Punam Kalra, Creative Director, I'm the Centre for Applied Art

Punam Kalra, a renowned engineer turned designer has been in the business since 1994.  It has been a long time since Kalra opened her first store at Lajpat Nagar. The Life journey for Kalra is a very long one with a lot of revelations. Along with the experience, Kalra has also gained a lot of Knowledge. Being brought up in a simple middle-class family, she has all her values intact. Kalra describes herself as a shy child, who generally prefers to live in isolation. She prefers to hear music and watch films which are fast and intelligently humorous.  


Today, a home decor is more than a well-composed visual setting. Now its become an outlet of self-expression, almost meditative in nature. while setting a strong identity for its dweller. It is where a sense of belonging is birthed. The value of such a space can only be weighed by the celebration of connectivity with the vibe and joy the space commands. When there is a chance to play with the interior language, this feeling soars higher, boosting a space’s value manifold not only in aesthetics but also in spirit.

Here’s how you can indulge in interior play:

Fill up radiance and cheer

A well-lit space is always bound to steal the show. Seek the benefits of good lighting by inviting natural light with oversized windows or a dramatic lattice screen that lures with the shadow cast. Intensify it with reflective surfaces and light-hued colour palettes—a pastel or all-white aesthetic sparks joy from the abundance of light. You can also include mirrors, small or large—square, oval or even asymmetrical, mounted on the wall or slanted along the floor, for an illusion of a larger space that has more room for happy happenings.

Think big on family spaces like a kitchen island with bar counters, dining space with a French window lookout or a simple balcony sit out with a cosy loveseat lined by houseplants for a cheerful ambience.

Speak for purpose with your furnishings

Value is qualitative—and not quantitative. This thought shares interest with essentialism that roots for a predominantly minimal style which has room for—only—the things with which we associate a value personal in nature. It can be as small as an antique relic relished over years or as large as a multipurpose bench that’s just been bought. its the essential nature of the item that holds centre stage.

Infuse the values of a sustainable lifestyle with the underplay of furniture and accessories and increased inclusiveness for pieces such as reclaimed wood tables, hemp throws, jute planters etc. that spell sustainability and repurpose alike.

Make room to accommodate sleek profiles, geometric silhouettes and neat trims that are timeless and versatile in an utilitarian perspective. Create levelled viewpoints with large built-in closets spanning across the wall, storage units beneath the window bay and floating shelves lined up along your lintel level. Minimise downsized accessories and invest in the hefty, statement pieces like an upholstered seater in a bold hue, an oversized pendant lamp hung from the ceiling or a feature wall with spaced-out terrazzo patterns. Play with the proportions and explore new boundaries of harmony with eccentric furniture choices.

Accomodate versatility with neutral palette

Interior stylizing stands out best when its set on an underplayed canvas. A neutral-hued moodboard creates a perfect ambience for that—it is the scheme that lets both old and new pieces of furniture coexist and create a harmonious narrative. A neutral palette is sometimes seen with the earthen colours such as Olive, Clay, Brick Red, Moss Green or Cedar Brown and at the other times, as a straight Beige, Ivory, Gray or Black. These wall-based palettes can be given a timeless meaning with unsullied metallic tones such as gold or silver, along with unconventional contemporary choices such as rose gold, copper or brass. You can also try monochrome styles with different tints and shades of a colour. Hold on to the language of versatility by keeping the finishes all matte or with a toned-down expression of texture with subtle stripes or fine textures that soften the visual appeal.

Bring in a work of art

The story of a space is foretold by the pieces that underline a signature style. Talk about your favourites with custom-made pieces in both furniture and decor—try wooden panels with stone inlays, tabletops with single-stone marble, closet doors with iconographic knobs, tapestries with printed artworks and more that become a one-of-a-kind interior find.

Create a single point of focus with feature walls grandstanding some commissioned artworks at the centre with tufted fabrics lining the sides or an extravagant indoor garden creating the finest first impression. Give light accents to make the artistic elements stand out—a signature crystal chandelier hung as a spotlight for wall art or a triple pendant atop the focal point or flushed LED strip lining the backdrops of the television, vanity etc.

Give a digital edge to the space

Contemporary homes are all about the smart character—the concept of styling goes beyond still life to the mobile elements that create a transitional effect. Home automation opens up the sensorial character of styling with mood settings and smart lighting systems that fuse colour psychology with touch-free technology. There are tinted LEDs for false ceilings of common spaces and low-lit sleep modes for private spaces. Occasions such as parties, family gatherings or at-home celebrations call for projectors, digital installations and more that kindle the vibe.

On the other hand, for the growing hybrid homes post pandemic, more of integrated systems have been evolved with the interior design to cater to both lifestyle and work needs of the space. AI audio systems, task lighting controls, automated window blinds and more are ready to articulate home décor in a future-forward sense that is sure to take us all by surprise.

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