Solid wood and mid-to-dark brown furniture is giving way to lighter hues. Customisation is in as people want solutions that suit their lifestyle and help them shed clutter
Having clutter-free zones around the house can bring Zen-like vibes to your space and help uplift the overall decor.
We all want to live small and store well. And there are plenty of ways to organise the breakfast nook, dining room, or even the laundry closet, all of which tend to become chaotic throughout the year. Knowing how to store can help you figure out both your physical space and head space.
The need for storage has been amplified much more now than ever before. Says Erik-Jan Middelhoven, Home Furnishing & Design Manager, IKEA India: “Not only has the amount of time we spend at home increased, but even how we spend that time has changed. The major shift over the past two years has been that all activities which used to happen at different locations now happen within the walls of your home. That has impacted how we need to store things. For example, previously if you could stock up things in drawers and lockers at the office, you now have to hoard everything at home.”
So, what is trending in storage spaces in the Indian residential sector? The major shift in urban lifestyle is towards wardrobes in lighter colours and sliding doors that are space saving. Says Middelhoven: “Traditionally the Indian market would be typified by the solid wood and mid brown to dark brown furniture. But now lighter colours are in. Customisation is a big thing as people want a wardrobe that suits their lifestyle. Earlier they had to adjust their needs to the wardrobe where the space between one shelf and the next was standardised. Now it’s the era of flexible wardrobes. Indians have so far been using a wardrobe where they don’t use the underneath and space on top. Also, if you compare the average women’s closet in Europe or America, Indians wear much longer garments such as kurta or longer dresses which need far more space for hanging. I am surprised to see Indians storing their garments in small shelves. For us at IKEA, we talk ourselves through your garment, your climate and culture. As a designer, these are the things that would influence my wardrobe solution for you.”
Another popular movement in storage stuff is the preference for modular furniture and also furniture which you can assemble, dismantle and reassemble all by yourself. Vertical cabinets that save floor space in which you can store books, collectibles or glass sculptures or just anything is finding favour.
Let us start with the living room crockery cabinets, which is a blessing to those who have fancy cutlery to show off. Made of two parts–a frame and a shutter–its frame is generally made up of solid wood, MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard), particle board or commercial ply, depending upon the strength required and cost. The shutter is either laminated finish, glass, frosted glass or PU (polyurethane) polish. The crockery cabinet can be either floor-mounted or wall-mounted, depending upon the area of installations and requirements.
But the most widely used storage unit is the chest of drawers in the dressing table, bedside tables or cupboards. Materials used are natural wood, laminated, PU or epoxy finish, glass, leather, stone and come in a variety of sizes. Fittings, lighting and sensors are secondary elements that add to the cost and aesthetics.
A book shelf is a huge style statement nowadays. It may be with or without shutters. However, the flashiest thing in the house is the bar cabinet for those who want to flaunt their collection of bottles. Made usually of solid wood and glass that may be frosted, the bar cabinet can either be floor-mounted or wall-mounted.
Kitchen storage units are a must have, be it pantry units in the kitchen, built-in modular storage or an independent standing unit.
These can be both overhead and under the counter, and the material can be as cheap as commercial ply or as expensive as natural wood with veneer/Laminate or PU Polish.
There are no rules when it comes to display or storage. It is very subjective and all about the user’s habit, perception and choice.
What is better–open or closed storage? Says Ruchi Mishra, Business Head Design and Interiors, NMBPL (New Modern Buildwell Pvt Ltd): “The functional need of the storage plays the key role in deciding open storage or closed one, i.e., food items need a closed storage to avoid sun and air exposure, while things we need handy are to be kept in open. The open storage especially in bar cabinets, wall shelves, crockery cabinets, book shelves is an amazing option for those who are very tidy and organised in their living. It is a great way to showcase your tidy ethos and flaunt unique items in your house. One can also go with semi open storage in bookshelf and crockery cabinets.
On the other hand, a closed shelving style is a blessing for those who don’t want to showcase their personal belongings. The mismatched chinaware, crockery set, the linen, shoes rack, etc. have their place in closed storage units. Such a unit is very common in the wardrobe, kitchen cabinet, shoe rack, and storage console. Clothes like cotton linen are best kept in closed storage lest they get spoilt. As for electrical appliances, closed storage is preferred as these items would need more maintenance and cleanliness if placed in an open unit.
Opt for the appropriate size for your storage solutions. Says Astha Khetan, Founder, The House of Things: “When buying a storage unit, always observe the sizes available so you can map them on your floor to see what works best for you. Here are some typical storage unit sizes that are ideal in most spaces: sideboards, credenzas, and wardrobes: 3×4 ft; large storage unit like a crockery cabinet or closet: 6×3 ft; bar cabinet: 5×3.5 ft; chest of drawers: 3.5×2.8 ft and bedside table: 1.7×1.3 ft.”
What matters more to you–aesthetics or functionality? A good cabinet design may fit your needs and space. A better-looking cabinet may look great, but deprive you of basic functions. For example, an artistic wardrobe with less storage space may become a white elephant in your bedroom, while a statement coffee table in the living room may be good as a showstopper.
Your storage solutions can be a statement piece too. Take the case of CPRN see-through wardrobes which have translucent designs paired with leather covered drawers and a smooth sliding mechanism. The main elements CPRN uses include MDF, lacquer, glass, metal and leather. Such walk-in closets and cupboards are usually placed in spacious areas such as farm houses or luxury apartments.
Or take the case of Momenti wardrobes which can have customised designs on the outside. Says Ashok Basoya, Founder, Ottimo” “Momenti uses a special fibreglass material that allows for such clear portrayal of designs. It can be customised to a great extent. You can personalise the designs in any way you like. People have been extremely fond of this. We think this is because such clear and good quality and versatile customisation is not usually available in India. Secondly, this allows them to personalise their space, in the sense they can pick up a design that they may have seen somewhere around the world and curate an ambience according to a specific design of their choice.”
Finally, adopt a minimalistic approach while storing. Don’t get into the habit of hoarding. Buy only for your needs and make donations a constant way of life. Every time you buy one garment, try to discard one.
Table: Indicative prices of storage solutions
|Storage Unit||Price Range (Rs)|
|Living Room Crockery Cabinets||18,000-1,20,000 (Rs 1,500-3,000/sq ft)|
|Chest of drawers||12,000-1,20,000|
|Book Shelf||24,000-75,000(Rs 1,200-3,000/sq ft)|
|Bedroom Wardrobes||36,000-1,70,000 (1,500-3,000/sq ft)|
|King SIZE Beds with Boxes (Without mattress)||60,000- 4,50,000|
|Kitchen pantry Units*||45,000- 90,000|
|Wall Shelves||8,000-40,000 (Rs 900-1,500/sq ft)|
* Built-in Modular Storage or independent standing units; Credits: NMBPL (New Modern Buildwell Pvt Ltd)