Sunday, December 19, 2010

More Photographs - Elita JP Nagar & Brigade Gateway Malleswaram

Elita Promenade - Kitchen 1

Elita Promenade

Elita Promenade
Brigade Gateway

Brigade Gateway

Brigade Gateway

Brigade Gateway

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So what is the Right material to choose for Woodwork?

So you have made your first visit to the market to decide on your interiors, visited @Home, HomeStop, Hometown, Home Center, Nolte, Veneta Cucine, checked out the neighborhood Modular Furniture & Kitchen Wala, spoken to the carpenter who did the house of so and so.......etc. etc........Means that you are now more confused than you were when you started off, well.... welcome to home making :).


In my earlier posts I have tried to help sort this very confusion offering inputs around
1. how to create a budget,
2. what to look for when you are making specialty artifacts like a sliding wardrobe & a modular kitchen.
3. good & reasonable places to shop for interiors in Bangalore.

Last week while answering a number of customer queries I realized that I have yet failed to answer one of the fundamental questions that home makers have i.e. with all the choice available in the market, what is the right material to use for one's woodwork?


So this post is dedicated to answer just that ... lets start with the Kitchen:

Carcass or the boxes:

If you are someone who does not plan a 3 year "refresh" of your kitchen then the only choice for the Kitchen carcass is Warterproof Marine Ply (Technically called BWR 303 Grade Ply....ISI Marked preferred). Many not so scrupulous will talk about using "Water Resistant" Ply, Laminated Particle Board, Marine Ply in wet areas and Particle board in dry areas etc. etc. for the carcass but trust me anything other than Waterproof Marine Ply means that you giving birth to something that will not last beyond its 3rd birthday, it is another matter that from a price perspective using Waterproof Marine Ply will lead to approx. a 20-25 % increase in the overall cost of the kitchen.
 
The interesting thing to know however is that while the Waterproof Marine “Ply” will be "Waterproof",  the (white) “laminate” that you put on top of it will still come off if one continuously pours water on it.
The intelligent amongst you will then ask – "So if even Waterproof Marine Ply carcass will eventually spoil (laminate coming off) due to high moisture, why use it at all" ???

The answer is that (1) The weight of the entire kitchen – Hardware, Drawer Channels, Kitchenware, Wall units etc. rests on the Carcass (Both Bottom and Wall unit boxes) and the bolts & screws that hold all this together need a pretty strong “base” to dig into. (2) Waterproof Marine Ply (ignore the laminate) is simply the best “base” that is available in the market that stays good even in the worst of moisture conditions. (3) Using any other "base" is simply amounts to compromising the life of your Kitchen.

Shutters:

Frankly each of MDF + Membrane, Hardwood as well as Marine Ply/MDF + Laminate work well. You will ask “Why is Marine Ply + Laminate not better than MDF + Membrane here then”??...well remember we said that anything (even the laminate on the Marine Ply) will spoil in high moisture conditions, so the assumption is that we are not using the kitchen as a bathroom. Secondly....the shutters do not hold the entire Kitchen weight, only their own. Hence in normal Kitchen use conditions both MDF + Membrane & Marine Ply/MDF + Laminate work well, however particle board shutters are not recommended.

I personally prefer MDF Membrane or Hardwood shutters as these give a finish that is much more chic than laminate. I have also noticed that most carpenters do not recommend MDF membrane and go with Marine Ply + Laminate. As I said from a durability perspective both are fine, perhaps carpenters do not recommend MDF Membrane & cite durability issues because these require external procurement (compared to the comfort & ease of making onsite) and very precise measurement (in millimeters) that carpenters abhor.

Wardrobes and Hall Units, Crockery Units, TV Units, Sideboards etc:


The Carcass for the above can be made with any material as in most cases the carcass has wall support from 2 or more sides. Hence if budget is a constraint and there is good wall support then even pre - laminated Particle board works here.

The panels/ shutters however are key here and need specific attention
The recommended material to use for panel/shutters in Wardrobes & Hall Units depends entirely on the size of the panel /shutter that you are going in for. If it is 9 feet tall (all the way to the roof) or a 7 feet tall sliding shutter (which is usually broader than a standard hinged shutter) & needs to resist bending forces, then use Block Board ONLY (preferably a 19mm + a 6mm (or more) sheet stuck together).

For a 7 foot hinged panel/shutter either a 19mm Block Board/ Marine Ply with Veneer/ Laminate or MDF + Laminate (membrane not recommended) should work fine.

For less than 7 feet panel/ shutter anything will work.



That covers it I guess....will welcome any bouquets and brickbats


Happy Homemaking


NM

PS: If you have a question to ask then please noteThe Q&A/ Comments interface on this blog below is unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting. Hence even if you post a question I will be unable to reply to it due to technology limitations. To do away with this issue we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website

Hence if you have a question or if you posted a question earlier and did not get a response then please post it again at  https://thestudiobangalore.com/questions-and-answers/ so that I am able to see and answer it

Regards
Nandita

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Costing your Woodwork - Do It Yourself Tips

"So how much will it cost"??? -- Usually the first question that I get from prospects. While for exact costs you would need the detailed design & probably some professional help, doing a broad estimation is no rocket science & one can do this on her/ his own since woodwork consists of broadly 4-5 elements.

1. The Carcass: The box in other words
2. The Shutter: Called the "Palla" by our carpenter brethren
3. The Hardware: Self explanatory
4. Accessories: All the steel stuff that you will put inside the wardrobe/ box (Tie hangers etc.for wardrobe &  Bottle Pullout, Drip Tray Etc. for kitchen)
5. Labour

Now that we have the elements here are the broad costs of each. Keep in mind that what I am mentioning here are thumbrule values and market rates

1. Carcass (Factory Made White Colour): Costs anywhere between INR 350 psft (frontage*) for Particle Board (ok for Wardrobes but not recommended for Kitchen) to INR 800 (frontage*) for hi quality Marine Ply (recommended  for Kitchens). If you want to bring down this cost you can go for handmade carcass which should cost approx 25 - 30% less.

2. Shutters (Machine Made) : Cost from INR 175 for Laminate Marine Ply Shutters to INR 450 for Membrane MDF Shutters

Tip: The above means that the total "Wood" Component would cost from INR 525 psft to INR 1250 psft. Safe to broadly assume around 1000 in your thumb-rule calculations. Assume the same rate for Kitchen as well as Wardrobe

3. Hardware: 
Kitchens: If you are going in for a number of drawers then assume approx 3500 per drawer (Hettich or 304 Grade Steel baskets). To cut costs (e.g. if you are planning to rent the house) you can minimize on the number of drawers, however with this the utility of the kitchen would go down.
Apart from the drawer cost, it is safe to assume INR 15000 for the rest of  the hardware (hinges, channels etc. etc.)
Handles: These seem inconsequential but cost a bomb if you go in for the exquisite ones available in the market. For Kitchens factor approx 5000 - 8000 for Handles alone

Wardrobe: Don't need much hardware. Usually the cost can be managed under INR 5000 for a normal wardrobe & INR 12000 for a Sliding Wardrobe

4. Accessories: 
There is a lot of variety here. For e.g a Magic Corner can cost from anywhere between INR 15000 to INR 90000. Hence don't take a guess here, go to a hardware & accessory shop and check out the rates of what you need.

5. Labour
For a Factory made Carcass & Shutters the "assembly" cost can be assumed at INR 80 psft. For Hand Made Carcass & Factory Made Shutters assume approx 150 - 180 psft


For those of you who have ended up more confused than before after reading the above, here is the "thumbrule" calculation

For a Wardrobe of Height 7 Feet X Width 3 feet= 21 sqft

Cost of Carcass & Shutter = INR 1000 X 21 = 21000
Cost of Hardware (Non Sliding) = INR 5000
Labour Cost = INR 80 X 21 sqft = INR 1680

Bingo !!!  Broad Estimate = INR 27680

I will not do a sample for the Kitchen and would rather let you do it on your own and come back to me with your questions when stuck...heh heh ..After all I want to make this interactive..

Happy Estimating

NM

PS1: A simpler thumb-rule for estimating overall interior costs is available at http://www.homedesignbangalore.com/2013/11/home-interiors-thumbrules-for-costing.html

PS2: Since the day this article was written and now in 2016 the rates have gone up by 20 - 30% - you may please factor that in your calculations.

PS2: For the Critic in you...who would say that (1) I am oversimplifying (2) That my estimates are not correct and you can get it "cheaper" in the market (3) Too many things have been left un- answered & not considered, I would only want to say that my effort is only to set you thinking on how YOU can "go about" estimating to help set up a budget for your interiors.

If you have a question to ask then please note: On Nov 15th 2017 we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website. The Q&A interface on this blog was unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting - you would have noticed being unable to  scroll down to a question once the number of questions below a certain post increases beyond a certain limit. 


Hence if you have a question then please post it at  https://thestudiobangalore.com/questions-and-answers/ 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photos of work done at Sobha Sunscape & my own Kitchen at home :)

Well, they say a picture tells a thousand words, so without further words here are the pictures ;)


Sobha Sunscape Kitchen - 1













Sobha Sunscape Utility- 1












Sobha Sunscape Kitchen - 2



My Kitchen in Gardenia - 1















My Kitchen in Gardenia - 2

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sliding Wardrobes - "Do it right the first time"

Sliding door wardrobes seem to be the in thing nowadays especially because they help save valuable space in small rooms that most apartments have and look good at the same time.

However when designing sliding systems there are some basic rules that need to be kept in mind & I have found most folks not adhering to these, including sellers of the so called "Imported" readymade wardrobes available in the market today.

Here are the ground rules for sliding wardrobe design - this ensures longevity, ease of use as well as safety (you will know what I mean in a few moments)

1. Sliding wardrobe doors (height of 7 - 9 feet) must ALWAYS run on slide fittings having wheels on the TOP of the shutter and NOT at the BOTTOM of the shutter. This means that the door hangs and slides on wheels & runners on the TOP of the shutter. The image available at http://www.jastimber.co.uk/images/pictures/hardware/stormguard_wardrobe_door_gear/stormguard_wardrobe_door_gear.jpg will help you get a picture of what I am saying.

While Top Running hardware is a tad more expensive, it is recommended for wardrobe shutters because

  • Since the door hangs from the top (is in tension) there is little chance of the door getting bent. In bottom running systems the whole weight of the door can cause the door to bend over time (since the door is in "compression")
  •  Bottom running systems (the not recommended but cheaper one) have a tiny "guide" on the top of the shutter. If the shutter bends over time then the whole door can fall off as the "guide may come out of its socket at the top" causing heartache and injury. This cannot happen in a Top Running sliding systems.
  • Bottom running systems get sluggish over time as dirt gets accumulated in the bottom channel (in which the wheel is running) making the door difficult to slide (remember the struggle with sliding glass shutters of yesteryear "showcases" that always used to get jammed)
2. The board used to make the sliding shutter should be a "Block Board" and not a Ply Board, MDF, Particle Board etc. This is because Block Board offers the maximum resistance against bending.

3. There should be a "Brush" in the tiny space between the 2 doors all the way from the top to the bottom. This helps against dust getting into the wardrobe and spoiling your "trousseau".

4. No Locks: Sliding doors WITH locks stand a risk of damaging the wardrobe if the door bangs on the side with the lock engaged. Also the keys (if not taken out) tend to get stuck when the doors overlap in the open position...(heh heh...you never thought of that did you...)

5. The side of the Sliding door should have an overlap on the carcass (box). The overlap houses 2 things  - One - Another Brush on the side (like in the center ---read point #3 above) so that no dust gets in and Two - A small stopper cum closer which ensures that the door clicks into a close position and STAYS THAT WAY (Does not recoil after banging on the side)


That does it I guess...wasn't too difficult was it Now check out how many sliding door wardrobes you have seen at your neighbors' place or in the market have these basics right.

Happy homemaking

NM

PS: If you have a question to ask then please noteThe Q&A/ Comments interface on this blog below is unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting. Hence even if you post a question I will be unable to reply due to technology limitations. To do away with this issue we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website

Hence if you have a question or if you posted a question earlier and did not get a response then please post it again at  https://thestudiobangalore.com/questions-and-answers/ so that I am able to see and answer it

Regards
Nandita

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shopping for Interiors?? - Recommended places in Bangalore

The question about which are the best places to shop for stuff for home interiors in Bangalore has surfaced in multiple discussions with friends, family and clients. Some may say that I am about to reveal a trade secret, however I am a firm believer that knowledge should be free ... and available for people to make informed decisions. Money should be made from ideas and implementation of those & not from information.

Before we dwell deeper here are some first principles

1. What are given below are my views on the best places that I know of.
2. I am not soliciting business for or from these folks.
3. You might end up with better places to shop than these....if you do then let me know as well :)

Okay....back to the meat then


Shutters (ready made)

For wardrobe & Kitchen: Have found Indoline to be the best in quality, variety & value (= cost/ quality). These are available from most Kitchen & Furniture vendors in Bangalore. Huzafia Decor on Residency road is the Bangalore dealer for Indoline.
The negative is that these come from Nasik and take a min of 15 days for delivery. If one is pressed for time then Elenza comes a close second. They have a factory in Bangalore, hence can deliver quickly, also have a wider colour choice.

Carcass 

(boxes for kitchen & wardrobe cabinets): Anything works here...Elenza, Indoline, local make all are ok

Wood (Ply, Laminate etc.)

Kanakpura Road (opposite GR Pinnacle) has multiple shops. All of these folks are distributors and offer good rates (I might write about rates in a later post)

Hardware

Before you buy hardware make sure you visit the Hettich showroom at Raheja Arcade in Koramangala (opposite Forum). A trip there opens your eyes to what all has been achieved in the Hardware world and what you should be using for your needs. Best places to shop for hardware are Ismail (good rates), Parmanand (Good variety) - both on Commercial Street (CS), CS has multiple other shops in the bylanes & crevices which I have not explored.
Closer to South Bangalore, Masterpiece (opposite Big Bazaar Jayanagar 9th Block) has good variety (rates are a ?). Also Razzle (Opposite Sonata on RV Road) has good variety (especially Handles & Aluminium profiles etc.), rates are ok ok.

Number of folks choose to go to City Market for Hardware, however shopkeepers there (i felt) are not trustworthy and might take you for a ride.


Electricals, Light Fittings Etc.: 

For Lights the sasta and tikaau (meaning offering good value) place is Priya Electricals in Jayanagar 4th Block Market (Shops opposite Citibank). While Priya also keeps all other electrical stuff (Fans, Geysers, Chimney, Hobs etc.) sometimes have found Anupama Electricals (Opposite Khazana Jewellery in Jayanagar 4th Block) offering better rates.
If you want some of the best lights in town and care two hoots about the price then go to Trisha (Shanthi Nagar), they import lights from nearly all over the world and have a good variety.
I have seen Kapoor Lights, LightsPro etc. etc. but still found the above folks to be better.

Wooden Flooring & Panelling

This is one area (at least) where Hometown offers good choice, though you might get a better price outside.
There is specialized flooring and panelling material available (for example bamboo, shell, coconut shell wood panelling, leather floors etc) , however this comes from niche players who do not have a showroom in Bangalore but can supply.

Also very good quality Wallpaper is available nowadays (Hometown has this). This offers greater variety (than paint) for wall textures and is quicker to lay.

Kids Furniture

ChildSpace (Childspace.co.in) is by far the best, sometimes a little steep in price, however it beats all in quality and finish.


Sanitaryware

Galleria on Indiranagar 100 feet road has very good variety, they import stuff from all over, also they also have a price to match.
For standard desi stuff at regular rates Build mart (buildmart.co.in) on BG Road & Hometown have all that is there in the market...one stop shop


Kitchen & Bathroom slabs

This is not your run of the mill granite and marble stuff that I am talking about which is amply available in the Marble Market on BG Road.
There are speciality acrylic kitchen and counter tops that are available in Bangalore from Hanex (Hanexusa.com). They have a dealer close to dairy circle (before Kajaria Ceramics next to Forum) where you can check it out.


Furnishings, Upholstery etc.: 

Floating Walls (floatingwalls.in) in Jayanagar has everything that one might need at a price that is approx 30% lower most other big names in the market.

This is all that I can think of at this time of the night (yaaawn!!!) will add to the post if I remember anything that I missed out. As mentioned earlier if you find a good place for shopping for Home interiors ..... do let me know and I will add to the list (with due credits to you of course)

Bye for now

NM

PS: If you have a question to ask then please note: On Nov 15th 2017 we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website. The Q&A interface on this blog was unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting - you would have noticed being unable to  scroll down to a question once the number of questions below a certain post increases beyond a certain limit. 


Hence if you have a question then please post it at  https://thestudiobangalore.com/questions-and-answers/ 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Photographs of my recent work at Elita, JP Nagar, Bangalore





So what is a modular kitchen? .... and some best practices

I recently came across a customer who was told by his "designer" (more carpenter) that the kitchen he has made for the customer is Modular because ... "see it has these steel baskets and I will also put in a magic corner". Ha, haa I thought, this needs some explanation, why don't I use this topic as my first post in the blog. So here goes....aaaum ganeshaya namah...

With so many scrupulous and un-scrupulous designers, carpenters, interior-walas selling what they call "modular kitchens" these days it is good as a customer to know what exactly is a "Modular Kitchen".

So here it is....

1. As the name suggests a "Modular" Kitchen consists of modules that are assembled together. Each module consisting of the Carcass (box) and the shutter is independent and can be taken in and out of the full unit separately. This also helps in repair work when the kitchen ages as for example, you can completely replace the wet unit (unit under the washbasin) if it spoils after some years of use without disrupting the rest of the kitchen.

2.  The Carcass in a Modular kitchen rests on 3-4 inch legs, typically 4 legs under each module. It does not rest on a wooden plank. The legs are hidden behind a PVC (not wood) skirting. The legs & the PVC skirting help because (a) As mentioned in point 1 earlier the unit/ module can be independently moved in & out and (2) the wood does not touch the ground, hence no chances of any damage caused by water, mop etc.

3. Height is usually more than the normal kitchen. Most designers (Carpenters) would keep the height as 32 inches and this is usually what the builder also gives. However typical Modular Kitchens will have a height around 36 inches.It is good to keep this height because (1) We Indian women are nowadays taller than in the past :-) and therefore it is more convenient to work on a higher slab and (2) If you want to fit a dishwhasher under the slab it will not fit in 32 inches and (3) A higher height gives you more storage space underneath.

4. While steel baskets and accessories in the drawers etc. are good, they nowadays cost the same as soft closing drawers & by that I mean the same price as Hettich Innotech drawers (http://www.hettich.com/uk/carpenter/1109.php) which are considered as amongst the best drawer systems in the world. The choice is however left to the individual.

I guess thats it. I am sure this will give one enough gyan to "sound" intelligent and knowledgable to your designer/ carpenter so that he does not take you for a ride.

Happy home making

NM

PS: If you have a question to ask then please note: On Nov 15th 2017 we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website. The Q&A interface on this blog was unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting - you would have noticed being unable to  scroll down to a question once the number of questions below a certain post increases beyond a certain limit. 


Hence if you have a question then please post it at  https://thestudiobangalore.com/questions-and-answers/