Home SMART home
Our idea of a beautiful home has changed drastically with shrinking families and living spaces. The recent Inside Outside Mega Show held a mirror to the changing trends in home décor.
Options are aplenty for the young who want to live in houses that look exclusive.
BRITISH SINGER Elton John recently dispensed with all the furniture, artefacts, and fixtures from his mansion because he wanted to go in for a minimalist, Zen-look home. So he auctioned off the stuff which was snapped up for millions. But what do humbler PLUs do?
If the crowd at the recently concluded Inside Outside Mega Show was anything to go by, everyone loves to add new things to his or her home. Interestingly, the stalls that be attracted the most were those that sold things for the kitchen. "Whatever you say, a kitchen is definitely the most important part of the house," pointed out young Roopa Rao. "Whether one works at home or has a career outside home, everyone feels good in a pleasant, easily maintained, smart kitchen."
The Mega Show was a launch pad for many new products related to the interior and exterior decoration of homes and offices. Companies displayed their products such as tiles, bathroom fittings, bath enclosures, stained glass, solar geysers, pottery, and interior decoration materials. "We have been coming to these shows every year," said software professional Neeraj Narang, even as he managed his child in the pram. "We get good discounts and get to see lots of new things. We didn't know where to get pebbles, and here they are!" he added.
Design magazines say the minimalist look and sleek steel are in. "But I'm looking for warm, traditional furniture, not ornate, but definitely good sturdy ones that are also contemporary. No steel and fancy stuff like that for me," confessed Uttara, a consultant who moved from Chennai to set up her home here.
Stalls promoting traditional furniture jostled for elbowroom with those offering futuristic chairs and cots. While one lured customers with sheer glass artefacts, another displayed sturdy pieces of art one could pass on to one's grandchildren. "We get transferred every three years," said Itee Abhrol. "So, I keep looking for fittings that I can use in my quarters things that are removable, stylish, neat, and will help me give a different look to the interiors every time we move to a new house," said the young mother of two.
Family structures have changed over the years. Living spaces have decreased. The uniformity of flats and apartments makes householders yearn for a different look for the interiors and they are prepared to pay the price for it. During an informative presentation at the Mega Show by Nisha Mathew and Soumitro Ghosh on contemporary architecture, the shift towards innovative interiors was clearly visible. "We've gone in for light steel railings, cantilevered decks, and glass walls in many of our home projects so as to provide more light and space inside," said Ms. Mathew. "For Bangalore, we've found that the use of whites for the walls is effective in many ways... it suits the colour of the sky!" pointed out Mr. Ghosh.
The show had a lot to offer by way of new paints, wall finishes, flooring, and carpets. Said Umesh Ramnath, a sales executive: "I travel a lot, and when I come home, I want to relax with my family. I don't mind spending money on furnishings and fittings if that will make life easier for us at least I don't need to hear about faulty latches and leaky taps!"
"After the stress and strain at work, people like to come back to a house that is small and harmonious no clashing colours, no clutter," pointed out Jeanne Roby, Assistant Editor, whose magazine, Inside Outside, has helped thousands of people plan their dream homes. "There are several design magazines now that have helped young people to set up home nicely within a budget," she added. "More and more people are going in for floor seating with bright cushions and rugs affordable and aesthetic too. Definitely, more young people today are conscious of their home environment than earlier!"
And judging from the number of young people at the lecture by the eminent architect R. Krishnamurthy on Use and Misuse of the Principles of Vastu, the trends in decor have undergone a sea change. Said Harish Prabhakar, a young doctor: "When my father built a house, he just gave the contractor a budget and a simple brief... When I can save enough to build a house, I want to be as well-informed as possible on architectural principles, materials, decor options, and maintenance."
Finally, home to the now generation is not just a calm setting that relieves stress, but also a good-looking place that carries a distinct identity.
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