Category: Indoor Gardening

Home improvement – Utilize your home space efficiently

If you live in a home or an apartment that’s commodious enough for one or two people, but still feel like you could use the space better if you knew how to, these are the home decor tips you should be reading. Today, we show you how to make your home look captivating no matter what the size.

 

  • Seamlessness is key
    • A major piece of wisdom that I’ve gained over time, reading various pieces on apartment décor, is that ‘seamlessness is key’. You want to make your rooms look bigger and you can do that by reducing the breakages in colour and hues on the walls. This technique can be applied to fixtures and conversation pieces as well.

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Matching copper tones on the couch and curtains with creamy tan walls

 

  • Utilising corners effectively
    • Place an oversized chair or accent chair in the nook for a comfy look.
    • Stacking books on corner shelves is a smart way to use that part of a room.

Placing a large chair is an effective way of utilizing corners in a room.

 

  • Lighter shades of paint and flooring
    • Using lighter shades on the walls and floors will make the room look bigger and brighter.

A nursery having light walls and a white carpet.

Lighter walls and flooring create an illusion of a wider space.

 

  • Select furniture that makes the room look sizable
    • Avoid making your rooms look cramped by taking advantage of compact and undersized furniture pieces.

A small rotating shoe rack to keep all kinds of shoes saves space better than you could imagine.

A compact convertible dining table with pull-out chairs.

 

  • Floating shelves
    • Floating shelves are a wonderful alternative to chests and drawers. They offer great storage space while not looking bulky and colossal inside a smaller room.

Floating shelves are a smart way of storing stuff used on a daily basis as well as house decor.

 

  • Curtain tints
    • Buy curtains that create a fusion with the walls with their hue. This improves on the ‘seamlessness’ aspect mentioned earlier.

Curtains with well-chosen tints help make a seamless transition and blend in with the wall.

 

  • Hang a proportionally sized mirror
    • A mirror in the room will make it come alive and reflect light inside it.
    • The bigger the mirror, the larger the room looks.
    • Mirrors can be hung horizontally or vertically to make the room look wider or higher.

Notice how bright the room looks with the mirror on the right.

Add depth to the room with a small wall mirror.

An elongated mirror adding height to the room.

 

  • Use transparent movables
    • Pellucid movables make for a more spacious setting than wood or metallic furniture.

A transparent table in the middle is more suited to a smaller room than a wooden table.

A pellucid chair gives the room an airy feel.

 

  • Furniture that doubles up as storage space
    • Storing regularly used objects beneath that coffee table is a clever approach to getting things out of the way.

A table with storage space underneath.

 

  • Foldable/Collapsible furniture
    • Purchase foldable tables or chairs that maximise space inside the house when they aren’t being used.
      Some of these pieces can double-up as ironing boards or other useful surfaces around the house.

A convertible table used for work and as a dining table as well.

A collapsible wall mounted desk.

 

  • In-built shelves
    • Built-in shelves save up space inside a room like no other. No protrusions jutting out at odd places and no jamming your little toe into the legs of an awkward table anymore.

A built-in corner bookshelf.

 

  • Convertible pieces
    • This revolves around the same logic as foldable furniture.
    • Convertible armchair-beds, sofa-bunk beds or collapsible coffee tables are examples of reusable pieces in the living room and in bedrooms.

A convertible space-saving coffee table.

 

  • Matryoshka furniture
    • This is the kind of furniture you’ve seen pictures of but don’t really know what they are called.
    • Matryoshka furniture is named after the Russian doll or Babushka doll that has figurines of a similar shape and smaller sizes inside it.
    • An extremely useful space saver, Matryoshka furniture can be arranged back into its original shape after being used.
    • It reduces the amount of space that is permanently utilised for seating, as the seats can be organised to your liking.

Matryoshka chairs.

Complete matryoshka furniture set .

 

Extra décor ideas

 

  • Vinyl wall art
    • You can’t go wrong with vinyl wall stickers. They are one of the cheapest and quickest ways to transform any room and make it come alive.

Vinyl wall art gives a distinctive look to any room it is used in.

Vinyl alphabet stickers are a fun way to decorate a play room.

 

  • Accommodating greenery in your humble abode
    • Vertical garden displays are not the norm yet, but are a great way of making your house seem less like a concrete box. They bring more of a balanced look and make it a ‘living’ room.
    • This idea is definitely worth a shot, in our opinion. No harm done with extra oxygen around the house, right?

Herb garden in a kitchen.

This room was ‘planted’.

 

  • Wall photo collage
    • Instead of using frames and bulking down the room, creating a collage of pictures in a particular shape would be more practical and fun to look at.

A heart-shaped wall photo collage.

Photographs hung on a wall with lights.

 

  • Decorating the walls with wall tape and foil tape
    • Using washi tape (decorative wall tape) is another way of revamping a dull wall.
    • Foil tape can be used to create designs on a wall, and if done correctly, it can lift the ambience of the room to a point that the room would be unrecognisable.
    • It is the ultimate DIY activity that can be done by anyone from scratch. Pick a design and start taping.

Washi tape used to create frames for pictures.

A skyline made out of washi tape.

Foil tape used as a design on a blank wall.

 

  • String art
    • String art is an easy and fun pastime and you can create any kind of pattern by practising it a little bit.
    • Once you’ve made a design that you think looks like the initial idea you had, put it up on a wall that needs some TLC.
    • Your hard work will surely pay off with all the compliments and admiration coming your way.

 A dandelion made out of strings and pins.

String art of a dog paw.

 

 

Having a smaller space to live in can be very interesting if you make it that way. Rooms, no matter what size, can be altered by the furnishings and embellishments one places in them. Smaller homes can be a challenge to decorate but it is a very enjoyable experience. If you know what you’re doing and you know you’re doing it the right way, the end result is bound to leave you more than just satisfied. Try these suggestions to visually expand room sizes and you won’t be let down. In fact, your home will undoubtedly look as fresh as paint.

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Oota from your Thota – Greening Bangalore’s Terraces and Balconies

ApnaComplex organized the Oota from Thota event on Sunday, 8th Jan, 2012 at Electronic City, Bangalore and here is the participants perspective of the event.

There was a sizable crowd of green enthusiasts with personal passions of greenery, gardening, no-plastic, organic farming and community well-being, bonding together through a common thread on this platform. Delighted to see participants coming from far distances such as Hanumant Nagar to attend the event and that’s true passion!

The pace got set with a talk from Dr.Viswanath of Garden City Farmers Trust – who presented some hard facts on the kind of food that we eat today. The dangers of consuming pesticides-ridden food taking their toll over a period of time was emphasized to create awareness. Though the speech was an eye-opener, all hope was not lost yet. Be it a terrace or a balcony, Dr. Viswanath & Laxminarayanan, also from Garden City Farmers Trust, showed the basic steps of planning for a garden, soil, grafting, seeds, seasonal plants etc. Pictures and success stories were shared on how even amateurs grew their own vegetables like capsicum and brinjal and fruits like the papaya and grapes in as little as 2ft by 2ft by 2ft space.

Oota from Thota by ApnaComplex - Session in progress

Oota from Thota by ApnaComplex - Session in progress

Following this, was another inspiring session from the Ms.Vani Murthy, another go-green expert who gave an actual demo of the materials that can be segregated in our day-to-day rubbish from our homes. Simple things like dry leaves, vegetable peels that can be separated out and mixed with soil and shredded newspapers to create nutrient-filled compost for plants. The difference between recyclable and reusable materials was also spelt out for the rapt audience.

The way the questions and queries from the audience till the very end were answered reflected the passion of the speakers.

Finally there were the packed stalls relevant to the theme of the day. Kids and their family thronged to the tasty organic chaat and snacks stall put by In the Pink. Then there was the unique and surprising flavours of homemade jam from Nature in a Bottle that teased your taste buds – you couldn’t resist taking home a bottle or two. For those looking to start their own kitchen garden, they were spoilt for choice of the garden tools and instruments, and exotic seeds by Varsha Enterprises. There was on display and sale, a variety of very informative and cost effective composting products and solutions from “Daily Dump” right from offices to homes to communities. Also present was Opron Biotech providing digital diagnostic equipment such as Thermometers, Blood Pressure Devices.

All-in-all a very satisfying and different way to spend a Sunday – one small step for the conscientious citizen. Heartening to see the pockets of change and hoping that this cascades into the right direction for Bangalore and rest of the world.

The event was supported by Garden City Farmers Trust, Celebrity Paradise Layout and Citizen Matters along with ApnaComplex.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!


Indoor Gardening 101 – Plants That You Should Avoid

Growing plants in and around your house can be very beneficial; however, there are certain plants that you should avoid growing indoors in your apartment. Plants and shrubs provide a variety of benefits as they add on to household décor and purify the air – but not all of them are suited for indoor gardening.Plants that should be avoided

You should take proper care while selecting the plants for your indoor garden of your apartment and should also garner enough knowledge about the characteristics of the chosen plants.

The Basic Factors

You should choose a plant that falls within your budget and doesn’t require more time and care than you can afford. With kids, patients and elderly people around, you should also be well aware of the harmful effects that certain indoor plants can have in order avoid any unwanted complications like:

  • Asthma
  • Allergy
  • Rashes or scratches
  • Poisoning

Plants You Should Avoid

Generally avoid growing plants of the below given categories.

  • Plants that are infested and act as hubs for pests
  • Plants that possess unhealthy foliage, that is, foliage with undersides that show signs of infections or diseases
  • Plants which have spots or blotches, wilted foliage, brown leaf margins or yellow leaves
  • Plants whose leaves are either torn or treated with certain agents that provide an artificial polish
  • Plants whose light energy requirements are more than what you can provide in an indoor environment
  • Weak plants which do not have any leaf buds or new flower with some young plant growth
  • Plants which do not have the capability to acclimatize, adapt and survive in the indoor conditions or your home setting

Plants That Spread Pollen

People suffering from asthma must avoid growing plants or trees which produce lot of pollen. Given below are a few plants and trees that you should avoid growing in your indoor garden or community garden if you are asthmatic or stay with a person who’s allergic to pollen.

  • Ash
  • Amaranthus
  • Birch
  • Beech
  • Crocus
  • Cypress
  • Coneflower
  • Elderberry
  • Juniper
  • Oak
  • Poppy
  • Privet
  • Peony

Plants That Are Potentially Poisonous

Plants that you should avoid growing in your indoor garden, in order to prevent poisoning, have been given below:

  • Azalea (Rhododendron)
  • Monkshood (Aconitum)
  • Bleeding heart (Dicentra)
  • Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Yew (Taxus cuspidate)
  • Cherry (Prunus)
  • Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
  • Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Wisteria
  • Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Larkspur (Delphinium)
  • Jimsonweed (Datura)
  • Lantana (Lantana camara)

Other Plants to Avoid

There are certain plants which can cause illness on consumption. Although adults might be prudent enough to stay away from these, kids might surrender to curiosity and succumb to poisoning or illness by eating parts of these plants.

  • Wisteria
  • Cotoneaster Berries
  • Rhubarb
  • Rhododendron
  • Honeysuckle
  • Delphinium
  • Bluebells
  • Fuchsia
  • Snowdrop
  • Pyracantha Berries
  • Mistletoe
  • Laburnum
  • Privet
  • Lupin
  • Holly (berries and leaves)

Growing plants in apartment complexes has grown as a hobby; and you should pursue it only after gaining complete knowledge about the pros and cons involved with the activity. It is essential for you to be educated about the dangerous effects caused by some plants and the different ways in which you can tackle those effects.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!


Indoor Gardening 101 – Growing Vegetables in a Housing Society Flat

People assume that maintaining a vegetable garden in the city is something that’s unthinkable, but if you stay in a apartment flat with a balcony or a veranda, you can build a small vegetable garden of your own. Although this might seem like a difficult proposition, it can be achieved with minimal effort and good planning.Indoor gardening

There are a number of factors that will play an important role when you try and start your own vegetable garden, including:

  • The type of containers you use
  • The vegetables that you’re planning to grow
  • The space available for growing these vegetables

Choosing the Right Vegetables

With a little creativity and research, you can set up a fresh herb and vegetable garden with simple vegetables like tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers and eggplants. Also, you can consider growing herbs like curry leaf, mint and coriander plants. Although potatoes and onions are also easy to grow, the space available in a housing society flat will not be enough for these plants.

Choosing the Right Containers

Choosing the right container for growing vegetables is essential. Small containers are sufficient for growing plants like chilly or curry leaf. Capsicum and cucumber plants may require more space and you will have to buy bigger pots for these. Window boxes can be purchased as they are convenient and they also look attractive.

You can go earthen by purchasing terracotta or stone pots. The only disadvantage of using these pots is that moving or shifting them may be difficult as they can be quite bulky and heavy.

Wooden pots for growing vegetables may look aesthetic but they’ll emit a foul smell after continued use, so it’s better to avoid these. Always place plastic saucers beneath the pots so that excessive water does not spill out.

The Guide to Growing Vegetables

Tomato seeds or bitter gourd seeds can be purchased and sown in the container. The soil that is used for growing vegetables should be clean, free of pollutants and moisture retaining. Compost can be added to the soil for increasing its fertility and organic kitchen waste can also be added to the soil.

Plants require moisture, and for this reason, watering your vegetable garden regularly is important. Excessive watering may lead your plants to rot, so you need to pour the right quantity of water every single time.

Organic fertilisers should be your preferred choice when compared to chemical ones. If you are planting tomatoes, then try and grow a garlic plant close by so that insects and pests can be kept at bay. This method of ‘companion gardening’ will help in giving you better produce.

Seasonal vegetables need to be sown during the months of April, May and June as this is the ideal season for planting. Over exposure to sunlight may hamper the growth of your plants, so make sure that you don’t place them directly under sunlight in your balcony. Choosing high quality seeds will ensure that your plants grow more quickly and the vegetables that you get will be fresh.

Ensure that you read up on proper watering techniques and what each plant uniquely requires so that you don’t face too many issues when you set up an indoor vegetable garden.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!
ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

Indoor Gardening 101 – How to Create and Maintain a Balcony Garden in your Apartment

With the space constraint that’s prevalent in cities, it can be a tad difficult to plant big trees and plants or own independent houses with gardens – but you can create your mini garden in your very apartment!

Indoor Gardening

Indoor plants can help in improving the overall appearance and lend an aesthetic appeal to your house in an apartment complex. Although the idea might seem quite hard to implement, it is possible to have a green surrounding if you use your balcony optimally by growing some indoor plants.

If you have access to the apartment complex terrace, you can talk to the managing committee and lend a touch of green and spruce up the overall environment there too.

Choosing the Right Plants

Depending on the amount of space you have in your balcony, you can decide on what plants your indoor garden should sport.

#1 – Regular Plants
If you’re not too keen about flowering plants or other categories, you can opt for regular plants which will add a hint of green to your interiors. If your balcony is well shaded, you can opt for plants like the Chinese Evergreen Plant and the Snake Plant. These grow well even in dark spaces and don’t require too much sunlight. English Ivy is another plant that you can opt for, while setting up your indoor garden.

#2 – Flowering Plants
Certain high rise apartments provide separate spaces for flower beds in all flats so that people can place their flowering shrubs. You can grow brightly coloured flowering plants in earthen pot containers. Your balcony space can also accommodate small flowering and fruit and bearing plants.

The choice of flowering plants is important and you can opt for peace lily plants or poinsettias. The quintessential rose bush can also give your balcony an attractive look. Get plants and shrubs that are of medium height so that maintaining them is simpler and hassle free. If you like shrubs, you can also grow a hibiscus shrub and the flowers from these plants can be used for everyday purposes as well.

#3 – Climbers and Creepers
If you like climbers and creepers, your balcony can be an ideal place to grow them once you provide the right kind of support. Climbers will have soft stems and these can grow out of control if you don’t maintain the garden properly and restrict their growth. Ideal options for climbers would be the Grape Ivy Plant, the Bleeding Heart Plant and Clematis. If you want to opt for creepers, Bougainvilleas will be a good choice.

#4 – Ornamental Plants

Ornamental plants can also be planted in your indoor garden, although you’ll have to note that these are high maintenance options. You can go for plants like Magnolia, Flowering Dogwood, Jacaranda and Cassia Javanica.

The choice of tiles and bricks that you use is important too. They need to get along with the home décor and should not look starkly different, singling out the balcony from the main living space. With a proper indoor garden, you can bring in some zing into your apartment.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!