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Emerging trends in interior design
Source : The Hindu Property Plus Published On : 2008-02-02 City : Chennai

We will see more of classical designs in upholstery and soft furnishings, ornate and antiquarian frames rather than sleek ones, writes HEMA VIJAY


     The wheel of change continues to spin, not just in fashion, but in the world of interior design too. And why not? With so much of attention now being directed into interior design, décor has inevitably become yet another means of making a statement. So, what does 2008 promise to house?

Global synchrony

     Interior design in India is now well in sync with the latest designs in the west. This is what prompts architect and designer Sujatha Shankar to say, “Modern office or residential spaces in Indian cities are now indistinguishable from their counterparts in New York or Shanghai”.

     The international fancy in interior designs continues to be minimalist. The twist that is emerging now is the throwing in of an eclectic element into this clean, bold look. Space and light will still continue to dominate the ambience. “But, you might just see an eclectic element peeping out from the general minimalist scheme, very sparingly used and accentuating the contrast thereby”, Sujatha predicts, and adds.

     “It could be a sculpture, mural or even a door knob; in essence, this element is a throwback to a past era, evoking memories.”

     In terms of color, the same trend emerges as a splash of vivid colour thrown over a predominantly light background colour scheme. The sway of colour that splashed electrifying colors on our walls would continue, but the accent will be more muted, more sophisticated. You will now see unusual combinations like dark wood against olive green walls or stainless steel against walnut wood finishes. “More than colorfulness, what has become critical now is how well you mix colors”, says architect and designer Pradeep Verma.

Turn to tradition

     In a sense, 2008 promises to herald a return to tradition too. Not a major ‘U’ turn, but at least, it looks like we will be witnessing a slight turn reaching back to tradition and to all those elements which spell rooted-ness.

     “While the last two years saw a massive rush towards minimalism, people are asking for elements that convey solidity too. Classical elements are creeping back”, says architect and designer Ponni Concession. Well, Indians have always had a decorative mindset. Be it our art or culture, we have always stuck to the concept of ‘more is better’, while the West has been veering towards ‘less is more’.

     Ponni elaborates, “It is as if we have tried out plainness and minimalism as a concept, but not really felt comfortable in it and are saying, ‘It doesn’t relay suit me’.

     So, will we see more of classical designs in soft furnishing and upholstery against plain upholstery, ornate and antiquarian frames rather than sleek ones, solid wooden furniture, etc? “Grandfather clock and Persian rugs are making a come back”, informs Ponni adding, “The world of fashion is now swinging back to the style of the ‘70s. I foresee the same happening in interior design too”. Though of course, it is perhaps just an arc on the cycle, and we might well swing back to stark interiors.

Technology in design

     Do you live with BMS? Well, Building Management Systems (BMS), which control lights, security and air conditioning, previously a prerogative of high end offices are likely to enter more of our homes too.

     “Already, more clients are asking for BMS”, says architect and designer Pradeep Verma says. Move over to air conditioning, and you now witness more awareness on CO2 monitoring.

     So you will soon notice more of CO2 sensors monitoring our indoor air quality; “The idea is to pump in just the amount of fresh air you need, rather than a prefixed quantity of fresh air”, says Pradeep.

Individualising space

     Well designed places are old hat now. What is in the concept of designer spaces, says Pradeep. Most of our office and residential spaces are now design savvy and have at least a minimum standard of design.

     So, now, individuals and corporate entities now employ design to want to stand out from the crowd. “It takes a broad approach to achieve such an effect, and can extend from décor, lighting, color and of course space planning”, Pradeep points out. Even the role of colors is set to grow complex.

     The accent now shifts more to personalizing space, than enhancing space value. Office interiors are now being fashioned in such a way that an individual is not lost in the sea of associates who work there “For instance, with lighting, you will see the use of gadgets like personal pole lamps to highlight individual desks and cabins, rather than general lighting’,   explains Pradeep.

     On the same note, layouts in offices are getting oriented towards individual business units, perhaps dedicated to a single customer, against a sea of work stations spread across the entire office space.

     Pradeep also expects that buildings will now be designed to provide more view of the outside. So now, will we see windows eating up a good part of our walls too?

Interior redesign

          In the west, the happening concept of the day is interior redesign, where in designers relocate, add and remove part of the décor to bring about a new look and feel of their houses, but do not want to throw away their décor either.

          Indians, however, are yet to take to the concept. But chances are, we will be seeing some action on this front here too.

          Design is no longer a prerogative of aesthetics, apparently. It’s about identity.



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