IN­DIA’S HOUSE RULES

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Be mind­ful of your mix

Stick to ob­jects and fur­ni­ture from no more than three dif­fer­ent decades – this sim­ple tip is vir­tu­ally in­fal­li­ble. ‘I’m also a fan of mix’n’match table­ware and col­lect stylish plates, salad bowls and glasses on my trav­els.’

Start with a sofa

So­fas are the eye­brows of a room. Big so­fas can make small rooms seem big­ger, while sev­eral small so­fas will liven up a large room and give it a warm, friendly feel. ‘Noth­ing beats a pair of so­fas face to face: they add vis­ual struc­ture to a space.’

Al­ways in­clude a mix of light­ing

Avoid big cen­tral chan­de­liers or ceil­ing lamps in a hall­way – and ev­ery­where else, in fact. ‘Ceil­ing sus­pen­sions should be in cor­ners, if they hang at all. A large floor lamp is the per­fect al­ter­na­tive.’ Use a va­ri­ety of light­ing in each room (ie, floor, ta­ble, hang­ing lamps) and dis­trib­ute them through­out the space. ‘Seven light sources are ideal for a 30m2 room, and five for a 20m2 room. Beige and rose-pink shades cre­ate a soft, pow­dery light that’s flat­ter­ing to skin.’

Re­mem­ber that op­po­sites at­tract

A bal­ance of el­e­ments cre­ates har­mony. ‘Ex­per­i­ment with a Prouvé ta­ble (mas­cu­line) in a salmon pink space (fem­i­nine).’ Avoid a strict 50/50 mix and en­sure one gen­der dom­i­nates. ‘Com­bine mas­cu­line ma­te­ri­als with fem­i­nine shapes or vice versa, for in­stance add flo­ral scat­ter cush­ions to a chevron-pat­terned sofa.’

Play with pat­tern

Stick to a colour pal­ette

or keep a con­sis­tent scale for pat­terns and mo­tifs. ‘If you’re wor­ried about spark­ing a style riot, calm things down with a strong plain colour, say an arm­chair cov­ered in cot­ton vel­vet, or pick a uni­fy­ing colour scheme – the best way to avoid any glar­ing faux pas.’

Choose or­ganic forms

These are far more orig­i­nal and eye-catch­ing than, say, a plain square ta­ble and the best way to avoid a bland, per­son­al­ity-free look. ‘Visu­ally speak­ing, shape is more im­por­tant than qual­ity.’

Un­der­stand shapes

Yel­low ochre, pis­ta­chio green, blue and or­ange are risk-free op­tions for so­fas and seat­ing, while neu­tral tones (white, off-white) work best for ta­bles and shelv­ing. ‘Like shape, colour is visu­ally more im­por­tant than qual­ity when it comes to fur­ni­ture and ob­jects.’

In­vest in a rug

A rug soft­ens floor sur­faces, de­fines a space, muf­fles sound and makes a room softer un­der­foot. ‘I love rugs that con­trib­ute a strong, graphic note – such as stripes or ze­bra mo­tifs. I like plac­ing one over the other for a strik­ing play of pat­terns.’ A cir­cu­lar rug is a sooth­ing pres­ence and works well in a small space. But it’s worth think­ing big and cov­er­ing the en­tire room, leav­ing a max­i­mum of 20cm all around.

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