Moving from UK to Bangalore

Posted on by edificebuilders in Bangalore, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

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Over the last decade, Bangalore has seen an average annual GDP growth rate of around 10%, its population, of over 8 million, has doubled since 1985 and is projected to reach 9.5 million by 2025. If you’re looking to move to a city spearheading the economic surge of India then Bangalore is an obvious choice.

Known as the Silicon Valley of India due to the large number of IT firms that are headquartered or have regional headquarters in the city (for example HP, Oracle, Yahoo!, LinkedIn and homegrown companies Infosys and Wipro), Bangalore is also a hub of aerospace, defence, biotech and telecommunications.2

This scientific and technical ascendancy has not occurred by accident. The Indian government invested heavily in the infrastructure of many large cities post-independence in order to gain competitive advantage, building on the few beneficial legacies of British colonial rule – namely excellent educational facilities like Bangalore University and the Indian Institute of Science.

But Bangalore isn’t all about business. Moving there will introduce you to a vibrant cultural life which centers around the many festivals and holidays that the city celebrates; which includes a homegrown film industry; which makes eating out at the city’s many and diverse restaurants as a key social activity; and which has put Bangalore 3rd among the world’s top 10 cities to visit according to the Lonely Planet.

Moving to Bangalore from the UK

Bangalore’s rapidly growing economy has attracted white collar immigrants from all over the world, with the UK among the most popular sources for professionals and skilled workers.

Moving from the UK to Bangalore is popular among young, single IT professionals looking to bolster their CVs overseas and open themselves up to the sights, sounds and experiences of the Indian subcontinent. It’s also a popular move among young families who want to offer their children a culturally enriched upbringing and a higher standard of living than they could find at home.3

Due to the colonial history, Bangalore has large British expat and Anglo-Indian populations. English is in widespread use, especially in the IT and business parks but also in restaurants, shops and government offices.

Property prices in Bangalore are rising even faster than the GDP: 2012 saw an 18% rise in average real estate prices, from Rs. 35,446 (£418) to Rs.41,839 (£494) per square metre.4

Though Bangalore is by no means a vast metropolis – the metropolitan area is smaller than London – the public transport and roads leave a lot to be desired. Choosing where to live is therefore a decision that should take your daily commute into consideration.

 Comparing Bangalore vs. London

Bangalore experiences wet and dry seasons with monsoon weather occurring between May and October. The hottest temperatures are in April and May when average highs are in the mid-thirties. The record low temperature in Bangalore taken in December and January are just above 10 °C.

The cost of living in Bangalore, as you’d expect, is much, much lower than in the UK. Apart from property prices and rents which amount to a small fraction of those you’d find in London, the groceries, utilities, public transport, entertainment and restaurants are all cheaper.5

While Bangaloreans put up with more pollution than Londoners, they also on an average, report better health care and lower commute times.

Bangalore celebrates Karaga Shaktyotsava or Bangalore Karaga, the city’s oldest festival, for eleven days each spring during which there are rituals, processions, martial arts displays and constant noise. Along with the Karaga, the five day Deepavali and the nine nights of Navratri are other important festivals.


Seven steps to a kitchen garden

Posted on by edificebuilders in Home Tips, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

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Do you want to create your very own kitchen garden at home? Perfect, for there is no better time than now! Gardening is a great stress buster and is often quite relaxing. But it’s important to design your kitchen garden in such a way that you get the maximum utility out of it. The space and time you have at hand will dictate what and how much you can grow. Also, here are the top seven things to consider while planning your kitchen garden:

1. Place them well

Location is definitely the starting point for planning a kitchen garden at home. Often, it is also the most neglected aspect. While it may seem tempting to place edible plants at every empty space around the house, remember the saying, ‘Out of sight is out of mind.’ Your garden must be within easy reach and sight. For instance, you could line pots outside your kitchen window or design a raised bed next to your barbecue. This will remind you to water, deweed and harvest them regularly.

You can also easily go out and pick something when you’re cooking. But if you have a dedicated front yard, plan your edible garden at least two feet away from the foundation of your home since it may leak from time to time. This could affect the pH balance of the soil, ultimately affecting the health of your produce. Build a solid passage for walking across the garden without damaging the crops or dirtying your shoes.images (15)

2. Some sunshine

While location is the starting point of planning your kitchen garden, you must also take into account natural sunlight. Vegetables are sunlight-loving. They yield best with six to eight hours of direct sunlight.

Fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes and squash grow well with eight hours or more, but leafy greens can do well with just four hours or less. Plants like lettuce that prefer cool weather, need to be in the shade of tall plants and can grow through the summer months. All said and done, choose a location that has full sunlight.2

3. Climate controls

Vegetables grow best in an open space that receives about six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. But within this, you must create micro climates to suit different sunlight needs of your crops. Fences, walls and hedges can create these micro climates by keeping your plants protected from the harsh light when needed, as well as ensuring that it does not block out the sunlight completely.

To minimize the shade, line your garden rows from north to south. If you don’t have a place at home that receives six hours of sun, then consider growing vegetables that need moderate amounts of shade like beetroot, broccoli, garlic, lettuce, mint, parsley, radish or spinach.images (11)

4. The soil beneath

Soil is one of the prime drivers of the health of your vegetables. Not only does rich soil improve the overall health of the plant, it also wards of diseases and pests. Have your soil tested before planning your new garden. The test results will help you understand adjustments in soil quality and also its pH balance. Consider soil which is rich in organic matter.

The other route, which is safe and effective to maintain health of your plants, is to create raised beds. Raised beds mean soil that grows six or more inches above the ground. It allows full control over the soil, is free from damage by stepping over, drains well and warms up quickly so you can plant early. Be cautious of drainages and leakages. Vegetables don’t produce well in wet soil. Also, the nutrients you add should not leak out.

You will need to build run-off barriers if your site isn’t leveled. In a similar way, if your site isn’t leveled, you would have water from your driveway flowing into your kitchen garden. But if you don’t have a front yard, use a container garden filled with potting mix for ease and mobilization.images (7)

5. Draw boundaries

Fencing is crucial since you’re not the only one that loves vegetables. Famished critters can dash out your planting efforts sooner than you can notice. It may be a bit of a hassle, but nevertheless, your plants need that protection. You may require fencing both, above and below, your garden, but it doesn’t have to be fancy.

6. Choose wisely

Don’t let the excitement of planning your first kitchen garden let you make unruly decisions about planting beyond your needs. Choose your crops wisely. Grow only what you see yourself eating. Think of all the vegetables you like and how often you use them in your recipes.

From this bundle, grow those that taste better when harvested organically. Also consider availability of these plants in the market, their cost, space requirements and the attention they need.

For example, tomatoes are most popular for an edible garden since they taste better, are expensive outside, use little space, are easy to grow and can be used in almost every cuisine. Similarly, if you host a lot of barbecue parties, it would be best to grow vegetables that taste good when grilled, like corn and zucchini, or plants that you can use in cocktails.

You can also grow peppers, beans and eggplant as they produce continuously. If space permits, you can grow broccoli, cabbage or okra. Potatoes and sweet potatoes take up a lot of space and can only be harvested one time. Corn and asparagus grow tall, so plant them in a place where they don’t block sunlight from reaching other smaller crops.images (9)

7. Maintenance

Lastly, gardens need a lot of effort to maintain. So ensure you plan your week in such a way that you also take into account watering, weeding, pruning, fertilizing and harvesting. Kitchen gardening can be divided into two stages – garden preparation and garden maintenance.

In the first stage, while preparing your garden, you will be turning around the soil a lot. The primary tools required for these are a shovel, fork, trowel and tiller. Once your crops are growing, you will need another set of tools. This will include a hoe, hose, an irrigation system or a nozzle, stakes, twine and pruners.

So, stop procrastinating, strap on your tools and get to work in your kitchen!

Written By: Natasha Menezes 

 

The idea behind honestcollars

Posted on by edificebuilders in Bangalore, Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am Nischay, another software engineer from Bangalore. I have been living in this city for over a year and absolutely love this place. However, problems exist everywhere and some of us are always on the lookout for them. Because we seek to solve problems. I am sure you too see problems everywhere and wish if they could be solved.6

Maybe you find the traffic conditions irritating.

Maybe the slow internet is a problem, maybe you find the hierarchy at your company problematic.

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                                                                 Meter? What meter? 

Maybe the auto-wallas quoting you random sums of money are a problem.

The high prices of movies on a weekend are a problem for some, not having enough time to spend with family is for some. Rash driving is a huge problem for the elderly or those who have a kid on board. If you are a girl maybe you find eve teasing is a big problem, the constant judgment made against you is a problem. Well I guess I can’t stop talking about problems, what I can do is try solve one of them and encourage others to solve some more.

One of the problems I faced in the busy city of Bangalore was finding the right cook or maid. I had to ask friends for their cook’s number and then call him and get more numbers; however I couldn’t find many contacts. Another incident was when the electrician whose number I got from the electrical store closest to my house damaged my geyser instead of repairing it and I couldn’t do anything about it. This problem luckily ended up as a point of discussion with an old friend (Rajat) and we got some initial ideas on how to solve these problems. This led to a lot of phone calls (probably more than you make to your girlfriend) and thus the idea of starting honestcollars was born. Having used sites like Zomato and Flipkart we thought these sites serve dual purpose — help us find stuff and find good stuff.

3                                                                Ratings of a restaurant at Zomato

4                                                                  Ratings of a product at Flipkart

Yes, ratings seem to work for most things. We thought this would work well for finding workers; currently there isn’t any performance review that neither keeps them in check, nor does their exist a portal to find the right person to hire. The entire sector has always been overlooked ignoring how important it is.

2                                 Reviews and ratings at honestcollars

honestcollars can help you find good workers, those that have been rated by their previous employers.

Currently honestcollars serves more than half of Bangalore and helps in finding good cooks, maids, electricians, plumbers, painters and carpenters. We are constantly working hard to get more people registered on honestcollars (you can also refer your worker). Has it been easy? Absolutely no. Solving a problem requires persistent effort, one has to go out on the streets looking for these guys and explain each one how its beneficial for them.

Your home depends on an electrician as much it does on a doctor, wrong electrical fittings have often lead to fires in houses. I would just say why have a bad experience when you can spend that time with your loved ones?

Always get a honestcollar1

I request you to give honestcollars a try, please visit www.honestcollars.com and also tell your friends about it.

Written By Nischay; Founder, www.honestcollars.com

We strongly believe that having good house-help or efficient support services like electricians /plumbers make your home life more enjoyable and hassle free- thus this blog post in our site. Hope you benefit from it.

The Dot: Brahma Vishnu Mahesh

Posted on by edificebuilders in Articles by CMD, Entrepreneurship | Leave a comment

Let’s talk about life cycle of a product or an idea.

There is a creation process, where we hit on this brilliant idea which will either disrupt or give you your wings and financial independence, basically the idea that will change your life. Entrepreneurship is that phase – the Brahma phase, the creator. You create something out of just intent. There are laws to be followed and with a goal in mind not knowing where it will take us; we create and bring an idea to life. We believe that we know all the variables based on our knowledge and go about creating. It’s also like falling in love.creation

Now comes the phase called Businessman or the Vishnu. You start running and managing that idea and handling all the day to day issues. The glamour of creation goes out and it’s about doing things repeatedly and optimizing. The focus is on bringing efficiency and effectiveness. Something like settling down, your married phase.

Shiva or Mahesh is known as the force of destruction or failure but it actually is change. The very same thing which was such an amazing idea has lived its purpose; until we change it, we won’t be able to create afresh. Destruction is a liberating energy, of being able to have a closure on an idea or business which has gone obsolete. You book your losses and start afresh. Or it could be just moving from one product to another (Say how Bajaj Chetak had to be retired so that Pulsar could be born).  I am not sure how to correlate this with being married but I think it’s a phase where we decide to become parents changing the marriage into something different, letting go of your freedom to an extent to enable and experience something much more.images (13)

This is the journey which we are on. I am an Entrepreneur, a businessman and a destroyer (failure) at the same time. I am able to see the learnings of an idea which fails; at the same time have the energy to dive in again with a new idea, all alongside running a business.

Now there is something interesting and worth looking forward to, what happens when we experience all these three phases or let’s say combine Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. We achieve OM, the dot the essence of all that there is. I think that is the outcome of this amazing journey.dot

Written by Mr. Nikhil Thard, CMD Edifice Builders

Ref:

Wikipedia: In Purānic Hinduism, as per Vayu Puranaom is the representation of the Hindu Trimurti, and represents the union of the three gods, viz. a for Brahmau for Vishnu and m for Shiva.

7 tips to get your house Summer Ready

Posted on by edificebuilders in Home Tips, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Summer is here in full swing for most of us. While it is important to think of ways to keep yourself cool this summer viz. keeping yourself hydrated, wearing light cotton clothes and indulging in lemonades, it is also vital to get your house ready for the summer. Some tips from us!1

  1. Check your cooling system:How early in the year you’ll need to crank up the cool will depend on your local climate. To avoid being stuck in stifling heat once the mercury tops the thermometer, however, you’ll want to make sure your air conditioner or cooler is ready to handle the pressure. First, check to make sure the outdoor condensing unit is unobstructed by plants or other objects. Next, change the filters in your system to ensure proper and clean air flow. With those steps complete, turn down your thermostat and monitor the temperature of the air coming from the vents. It may also be useful to check the weather-stripping and caulking around your doors to ensure you’re not using more energy than necessary to cool your home. If required, get a professional tune up on your unit at least once a year. The last thing you want is for your AC to break down when the high temperatures hit!
  1. Clean your ceiling and portable fans: for maximum efficiency and minimum dust. Turn off your fans when not in use.
  1. Skip the oven which can create heat in your home and make it more difficult to cool down. Run appliances like your dishwasher and washer/dryer at night to save energy and money- the humidity created from the dishwasher can compete with the cooling effects of A/C and energy prices may be slightly lower on off-peak hours, such as bedtime.
  1. Change your sheets:Shed the comforter and wool blanket. Sweltering summer months call for lightweight and cool bedding. Cotton sheets are a good, and relatively inexpensive, choice; the natural fiber provides good air circulation and won’t trap in heat. Linen sheets provide maximum cooling effect but also come with a heavier price tag. In their pure form, silk and satin sheets feel cool to the touch and provide a luxurious, lightweight layer. Natural fibers will provide the most breathability and comfort in any type of summer heat.2
  1. Wash your windows:Winter weather can leave a layer of grit, grime, salt, and dirt on your windows. Let in the sunshine by cleaning all of the windows in your house, both inside and out. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Start by filling a spray bottle with a formula of white vinegar and water. Spray the solution onto your windows and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a plastic bristle brush to scrub the salt from your windows. Follow up with a traditional window cleaner and a squeegee to remove any remaining dirt. Start with broad horizontal strokes and finish with overlapping vertical strokes to prevent streaks.3
  1. Prepare your patio/balcony/terrace:Cleaning up your patio furniture should be a relatively easy task, assuming you stored your cushions indoors (always a good idea to avoid mold and damage during the wet winter months). Use the garden hose to rinse off your outdoor furniture and follow up with mild dish soap to remove any stubborn dirt. Chips and flaking paint on wood furniture should be sanded down and sealer reapplied to keep mold and mildew at bay. Before you fire up your grill, be sure to remove any grease or residue leftover from the previous summer’s barbeques. Warm up the grill for a short time to make it easier to remove any residue, but be sure to disconnect the gas before cleaning. Use soapy water and a brass wire brush to remove any baked-on grease.4
  1. Plant a garden:Summer vegetables make a healthy accompaniment to your summer barbeque menus. Tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and lettuce, in particular, thrive in hot weather. Plant your vegetable seeds in direct sunlight that will allow for excess water to drain away from the roots. 5

If you have more tips, feel free to share in the comments section below for the benefit of others. After you’ve done all this, take a dip in the pool or take a shower, indulge in coolers and enjoy the summer.

 

7 benefits of living in a naturally well-lit home

Posted on by edificebuilders in Home Tips, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Have you ever walked into a room and marveled at how the natural light was diffused? Probably not—and for good reason. When lighting is impeccable you hardly notice it. “If a room is lit the right way, everyone looks their best and feels relaxed and comfortable, but they don’t know why.

  1. Abundant natural light in a home not only saves electrical energy, but it gives you more personal energy too. In a normal building, lighting comprises 25 to 40 percent of your energy consumption (and energy bill), says an architecture professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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  1. Another reason to get more light is the positive effect that natural light has on well-being. I can speak from some personal experience: After moving from an apartment with a bedroom that was dark all the time to an apartment with three windows that get morning sun, I can tell you that I am more rested, more ready to get up in the morning and more cheerful throughout the day.Medical professionals are only at the beginning of this research, but so far, it looks like natural light can benefit homeowners in many rooms by reducing seasonal dips in mood, promoting healing, increasing productivity and more.

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  1. For people with seasonal affective disorder, getting a lot of light early in the morning can help reset their internal clock. One way to do this at home is to make sure the bedroom gets plenty of morning light with windows and skylights. Our bodies need a good quantity of light at the right intensity and at the right time of day to act as cues for our internal body clock. Light in the morning helps us wake up and feel alert and energised, while dimmer light at night cues us to go to sleep and stay asleep.

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  1. But I imagine that once you get out of bed, a trip down light-filled stairs like these also would help jump-start your day.

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  1. Getting light in is important to your health, studies say, but so is lookingout your windows. Looking out at gardens brings faster healing in patients and if well-lit views help those who are sick, how much more will they help those who are well?

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  1. Some studies show that a lack of natural light in dining areas may increase the odds of obesity. In one study, mice that ate under daylight gained 50 percent less weight than those that didn’t. Makes you want to have a glass-walled dining room like this one, doesn’t it?

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7.  As long as there’s no glare, light in a home office can increase productivity, minimize mistakes, lessen eye strain, and improve your mood. That’s a lot of gain for some simple window installations — or for some proper furniture placement, as in this office, where the desk is positioned to maximize daylight exposure. Likewise, if your office is sufficiently well lit, it creases productivity too.

8. Can you get Vitamin D from sunlight through your living room windows? The possibility is enough to convince us that the windows in this living room are worth it.

For all these reasons and more, it is essential that we look for a house which is well lit and well ventilated. Light is critical for our health and wellbeing. Ensuring that we receive adequate light levels at the appropriate time of day benefits our alertness, mood, productivity, sleep patterns and many aspects of our physiology.

If you are interested in buying a villa with sufficient natural elements like light, air, water body and nature, do check out: http://edificebuilders.com/villa-valley-in-bangalore.html.  All the photographs in this blog post are clicked from an actual Villa at Villa Valley.

Inclusive growth: Lessons from a 150 year old system

Posted on by edificebuilders in Articles by CMD, Entrepreneurship | Leave a comment

150 years back a lone person starts off from a small town near the border in western India to the farthest corner of Eastern India. After a month of travel and prayers, he reaches a settlement. He had heard that this place is where there is a lot of scope of vyapar, of commerce. He takes up a job with a firm and starts to build on his dream to be economically independent and provide a better life to his family and friends. On his visit to his home town, he shares his aspirations and readies his trusted friend or brother to join him as he sets out to set up his own Dukan.thard-hardwares-300x205There was a genuine feeling to be able to make lives better for everyone he knows and gradually he would get his friends, brother and family to come and join him in the business. The idea was to grow the business and there was a clear understanding that when economic growth happens, lives of everyone improves.This is where the seeds of a business empire was sowed. What is so interesting is to understand the bonding and the compassion with which people managed to create inclusive wealth.

old-shop

I have been fortunate to see that in the early years of my life. Since the physical setup was same, the memory stayed though people moved on to a different business model. My forefathers were from Ratangarh – a district in western Rajasthan area of Shekawati; their karm bhoomi was Tinsukia Assam, the last junction in North east India. As for me, my janmbhoomi / birthplace was Tinsukia and karmbhoomi is Bangalore Karnataka.

I vividly remember the munimji, the numerous admin who managed the retail counter or the person responsible to manage the godown. They were mostly friends of our grandfather’s and had taken the same journey. It was a wonderful system. Dukan was always an extension of the house with the kitchen falling right in the middle.

Dukan always had a gaadi where the cash box was kept and where the head of the family would sit. When they closed for the day, the gaadi turned into a sleeping mattress. There used to be an accounts room if the business was large which also had a gaadi which was used by the munimji to retire in the night.gaadiFood was prepared for everyone in the kitchen by the family members and everyone ate in the kitchen sitting on the floor while sharing exciting stories of the day with the family members, making them part of what was going on outside.The place of work used to turn into a place to stay for the team, saving a lot of time and money and most importantly providing an amazing bonding and feeling of family.

haveliEventually all these people who came to join the business will move out and set up their own business or expand the business into newer locations, to become a stakeholder. Resources were optimized and the efficiency was mind blowing. There was no commute from home to work, no challenges of good food during work hours and no loneliness. People saved money and invested in building spaces which helped the community like schools, dharamsalas, wells back home, places to pray and medical clinics.

I have been fortunate to do this very thing when starting off here in Bangalore. I ended up getting people from Assam (my birthplace) to Bangalore. I am a Vyapari or as we know these days, an Entrepreneur.edifice-office

Written by Mr. Nikhil Thard, CMD Edifice Builders
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Dukan: Shop / Business establishment

Vyapari: Businessman or Entrepreneur

Vyapar: Commerce / Business.

Rasoighar / Rasoi: Kitchen

Gaadi: A cotton mattress laid out on a flat surface with a clean white sheet spread neatly over it.

Munimji: Accountant.

Karam Bhoomi: Workplace

Dharamsalas: Staying places for out of town travelers or to conduct large family gatherings and event, mostly run on charity and the goodness of people.

Chikitsalayas: Medical clinic.

CHARPAI SURFERS

Posted on by edificebuilders in Articles by CMD, Entrepreneurship, Travel | 2 Comments

People have always been travelling, even when it used to take months to reach from one corner of India to another. It’s just amazing how much people relied on the goodness of fellow human beings.

I grew up in a very small town in Assam, Tinsukia. I observed fleetingly, who those peoples were; though they existed much before I started breathing. To me, these men were a different kind of warriors – as they fulfilled people’s wishes and provided them with economic independence. They were the *vyaparis.

I have heard stories from my father and grandfather of how, most of the places didn’t have roads and right behind my old house in Tinsukia, (which is now the heart of the town) there used to be a jungle with cheetahs. Once they left for work to Arunachal Pradesh, family would just pray for their safety and it was only a week or 2 before they got to meet again.

Today when we plan to eat out near our locality, we rely so heavily on apps and peoples recommendations.  Now imagine travelling to a distant land with no connects, taking months to reach the place without any contact with family back home. In midst of strangers in new surroundings, travelling solo and with a job to do. Yeah no one to report to and no progress reports to be sent out but isn’t that being truly fearless? Traders have been doing that for centuries – supplying goods to far off places and leveraging the distance to make profit. They relied only on the goodness of people – fellow human beings.

thard-hardwares

Every small town with resources, built what we used to call Dharamsalas, places where travellers could rest before embarking on to the onwards journey. It was treated as a dharma (duty) to help fellow travellers. In villages with no resources, provisions were kept in the veranda of their homes with a charpai- matka ** filled with water, bedding and a piece of clean cloth. If any traveller was passing by, he could rest and sleep without any obligation. Food was also provided in the morning along with a cup of chai when the head of the family would open the main door. If the traveller reached before the family went to sleep, he would be invited to share the meal with the family. There was a firm belief in “Atithi devo bhavo” i.e. serving the guest is serving God. It was not done out of fear but a genuine compassion – everybody knows the pain of staying away from home and family for too long.

Most of the times, a nice bond was established and people shared stories about each other’s native town, showing the one photo, the traveller would always carry of his family or just plain business information. It was an exciting way of knowing and seeing the world.

Isn’t it exciting to experience such generosity?  How cool it is to see that today some really amazing people are doing that very thing. The sharing economy is bringing back this old world warmth back.  I used to feel that Indians were the only ones who practiced this concept but I guess it’s not that.

People are good inherently and kindness is their basic nature. Given an opportunity, everyone wants to do good. It’s amazing how many people are letting travellers come and stay with them and enjoy the interaction. A century old way of meeting people is back and aren’t we glad to see that.

Written by Mr. Nikhil Thard,CMD Edifice Builders
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Charpai: A string wrapped bed wound over a wooden frame with four legs usually for one person to sleep. (Literal translation of char- four, pai- legs)

*Vyaparis: Traders and businessman or shall we say Entrepreneurs

**Matka : An earthen pot used to store and use drinking water. Keeps the water cool naturally.

6 Ways to Spruce Up an Older Bathroom ( Without Remodelling )

Posted on by edificebuilders in Home Tips | Leave a comment

Mint tiles got you feeling blue? Don’t demolish — distract the eye by updating small details

Some bathrooms never go out of style, with their classic colors and timeless fixtures. Then there’s the other kind: the relics of bygone eras that challenge the eyes with their mint, pink, aqua or raspberry tiles and matching fixtures. If you have an older bathroom you consider out-of-date, here are a few tricks to help you spruce it up without renovating.

  1. Update the fixtures: Usually a pedestal sink will still be in good shape after decades of use, but a leaky faucet and out-of-date sconces will need to be replaced. The style of these two items can transform your bathroom and does not involve changing the tile at all. If you’re dealing with a colored tub, consider having it resurfaced. 
    bronze-bath-fixturesYou can paint the walls and medicine cabinet white and let the tile color —whatever it may be — speak for itself. With a cleaner background, your colored tile could be a new favorite. Keep in mind that even if you do end up ripping out the tile, you can reuse the fixtures in the next phase of your bathroom renovation.
  2. Paint the tiles: It won’t last as long as replacing the tile, but if you really can’t stand the color of your existing tiles, you can paint them. You’ll need a very good primer —typically oil based, not water based. Even if you end up doing some of the work yourself, you should consult a professional painter to review the materials you’re planning to use and your specific wall conditions. Every project is different, and there’s no eraser when it comes to painting tile.
    paint the tilesIf you don’t want to paint all your tile, just paint accent tiles — such as the crown — in a contrasting color.
  3. Live it up: Add fun wallpaper, curtains, a ceiling fixture and painted vanity doors to make your bathroom its own little showplace. Bathrooms are the perfect place to try something a bit more daring or fun than you’d be willing to commit to in, say, your living room.

    liveitup

  4. Work with it: Sometimes the color combinations of tile can be intense. Here, the curtain fabric makes all the difference, adding interest to the bathroom but also helping the colored tiles feel more coherent. Or, instead of drapes, find a shower curtain that packs a punch.
    mosaic
    White towels help keep things calm and bring the wall color into the tile field.
  1. Create a diversion: You can use wallpapers to neutralize the tile color. Your wallpaper can have as much color and pattern as you like — it doesn’t have to be gray or another neutral. Stick to a plain shower curtain if you go for a colorful wallpaper, though, and let the wallpaper do all the work. Just make sure you have good ventilation if you have a shower in your bathroom, so that the paper does not peel off the walls.
    Elegant-wallpaper-bathroom-ideas
  2. Make it functional: Wall-hung or pedestal sinks are always nice to make a tight space look open, but then where does your stuff go? Older bathrooms usually do not have many towel bars or hooks. Adding a wall-hung towel rack above the tile will keep the space open but provide a fair amount of storage. Glass shelves are another alternative to keep toothbrushes, cotton swabs and other necessities organized. Even the containers you choose can add personality, a bit of helpful distraction and a level of cohesion to your bathroom.

Sometimes the details can make a difference in the livability of an old/vintage bathroom. Don’t give up on yours just yet!

7 tips to de clutter your kids rooms

Posted on by edificebuilders in Home Tips, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Young kids love their toys. The presence of toys is one of the key elements that separates a child’s bedroom from an adult’s. Given the diversity of sizes and shapes, the amount of small, removable pieces, and frequency of use, it’s no wonder that toys are the largest source of clutter in any young child’s room. Some simple tips to help you de clutter and add to the beauty of your kids room:

1. Dual purpose storages for the space challenged rooms

Dual purpose storages

In addition to presenting organization conundrums, many kid’s rooms are space-challenged as well. Furniture that serves a dual purpose can help. For example, this play table makes clean-up a snap, thanks to a rolling under-table bin.

2. Portable storage spaces

Portable storage spaces

Your kids may do much of their creative or homework time in the same spot, but they might rotate, too. Storage solutions that can move with them — bins for art supplies, for example — are a great clutter-reducing strategy.

3. Help kids stay organized

stay organized

A clutter-busting system for kids only works if your little ones have a hand in keeping things organized and stored. And you don’t have to wait until children can read to help them establish good storage habits. Baskets, affixed with colourful images showing what’s stored where, can be a great way to help kids learn how to find items themselves and put them away, too

4. Multiple storage

Multiple storage

One type of storage doesn’t solve clutter problems. That’s especially true for kids. Toys, books, art supplies — they are all different shapes and sizes, which is why it’s great to include multiple storage types. Drawers, shelves, and open storage are just a few of the tricks put to use in this family-friendly space. Consider a refashioned dresser bookended by bookshelves for your own off-the-shelf version of this. Another hint: The backs of doors are great spots for message and magnet boards.

5. Add More Storage Than You Think You Need

More Storage

Kids’ passions and needs change as they grow. Even if your storage feels empty when they’re little — filled with just a few books, diapers and toys — as they grow, you’ll be thankful you added extra spots to stash items. This long, low bookcase fills an otherwise empty corner, offers surface spots for future display of knick-knacks, books, and trophies, and has lots of cubes for baskets or open storage.

6. Turn Nooks into Built-Ins

nooks

Extra storage is never a bad thing in kid’s rooms. Nooks are great ways to take advantage of sometimes-wasted areas in what are often space-challenged spots. Slim built-in bookcases filled a narrow niche around this bed, becoming display, storage, and a nightstand all-in-one

7. Put Books on Display

books on display

Kids often have a small group of books that are in heavy rotation. An open shelving system, such as this piece, is a great way to store those titles but keep them within arm’s reach.

Hope these tips help you de clutter your kids rooms. If you have more interesting tips, please feel free to share with other readers by leaving a comment in the comments section.

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