Shortcut to luxury

How to create an elegant retreat by swapping XL chandeliers and opulent decor for ceiling details and curvilinear elements

Updated - March 03, 2023 07:06 pm IST

Published - March 03, 2023 05:55 pm IST

Design by The Works Interiors

Design by The Works Interiors | Photo Credit: special arrangement

The desire for a luxurious home, where one can unwind and rejuvenate, is irresistible. But luxury does not necessarily mean massive chandeliers and larger-than-life wall décor. A minimalist home can be uber-luxe too.

Rahul Mistri, Founder and Principal Designer at Open Atelier, Mumbai, says the key to a stunning design is experimentation and exploration. Today’s diverse range and availability mean curating a luxurious interior is at our fingertips, he says. Design themes depend on personal preferences, but in today’s world all choices must be mindful to incorporate sustainability.

Interiors by Earthitects

Interiors by Earthitects | Photo Credit: special arrangement

George E. Ramapuram, Principal Architect and Managing Director at Earthitects, says we can amplify India’s rich history and culture through the unique designs of spaces and furniture, sourcing, designing and curating to create ultimate sophistication. Here’s how:

Work the ceiling

Ceilings may hold rooms together, but the “connecting surfaces” are often overlooked when it comes to creating a statement and an elevating experience.

Mistri believes that detailing the ceiling to act as a focal point through a bold colour, coating, or material finish like veneer or laminate can significantly impact how a space is perceived. “Likewise, an elaborate lighting fixture or a bold pattern that can complement the spatial layout of the room enhances the overall setting of the space. Experimenting with volumes and levels is another facet that opens numerous possibilities,” he says.

Casa Bohemia by Open Atelier

Casa Bohemia by Open Atelier | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Apart from colour-drenching the ceiling, you can create a cocoon-like feel by painting it a dark colour, up the opulent feel by using a jewel tone, clad with timber to add character and warmth, use panels or coffers to create depth and elegance, or use statement ceiling paper for a bold look.

Try bespoke furniture

According to Devika Khosla, Creative Director, The Works Interiors, custom furniture that suits user-specific requirements and aesthetics has always had the upper hand over mass-produced furniture available in stores across India.

Design by The Works Interiors

Design by The Works Interiors | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Why should you opt for it? Bespoke furniture works best as it can be designed to ensure that it meets all your needs, be it style, size, type of wood/upholstery, and finish. Made by craftsmen with years of experience, it tends to be of higher quality and showcases attention to details — making sure it stands out. Additionally, it can help you amp up storage across the home even as it you work to fit the best possible option in your budget. “Bespoke furniture can uplift and elevate everyday experiences. Comfort, soft edges, and a few quirky elements that help depart from the mundane are the need of the time,” Khosla says.

Embrace curves

Walls and ceilings turn to meet at right angles, making every room either a square or rectangle. Furniture adds to this, creating modern, straight silhouettes. Enter the age-old curves and arches, which add flow and dynamism and create an upscale vibe. Be it pointed arches, scalloped edges, padded poufs, round coffee tables or oblong accessories, curves can be used across the home. Mistri suggests embracing and incorporating curvilinear elements to bring in sublimity and fluidity.

Casa Bohemia by Open Atelier

Casa Bohemia by Open Atelier | Photo Credit: special arrangement

“In addition to safety, introducing curvy sofas and rounded-edge furniture can add softness to the ambience. Curvilinear silhouettes can be integrated through almost anything, from focal walls to lighting modules, via various material combinations,” he says.

Curves can be used in traditional and contemporary scheme, with hard lines being set off perfectly with soft curves. In a small room, they translate into an easy-going vibe; in a large space, they create a cosy, warm feel.

Opt for natural materials

Ramapuram believes that natural materials can be an unconventional way to add understated luxury to the home, especially the bedroom. He feels that scraps from local construction waste and other commonly overlooked materials can breathe life into a space. “Bedrooms with natural materials support a healthy sleeping environment and help guarantee more comfort and relaxation. Naturally procured materials such as reclaimed teak wood and local stones make the ideal building materials for bedrooms. Such native materials create a warm, inviting atmosphere that induces relaxation. Locally procured, they have lesser carbon footprint and improve indoor air quality by decreasing exposure to synthetic chemicals. Importantly, these are sustainable and environment-friendly options,” he says.

Kitchen interiors by Earthitects

Kitchen interiors by Earthitects | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Earthy colour palettes are a popular choice for rooms that employ natural materials. Reclaimed teak wood furniture with ‘live’ edges falls into this design aesthetic with effortless ease. The use of materials such as linen, cotton, and wool for bedding can help regulate temperature, keeping the bedroom cool in summer and warm in winter, which can lead to a comfortable sleep environment.

Murals on the walls

Murals date back to 30,000 BC, with the earliest artwork making an appearance in the Chauvet Cave, France. A piece of graphic artwork that is painted or applied directly to a wall or ceiling, it creates drama and impact. Mistri says all luxurious details need not break the bank, and murals can be a great solution.

Interiors by Open Atelier

Interiors by Open Atelier | Photo Credit: special arrangement

“The level of personalisation in murals is a game-changer in turning the innermost shell of a space into an immersive one. They can be incorporated without altering the shell and significantly add textural quality even while influencing the mood and well-being of the end user,” he says.

Mural techniques such as fresco, mosaic, graffiti, and marouflage along with an arresting use of pattern, print, and colour can make a powerful statement and up the luxe quotient of any room.

Pursue biophilic design

Ramapuram makes the case for biophilic design, which incorporates natural materials and light, vegetation, views of nature, and other connections to nature into the modern built environment.

Interiors by Earthitects

Interiors by Earthitects | Photo Credit: special arrangement

He says large openings such as balconies or clear glass windows can create the illusion of more space in smaller-sized rooms. “An abundance of natural light improves the general ambience and appearance of the space. In addition, natural light is beneficial to overall well-being and vital in maintaining the human circadian rhythm and the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep,” the architect says.

He adds that a visual connection with nature relaxes and soothes the mind and soul. “An undisturbed view with panoramic sights of greenery is bound to do wonders for one’s mental health. Strategically placed windows assist with cross-ventilation. Not only does this improve indoor air quality by reducing the build-up of pollutants, but also reduces the need for artificial ventilation. Leveraging natural light and ventilation makes a project energy efficient and easier on the pocket,” he says.

Create further impact

Walls and ceilings create impact, but so do upholstery and wallpaper. Raj Khosla, Managing Director at The Works Interiors, is all for wallpaper as it is “aesthetically pleasing and offers a quick turnaround time”. He feels that wallpapers have evolved with living standards and offer a huge range.

Design by The Works Interiors

Design by The Works Interiors | Photo Credit: special arrangement

“From digital, abstract and floral prints to 3D wallpapers, you can opt for various colours, textures, prints, and patterns to create a bold statement, depending on the desired ambience and aesthetics,” he says.

Khosla suggests investing more in the upholstery, a part of home decor that adds significantly to a space’s aesthetic. “Go the extra mile and opt for luxe fabrics through throws and rugs. Additionally, check if the fabric is recyclable. Natural textiles and furnishings like linens, cottons, and silks are excellent,” he says.

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