Luxury Interiors - Dress Up Your Home

Your home is what you see first thing in the morning and the last too before you retire for the night. It better be what you like, non? And of course, should complement and supplement your lifestyle. How do you do that today?

By: Karishma Suri & Soumya Jain

Posted on: July 11, 2012

Your home is what you see first thing in the morning and the last too before you retire for the night. It better be what you like, non? And of course, should complement and supplement your lifestyle. How do you do that today?

It’s not just fashion where you have to worry about trends, designs and the ‘in’ look. Giving your home or commercial space the latest touch reflects your personality as much as the kind of LBD you are wearing or the Hermes Kelly you are hanging on your elbow.

Unlike fashion, however, furniture has to have a longer shelf life. While you can change your clothes and accessories to suit the ramp, it’s not so easy with furniture. You live with your choices, literally, for a longer period of time! So when a plethora of options are available in the market, what should you exactly pick up, so that you don’t end up regretting your decision for the next few months at least?

A question of style
Trends have certainly changed in the past decade or so when it comes to giving a luxurious face to your home. The changes range from the way of production and go on to how functional they are today. Ms Gunjan Gupta from Wrap says, “Furniture has changed immensely in many ways and in some ways it has remain unchanged. The antiques and reproduction segments of the fine furniture industry are still very much in demand and are consumed by a wide range of decorators. The refined/luxurious furniture, which is experimental and at the same time very accessible, is hugely consumed by the hospitality and real estate industries. The market for cutting edge design that positions new ideas, forms and materials is becoming more and more important.”

Mr Nitin Kohli, Director of Terra Sans, explains the changes in home design by comparing it with changing lifestyles. A now hectic, complex life demands a cleaner, uncluttered, sleeker home. “Earlier people were interested in classic or antique furniture, but there has been shift, and now the trend is towards the sophisticated, with emphasis on clean lines and rich materials. Earth tones were once very popular. Now brighter colours are the top choice. Green, red and orange are a few of the most popular colours for walls or furniture,” he said.

Art vs Functionality
This sub-heading above is wrong actually. In today’s busy, quick world, the demand is for art and functionality, whether it’s in clothes or the latest gadget. Only a few maestros like Christian Louboutin can afford their art to sell like hot cakes without necessarily having to worry about mundane qualities like ‘functionality’. He recently said in an interview to Vogue UK, “I don't want to create painful shoes, but it is not my job to create something comfortable. I try to make high heels as comfortable as they can be, but my priority is design, beauty and sexiness. I'm not against them, but comfort is not my focus.”

How many interior or furniture designers can really say that? Home and furniture, after all, are designed to make life easier. Mr Kohli echoes the same thought. “With the advent of the furniture fair in Milan and luxury brands making a foray in this sector, the rules of the industry have undergone a change where functionality is being preferred over extravagance. However, luxury in home is no longer a privilege, but a necessity to keep up with the evolving lifestyles,” he said.

This can be seen in the way designers today take age old concepts, and convert them to not only ‘look’ like a contemporary design, but also be functional. Ms Chanya Kaur from Pure Concept gives a perfect example, “The revival of antique cabinets has been helped by complementing it with design. The innovative use of eye-popping colour combinations brings a vintage style to the cabinet and makes it up-to-date.”

So what should you choose?
Whatever designers might say about their creations, it’s your home which has to be outfitted. While each person has a certain taste and image of what they want from their ideal home, furniture designers give a pointer or two on what consumers usually look at. “Every piece determines whether or not it’s a good fit. Firstly, what one looks at is, if it’s their style and will complement their space. And then comes in the quality and the comfort,” said Ms Kaur.

Reversing the priorities of the Indian consumer, and explaining the psyche behind it, Ms Gupta says, “Brand, quality, comfort, price, durability and statement value. Design for posterity and as investment is still a new concept in India.”

Bringing out the luxury aspect in a home, however, is a combination of various factors. Limiting your planning and thoughts to the colour on the walls and individual furniture pieces is not enough – while these are the two major components we accept. Mr Kohli goes a step beyond and advises that “lighting, flooring, accessories, the kind of furniture used and colour scheme enhance the luxury quotient of interiors.”

Dressing up your home is even more challenging than making latest fashionable changes in your wardrobe. More often than not, it takes months to define what kind of home will suit your personality, needs and moods. Does it have to be light and airy to give you the feeling of openness? Or should it be vibrant and bright enough to keep your creative bent of mind always churning with ideas? In any case, there is nothing that a pinch of luxury and originality of thought can’t do. And with unique concepts and brands like Fendi Casa, Ipe Cavalli, Wrap and Pure Concept available in India, it won’t be too difficult we are sure…

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