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Corporate Moves and Decorating Grooves
|by Rekha I Nambiar|
If you are a corporate executive, chances are that you pack your bags and move to a new city every couple of years. In a frequent-flyer world, you have to be willing to relocate and explore the growth opportunities it offers. This often means moving your belongings to a new place every now and then and setting up a home, albeit a temporary one. Being well traveled and in touch with trends, you would perhaps want a home that makes a statement about who you are.
Having said that, anyone who has moved more than a couple of times is well aware of the fact that it isn't all that easy to get rid of the things one accumulates and selling them for a pittance dampens the spirit of the 'move'. So, while you may desire the luxury of being able to upgrade your living space, it is not always possible to leave your material possessions behind every time fortune comes calling.
Decorating rented spaces is a challenge as you need to think long-term while given the space you have here and now. When you sign the lease for a new apartment, you could ask the landlord if painting the walls in colors and textures of your choice is a viable option. That's the first step towards creating a space that mirrors your individuality. Colors and wall treatments are relatively easy on the pocket and quite high on style and effect.
If your professional endeavour entails frequent transfers, it will make sense to buy furniture that is not too bulky and does not place a restriction on decorating styles. Ensuring that all the furniture designated for a particular area is in one wood finish also allows you more freedom with other elements of d'cor. In the living room, keep the sofa design simple and change the fabric and cushions every time you move into a new home to give it a completely new look. You could even consider re-modeling the shape. Coffee tables need to be elegant and yet allow for maneuver in terms of their placement.
As a rule, buy good area rugs ' you generally live with them a lot longer than you anticipate and if you can rotate them in different rooms every time you shift residence, that in itself throws up new possibilities. You also have to bear in mind that you will rarely, if ever, change the flooring of the home you rent.
When you buy furniture, cater for size configurations which allow flexibility and stick to a general style that you would be comfortable with for a few years. The dining table is a piece of furniture that you keep for a long time and also needs to fit into different spaces if you tend to move a lot. Always cater for a coordinating hutch as crockery and glassware need a place.
Lighting is a key element of re-inventing your decor. Collect lamps of different shapes and styles. They bring in a lot of warmth and just changing the shade every once in a while gives a whole new look to a room. It may be a worthwhile exercise to pick up interesting light fixtures as well. You then do not have to settle for the ones the landlord put on the walls and every room has the stamp of your individuality. The bonus being that you could easily pack them and take them with you when you leave !!!
When you get curtains and blinds made for a new home, providing ample margin in the seams would be a good idea. As would buying extra fabric. This would ensure that when you move in to a new home, you can tailor them to the dimensions and re-do them with borders and accents. You might want to use them in another room this time and complement an entirely different setting. Keep the base fabrics in simple tones and textures and focus instead on borders and embellishments that you could change at will.
Invest in good art. It does not have to be expensive but it should be something you can live with a relatively long time. We tend not to trash what goes on our walls. It does not just adorn our walls but also reveals a lot about who we are. Decide what you want it to say. Go shopping for artefacts and curios. They do not restrict you and change the d'cor of a room.
Consoles and chests of drawers are easy to accommodate in any home. They are useful to have and allow for a lot of permutations in terms of placement. A console does not necessarily have to go with a mirror or against a wall. It can be used as an effective space divider and keeping it free standing gives you more options. A screen with panels that can be changed is something else that works beautifully in any kind of space. You can create a new effect by changing the panels and also use it as a room divider.
Bookshelves and display cabinets should have adjustable shelves and preferably need not go against a wall. Consider queen size beds instead of the standard double as they work very well in small homes, especially if you move from an apartment in a place like Delhi to one in Mumbai! Paying attention to sheets, coordinated bedspreads, drapes and the area rug would make for a far more aesthetically pleasing environment. You could perhaps opt for a contemporary bed which is upholstered as opposed to one that is in a particular wood finish. This way, whether your new home has the wardrobes in beech or teak becomes irrelevant. Bathrooms can be given a shot of aesthetic management by picking up a whole new set of accessories and linen.
For those on the move, a faithful companion is usually a sofa-bed. It comes handy when you have guests but allows you the luxury of using the guest room as a TV/family room the rest of the time. If your lifestyle entails frequent entertaining, a portable home bar would be a good investment. You need to be able to put it just about anywhere and deliver that daiquiri on request.
At the end of that day, when you have packed and unpacked and you find comfort in the familiarity of what you brought with you and derive pleasure at the thought of how you might make your new home look 'different'; you would have gone a long way in settling in and the transfer would not seem as daunting a task. Happy at home necessarily translates into a lot more energy at work .
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