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There was a time when people bought furniture and it stayed with them for decades, being handed down from one generation to the next. In the modern times, the trend is to go in for elegant ready made furniture, and change it in a few years down the line.

The "In" thing today is the blend of modern and ethnic furniture. The trend is to go for light furniture which you can move around for easy cleaning. Such furniture is wrought iron, Cane, wooden & steel furniture, which goes well in the main room. This furniture is easy to maintain & also costs less. Earlier people used to prefer the same kind of furniture in all rooms, but now a combination looks trendy. Wrought iron furniture on one side and an Indian baithak on other side with lots of colourful cushions & bed sheets give you a both modern & ethnic look. Rather than going for costly furniture, one should go for a minimalist look & accessorize the room with bright upholstery. A change in upholstery gives the room a different look. Old wood is always the best and if one wants old furniture, chor-bazaar in Mumbai is a good place. Wood available here is of good quality.

For those who prefer a more modern look – and their number is growing rapidly – The options are wide. Wrought Iron furniture is popular particularly with young couples. It is trendy, sleek, space-saving and strong, according to designer Darshana Shah of Dimensions Architects Who adds that it is also reasonably priced.

Architect Alpana Pingle adds “The trend is to use straight furniture without any moulding. One can go for rectangular or square shaped sofas that make the room look sleek, simple & elegant. A sofa with a mix of steel & wood also makes the room look different. A low seating arrangement is also a good option.

Speaking about cabinet & shelves, she comments “earlier people preferred having huge wooden cabinets to keep goods and there was a big table for television set and also a huge centre-table. Today, however you would not find such bulky furniture.”.

She suggests going in for a small wooden table with a glass top to be placed in the corner instead of a large centre-table. For TV sets she advises using wooden slab attached to the wall. One can also have small niches carved in the wall, or small glass-slabs for knick knacks.

These days it is not enough to focus only on the main room – the living room, other room also receive detailed attention. People can opt for glass seating which is in vogue today. Rather than going for a sofa, glass seating looks good and such arrangements go well with bedrooms too. The bedroom has to be very simple, a place where you can relax after a hard day. A bed in the centre and a small coffee table on side can give an unusual look to the room. People can also go for a bean-bag on one side. There can also be an antique chair, which gives the room a rich look. A wall-to-wall wooden cabinet is the best option and one can have a mirror placed on it so that it acts as a dressing table too. Using different lights can enhance the look of the room.

Darshana Shah recommends ‘bunk-beds’ in the children’s room as this saves a great deal of space which could then be free for other uses. Shah also suggests placing a study table below the bunk-bed to provide more space for children to play. To avoid accidents steer clear of furniture with sharp edges. Fairy tales themes can be used to appeal to children. These days one can even get furniture that grows with the child and can be adjusted to changing needs.

For kitchens, designers recommend modular kitchens that are easy to maintain and look neat. Steel and materials like granite or marble are better options than wooden furniture for kitchen.

When one goes for a good quality but low cost furniture, it is not a ‘big decision’ to part with it after a few years and opt for something new. In fact that is what people prefer to do these days to give their homes a contemporary look. With new furniture, you can give your home a makeover every few years and it doesn’t even have to be expensive.