An Eight Step Guide to Designing a Kid’s Room

A kid’s bedroom: there is no room more challenging, yet more fun to design. Before embarking on this project, you may want to consider all the pointers that follow.

1. Safety

The first thing you need to remember is to account for the safety of your child. Make sure that the wiring, paint, furniture and decor items are all of good quality and child-safe. No matter how good it looks, avoid items that are made of glass.  This includes shelves and furniture.

2. Space

Children spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. Remember to leave plenty of open space in the room. Opt to put all the bulky furniture against the wall. Leave the centre of the room empty so they have plenty of space to play, move around, and let’s face it, scatter their toys.

3. Tastes

When designing a room for children, it is important to include them in the decision making process. The easiest way to do this is to ask them to pick the colours for their walls. If the colour they pick is way too bright for your taste, use it as a feature wall and paint the rest of the room a more neutral colour. Yet another thing you can do is narrow down the different furniture you’re willing to buy and leave the final decision to your child.

4. Practicality

No matter how attractive the alternative, purchase practical items. Children are quick to grow in size. They are even quicker to grow out of phases. So while making big purchases, like furniture, keep things simple. You can indulge their tastes in things like bedding, rugs or wall decor.

5. Lighting

It is very important that your child’s room is adequately lit, both during the day and at night. When setting up the room, make sure there is nothing blocking the windows. As for the light fixtures, try opting for warmer lights. These help the body to relax so it is easier to put your child to bed.

6. Storage

Children may be small but they always seem to have more stuff than everybody else in the family. Give them sufficient storage space for all their things. Try to go for furniture that doubles as a smart storage option. It is always a good idea to invest in overhead storage for all the things that they don’t need every day.

7. Furnishing

A common idea while furnishing a kid’s room is selecting a theme. This helps in making the room look seamless. Themes range from cartoon characters, favourite animals to just a combination of colours. While designing a room based on a theme may be fun, the real problem comes with maintenance. So pick furnishings that are easy to clean and quick to dry. Remember, if it’s a kid’s room, spills, stains and scratches are part of the parcel!

8. Creativity

One of the best ways to personalise a child’s bedroom by displaying their artwork. Pick out the best of your child’s drawings and have them framed. You can also hang framed photographs or poetry.  Have them create wall hangings and craftwork for their shelf. Deck the room in their work and watch it come together!

Kids are the most challenging “customers” to please. Designing a kid’s room can be challenging. But the smiles, in the end, will definitely be worth all the effort!


4 Reasons to Buy Property this Monsoon Season!

Monsoon in India invariably means puddles, traffic jams and blocked roads. Naturally, this doesn’t sound like a good time to go apartment hunting. Well, believe it or not, this is one of the best seasons to lock in on your preferences. Here are four convincing reasons for you to brave the elements, and go looking for a house this monsoon.

Make The Best Of Monsoon Discounts

Monsoon is a dry season in terms of real estate sales. Besides the heavy rain, most people consider this time inauspicious to make big purchases. Luckily, this makes it the best time to get a good bargain. Even when the developers do not advertise it as a monsoon discount per se, most of them are more than willing to offer lower rates to serious buyers in order to clear existing inventory.  The amount of discount you can avail varies for different cities, depending on how badly the city is affected due to monsoon.

Avail Special Monsoon Home Loans

It’s not just the developers who are keen to boost their slow business during monsoon. Even banks and financial institutions are more likely to negotiate interest rates and offer attractive home loans during monsoon.

Choose The Most Ideal Locality

House hunting in monsoon will reveal a lot about the water logging problems in the locality. Driving around in a downpour will also give you an idea about traffic problems, and the time required to commute to and from that locality. This is especially helpful if you have new to a new city, and are yet to learn its quirks. Looking for a house during monsoon saves you a lot of trouble as you know what you’ll be dealing with during the next monsoon.

Inspect The Property During The Worst Season

In the case of partially or fully completed properties, inspecting the house during monsoon will give you a fair idea about its construction and reliability. You can easily spot signs of dampness or leakage, and avoid buying an ill-constructed house. Structural soundness of a building is an essential factor, as you may end up spending a huge amount on repairs if the house turns out to have water seeping problems.

Now that you know why it can be very profitable to buy a house during monsoon, you can very well put on your rain gear, and set out to find your dream home. Not only do you stand a chance at striking a real bargain, you also benefit from the lower home loan rates that are generally offered during monsoon.


The Indian Flag Code: everything you need to know this Independence Day

“A national spirit is necessary for national existence. A flag is a material aid to the development of such a spirit.” -Mahatma Gandhi.

With the 72nd Independence Day just around the corner, members of most apartment complexes will be gearing up to organise their own flag hoisting ceremony. The Indian Flag, or the tricolour, is a symbol of our country. As such, it should be treated with great respect. The Government of India has put down the code to ensure its proper construction and handling. Here is a reminder of the dos and don’ts of the National Flag etiquette.

The Flag

The Indian Flag Code specifies the dimensions of the flag and how it should be constructed. This is a measure taken to ensure that the flags used everywhere are uniform.

  • First, the Indian Flag should be a perfect rectangle, with a ratio of 3:2 between the length and the width. The flag’s size should be one among these  (in mm):
    150×100
    225×150
    450×300
    900×600
    350×900
    1800×1200
    2700×1800
    3600×2400
    Pick an appropriate size for display.
  • It should be made of handspun khadi, or of cotton, silk or wool. Avoid plastic flags because these are difficult to dispose of.
  • The flag should be split into three equal panels – saffron (not orange) panel at the top, a white panel in the middle and a green panel (described as India green) at the bottom. Be careful with the colours.
  • A navy blue Ashoka Chakra should adorn the centre of the white panel, with 24 spokes that are equally spaced.

The Display

The Indian flag hoisting rules also cover instances of the flag’s misuse and specify the proper procedure to hoist the flag.

  • During an Indian flag hoisting ceremony, the saffron panel should always be on top. The flag should never be hoisted upside down.
  • It should be displayed from sunrise till sunset, irrespective of weather conditions.
  • The flag should always be positioned to the far right.
  • There should be no other flag or emblem to its right or above it.
  • The Indian flag should hold no lettering or inscriptions of any kind.
  • During ceremonies, it is common practice to use flower petals within the unfurled flag. The Indian flag code prevents the use of any confetti or decorative materials other than flower petals.
  • In a procession, the Indian flag should either be carried to the right or in front of the central line.
  • It should never touch the ground or water.
  • There should be no other flags on the same masthead as the Indian flag.
  • The flag should never be flown at half-mast unless the government specifies.
  • The National Flag should not be used to cover any speaker’s desk, platform or monument.
  • Paper flags can be used during days of national importance. However, care should be taken that they do not touch the ground.
  • The national anthem should be sung once people salute the flag. (It is essential to follow the etiquette specified for the national anthem as well).
  • A damaged flag should never be displayed, and such flags can be disposed of in private, preferably by burning or in a method consistent with its dignity.

To read about the rules for the national anthem click
http://www.ncert.nic.in/announcements/oth_announcements/pdf_files/NatinalAnthem.pdf

When planning to hoist the Indian Flag in your apartment complex, it is the duty of every Indian citizen to ensure that these rules are followed. Start a discussion on your ApnaComplex forums to raise awareness among the residents. The managing committee can take things a step further by printing out such rules and handing out copies. It is important to make sure that no misuse occurs, either deliberately or by accident.

The tricolour represents the Indian community. So this Independence Day, as you come together in your apartment complex remember to bask in this spirit of community. From everyone at ApnaComplex, we wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

Jai Hind! 


Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. 


Balcony Gardens

Balcony Gardens: Fun Tips for Decorating your Balcony

While apartments have their advantages, one big downside is the detachment from nature.  As opposed to a house with a big green yard, apartments tend to feel closed off and small. The only gateway to the outside world often comes in the form of balconies.  Sitting out on your balcony, sipping a warm cup of tea (or coffee), and just watching the world go by is an undeniably therapeutic hobby. But often balcony spaces are underutilized. A common sight is a couple of old chairs, some pots with small plants, and heaps of refuse that we store for no real reason.

In recent years the concept of “handkerchief gardens” has blossomed (pun intended). What originally started as small, square garden spaces is now a term used to describe gardens in small spaces. So why not bring this concept to your balcony?

Landscaping small spaces can be a daunting task. Not only does it need to be space efficient, it also needs to fit your personal creative tastes. Here are some tips that can help set the wheel in motion.

Plan it well
As with any DIY project, the first step is planning. Having a clear idea of the space available is a must. Measure the area and create a plan for where you want to eventually place each item.

 

Clean it up
The next thing you need to do is clean up the balcony. Remove the clutter that has been lying around. Keep a lookout for cobwebs and dust bunnies that may have appeared in the unused space. Put up nails and hooks wherever you may need them. Remember to check the wiring and sockets that can be used. If you want to go the extra mile why not try hand painting the wall for extra flair?

Know your climate 
The primary requirement of any garden is, naturally, plants. While everyone loves the idea of exotic sweet-smelling flowers, we should remember that these plants need a lot of work. Look up plants that may be easier to grow in your locality. Also, check the direction of your balcony. This will have a direct effect on the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. Instead of flowers, consider growing herbs (like mint) that not only smell good but can be used in your kitchen.

Pots and pans 
A pot garden with the little mud pots is a common sight in most balconies. But why stop there? Almost anything can be reused as garden pots; bottles, old buckets, kettles, old cans, everything is fair game. To add a little variety you can also purchase hanging pots or hooked planters.

Stack it up
Balconies are usually small. In such small spaces, vertical gardens are usually a good idea. Old bookshelves, step ladders, tables and stools, all provide good surfaces to put your pots on. Do not be afraid to add variations in height. It is all part of the aesthetic.

 

 

Drape it down
Another dramatic addition you can make to your balcony garden is vines and creepers. If you want to add an aura of magic and fairy tales to your space, this is the way to go. Just remember, vines take a little extra effort to maintain.  Team it up with your vertical garden and it can make a striking impression.

 

Read more about the types of vines you can grow: https://www.houzz.in/ideabooks/98947783/list/8-climbing-plants-great-for-indian-balconies-and-gardens

 

Always accessorize
Gardens do not have to be limited to growing plants. Adding decor pieces that compliment your setup is always a good idea. Place random knick-knacks like figurines and windchimes. A popular addition you can install is a water feature. Small fountains and aquariums can add a bit more zing. You can also create a small bird bath. If you are lucky, the chirping of birds will be a great new feature of your new garden.

 

Let there be light 
Outdoor lighting can go a long way in building the aesthetic. Drape fairy lights along your walls or hang paper lanterns from the ceiling. This is usually cost-effective and easy to remove. However, if you want something permanent, buy new light fixtures for the space. Try to opt for warm lighting. It creates a more cosy ambience.

 

Keep it simple
One of the most effective ways of creating a low-maintenance garden is through terrariums. A terrarium is a glass container with a plant growing inside. It is a usually self-sustaining ecosystem. The evaporated water condenses on the surface of the glass and waters the plant over and over again. Once in place, it requires almost no help to grow. All you need to do is open up the container every so often to fertilize or trim your plants.

 

Seats for all
Do not forget to add some outdoor furniture to the mix. Your balcony could be used for anything from reading to meditation. Seats and throw cushions can help create a comfortable nook. Outdoor swings are an ever-popular choice in India. Choose quick dry foam cushions to avoid rain damage. Make sure whatever furniture you place outside is weather resistant or coated with oil paint.

 

A balcony garden is a very good place to relax and unwind after a long day. The sense of tranquillity that comes from being surrounded by foliage is unparalleled. Big or small, it has a proven effect on your mood and psychological well-being. In a life always on the move, everybody deserves a chance to stop and smell the flowers.

So pick your favourite ideas from this list and create your own handkerchief-sized masterpiece. Happy gardening!


Pets in Apartments: the Rights and Responsibilities of Pet Owners.

Many people love the idea of having a four-legged furball at home. They tend to have a therapeutic presence. Animal lovers will do anything for their furry friends. But others consider them a nuisance. Pet-related activities are disapproved of and even opposed. Often, people forget that other species on the planet also need a place to live. Sheltering a few homeless animals, newborn or aged, is not a bad idea.

The perpetual debate of whether pets must be allowed in apartment complexes, or not, has made us realise that there is a need for a clear understanding of the situation  (especially before we jump to conclusions about the rights and wrongs).

Authorities within residential areas often send out circulars that have rules and regulations about pet ownership. These circulars contain ‘vital’ information about whether or not they can be allowed to live with their human caretakers.  What people are unaware of is there is no law enacted by the Parliament, or any State Legislature, that bans animal friends. At most, you may have to register your pet (In many parts of the country you are legally required to register your pet). More often than not people end up having to choose between their home or their animal companion. This violates a fundamental right of being a citizen of this country. The right to make personal choices is protected by the constitution of India.

Following are the issues faced by pet owners:

  • Pets being banned on society premises on account of being noisy.
  • Prohibiting homeowners from using parks, lifts and other facilities if they are accompanied by pets. Also, being charged for the same.
  • Being charged ‘pet rent’.
  • Forced usage of muzzles (on calm pets).
  • Discrimination as per the size and breed of pets allowed in the housing society.
  • Being asked for a pet resume before being given the flat on rent (A pet resume contains the pet’s basic details, previous rental experience, health, behaviour, references, etc).

To make matters clear:

  • No bans can be imposed on usage of facilities (like lifts and parks) by pets.
  • RWAs cannot impose any extra charges for this, either.
  • Pets and resident owners of the pets not violating any Municipal Sanitary Bye-Laws or Regulations are permissible to stay in the society or community.
  • Size of pets cannot be a valid reason to ban them from society premises.

Such rules are highly discriminatory and might lead to friction among the members of the society. But, it must be kept in mind that these objections have risen due to certain behaviours of pet animals that have inconvenienced people in some way or another in the past.

As has always been, rights come with responsibilities. Pet owners must come forward and offer to adhere to simple, implicit rules and mannerisms.  This will eventually resolve the issues that lead to discriminatory circulars.

So, to make things fair:

  • The pet owners must make sure that there is no nuisance caused in the society due to their furry pals.
  • When out of the house and in the premises of the complex, the pets must be accompanied by their owners or anyone who has them under careful observation.
  • Since there is no central law regarding cleaning pet excreta, RWA can request pet owners to do the same.
  • Training must be provided to the pets in apartments on identifying people walking in and out of the apartment wing. This will help prevent them from getting provoked when neighbours and children are around.
  • The animals should be taken to an obedience class/training class as well. A certificate is generally provided once the animal recognises behaviour signals.
  • Crate/kennel training is another way of training the pet to stay in one place as it provides a feeling of security to the animal.
  • The pets must also be trained, through positive reinforcement, to not get aggressive around other animals and prevent matters from going downhill.
  • Pets must undergo regular vaccinations and medications required to stay healthy.
  • The owners should take responsibility for their pets.
  • Children and residents must be asked to not provoke or tease the animals.

In conclusion,  the society representatives and pet owners, must organise regular meetings and address the issues each party faces, and meet each other halfway. Non-pet owners must be sympathetic and flexible towards pets and their owners. The latter must take precautions to ensure that they and their furry friends continue to behave like responsible members of the community.


(The Governing Body in India Concerning Animal Welfare- The Animal Welfare Board of India, 1962, was the first of its kind to be set up in the world, by any Government. It was established as a part of the Ministry of Environments and Forests, Government of India, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (No.59 of 1960). It has a list of bye-laws for pets, and was created to advise the Government on matters concerning animal welfare and preventing the infliction of pain on animals.)

Read more here: https://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/pet_dog_circular_26_2_2015.pdf


Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. We are not responsible for any actions or non-actions that are done by you based on the information present in this article or any other article on this blog.


Occupancy Certificate and Partial Occupancy Certificate – All you need to know

When one purchases property to move into, or for investment purposes, its pros and cons come along with it. Formalities need to be completed and documents, such as an occupancy certificate or a partial occupancy certificate, need to be procured before one transports their belongings all the way across the country or hires movers to move them from the opposite building. These two documents are just as important as the rest, if not more.

 

Partial-Occupancy-Certificate-Before-Moving

 

On completion of a building / project, the builder must apply for OC to the local authority in charge. An occupancy certificate is issued to him, stating that the residences in the buildings constructed by him are fitted with all the facilities and utilities as promised at the time of construction. This means that the premises are fit for occupancy.

home-energy-audit

But when does the need for a partial occupancy certificate arise?

A partial occupancy certificate comes into the picture when there are blocks or phases of large projects to be developed with varying completion dates. When the construction of one phase is completed, the concerned authority grants a Partial OC to the builder after thorough inspection of the building. Similarly, phases that are completed after that are given a Partial OC as well.

 

partial-occupancy-certificate

 

A Partial OC is replaced by a consolidated document called the OC (Occupancy Certificate) stating that the entire project has reached its completion point and is now deemed fit for occupancy. All the Partial OCs for that particular project become invalid once the Final OC has been granted. Until then, they act as the OC for that particular phase. The concept of Partial OC has always existed but it is becoming increasingly significant nowadays, since townships and other residential areas are being built in phases.

 

An OC and a Partial OC certify compliance to –

 

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  • Fire Service Department
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Pollution Control Board (including Sewage Treatment Plant)
  • Forest Department
  • Parking regulations
  • Electricity Board (including elevators)
  • Waste Disposal and Management facilities
  • Rainwater harvesting facilities
  • Airports Authority clearance, if the project is within the range of an airport

 

house-health-check

 

 

How does an OC come into the picture at the time of redevelopment?

If there is redevelopment taking place or there are additional floors to be built, the developer obtains a Partial OC for every flat on every floor that is constructed and ready for possession. This Partial OC is also replaced by a final OC at the time of completion of project. If, for whatever reason, the project has not been completed or was unable to be finished within the specified duration or permissible time limit, construction should be stopped. After that, an inspection will follow, based on which a final OC will be granted to the residents.

 

Partial Occupancy Certificate

 

Importance of OC and Partial Occupancy Certificate:

  • Legal and immediate possession of a flat is valid only if there is the OC or Partial OC to show for it.
  • Builders cannot hand over flats to buyers without receiving the OC from the concerned authority in charge.
  • Without an OC, buyers / owners are not eligible for any insurance or compensation claims.
  • Possession of a Partial OC lets one apply for sanitary, water and electricity connections. Even if these facilities have been made available without an OC, they are liable to get disconnected.
  • OC is generally required to get a home loan sanctioned by a financial institution. With a Partial OC, one may not get an approval for their home loan.
  • Application for Partial OCs and OCs need to be submitted within 30 days of completion of the project / phase. The local authority, in turn, must respond within 30 days of receipt of the application, providing an acceptance or rejection and reasons for the same. The OC is a necessity when one wishes to sell their flat.
  • An OC or Partial OC tells you about the extent of deviation from the sanctioned plan and acts as an assurance to its regularisation, if the violations are within 5 percent of –
    (1) the setback that is to be provided around the building
    (2) plot coverage
    (3) floor area ratio
    (4) height of the building.
    The deviations are regularised after the modified plan is approved by the authority in charge.

 

If you have purchased a flat that is under the phased development plan, insist on getting a Partial OC. This is valid until the project is under construction. Then make sure you replace it with an OC once it is completed. Keeping these important documents safe and available whenever they are required is of utmost importance. These are synonymous with other necessary compliance that ensures the safety of the flat and the quality of facilities that are being provided. The amenities and services that a flat owner receives must live up to the quality that was promised by the builder. Getting an OC / Partial OC helps to acknowledge this.

 

check-house

 

Thoughts and comments

If you have any thoughts on the partial occupancy certificate, please do share them with us by commenting below.
Visit http://www.apnacomplex.com for more.

How to choose room colour

Choose The Right Colour For Every Room Based on Colour Psychology

Wanna know how to choose room colour? Find out here.

 

Have you ever really noticed the patterns of your daily routine? Do you know why you make certain choices over others? Why you chose that shade of yellow in your living room or why you knew that lilac wall would make the room seem very welcoming? Colour, being a non-verbal language, depicts emphasis in a profound manner.

 

The colour you paint your room in signifies the level of comfort you are going to have when you start using it. But colour psychology works on a daily basis, more often that you would realise. So choosing the right colour is just as important as choosing the right room for it. Here, at ApnaComplex, we’ve put together a list of basic colours and the vibe they give away when used as paint. With the guidance rendered in this post, you will now have a well-informed reason to splash your room with the colour of your choice.

 

PURPLE —

Purple, depending on the shade, evokes varying levels of richness and sophistication. It inspires spirituality and prosperity and adds a dash of adventure to an otherwise mundane room. A stylish choice, purple hues encourage a fresh take on issues that are hard to come to conclusions to. Adding depth to a room, purple evokes compassion and humanity.
how to choose room colour

 

PINK —

Pink is a very common colour in a little girl’s room and is accounted for as it represents love and understanding. Hues such as rose, lavender pink and mimi pink are a crowd favourite. Use sophisticated fabrics to avoid a pale and monotonous look in the room. Vivid pinks are also viewed as glamourous and powerful and can be counteracted with blacks and greys. Such hues can be used in entryways as they are transitional spaces in a house and suggest movement, so save brighter pinks for the smaller spaces.
how to choose room colour

 

RED —

Red acts as a stimulator; a stimulator of appetite, conversation, etc. So, it is best to save the reds for the kitchen and dining rooms, but to add flair and depth into your bedroom, one wall can be highlighted with a deep red to make it stand out.
how to choose room colour

 

ORANGE —

Orange is an edifying color and it promotes happiness, warmth, emotional strength, optimism and spontaneity. The living room could do with a hint of orange as it also a social communication enhancer. The kids’ room could also have some orange walls as it aids in creativity and new ideas. This is one of the most underused colours and will add a touch of quirkiness to any room it is used to paint.

how to choose room colour

YELLOW/GOLD —

Yellow symbolizes power and vibrancy and also stimulates health, wisdom and patience. It acts as an excellent mood enhancer. In feng shui, yellow and gold are associated with wealth. These colours can be used in smaller spaces around the house and in entryways, making them seem larger and airier. Avoid using bright yellow hues in calmer sections of the home as they stimulate the nerves.
how to choose room colour

 

GREEN —

Green is the colour of new starts and growth, healing and freshness. It is the primary colour of nature and it encourages stability and rejuvenation and improves concentration. Green tints would do very well in the bedroom, kitchen and study but can be used to spruce up a living room with minimalistic varying textures. The bathrooms could use a little bit of green to make things less monotonous as well.

how to choose room colour

 

AQUA —

A mix of blue and green, aqua, represents youth and helps in inducing a state of relaxation and meditation. Aqua coloured curtains complement white walls and help in reducing sleep difficulties. Aqua ornamentation creates a feel of spirituality.

how to choose room colour

 

BLUE —

A blue room projects tranquility. Blue is said to have relaxing effects on people as it lowers blood pressure, reduces respiration rate and heart rate. Deeper blues infuse wisdom and introspection into the room, but overdoing it can make the room give off a dismal vibe. Blue walls are best saved for family rooms, bedrooms, larger kitchens, bathrooms and for a twist, a powder blue ceiling.
how to choose room colour

 

BLACK —

Black is a colour that adds an essence of contemplation and reflection to a room. It also creates a mysterious element when paired with metallic ornamentation. As a more formal and elegant but magnetic colour, it should be preferably used as an accent colour (complementary colour).

how to choose room colour

 

GREY —

An unknown fact about the colour grey is that it cultivates helpfulness. A harmonious union of black and white, when paired with eye-popping hues of pink, it creates a balance of subtle and bold. Grey is a calming colour with a delicate aura and silver and grey can be used in different tones to create a perception of enchantment and mysticism. It is alluring and charismatic when paired rightly with a red.
how to choose room colour

 

WHITE —

White is a crisp colour that invites clarity, precision and communication and is normally used in kitchens and living rooms. White’s cleanliness and contrast to almost every colour works in any room, especially with woodwork. White also looks dainty when it is used along with grey and provides a seamless background for black furniture.

how to choose room colour

 

BROWN —

Brown is an earthy tone that offers stability and security. It is generally used to highlight bolder colours like orange or lime green. Brown is the colour of wood and wood can be used to add an elegant and warm feel to a room. Browns combined with hues of green, like sage, discourage tension in the room and create a sophisticated mode of living. Brown can be used in the dining room or as an addition to the bedroom paired with a lighter, more airy colour such as aqua or pink.

how to choose room colour

 

How to choose room colour depends on the different hues of these colours that evoke specific emotions. Room colour decisions should always be made keeping in mind the ideal room setting, embellishments and furniture that is used in the room. The colour of paint makes a drastic difference in the perception the room creates about itself since the character of the room is decided by the undertone that the colour projects. A light room with a dark wall can change the perceptive depth of the room, and in addition, the more tranquil / bold your colour is depends on what you would like to see all year long. The ultimate goal is to blend the colours you would like to look at in the most pleasing manner possible.

 

Quick tips

  • Mix and match colours that highlight architectural details and centerpieces in the room.
  • Saturated colours like sunshine yellow and lime green add energy to the room.
  • Cool colours like blue, green and purple make the room look larger and more spacious.
  • Colours on the opposite of a colour wheel normally complement each other, but watch out for overplay.
  • Notice how a color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes, and compare the contrasting effects for a good and balanced feel.
  • Stick to a maximum of four colours per room to keep things lively, but not too busy.
  • Try a few test patches of the colours you’ve chosen to decide what compliments the room best so that it doesn’t tire out your eyes.

 

…And don’t forget!

How to choose room colour

 

Now that we’ve given you a low-down on how to choose room colour, we hope you have an easier decision-making process when it comes to home décor and home improvement. Happy colouring!

how to choose room colour


Pets & apartments: Why they get to stay and you do too

The perpetual debate of whether pets must be allowed in apartment complexes, or not, has made us realise that the need for a clear understanding of the situation is at an all-time high (especially before we jump to conclusions about the rights and wrongs).

pet-dog-in-apartment-thinking

 

The idea of breeding pets in apartments is welcomed by a lot of people. Animal lovers will do anything for their furry friends. But they are also considered a hindrance by many. Pet related activities are disapproved, and even opposed. Often, there is no second thought given to the fact that species other than humans need a place to live as well. And considering we’ve occupied most of the area a domestic animal needs to reside in, we humans need to be a bit more open-minded about such sensitive decisions.

As a lot of us know, local authorities are popping up rules and regulations, in the form of circulars regarding pet animals. These circulars contain over-hyped ‘vital’ information about whether or not they can be allowed to live with their human caretakers. But some pet enthusiasts don’t realise that as per the Parliament, or any State Legislature, there is no law enacted that bans animal friends. The most any of these groups can do is insist on registration and licencing of pets. They, often than not, are torn between choosing from among the home and their beloved animal companion. This should not be the case. It violates the fundamental freedom of being a citizen of this country.

 

pets in apartments Pet-dog-pet-turtle-pet-hamster-pet-budgie-at-home

 

Following are the issues faced by pet owners:

  • Banning pets on society premises.
  • ‘Dog barking’ being cited as a valid reason to impose a ban.
  • Prohibiting homeowners from using parks, lifts and other facilities if they are accompanied by pets. Also, being charged for the same.
  • Being charged ‘pet rent’.
  • Forced usage of muzzles and leashes (on calm pets).
  • Discrimination as per the size and breed of pets allowed in the housing society.
  • Being asked for a pet resume before being given the flat on rent (A pet resume contains the pet’s basic details, previous rental experience, health, behaviour, references, etc.)

 

To make matters clear:

  • No bans can be imposed on usage of facilities (like lifts and parks) by pets. RWAs cannot impose any extra charges for this, as well.
  • Pets and resident owners of the pets not violating any Municipal Sanitary Bye-Laws or Regulations are permissible to stay in the society or community.
  • Size of pets cannot be a valid reason to ban them from society premises.

 

Rules like these result in service quality of the society’s provisions turning low. But, it must be kept in mind that these objections have risen due to certain behaviours of pet animals that have inconvenienced people in some way or another in the past.

 

So, to make things fair:

  • The pet owners must make sure that there is no nuisance caused in the society due to their furry pals.
  • When out of the house and in the premises of the complex, the pets must be accompanied by their owners or anyone who has them under careful observation.
  • Since there is no central law regarding cleaning pet excreta, RWA can request pet owners to do the same.
  • Training must be provided to the pets in apartments on identifying people walking in and out of the apartment wing. This will help prevent them from getting provoked when neighbours and children are around.
  • The animals should be taken to an obedience class/training class as well. A certificate is generally provided once the animal recognises behaviour signals.
  • Crate/kennel training is another way of training the pet to stay in one place as it provides a feeling of security to the animal.pet-dog-crate-training-in-apartment
  • The pets must also be trained, through positive reinforcement, to not get aggressive around other animals and prevent matters from going downhill.
  • Pets must undergo regular vaccinations and medications required to stay healthy.
  • The owners should take responsibility for their pets.
  • Children and residents must be asked to not provoke or tease the animals.

 

Pet owners must come forward and offer to adhere to simple, implicit rules and mannerisms by themselves. This won’t even let the problem of notices and circulars arise in the first place. It is eventually the landlord/society’s job to rightly recognise responsible pet people.

 

pet-dog-in-apartment-with-big-eyes

 

In conclusion, to get rid of these issues in a sure-shot way, the society representatives and pet owners, both parties, must organise regular meetings and address the issues each of them face, and meet each other halfway. Non-pet owners must be sympathetic and flexible towards pets and their owners, and the latter must take precautions to ensure that there are no discrepancies regarding their co-ordination with approved and disapproved behaviours.

 

(The Governing Body in India Concerning Animal Welfare-
The Animal Welfare Board of India, 1962, was the first of its kind to be set up in the world, by any Government. It was established as a part of the Ministry of Environments and Forests, Government of India, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (No.59 of 1960). It has a list of bye-laws for pets, and was created to advise the Government on matters concerning animal welfare and preventing infliction of pain on animals.)

 

 

Now that we’ve given you a solution to this problem, let’s check out what the pets themselves have to say:

Pikachu-dog-tired

 

 

 

 

I’m tired of the fights. Let’s just talk it out, please.

 

 

 

 

 

friendly-pet-dog

Come on. How can you say no to that face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet-dog-crying-at-home

 

 

 

pet-dog-crying-at-home

 

 

Cat-dog-play

 

 

HA HA!

 

 

 

 

 

dog-tongue-hanging

 

 

Got you there, didn’t we?

 

 

 

 

excuse-me-pet-dog-confused

 

 

 

pet-dog-tongue-hanging

Did I say something wrong?

pets in apartments Cockatoo-Dog-Turtle-staring-outside-at-cat

What are all of them looking at anyway?

 

 

 

 

Oh him.

house-cat-staring-outside-window

 ” Someone say my name, Mr. Fan-tabby-ulous? “

 

 

 

welcome-home-dog

Oh well, welcome home!

 

 

cheers-to-good-decisions

 

And cheers to good decisions!

 


Things to keep in mind when looking to rent a flat

There are many things one must consider before choosing to rent a flat in any apartment building. We, at Apnacomplex, list out the things we think you should keep in mind before renting that flat.

  1. Budget – Always consider your budget carefully before deciding to take up any flat on rent. The things to consider would be; gross rent paid, deposit, maintenance, and upkeep. All those things need to factor into your decision to rent out a flat.  Generally, things work up to 1.2x of the gross rent. So assuming your rent to be 10000 per month, you’ll eventually end up paying 12000 per month all things included. Once you know what the rent of your new flat will be, factor in your household income. As a rule of thumb, it is ok to spend 30% of your household income on rent in any given month. Once you have your budget sorted out, looking for a place can be much easier and less time consuming.Know your budget
  2. Broker Vs. No broker – getting a local broker can be a good way to increase your awareness of apartments in your area of choice. But then there’s the dreaded issue of brokerage, the one thing we never wish to pay (Trust me, I’m regretting paying brokerage as I write this article). Going on online sites can be a healthy start too, but what you see is not always what you get with online real estate listings, so it might take you longer than anticipated when you take that route. The only trait you’ll need is patience and you might just find the right fit searching online. In our experience, some of the best deals are available on classified newspapers and online portals (Please check https://www.apnacomplex.com/classifieds). You’ll be surprised at the deals you find there.Consider a broker carefully
  3. Be specific – If you’re experienced in renting out a place, you’ll probably be aware of these factors more or less, if not, then here’s the stuff that you’ll need to make that house a home.
    1. Check the amount of noise in that area – having religious institutions nearby might be good for your piety but can have a disastrous effect on your sleep schedule.
    2. Check if household services are available in that area – From dry cleaning to housekeepers, there are many areas where these basic services are difficult to come by, so ensure that you’re not making your life more difficult in the future.
    3. Check power outage cycles – some areas are notorious for a number of power cuts that occur there. So make sure your apartment provides for power backup or there are limited power outages there.
    4. Check water limitations – Water is considered the element of life, so maybe having a check on whether your apartment is equipped with rainwater harvesting or has some water facility to meet demand and supply will benefit you. Else you won’t have to option but to literally air your dirty laundry.Check if there's water in the flat
  4. Check the contract – Contracts are mandatory if you’re taking a flat on rent legally. Yes, we’re putting it that way because taking a flat legally benefits you more than the landlord. Here is a snapshot of things you need to look out for while taking you flat on rent:
    1. Contract dates – check when your contract starts and ends. Yes, you’ll be surprised at how many people miss this.
    2. Termination clauses – This is the most highlight-able area of your rental contract. Check to see if “My sister wants to come and stay” is a valid reason. Else, you can’t be evicted if you pay your rent on time.
    3. Penalties – Generally most flats have a one month rent as a penalty from their deposit. But make sure you’re aware of that clause in your contract.
    4. Repairs – Most contracts are segregated into major repairs and minor repairs. Major repairs are undertaken by the owner and minor repairs are undertaken by the tenant. So be sure to look out for that.
    5. Guests – Check to see if there’s any limitation on guests allowed. Contracts generally mirror society rules on such issues, so if your society limits guests then it’s better that you’re aware of what needs to be done.
    6. Rent renewal – arguably the most important part of your contract, check on the terms of a renewal. If there’s no renewal clause, push for it to be added in. Assuming you’re not going to move out of the house for the foreseeable future, it’s unjust to randomly have your rent increased on renewal. In our experience, most landlords settle for an annual 5% increase in rent year on year.
    7. Get everything in writing – Most landlords make blanket promises when giving out their house, make sure you get these promises/guarantees in writing, taking someone at their word can be good for relationships but remember, you’re looking for a house, not a friend.Contracts are important - Read carefully
  5. Inspect your flat – A lot of issues with your apartment can be hidden from a simple look. Inspect these things properly before deciding on whether or not to take the place.
    1. Pipes – make sure there are no blockages and the pipes work smoothly.
    2. Electrical fittings – See if the lights and fans work properly. It’s common courtesy for your landlord to provide these. Else, make it clear on who pays to fix it.
    3. Faucets and shower heads – Sometimes these basic fittings don’t work and nobody checks it out before renting out a place and moving in. Be sure to check these facilities in your prospective flat.
    4. Cracked windows or broken walls – If you can live with a cracked window or a broken wall, then it’s still fine. But make sure you keep photos of these issues before taking up a place. Those photos will come in handy when you’re vacating, trust us on this.Inspect your house carefully
  6. Rules and regulations – Although your landlord may be okay with these things, sometimes the housing society can have a lot of issues with some of the things you want. For example, you might not be allowed to keep pets in your house or you might not be allowed to throw a party. These are things that you should ideally check beforehand. It’s wiser if you ask the landlord these things than asking the society directly. (In Mumbai a lot of Societies require you to give an interview before being able to take a house on rent, so additional caution is advised there)Pets are people too
  7. Negotiate – A lot depends on who your landlord is and whether or not they’re ready to negotiate on the price. If it’s a person who owns a lot of property and runs this as a business, you’re going to find it harder to negotiate a better deal for yourself. If it’s an individual that is just looking to supplement their household income, play hardball, you’ll come out on top. Most landlords also practice up-selling their houses, so negotiating could make your deal sweeter than you think. Keep your poker face while negotiating
  8. Check if your apartment society is smart enough – Last but not the least, check if your prospective apartment complex is listed on http://www.apnacomplex.com by searching for it. If it is, then you’ll notice how simpler your life becomes once you live there. If not, then there’s always something you can do about it; like referring the software to you society or searching for a different apartment altogether.

Five Quick Tips about Better Apartment Management

quick-tips-271x300 Apartment management is becoming one of the most challenging jobs, with growing sizes of apartment complexes in India. With most of the members offering a voluntary service to their apartment residents as a management committee member, the personal life of an individual gets quite affected in dealing with apartment maintenance issues.

At times it becomes difficult for new management committee members to understand which areas to concentrate on to offer their residents a superior experience of staying in the apartment.  Five quick tips for management committee members for better apartment management are: 

Automate Society Billing & AccountingFinancial matter often becomes a bone of contention between committee members. Accounting and book keeping, income and expense tracking, penalty calculation should be streamlined as soon as possible. Try to reduce your reconciliation efforts and try to 100% automate your billing and collection effort. The best option is to employ a software that incorporates tools such as Income Tracking, Penalty Calculation, Maintenance Charges Payment Reminders, Metered Utilities and Payment Gateway offering significant effort reduction without disturbing your current accounting practices and to help you in better apartment management.

Resolve Resident Complaints Efficiently – Resident complaint management is one of the toughest areas one has to deal with as a management committee member. Ensure you set up a system as soon as possible for central tracking of resident complaints, suggestions and requests. The whole process of residents filing a complaint and committee members resolving and closing the issue needs to be automated. Use a software that will help you track the complaints at various stages with an auto escalation mechanism to escalate unresolved complaints. This will increase the resident satisfaction and enhance their faith in the management committee.  

Communicate effectively with your Community – Effective communication with your community is very important. Use community collaboration tools to post notices and reach out to everyone, securely share photos of community events within the society, have healthy discussion on any topic via discussion forums, send important messages/emails to other committee members or residents. Create and publish articles like Policy on Pets, Waste Management Guidelines, Diwali Celebration Tips, and Monthly Newsletter for residents – the list is just endless. For better apartment management, it will be an intelligent move to use a software that offers the facility to use all these communication tools at one go and create a strong communication link with your community.

Manage Apartment Facilities & Staff Smartly – Residents often complaint about how the apartment facilities are not maintained well by maintenance staff etc. Save yourself from the pain of manually overlooking asset tracking, inventory management, parking lot management, maintenance staff and service staff management. Offer superior experience to residents by empowering them to book an apartment facility online! Maintain a central record of visitors visiting your apartment for security purposes. Managing and keeping a check on all the above mentioned areas is a herculean task. What you need is an apartment management software that does it all for you and help you manage all apartment facilities smartly.

Proficiently manage society data – Maintain directory of owners, residents and flats in your apartment in a systematic manner for reaching out to them easily. Maintain list of office bearers and committee members for communicating with them in an effective manner. Centralize all your society data in one place for your own convenience. Create an online presence for your complex and provide details such as amenities available, directions, location of the complex to visitors or interested parties outside the complex.

It’s time for you to move away from countless number of confusing spreadsheets and remember to become a management committee member you don’t need to learn about accounting and facility management anymore. A good apartment management software can do all that for you. What you need to focus on is creating an inclusive culture so that residents collaborate with you to manage your apartment in a better manner.

Don’t just be a complex, be a smart apartment complex. Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today for free!