I am very fond of decorating my house. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved drawing and painting the pictures of houses, with intricate details of bed room, drawing room furniture, dining room table and kitchen. I used to draw beautiful curtains on the windows, decorate dining table for a party with beautiful crockery and glasses, cakes with icings and what’s not!

As I grew up, I found this to transform my own room in my parent’s house. Then luckily as I grew older, God blessed me with my own house! We all eleven siblings were brought up in a big double story house that was owned by my parents. As we grew up, and all my brothers and sisters started getting married one by one, they were headed to a new house of their own after some time of being living together. After my father’s death, elder sister, my mother and me were there to look after that big house. It became very difficult for us to maintain that house so my all-family members decided to buy that house by four of us and distribute the inherited share to all the rest. After buying that house by my one sister, two brothers, and me, we demolish that house and rebuilt four apartments in it, one for each of us. So luckily I got a house of my own. As I never ever could think of living somewhere else than in my old house as it has rich memories of my parents and I want to be connected with them. So this way God helped me to have a house of my own where I feel secure even being a single lady but with my loved ones living in the same boundary wall.

Whatever I like as my hobbies is portrayed in the interior decoration of my house. Now I have a few tips to share with my friends, colleagues and relatives regarding it

First of all, know this that home is not instantly decorated. It occurs bit by bit gradually and slowly and one day it transforms into a beautiful place.

One does not need a lot of money to spend for each and everything to decorate the house at once. Do not think that until you have every furniture piece, carpets, curtains and air conditioner available, only then you will take interest in your house. Be patient, you can transform any corner of your house even if you think you have nothing to decorate. Just place a rug that is buried in your chest, old enough to be forgotten about, put a chair and a small side table, lit a lamp and place a fresh green plant near it. Put a few cushions on the floor and place some mud bowls or pots bought from roadside potters and keep pebbles and seashells in them. Now enjoy a cup of tea while reading a book and listening to your favorite music! If you have an old chair, put a cushion on it or buy a cane chair, which is not expensive. Do not wait for an expensive couch that you would buy after saving a lot of money. You can buy a twig of artificial flower from a nearby shop or a real plant from nearest nursery.

The most important thing is that your room should have adequate ventilation to have fresh air and light entering your rooms. This gives one sense of healthy positive energy (Feng sui). Do open your windows in the morning and evening and part the curtains for that. Keep them closed with curtains drawn in the after noon only.

Never discard or let your elders discard any piece of old furniture. One can always refurbish it with a new look. I also got very old pieces of furniture that my father had of about 40 years old and I asked my carpenter to upholstered them or transform into new pieces by painting them with matt deco white! For this preservation and transformation one needs money but it will be less than to buy something totally new…it will be far more expensive. Plus old furniture brings you memories of your loved ones who bought them in the house and keep you connected with values.

I never like furniture with fixtures because I keep on changing the setting of rooms after some time to give me fresh look and joy!

What I like is that whole house walls should be of white or ash white in color. All rooms should have off white or earthy tone curtains on the windows of bedrooms but in the lounge you can have floral prints with pastel colors for curtains. Now you can place plain different color bed sheets with matching cushions, flower twigs in vases and matching doilies and mats. If you have four different colors of bed sheets, turn your bed room yellow with yellow sheets, yellow mats and yellow flowers then fortnightly you can change to blue color scheme while putting all yellow things in cupboard after washing. You can have floral cushion on your bedroom chair also! Every time I change the sheets, I feel happy!

For a lounge, if you have an upholstered sofa, keep two or three chairs with loose cushion covers and select clothes for cushions that go well in contrast with upholstered sofa. They could be in different contrast colors. Their covers can be changed in few months to change the color scheme with matching tablemats, flowers and pots.

Always keep all the corners of the room visible. No window could be blocked by any piece of furniture or bed so that you cannot open it and part the curtain aside. Anything out of sight will become dirty and dusty and will not be approachable for cleaning. Open your windows every morning and evening and draw the curtains apart so that out side view is visible. Try to keep outer area also clean and grow plants along the wall so that you can see greenery from your window glass. If you have no place to grow plants then keep small pots with plants that can grow in that area. It will give you serenity. You can water them from inside your room window!

I have no place to make a garden but it is never a hindrance to have greenery. One can have a patio garden or even a hanging garden on your grill door or window. Put different small plants in different small pots and water them daily and see how beautiful they look!

Make your study room as cozy as possible. Make a wall for photo frames and convert it in your own gallery.

If you have a small verandah, or a balcony, convert it into a garden and by placing artificial green grass carpet and by hanging a hammock there. Grow green plants on soil lanes along the boundary walls and try to grow some scented flowers like “Jasmine”, “Motia” or “Raat ki Rani” that give fragrance when you relax in the hammock! Hang some wind chimes on the wall too.

One very important thing is frequent de cluttering that is required to get rid of extra items. I suggest there should not be any store in the house because then we dump any unused article over there without thinking even for a minute. I do not have a store so I decide immediately if I do not need or want anything. I just discard it or if it is a usable item I give it to my maid if she likes it or it can be donated to Edhi center. I have a big built in cupboard where I keep my winter or summer clothes or comforters and some necessary items that I use in change of weather. I feel so comfortable that I have no store because store makes us lazy to hide every unwanted thing inside the junk! Later we do not even remember what is lying there and even at times of need, we will never dig it out. So if from the very beginning we try to organize our things, we can always find them on time. We should make a habit to organize our document, bills etc.

I followed all these and one day I found myself in a nice place that is my home!
Dr. Zeba Hisam