Take your pick, from classic to rich

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 September, 2006, 12:00am

Furniture design is swinging in opposite directions, according to one interior design expert.

John McLennan, managing director of Indigo Living, said on one hand, there was the overstated richness seen in the furniture in Ian Fleming's 007 classic film From Russia with Love. And on the other, there was an understated elegance reflected in Holly Golightly's apartment in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Indigo Living is launching new designs from these two lines this month. The From Russia with Love line uses velvet, fur, glossy jewels and trinkets to give a luxurious feeling which is rich, bohemian and regal in style.

The Breakfast at Tiffany's line has a more classy and timeless appeal. Black glass, silver and nickel are used in designs which are sleek and stylish.

'Traditionally, our products are more detailed and more Oriental in style. Customers asked for more modern furniture to match our other designs. So we now have clean, simple designs to target this slightly younger crowd,' Mr McLennan said.

'Generally, furniture trends lag behind fashion by about six months. We cannot go too far because people don't accept it. And we have to adapt to the trends. For example, if purple is a hit, we can't make purple furniture because it won't sell. What we usually do is pick a seasonal colour palette and see what works in our collection.'

Even ceiling fan designs follow different directions. Jennifer McBride, director of Life's a Breeze, which specialises in ceiling fans, said the outlet sold two brands and styles of ceiling fans. Hunter Pacific from Australia is a more contemporary style in a silver colour or wood with clean lines. American brand Hunter Fans has more complicated details in its designs.

'People choose the fans according to what other furniture they have. If they want a fan that blends into the interior, they would probably want a Hunter Pacific fan. If they want a fan that stands out, Hunter Fans are there to be noticed. They give character to the room or ambience,' Ms McBride said.

Francis Lee, director of Artura Ficus, said creating a home was all about mixing and matching. 'If you put too many complicated designs in the room, it will look too busy and heavy. But if you put all simple designs, it will be too boring.'

Mr Lee said there had been an increase in demand for antique furniture reproductions.

'Reproductions are still in their original designs but they are more usable and a lot cheaper,' he said.

He said Tibetan antiques were especially popular.

'The whole world is looking for Chinese antiques, especially from Tibet. Their paintings and colours are different from the more common [antiques], and they are becoming more affordable now.'

All these shops are at Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau.