Sitting on a swing is always a delight, regardless of one’s age. Radha Prathi elaborates on various types of swings one could keep in the house, keeping in mind factors like space and budget.
When one takes stock of some of the oldest concepts of furniture, one cannot forget the swing because it spells both fun and relaxation. As far as India is concerned, the swing, in many forms, materials, shapes and sizes, has been an integral part of an Indian household, ranging from the royal to the humble — they have been included even in rituals and ceremonies. These are but pointers to show that desiring to have a swing in one’s residence, cannot be relegated as unreasonable or far fetched. Hence, if you plan to incorporate a swing in your place you will find the market flooded with a mind-boggling range of swings catering to every possible need that rests on the twin bases of utility and beauty.
Though space is a constraint in contemporary households, remember a fairly large plain swing fit in the living room, study or the balcony can actually save you from investing in extra furniture, for you will find that both, the residents of your home and also your visitors will like to perch themselves on the swing most of the times. If you happen to be living in an apartment with very little carpet space, you could go for lighter swings which can be suspended using a spring and taken off when not in use. Once you decide to have a swing in your place, just look around and decide where you want to have it fixed. Next, decide whether you want the swing to be suspended down from the ceiling or whether it should be fitted in a stand and make provisions for holding it securely. If you are in the process of building a new house or renovating your old home, ask your mason to fix hooks firmly at appropriate pre-determined places so that they can bear the weight of the swings. If you happen to be living in a flat or an old house it is best to opt for a swing with a stand for it is not wise to drive in a heavyweight hook in an already constructed ceiling.
When you shop for wooden swings, it is preferable that you look out for antique pieces or second-hand ones for they are likely to be genuine, made of a single log of wood or with very little joints. They come with sterling, strong, brass or iron chains with unique designs and patterns. A little run with sand paper and a coat of varnish will see you through the exercise and you will find your swing to be an investment of sorts, if at all you plan to sell it away at a later date. While well carved swings made of teakwood, rosewood or mango wood, look exotic, remember the plain ones are easier to maintain and use as you see fit.
If you choose to buy swings made of wrought iron, they will turn out to be a sturdier and a cheaper option. Stand swings are usually made in this metal, while the suspended ones come with a combination of a wooden or a fibreglass plank.
Swings made of bamboo happen to be the best option these days, not only because they are lighter and less expensive but because they have the tendency to blend with just about any kind of décor. Bamboo wings come as single seaters, multiple seaters in both the suspended and stand varieties.
Though conventional swings hanging down from the ceiling can turn out to be the best option, swings fitted in stands have their own ambience for they have found their way into palaces, temples, castles and bungalows.
Swings fitted in a stand occupy more space, but these days most makers of swings make it possible for the entire swing to be dismantled or assembled at will.
There are provisions to use the seats or the chairs of the swings in their individual capacity, just in case you want to dispense with the use of the stand temporarily. There are some swings which have rocking chairs fitted as their seats too. Some swing dealers offer both individual chairs and sofa (long seater) for the same stand so that the user can fix whatever suits his needs at a given point of time on to the stand and use the other set as furniture.
There are stand swings with attached canopies, lights, and trays and rings for holding food and drink. These varieties can compliment balconies, sprawling lawns and children’s rooms better than any other location. Though swings with extra fittings and detachable fittings are priced higher, dealers revealed that buyers preferred them because they also supplemented as furniture and are easily portable.
Swings are ideal when they are used in a variety of ways. A few colourful cushions thrown over the swing can make it a cosy seater or even a day-bed.
Variety is spice
While a conventional swing can do wonders to your home, there is really no harm in trying out different varieties. For instance, you could go for swings made of plastics in multi colours or swings made of strapping canvas. These light swings may not be able to bear very heavy weight but they are ideal for babies and little children for they are scratch resistant and washable besides they are provided with safety aspects like ‘step-in leg space’, seat belts, a little foldable table to hold food among other things. When your little one outgrows them they can still be hung in the room to hold books, toys, knick-knacks, etc.
They can be hung out in the porch or in the garden and you could place potted plants in them. Those of you who have the privilege to have a garden can opt for an outdoor swing or a hammock. If you plan to buy one of these, you do not have to go very far. There are several hawkers who sell well-built nylon hammocks for as low as hundred rupees along the national highways. They can be tied between trees in your garden; they can be taken along with you on your picnics and fishing expeditions too.
It is apparent that the world of swings has something to offer to everyone according to his tastes, needs and budgets so there should be no stopping you from s(w)inging away …