Homes and gardens

Drive away monsoon blues

Say hello to shades of deep red, sunny yellow, sea green, aqua blue, and hot pink. Teja Lele Desai

The monsoon is truly a magical time. The sky may be dreary and grey, it’s true, but the sombre mood doesn’t need to cast a cloud over your home and hearth. If the wardrobe gets a change with the season, why shouldn’t home décor get one to drive away monsoon blues?

Colour me bright. Colour affects a person’s mood, emotions and health. Each colour permeates an energy all its own and — by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands — can influence thoughts, behaviour and the endeavour to work. So bye-bye dull colours that make a room damp and drab. And hello deep red, sunny yellow, sea green, aqua blue, hot pink and tangerine orange.

Since big-ticket jobs such as painting and wallpapering are best put off till after the monsoon, consider adding streaks of colour across the house; perhaps a change of curtains, a zippy new rug, some cushions to perk up the sofa set?

Drape bright fabric across your sofa or get your neighbourhood tailor to sew vivid slip covers. You’ll see that the addition of colour to any room can completely transform its ambience and feel.

Bring out accessories. Colour doesn’t have to be in big patches only; small spots, courtesy accessories, work well too. Think vases, pots, paintings, photo frames, candles etc. Bring out the metalware — brass and copper tend to add a spot of shine and cheer to a room at a time when sunshine is in short supply. Put away the blues and blacks when it comes to bed linen; opt for bright bedspreads in a variety of hues, designs and textures.

Floral prints in bold colours create a spring-like feel despite the rainy weather. Heavy draperies and curtains can be put away in favour of sheers and lace. Ensure that the lighting creates a warm atmosphere – soft yellow lights create a mellow ambience that goes perfectly with the pitter-patter of rain. Don’t forget colourful flowers: in vases, glasses, mugs and tureens – to create a happy atmosphere.

Green the verandah. Apartment living may mean you’re strapped of garden space, but the monsoon is the perfect time to transform your balcony into a green haven. Even the weather co-operates. Pick up the right planters — clay, terracotta, concrete, ceramic or plastic (only if you must).

The pots should be large enough and should have drainage holes at the bottom. Choose a general-purpose potting soil (suits most plants) at your local nursery and seek the gardener’s help when choosing plants. The decision depends on the amount of sunlight and shade the balcony gets, the height each plant will reach, the amount of space, and how green-fingered you are! Don’t miss herbs such as basil, mint, coriander, lemongrass, curry leaf and aloe vera: nothing like a sprig of fresh garnish!

Consider a water feature such a fountain, bird bath or flowing water sculpture.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 8:40:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/decor-for-the-monsoon/article19516313.ece

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