His was a clumsy bachelor pad and hers a girly den before the two got married and moved into their romantic nest. Looking simply at the bare walls and empty spaces of a house can be quite intimidating for a newlywed who has before them the trying task of creating a home, and then sharing it with each other. Even if nothing like a sprawling Beverly Hills condo, you would still want yours to be homey and aesthetic with a reflection of your personality. But most couples undermine the beauty of the experience of doing up the house together, and in the process discovering a lesser-known side of one another. Contrary to popular perception, home decor doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg, even for a honeymoon-return couple who wish to create for themselves a haven of romance.

By giving flight to your imagination and a dint of creativity, you can do wonders with your small space despite the budget. But remember patience with each other is paramount in this phase as you are bound to have one too many disagreements, and might end up discarding potential home decor pieces from the old attic.We try to make your time setting up the house less harrowing by getting interior design duo Sumessh Menon and Vivek Popli of Trikaya Interiors along with Shivika Bhasin of German kitchen and home furnishing brands Hacker, Hulsta and Rolf Benz, to share their impressions.

Living room
It wouldn’t be inappropriate to say that the living area is the heart and soul of the house. You host your guests in that space, you often sit down to breakfast there or simply lie around reading on a weekend. And so, the choice of furniture among other items of decor such as paintings, lamps, and vases, becomes vital in deciding the personality of the house. Go for contemporary straight line furniture as it makes the room look serene post wedding celebrations.Wicker furniture is another great idea and is quite popular in the West too for their chic designs and affordability. You can get them designed and colored to your liking and toss bright cushions on them. Espresso brown, wine red and white are the classic shades in wicker.

Shivika insists on sprucing it up with contrasting color cushions in heart shape and keeping the contours of the couches soft to give a sensuous, romantic feel to the living area. For a sense of dimension, introduce a conversation piece chair, suggests Sumessh Menon, in a colour that stands out from the rest of the furniture.

Dining area
The world is going minimalist in a big way over home decor. In keeping with the trend, and not to mention the occupancy of the house, a couple should go for a dining table comprising two chairs and a bench. “This is a very creative way to break the monotony, and make optimal utilization of space,” feels Sumessh. To give your space a rustic look, you can even do up the wall facing the dining table with brick tiles, and hang a few lanterns or a beautiful colored glass lamp.

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A creative wall notwithstanding, lighting gone wrong can mar the effect of a tastefully done up interior. Aside from pedestrian lamps, the dining area should also have the option of dimmers, mood lighting or indirect cove lighting. Spread a pretty cutwork tablecloth and table runner for an elegant look. To enhance it, you can place a glass bowl of rose petals and candles in the center of the dining table. “Keeping fresh fruits in a crystal bowl is another way out,” Shivika adds.

You can lay out your coffee table in the lobby area which is otherwise used only as an access path to adjoining rooms. For a chic look, pick a low coffee table with low stools. It makes sense to stack some books, a scrabble, some stationary and a coffee mug on the table to make this part of the house look in-use. The coffee table, however, need not match with the other furniture bits in the house. More creative ones can get logs of wood converted into coffee table and stools with help from a carpenter.

If you have more room, why not spread out a rug and throw in some blingy, over-the-top cushions. Pottery lovers can scatter terracotta vases that come in interesting shapes, or as Sumessh would prefer, different sizes of aquamarine pottery clustered together in a corner to lend your home a soothing Mediterranean feel.

Our experts advice, “Let the woman have her choice of colors splashed on the wall.” Post wedding women in particular are very possessive about their bedrooms and would rather do it up their way. So, she can have her pinks and fuchsias on the walls, and maybe you can convince her to leave a wall vacant for a nice wallpaper. Create a collage of wedding and honeymoon photographs and hang it on an empty wall in the bedroom or the anti-lobby leading to the bedroom. Television is a must in this room, and never the living room like many do. Make sure the bed is placed against the dead wall, and no where close to a window.

But ensure you have a multi-purpose bed with pull-out breakfast consoles, mobile ancillary tables for morning tea. The dressing table can be lightweight with spacious drawers to stock cosmetics. Use wooden blinds, bamboo chicks for an aesthetic look; or go all out with sheer curtains along with the main one. The latest doing the rounds in home interiors is a walk-in wardrobe, and every newly married girl dreams of owning one. Shares Sumessh, “Walk-in wardrobes are not a far-fetched idea even in a small setup. You can always convert the lobby connecting the kitchen with the living room into a walk-in closet.”

Modular kitchens, says Shivika, come with an option to change the fronts anytime. Place the crockery in tall cabinets lit up with LED and illuminated shelves. Use wall hung cabinets for the light crockery pieces, add a corkboard to hang pots and pans, and make use of inbuilt appliances to organize your kitchen better.

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