Home Care


We all have different home requirements. Some of us like our homes to be small and cozy while others like it big and airy. But for us metropolitanites, forfeiting square footage is the price we have to pay for living in a big city full of ‘choices’. So what does one do to tidy up the space we have at our disposal and yet not sacrifice the aesthetics when living in a small home? Here are a few tips that might help.

1. Leave no surface untapped.

Let go of the cabinets, layers and layers of racks or bulky furniture. The market is brimming with creative, cute and quirky storage spaces. Make use of them. Add shelves above doorways especially if you have high ceilings. Line a room with a shelf high up on the wall. A funky way of bringing out the bookworm in you is to stash books and convert your hallway loft/wall into a library.

2. Use the Full Height of the Space

Ever heard of the ‘Living cube’? It’s for people like us who like to make the most of the space (or the lack of it). If your home ceilings are high enough, increase usable space by going for a bunk bed. See if you can add the ‘Living Cube’ twist to your bunk bed/ stairway and convert it to a storage compartment. An interesting usage of space is using a chest or an ottoman with storage inside, as a coffee table. Always remember that one of the most effective ways to save space is by using furniture that gets out of the way when not in use.

3. Make everything perform double duty.

Free up your kitchen counter, cabinets, and drawers. Create storage racks on the wall and use kitchen magnets to hang cooking utensils. An under-cabinet magnetic rack will turn useless space into a useful one.

4. Eliminate Clutter

Free standing tables and chairs (and furniture in general) take up a lot of space. Concentrate on less furniture, more built ins. Organize your shoes in an ottoman, convert your loft into racks, use foldable colored furniture. There are many ways to declutter your space. The most effective way to fit into a small space is to get rid of a whole lot of stuff and finding more than one purpose for your rooms.

If Harry Potter could live under the stairs, so can you. Recreate the interesting Bed Under Stairs concept, stretch your space to the outdoors by designing a welcoming patio, use fewer, larger pieces of furniture and accessories to reduce visual clutter, use bright lights and take advantage of wasted space with corner bookcases. Think monochromatic. Eliminate obstructions. Remember, your house need not be huge to look big. The idea is simple: the further you can see through a space, the larger it’ll seem.



It’s a daunting task for NRIs looking at investing in Indian property today. On the outside, with the rupee touching all-time lows against the dollar and India’s ‘real estate’ growth story looking bleak, the prospect for investments in property for NRIs seems like an uphill task. But this hasn’t deterred them from investing in India because, though for Indians property prices have appreciated significantly, for the overseas Indian, it has only been a marginal increase. So, whatever be your reason for investing in India, make sure that you are diligent and careful. Some important questions you need to ask yourself are:
Which city do you want to invest in?
In whose name do you want to buy the property?
If you have invested in a ready property, how do you plan to fund it?
Before any kind of an investment, engage in sufficient research or you may end up buying into micro markets. Also, make sure that the property has secured all clearances required by law. Insist on legal documents to ensure that your investment is safe.

Logically speaking, your first action plan should be to determine the nature of the property because NRI investment rules are different as per RBI guidelines. Buying a property requires time and energy and hence it’s advisable to not fall prey to hoax calls or ‘gut instincts’. Before you zero on into a project, speak to a few builders in the locality on the initial prices and the price for the last transaction. Make sure you visit a completed project by the builder to assess quality before deciding to buy.

Check the developer credentials, prime location, potential for infrastructure development and quality of property management in the project. Remember that apart from the registration cost and stamp duty, there’s also a service tax that will be levied. Once you arrive at a price at which the sale is agreed, pay through rupee denominated non-resident ordinary (NRO) or nonresident external (NRE) accounts and foreign currency non-resident (FCNR) accounts. It’s always suggested to invest in mind-sized property with high-end amenities.

Before you finalise on any property, find a good real estate adviser who will help you out with all the details. It’s advisable not to go to a broker. Most NRIs get tempted to purchase a holiday home in a hill resort or beach property or a retirement home over buying yet another flat in the city. But keep in mind that residential land purchases usually pay off well for most investors. Have any more tips? Share it with us.