Sunday, July 17, 2005


Squashy Cushions
Creativity follows no pattern- is the mantra when it comes to designing squashy furnishings, especially cushions. Comfy stuffings in exquisite patterns are everyone’s delight. So if you are just starting with furnishings, cushions are a great way to begin.
Flashy silken to simple cotton cushions are available in endless shapes in varied sizes available to adorn your room.
You can also mix and match them with fabric of your sofa, as nowadays leather and suede cushions are in trend. Plain cushions can be trimmed with a contrasting border, decorative braid or patterned piping. Tassels and fringing, embroidered panels, appliqué designs and quilting can all be used to give an impressive boost to a plain cushion.
Checks pattern in simple cotton is the best rough and tough option, as simpler the prettier. But don’t forget that these checks and stripes must be centralised for good effect.
“Creativity is the best guide, when it comes to furnishings,” believes Varinderjeet Kaur, interior decorator, “small cushions in geometrical shapes, looks great piled when piled in a set of four, on sofas. Bolster round or flowing cushions, supporting the back of divan or futon, are back in trend.”
She suggests, “Decorative cushions can be made of lighter, more delicate fabrics, such as silks or muslin. Even Zari cushions in self pattern look grand with high sofa back. You can also use plain covers without stuffings on the arms of the sofa to add elegance to it. Beige, golden or grey tassels can spring them up. This summer appliqué work and Lucknawi embroidery on light base as white or light pink are also in great vogue.”
For your bed cushions, just mix-n-match the cushion-covers with your pillow covers or bedspreads, in square or rectangular shapes. You may pile them in set of 5 or 4. For you kids room, Donald and tweety’s are here to stay.
Actually, the most exciting decorative technique would be to facilitate yourself by adapting the designs according to your décor. The usage cushion may affect not only the design, but also the type of fabric and padding used. As to see your beautifully finished cushion covered in grubby finger marks or juice stains can be heart breaking! Machine washable robust fabrics are a must with small children. Especially, If they will get lots of abuse from the children.” she adds, “Besides, a cushion pad with a synthetic filling rather than a more expensive, soft feather cushion pad.”
Vinyl foam padded cushions are readily available in marketing.The Cotton stuffings have also been largely replaced with polyfil cotton. The range starts from Rs 100 per piece onwards. Making an advanced cushion means investing a lot of your own valuable time in something that will give you pleasure to look at and to use.
Choosing a fabric you like is important, but stop a moment and consider the following questions.
Is the colour and pattern right both for the setting and the size and style of cushion?
Is the weight and texture right for the job the cushion is intended for?
Will the fabric wear well and either wash or dry clean satisfactorily?
If you are seaming different fabrics together, will they all react and wear in the same way?
Is the cushion intended to be functional or for purely decorative purposes?
Make sure you buy the right filling to ensure your cushion has a long life-span.
Foam for seating pads – available in different weights and densities.
Polyester and stockinet for exterior wrappings – these make trying to insert a box pad into a cover much easier.
Feather and fibre – great for upholstery jobs.


Class glass

Tainted beauty
‘Gilded figures of guardians holding clubs at the front door’ – no, it’s not a medieval courtroom entrance, rather a stained glass door pattern of Sethi’s villa. Just look around to notice the revival of interest in stained glass. Windows, doors, lamp shades, walls and even ceilings are today embellished with strident colours in stained glass."Sun catchers" in a myriad of designs on glass are hot these days. “What earlier used to adorn the chapels, has found it’s way to the home décor. You can lend from ancient, royal to rustic theme to your interiors with much ease via this fine art,” says Jolly, an interior designer.If you find plain or plaster of paris on ceiling outmoded? Get a geometrical pattern painted in pastel colours on tainted, yet exquisite, glass. “I have painted a life size mermaid to adorn the walls of the bathroom for one of my clients, who was not willing to use mundane tiles,” says Jolly.In the kids’ room, Noddy, Pooh, Micky and Donald paintings on the walls, and stars embossed on the ceiling, will add live to it.The art is not restricted to the four walls and ceiling; it can beautify the centre tables, dinning tables and peg tables. “My centre table with a ceramic pot-base and painted glass top in grapevine motif offered the perfect artistic look to balance the chic low height sofas and chaise lounge,” believes Radhika, a fashion designer. For furniture try sticking to the geometric patterns. Use delicate and light patterns for the windowpanes to permit natural light to bathe the house. Let geometrical designs or scenic paintings cover the full-length glass doors. “From the entrance, living room, dinning table to bathroom, we have incorporated the theme,” Radhika adds.Though traditionally, stained glass has used the leading technique - the process of interlocking and assembling pieces of glass together using lead, with easy-to-use glass paint tubes readily available, you can take pleasure in painting it yourself. Your kiddos can also show their creativity. Even interior decorators and experts of the art, can create a colourful delight for you. “We get durable colours, especially from Mumbai, to offer quality service,” reveals Jolly. As this ancient art of coloured glass has come a long way, it is here to stay.

Go Austria!

Chalo Austria
Majestic mountains, lakes, dense forests and green valleys make Austria a perfect spot to hang around

Scenic wonderland of Austria, a small country in central Europe, is a characterised by majestic mountains, crystal-clear lakes, rivers, dense forests and green valleys. Outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and mountain climbing make it a favorite destination for many tourists, besides, the country’s rich cultural history, especially in music -- home to Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven.
Come, lets move around this amazingly beautiful land of Alps…

Day 1Land at Vienna, Austria's capital, situated in the northeast lowlands with the Danube River, built in concentric circles. Get fresh, and enjoy a city tour to the monumental buildings of the famous Ringstrasse, Four Danubes, Hundertwasser Haus, and the magnificent Baroque and Art Nouveau treasures of old Imperial Vienna. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this intriguing city, where noble palaces, broad avenues, lovely parks, magnificent architecture and some of Europe's finest museums await discovery.

Day 2
A Viennese guide takes you on a walking tour of Vienna, exploring the heart of the city. Walk through the grounds of the Hofburg, Imperial Residence of Habsburgs; visit the extraordinary Kunsthistorisches (Museum of Fine Arts), displaying the treasure of European art.

Day 3
Standing like sentinels in the sky, the sheer rock walls of Austrian Alps are distinctive landmarks that can be seen for miles. If dedicated to viewing spectacular scenery, travel along the "Yellow Roads" through small villages to the ancient roman city of Lienz, in Austria's alpine mountains. Linz, in upper Austria, main claim to fame is that it is the home of the delicious Linzer Torte. Long vital for its strategic location on the Danube it is also known for its Patrician houses and Baroque architecture that line the largest medieval square in Europe.

Day 4 The Grossglockner is considered the highest peak in Austria, and your travels on the Grossglockner-Hochalpenstrasse take you on one of the most famous roads in Europe. As you ascend from the valley floor, pastoral scenes surround you – weathered wooden barns and picture-perfect chalets with colorful flower boxes all in an alpine setting of green meadows cut by silver streams. The greenery gives way to granite walls with the peaks of majestic mountains soaring above.

Day 5
Salzburg is a picturesque city that nestles between the Salzach river and the towering Hohensalzburg Fortress. Its skyline is a symphony of Baroque church towers, cupolas and steeples. Your walking tour with a local guide includes a visit to the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg's most famous son. Attend an evening of classical music, where you will enjoy a taste of Mozart's legacy as celebrated by music festivals.

Day 6
Take to the air for reaching back home.

Gen Gap

These are all published articles.

Bhupinder Kohli

Parents today are more youthful in appearance and attitudes. “It's okay, dear!" is in fact heard far more frequently in today’s nuclear families rather than yesterdays operative words like ‘duty’ and ‘responsibility.’
Gen-X dads’ don’t mind Gen-Y experimenting cool trends; from blue jeans, blow-dry's, clothes to hairstyles. Everything is casual like the mindsets, helping to bridge the sartorial child-parent divide.
“Because of my own rebellion in teens, and the way I grew out of it, I can better accept my son's desire for independence, his craziness, and sometimes even his rebellion," says Rajiv Sharma, 39, a businessman. "I would dread to face my father when scored less, but when this year my son didn't perform well in exam, I rather boosted his moral," says Sharma.
On the very mention of a much debatable topic - generation gap, Sahiba Kumar, 21 and her mother, Param, initiate a discussion on love marriages. Param says, "We dare not watch a movie TV with dad, forget talking about ‘love-marriage,’ that are quite acceptable now.”
Dimple rejoins, "Probably that's why your generation lovers chose to be Devdas." Well! This narrowing of generation-gap has resulted in rewarding closeness among family members.
"No wonder greeting cards today carry the message--To my mother, my best friend," Dimple chortles. None can deny that candidness nurtures a stronger bond of love.
Certainly, there has been reduction in the friction between young and old that is far more than the wildness of youth. Raman, 16, a college student opines, “Well, the gen-gap has not vanished but it is shrinking. Now-a-days parents are pretty understanding. Kids are also frank, rather afraid of parents. Believe me, whenever I sense something is wrong in life, be it studies or friendship, I share it with my dad. He would always say -- come, let us figure it out."
Still when enquired if Raman will try to be more liberal with his broods, he makes as big nod. Thus, even after shopping to sports turning into an easy camaraderie between parent-child, the inexorable 'generation gap' enjoys its existence, continuing down from cavemen.
Somehow, a few grannies and grandpa’s quote this liberal attitude as negligence and lack of time to fulfill the responsibility also. An old grandma of 61-year of age, Kanta Devi quotes, "Working couples are less eager to spend time disciplining the kids. Besides, time-short parents also encourage children's independence, making them more responsible at least for their follies. Being guilt of pre-occupied, they compensate with money and liberties," adds Kanta.
Experts opine that probably the democratic approach is very healthy but it shouldn’t swing a bit too far, promoting lack of rules and discipline. Problems also arise when it promotes overindulgence, in an effort to avoid a strained relationship few parents forget to teach moderation and the limits of life to kids.