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  • Material Palette: 20 Tips On Choosing Design Sensibly

    A significant choice of material palette in any design project determines its outcome. The material palette will ultimately decide the overall look of any design. Starting from the basic door and its laminate to the last touch of texture on the wall, every element is a part of the material palette. It shows how sensibly any designer understands the needs of the user and their function to provide them with great care. When one allows the design or layout to flow through the imagined spaces, it adds to the visual and physical surroundings of the space. The choice of the material palette depends upon the design layout and one’s choices. The material palette is the main part of the design that must be sensible. Hence, to choose the crux of the design carefully, here are the basic tips one can follow.

    Material Palette
    Project By: Darshali Golani

    What is a material palette?

    Material Palette
    Project By: Darshali Golani

    The material palette of any design includes every tiny element of the décor that is used to execute the design. Starting from which material the furniture will be made, that will include the type of wood, glass, stone, plastic, etc. Also, it includes elements like laminate, veneer, curtain fabric, and wall colours, which combine to give the desired style to the place. Over time, there have been various interior design styles implemented by the designers with the help of one’s choices. These styles have particular material palettes based on the theme.

    Types of Interior Design Styles and their Material Palette

    Modern Interior Design Style

    Project By: Interior Muse

    A home with clean, sharp designs and a simple colour palette that includes the use of metal, glass, and metal is considered to be a modern interior design style. This style does not include a more decorative choice of elements or materials that will make the design look overstuffed. As subtle as it can be, it should be for retaining the modern look with the use of sleek materials.

    Minimalist Interior Design Style

    Material Palette
    Project By: Afshan Bagwan Interior Design Studio

    Emerging from the requirement of the user, which is for the space to be more functional and less stuffed, a minimalist interior design style is in demand. This style includes materials that do not occupy much space or do not look very heavy and bulky. The elements that are used for the décor must be very streamlined and simple. The colour palette must be light and airy; a pastel colour palette will be best suited for the theme. Similarly, the use of lighter shades of curtain fabrics combined with light wood finishes will be good.

    Scandinavian Interior Design Style

    Project By: Afshan Bagwan Interior Design Studio

    This design style supports the feel of artwork, giving a sculptural effect to the looks of its furniture. This style is also more functional, with curvatures that are more intrinsic to the theme. Largely, it has a white colour palette with materials such as natural wood, bright plastics, jute rugs, wooden laminate, and plank flooring.

    Contemporary Interior Design Style

    Material Palette
    Project By: Tesor Designs

    This design style has come into trend recently and combines both traditional and modern elements in the design. This style consists of a combination of wood and metal. It has a bold and bright colour palette as well as a pastel colour palette. The use of fabrics comes in both bright and dull colors. The shapes that are used can be curves or straight and pointed.

    Maximalist Interior Design Style

    Project By: Krsnaa Mehta

    A colour palette full of bright shades of blue, red, yellow, green, or orange will make the interior look maximalist. A room full of furniture with dark-coloured fabrics can make it look heavy and full. This style will have materials such as brick, stone, glass, etc.

    Bohemian Interior Design Style

    Material Palette
    Project By: Space Goals Design Studio

    This style is a fun-loving style that emerged from the combination of materials that are bright and funky in nature. It provokes freshness in the atmosphere by having a mélange of colours, textures, and patterns. This can add elements like cane and jute to the fabrics and also add texture with ceramic pots in the background.

    For a designer, knowing the styles is just not enough for making or deciding the material palette. Once the design style is set in the head of a designer, they start gathering the materials and combining them for the design accordingly. Hence, there are 20 tips on how one can choose the material palette for the design.

    1. Know the Client’s Requirements

    Project By: Tesor Designs

    A project comes with various requirements for the spaces of the users. Hence, when one starts to design the space, the requirements will be the first step towards choosing the materials. For example, in a residential project, according to the number of people staying in the house, the quantity of furniture will be fixed. This will determine what kind of material the furniture will be made of. Further, every user will speak about the choice of colour for their respective rooms and will decide the colour theme of the house.

    2. Design the Layout

    Material Palette
    Project By: Morphogenesis

    Starting with the placement of the furniture, the overall design of the interior will be formulated. This layout design will step by step further determine every element in the project. When one is designing an office, the placement of the chambers and partitions will help one choose what material will be used for the construction of the partitions for the office. Whether one has to use glass or wood will be decided by the functions that will be divided in the chambers.

    3. Determine every space

    Project By: The Code Studio

    A design is not appropriate if it is not functional. To make the space functional, one has to go according to the use of the space. For example, a dining area can have a wooden table or a table that is made of a ceramic top and fabrication legs. These combinations are the mere outcome of the choices of the user or the theme of the house. Hence, one can choose the material after determining the function of the particular spaces.

    4. Know the budget

    Material Palette
    Project By: The Code Studio

    As important as other factors of the project, the most important and primary step is to know the budget of the project. When the amount to be spent on the overall design and execution of the project is decided, the list of materials to be used can be funnelled down. This will make the choice of materials less confusing for both the designers and the clients. Also, it will be useful to segregate the material places in the market from where one can buy the things and ease up the execution process.

    5. Have Consistency

    Project By: The Code Studio

    While choosing the material, there will be a lot of options on the market at the time. There can be numerous options for one piece of furniture. Hence, choosing the correct combination of materials for the furniture is necessary. Also, the choices in the whole design must be consistent and speak to one another in terms of aesthetics. For example, when one chooses the materials for the floor, they must be the same or in combination throughout the house.

    6. Typology of the project

    Material Palette
    Image Credits: commercialdesignindia.com

    Whether it is a commercial, residential, or industrial design, it will make a huge difference in the choice of materials for the project. In a house, one can use expensive wood in the construction of furniture, and oil paint can be used on the walls. Whereas, in a factory design, the furniture has to be made of metal or other materials that can sustain tough uses. Hence, the typology will affect the material palette in a huge sense.

    7. Keep in mind the environment

    Image Credits: commercialdesignindia.com

    The region where the project is located becomes a factor in the choice of materials. If one has a house in an atmosphere with a large amount of humidity, the use of wooden materials should be avoided or combined with metal that will protect the furniture. While making the ceiling, one must see that they use covering or protection for the ceiling so that water leakage does not become an issue. In a place with excess heat, the walls must be insulated to maintain the temperature.

    8. Match Material and Function

    Material Palette
    Project By: Minnie Bhatt Designs

    The ceiling of a restaurant can be kept open and then painted with textures; this will give it an industrial look and feel. So, painting the grey for the open ceiling is a criterion for the restaurant and the theme to be followed. This decision will determine the material one will use for the chairs, tables, and openings. It will also help one choose the colour of the whole place accordingly. When it comes to dining in a subtle atmosphere in a restaurant, the choice of fabric will be made keeping in mind the comfort of sitting for a longer time.

    9. Reclaim the material 

    Project By: The Binary Studio

    When there are materials available on the site, one must not neglect them while selecting the material palette. If there is a stone wall existing in a part of a house, the wall must be complimented with dark-coloured furniture and light-coloured walls. The table tops used anywhere can be combined with the texture of the stone. This way, one can reclaim the existing material in the design.

    10. Pair Material and Color

    Material Palette
    Project By: The Binary Studio

    It is important to know the client’s choices when choosing the material palette. If they are keen on the colours that will be used in the design, then the material that will be used for the furniture can be chosen accordingly. It will largely depend on the inputs given by the client.

    11. Types of materials

    Project By: Minnie Bhatt Designs

    There are two types of materials: structural and decorative. Some materials might be used to cover the wall studs or the ceilings, while others are purely decorative. The functions that the material has to perform in the design will determine the choice of materials. Knowing the characteristics of any material will help the designer guide the client for its safe and reliable use.

    12. Check the availability of the material

    Material Palette
    Project By: Minnie Bhatt Designs

    Even if there is a wide range of material available on the market, it might not be present when one wants it. Hence, checking the availability of certain materials before starting the execution is very necessary. Material transportation, meanwhile, can also cost more if one imports certain materials. Hence, while selecting the material, other factors must also be kept in mind while looking at the market.

    13. Know the trend

    Project By: Beyond Designs

    The selection of the material is dependent on the on-going trends for the interior designs that one chooses. For example, biophilic interior design styles are in demand these days as they incorporate more greenery inside the spaces. This feel of the environment that is induced in the design is supported by the green colour and wooden or metal furniture. Using these materials will allow one to use glass along with wood and metal, which are other demanding and trending materials in the market.

    14. Consider the point of maintenance

    Material Palette
    Project By: Studio Of Architecture

    The point of how much the furniture or the ceiling has to be maintained after its execution is also necessary. A wooden piece of furniture should be polished and kept in the house so that it will not rot or be damaged within a short period of time. According to the use, one must choose the type of material in the design.

    15. Develop Moderation in Textures

    Project By: Studio Of Architecture

    There are a lot of options one can have for the textures in paint. While choosing the textures, there must be moderation and not chaos when executed. Using a single texture in various ways on different parts of the house will create harmony in the design. Using a mixture, if not appropriate, will make the design chaotic.

    16. Do not mix multiple types of materials

    Material Palette
    Project By: Yellow Architects

    There can be a mix and match of materials that will make it look aesthetically considerate. However, using or selecting multiple materials can spoil the look of the design. There can be a combination of two to three materials at maximum that will ensure the look of the design.

    17. Consider Natural Lighting

    Project By: Foxline Architects & Interiors

    The factor of natural light, when considered, can affect the selection of the material in the space. When one has a huge window in the living area that gives an abundant amount of sunlight during the day, the flooring must be such that it doesn’t reflect one’s vision and remains cool and absorbs heat. Hence, using marble in such areas will be a considerate choice of material. Similarly, there must be an appropriate selection for the fabric of the curtains that will partially and completely dim the lights when needed.

    18. Factor of sustainability

    Material Palette
    Project By: Foxline Architects & Interiors

    The materials used are used in any place in our day-to-day lives. Hence, they must be appropriate for the everyday use of people. The house cannot have flooring that will be easily spoiled by the stains that cannot be resisted. Hence, the choice of materials must also be made keeping in mind the factor of sustainability.

    19. Choose a monochrome color palette

    Project By: Foxline Architects & Interiors

    Going for different choices of colours for every place seems very exciting. But, sometimes, if the colours do not tend to incorporate each other, the theme of the design can be spoiled. Hence, using a monochrome colour palette will be a wise choice to develop a taste for the design overall.

    20. Do not Use Too much

    Material Palette
    Project By: Foxline Architects & Interiors

    Using an excess amount of materials will not make the design more attractive or useful. Having too many different materials in one place will not synchronise it in any manner. While selecting the ceiling material, there can be a combination of a maximum of two materials that suit the best.

    Looking at the 20 tips to choose the correct material palette for any design is useful when knowing the basic purpose of the design. One can only choose or decide the material palette for the interior when the above steps are fulfilled in the order. Any design will come out to be the most functional when the correct material palette is executed while knowing the nature of the design. A material palette is hence called the crux of the design, as ultimately the materials form the soul of the experience of the place in every sense for the user. As observed, the materials will determine the life span of the place and the indulgence of the user. The factors affecting the material palette and its sensible selection are important tasks for any designer.

    Content Writing And Research By: Ar. Rajeshwari Pandya Modi

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