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Shopping for home Decor

June 2008
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It is our own choice of furniture and fittings that enables us to put the personal stamp on our living space. Everybody of course has their own ideas on what constitutes perfection and home should be perfect, but it is sometimes difficult to know quite where to start. We have been talking to the experts about the basic principles and the discussion which follows is a distillation of their wisdom and experience.

Western-style houses as commonly built here lend themselves to one of two basic styles - Modern or Traditional. (If you live in a Thai wooden house it is already perfectly attuned to the climate).

Modern
Sometimes known as minimalist or Scandinavian, this style is stark and simple white walls stare at fittings and furniture fashioned from chrome and polished wood or lacquered finishes angular and geometrical shapes predominate and fabric colourings are chosen from a neutral tonal palette. Floorings are frequently merely dressed concrete and lighting is often used for dramatic affect. The starkness may be relieved by splashes of primary colour in vivid pictures, mats or highlighted objets d'art.

Traditional
This style derives from the typical American taste or what Hollywood would have us believe is their preference. Over-stuffed furniture, rich brocades, silks and velvets with classic elegant fittings all combine to give a feeling of luxurious even hedonistic comfort. Carpets are fitted and there is frequently a plethora of antiques. Floral patterns are common and colours tend to be deep and rich. Lighting (if you follow the script) should be soft, warm and indirect.

Of course none of this is written in stone. You can and should put your own mark on the design. The only rule really is that your interiors should try to maintain a consistent and unifying theme throughout.

If you wish to add some "Thai-ness" to the mix (and why not?) you might consider the following:

Benjarong
Benjarong is a traditional Thai porcelain that was inspired by the Ming dynasty of China and was first brought to Thailand by traders during the Ayutthaya era. The essence of the design is multi-coloured hand-painted lacquers on a white background. The word Benjarong in fact, means ‘five colours'. However many designs are very intricate and incorporate more than the original five colours. The ceramics come in the whole range of decorative accessories from vases through tea sets to vanity boxes.

If you want to talk to the experts then you can do no better than to contact Benjarong House, Koh Keaw Phuket contact: +66 (0)81 691 6303.

Lighting
As we mentioned above, the lighting you choose is absolutely key to obtaining the right aesethic effects in your home. Lamp designs are now available with 12-volt systems which mean they can be smaller and more artistically located. Chinese inspired decorative bases with silk shades will add a touch of richness to any room. Whilst you are looking at Benjarong porcelain you may also view some fine examples of these lamps in Benjarong House. One stop shopping!

Silk Bedding
We spend a third of our life sleeping so the bedroom really is the most important room in the house. It goes without saying that you should aim for a restful ambiance. Money spent on a quality mattress is a wise investment, and for that final touch of luxury why not try silk sheets? A wide selection of colours and styles is available at Up Town souvenir & silver wholesale, ground floor Ocean Shopping Mall and from the Jim Thompson chain of shops.

Classic Fan
We do live in the tropics so every house needs something to keep us from over-heating. Ceiling fans are not only a great way to keep your cool they are much more economical to run than air-conditioning and can add a touch of opulence to any living area. The classic design finished in gold is a beautiful statement of Asian antiquity but don't be put off by the traditional look. These fans have modern electrics under the skin and will keep you feeling cool and comfortable for many years. For more information contact: Artisan Lighting Products 100/364-65 Pracha-U-thit Rd. Muang Phuket.

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