After spending a bomb on interiors in terms of resources, time and love – it’s painful to see things slowly (sometimes not so slowly) coming apart as the home ages and matures. As a home making professional even I have felt this anguish seeing my creations going down especially when just basic maintenance could have ensured longevity.
Below are simple maintenance tips that I have learned over the years that should help you keep your interiors in top shape and you (…and me…for the homes I have done) feeling great about your now “not so new” but “matured” home.
1. The essential “Yearly” carpenter visit:
Like how we need an annual health check up, your woodwork needs one too. The hardware that’s used nowadays (zero crank hinges, hydraulic lift ups, sliding systems etc) tends to gather play with regular use. You would have noticed the space between the shutters either becoming bigger or smaller with use – sometimes the shutters may clash, rub against the adjoining panel, wall or slab or bend/ get damaged if the issue is not arrested in time. The carpenter will tighten things back & it will take him no longer than a few of hours to do it – “quality” time well spent with your home I am sure.
2. The over enthusiastic scrubber:
The maid under guidance from the super clean ma’am sometimes, in her enthusiasm, scrubs away the grouting along with the dirt. Grouting (for those not so enlightened) is the filler that’s put in between tiles/ granite slab or between the slab & the sink to fill the gap. The purpose is to (1) fill the gap aesthetically and (2) to prevent water leakage in wet places. A scrubbed off grouting is the single biggest kitchen killer known to man woman & child – it leads to water seepage from the sink, into the woodwork underneath leading to sure death. Also – the “artificial rain” in your bathroom due to the seeping ceiling is probably because of the over enthusiastic scrubber upstairs.
As you may have guessed already a scrubbed grouting has a simple solution – (1) Check for its absence on the floors (especially bathroom floors), between the kitchen slab & sink and where the slab meets the walls and (2) put the grouting back.
You can in fact do it on your own using white cement for the floor and silicone gel for the Kitchen
3. The “stuffed” drain pipe:
Imagine yourself in the Kitchen drain pipe’s shoes….no, throat, and you will feel its bane. The spillage resulting from the choke also affects and spoils the woodwork around the drain. A monthly “drainex” down the drain (literally) will help avoid the quarterly choke providing respite to the woodwork around it.
4. Formal, Formal, Formal pest control:
So many of us come under the spell of the humane (to the cockroaches) “herbal” pest control guy or are busy lining our homes with numerous “lakshman rekhas”. Trust me, nothing (with an underline) works better than a formal pest control treatment. Depending on the size of your place it costs between Rs. 3000 – 10000 annually and is worth every Rupee.
The black “sand” that the cockroaches leave behind in your cabinets and drawers is their droppings – not only does it look messy, it also find its way into your utensils, cooking etc. etc.……you know where I am leading with this. So fix it before it fixes you.
5. Lemonade & fizz for your bathroom fixtures:
With use, you will find a frosty white film settling on your bathroom fittings. It’s a pretty stubborn piece of flab which, when attacked with regular cleaners, leads to the chrome itself getting damaged. The solution – a tiny yellow lemon. A scrub with lemon juice will melt away the film and bring the shine & smile back. If you are out of lemon then (this one is awesome…) use Coke…yes “Cocoa Cola” – in fact Coke works better than Pepsi for this one. A sure Thumbs up to Coke for winning “this” Cola war.
6. Corian Top – The 2 year itch:
If you have a Kitchen/ Breakfast Counter made with an Acrylic Solid Surface (called Corian in layman’s terms) you may notice mild scratches on it within 2-3 of years of use. What a lot of folks do not know is that you can get the surface re-buffed (the guy who installed it will be able to it) this will make it looking as good as new.
That’s it from me for now but if YOU know any maintenance tips then please send them in a comment below and I will publish. Wish you all happy up-keeping.
PS: A large part of this article was written by me for the Elita Community magazine, Some of you may therefore have read it there already & sorry for the repeat.
21 thoughts on “Home Interiors Maintenance Tips – The “Anti Wrinkle Cream” for your home”
Hi Nandita, came across your wonderful blog just yesterday…must say got great insights about various aspects like the type of woods used and many design aspects. today's article also is a gem which i am going to take a print of for sure!
pls help me with a big dilemma i am facing these days. we are going to start the interiors of our 4-BHK flat in Thane( Maharashtra). going through your blog really helped me in gathering confidence about the work. earlier i got the woodwork done for my present flat but that was only the woodwork and the kitchen.
our ID provided us the electrical and furniture layout of the entire flat and also the 2-D elevations of individual rooms..because of the budget constraints we hv decided not to continue with her. these days we are in the process of talking to a team of a plumber,carpenter ,civil work person and the electrician. they hv worked for us earlier also, and are quite good in their respective fields.
my apprehensions are –
1. how to get a synchronised rhythm and a flow of design in the entire house like a pro? entire home should reflect a common element.how to achieve that?
2.how to be sure about the technical nitty gritties of the entire work that everything is being executed in the right manner.
please also advise-
3.just in front of the entrance there is a 5'x4' gym area; how to hide that area with a temporary partition ( with a glass wall fountain and a buddha statue) which can be removed as and when required.
3. at the right side of the entrance in the huge living room we hv created a 7'x4' office area , what is the right material to enclose office area so that the vastness of the living room is not compromised.
PS: its a 4-BHK flat of 1397 square ft carpet area on the 5floor of a seven storey building. we are 5 members (2-kids) in the family.
Your blogs are very informative and interesting.
I was exploring the option of an eco friendly interior design. In this regard I came across aluminium based modular kitchen and wardrobe units in place of wood based ones. What is your opinion on using aluminium based units? Is there a number I can reach you on? Thank you.
The simple answer to your question is "hire a good interior designer" – and once you have done that – trust him/ her to do a good job (that responsibility itself is pressure enough on the designer) and relax. 🙂
From a durability perspective Aluminium is fine. Personally I do not like the feel of metallic cabinets as it makes the place feel like a railway compartment.
I am reachable at email@example.com
Your blogs are very informative and interesting.
I have gone through your blogs suggesting places for interior design material.
I am looking for budgeted , designer and quality fabric sofa set , and recliners in Bangalore. So far what I enquired, prices shoots to Lakhs.
Any recommendation ?
The prices are fairly steep for sofas, recliners and across the board for interiors in Bangalore. You may check online if you are able to get discounted rates or deals. However for recliners its best to try it out for comfort and smoothness of the mechanism before buying
This is a great post! It's distressing that (sometimes) people spend good money while doing their interiors, but almost forget about maintenance (whether DIY or paying someone else to do it). Thanks for sharing these tips.
We are planning to build our own house in bangalore, plot is 30*33,and we are looking to build a duplex house, Can you please suggest good and reliable architects for this, Both me and my spouse are working and we cannot possible do this withe a contractor alone.
Can you give me contact details of some dealers for acrylic countertop.
I have a family friend who is a qualified architect and takes on architecture assignments part time. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've read through all your blogs and have found them highly informative. I was armed with enough knowledge from the contents that all the vendors I approached for my wood work responded to my queries with proper regard. Thanks a lot for that.
I have a question regarding acrylic shutters for kitchen and it would be of great help if you could give your two cents. I am getting my wood work done onsite through a carpenter and am planning to go for acrylic shutters for the kitchen. He says he will get it done from a factory and fit it onsite. The question is regarding the material. From what I could gather, I thought that they would press an acrylic sheet (~1mm) on top of ply in the factory when it comes to acrylic shutters. But my carpenter says that, they will be binding a 12mm or a 6mm acrylic solid surface (this sounds similar to the corian tops used for kitchen counter tops) on a ~12mm sheet of ply in the factory. He says that this would give a better finishing than pasting ~1mm acrylic sheets on 18mm ply. But I feel his approach would lead to ~25mm thickness for the shutters and I am afraid they might end up a lot heavier and causing more load on the hinges. Please let me know if this is a good approach and if there is any real benefit over pasting ~1mm acrylic sheets on ply.
About the pros and cons of the two approaches, my carpenter says an ~1mm acrylic sheet on top of ply would be more easier and economical to replace in case of a damage but the finishing would be a little less that using 12mm acrylic surface.
About the 12mm acrylic surface, he says that it will give a great finishing but might easily break/chip in the corners in case of accidental hits by utensils and will look ugly with crack and also be very expensive to replace. Is this really that fragile?
He also says the cost will be the same (1600 per sq ft) for both models – ~1mm acrylic sheet on ~18mm ply and ~12mm acrylic surface on ~112mm ply. Is that right? Please let me know your thoughts.
If you are looking for Acrylic then you should ideally go for factory made/ finished shutters. I would not recommend pasting the sheet or the solid surface on site. Also Solid surface for the shutters will be a big no as will be heavy + has low gloss when compared to Laminates or Acrylic.
I assume 1600 psft is being quoted as the cost of the shutter, if yes I will advise you to re – search the market
Hi . What is better to use. The traditional beading or edge banding. The carpenters seem to prefer edge banding over the traditional beading look.
It really depends upon your personal taste and the desired design/ look of the furniture.
All carpenters are not good with Edge Banding as it needs a clean hand as well as a different/ special adhesive.
Hi Nandita, excellent Blog 🙂 Keep it up gives a good read to novices like me who are thinking what to do for the kitchen and closets for new house. Wanted to ask you the difference between HIGH GLOSS & MDF MEMBRANE SHUTTER and POLYMER SHUTTER. I am planning to go for Marine Ply for kitchen and have been asked for the above suggetsions. Please suggest
Hi Gloss is usually a shiny sheet (laminate or acrylic) pasted on top of MDF or Ply. Membrane is a thin film pasted usually on top of MDF. Polymer can mean different things and I cannot judge what your vendor specifically has on offer.
Broadly all the options are fine. My suggestion would be to visit the vendor to see the samples and decide based on what appeals best to you
my carpenter suggesting "BWR ply+membrane" for Kitchen Shutter.. What do you think about this combination ?
Membrane on BWR Ply should be fine to use
Your blog is very nice.
I needed some advice regarding the my house furniture.
I live in Mumbai. I am moving to an empty rented apartment and need to get a lot furniture made. Now I just plan to stay for 4-5 years at this place and will be buying my own house in that time. So, don't to invest heavily on furniture. The carpenter I asked said he will be making the furniture in 12mm hardwood ply of Assam plywood. The wardrobe doors and bed top wood be in 18mm. How long lasting wood the furniture be? would it work fine for 5 years or more? what would you suggest. The carpenter gave me a cost of approx. 800 per sqft. Is the price reasonable? or what should be a reasonable price? Do I need to go for full 18mm or some other brand plywood?
Thank you in advance for your response!!
If you are renting the apartment my suggestion would be NOT to get the furniture made, rather buy it from the new online stores as you will be able to get the stuff much cheaper.