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Utilising Spaces Decoration Ideas

Utilising Spaces Decoration Ideas
Shaha Jamshed visits a house whose owner believes in utilising maximum space by having in-built structures instead of excess furniture
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Source:  Shaha Jamshed
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  • Architectural detail is the first thing that attracts this scribe when visiting any residence. And, generally, the attention then shifts to the aesthetics as they become the most dominating factor in defining the appeal of any place.

  • A chance meeting with a prominent architect and writer, however, answered quite a few of my queries, such as how many of our residential areas are built keeping the climate, topography and issues like electricity in mind. As a result people generally live in pockets of the house, (the air-conditioned or breezy ones, of course) and fail to enjoy their own home the way they should.

  • Mukhtar Hussain’s house is a good illustration of all that he talks about and hence a perfect example of what we need to think about when constructing a house in Karachi.

  • Very honest to his perception, the house stands elegantly with sloping roofs and red brick front. The red brick pattern is often repeated in the decor too to maintain the theme. The sloping roofs add style and allow a cozy open courtyard that is suitable for small gatherings. This area houses the formal living and dining rooms plus the kitchen. An elevated veranda on the side gives way to the semi-independent section of two bedrooms, kitchen and a living room.

  • The entire sloping roof has been covered with an insulation chemical and to protect that a top layer of cement tiles in a random mosaic has been added. They were the leftovers from the flooring and hence mixed in colours and sizes. However, the mosaic actually looks delightful when viewed from the attic and mezzanine windows.

  • The house has been built on three interconnected levels. One can comfortably stand in the lounge on the first floor and keep an eye on the main entrance. The flowing space has been beautifully visualised and utilised.

  • The mezzanine serves as the studio for his wife and hangs like an elegant gallery space above the formal living room giving a subtle theatrical touch.

  • The entire living quarters have a flat roof, insulated in the same manner. What is very interesting is the ventilation hole in the mezzanine that keeps on throwing out the rising warm air and thus the house remains at a comfortable temperature.

  • The edges of the roofing have been spared insulation as they jut out and it doesn’t pay to add weight to them. Similarly, all the windows have been covered with slightly slanted ledges to keep the summer sun out and at the same time, because the winter sun moves at a lower angle, they allow warmth to enter the house in winters.

  • The windows are plentiful and whereas the front ones are kept partially open, the ones at the back of the house are kept open till noon to allow ventilation.

  • The entire flooring has been done with coloured cement tiles that glisten with use and look rather romantic. As opposed to marble or granite, cement tiles improve with age and do not require polishing.

  • The basement has been built as the working space and is fitted with necessary shelving and cubicles. The owner believes in utilising maximum space by giving in-built structures instead of excess furniture.

  • A clear design sense and low cost is the ideal combination when doing up a place. And the design should be looked at as an exercise in problem-solving and not merely decor.

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