanmondi. Phone: 01711140000, 01817141824, 01671759479


Get a long-lasting bridal glow

Pimples, dull and patchy skin can be a bride-to-be's worst nightmare. Blemishes and pimples have the knack of showing up at the wrong times. Planned bridal skincare is vitally important if the bride wants to look gorgeous on the wedding day. Experts say, if you don't plan ahead for your bridal beauty and grooming routines it can increase your stress on the very day you want to look poised and serene.

For The Bride
15 days to D-Day - Express Bridal Meso Glow Package

The 15-day Express Bridal Meso Glow Package is designed to give your skin that special glow, so you look stunning on your Big Day! It utilises a combination of Bridal Meso Glow, Everyday Radiance, Microdermabrasion, Massage and Masks spread over 3 sittings.

30 days to D-Day: Bridal Glow Package
Kaya's 30-day Bridal Glow Package utilises a combination of various services including Everyday Radiance, Bridal Meso Glow, Peels, Microdermabrasion, special massages and masks, spread over 4 sittings. This package is designed to give your skin an even tone with radiance, while making it softer and smoother.

60 days to D-day Advanced Bridal Glow Package
Starting your skin care regimen 60 days prior to your wedding date will allow expert beauticians to cater to your unique skin care needs and give you best results. Kaya's 60-day Advanced Bridal Glow Package utilises a combination of various services including Everyday Radiance, Bridal Meso Glow, Peels, Microdermabrasion, special massages and masks, spread over 5 sittings.

Bridal Glow Acne Prone skin
The Bridal Glow package is designed to maximise the reduction of blemishes and give you a clearer and even skin tone. This package comprising of sessions of Skin Renewal Pimple Free, Comedone Extraction, Everyday Radiance and Glycolic Peel with Anti-acne mask.

For the groom
Is the bride the only one to catch all the attention? After all it is only fair that the grooms too want to look at their best on the D-day.

30 days to D-Day Gorgeous Groom Package
As the groom, you deserve to look your best and feel like a King! A 30-Day package recommended for grooms-to-be looking for enhancement of skin. It includes a unique combination of services like Acne Free, Kaya Glow, Cosmo/Pigment Reducer Peel and Kaya Refine giving you an evenness of skin tone and reduced oiliness resulting in a clear and radiant skin, as desirable for the day.

Gorgeous Groom Acne Prone Skin
When your big day comes knocking worry only about cold feet, do not about your acne, rough and uneven skin tone. This service consists of a combination of Pimple Free and anti-acne mask, Everyday Radiance and Kaya Glow for men. Together this combination targets to reduce the acne problem in a short span of time and with a clearer and even skin tone.

-- LS Desk


Burn burn burn…

By Karim Waheed

The world of weight loss can be a confusing minefield. Even small sub-topics of weight loss can be more confusing than Dhaka traffic. In today's article, I'll be doing my absolute best to make the topic of weight loss through exercise as simple as possible.

The first thing we have to do is take out the trash. The fitness world is filled with lots of different exercise methods, each one touting that its method is the single best way to shed fat. Each method has lots of testimonials and science to back up their claims.

Unfortunately, each method also has lots of people who have used that method without any success whatsoever and there is also a lot of science to argue that the method has an ice cube's chance in hell at helping anyone shed fat.

Some people might say that different programmes work for different people but on the whole, we all have the same basic human physiology which functions about the same. We all put on our pants one leg at a time and we all lose fat for the same reason.

At the heart of all weight loss, we have the issue of storing too much energy in the form of fat within our adipose tissue. To get rid of it, we must make use of that energy in some shape or form.

The good news is that you can use that stored energy for anything -- from cleaning your room to swaying to your favourite rhythm. The body uses fat, to at least some degree, for pretty much everything you do.

With this is mind, we can throw away all of the hype and hoopla about what exercises are best, and simply concentrate on how we can use up the most energy possible.

The more energy you use, the more you stand to burn. All forms of exercise can help you dump loads of energy-laden fat. At the same time, they can also all hardly make a dent. It all boils down to 3 variables.

Fat blasting variable #1: Duration of exercise
It's pretty simple math. You burn more energy walking for 20 minutes than you do for 10. You'll also burn more walking for 30 minutes instead of 20. The more time you spend doing a given activity, the more you burn.

Fat blasting variable #2: Intensity of exercise
If you're walking along and suddenly the track becomes uneven, you will burn more energy with each step simply because you have to work harder. Adding a few more pounds to the bar, increasing the pace or turning up the resistance will do the same.

Fat blasting variable #3: Muscle mass involvement
Simply put, the more muscle you involve in a given activity, the more energy you require. Sitting still and flexing your hand uses small muscles that don't require a whole lot of energy. However a few burpees that involve almost every muscle in your whole body will use substantially more.

(Burpee: Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back to a push-up position. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.)

These variables can be applied to any form of exercise you wish. This means that any exercise can be fantastically effective, or almost completely useless.

Someone might say kickboxing burns more energy than Yoga. But when we start playing around with the variables, we can make yoga burn more fat than kickboxing. I'm willing to bet an hour of yoga will burn more energy than 10 minutes of kickboxing. Especially if the kickboxing is done in a relaxed manner and the yoga is done with a lot of muscle burning static poses.

Don't get sucked into the trap of thinking about fat burning zones, carbohydrate metabolism versus fat metabolism, or energy burned through the post-workout “after burn”. These sorts of things do little to nothing to make any real difference when it comes to weight loss.


No boundaries, no borders, no barriers

On 12 October, Bangla Perfumes unveiled Victorinox Swiss Unlimited at Gulshan Youth Club field. Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi conqueror of Everest, inaugurated the ceremony.

“Victorinox Swiss Unlimited is a brand that borrows the theme of breaking barriers and denying all bounds. And we tried to communicate that through holding this rock climbing competition,” Farial Alam, brand manager of Bangla Perfumes informed.

This was the first rock climbing event in our country. It was the passion for challenge, the thrill of adventure and the joy of “no boundaries, no borders, no barriers”- the slogan of this brand of perfume- that made the whole launch stand out from all others.

A special wall for rock climbing was specially made for this event. Participants- maximum three in every session- after passing a simple medical test that made them eligible for the sport, climbed the wall, with the winners awarded with exclusive gift items and brand products of Victorinox, which included caps, fashion luggage, watches, wallets and Swiss knives.

The event spanned 4 days, till 15 October, from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Victorinox Swiss Unlimited perfumes will be available in the exclusive outlet (Perfume World) of Bangla Perfumes Distributors Limited, at Bashundhara City Shopping Mall, Plaza A R, Polwel Carnation Shopping Mall, Navana Tower Shopping Complex and AFMI Plaza in Chittagong. Victorinox Swiss Unlimited perfumes carry a timeless and masculine tone with a spirit of open spaces.

Bangla Perfumes also houses Versace Pour Homme, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci EDT, Cartier, Burberry, Dunhill, Azzaro, etc.

By M H Haider


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2011 The Daily Star