When people started sitting on Tree Stumps and Big rocks in ancient times, little did they know that they were sitting on something that will be later be known as ‘furniture’. Ever since humans have existed, they have been on a lookout for comfort. Something comfortable to sit on, to sleep on or keep their stuff on.
Even though a dictionary might describe furniture as movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating, sleeping, holding objects at a convenient height or storing things, we would like to believe that it is much more than that. Evolving from rocks to what it is today over many centuries and various civilizations, furniture is a very important part of any indoor space.
Furniture came to India much later than it came in the west, we used to sit on floors. Even our Kings and Monarchs used to sit on carpets, soft cushioned mattresses and maybe an occasional low chair but that was it. The European visitors who were used to sitting on their chairs and tables brought the idea of making furniture in India. The Indian craftsmen and artisans took it upon themselves to produce spectacular and intricate desi versions of this furniture. Using the gorgeous solid wood that was available in India, we started making furniture that was strong and unique. With beautiful carving and painting techniques, ‘Furniture’ became more like Art that could be used in our daily lives.
Years have gone by and as the times have changed, Design has come into play. Different styles and movements have influenced the philosophy and aesthetics of furniture making. We have seen exceptional carved and decorative furniture and we have also seen modern furniture that is straight lined and purely form driven. Someone once said we have enough chairs in the world and we don’t need anything new unless it is an innovation of material and technology.
Even though that statement has logic to it, furniture cannot be categorised as only a utility product. Anything that brings you comfort and ease becomes special for you, you form a certain bond with it. Take the example of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory and his true love for his ‘spot’ on the couch. When you want to sit on your favourite chair and snuggle up with a book and a cup of tea on a Sunday or when you have endless Political and Socio-Economic discussions with your family over the dinner table, furniture becomes much more than just an object. It silently becomes a part of you of your home where you feel secure and at ease.
How you decorate your home, the paint you choose for your walls or the furniture you place in it, talks about you, your identity and your personal style. It is a glimpse into your life. So from a tree stump or the rock throne of an ancient queen to a gorgeous solid wood coffee table or a really comfortable easy chair in your apartment, furniture creates your comfort zone. Let this be a point of view of not only the history of furniture but also a reminder of the fact that throughout time, furniture has been and will be special to us – An insight to the history of the relationship between you and your furniture.
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