Give your humble abode a makeover this Eid

1. srpna 2013 v 5:29 |  solar photovoltaic system
Re-doing the lighting on the exterior of your home is a great way of endowing your front porch a new personality. A well-lit exterior makes the interior appear warm and welcoming so swap your white lights for warm, yellow bulbs and make your home a golden-coated wonderland. "Try to enhance the nicer areas of your home with warm lighting - general lighting is no good," suggests renowned interior designer Sam Abbas.

"Focus the glare on one attraction, say a particular tree or a large pot of flowers. Anything that will highlight the plus points of your outdoors." Sarah Bilgrami, Creative Director at Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative, a Karachi-based architecture and interiors firm says "Make sure there are ample plants to go with the lights! The two combined will make a great first impression on your guests." For added measure, you can install a few low-voltage garden lights to help you and your guests carry the conversation into the night whilst enjoying the monsoon breeze outside. "Solar lights and garden lanterns look beautiful at night, especially with a long driveway," adds Sarah. Word of warning though: avoid too much wiring as it can prove quite problematic outdoors.

The poor powder room is often a cramped room under the staircase, but who knew that could be a plus point? "The best thing about the powder room is that it is small and there is no shower there, meaning no steam issues, so there is plenty that one can do to spruce it up," explains Sam. A contrasting wall-paper on one side of the powder room can brighten it up instantly and make it appear new.

There is also a great variety of decorative towels, scented candles and even flavoured hand washes and lotions to add colour and personalisation to the powder room. "Since we are having a summer Eid, it is best to go with whites or pastel colours. Change your towels and floor mats to peaches, creams and other light summery hues and create a contrast by adding soaps, candles and bottles of a darker colour, like purple," Sam advises.

Accent walls can inject life into a dull drawing room by becoming the focal point. To create one, select the largest or most prominent wall and adorn it with wallpaper, paintings, carpets, calligraphy and other forms of artwork. If your drawing room is small, adding a large mirror to the accent wall will make it appear much larger, especially if it is flanked by a pair of big chairs or planters. You can also paint the accent wall a darker, contrasting colour to draw the guests' attention. But remember, "placement is everything" as Sam warns. Once you have selected a theme and colour scheme for the accent wall, the rest of your decor should fall in line. "Add matching knick-knacks like cushions, candles and flowers to accessorise the room," says Sam.

When your guests flock to the Eid table, give them more to look at than just the siwaiyaan and cholay. Every dining room needs a beautiful talking-point and a dining table centrepiece can leave your guests dazzled. Create a large, flowery centre-piece by investing in a high-quality crystal vase and getting a fancy bouquet made. Think carefully about the colours on your table and match the centrepiece with your dinnerware. According to Attiya, "Tall vases make the most impact" and bright-coloured flowers boost it further. "Personally, I would avoid plastic flowers as they accumulate too much dust," advises Sam. "Real flowers add much more colour and charm. Match your plates, crockery or table-runner with the flowers and you will have a table fit for a royal feast!"

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