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Five ideas for a low-budget makeover

Five ideas for a low-budget makeover
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First Published: Thu, Jul 16 2009. 12 09 AM IST

Updated: Thu, Jul 16 2009. 12 09 AM IST
Paint a focus wall
You’ll need...
¼l lustre paints: Rs245-270 per litre
1l base coat/primer (for oil paint): Rs110/l
1l thinner (oil of turpentine): Rs60/l
1 sheet of sandpaper: Rs6
1 paintbrush: Rs250
For maximum impact, pick a focus wall (for example, one opposite the door or the one with less furniture against it). Sketch your design on paper first, keeping in mind the wall’s proportions. Prepare the wall by sandpapering it smooth. Apply the base coat, then the background colour. Once dry, draw a full-size version of the sketch on the wall. Review from a distance every now and then to check proportions. Finally, paint the sketched form. This project may take two-three days to execute.
Using nets differently
You’ll need...
20m net: Rs35/m
2m accent fabric: Price varies according to fabric
Fabricated 2ft metal ring: Rs100
Add a decorative mosquito net above the bed. Use the accent fabric to cover the ring and use it as a hoop to spread the net out from a ring or S-hook embedded in the ceiling. Sew a loop in the centre of the netting to hang it by, and add ties or Velcro to attach the ring. You can drape the net in elaborate folds and gathers for a dash of princess style. Or simply add a gender-neutral splash of colour and softness by using white or a bright colour of netting and letting it fall straight.
Scribble shutters
You’ll need...
Chalkboard laminate: Rs1,200 per 32 sq. ft sheet (8’x4’)
1 kg adhesive: Rs160/kg (approx)
Tape to hold the laminate in place until it dries
Chalkboard laminate pasted on cupboard doors will give your child a huge board without taking away precious wall space. You can buy it from a plywood and laminate vendor. The laminate should be pasted on to a clean plywood surface: Apply a good adhesive on both the door and the laminate; wait a bit before pasting the surfaces together. Ensure that there are no air bubbles. Hold the surfaces together with tape. The adhesive will take about 24 hours to dry, after which you can remove the tape and file down any sharp edges.
Bottle cap magnets
You’ll need...
200g plaster of Paris: Rs20 per packet
Acrylic colours: Rs180 (for a packet of 12)
1 tube epoxy glue: Rs100
Fine-nib black pen for the outline
2 bowls of water
Small magnets (from the hardware or craft shop)
Collect small household objects such as bottle caps and pour some plaster of paris into them. Let them dry for about 4 hours or until set. Remove from moulds and allow to dry totally (this may take up to 48 hours). Then let the children paint the medallions in the colours of their choice. You may outline the shapes with a black pen to define the form. When dry, stick a magnet on the reverse with epoxy glue and set aside until dry.
Old idea, new look
You’ll need...
½l lustre paint: Rs245-270/l
½l primer or base coat (oil-based paint): Rs110/l
½l paint thinner (oil of turpentine): Rs60/l
¼ bag putty: Rs250 per bag
1 sheet of sandpaper: Rs6
1 paintbrush: Rs250
1 paint roller: Rs100
Smoothen the surface with sandpaper. This helps clean the surface as well as remove previous surface treatments or paint, helping your chosen hue to last.
The next step is to apply the base coat for surface preparation. Do this in smooth, up-and-down strokes.
When that’s dry, you’re ready for the paint: Dip the brush in the tin and scrape along the rim in order to remove excess paint, to avoid drips and unevenness. Mimic the strokes you used with the base coat, and then immediately even out the wet paint with the roller. Use the same application technique. Leave to dry. Don’t touch the surface until it is completely dry or you may smudge it.
Water Building Resort — converting air into water
Inspired by a drop of water falling through air, architect Orlando de Urrutia’s Water Building Resort aims at be the first building ever to “convert air into water” with the help of solar power. Solar energy is harnessed by a southerly facade covered in transparent photovoltaic glass that generates electricity as light passes through. The northern facade features lattices to provide ventilation along with Teex Micron Atmospheric Water Generators to convert condensation and humid air into drinking water. It also purifies salty sea and rain water. A water-conscious sustainable building, the resort is proposed for humid coastal regions.
Park (IN) the sky
An elevated park in the sky sits atop the skeleton of an old rail system. Early in June, the eagerly awaited High Line elevated urban park officially opened to New Yorkers. Designed by James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, it rehabilitates abandoned space into a long, winding paradise. The most prominent feature: preserved rail tracks that poke through porous concrete, and cut away in strips here and there to emphasize a linear aesthetic. Shrubs, reedy grass and flowers surround the rust-red tracks in a way that is deliberate but seems natural.
Converting into carpet through recycling
InterfaceFlor India Pvt. Ltd, a Bangalore-based manufacturer of modular commercial flooring, has launched a series of modular carpets called Convert. Made of recycled yarn, these carpets are harvested through InterfaceFlor’s ReEntry 2.0 recycling programme. The company recycles or “reinyarnates” all nylon face fibre into recycled nylon, weaving both its own and competitors’ carpets into Convert. This makes for recycled content as high as 72%. Designed by David Oakey, the Convert collection has 13 patterns, available in anything from 4-24 colourways.
InterfaceFlor India Pvt. Ltd, G1, Pride Elite, 10, Museum Road, Bangalore-560001; Tel: 30589350; www.interfaceflor. in
The Growing Chair
Swiss designer Michel Bussien’s Growing Chair evokes pertinent ideas for the 21st century: nature trapped within the confines of the man-made, manicured to his whim, or a specimen preserved behind glass, much like fossils in a museum. The chair resides on a rolling planter. Willows grow from each leg. Russian vines wrap around the willow. Bussien calls for the use of nature’s complexity in our creations, reconnecting with that from which we evolved. A thought-provoking idea, but we are not sure the Growing Chair will take root at a store near you anytime soon.
Photographs: Pradnya Gulawani
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First Published: Thu, Jul 16 2009. 12 09 AM IST