Do I Need an Interior Designer?

I have zeroed in on aesthetics – wall colors, ceiling designs, window treatments, and pillow patterns but, still I am not getting the feeling of wow? I am too busy with my family and job, and I really don’t have time to think about designing the interior of my home? I have clarity about my home and how it should look but, it seems too strenuous to look into minutest details and I might miss the elegance? I am very good at decorating things and I receive numerous compliments for the same, but the designing part has overwhelmed me? If you answered yes to these questions, then maybe you need an Interior Designer. Interior designer is a professional, who goes beyond cosmetic concerns to ensure that space feels harmonious from every angle – be it the floor plan, wall décor or color scheme. With the easy access and availability of the information on interior designs online, it is quite probable that you might have envisioned of certain designs for your home but, an interior designer can help you bring it to life while making sure it satisfies all the nitty-gritty of the entire gamut of interior designing, such as, space planning. An interior designer will not only provide the artistic solutions that you might never have imagined but, will also put his / her attention to the tiniest details that will transform your space into a heavenly abode. So, let’s see when you should consider hiring an interior designer for your home. You definitely need an Interior Designer if you can relate to these quotes encircling your mind.

“I want something more than the usual Fabric and Colors! Something classier”

While fabrics, furniture and color may play a very large role in interior design, there are a plethora of mundane tasks that are required of interior designers. An interior designer will provide expertise in design, ergonomics, spatial concepts, ethics, etc.

“I want a Home that reflects my personality, it should say who I am”

A home is an identity of the people living there and it reflects who they are. The professional interior designers will not work on cookie-cutter approach, but they will listen to you, assess your needs and then create an original design that fits your space perfectly.

“I want to make the best use of the space we have here, any ideas?”

An expert designer understands the design limitations well and gets himself / herself familiarized with the size and scale of the space available. He / She keeps the surrounding environment in mind and responds to it accordingly. Whether you are in a ‘Multi-Storied Apartment’ or having an ‘Independent Villa’, the designer will take a cue from the surrounding and chose the best, based on the context of your space.

“Don’t you think this will look good in the hall? I think it would be perfect!”

Aren’t we good at observations? Of course we are. And this is what we do most of the time when we go shopping for our home. We mentally measure the size of the rooms and available space. And because of this, many a times we buy either the oversized furniture or the undersized objects. It is a fact that furniture will look smaller in a display area with high ceilings and large carpet area than it will look in your drawing or living room. An interior designer will not assume, but actually measure your space before making a list for your shopping. He / She will also ensure to measure the doorways, stairs and elevator openings leading to your home and hand over those measurements when you shop. No one likes to return the furniture because it’s difficult to transmit through the lift or through the staircase.

“I am not sure if it’s going to be comfy, but let’s buy it and see!”

Isn’t it quite common that whenever we visit a mall or a showroom, we usually get fancied by a beautiful piece of furniture or an artifact available at an attractive price, and we end up buying it only to find out later that it’s painfully uncomfortable or pretty much useless? In interior designing, comfort is the key. There is no point in making a home look like a museum. It’s quite tempting to use every piece of decorative item you purchased or got as a gift from your loved ones but, a professional will let you embrace only the necessary and sufficient part of it. The first word that should come to your mind when you think of home should be “cozy.”

After reading some of the points above, you can quickly decide if you really need an interior designer or not. Surely enough, there are many other factors like fee, availability, etc. which can influence your decision to hire an interior designer. But all these could very well be negotiated given the information is available online.

8 Vastu Tips to Keep in Mind Before Buying A Home

Vastu Shastra, commonly known as Vastu, is a traditional Hindu system of architecture, the literal translation of which is “science of architecture”. These are based on Hindus as well as Buddhist beliefs and have been formulated with the aim of integrating architecture with nature, the relative functions of various parts of the structure, and ancient beliefs utilizing geometric patterns and symmetry. In order to ensure well-being, happiness and prosperity of all the residents, it is important for a house to be built as per guidelines laid down by the Vastu Shastra. Despite popular beliefs, Vastu Shastra is not fantastical or irrational but it’s based on sound scientific principles that aim at combining all five elements of nature to ensure utmost well-being of mankind. So, it is better not to ignore this aspect while buying a house, as you end up practically spending each and every penny you had saved till now on it, and you would want it to be just perfect. You don’t need to be a Vastu expert in order to know whether the basic structure of the house is as per Vastu guidelines or not. Just a quick look at the entrance and you will understand the Vastu of the house. How? Don’t worry; we will give you some Vastu tips to keep in mind before buying a house. Easy? Well here they are:

Entrance

If you are not buying a standalone property but an apartment, the entrance to the block will be considered as the entrance. Make sure that the entrance gate is located towards north or north east. South and west entrances are not recommended. The reason behind this is that sun’s rays entering from this direction during afternoon are harmful to your health. Proper ventilation with ample sunlight Vastu lays extreme importance on having proper ventilation in a house. The house should be open, airy and get ample of sunlight, as close claustrophobic places lead to breeding of germs and sunlight helps kill any unwanted germs and smells. A North or East-facing flat with windows and balconies in either of these two directions is ideal. According to Vastu, a house should not have a common wall with another house as it creates mixed energies; hence it is very important for open space to be left on all four corners of the place.

Kitchen

The kitchen should ideally be in the south-east corner of the flat. It is called Aagneya – apparently the direction governed by fire element.

Water storage tank

It should ideally be placed in the north-eastern corner of a building as this area gets the first ray in the morning, and early morning rays are very beneficial for the purity of water.

Toilets and bathrooms

They should ideally be on the south-west or the southern corner of the flat. It is because the wind blows from north-east to south-west and if toilets are placed in north-east, the wind will blow from toilet to the living room thereby contaminating the atmosphere.

Kid’s room

The most ideal place for a kid’s room is the north-east or north-west part of the house. Also the window should open to the North, because it would prevent direct harmful rays of the sun from entering his/her room, and giving him/her ample sunlight at the same time.

Center of the apartment

As per Vastu, there should be light in the center of the apartment, so closed spaces like kitchen and toilets should not be placed here. The center is an ideal place for a living room.

Staircase It is not advisable to build the staircase in the North-East, as this will block the morning rays of the sun. External staircase should ideally be placed in the South-west corner. Internal staircase should not be placed in the center because it would not only mar the beauty of the living room but also make it look congested.

Indian Real Estate – The Beginning of New Era

With three revolutionary reforms, GST (Goods and Services Tax), Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act and Pradhan MantriAwasYojana, favoring the interests of the common man, the sun seems to have finally risen on the Indian real estate. All these reforms, acts, and policies launched by the government in the past 2 years point in the direction of a new era that would mark the transformation of real estate from a developers’ market to a buyer-driven marketplace.

Let’s have a glimpse at them to understand how they would change the face of Indian real estate.

Goods And Services Tax
Goods and Services Tax aka GST is a ground-breaking tax reform that has been enforced in India on 1st July 2017. It would subsume around half a dozen indirect taxation levied by the Center and the State like VAT, Service Tax, Stamp Duty etc., which used to lead to cascading or doubling of tax. The government has put the under-construction projects under the 12% GST slab that would be a sigh of relief for all the prospective homebuyers. The anti-profiteering clause in GST law would ensure that the benefit of the tax reduction because of GST is passed on to the buyers at all costs. The elimination of ‘tax on tax’ or tax cascading would be one of the biggest benefits of GST on Indian real estate that would gradually lead to lowering of property price in India.

Excluding stamp duty, a homebuyer, before GST implementation, had to pay a total of 11% tax; the actual tax might have increased by less than 1% but the homebuyers are rejoicing because of the clarity and transparency brought in by this tax reform.

Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act
Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act aka RERA has been implemented in the Indian real estate on 1st May 2017. As per this new regulatory law, all the builders and developers would have to register themselves with the State Regulatory Authority and those who fail to do so would face cancellation of their real estate license. The Real Estate Act is to empower the property seekers and homebuyers to raise a voice against the unscrupulous builders or developers.

This Act would bring transparency in the real estate in India and enable the aggrieved buyers to seek redressal from the builders. Builders who delay the project, use one project’s money into another project or even drop the project would have to pay interest to the buyers owing to this revolutionary act. Timely completion of projects, ease of inquiring, complaint registration and the transparency brought in by the RERA.

Pradhan MantriAwasYojana
The Pradhan MantriAwasYojana aka PMAY is the torch-bearer of PM Narendra Modi’s dream of “Affordable Housing For All By 2022”. This mission came into force on 25th June 2015 and seeks to provide affordable housing to all the citizens of India by the end of 2022. To fulfill this mission, the Indian government is coming up with new and affordable housing schemes so the people of India, especially the low and middle income group of the society, would be able to have a roof over their heads.

The government has decreased the home loan interest to 6% for those who want to take a loan for up to INR 9 lakhs and for those desiring a loan of up to INR 12 lakhs, can now get it at a 3% interest rebate. If the homebuyer complies with all the conditions put forward by the government, he/she can avail these attractively affordable offers and have a roof over their head in no time. A trigger in the home buying process would be seen gradually and people would now be investing their money on cheaper EMIs instead of paying house rents.

Ahmedabad Real Estate Still Has The Charm

Ahmedabad is a beautiful city slumping in the state of Gujarat. Giving haven to a considerable population and also providing them profuse opportunity to earn a living and have a quality lifestyle, Ahmedabad induces many real estate investors to come and invest here. From past few years, investors both Indian and NRIs are getting attracted to the city like bees get attracted to the honey. People looking for homes in and around city are opting to buy residential properties in Ahmedabad, since the homes are very affordable here.

Overview of Residential Properties in Ahmedabad

The homes in Ahmedabad are contrived to have all basic and modern amenities like electricity, water supply, swimming pools, good security system, etc. The homes are also near to parks, playgrounds, and health clubs.

The potential buyers yenning to purchase properties here can choose according to their budget. Whether one needs an affordable accommodation or the most luxurious one, there is a perfect property for everyone here.

Budget friendly properties include 2 and 3 BHK flats and apartments. And if one is looking for an elite and stupendous sort of a residence, then one can choose from the astoundingly impressive villas and condos.

Buying a residential property here does not involve any intricacies and hassles. Most of the sellers accept payment by installments.

Ahmedabad is the hybrid of clean and fresh environment and pompousness of an urban life. Many dream to have a home in a place like this which has nature coexisting peacefully with the concrete. In the past few years the prices of the residential properties straggling on the peripheries of Ahmedabad has skyrocketed. The real estate investors looking for a worthwhile deal can think about investing in the properties here for good returns. Whether one is coveting to invest in 3 BHK property or a 4 BHK property, one can find a suitable property without much effort. Start searching for your favorite property through local registered Ahmedabad real estate agents or other sources like web portals, magazines etc.

Ahmedabad: Top Corporate Realty Market of India

Ahmedabad has emerged as the biggest commercial real estate market in India. According to the latest CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) report, this city has been a leader for the past five years in terms of office space stock and office space absorption trends.

“Ahmedabad’s investment grade office stock grew exponentially from less than 20 million square feet in the early 2000s to 127 million square feet in 2015-at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent over the last 15 years. This has placed the city well ahead of other leading Indian office hubs”, CBRE said in a statement.

Top Corporate Realty Market of India

A combination of factors are responsible for making Ahmedabad the most sought after corporate realty destination. Some of the most critical factors have been discussed below:

IT/ITES sector:

Known as the Silicon Valley of India, Ahmedabad has witnessed phenomenal growth in the IT/ITES sector since the early Y2K controversies. Home to more than 40% of the total IT companies in India, the city still continues to attract foreign investment because of supportive government policies, conducive to growth culture and exceptional talent pool. This trend has created a huge demand for commercial real estate spaces in the city for constructing retail spaces, commercial office spaces, IT city centres and IT parks.

Connectivity:

Another reason why this city is considered as a preferred base for corporates is its excellent connectivity. Ahmedabad is home to the third largest airport in India, it is a major railway hub, and has convenient access to major economic centres of India – Mumbai-Pune region, Hyderabad, Chennai and the West Coast. In addition, the city’s local transportation network is superior to that of most other cities in India.

Growth of E-commerce and Global Captive Centres (GCCs):

Off late, major demand for commercial real estate in Ahmedabad is coming from e-commerce players and on-demand car-sharing players. Also, this city plays host to the largest number of GCCs in India, contributing to increasing demand of commercial real estate.

Breeding Ground for Start-Ups:

The booming technology sector, availability of a huge talent pool and stable government has made Ahmedabad a fertile base for starting and running successful businesses. This flourishing start-up culture is also responsible for boosting the demand for commercial realty in Ahmedabad.

Talent Pool:

Ahmedabad is home to many internationally renowned management, medical and engineering colleges. The availability of highly qualified skill pool has been one of the major reasons why corporates prefer to establish their operations in this city.

Therefore, it is evident that Ahmedabad has all the potential to sustain its position as a leader in corporate realty market in India.

Insanely Unique and Mind Blowing Buildings Around the World – Part 1

Indira Gandhi Planetarium, India

“Situated at Surajkund Park, it is a novel attraction of the city. The Saturn shaped building of the planetarium is unique of its kind.” Indira Gandhi Planetarium building is in unique Saturn shape with its five rings. The 21 meter diameter spherical building of the planetarium rest on platform, which is especially designed to give an idea of crater formation on celestial bodies. The platform is surrounded by waterpool with fountains.

Montana Magica Lodge, Chile

A strange volcano-like building spews water instead of lava; its welcoming windows embellish with moss and vines, complementing the surrounding trees.

Deep in southern Chile lies the Montana Magica Lodge – an extraordinary hotel hidden away in the centre of a 300,000-acre private nature reserve. It might be completely artificial but the Montana Magica lodge in Chile even ‘erupts’ every day, sending water running down the outside of the 13-room guest house. This incredible, mind-blowing building is startlingly beautiful, and is nestled in the heart of a gorgeous natural reserve in South America.

Singapore Pavilion, Singapore

The music-box-like Singapore Pavilion is a two-story structure with an “Urban Symphony” theme. The theme is inspired by the harmony of unique elements in Singapore: progress and sustainability, urbanization and greenery, tradition and modernity and a cosmopolitan mix of residents of different races living peacefully together. The pavilion incorporates an orchestra of elements into its design – music fountains, an interplay of sounds and visuals, and roof garden flora, with the country’s unique rhythm and melody.

Toilet-Shaped House, South Korea

The Toilet-Shaped House has a very unique design, and was built by Sim Jae-duck, the chairman of the organizing committee of the Inaugural General Assembly of the World Toilet Association, and he hopes his toilet house will highlight the global need for better sanitation.

Sutyagin House, Russia

The Sutyagin House was a wooden structure in Arkhangelsk, Russia. The 13-story, 144-foot tall residence of a local entrepreneur Nikolai PetrovichSutyagin was reported to be the world’s tallest wooden house. Constructed by Sutyagin and his family over 15 years, without formal plans or a building permit, the structure deteriorated while Sutyagin spent a few years in prison on racketeering charges.

Piano and Violin Building, China

This unique piano house was built recently in An Hui Province, China. Inside of the violin is the escalator to the building. The building displays various city plans and development prospects in an effort to draw interest into the recently developed area.This unusual Piano and Violin shaped building built in 2007 serves as showroom for exhibiting the plans for newly created district of Shannan in Huainan City, China.The transparent Violin houses the escalators and the staircase for the main piano building which displays various plans and development prospects for newly developed area.

Nautilus House, Mexico

The Nautilus house located near Mexico City is a unique shell shaped house designed by Mexican architect Javier Senosiain of ArquitecturaOrganica. The house design is very innovative, unusual and audacious. Javier Senosiain decided to bring the life aquatic into architecture.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Building, United Kingdom

The PricewaterhouseCoopers building claimed to have the title of the most environmentally friendly building in London. This marvelous structure makes use of renewable energy sources and integrates an advanced IT system. This system lets workers change the light and temperature in their space to suit their individual needs.

Masdar City, Abu Dhabi

The low-carbon development of Masdar City has an integral role in transforming Abu Dhabi’s economy from an oil foundation to one with a knowledge and innovation base. It serves as a centralised test bed for global renewable energy and technology companies. The city itself is designed to maximise convenience and reduce environmental impacts.

Crystal Island, Russia

This eye-catching building,crystal island in Moscow is set to become the world’s largest building. Enclosed within a vast mega structure covering a total floor area of 2.5million square metres – the project’s scale is unprecedented. At 450m the scheme in one of the tallest structures enclosing the largest volume, on the planet. It also creates a spectacular new emblem on the Moscow skyline. Conceived as a self-contained city within a city, it contains a rich mix of buildings including museums, theatres and cinemas, to ensure that it is a major new destination for the whole of Moscow.