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Think home design, renovation or refurbishment and the first thing that comes to mind are the big-ticket actors that can make (or break) the tableau—the furniture, the colour of the walls, wallpaper, and of course accessories. Lamentably, it’s the supporting cast of characters that don’t get enough attention—soft furnishings. When in fact upholsteries and fabrics, patterns and motifs, are all vital contributors to a well-designed and thoughtfully decorated home. “Generally, soft furnishings are always considered towards the end of a project, which is when we tend to compromise on the look,” says Chanya Kaur. Certainly, there is no one better to help change this mindset, given her close association with the world of textiles. Hailing from a family with roots in the textile business, she has an innate understanding of fabrics in all their diversity, from the warp and the weft to the aesthetics. In 2012, she, along with husband Dalbir Singh, set up The Pure Concept, a soft furnishings brand with a strong, reliable reputation.
Chanya Kaur, interior design consultant and founder of lifestyle and soft furnishings store, The Pure Concept Home, illustrates how to balance fabric prints and textures. Chanya uses the new collections from Ador and Pure Royale—two of Asian Paints’ fabric brands—to explore four different looks for living rooms. “You can start conceptualising the room you’re working on by including the fabric right from the beginning.” says Chanya Kaur.
Last year, Chanya, also an interior design consultant, took things up a notch with the launch of The Pure Concept Home, a lifestyle store that offers the gamut of home design and decor solutions, apart from fabrics for soft furnishings.
Using all her knowledge, experience and a well-honed sense of aesthetics, Chanya uses the new collections from Ador and Pure Royale—two of Asian Paints’ fabric brands—to explore two different looks for living rooms. “You can start conceptualising the room you’re working on by including the fabric right from the beginning.”
Chanya has created two completely different ‘looks’ with a combination of fabrics that she’s paired to balance one another. The mood boards illustrate the principle of this styling.
MOOD BOARD 1: A MIX OF TEXTURES AND PRINTS
This combination of fabrics works best in a space with a neutral wall colour—ivory, beige, the like. As for flooring, you can play with textures. In this setting, Chanya opts for darker-coloured fabrics with different-sized motifs and prints in a variety of textures.
For the sofa: Chanya recommends this Pure Royale cotton fabric with a very small-scale distressed digital print on velvet as a good choice for the sofa, chairs or any other large furniture piece.
For that accent chair: If you have an accent chair, or any statement furniture piece, you can use a medium-scale design, like the leaf-patterned fabric from Ador, to highlight it. “The painterly leaf pattern will complement the [sofa] fabric very well.”
For dining room chairs or as wall panelling: Chanya also added a 3D texture using this fabric from Ador. “If you have gone a little flat with the velvet, this is a nice, simple texture to add to the mix.”
For the cushions: If you do pick the safer option for the curtains, the digital-printed fabric from Pure Royale would be a good look for the cushions.
For the windows: When it comes to curtains, consider the scale and height of the windows before finalising a fabric. The alternatives here are playing it safe with a “simple, easy texture in a warm white, like this Ador fabric. Or you can try this linen fabric from Pure Royale with a medium-scale digital print layered with foil in a very uneven, soothing texture.” The gauze-like sheer from Pure Royale is perfect to filter in some natural light. If you’re in the mood to experiment, then start small and pick out striped sheers, like this fabric from Pure Royale.
As an accent: Chanya’s final addition to complete the look is a small-scale, all-over-print fabric from Pure Royale that can be used however and wherever you choose to.
MOOD BOARD 2: KEEP IT NEUTRAL
For this look, the fabric choice stays within the spectrum of beiges, light greys and ivories. A failsafe colour palette for small spaces, the neutral-tone fabrics, Kaur advises, would be beautifully complemented by walls that are a darker shade of grey.
For the sofa: Chanya offers up a beige velvet fabric from Pure Royale with checkered embroidery all over that has a 3D impact for the sofa or chairs. (In a bedroom, the beige fabric would be a good look on the headboard.)
For that accent chair: A darker grey-coloured fabric from Ador with a medium-scale design works well on statement furniture pieces, whether an accent chair or ottoman.
For the cushions: A striped fabric from Pure Royale offsets the patterns and prints used on the rest of the furniture. It also works as a throw.
For the windows: A two-tone embroidered fabric from Pure Royale with an abstract leaf motif works nicely as draperies—
curtains or blinds. Again, if large-scale motifs don’t work for you, another option is the always-popular paisley print on this slate-grey polyester fabric from Ador.
To complement the curtains is a cotton-linen ash-grey sheer from Pure Royale with a diamond-patterned stitch detail in the centre.
A must-have solid: Given the surfeit of prints used, break the busy designs with a solid-coloured fabric. “This solid from Ador has a 3D texture which adds volume and depth. This too can be used as an upholstery fabric.”
If you are inspired enough, and armed with sufficient information with the different looks, here are some important tips to keep in mind when fabric-hunting:
● It’s always better to start with a mood board by laying out all the fabrics on a table and getting a visual sense of how they could complement
● Choose fabrics based on the size and scale of the room, the size and type of furniture, and, for curtains, the height of the windows.
● Be sure you choose a mix of patterns, not just in style but in size as well—opt for small-, medium- and large- scale prints if possible.
● If you have a larger living room, you can use bold, larger-scale patterns for curtains. Light sheers work well in any space as they allow natural
light to filter in. Wider-width sheers are great if you want more daylight in your space.
● Any room, whether it’s a bedroom or living room, needs a mix of seven to eight kinds of fabrics and a good mixture of different kinds of prints
and patterns to add some drama and give life to the space.
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