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Interior Design: Furniture Statement Pieces

Interior Design: Furniture Statement Pieces
A unique item of furniture can provide the ideal statement piece for a home interior, but how do
you make it work?

Statement Pieces in Interior Design
Home interiors should reflect the personality of the homeowners and although interior designers
strive for a sense of harmony, a statement piece provides a focal point. To draw the eye, this item
might be bolder, brighter or more unusual than other items in the room. The statement piece might
be an item of furniture, a painting, a light fitting or a rug.

To ensure it works as a whole and doesn’t look at odds with the rest of the room, certain elements
of this piece can then be picked up in the interior. If a piece of furniture is carved with an intricate
design, the pattern might be mirrored in cushion fabrics. The tone of a richly coloured rug might be
highlighted in a vase or the material used for the curtains.

Visitors to your home are likely to notice and comment on your chosen statement piece. As we all
love a story, it is ideal if the item has significant meaning to you. Does it remind you of a special
place that you’ve visited or is it a family heirloom?

In my home, select pieces of antique Indian furniture evoke memories and add character to the
rooms. If you also love the hand-crafted, decorative qualities of Indian furniture, let me tell you a
little more about its history.

The History of Indian Furniture
The truth is, that for much of India’s history, furniture has not been a feature. In the majority of
homes, people sat on cushions and slept on floor rugs. Beds, tables and chairs simply weren’t
required. Even today, many families in India sit on the floor around a Bajot Table to eat their meals.

The exception was the notable Vijayanagar Empire of the 14 th Century. At this time, the craftsmen of
Southern India were renowned for carving elaborate furniture. However, these were thrones and
other items used in ceremonial events, rather than furniture for the home.

Things changed when India was invaded by Europeans. Portuguese, French and British settlers were
used to furnished homes and they employed Indian carpenters to make them tables, chairs,
cabinets, storage chests and more. What emerged was an Indo-European style; familiar shapes with
a distinctive twist.

The other difference was the timber used in constructing Indian furniture. Rather than Oak,
Mahogany, Elm and Yew, Indian furniture is likely to be made of Sheesham, Acacia, ebony or Teak.
These locally-sourced timbers were dense and durable, so the furniture was made to last.

Styles of Indian Furniture
Each region developed a style. In Northern India, the Mughal-influenced style used dark woods
which were typically inlaid with intricate ivory or bone designs.

The Goanese style is recognisable by geometric patterns that were cut or carved in the wood, for
example, in the decorative back of this wooden bench.

In Rajasthan and Gujarat colourful paint was used to add traditional motifs to the furniture.
One form of decoration that is common in Indian furniture is hand-carved sections. This showcases
the skills of the local carpenters. As these craftsmen also carved the printing blocks used to decorate

fabrics, the design of a statement piece of furniture can be complimented with a similar design used
on soft furnishings.

Personally, I love colour, so my home interior features painted Indian furniture and vibrant shades.
The style suits my personality! What items set your home apart?