Living in a multi-storey house

April 7, 2014 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Home

Our homes are our retreats where we can be ourselves, do things we want to and just be. Sometimes our homes are not large enough or spacious enough to accommodate all our requirements. Multi-storey homes use up small space well. We can create more room within the same space by building a duplex or a multi-storey house.

multi storey homes

There are some pros and some cons of building a multi-storey house. The most obvious plus is that you get more rooms and more living area within the space you have. A multi-storey allows you to have more quiet and privacy as the bedrooms and bathrooms can be built separately in the upper section and the living room, the kitchen etc. can be left on the floor section.


Multi-storey houses require a lot of movement between the ground floor and the first floor. This means a staircase between the two sections. This may not be a comfortable option if you have to go up and down the stairs a number of times in a day. What if you have small children or have an elderly person who lives with you. Not only is it difficult for constant movement, stairs may not be very safe with smaller children. However this con can be corrected quite easily by installing an elevator in the house.


All elevators are not ugly. Elevators come in elegant designs and you can select from a wide range at:


Grant Elevators


Another positive for a multi-storey is that there is additional room for the little luxurious add-ons like a balcony  adjoining the bedroom or a deck in the top level. A multi-storey home allows you to have plenty of living space without compromising on the yard space. In areas where the size of the plot is not too much, adding vertically instead of horizontally can give you some extra room.


On the negative side a multi-storey can make the house feel too roomy and unmanageable. Even the simple act of moving furniture from one room to another can turn out to be quite difficult. Two-story houses  can be very expensive to keep cooled, especially the upper section as it tends to heat more.


Ultimately whether you opt for a multi-storey or a single unit will largely depend on your family makeup, the layout of the home in question and your personal preferences.

Book racks that save space

April 5, 2014 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Rooms

Love books? But do not buy enough because there is  no space to store the books. Here are a few ideas to keep boooks within easy reach and not have the room look like a library:

 Think horizontal

Instead of making standing bookshelves try adding storage cubes or wall mount bookshelves. The books do not look cluttered nor do the give a weighed down feeling. If you paint these ledges and shelves the same color you create a flow within the room. Take a look at these Cosmo shelves . The shelves are easy to mount, and you can arrange the rectangles and squares and create a unique art gallery or modern bookshelf.

Unused space

If there is some space that is not used try and fill it up by arranging a bookshelf. The books remain in easy reach and do not obstruct the view.  Paint the bookcases to match your decor so that they do not stand out. Think under the stairs or the space behind the living room sofas.

If you have a window seat, frame a window seat with built-in bookshelves.

Window bookshelf

Books are within easy reach and this looks so good. If you can add double glazing on windows the spot becomes a mini reading area. Double glazing gives you home or home addition a “solid feel”. With double glazing, a room remains full of light, cosy and quiet.


Nexus Home Improvements


Still lacking space?

Try substituting a headboard with a bookshelf. You can even build in lamps on either side within the bookshelf.

For the practicing chef – if there is a small space available in corner in the kitchen, say under the kitchen island or the kitchen slab just work in a shelf or two and you have a pretty shelf for storing those cookbooks.

Stack up

Stack benches on one another and use to store books or stack books one on top of each other to create a table. Another interesting storage is to stack up favorite books next to the bed to create a bedside table.

Keeping a window ledge as a reading area and bookshelves on either side creates a cosy nook for reading.

Another interesting bookshelf rack is a hexagonal pattern bookcase. Using inexpensive material like “expanded polypropylene” adds to a greener planet as this material can be recycled. Use it to store lighter books as it would not take a very heavy load.

However just creating space is not enough. Some books en up being stored. Take a look at some storage tips to help store books safely for future reading.

Houses that stand out

April 5, 2014 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Home

Reese Witherspoon house

Four walls and a roof is not a house. Our demands have increased and a house is not complete without the jacuzzi, the terrace garden or maybe even without a pool. We draw inspiration from the houses of the rich and the famous. Some celebrities have stunning homes, some have cosy homes while some may have opulent homes. Whatever their lifestyle we are always interested in knowing a little more about the personal life of celebrities.

Some common elements that make a home stand out:

Lush surrounding

The surrounding beauty of nature complement most beautiful homes. Be it Ellen Pompeo’s beautiful house with the background of Hollywood hills or Meg Ryan’s vineyard – these homes are surrounded with exquisite gardens, long stretch of greenery and a breathtaking backdrop of trees. On the other hand Bill Gates lives in a house built in a Pacific lodge style. It has a water front area of approximately 500 feet and is spread over 66, 000 sq feet. Micheal Dell’s house called the “Castle” is at 33,000 ft on a hilltop on the outskirts of Austin.

Sir Richard Branson owns a Private Game Reserve and lodge in South Africa. The Quelle Farm is Steven Spielberg’s summer retreat. The farm was built in 1740 and mixes classic New England architecture of New York of that era with elegant French accents.

Luxurious interiors

An elegant house always stand out. The house does not have to be fitted with expensive fittings – well finished interiors give a completeness to a house. The Cheval Blanc is a boutique hotel with the backdrop of the quiet alpine setting. With the ultimate in chic, decadent living it was created by Bernard Arnault.  The Duke Semans mansion bought by the world’s richest man Carlos Helu Slim is an art house.

The Telluride estate owned by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is spread in the area of  13,000 square feet and the exterior of the house has a  pool and a tennis court.

Grand entrance

Most beautiful homes have a luxurious entrance that offers a glimpse of what lies beyond. Updown Court is situated only 25 miles from London, and through a pair of large sophisticated iron gates, one can see a palatial construction of immense scale and beauty. The property built by David Siegel was called Versailles as the entrance was modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France.

Most big homes use dumbwaiters for easy movement.




The Fleur De Lys owned by Mariah Carey is among the world’s most expensive estates. The house is modeled after the most extravagant home of its time: the Palace of Versaille, the former home of Marie Antoinette.

What not to do in a small apartment

April 5, 2014 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Home



It is not easy to live in a small place  especially if you live with kids. Not only do you want your own space, the kids require room to run about and you need space to entertain. So what do you do – it is always not possible to make structural changes. Phsyical renovation requires time and effort not to mention the discomfort of loose dust and debris. Sometimes just adding a few items, organising storage and working on neutral colors adds a feeling of space within a room.

Here are a few space saving tips for a small apartment:

Use neutral colors

Whites, creams, beiges give a feeling of space to a room. A white or a cream wall makes a room look bigger. If you do not want a closed in feel then avoid colors like rust, brown etc on a wall. Even if you add a color on one wall and leave the rest in a neutral shade the room will feel a little closed in. In addition to the walls keep the woodwork white. Not only does this leave the room looking bigger it also looks better. If it is a kids room then use a combination of colors like white with pink or white and blue. This way you get the color for brightness and the white takes the edge off the color.

Think organised storage

Kids room but lack of play space. Try using bunk beds one on top of each other. Maybe add a ladder to climb up and a slide to slide down. Small kids can have a lot of fun with this. This also leaves a lot of area for kids to play and move around instead of just banging against the beds. Move to the living room. You do require space when you entertain. Keep a couch for all pupose activities – for sitting, relaxing and sleeping. Throw in rugs and bean bags for additonal guests or when you entertain. At other times these can be put in storage. Use pieces that can be used to sit and to store stuff.  Look for stylish storage ottomans that hide away plenty and tuck neatly under a floating shelf for seating that is there when you need it and out of the way when you don’t. The room will feel more open with less furniture blocking movement. Unless you invite over twenty to thirty people, then think about entertaining outside. The Oxford hotel with it’s cosy, rustic charm and a front lounge that wraps around a unique sunken cellar with original limestone walls and timbered ceiling is a great place to spend an evening out with a large group of friends.

The Oxford Hotel

Move to the bathroom. Add a piece of furniture that can be used to store stuff. Try using a piece like the one below. It has an option for both used and unused storage.