Design and decor

THE NEED for shelter is basic to man. But transcending this need is a set of overriding values, intrinsic to human condition — a concern for life, for beauty. Through centuries, man has created his habitat through intuitive and instinctive process. Whether it's the bamboo houses in Assam or the interiors of the Chettinad houses in Tamil Nadu to the suave interiors of Mumbai homes, there is an underlying deep structure that has generated this habitat.

The door to every home opens to the living room. It's an area where one greets visitors, friends and family. It's also an area which reflects lifestyles and tastes of the people living in the house. Designing a living room involves the use of space, lighting and furniture. One must consider how you move around the room and plan the layout so that the main door, and windows are easily accessible. It's important to decide what you want from the room. Should it serve as a family room with areas for dining, music, television or just a place for comfortable seating or cater to all these and more?

A design pattern begins with realising proper circulation pattern in the room. The movements should be the nucleus of the design. There are various ways each space can be assigned its distinguished area. After which, lighting can be planned to isolate spaces or even the flooring could be changed to create subtle divisions. Screens and blinds make effective room dividers. Alternatively, back of a long sofa or table can be positioned to separate areas.

Once the room is divided into distinct zones, decide what will form the focal point of the room. The television set is the most popular focal point in living rooms. If that is your choice too then consider how well it can be viewed from different parts of the room. If you don't want to do that, but still retain the TV in your living room, you can mask it cleverly using a decorative cabinet. Sometimes windows with a leafy outlook offer an ever-changing focal point.

Large expanses of wall can also create blank canvas to display wall hangings or a collection of pictures. The most visible wall well done up not only enhances the area but also grabs the attention of the visitor and compels them to take a look at the entire d�cor.

There is no denying that using art pieces is probably the easiest way to spruce up your room. A dull room can be enlivened using colourful Rajasthani paintings. The use of large landscape print with a far away horizon can create an illusion of space and make your small room look large.

Versatile use of drapes, table linens, and curtains add character to your d�cor. Fabrics must be chosen such that they complement the colour scheme of the room.

White, cream, peach, fawn walls offer flexible backdrops. Therefore the choice of fabric colours is ample. Colours in demand are beige, yellow, blue, rust and mauve. Textured fabrics like chenille, velvet and ribbed cotton are popular when compared to jacquards. Bright florals, stripes, checks and animal prints are in.

Choosing the right fabric

To brighten the room, favour light coloured, shiny fabrics. Fading is more noticeable in dark colours. Blues and oranges are particularly susceptible to fading. Dirt resistant colours include vinyl, acrylic and polyester.

Blending your style to the look you want is the ideal way to create the perfect match, which complements not only your lifestyle but also the flavour of the entire room.