Before we venture into the modern furniture concepts, let us just look back a bit and move to the past.
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India was not a very furniture oriented country. Royal thrones, low chairs, chowkis or low stools were in.
The invaders and colonizers-The British, Dutch, French and the Portuguese opened our eyes to furniture.
We see the European influence around 1500s. The Portuguese, Dutch, French and later British styles walked in. There was a mix of Indian style, craftsman ship with the European style.
Furniture material, mainly wood was teak , rosewood, acacia, ebony and sheesham. Ivory was also used for inlay work.
The Mughal style included tables, writing desks made of dark hardwoods.
The Portuguese influence developed the Goanese style. Large cabinets with intricate, inlaid and incised, geometric decorations as seen in the picture above.
The indo-dutch style use light colored hardwoods.
English styles like Chippendale and Sheraton were used with Indian decorated flourishes.
Back to Basics
Let’s now look at some rules of design which you would keep in mind before even buying your furniture matching your room with the furniture you will eventually select.
Rules for arranging your furniture.
- Find a focal point- A Fireplace, or a beautiful massive artwork or a sculpture. Design the entire room around it.
- Create a centre- One object. For example, An ottoman, a cozy nook. It could be a book shelf or very attractive cushions on a sofa. Anything can be made into a centre of attraction around which the entire room moves. It could be a central table as well.
- Making it functional- It should be of use to the entire family. That is, it should suit the people who will be using it.
- Select scaled pieces- Big and small arrangements around the furniture.
- Décor should be eye-level and centred- For example. Painting, photos, shelves, artwork, mirrors.
- Layer the light sources- Put furniture around a natural light source. Like a large window from where bright sunshine is pouring in.
- Add Area Rugs- Add textures complimenting your color scheme and dimensions.
- Mix and Match- Mix and match patterns, colors and textures. Choose a neutral toned couch and pair it with a patterned arm chair, for instance. Add on a pop of colors by adding an accent chair. Not overriding but offering style.
- Create Symmetry- A well balanced living room should be comfortable and organized. Plain sofas, side tables, chairs on opposite sides of the room to get a symmetrical living space.
- Follow the rule of odd numbers- Designing with odd numbers as a foundation can create harmony and visual interest. Details and objects grouped together are more attractive. Varying heights, shapes and sizes and textures gives a lot of credit to the room.
- Consider your negative space- These are areas which are not taken up by any subject. Leave such empty spaces. Avoid clutter.
- Layer your lighting again- These include:
- Ambient-Lights for the whole room.
- Task Lighting- Illumination of the special area like a highlight.
- Accent- Lighting a part of an object.
So select your furniture wisely, incorporating artwork and other accessories to add warmth and to accentuate your furniture design. Mix and match boxy furniture with curves and bends and work on your colors and contrasts with great care and consideration.