Taking The Ideal Seat


Radha Prathi dwells on the history of drawing room furniture and explains how to choose the same, appropriately
We are a land that believes in the philosophy of  ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ where guests are treated as gods. The process of warm hospitality commences with ushering the callers in and beckoning them to a seat. The more comfortable the seat, the better the visitor feels. Hence, one cannot simply discount the value and validity of drawing room furniture. A luxurious sofa set that can highlight the ambience and comfort in the living room of your home, can go a long way in determining your hospitality quotient and aesthetic sense.

Not so young

Well, if one is under the impression that sofas are relatively modern pieces of furniture, you must stand corrected, because the sofa had manifested itself as a couch in several parts of the world, at least a little more than two millenniums ago. History reveals that couch potatoes did exist in ancient Rome, Egypt, Asia Minor, and several parts of Europe, albeit they were not called so. The couches were used as seats for the inmates and guests of the residence and they doubled up as a ‘day bed’ if a person chose to have a nap or siesta on it. 

Hence, it is a proven fact that sofas have been existent in various civilisations from times immemorial. Ever since, man has used his imagination to create couches in every possible material and every imaginable design under the sun. A connoisseur of tasteful furniture will readily agree that some of the ancient patterns are still doing rounds today with little or no variations, because they have stood the test of time in terms of their magnificence and most importantly, their ergonomics.

Indispensable settee

Considering the fact that the settee has become an indispensable part of a household, no matter to which economic category one belongs, it is important to pay attention to little details while shopping for sofas.

Understandably, one does not change furniture very often even if one is made of money. Hence, it is important for the potential buyer to sit down with the others at home to chart out the particulars of their precise requirement.

First and foremost, measure the dimensions of your drawing room, to determine the size of the furniture you will be bringing home. Ideally, the furniture area should not exceed more than two third the area of the drawing room. Next, decide on the material of the sofa that you wish to buy, as it is likely to remain with you for a considerable period of time. It is important to realise that characteristics of the different materials, can transform the looks of your living room.

If price is not a criteria, then you will find that wood is good. Rose wood and teakwood will certainly lighten your purse but at the same time, will translate itself into an investment, for one can be assured that the resale of the same will most definitely fetch you a higher price.

Clever duplication

Furniture made of Burma, Malaysia and Chinar wood may not cost as much but a clever carpenter can duplicate classical looks in these materials. Waterproofed wood and wood treated with chemicals to prevent worms and termites from getting at them, can prove to be practical long-term friends, coughing up their value to the last penny.

While the conventional ‘Chaise Lounge’ can give a regal touch to your hall, imported wooden upholstered furniture from Europe can add warmth to your home. If you think you cannot be chained down by the universal choice of wood, there are infinite options in the market. You can go in for cane furniture. It will not only usher in the old-world charm into your home, but will also retain your identity as a person who champions the cause of using eco-friendly furniture.

If you are the practical busy sort with very little time to invest on maintenance, polishing wrought iron furniture will prove to be a fine choice, for it is not only sturdy but will look elegant without much ado.

If you take a lot of pride in being an Indian, you will find it difficult to ignore India’s very own sofa, popularly known as the divan. It’s simple no-nonsense look can be translated into regality, by placing cylindrical cushions at the ends and throwing in a few colourful cushions in between. The Indian version of the sofa, can double up as an extra bed at night.

Once the basic material of the sofa is decided, it is advisable that you approach a professional upholstery expert to do up your sofa. While choosing the material of the upholstery and cushions of your furniture, opt for a durable material which can be cleaned well. Make sure to choose shades that will compliment your walls, curtains and the doors of your home. If you are likely to be shifting homes often, shades of brown will prove to be your best bet as they have a tendency to blend with any background.

The market is certainly flooded with upholstered sofas but many a time, they give way to wear and tear, revealing shoddy material that is filled in thoughtlessly. If at all you prefer to buy a readymade sofa, make sure you approach a well-known dealer or buy from a dealer who is recommended by a person you trust.

Once you have bought a sofa after investing so much of your time, thoughts and money, you will find that you have unwittingly got yourself into doing up the interiors of your living room all over again. You will probably consider changing the curtains, carpets, side tables and the painting that adorns your wall, so that they compliment your new piece of furniture. Predictably, your living room will invite compliments from your guests which you can ruminate upon with pride when you try to catch your forty winks reclining on your prized piece of furniture.

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