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Decorating Ideas

New Decorating Ideas for the family lounge

Interior designer Pooja Bhatia says uniqueness of each element in the lounge creates the perfect backdrop for fun and quality time for family members

The family lounge is a section of the house where family spends their substantial entertainment time of the day and should reflect the taste of the people residing in the house.

Pooja Bhatia, a senior interior designer at Design In Vogue, lists the points that need to be kept in mind while planning the lounge’s interiors.

The Basics

  • There should be warm and comfortable couch or seating arrangements since one spends long hours in the lounge. The seating could be a combination of L-shaped sofa with recliners or single seater with foot stools. The colour-scheme should be mainly neutral with highlights of bright cushions.
  • Ensuring lighting to be a combination of indirect coves and general ambient lighting is an intelligent move as it gives a good ambience as well as adding the necessary brightness to a space.
  • Keep a gadget zone which has the necessary wiring for a full-equipped sound system to enhance the regular sound quality. The TV cabinet should be placed in such a manner that it provides maximum direct viewing and makes regular TV experience comfortable. The TV unit should be designed in such a manner that adequate space is allocated for storage of CDs, DVDs, books and a sleek display for artifacts.

Check Out: 5 Home Decor Ideas for an opulent haven

The Accessories

  • Elements of interest in the living area can be family photo wall where a combination of different sizes of photo frames is arranged in an aesthetic manner, with a neutral background such that the pictures catch the attention.
  • Accessories form an important aspect of the family lounge. In an existing family lounge, a lamp, bright coloured rug and some bright cushions can add the necessary statement to otherwise plain and simple room. Carpets can demarcate the play area for the children. A large cushion/bean bag with a small mat can be reading area for adults. Demarcating activity zones is a smart and easy way to arrange and decorate the living area.

4 budget friendly residential localities in south Bengaluru

A recent industry report suggests that  south Bengaluru has the maximum number of affordable and mid-segment projects. Happykeys takes a cursory glance at the list of localities where one can find properties within a budget of Rs 50 lakh.

Bengaluru is a heaven for IT professionals with many flocking to the city for employment and gradually settling here for good. Over the years, the southern part of the city has emerged as a prime residential destination and has a good supply of housing units ranging from high-end property to affordable apartments.

The IT driven localities such as Electronic City, Hosur Road and Sarjapur Road are linked via metro rail along with the excellent civic infrastructures make them prime locations of the city. While Wilson Garden, Koramangala, Jayanagar, Banashankari have been the most favored residential for working professionals and localities such as Attibele, Anekal, Kammanahalli, Jigani are fast emerging as new affordable residential hubs offering properties within budget segment.

Look at the areas and their major growth drivers:

Sarjapur –Attibele Road (Average price Rs/sq ft 3,271):

Sarjapur is one of the well-known prominent locality in south Bangaluru. It offers property options ranging from high end luxury homes to budget apartments.  Its residential market is mainly dominated by end users, due to high supply of flats and apartments. In terms of connectivity, it is well connected via Outer Ring Road (ORR) to major IT hub areas like Electronic City, Whitefield Koramangala and Marathahalli. Further, the giant IT firm Infosys has acquired 202 acres of land in Sarjapur with a motto to set up an IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The Azim Premji Foundation has announced acquisition of 50 acres of land where world-class university will be established.

Hosur Road – (Average price Rs/sq ft 3,919)

Hosur Road is the affluent suburb located at south-east in Bengaluru. This locality is extremely in demand among people looking to be settled close to Whitefield and Sarjapur. These two areas have a number of commercial companies at its borders. In terms of connectivity Hosur is well connected by road and rail transport. The NH 207 originates from Hosur and stretches up to Dobbasapete in Karnataka. The two airports, Hal Bengaluru International Airport and Kempegowda International Airport are located at a distance of 41.4 kilometres and 75.3 kilometres from the region, respectively.

Electronic City – (Average price Rs/sq ft 3,955)

Electronic City is one of the fastest growing real estate locations in the city and has emerged as a favourite residential destination for all income groups. Besides good social infrastructure, smooth connectivity, the city has high potential for realty growth. The area has emerges as a largest industrial technology cluster in the country. In terms of connectivity, the 10-km long elevated highway that connects the location to central Bangalore. The famous silk board junction in Madiwala is located only 9 km away. Neeladri Road provides connectivity to another popular IT hub Bannerghatta while NICE road connects Electronic City to various parts of the city. The upcoming metro rail will also boost the transportation network in the city.

JP Nagar – (Average price Rs/ sq ft 5,314)

Jayaprakash Narayan Nagar, popularly known as J P Nagar, is an established residential area of the south Bangalore. The JP Nagar colony layout is promoted by Development Authority. The available property options here is further catogerised as small scale apartments, independent dwelling units and high street retail developments. In terms of connectivity, JP Nagar is well connected by road to many adjoining residential colonies such as BTM Layout, Jayanagar, Bannerghatta Road and Banashankari. Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus routes connect JP Nagar with all significant landmarks of Bengaluru.

Noida realty bets big on booming infrastructure

Noida realty bets big on booming infrastructure

The advent of new metro routes and good civic infrastructure has made Noida a favorable property destination for new home buyers. Real estate development is happening at fast pace in National Capital Region (NCR)’s most popular town, Noida. With excellent roads and highways, quality infrastructure, glitzy recreational options and smooth connectivity via new metro routes, Noida proves to be an ideal realty destination.

Happykeys explains, how Noida became one of the most prominent cities in India after forty years of its inception. In these years Noida’s real estate segment saw an unprecedented growth and had extended up to Greater Noida West and Yamuna Expressway regions. And now the city infrastructure development is rampant, bringing more developers, projects and home seekers.

Here is list of recent developments taking shape in the city that will further give boost to Noida property market and make it most happening real estate destination in NCR region.

Multiple sports Infrastructure in offering 

Presently, Noida has cricket stadium in Sector 21A also called as the Noida stadium with a seating capacity of 30,000 people. The stadium is capable of hosting international cricket matches. Madan Lal, former Indian cricketer and coach says “Noida has the best schools, best colleges, best hospitals and one of the best cricket stadiums. The sports infrastructure is great here, which matters to a sportsman like me”.

Shooting range to be ready by June 2017

Another gift that Noida residents would be getting by next year is Shooting Range facility. Once this state-of-the-art range is completed shooters will not have to travel to Delhi and Haryana to practice shooting. The double-storey shooting range is being constructed in the city’s stadium in Sector 21A. It will be equipped with practice range for 10mm pistols. More than forty shooters will be able to practice at a time at the range measuring about 4800 square meters.

Kalindi-Kunj underpass

In a recent verdict by Allahabad High Court, Noida Development Authority has been directed to acquire 2,300 square metres of land required to complete a Rs 40-crore underpass near Noida’s sectors 94-95. This underpass project will make the stretch between Kalindi Kunj in Delhi and NH-24 signal-free and it will ensure one stop travel those commuting from Faridabad to Sarita Vihar via Kalindi Kunj-NH 24. It will also benefit the commuters, coming from Delhi towards sectors 125 and 94 in Noida, who currently use the Mahamaya flyover.

Faridabad-Noida-Ghaziabad (FNG) expressway to be developed as National Highway

The National highway Authority of India (NHAI) has been asked to develop the road as a national highway, connecting Ghaziabad, Faridabad with Noida and Greater Noida, so that it can help decongest existing road networks.

New Metro route between Kalindi Kunj in Delhi to the Botanic Garden in Noida (Aqua line)

The under-construction 3.9-km link between Kalindi Kunj in Delhi and Botanic Garden Metro station in Noida is likely to be to be operational in December. The track is likely to be ready for commissioning by January 2017. This new track will connect to DMRC’s magenta line. Now, commuters will no longer have to go to Rajiv Chowk Metro station to take the yellow line (Huda City Centre to Samaypur Badli) as the corridor will form a ringed route and connect Botanic Garden station with Hauz Khas station via Amity University, Kalindi Kunj and Kalkaji temple station.


GNIDA getting ready for UP CM to launch five infra projects

There is good news for citizens of Greater Noida. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is likely to launch at least five infrastructure projects of the city on December 11.

There is good news for citizens of Greater Noida. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is likely to launch at least five infrastructure projects of the city on December 11 during his proposed visit to Noida. Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) is leaving no stone unturned in putting the finishing touches to the multi-crore projects, which if the CM comes to Noida will be given the virtual nod from Noida Stadium.

According to GNIDA officials, the infrastructure projects, which have come at a cost of Rs 595 crores include 1950 affordable housing units, a bridge across Hindon, a 30-km cycle track, GNIDA office building and extension of the Vijay Singh Pathik sports complex.  “We have started the work of putting the finishing touches to the project and are getting ready for the CM’s visit,” said Rajeev Tyagi, General Manager (Projects), GNIDA. “If the CM comes to Noida, these projects will be inaugurated from Noida Stadium otherwise they will get his nod from Lucknow,” Tyagi told TOI.

Tyagi further explained that while the sports complex has come at cost of Rs 117.60 crore, GNIDA office building of has cost the Authority Rs 325 crore. The 1950 affordable housing units located in sector 10 of the city has cost Rs 113.41 crore, while the bridge across Hindon is Rs 27 core and cycle track project has cost Rs 12.50 crore. “The stadium and cycle track have already been completed but have yet to be inaugurated formally,” he said. “The other two projects including the office building and housing units have been recently completed and are yet to be occupied. These will be opened to the public, once the CM inaugurates them formally,” he added.

According to real estate expert, the rapid development in civic infrastructure will boost city’s facilities and will give invitation to ample of potential buyers and investors. It will also attract reputed builders and developers of the country to launch new commercial as well as residential projects in the locality. Experts also believe that, now the locality real estate market will be driven by excellent connectivity to major cities and smooth infrastructure.

It's right time to buy luxury flats in NCR

It’s right time to buy luxury flats in Delhi NCR

If you are thinking of becoming a new home owner, it is good time to take the plunge and put your money in real estate now.

It is a buyers’ market post demonetisation. If you are looking to buy an apartment in the NCR, this could be a great time to realise your dream. According to market experts, luxury and high-end segments of housing clusters will see a major impact in near future. In short term and mid-term, the property prices could rapidly undergo a correction in luxury apartments. Experts also believe that resale market of the luxury homes will provide much wider bandwidth to the home buyers to choose from.

According to real estate consultant JLL, prices of luxury homes are likely to fall by 25 to 30 per cent following the recent demonetisation drive. It is only because transaction in real estate involves lot of cash payments and now cash component would disappear drastically and now payments would be either made through fund transfer or via cheques.

Interest rate structure likely to reduce further: 

The recent ban on high value currency notes is anticipated to have its side effect on the interest rate structure also. According to a report released by real estate experts Colliers International, the property prices could fall further as interest rate could begin to drop in the next 3 to 12 months. Once the interest rate structure is corrected, this would come as a big relief to homebuyers who cannot afford the high EMI on incurred housing loans.

Further, paving the way for transparency and fixing more accountability in real estate transactions many states are likely to implement the buyer friendly provisions of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA). It will raise the hope and anticipated to lift homebuyer’s confidence. This law would also provide them protection from delays in construction and possession, as well as other practices employed by developers.

Terming it as a very good time to invest in the real estate, Harish Arora, MD at real estate advisory firm Saksham Services says, “Housing market is going to experience cooling effect in coming months. These many developments in real estate such as RERA, demonetisation etc. will start taking their shape and new homebuyers can expect property prices to come down. The existing positive scenario in the realty sector provides an opportunity for them to make their move.

Demonetisation will bring more transparency in the system. There will be a pinch in initial period but a long-term impact will cheer up the industry. It expects that the increased liquidity in the banking system, which can be utilised further for lending purposes. This will attract genuine buyers to invest in property”, says Dhiraj Jain, Director Mahagun Group.

However, several events and trends taking shape now indicate that this may be a great time to buy property.



Top 5 measures that can transform realty segment

There have been many occasions when the new home buyers have complaint about lack of transparency in the real estate sector. Happykeys examines five such laws and measures announced recently that could bring transparency and give more power to property buyers.

Market expert say that the enforcement of new decisions and laws in the real estate are promising and may bring good days in the property market. Several events and trends taking shape now could bring more transparency in the real estate transaction that will help genuine home buyers. Black money would possibly be out from housing segment where many developers and resellers use to park their money. Further, government has announced four measures that can inject new life and confidence in the realty market. These measures are:

Impact of the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA)

With the enforcement of RERA Act, new home buyers will go for purchasing homes without any apprehension of being cheated. This law brings more credibility to the realty industry. The Act will lead to institutional reforms in land acquisition, approval processes and taxation that are much needed to ensure crystal clear transaction in real estate.

The Act will make realty sector more institutionalised and benefit organised players. The shorter timelines for a given project will ensure speedy and more stringent completion. Government authorities should also be made accountable for time-bound approvals,” says Dr Anil Jindal, chairman, SRS Group.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The enactment of Goods and Service Tax (GST) will remove multiple tax system, reducing input cost for all realty players.  “The implementation of GST would boost transparency and standardisation in real estate sector. The advantages can be huge, especially to new home buyers. GST will replace multiple taxation system with a single tax bringing down the cost of construction i.e. all the multiple taxes on procurement side would be replaced by GST”, says, Sushant Mutreja, Chairman, Cosmic Group, India.


The latest central government’s decision to ban currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 promise the much-needed transparency in the property market.

“This is one of the best decisions taken by the union government which will also go in the favor of real estate market. This action will continue to have a positive impact on the realty market and end users are going to benefit in the long run. The action will boost the sentiments of home buyers”, avers, Vikas Pudir, CMD, SKB Group.

New Exit Policy

Under New Exit policy, the realty developers are allowed to surrender land parcels lying vacant to local development authorities, they will be able to use the refunded money in a more productive manner to complete the sick projects. Even they can utilise the cash on their market planning to sell inventory.

Now with the enforcement of exit policy, builder can complete the project which is nearing completion and can give possession of flats on time.

Digital medium brings new hope in the realty industry

Experts say that Digital India initiative by the government has helped to bridge the gap between buyers, builders and local development authorities. At the moment Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and the NCR regions such Noida and Gurgaon use online digital space for building plan approval. In Mumbai BMC has brought the entire building proposal system online. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has also introduced the online building plan approval system. The Haryana Development Authority (HUDA) has decided to go online this year only to ease the process of building plan approval. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has also taken initiative to create online single window system for the building clearance.

The newly constructed underpass at Noida city center (1)

Underpass at Kalindi Kunj gets Allahabad HC approval

The Allahabad high court allowed the Noida Authority to acquire 2,300 square metres of land required to complete a Rs 40-crore underpass near Noida’s sectors 94-95.

The Allahabad high court allowed the Noida Authority to acquire 2,300 square meters of land required to complete a Rs 40-crore underpass near Noida’s sectors 94-95.

The underpass project, mired in delays for more than two years, will make the stretch between Kalindi Kunj in Delhi and NH-24 signal-free. The HC ruling marks the end of the legal stalemate which has meant a daily gridlock for thousands of commuters using the stretch.

Upbeat about the court’s decision, Noida Authority officials told TOI that once all the legalities were out of the way, construction was likely to begin within a month. “The case was being heard continuously for the last three days,” Saumya Srivastava, deputy CEO, Noida Authority.

We are happy that the court has ruled in favour of the project. Once we have possession of the 2,300 square metres of land, we will be able to start construction on the stalled 750-metre-long underpass. It is likely to be completed within a year — by December 2017. It will greatly benefit scores of commuters using the stretch daily,” he said.

We have one other issue to be ironed out with the Delhi irrigation department,” he said. “We need about 1,200 square metres of land, which belongs to the Delhi government. They are demanding Rs 18 crore for that piece of land for a lease period of 33 years. However, we have asked them to review their demand and give us the land at the same rate as they got for building the Akshardham temple,” he said.

Among the “important development projects” announced by UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in April 2013, work on the four-phase underpass project is only 36% complete. Currently, the Kalindi Kunj road from the Mahamaya flyover, which is the link between Noida and South Delhi faces a traffic gridlock every day for nearly three hours in the morning and evening. Traffic on this route has grown manifold and the narrow road, which caters to nearly 1.5 lakh vehicles daily is a nightmare for motorists.

Once in place, the underpass will ensure that those commuting from Faridabad to Sarita Vihar via Kalindi Kunj-NH 24 will not have to stop at any traffic signal. It will also benefit the commuters, coming from Delhi towards sectors 125 and 94 in Noida, who currently use the Mahamaya flyover.