Creating and living with beauty in your home.

It is all about managing to bring beauty into your home.

 

We are surrounded with  art and beauty in nature.  Nature is an artists’ greatest inspiration. It is only natural to want to bring this beauty inside our  homes as well.

I’ve shared some beautiful homes with you, and have lined up some more for you in the future . Have you noticed the beauty in the home belonging to my friend Unzila here? Also the home of my friend Munazza here. I know you must be thinking these must have cost the earth! Probably they did. Yet, I’m sure the beauty part of it, can come with far less expense too.

 

The motto of my College of Home Economics is Beauty is truth and truth is beauty.

It is so true. One of my favorite verses in Urdu is:

Sochiye to husn kaafir kutch nahi,

Daikhiye to daikhtay reh jayiye!

If you think about it, beauty is nothing.

When you look at it, you can’t stop looking!

 

We look for new forms and shapes of beauty in our lives all the time.

Anyone with aesthetics always gets more attention from others. You see the great fashion icons being followed on Instagram due to their aesthetic sense.

Take a step further; beauty can be in thoughts, living styles, poetry, prose and music. You look for it in all the creative works. Sometimes, there is beauty in renditions of music and it is about your individuality.

All this is vital in our lives. Otherwise, life wouldn’t be worth it.

All my life, we used to move house every year or so. Sometimes, when we moved into a place, we knew it was just for a few months. I’m so glad, I’d do up our one-room make-shift apartment with as much beauty as I could. I’d put up paintings, drapes, lamps and furniture to make it a charming home for my husband and children to come home to.

In the end, my husband never got to live in the home that we were building together. It feels good to know, he always lived in a home which felt like a home always. As far as I’m concerned , the house where my husband and children live is our home, (whether it is rented, joint-family or one’s own!)

I’ve known people living in homes like garages. Stark and bare. This is consciously done. It is extremely unpleasant to the eyes. Then often you see them cribbing about everything. It is up to you to make yourself happy within your given or chosen surroundings.

Let me show you how you can do it:

  1. Cleanliness: A dirty place is dirty. It is nauseating and disgusting. So, do regular cleaning on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis.

  2. Tidiness: you must allocate a place for everything and put everything in its place.

  3. Choose a style that reflects your taste: Now, you can surround yourself with anything that you love. There are somethings which are a sure shot way to beauty.

    My style kit:

    1. Pictures of family, paintings, drawings.
    2. Flowers, plants, pine cones, sea shells, plant roots.
    3. Spot lights and lamps.
    4. Books and magazines.
    5. Music.
    6. Scented candles.
    7. Fairy lights.

Once you have set up your place, you need to maintain it by making a daily & weekly plan. Share your vision with your staff and family. So, you all need to be in sync. Believe me, I’ve done this all my married life.

Let me share  the daily plan I’ve prepared yesterday; it is already up on our kitchen fridge for my staff. The other copy is here next to me. You see the work has to be done, whether you do it, or you delegate it.

Staff duties: daily time table: 

Time 8.00 -9.00 am 9.00 -12.00 pm 12.30 -2.00 pm 3.00-5.00 pm 5.00-7.30 pm. 7.30 – 9.00 pm.
Hasnain. Breakfast

Clean car, Gates,

Geysers:

(7 am)

Dusting: Basement, kitchen cleaning.

Porch area

Make shopping list.

Pay bills.  Cleaning/ polish.

M. bed rm

Change bed sheets

Lunch: shopping for Rahim.

 

2.00 – 3.00 Tuition class.

 

Rest and break.

Tea & snack.

 

Check inside garden,

Dinner,

Clean kitchen.

Put dishes back. Nothing on sink.

Remove garbage.

Sabir:

(My parent’s helper, whom I manage too!)

Breakfast: of Porridge, boiled eggs, & Roll or slice.

Change & bathe sahib.

 

 

Put off geysers.

Make beds,

Clean & tidy bedroom & bathroom of sahib.

Dusting:

Dr. rm, tv lounge. Dining rm.

12.00 pm: Give Glass of water.

 

Dusting:

Dr. rm, tv lounge. Dining room.

 

Rest and break.

 

Tea & snack.

Check outside garden. Remove any papers etc.

Make sure garbage bucket area is clean.

Dinner,

Clean kitchen.

Put dishes back. Nothing on sink.

Remove garbage.

Hasnain & Sabir duties between 9.30 – 12.00 pm. Mon:

Khirkiyan aur sheeshay saaf karnay hein.

Baahir ki railing saaf rakhein.

 

Tues:

Furniture ko polish karna hai.

 

Bistar ki chadrein badalni hein.

Wed. Kooray ki balti saaf,

Bahir ki kursian aur maiz saaf karna hai.

 

Thurs: Batiyan aur sheeshay saaf karein,

 

Chaadron ki almari theek karni hai.

 

Fri:

Qaleen dhonay hein, pankhay aur nalkay saaf karnay hein.

 

Sat/sun: Gariyon ki safai, undar say.

 

Apna karma aur kapray saaf rakhein.

 

 

 

Rani Mon:

GF:  cleaning.

 

Dust / clean W’s rm.

M. Bed rm.

Tues

Basement:

bedroom, dr. rm, loung, kitchen,

Outside.

Wed

GF:  cleaning.

M. Bed rm.

Dust / clean w’s rm.

M. Bed rm.

Thurs

GF:  cleaning.

Dust / clean w’s rm.

M. Bed rm.

Fri

Basement:

bedroom, dr. rm, loung, kitchen,

Outside.

Sat/Sun.

GF:  cleaning.

M. Bed rm.

Dust / clean waliya rm.

M. Bed rm.

How to follow this duty chart:

Each staff member is clear what is expected of him or her. You too can check  them, by referring to the chart. (As it is a shared vision, it is easily possible). I make a drawings of the clock of that time, too if needed. I try to educate them in my spare time. Recently, I’ve kept a tutor to have one of them taught.

As you see I’ve written some stuff in Roman Urdu for them.  You can write in Urdu script even, if needed. Also, go over it all with each one, to see if they’ve understood it.

 

What about you?

Do share your thoughts with me. I’d love to know it.

More Links to inspiring bloggers:

I’d love you to follow these inspiring bloggers (if you aren’t already doing so!)

Shahzeen link: http//www.the desiwonderwoman.com

Urdu Mom Link: http//www.urdumom.com

Diary of a PMP Mom: http//www.diaryof apmpmom.com

Vital point:

I know, many of you keep telling  your husband how educated you are,  and deserve to be given your due. Very true.  Show him how educated you are, by the way you  manage your  home. It is wonderful to walk into a home which is well organized, beautiful and in the hands of a capable homemaker. 

 

 

Stay blessed, my wonderful Readers. Remember, I am here, because of you.

Note: Special thanks to Nataliya for her amazing photography,  the rest of the photographs are taken by myself.

Café Garage – a refreshing addition.

– A perfect place to hangout for the youthful among you.

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‘ Cafe Garage, is a new place in E-11,  which is quite interesting. It has a garage look and is called ‘garage’ too!’ My daughter mentioned it to me, some time back. I made a note, to check it out, and forgot about it. Recently, when I visited it, I found it quite fascinating. Apparently, it had its ‘soft launch’ in February 2018. It is a different kind of place, designed for the youth and youthful in mind.  I’m sure you’d love to know more about it.

Some days ago I got a text from Mahroosh, one of the partner/owners and we had a snack there. It turned out that their other partner Basil (who is an electrical engineer) is running the place. It was designed by their third partner Ebne Sajjad (Noni) who is an architect from NCA. I really loved its’ plan. So original, and it has several levels to it. The best part is that it is functionally designed, and has an open plan. So you can see the whole place from wherever you are sitting.

Continue reading “Café Garage – a refreshing addition.”

An Elegant Home – Part II

20180918_151914After my last blog post on this Elegant home in Islamabad, many people wanted me to do more posts like it. (Actually 87% of you!)  So, here is the rest of my friend Munazza’s home. In case you missed the last post Here it is.

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A beautiful home is probably everyone’s dream. 20180918_152102.jpgWe all would love a beautiful ready-made home to live in. But we also know that a lovely home like this doesn’t just happen. It is years of constant loving care that goes into it. We know, it needs constant maintenance, buying of expensive items and lots of care.

 

The best thing is that whenever you invest in  your home, and take care of it, then you can enjoy the things for years to come. When the family is surrounded with such beauty, it is reflected in the temperament of the inmates too. 20180918_152231.jpg

Its been great meeting my friend Munazza and her husband AVM Qasim through the years, actually about twenty four years. Many of the items you see here, have been with them for a long time. She has  kept the furniture looking  fresh and new. Even I have many furniture items which my parents got for me when I got married.  Just re-upholstering the furniture and getting the wood  polished makes a big difference.

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Adding new things which will blend in with the stuff you already have makes all the difference. Everyone is welcome at her home. Whenever I go over, I find her husband’s or her own family members there. When her brother-in-law got posted to Islamabad, she asked him to stay with them. So, she is so big-hearted, that her hospitality and open-house is there for long term also. Her mother-in-law has her own room here too, and the guest room is always full. When my daughter Nadiya got married, the entire baraat – boys’ family stayed with her.

Here are the interior points that I love in her home, which you can have in yours’ too:

 

  1. A home needs to be beautiful and comfortable as well. Specially, it is important for the guests to feel welcomed here. 42254666_2157130270986920_4583052618221223936_n.jpg
  2. When you have an interior with many artifacts and art works in it, then the upholstery of the furniture needs to be self-colored and plain. So that it makes a good back ground  to let you look at the art works without being distracted.
  3. Having natural plants inside the house is great also. Every room has plants outside its’ windows. So, one feels close to nature at all times.
  4. Books and book shelves are in most rooms. Their daughter Maha loves books, and has a unique book case in her room. 42119631_2157130384320242_414035487284527104_n.jpg
  5. There are artificial flowers too, but these are blended in so beautifully with real plants that it all looks lovely.
  6.  The carpets, furniture, books and paintings reflect harmony in choices. Blending these with the traditional styles together.
  7. The look here is definitely grand, traditional and stylish.
  8. The dining room is the perfect setting for the grand dinners which are given here. The delicious dishes cooked by Munazza and the line up of different cuisines is something to relish and enjoy. 20180918_182056.jpg
  9. It gives a happy and comfortable ambiance full of items reflecting their taste. The best part is that it is all very comfy.
  10. 20180918_181929It is important to be clear about the kind of style you want to have in your home, so whatever you buy fits in with the original style. In this way,  the whole house has that same ambiance every where. 🙂

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An Elegant Home in Islamabad.

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Truly, I cherish my friends. Especially the ones whom I’ve known for a long time. Maintaining these friendships is my greatest happiness and joy.

 

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AVM Qasim and Munazza have been known to my husband and myself since 1992. (I’m sure my husband has known bhai for a much longer time.) But I met him and his wife when we were in Badaber, Peshawar. This colony had been originally built by the Americans, but when they left, it was taken over by the air force.  In those days, Waliya was just a baby, and I was a freelance journalist in Peshawar. My articles often got published about Peshawar, in  Tuesday Review of daily Dawn (newspaper) and Women’s Own magazine.

Continue reading “An Elegant Home in Islamabad.”

  My friend Unzila’s home

Unzila has a lovely home in Islamabad. I often drop in at her place and feel like sharing what I see. So, this time I thought I better go ahead with it.

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We both enjoyed ourselves, as I sipped the tasty lemon grass green tea. Hurriedly, I snapped away with my mobile phone’s camera and then it was a quick trip through her home.

Continue reading ”  My friend Unzila’s home”

How I built a Studio apartment in my house.

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–          The synergy factor!

 

Sometimes, you are faced with a situation which feels overwhelming, and quite impossible. But the fun part comes, when you end up doing something even more ‘impossible’ due to it. A synergy takes place, and you come up with an idea, which is completely new and thrilling.

That is what happened in my case.

All the rooms in my home were taken up, and I wanted to make a special room for my Nadiya. How to do it? At that time, my tenants were the wife of a Shaheed officer, and there was no way, I was going to ask her to leave. So?

I looked at the floor plan of my house. I found two store rooms and part of a small veranda in the basement, which, if cleverly used, would make a lovely studio apartment. It was a risky plan, as the entire house rests on the basement. So, I went to my architect Mubeena Nasir. She liked the idea. I had said, that when we break that load bearing wall, for the doorway, we can build it with an arch. An arch is the strongest opening.

No more foundations could be made, so we just built the walls with the huge cement block ‘bricks’, which she said were just fine. We kept the marble floor. I wanted a rough look to give it that special texture on walls. I had planned the interior already.

One store room wall was already, in a terra-cotta color, so that terra cotta set the main theme color of the studio apartment. I did offer my daughter a small kitchen and laundry area, but she refused, as she would be using our kitchen and laundry anyways.

My daughter loved the walk-in cupboard which came out of the shelves which were in one of the store room walls, so we left it as it was, and added rods underneath to hang clothes. Later I added a dressing room area, also. The upper shelves could be used for off-season clothes and items.

My father funded the whole project. My old team of workers on my house, the architect Mubeena Naseer, carpenter Haji Sharif and plumber Nazir and Nadeem helped build the bathroom and walls. We all worked with great zeal to finish this project within a month or so.

The washroom windows were made with help of glass bricks. I tried to have plenty of natural lighting, by putting clear glass over the doors.

 

The Nayatel system and internet was connected. A television added along with the furniture, and accessories. Nadiya got together with her sisters to add her charming style.

This is how the studio apartment in my home was completed. Now it serves as my guest room.

It seems, my experience and knowledge of Interior Designing had come to my rescue.

Stay blessed my reader. 🙂

Warning: Only try such a project by consent from your architect and interior designer.