Sun, 26 Jan 2003

Choosing the right furnishings for your living room

Sudibyo M. Wiradji, Contributor, Jakarta

As part of the entire interior design of a house or an apartment, a living room needs tasteful furnishings. But the model or style of furniture and decorative items selected relies heavily on individual taste.

For interior consultants, model or style of furniture for a living room is inseparable from the architectural design of a house. Principally, the interior and exterior design products should support the theme of a house as a whole. Thus, the style of selected furniture or interior design products for a living room should be at one with the style of the house.

If the style of the house is classical or semi-classical, for instance, then the chosen furnishings should match. A house with modern architecture will need modern furnishings for its living room. But for modest houses with no distinct model or style, owners might not care much what model or style their living room furniture is.

Furnishings for a living room vary from one to another, depending on the available space and the style of the house but commonly living room furnishings include a set of sofa, a display cabinet, a rug, a magazine rack, a coffee table and/or sidetable, chairs and a book case. Other may also be furnished it with a footstool, a console, storage and wall paneling.

In arranging a set of furniture and interior design items in a living room, many may emphasize functional aspects but many others may take esthetic aspects into serious consideration. There are also those who combine the function and the esthetics. As a result, each living room will have its own distinctive touch, nuance and atmosphere.

The wide diversity of the models and styles of the living room furniture sets and accessories can be seen at the furniture and interior design at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Senayan, Central Jakarta. Most of the furniture sets displayed at the expo which ends today have been produced to cater to consumers' different tastes.

Therefore, living room furnishings on display are heterogeneous in nature. As sofas go, you could find locally made products and imported ones. Natural Home & Decor, for instance, displays sets of sofa whose materials use a combination of fabric, wood and plaited water hyacinth. With materials taken from nature, the items create a natural ambience for a living room. You can also find imported sofas with modern styles or commonly known as minimalist style that are simple, soft but elegant. Similarly, antique and semi-classical furniture like carved wooden tables and chairs drew great attention from the visitors.

"A narrow living room will look heavily burdensome if it is furnished with intricately carved wooden furniture but it will look nicer if the furniture is placed in a larger living room," said a trader at the expo. "Furniture with minimalist style is appropriate for both narrow and large living rooms," she added.

Simplicity, box-like forms and few details characterize minimalist style. While, carvings, curviness and detailed accents, are more dominant in classical or semi-classical styles. "So, the current trend on furniture for living rooms is highly heterogeneous as furniture with different styles have their own lovers," PT Saniharto Enggalhardjo's showroom manager Ervin Katharina said.

"We provide both semi-classical and minimalist styles. The demand for furniture with other styles is equally good," she said.

Home Dicor at Furnicenter Mega Mall Pluit in North Jakarta specializes in producing and selling carved wooden furniture and interior design products.

Even though it is not obligatory, furnishing a living room with decorative items might make the room attractive or give it a bit of soul. Decorative items can be placed on the floor or walls depending on the kinds of items. But this again relies on individual taste.

PT Saniharto Enggalhardjo provides complementary items for the living room, including mirrors, small tables, side tables, sideboards, cabinets and wall paneling. The company uses various kinds of wood as the materials for the products, starting from local kinds of wood like teak and mahogany or imported wood like white oak, white ash or walnut to scarcely found wood such as crotch mahogany, maple burls and sycamore figured.

Decorating your living room with complementary items produced by the company will beautify your room, especially with the unique texture each wood shows. "To gain the beauty and elegance of the wood, we also combine different veneers to create the inlay/mosaic or marquetry, " Ervin Katharina of PT Saniharto Enggalhardjo said.

With many of the products produced by PT Saniharto Enggalhardjo already proven internationally, -- as they receive very good responses from the high-end overseas market -- the quality of the products are a given.

For those in need of Indonesian artifacts to create an ethnic atmosphere in their living room, Dharma Mulia Galleries provides a vast collection of genuine Indonesian artifacts, including terracotta, masks, traditional fabric, household appliances and wedding accessories.

Dharma was asked recently by the Champa restaurant to make an interior with genuine Indonesian artifacts to create a truly Asian ambience to match their Southeast Asian cuisine.

Owners of the houses with overseas housing models in need of furnishings corresponding to the style of the respective houses should not necessarily go abroad to hunt for their desired items as many people did in the past. Many particular furniture galleries provide the imported products. Malinda Furniture Gallery in the Jakarta Design Center (JDC) in Central Jakarta, for instance, provides U.S.-made flexsteel sofas brand. The sofas with semi-classical style are available in different colors. The American stylized sofas will be well-suited to a house with a classical style, large living room and high ceiling.

Luxurious housing complexes with classical styles include those in Pondok Indah in South Jakarta, Pantai Indah Kapuk in North Jakarta and in Kelapa Gading and many more. Meanwhile, luxurious houses with overseas styles like the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the U.S. can be found in Cibubur, Bogor.

Malinda Furniture Gallery also provides living room accessories like artificial flowers, trees, small tables and hanging lamps. For those who wish to furnish their living rooms with an Italian sofa, then Vinoti Living, also in the JDC, is the right place for you. Vinoti Living provides different brands and sets of sofas from Italy like Cubico, Simplicity and Samara. The modern sofas are available in various shades of brown and earthtone. "Our sofas use Kalimantan wood, and the coverings, we use fabric imported from Italy," said Maria, Vinoti's showroom assistant.

Other trendy imported sofas include the ones from Contempo or Calia, both from Italy. If you want to have a more relaxed sofa set, you can furnish your living room with a modern design. The modern sofas are elegantly paired with Japanese cocktail tables. For instance, a sofa set from Contempo, with black genuine leather as its cover will allow you to leisurely recline in elegance. The products are available at Melandas, one of the showrooms at Mega Mall Pluit.

Casa Moda focuses on selling sofa sets with a minimalist style displayed some of its products at the exhibition at JCC recently. Its Calia sofas from Italy have drawn much attention from the visitors. The sofa has a lovely look, especially with soft and calm colors.