Function, form, fitness and fashion are the key guiding factors in choosing home furnishings. Function is the first and foremost criteria for a person to go for bare-minimum furnishings. A person buys a table, chair, bed, cupboard, settee, sofa, bookshelf, curtain, carpet, wallpaper and so on, primarily for utility or function. A bare home, bereft of furnishings, is like a stable or a warehouse, unfit for living.
Mankind’s journey from cave to condo, from hut to villa, symbolizes the progress of civilization. Home furnishings also have undergone dramatic changes over the millenniums. But some basic furnishings such as bed, chairs and tables have remained with civilized man, though their form and style have been changing with the times.
The lifestyle of a person gets reflected in his or her home furnishings. Technology, which has a direct bearing on a person’s lifestyle, also plays a crucial role in the form, content and style of home furnishings.
Earth, wood, cane, stone, metal, textile and silk, and now plastic, are materials people have used to make furniture and furnishings so that they can have a comfortable life at home and work place. Generations have experimented with material, form, technique, technology and design to come up with innovative and improved quality of home furnishings.
Home furnishing is similar to building a nest. Just as a bird collects bits of thistles, pebbles and mud to put together its nest, a person brings in pieces of furniture to make living in home comfortable. The art and craft of home furnishing are passed down from one generation to another, with each generation modifying the fixtures in tune with the times, setting new trends.
Craftsmanship, materials, and style determine the value of any home furnishing. Once you learn what to look for, you can buy wisely at auctions, estate sales, or straight off the showroom floor. Doing your homework before and during the purchasing process will pay off in a furnishing that will retain its function and looks far into the future.