Interior design is not just about the looks of the interior but it is also about its functionality. Nupur Madhav, Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Shankh, a consultancy for interiors product design and furniture manufacturing, explains how even the largest house can lack space with a poor interior design, while a tiny apartment can be transformed into a cosy residence with enough space for just about everything with the right design and the use of contemporary lighting.
When creating design for residential interiors, it is necessary to think of the house in totality that is a series of spaces linked together by halls and stairways. It is therefore appropriate that a common style and theme should run throughout. This is not to say that all interior design elements should be the same, but they should work together and complement each other to strengthen the whole composition. A way to create this theme or storyline is with the well considered use of colour. Colour schemes in general are a great way to unify a collection of spaces. For example, you might pick three or four colours and use them in varying shades throughout the house.
To start with, floral patterns are very much in. Wallpapers can be elaborated-with floral patterns in primary colours (red, blue, and yellow) in the backgrounds and overprinted with colours of cream and tan. This can also be teamed up with Gothic art inspired papers in earth tones with stylized leaf and floral patterns. Some of the stronger floral patterns can be overwhelming for some. The solution for this is to ease into the bolder floral prints by combining them with a white or neutral background. Consider accessorising a solid white sofa with floral pillows or a floral inspired rug.
The colour trend for this year interiors is towards modern yet classical style. Talking about accessories, less is more. Too much matching and symmetry is passé, so bring some excitement by combining prints.
Keeping accessories to minimum helps in the cohesive colour and style statements. Swarovski home accessories can be a very good choice as they combine the radiance of precision cut crystal with timeless elegance and functionality to create a varied collection of modern decorative ideas for the home. Home accessories, as movable decorations, reflect the owner’s taste and create a personal atmosphere where they are placed. These items can break the boundaries of traditional decoration industry, using handicrafts, textiles and collectibles. Home accessories vary according to size and shape of room space, the owner’s living habits, hobbies and their tastes therefore are the priority for any design planning, furnishing material or accessory selection.
The elements such as lamps, floral items, and plants too can be re-combined to form a new concept. Stylised artworks paintings and wall treatments are also in trend when it comes to residential interiors as they add dimensionality to the walls. Combination of wall papers, frameworks and wooden fused art works create unique focal points and conversation topics.
To take a bold approach, patterns can be mixed in order to modernise the overall look. Some good ways to do this is by setting small patterns against large ones, limiting the palette and including one big solid (sofa, floor, or wall) in the scene. You can also use a traditional design strategy and combine a plain background on the walls and floor with patterned furniture. Follow it up with spreading coordinating patterns around the room on the draperies, decorative pillows, Oriental lamps, or an area rug. This technique commonly combines several patterns in one room, which usually calls for clever mixing and matching of fabrics so that they relate (for unity) and contrast (for interest).
Create magic with a simple colour scheme: White plus a colour is easy: Cobalt blue and white, rose pink and white, or apple green and white. If you want to go for real drama, then choose black and white! With one-colour scheme, you can either stick to one scale or vary scales of motifs. Sometimes going out of comfort zone and trying something different can turn out to be a nice change. Fusion can be interesting-Traditional, rustic, industrial, country, minimalistic, vibrant. All can be fused together and given a cohesive ambience. It can definitely be a new approach to interior design. Fusion need not be exotic. It can come from spicy palettes of colour, exuberant patterns, earthy materials and handmade objects.
Comfort with designing helps us in taking risks. It’s interesting to bring different colours, textures and finishes into your space and give it a cohesive look.
Furniture & Furnishing
Furniture is another aspect of residential interiors. Dark toned furniture is giving way to lighter finishes that provide a light and open feel. Beiges in fabrics and walls are being replaced with vibrancy. Harmonious blend of vintage and modern styles add a sophisticated touch. Clean lines plus dramatic contrast of a rich finish and hammered, silver-toned furniture make a striking addition to your home. Create a stylish and comfortable bedroom and bring a traditional feel into your home with a relaxed look.
Coming to metal, brass should be more visible. New brass lighting and hardware will help freshen up your kitchen. A statement piece here and there can grace up living room. Shinning brass statues or even in matt finish look elegant and are quite an eye catcher. When done right, brass looks classy and timeless. Do focus on fabrics which should have more textures than sheen. Suggested ones would be linen and corduroy. Linen is probably the oldest textile in the world and it obtains its lustre from the natural waxes present. The natural colour of linen is a light tan or cream, but it readily accepts dye. Corduroy is already a popular choice of fabric for sofas and armchairs; it’s cheap, durable and available in a wide range of colours, thus having the ability to fit within different styles of design schemes. In the right setting, the material can look high-end and stylish.
Going beyond indoor space
Stylistic influence would be merging outdoors with indoors. Why not create a room that blends seamlessly with the garden beyond? Doing so will make your interior space feel bigger, brighter and contemporary. The scheme will also draw attention to your garden beyond. It’s fun to take inspirations from your living room, under the trees or out on the balconies.If indoors have rustic finishes on walls and floors use mid-toned wood outdoors to match plants on patio – it’s even worth painting your walls and fences in similar tones.
Using green at your windows will help bring the garden and indoors together too. That could mean blinds or even painting the walls around the windows green. Choosing a flooring that can run from the inside of your home right outdoors will also help merge spaces – combine this with doors that open right back so that the transition is seamless.
Putting as much glass as possible into the room that leads to the garden inevitably brings the outdoors in. If you do this, ensure your view is a good one – even if that just means a small, but neat garden. Bi-fold doors can be useful to achieve this. Large picture windows that overlook a garden should be kept clear of clutter to show off the space beyond to best effect. Keep curtains and blinds to a minimum too – ideally, chose something that can be pulled right up or right back, such as shutters or roller blinds.
The layout of the room might mean that one has to have the furniture across the windows. Make the most of the view by choosing low slung pieces, like sofas, and keep the room as free of clutter as possible. As well as choosing flooring that’s the same material indoors and out, ensure your garden and living space are at exactly the same level – doing so will be not just more convenient, but will help lead the outdoors, making the indoor space feel bigger.
Choosing garden furniture that would look just as good indoors is a trick that you can use to blur the indoor/outdoor divide. Look for furniture indoors that complements your garden furniture, too. Bamboo is the perfect choice for this as it’s easy to maintain and ecological friendly. Not only this, it is water resistant and quite affordable.