Quirky cool for youth's personal spaces

New Delhi, Aug 28 : Be it the office desk, bedroom, living room or the kitchen - "quirky" is the keyword for youngsters who like to enhance their personal spaces to their taste, says Natasha Bohra, founder of design brand Chromakey Designs.

How else would one explain the popularity of products like a centre-table designed using the refurbished scraps of a refrigerator; a desk lamp made from the headlight of a Royal Enfield Bike; and a side-table made out of old mannequins?

Is the youth moving from the classic sensibility of an Indian home to do up their personal space in a manner more colourful and quirkier than ever?

"Quirky is the new cool, or it always has been," Bohra told IANS.

"Indian homes have traditionally been very colourful. Right from the beautiful pastels on the walls to abstract paintings and lovely accessories, Indian homes have always witnessed the use of a lot of colour.

Caption: A quirky and creative product - a centre table made out of an old refrigerator, at Chromakey - A Design Store.

"Youth today, are going back to those traditional methods of doing up their personal spaces - whether is it using refurbished furniture or the good old simple methods of accessorising one's space," added Bohra.

Refurbishing also reminds of how innovative products carved out of scrap are readily making inroads into the design industry.

"It isn't news anymore that one needs to protect the environment, and using recycled products is contributing a tiny bit in that direction. Of course, it also has a lovely quaint charm to it, which is what attracts customers to buy these products," explained Bohra.

But it is hard to quantify what is exactly working more or less.

Caption: quirky and creative product - lamps made out of Royal Enfield lamps, at Chromakey - A Design Store.

"I believe there is a market for everything. Different individuals think and understand design differently. And thus, at any given point one can find customers for all kinds of products," said Bohra, whose tryst with decor started as a design journalist.

She established Chromakey Designs as a designer stationery brand in 2011, but it has grown and now hosts works of both established designers and young ones.

"I see India as a multi-talented nation and having the capability of going high up on the design map of the world," said Bohra, who is based in Mumbai.

Recently, she launched Design Shelf, a nationwide initiative providing young designers an opportunity to step out and showcase their product designs.

The best three designs will be showcased at her the Chromakey - A Design Store in Mumbai, and one of the three designers will stand a chance to win an annual contract to work with Bohra to create products, which will become a part of the brand's existing portfolio.

Caption: A quirky and creative product - coasters made out of wine corks, at Chromakey - A Design Store.

Design Shelf is poised to become a quarterly property of the brand. The idea is "to bring out the creative side in you," Bohra said.

"Now there are those whose profession is creativity, but there are also those who do this for passion and hobby. You may have sketched a beautiful drawing with charcoal or recycled some old bottles to make a kitchen shelf. Anything is possible out of anything, and that is what we want to see and show the world," she added.

Formal training may be a prerequisite for several professions, but the aim behind Design Shelf is to "bring out and encourage creativity in untrained professionals".

The best way, thus, to build a career in the interior design space, she said is "a lot of reading, referencing, and interaction with designers apart from formal education".

--IANS (Posted on 28-08-2013)

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