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26.4.08

Home-Lighting in Kerala







Lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects in home construction today, primarily because there is a perception that good lighting or custom lighting is expensive. Budgets are getting squeezed and homeowners prefer spending on things they think give a bigger "impact". And, people often go to great lengths to maximize windows and natural light, all very important considerations, but forget that a large amount of their leisure time is spent in the evenings, after dark, when relying on the artificial lighting in your home.

Our goal here is help you make the most intelligent lighting choices, choices that will leverage your substantial investment in that new home, creating a special environment that is comfortable, relaxing and accentuates the beautiful architecture that you are creating. A house plan that you purchase will have a basic layout that shows wall outlets and some ceiling lights and fans — a useful guide for budgeting and planning but this needs to be amplified by your conceptualizing your use of each space or room, and the furnishing layout you are planning. If you can fit it in your budget, an interior decorator at a local home furnishing or lighting store might be able to help you sketch out a more detailed lighting plan.

Types Of Lighting

General Lighting

Ceiling fixtures, chandeliers and wall sconces are used to illuminate the way for movement throughout the home. Recessed can lights often are used to light hallways, stairs and circulation areas and do a good job of lighting the floor. However, a softer and more pleasant effect can be had by using indirect lighting such as wall washers that do double the duty of highlighting your artwork and, at the same time, provide attractive general lighting.

Try to anticipate where you will be hanging artwork — blank wall spaces — and place recessed can lights that are designed to wash that wall with light. Another way to soften your illumination is to bounce light off the ceiling through the use of indirect cove light and wall sconces. Wall sconces are easy to do almost anywhere but cove lighting often requires changes to the architecture and may be more applicable to high ceiling areas.

Task Lighting

Kitchen counters and other work surfaces such as home offices and workshop areas require a higher level of illumination, usually provided by recessed cans, track lighting, ceiling pendants and, in offices, table, desk, or floor lamps. The key here is to provide light that is bright enough but free from shadows. Particularly in kitchens, it is better have more fixtures, spaced closer together, using a lower wattage such as 50 watt, par 20 halogen can lights. Remember that it is the counter you want lit, not the floor in front or the top of your head, so consider lining up your can lights on the front edge of the counter.

Mood or Accent Lighting

Lighting which is installed primarily for atmosphere such as lamps, ceiling chandeliers, specialty hi-hats and landscape lights fall into this category, as do most ceiling fans with lights. Art niches are popular and require lighting that is focused on them. Dimmers can also be used on general or task lighting to help create mood lighting.

Exterior Lighting

The tendency to focus most of your attention to the inside of your home is common but, particularly in areas where you do a lot of your living outdoors, it is a mistake to forget these areas. Even if your landscaping is staged as a future project, you must think through where you will want lights and plan for adding the appropriate outlets and switches.

Landscape, driveway and pathway lights can also make a huge impact and do not add that much to the budget. Usually these are inexpensive, low voltage, fixtures that require a transformer conveniently located for connection to the house power and access for timers to control the lighting.

New Trends in Lighting

1. The focus is back on brilliant chandeliers in the entry and dining areas. A cozy formality and decorum is once again welcomed into the social spaces of the home. Chandeliers take center stage, carrying the mood of the room.
2. Many are choosing to downsize their homes and then maximize their use of space. Patios, balconies, and decks are serving as additional living/dining areas. Lighting and furniture design elements are being used to create continuity between the indoors and outdoors.

3. Solar powered landscape lighting is seeing more widespread use. As the brightness produced by energy-efficient bulbs improves, these handy outdoor lights will be getting more attention.

4. Color is going natural when it comes to fixtures. The neutrals; beige, ivory, taupe, gray, and white are paired with organic and spice colors. Grays coupled with organic tones deliver the soft, enveloping atmosphere that is the perfect counterpoint to today's busy lifestyle.
5. Everyone is paying attention to kitchen lighting. Since the kitchen has evolved as a social gathering place, multiple layers of function and ambience are necessary. The pendant light trend remains strong. Often set in a row over islands, they are also being used in three-level-closely-clustered formations over a dinette.

More links on Home-Lighting-



19.4.08

Tips for Home Safety






An accident or injury can occur in any part of your home. Some safety hazards are obvious — such as a toy truck left lying at the top of the stairs. Others are not so easily identified — such as a stairway railing that has become loose.

Create a safer home by taking simple precautions.

Be prepared

Have telephones in easy reach of both your bed and the place you sit most often.
Place emergency phone numbers on or near every phone in your home.
Buy a first-aid kit. Keep one in both your home and your car.

Avoid Fires

Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the house. Test them periodically to make sure they work. Batteries should be changed at least once a year.
Place fire extinguishers in the kitchen and other rooms. Make sure you know how to use them.
Never smoke in bed.
Turn off appliances when they are not in use.
Run electrical cords along walls, not under rugs.
Don't overload outlets and extension cords.
Never store flammable liquids such as cleaning agents and paint supplies near heating units.
Keep space heaters a safe distance from combustibles. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
Have more than one escape route from your home. Practice these routes with your family.

A Recipe for Careful Cooking

Keep flammable objects such as curtains, aprons and dishtowels away from stoves.
Never wear loose clothing near a stovetop while cooking.
Never leave cooking unattended.
Don't cook if you are drowsy.
Heat oil slowly. Heating oil too quickly can easily start a fire. If a pan catches fire, carefully place a lid over the pan and turn off the heat. Leave the lid on until completely cool.
Always clean appliances and surfaces after cooking to prevent grease buildup.
Make sure handles on cookware are secure and always turned toward the center of the stove when cooking.
Use a step stool instead of a chair to climb to a high shelf.
Ensure that all sharp tools such as knives, forks and scissors are kept in a safe place.
Keep glass objects and appliances with sharp blades out of children's reach.
Unplug all appliances when not in use with cords out of children's reach.
Store vitamins, medicine bottles, masalas in high cabinet.
Store matches and lighters in locked cabinet.
Position chairs away from the stove.

Avoid bumps, burns, bruises and falls

Make sure staircases are well lit and have convenient switches and night-lights at the top and bottom.
Securely fasten all carpeting and make sure all throw rugs or area rugs have non-skid backing.
Install rubber mats or safety decals in bathtubs and showers.
Close cabinet doors and drawers when they are not in use.
Keep staircases and hallways free of clutter.
Never go up and down stairs carrying things that could block your vision or put you off balance.

In the Bathroom

Store razor blades, nail-scissors and other sharp tools in locked cabinet. Ensure that electrical outlets have grounded circuit breakers.
Unplug electric razors and hairdryers when not in use.
Get non-skid surface.
Fix electrical switches outside bathroom.
Avoid using immersion heaters.
Keep bottles of mouthwash, hair dyes and hairsprays out of children's reach.

In the Garage

Keep all tools and supplies gardening, automotive and lawn care units in a safe place.
Keep all hazardous automotive and gardening products in a locked cabinet.
Keep bleaching powder, cleaning powder and detergents out of children's reach.

Electrical precautions

Cover unused outlets with safety plugs.
Ensure that all major electrical appliances are grounded.
Ensure that all electrical cords in the house are properly insulated (no broken or exposed wiring).
Check and remove other potential electrical fire hazards such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires.
Position TVs, computers and stereo equipment against walls.

More links on Home Safety-



12.4.08

Paint Brands in India

ASIAN PAINTS


Asian Paints Ltd. was established in 1942. More than half a century down the lane, Asian Paints is India’s largest and Asia’s third largest paint company today.  Asian Paints operates in 22 countries and has 29 paint manufacturing facilities in the  World. Besides Asian Paints, the group operates around the world through its subsidiaries, Berger International Limited, Apco Coatings, SCIB Paints and Taubmans. Asian Paints along with PPG Inc, USA is one of the leading manufacturers of automotive coatings in the world.  Asian Paints Industrial Coatings Limited caters to the Industrial coatings market and has tied-up with Protech Chemicals,  a world leader in powder coatings.


Products:
Decorative Paints - Asian Paints India manufactures interior and exterior home paints like distempers, emulsions, metallic finish paints, special rich luster paints, office use paints, premium and tractor emulsions and texture paints.
Exterior Wall Paints - Asian Paints offers a range of emulsion paints for your exterior walls. You can choose from ACE, Apex, Apex Ultima, Apex Duracast and more, based on the specific demand of surface area.
Interior Wall Paints - Asian Paints offers emulsions and distempers like Royale Luxury Emulsion, Asian Paints Interior Walls Finish – Luster Or Matt,  Tractor Emulsion Smooth Wall Finish,  Tractor Acrylic Or Synthetic Distempers,  Utsav Acrylic Distemper. Among these Tractor Acrylic Distemper, with better durability, is one of the best performing distempers .
Designer Finishes -  Asian Paints also has an exclusive product range in special effects finishes. You can check their Royale Play products for more information.
Industrial Paints - Industrial use paints for automobiles, aviation, protective coatings, road markings, floor coatings etc. are also available in Asian Paints.

Services:
Asian Paints also have Home Solutions Services (APHS) in select cities like Ahmedabad, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, GurgaonHyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai Noida and Pune.  Home Solutions Toll Free Number: 1800 22 5678 (from MTNL and BSNL lines)

Address of Corporate Office: Asian Paints House, 6 A, Shantinagar, Vakola Pipeline Road, Santacruz (East), Mumbai – 400 055
Website: www.asianpaints.com

BERGER PAINTS:


Berger Paints was the creation of Mr. Lewis Berger, who  in 1760, through his  shades had offered people a chance to transform their homes through the power of imagination. Berger Paints India Limited has been in India since 1923.


Products:
Industrial Paints - Berger Paints  manufacture varnishes, dry colours, enamels, pastes, distemper, ships paints, boiler components and various other kinds of Industrial paints.  Some of the brands manufactured are Castle, Parrot, Duroglaze, Murisan, Synthetic, Soligum, Apexior, etc.
Decorative Paints -In Decorative Paints, Berger has paints and paint systems for every application – interior, exterior, concrete, plaster, metal and wood, special kids room décor paints.- as well as special applications like water storage, etc.
Interior Wall Paints - include Luxol Silk Luxury Premium Emulsion, Rangoli Easy Clean Emulsion, Rangoli Super Acrylic Emulsion, Bison Super Emulsion and Bison Acrylic Distemper
Exterior Wall Paints – include Weathercoat Long Life, Smooth 100% Acrylic Emulsion, Weathercoat Textured Exterior Emulsion,  Walmasta Antifungal Exterior Emulsion, Durocem Extra Waterproof Cement Coatings.
Special Surface Paints - include Enamels for Metal Surfaces like Luxol Hi Gloss Synthetic Enamel, Luxol Duroglaze Rich Matt Enamel, Luxol Luster Enamel.
Wood Finish Coatings like Woodkeeper PU Clear and Woodkeeper Melamine.

Services: Berger Paints India has specialized painting services like:
Lewis Berger Home Painting - If you are looking for a painting solution, the experts at Lewis Berger will take care of everything right from the selection of the product to be used, well-trained painters, supervision, and painting materials delivery to clean up process. This service is available in all major cities in India including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
Illusions - You can get designer finishes for your house walls and offices by using the decorative paints service by Berger Paints.
Galaxy – This is a Berger Paints specialty service for kids. You can create a glowing  night sky in the ceiling of your kids’ room by this easy-to-use self-help kit.
Berger Kidz - The popular cartoon network characters of Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter etc. can be brought to your kids in their room. Call up Berger Kidz Home Painting Service. SMS “BERGER” to 56767.
An online color visualizer, a painting cost estimator and an online shade card are available at their website.

Website: www.bergerpaints.com
Address of Head Office: Berger House, 129 Park Street, Kolkata 700017. Ph : +91 33 2229 9724 / 2229 6005 / 06 / 16 Telex : +91 21 6606 / 5791 Fax : +91 33 2249 9009 / 9729. e-mail : berger@vsnl.com

ICI PAINTS:


Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) is a major paints, adhesive and specialty products business with products and ingredients developed for a wide range of markets. ICI is present in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. However, in the beginning of 2008 ICI became a part of Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest coatings manufacturer, the number one in decorative paints and performance coatings, and a leading supplier of specialty chemicals. Visit the Official site of Akzo Nobel at:   www.akzonobel.com


ICI Paints, headquartered in UK and manufactured in 24 countries, has some of the world’s top paints and decorative product brands. ICI’s Paints division in India is a susidary of ICI Dulux Institutional, a world leader in paints.  The Indian subsidiary, ICI Dulux India which is popularly know as Dulux Paints India, owes its success to  strong brands such as ICI’s exterior emulsion brands – Weathershield and Supercote and retail brands like Dulux Velvet Touch, Acrylic Emulsion and Gloss. Visit the official site of ICI Dulux Paints at: www.icidulux.co.in

Products:
Interior Walls and Ceilings - The well-known paints include the much publicized Dulux Velvet Touch Paints, Dulux Supreme 3-in-1, Dulux Acrylic Emulsion, Dulux Satin Finish, Maxilite Distemper, Supercote Interior Emulsion.Special diamond glaze and matt finish paints by Dulux are also gaining popularity.
Exterior Wall Paints – Include Dulux Weathershield Max, Dulux Weathershield Tex (for textured finish),  Supercote, ICI Paints Exterior Acrylic Primer, ICI Pre Treatment Coat.
Designer finishes – Include a new product Duette, a two tone pattern finsh with more than 20 Lakh colour combinations to choose from.
Metal Surfaces Paints – Include ICI Dulux Satin Finish,  Supergloss 5-in-1, ICI Dulux Gloss
Wood Surface Paints - Include ICI Dulux Satin Finish, Supergloss 5-in-1, Dulux Gloss, Dulux Timbertone Melamine, supermatt satin wood paint.
Tiles Protective Coatings – Include Dulux Tileshield.
Other paint products - include endurance paint, floor paints, full cover texture paints, heritage range of paints, lumitec and nature’s touch designs, quick dry gloss finish paints, vinyl silk look and vinyl matt finish paints.
Special kidzone at Dulux Paints caters to the kids room décor paints and themes.

Services:
Dulux Paint Studio – Dulux has a Paint Studio in select cities, for Colour consultancy and Painting service, where trained colour consultants will help you choose the right colour combinations with the help of specially designed software and painting experts are available for painting your home.

Website: www.iciindia.com
Address of the Head Office (India): ICI India Limited, Paints Business, DLF Plaza Tower, 10th Floor, DLF Qutab Enclave Phase 1, Gurgaon 122 002, Haryana, India. Tel: +91 124 2540400, Fax: +91 124 2540841

JOTUN PAINTS:


Jotun group, a Norwegian paint manufacturer which is headquartered in Sanderfjord, Norway, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of paints,  Coatings and powder coatings. The group has 71 companies and 40 production facilities on all continents. In addition, Jotun has agents, branch offices and distributors in more than 70 countries.

Jotun Paints inaugurated its first manufacturing facility in India, in April 2008 at Ranjangon in Pune  and will soon set up a manufacturing unit in North India. The manufacturing unit in Pune mainly caters to Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra and will move to the northern markets such as Gujarat, Delhi and Haryana subsequently. Jotun has launched retail outlets in a many towns and cities of India.

Products:
Jotun Paints has created highly advanced Marine Coatings,  Protective Coatings, Decorative paints and Powder coatings. The entire range of Jotun Decorative paints includes interior emulsions,exterior wall paints, epoxy and polyurethane systems, alkyd-based enamels for wood, steel and plastered surfaces.

Emulsion Paint: Fenomastic Gold, Fenomastic, Durosan and Jollyfix are emulsion based paints recommended for use on surfaces such as plaster, gypsum board, concrete, asbestos cement panels and rendered blockwork.
Enamel Paint- Gardex and Bengalac are alkyd based enamel paints available in different gloss levels. They are ideal for use on a variety of interior and exterior surfaces.
Textured paint: To create special looks with a blend of texture and colours, you can vary the texture  from fine and medium to heavy and special or  alternate between a coarse or smooth finish, matt or glossy.

Website: www.jotun.com
The Factory Address: Jotun India Private Ltd, Pune. Tel: +91 02138 671300
Sales office: Jotun India Private Ltd, Mumbai. Tel: +91 22 28224600, +91 22 28205900(+fax)

KANSAI NEROLAC PAINTS:


The history of Nerolac Paints dates back to 1920. Nerolac Paints was established as Gahagan Paints and Varnish Co. Ltd. in Mumbai. In 1933, it was renamed to Goodlass Wall India Ltd. and later became Goodlass Nerolac Paints Pvt. Ltd in 1957. And recently in 2006, it acquired the present name Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd.


Kansai Nerolac Paints is a subsidiary of Japan based Kansai Paint Company Limited that is one of the top ten coating companies in the world. Nerolac is the second largest in India with a leading position in industrial and automotive paints and also in powder coatings.

Products: The paint products by Nerolac Paints for Home and Office Walls include:

Interior Surfaces Paints that include-
Water Based Emulsions such as Nerolac Impressions – 24 Carat/ Metallic/ Disney, Nerolac Beauty – Premium Acrylic Emulsion/ Silky Smooth/ Smooth Finish
Water based Distempers such as Beauty Premium Acrylic Distemper/ Oil Bound Distemper.
Solvent Based Paints such as Nerolac Pearls Luster Finish / Synthetic Flat Paint Interior.
Enamels such as Nerolac Synthetic, Nerolac Satin, Goody Synthetic, Impressions Hi-Performance

Exterior Surfaces Paints that include -

Emulsions such as Impressions Excel – Anti Peel/ Total, Suraksha Advanced.
Cement Paints such as Nerocem With Titatnium +
Special Paints such as Nerotex Matt Decorative and Protective Exterior Finish, Nerolac Impressions Everlast Self Cleaning with Piolite.
Paints for Wood Surfaces like PU Interior +, Multisealer, Water Clear Lacquer, Wood Stains, NC Sealer/Wood Filler/Thinner.
For Metal Surfaces – Nerolac Impressions Hi – Performance Enamel, Nerolac Satin Enamel, Nerolac Synthetic Enamel.
Industrial paints include automotive, powder, general industrial and high performance coatings.

Services:
Online Guide - Nerolac Paints India offers an online guide to painting jobs, a list of the dealers network, a complete shade card citing all the shades and colours available in the paint you want, painting cost calculator, online color visualizer and Vaastu solutions for your house.
Nerolac Assured Paint Service - This is painting services for your home by expert craftsmen of Nerolac. This service is available in select cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Kanpur etc.
Nerolac Disney Collection was launched in a tie-up with Walt Disney Company (India). Nerolac gained a lot of popularity in this category targeted specially for kids since the kids room décor is incomplete without their most favorite Disney characters Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.

Website: www.nerolac.com
Head Office Address: Nerolac House, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013. Tel: 91-22-2493 4001

NIPPON PAINTS:


The company was first founded in Japan as Komyosha in 1881 by brothers Haruta and Jujiro Moteki together with their chief engineer Heikichi Nakagawa. In 1898, Nippon Paint was established as Japan’s first true paint manufacturing company.

Nippon Paint has over 126 years experience in the paint industry. Since its establishment the Nippon Paint group has consistently been a leader in the paints and coatings Industry. After making inroads into Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nippon Paint also garnered a sizeable share of the decorative  paints market in China. Nippon Paint has operations in Europe and America as well. Now the Nippon Group is  recognized as the leader in Asia.For official website of Nippon Paints visit  www.nipponpaint.com

Nippon Paint India started its operations from Chennai, in June 2006 and the Decorative paint division has its Office in Chennai. Apart from the  retail chain network Nippon Paints is present in Noida, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad through HomeTown hypermarket chain.

Since it is a specialty chemical company, Nippon Paint has been committed to protecting and preserving the beauty and purity of the environment as part of its corporate social responsibility.This focus on protecting the environment has earned both the Singapore and Taiwan operations the ISO:14001 certification in 1997 and 1998 respectively.

Products:
Nippon Paint is the one of the few companies that offers paint solutions for practically every kind of surface. The product range consists of Automotive, Decorative, Industrial, Auto Refinish, Marine and road marking paints. The company is also into fine chemicals business.

Zero VOC content - Nippon has developed high-grade environmentally friendly products with near Zero VOC content.
Antibacterial Paints – Nippon Paints has developed highly functional products and systems that keep bacteria at bay such as 3 in 1 Medifresh interior emulsion which protects interior walls against bacteria. It is water resistant and is even able to cover hairline cracks successfully.
Odourless Paint - Nippon has also developed a virtually odourless paint which eliminates the uneasiness of strong paint smell.
Superior Exterior Finishes -The company has an impressive range of high end textures for exteriors and interiors which can last for more than 10 years. Weatherbond and Sumo are high performance superior exterior acrylic emulsion paints and are specially formulated to take on extreme weather conditions. They have many functional properties like water resistance, dirt pick up resistance, algal resistance and alkali resistance.
Aerosol Spray Paints – Nippon Paint is also planning to introduce Aerosol spray paints which will expose Indians to the globally popular and successful Do-It-Yourself concept.

Website: For the official website on Nippon Paints India, Visit: www.nipponpaint.com/country/india

OIKOS PAINTS:


Oikos Paints from Italy, known for decorative wall art, has launched three collections in India – The Top Interior Decorative line, The Top Exterior Decorative line, Flat Paint (Acrylic Paint) for Interior as Well as Exterior.

All three ranges have unlimited decorative possibilities in a spectrum of colours and a variety of feels and textures.

Top Interior Decorative Paints – These include multi effect acrylic paints like Raffaello Decor Stucco, Raffaello Mother of Pearl, Multidecor, Ottocento (Velvet effect), Pallas and Kreos.
Top Exterior Decorative Paints – These include Decorsil(water repellant), Veldecor (restoration of heritage buildings), Betoncryll (a cement Paint), Marmorino Naturale
Special Effects – Oikos special effects for walls is the first of its kind in India with effects like – Mother of Pearl, Stucco (Marble), Satin, Velvet, Antique, Textured and Metallic.
Novalis Iron Finish – is special enamel that gives the treated surface an aged, wrought iron finish and creates a barrier against atmospheric agents and U.V. rays thus impeding the deterioration of the substrate. It is highly recommended in environments withy aggressive climates and is ideal for the protection of gates, railings.

Address: Okios India Pvt. Ltd, Warden House, 1st Floor, Sir P.M. Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001. Phone : +91 22 2287 2295, Fax : +91 22 2287 3475. Email : info@oikosindia.com

SHALIMAR PAINTS:


Shalimar Paints was incorporated in India in 1902 as Shalimar Paint Color & Varnish Co. Ltd. It became a public limited company in 1961 and adopted the present name Shalimar Paints Limited in 1963. Shalimar Paints was the first large-scale manufacturing unit in India and also in the whole South-East Asia region. Shalimar Paints have their corporate office in Mumbai.


Some of the most commendable achievements by the Shalimar Paints R & D units are being the first Indian company to develop a radiation resistant paint for nuclear power plants coating and another would be aviation coatings epoxy/ vinyl system for ester lubricant resistant aircraft finish.

Products: The whole range of Shalimar Paints products include:
Exterior Paints - such as  Xtra Premium 100% Acrylic Exterior Finish, Superlac Acrylic Emulsion, Shaktiman Exterior Acrylic Emulsion
Husain Collection - Based on the acrylic copolymer emulsion, Husain Collection is fast drying, and smooth in flow and leveling and gives a smooth and silky finish
Other Interior Wall Finishes – such as No.1 Silk Emulsion, Mela Acylic Distemper.
Synthetic Enamel Paints- Superlac Hi – Gloss Synthetic Enamel/ Satin Finish Soft Sheen Synthetic Enamel/ Luster Finish, Diamond Synthetic Enamel,  Goldmin Synthetic Enamel
Other Paints such as Cement Paints,Wood Finishes, Putty, Primers, Aluminium Paint, Multi Purpose Varnishes, Wood Polishes, Dry Colours, Road Marking Paints.
Industrial Paints – The industrial paints products by Shalimar Paints cater to high performance coatings in the heavy industries like petrochemicals, nuclear and thermal power, heavy machinery manufacturers, construction industries etc. along with coatings finish for two wheelers, tractors, cylinders and textile machinery. Metal decoration coatings and Indian marine industry also are among the major clients of Shalimar Paints.

Services:
The Shalimar Paints website has a ‘Color Space’ where you can find over 5000 shades for choosing a particular shade. Shalimar Color Space Tinting Systems use the colorants of the premium international quality to ensure the widest possible range of colors to choose from.
Another popular category is the Hussain Collection Shade Card which is available online. The advantages of Hussain collection are that there is a whole spectrum of colors in shade card to choose from.
The Website also gives Dealer locator, color visualizer,  a cost calculator and painting tips that ensures optimum use of the paint products and the best finish.

Website: www.shalimarpaints.com
Corporate Office Address: Shalimar Paints Limited, 5th Floor, ‘C’ Wing, Oberoi Garden Estate, Chandivili Farm Road, Chandivili, Andheri (E), Mumbai – 400 072. Phone: 91-22-28574043 Email: info@shalimarpaints.com

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS PAINTS:


The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) is an American company which primarily engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale ofcoatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers primarily in North and South America. The company is mostly known through its Sherwin-Williams Paints line.


Founded by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams in 1866, the company has not only grown to be the largest producer of paints and coatings in the United States, but is among the largest producers in the world. It operates through four segments: Paint Stores (known as Sherwin-Williams Stores), Consumer, Automotive Finishes, and International Coatings.

Sherwin-Williams Paints acquired Nitco Paints, an Indian paint company, in April 2007, marking its entry into the Indian paint market. The Sherwin-Williams stores will offer a wide range of interior and exterior paints, painting accessories and tool, and market the company’s wood-care products under the ‘Ronseal’ brand. They will also offer a “touch and feel ” experience for the customers.

Products:
Interior Products which include – Paints,  Primers, Faux Finishing, Stains and Wallpapers
Exterior Products which include-  Exterior paints, Stains, Primers.
Tools and Supplies which include Brushes, Rollers & Pad Applicators, Sprayers, Ladders,  Prep Materials.

Website: Visit the official website: www.serwin-williams.com
The Address: SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Paints India Pvt. Ltd., Ground Floor, Paville House, Twin Tower Lane, Prabhadevi, Mumbai – 400025, Maharashtra, India. Phone:91-22-66113366/27464835. Fax:91-22-66113355

Staircase Design






Walk into any grand old home and one of the first things you’ll notice is the staircase — but you don’t have to live in a mansion to have a beautiful stairway. All it takes is some planning and careful attention to details to make the staircase an appealing design feature in your home.

Standard residential staircase dimensions are as follows-
The width of the staircase can be 90cm- 120cm.
The tread (width of each step) is usually 25cm-30cm.
The rise (height of each step) is 15cm to 18cm.
 A landing is usually given after every 10-12 steps to break the steep climb.

For a classic look nothing beats a hardwood staircase. One of the wonderful things about hardwood is that it lends itself so easily to different decors. Modern, traditional, funky or Victorian…it’s all possible with a hardwood staircase.

The quickest way to have the same staircase take on an entirely new look is in the decorative elements — such as the handrail, balusters, or newel post. Choose a more ornate baluster and you have an old-fashioned look, opt for simple lines if you want a more contemporary style.

If your house is small, or if the space near the stairway is narrow and tight, the stairwell can easily seem confining or restricting. Finding creative ways to “open” the space can create a more spacious feel. Ideas include opening the space beneath the staircase, if possible, or if not, adding a mirror or changing the lighting to divert the focus.
To really “open” a space you can opt for an ultramodern look with open risers and exposed stringers. Visually this look can be stunning, however, they can feel somewhat unnerving the first few times you ascend and descend. Not recommended in a home with young children or pets.

If you are adding another level to your home or are looking at completely redesigning an existing staircase a curved staircase will give a gorgeous and distinctive look — and may use less space than you think. A curved staircase takes up the same amount of room as L-shaped stairs.

Using different materials, such as wrought iron, glass and metal, in combination with wood can create a stunning effect as well.

As with any major home improvement project taking the time to plan what you want will pay huge dividends at the other side of the project. Look for ideas in home improvement books and magazines. Look at stairs in other homes and commercial buildings — it may not be what you are looking for, but it will start your mind thinking about the many design possibilities.

Whether you are redesigning an existing stairway or adding a new one, it is best to hire a professional. More than almost any other element of home construction, building a staircase demands exacting measurements. There is no room for error. Make sure you see examples of the company’s work and have checked references to ensure you are getting a top quality professional for the job.

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11.4.08

Front Door Design





The entrance is the first thing that people notice when they enter your house. That is why your front door design should be considered carefully as it reflects the tastes and preferences of those living inside. Apart from being attractive, your front entrance must be sturdy and secure, with the best door locks and door handles so that they provide proper security to your family. Further your gate should be designed in a way that it must not be easily accessible by intruders, especially dangerous ones like burglars and thieves. You need to achieve a fine balance of artistic appeal and robust security, as both these factors are of great significance in the long run. Besides, doors are not something that you can remodel or change very frequently, as the whole process is very time consuming and expensive. So it is very necessary that you take your decision and make choices carefully, without any haste or hurry.


Nowadays, window experts are offering you a wide range of front door designs, which are not just aesthetically appealing but are created keeping in mind your security needs. It is always better to choose a window and door expert that is a one stop shop for all your needs, for example these door manufacturers should also offer you accessories like door handles and door locks. A few tips, always come in handy while you make your selections. The first and the basic thing that you need to keep in mind, when you are searching for different front entrance options is that it should be compatible with the overall style and design of your home. If the blend is disproportionate, then your front gate will stand out awkwardly and will give your house a very disturb and inharmonious look, in comparison to the rest of your home. For example, if your house is designed in a Victorian fashion with classy furnishing, then a door with a modern contemporary look can spoil the whole look of your house, no matter how beautiful it is.
Therefore, when you select your door designs, make sure that it complements the aesthetic appeal of your home, creating a positive and soothing aura instead of a confused and contrasting one. Apart from these creative factors, considerations of safety, privacy and weather are very important elements that, you need to keep in mind, while making your choices. For instance, a front entrance with a glass inset looks very attractive, but when it comes to security they are not very safe as burglars can easily break in to them. So if your home is filled with expensive furniture or latest gadgets or you stay away form home for long hours or even days, then you should opt for a door made of solid wood or fiberglass. All these tips should help you in making the right decision while scouting for front door designs.

Front Door Design Collection-



















8.4.08

Frontyard Driveway Design






The Driveway is the area that leads from the Entrance Gate of your residence to your doorsteps. It will be used for driving the vehicle up to the Car Porch or for walking towards the house.

Being an integral part of your frontyard design, the layout and material selection for driveways demand considerable attantion. Driveway paving materials fall into two main categories: solid-surface (i.e., smooth, seamless, even surfaces) and aggregate-surface. The most popular options lie in the first category, led by asphalt and concrete. Aggregate-surface driveway paving materials include gravel and crushed stone.

Driveway pavers lie somewhere in between these two main categories. Although they are individual components pieced together to form a whole, some types of driveway pavers can, if laid properly, form an almost seamless even surface.

The Pros and Cons of the following Driveway materials are discussed below-
Cobblestone Pavers
Asphalt Paving
Concrete Driveways
Tar and Chip Driveways
Crushed Gravel Driveways

Pros of Cobblestones and Other Driveway Pavers:
Variety in size and design.
A look that says, "Quality!" Durability.
Ease of repair.

Cons of Cobblestones and Other Driveway Pavers:
Cost.
Driveway pavers are varied in size and design, ranging from large hexagonal driveway pavers to small rectangular brick driveway pavers and cobblestones. While concrete and asphalt surfaces can be made to mimic the look of driveway pavers, you know it's not the real thing. Authenticity is important to some people. For instance, if creating an "Old World" feel is one of your landscaping goals, there may be no substitute for cobblestone. If you own a brick house, brick driveway pavers will tie the landscape in nicely with your house.

Driveway pavers are also durable. Cobblestones in particular are practically synonymous with longevity. Even when they do break or become dislodged, repair is simple enough, since driveway pavers are individual units (unlike concrete or asphalt surfaces). They can be replaced individually, so that you're not faced with the prospect of repairing a whole driveway.

But one drawback cobblestones have is that it's difficult to remove dirt from them, since, unlike other driveway pavers, they form an uneven surface (indeed, the uneven surface is part of their Old World charm). They also come at a rather steep price: driveway pavers, especially cobblestone, are more expensive than the other materials considered here.

Pros of Asphalt Paving:
Less prone to frost heaves than concrete.
Ease of dirt removal.
Decorative options.
Unlike concrete, can be relayered.
Cheaper than concrete.

Cons of Asphalt Paving:
Maintenance.

It is fairly common knowledge that concrete driveways can be stamped and colored to enhance their appearance, but some may be surprised to learn that pattern-stamping and coloring are also options for asphalt paving.

Where winters are severe, two issues come to mind for driveways: ease of dirt removal and susceptibility to cracking from frost heaves. Both concrete and asphalt paving rate well on the former, while the relative flexibility of asphalt paving allows it to outperform concrete on the latter. It is also significant that, should such damage occur, asphalt paving can be relayered (reducing repair expenses), while concrete cannot.

Like concrete, asphalt paving needs to be resealed frequently if it is to last long, so maintenance is a consideration.

Pros of Concrete Driveways:
Decorative options.
Ease of dirt removal.
Where winters are not severe, outlasts asphalt paving.

Cons of Concrete Driveways:
More expensive than asphalt paving.
Unlike asphalt paving, can't be relayered.
Concrete driveways stain easily, and the stains are tough to remove.
Maintenance.

The look of concrete driveways can be enhanced through pattern-stamping and coloring. Unfortunately, their appearance is easily marred by stains -- which are almost inevitable on a surface used by automobiles. Oil stains, which also plague asphalt paving, are difficult to remove. But concrete driveways are often lighter in color than their asphalt counterparts, making the stains more noticeable.

If winter is on your mind, asphalt surfaces perform better in areas with severe winters than concrete driveways. For while dirt removal is easy on both surfaces, concrete driveways are more likely to crack due to the freezing/thawing cycle. In addition, the This Old House Web site notes that unlike asphalt paving, concrete driveways cannot simply be relayered once damaged. Both concrete driveways and asphalt paving need to be sealed frequently, so maintenance is a consideration.

Where winters are not severe, concrete driveways last longer than asphalt paving. But you'll pay for it, as concrete driveways are the more expensive of the two.

Pros of Tar and Chip Driveways:
Attractive.
Cheaper than asphalt.
Low-maintenance (occasionally replace displaced stones).
The rough surface potentially affords good traction.
Durable.

Cons of Tar and Chip Driveways:
Difficult to find contractors for installation.
Snow removal is more problematic than for concrete or asphalt.

Here's how tar and chip driveways (or "Macadam") are constructed:

Hot tar is applied to a gravel base. So much for the "tar" part. What about the "chip" part? Well, while the tar is still piping hot, stone chips are thrown on top, so that they can adhere to the tar. Since a major selling point of tar and chip driveways is their looks, people usually make sure the stone chips are pretty, not just any old stone chips. For instance, you might want stones that are a particular color. After the stone chips are laid on top of the tar, a steamroller presses them in firmly.

Besides their splendid appearance, tar and chip driveways are less expensive than asphalt, nor do they have to be sealed, thus cutting down on your yard maintenance.

Tar and chip driveways afford good traction, since the surface layer is composed of individual stones. So rather than having a smooth and potentially slick surface like asphalt, the surface of tar and chip driveways is rough. But the same characteristic that gives these surfaces traction also makes them more difficult to plow and shovel: namely, all those individual little stones sticking up.

Pros of Crushed Gravel Driveways:
Cost (all else being the same).
Reduction in frost heaves in cold climates.
Less repair, since there's no "paved" surface to break.
For the same reason, less maintenance.

Cons of Crushed Gravel Driveways:
Dirt-removal is a bit more difficult.
Ruts can form relatively quickly, marring the appearance.
Relatively dirty.

Some (but by no means all!) of the pros and cons discussed on this page also apply to other driveways similar to crushed gravel driveways; for instance, driveways composed of small stones, crushed seashells or cinder (although none of these are as dirty as crushed gravel driveways, and all are more attractive). Note also that not all crushed gravel driveways will perform the same way, due to the fact that their compositions will vary (how the material is screened, etc.).

Because crushed gravel driveways are inexpensive, they are often the driveway of choice in rural areas. Homeowners often have more crushed gravel added periodically as ruts form and crushed gravel is lost, but that's easy enough: you just have another load of crushed gravel dumped and spread (although it's just a temporary fix).

With crushed gravel driveways, a base with good drainage is important, so make sure the individual installing your crushed gravel driveway pays attention to it, or you could be in for problems. Nonetheless, crushed gravel driveways do generally require less repair or maintenance jobs for you. There will be no sealing, no patching, no cleaning, because there isn't any hard surface that can be damaged or stained.

As mentioned above, crushed gravel driveways are designed to shed water.

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