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Five ways to spruce up your home this Monsoon

Design hacks, simple additions and changes in design choices, to make the most of the rainy season.

July 18, 2021 / 04:37 PM IST

The tropical monsoon evokes emotion and nostalgia, triggering memories through sights, sounds, and aromas that we associate with exuberance and vitality.

Loved by many, the weather can often confine us to our homes for prolonged periods. Languid drizzle or torrential downpour, each nudges us to embrace the cocoon of our dwellings in a new light.

To make the best of the season, we exchanged notes with architects Meena Murthy Kakkar, design head and partner, Envisage – Gurgaon, and Shalini Chandrashekar, principal designer and co-founder, Taliesyn, Design & Architecture, Bengaluru, on some tricks to lend spaces a new lease of life this monsoon.

“Most people associate monsoons with beauty and a spectacle with splashes of rain and gusts of wind—petrichor (the smell of wet earth) is a given! For some, showers tend to be gloomy and rigid, ensuring the compulsion of being indoors. But with proper use of decor and house maintenance, monsoons can bring joy inside the house,” says Kakkar.

1. The Power of Colour

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Colour plays a pivotal role in uplifting the visual palette of a space in a versatile manner. (Photo Credit: Sthira - Taliesyn © Shamanth Patil) Colour plays a pivotal role in uplifting the visual palette of a space in a versatile manner. (Photo Credit: Sthira - Taliesyn © Shamanth Patil)

An impactful conduit of expression, colour can be added to spaces in the form of accents across surfaces: art, curated decoration, upholstery fabrics, and bric-a-brac tied-in with the overarching design palette. Seafoam green, ochre yellow, fuchsia pink, and warm blues are fitting picks for the season.

“Since the outside turns all grey in monsoons, introducing pops of colour to the interiors in terms of selective accessories or pieces of upholstery can add a visual charm to the living spaces. As inhabitants find themselves more drawn towards the views of the outside, bright curtains and nature-inspired decor around the windows and the balconies will also elevate the visual experience indoors,” says Chandrashekar.

2. The Indoors-Outdoor Experience

Create spaces that enable the indoor-outdoor living experience through balconies, verandahs, and sit-outs. (Photo Credit: Ukiyo - Envisage © Vaibhav Bhatia) Create spaces that enable the indoor-outdoor living experience through balconies, verandahs, and sit-outs. (Photo Credit: Ukiyo - Envisage © Vaibhav Bhatia)

Balconies, porches, or verandahs, these partly shaded spots in a home are perfect to enjoy a morning brew or an evening drizzle while the weather works its magic!

“A trending interior space is a rain conservatory; one that is surrounded by glass on all sides or even just the roof that gives an illusion of being in the rain, while physically barricading it,” says Kakkar.

“Compact spots like balconies most commonly belonging in urban dwellings can be refurbished with sturdy outdoor-friendly furniture in FRP or weather-treated cane. Create a natural rain-screen with an array of planters, and bring in some lighting fixtures that can withstand the winds and showers,” Kakkar says.

Introduce outdoor-grade loungers or compact chairs, an array of plants (it’s a great time of the year to get gardening), and some whimsical mood lighting to elevate the ambience of your indoor-outdoor spaces.

3. Creating Inviting Nooks

Conceptualise nooks within the blueprint of a home wherein leisure and productivity can be experienced. (Photo Credit: Ksaraah - Taliesyn © Harshan Thomson) Conceptualise nooks within the blueprint of the home wherein leisure and productivity can be experienced. (Photo Credit: Ksaraah - Taliesyn © Harshan Thomson)

This weather is best experienced in the comfort of cozy nooks and corners that create experiences in an interstitial manner. Small blueprints prevalent in city homes pave the way for the curation of picturesque yet pragmatic snug spots to lounge and unwind.

“An armchair in the corner with a cushion, a woven throw over it, and an ottoman to relax and get comfortable will make for a great cozy nook in the monsoons. Introducing an open shelf with a lot of books in it, and a focal floor lamp accentuating this spot will further complement this vignette,” suggests Chandrashekar.

Think reading nooks, bay windows, and daybeds—each of these options presents myriad ways to rethink and breathe renewed utility into formerly mundane or unused corners of one’s abode.

4. Welcoming Rain-Washed Views

Make the most of the lush views the monsoons promise by curating corners that allow one to see outdoors. (Photo Credit: Ahra - Taliesyn © Shamanth Patil) Make the most of the lush views the monsoons promise by curating corners that allow one to see outdoors. (Photo Credit: Ahra - Taliesyn © Shamanth Patil)

Sometimes, views of the outside during the monsoons are just the visual refresher one needs! When the tree canopies are awash in a brilliant green.

“The absence of outdoor spaces is no limitation—frame windows and large fenestrations/openings with sheer and light curtains in botanical prints and soft pastel colours. Layer the space with upholstered armchairs or benches against these openings to create a bespoke spot to interact with the exteriors while staying sheltered indoors,” adds Chandrashekar.

5. It’s all in the Aromas

Aromas are vital to how we experience the indoors; use scented candles and essential oil diffusers, especially in the monsoons. (Photo Credit: Ukiyo - Envisage © Vaibhav Bhatia) Aromas are vital to how we experience the indoors; use scented candles and essential oil diffusers, especially in the monsoons. (Photo Credit: Ukiyo - Envisage © Vaibhav Bhatia)

While petrichor (a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain) in the monsoons is a sensorial experience in its own right, introduce various aromatic sources across the home, in bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces. This aids in warding off moisture-induced musty odours that tend to build up in confined spaces, like city homes. Scented candles, aromatic essential oils, diffusers in citrus, floral, and eucalyptus notes can refresh the spaces.

With just a few hacks, you can make the most of the season by minimising or eliminating potential problems and harnessing all that's good about the rains.
Lavanya Chopra is a Bengaluru-based architect and design writer.
first published: Jul 18, 2021 04:16 pm
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