When it comes to furniture, don’t be wooden
From desi to European to pop art to eco-friendly, choices are wide
Aug 26, 2013
Source : The Hindu


CHENNAI: Your house reflects the person you are. While interior decorators and architects can lend a professional touch, it is important that you are involved in every step of the way so that your house becomes your cosy home. The satisfaction you derive when you sit back and absorb every corner is unmatchable.

When it comes to doing up the interiors, furniture is a key component and customers in Chennai today are spoilt for choice.

Remember, one style does not fit all. Work with a plan in mind, but do let your imagination and creativity take over from time to time.

Interior design options range from the ethnic and the eclectic to the modern and kitschy, or a mix of everything.

If you are looking for opulence and style, go in for premium leather couches that spell sheer comfort and luxury. The city is today home to quite a few upscale furniture showrooms catering to a niche clientele.

Simply Sofas retails a range of European brands – dining solutions from Calligaris, sofas from Nicoletti and glass tables from Tonin Casa of Italy, recliners from Stressless, Norway, and sofas and dining concepts from Koinor, Germany. These brands are 40-90 years old with a rich history and legacy; the well-travelled Indian is clued in on these brands, points out a spokesperson at this furniture showroom.

After a hard day’s work, there is nothing like sinking into a recliner, TV remote in hand and a drink by the side. At the Rolf Benz showroom, recliners with remote controls and push buttons are popular. The German brand offers several mix-and-match options that let you turn your couch seats the way you want, adjust the height of the back rest and the seating height.

While European brands are known for their flawless aesthetics, old-worldly cabinets, chests and console tables from Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam are also appreciated. The city is home to quite a few antique shops and boutique stores such as Good Earth, Palmyra Home and Souk which retail furniture and home accents from India and South East Asia that are eye catching and one-of-a-kind. Ethnic Indian styles are also being revived by independent designers and hobbyists who reclaim old wood and cane furniture by giving it interesting twists.

For instance, Palmyra has repurposed really old carved wooden beams from Burma into coffee tables, console tables and wall panels, explains the store’s operations manager. It has also up-cycled old window jaalis from Rajasthan into cabinet doors and coffee table tops.

Kitsch is also slowing making its presence felt in so-called conformist, conservative homes. There are quite a few desi brands such as India Circus, Chumbak and Happily Unmarried that offer pop art inspired chairs, coffee tables and home accents such as magazine racks, mugs, trays and coasters. Amid the din of modern living, it is essential to preserve one’s roots and leave behind a cleaner greener earth for generations to come. This realisation is hitting Indian homes today as people try to incorporate green elements in their homes. Whether it is the use of solar power panels, handmade terracotta floor tiles (such as the Athangudi tiles from Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu) or furniture from reclaimed wood, the idea is to reuse, recycle and up-cycle.

Don’t forget to pick up interesting souvenirs and knick-knacks when you travel around the country or abroad. Watch out for flea markets as they are often rich sources of home accents at throwaway prices. Remember, your house is not a project that has to be completed breathlessly at one go. It is an evolving journey that takes shape inch by inch literally.

Even unfinished corners and tasks add to the beauty of the home. The joy is in appreciating this.

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