In India, the upwardly mobile consumers, who have the spending ability, invest in their home décor much more than the previous generations did. In the last five to six years, there has been a change in the way we renovate our homes.
The trend is gradually shifting towards re-inventing through accessories rather than re-doing the entire home.
Changing the complete look can be time-consuming, arduous and involves a large amount of investment as well. The alternative is to keep the structural elements like furniture, fixtures, walls and flooring, constant and change subtle nuances through soft furnishings. In order to reinvent with low cost frequently, one should keep the basic profile neutral using colours like white, black, grey, beige, brown or hues of indigo and accentuate the décor.
The accessories can be simple things like paintings, sculptures, murals, decorative lights, flower vases, flowers arrangements, rugs and carpets, cushion covers, bed covers, et al. These elements are not renovations per say but they enhance the space and can be changed quickly.
Following international lifestyle trends, this practice is being picked up by increasing number of urban households in India too.
One can revamp décor elements by spending a minimal amount rather than spending lakhs every year. Due to this changing approach, we witness an increase in demand for products which add a unique decorative touch, even if they are not long lasting.
Middle class consumers do not invest in expensive marble or wooden structures as these become redundant in few years. Durability has become an outdated concept, while style, design, etc, play a key role.
Technological advancements continue to change the way we perceive décor. For instance, integration of high technology elements like security systems, home appliances like home theatres, music systems, air conditioners, and television sets, kitchen appliances like hot plates, dish washers, ovens, food processors, health and hygiene products like air purifiers and water purifiers are becoming an increasing practice.
These utilities not only serve a purpose, but with newer sophistication in design. The trend of changing elements rather than structures is here to stay and helps time constrained modern consumers in altering the look quickly and economically, depending on the season or occasions.
This is one of the major reasons why today the markets are getting flooded with increasing number of soft furnishing and decorative accessories stores alongside furniture, interior and hardware goods.
Another change influenced by the dynamic socio-economic evolution of the Indian society is the younger generation playing key role in household decisions. Keeping in mind these influences and dynamics, here are some changes in elements one could adopt.
Rugs and carpets: The use of hand knotted carpets has reduced over the years as it lasts for 30 to 50 years costing hefty amounts. Consumers prefer similar looking machine made synthetic carpets, even if they are not as good and last only for few years, but are priced much cheaper.
Use of colours: Maroon, brown and blacks are a great choice for winter decors. Other colours which could be explored are royal blue and its various shades like midnight, Prussian, and ink, etc. It adds an element of sophistication to your home without being too overwhelming. It is always important to balance the colours with bright ones to break the monotony.
Use of metallics: Metallic elements are big this season. Explore different hues like coppers, bronze, steel or combinations to give rise to more delicate tones. Metallic accents can be incorporated into the house through various pieces installed around the house like chairs, table lamps, wall hangings, etc.
Natural elements: It’s important to balance the metallic and dark elements of the trend with something that accentuates as well as contrasts them. Use earthy elements like logs, firs, pines, acorns to decorate mantels and tables and bed-sides.
Accessories: Art and craft work are one of the best elements to change your interiors with the seasons. Candles are some of the best home accessories for winter interior decorating. Their intense glow makes a room look warm, cosy, and comfortable. Use throws and pillows with fabrics like wool or velvet that imparts a warm and cosy feel.
Change in fabrics: Changing the colours of cushion covers, bed sheets, curtains along with the fabrics used can make a lot of difference in the way your home looks. The preferred colours would be muted tones of blues, darker shades of reds and greens rather than cool colours which do not absorb light.
Lighting: The warm glow in your home is a great element that sets the mood for winters. Keeping your chandeliers dim might be a great way to make your drawing room look warm. Also, a lot of self-standing lamps are available which can be used to accentuate the room. These lamps can be chosen in materials or colours like steel, brass, etc, as a piece of art without having to redo the electrical connections. Keeping the trends in mind, one can add a lot of innovation and small elements which suit their own taste and aesthetics.
(The writer is director, HGH India)