Last weekend, Pepperfry.com, who recently appointed me as one of their design gurus invited me to attend a prestigious interior design show featuring Delhi’s finest luxury brands – India Design 2014.
Located at the NSIC grounds in Okhla, New Delhi, the exhibition was no like other I had visited. We were welcomed by a fully carpeted open air concourse dotted with pagoda styled marquees and quaint food stalls with their not to be missed designer seating. Situated on its right, were the three main tented halls showcasing the best in furniture and home decor.
The standard and creativity of these temporary exhibition stalls was very impressive indeed. Having been to the Chelsea Design Centre, London not so long ago, I can very proudly say that we are not far behind when it comes to showmanship. The imagination injected easily transformed the humble stall to a stage set for visual niceness. Please excuse the cliché but I really was like a kid in a candy store! Elegance filled the atmosphere, emanating from the exhibitors and their wares and those attending the show.
So what’s new? In one word LUXURY. Sophisticated, high-end, premium products.
MDF jaali or fretwork panels are now being replaced with stone and metal panels. Stone jaali work can be modified with multiple options of inlay/overlay with shellstone / gemstones and semi-precious metals. Then there are three dimensional stone panels that appear to be moving and can be used to create stunning facades, a mural or a feature wall. Another wall finish includes a stylized wall installation with marble back-lit elements and mixed metal work.
Built-in electric appliances are taking over your stand alone appliance as consumers demand a more stream-line finish to their modular kitchens. Appliances such as built-in ovens, steam ovens, microwaves, coffee makers, warming drawers, cool drawers, dishdrawers (where the dishwasher lies within a drawer), French door refrigerators, washing machines and dryers are the more popular ones.
Fabrics for furnishing, curtains and decorative textiles have moved on too representing style with contemporary techniques – hand printed linen, vintage linen, laser cut embroideries and jacquards combined with structured and tactile sheers, distressed textures and rich printed velvets.
Personalising an interior space takes on another layer with a refreshing concept of embroidered wall panels where heritages crafts are interplayed with a contemporary palette.
Accessories and furniture have taken on an international flavour – from German hand blown glass vases, European lighting and décor pieces from Bali, to French acrylic chairs. The décor trends blend baroque with Bauhaus, the edgy with the elegant and the clutter breaking cool with urban chic.
Boutique furniture stores are collaborating with European furniture companies to bring to you impeccable designs and exquisite craftsmanship – something your local carpenter is yet to understand. World class wardrobes, modular kitchens and complete furniture solutions for the home have become more accessible than ever before.
More emphasis is growing towards engineered and hardwood flooring as opposed to laminate flooring with patterns such as herringbone and parquet. Intricate hand-made designs involving inlay and a variety of finishes including sanding, hand planed, brushed, hand patina, aged and oiled make their way to the Indian market.
The quality, standard, design, material and finishing of products has leap frogged to a whole new level and the pricing clearly reflects this. World class interior and decor products are here to stay and it won’t be long before we see India on the global design map. Consumer awareness and demand has created an emerging niche market which will only grow in the coming years.