Friday 18 August 2017 News Updated at 10:08 AM IST
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A chair for everyone - Deccan Herald
A chair for everyone
Sarah Thomas,
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Have you ever wondered how many different kinds of chairs are available today? One for each home to suit any backdrop.

The different kinds of chairs found in the market can be quite overwhelming for a buyer or a home decor enthusiast. The world of home decor is swamped with a lot of furniture, different styles, with varying shapes, sizes and functions, that buying something as simple as a chair becomes a daunting task.

Shedding light on the history of chairs in India, Sheila Baru, co-founder of Maram Furniture in Bengaluru, a curated store for wooden furniture, states that the concept of chairs is foreign. Earlier, Indian people used benches, chairs were brought by the Portuguese. Sheila is an expert in the world of furniture and woodwork. She runs the store with her husband Krishna Baru. The couple are strong believers in up scaling furniture. They take old chairs, worn out or broken ones and give them a second chance by revamping the look completely while maintaining the essence of its antiquity throughout.

"People come to me for advice on what type of chair to use at home, what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes, it baffles me how something as fun and easy as decorating your home has become so complicated,” says Veena Mathur, freelance interior designer. There definitely is a lot out there, she states, from sofas, chaise lounges, benches, divans to bar stools, club chairs and box seats. "Instead of looking at it as a large number of options to choose from, look at it as the more options, the better,” she suggests.

There is modern furniture, and there are antique classics. So, how you want to go about choosing your furniture, especially seaters, is something you need to decide by narrowing down your options and choosing one of the two categories. Veena has decorated homes and her approach to interior design is influenced by contemporary designs and modern aesthetics. She talks of the different chairs available in the market now and her personal favourites.

Chaise lounge

Chaise lounge is a long sofa that looks like a chair. It can be used to describe any long reclining chair and the beauty of it lies in its upholstery. This lounging chair forms a beautiful piece of furniture that will integrate well in any space and with the already existing furniture. Pay attention to colour though, suggests Veena. Colour is what will add harmony between contrasting furniture, with regard to style.


Divans quite simply are couch-like seaters, which can take the function of a bed as well. Many people place this in their living rooms. This piece can also be an added furniture in a large bedroom.

Low bench chair

Low bench chairs are popular and are used in many houses, says Veena. Sheila too thinks of them as lovely seaters for a house. She adds her own touch and makes these with parts of pillars and it forms a beautiful decorative furniture at the corner a room that is also used by her customers as a room divider.

Adding to this, Veena states the that the present trend includes having cabinets below as an adjunct feature to store things as well. An important factor to be considered while buying these chairs, Sheila explains ,is to consider the height of the chairs. The ideal height is 18 to 20 inches. Something lower than that is bad for one’s back, and as you grow old, it becomes difficult to use such chairs, and harder to get up after sitting on them.

Ottoman chair

The talk of low bench chairs definitely brings pictures of ottoman chairs. Veena particularly likes these. There are small chairs that have no back rest, they have upholstered seats and are most often used as stools. She states that these are occasional chairs and cannot be used regularly but to have one or two at home, definitely adds an oomph factor to the rest of the furniture in the home.

Bucket chair

Bucket chairs or tub chairs have a rounded back and are extremely comfortable. Most people buy one and create a little unit in the living room with all other furniture - sometimes sofas, other times traditional divans.

"These can be in fabric or cane and is also an occasional chair,” Sheila enlightens. One may think of using this piece in the verandah but Sheila suggests not to, "Teak wood and cane do not do well when kept in the open, it’s best to have them in the house in a room and the wood will last long.”

Since Maram claims to be eco-friendly, with the use of antique furniture that is genuinely old and furniture that is recycled, Sheila constantly reminds us of the beauty of wood. After years of use, it can still be polished and is repairable. She states, "Wood is very forgiving. And it is important to have a relationship with the furniture.”

Sheila states, "There is no right or wrong when buying chairs or any furniture for that matter. It is your home, you need to be bold and confident of your taste. If you love the furniture, go for it. Your house is your castle and the way you style it should be more of a reflection of you that anything else.”