Wrought-iron vs wooden furniture — What is your choice for home decor?

MsT sheds light on current trends and why they might be more suitable for the modern household

Wooden furniture available at local design houses. PHOTO: DESIGN 19

Recent trends in home decor suggest that wrought-iron has become a thing of the past, replaced by simple, lightweight wooden furniture.

When American stylist Rachel Zoe claimed that “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” she hit the nail on the head. While her statement was meant primarily for clothing and accessories, it can be applied to yet another aspect of style which we often tend to overlook: home decor.

If friends and family visit you, they aren’t just looking at your living space — they are also looking at a reflection of yourself. Much like fashion, how one decorates and maintains their home can speak volumes about their tastes and personalities and as more and more people are realising this, the world of home decor is undergoing massive changes. Gone are the days when one would simply visit a carpenter and purchase what was on offer. Interior decorating has become an art itself; a thriving business wherein every customer wants the very best. In these competitive times, decorating trends are constantly evolving and nowhere is this evolution more prominent than furniture. The wrought-iron revolution that had taken over our homes in the early 2000s, for one, has been replaced by lightweight wooden furniture that caters to our fast-paced lifestyles. Our focus has switched from wrought-iron beds, cupboards, chairs, tables and shelves to all things simple and easy to manage, aka wood.


Initially, wrought-iron was thought to have unlimited possibilities in terms of style. It looked great and the iron could be polished to disguise it completely. Copper and Steel, a Karachi-based design house is one outlet which still swears by the wrought-iron trend and works wonders with metal regularly. Nonetheless, much of their clientele now prefers long-lasting wooden pieces that boast affordability and style. Fahad Aqeel, head of design and architecture at Design 19, another Karachi-based furniture boutique lends credence to this by sharing that, “We base our designs on what customers want, most of who are opting for wood nowadays.” Similarly, Atif Hussain, a senior incharge at lifestyle giant Habitt says that, “Almost every customer that comes in is looking for wooden furniture.”

According to Atif, one of the main reasons for this shift from wrought-iron to wood is that many people lead busy lives out of apartments that are hard pressed for space. “The less space the furniture takes, the more people have for themselves to walk around,” he explains. He also hints at changing preferences within wooden furniture as the heavily-carved, Chiniot wooden antiques that were the norm until a few years back, have been replaced by sleek, modern-looking items that are easy to move around. In fact, many designers suggest that the very process of polishing wooden furniture has changed — or even been eliminated completely — as the more natural the item looks, the more customers seem to like it.


Nonetheless, the variety of colours and types one can pick from is arguably one of the main reasons why people now favour wood over iron. Dark, light and mahogany are just some of the hues in the wooden furniture colour palette. Not to mention, options like teak, timber, walnut and oak, etc, all afford an aura of their own. A few colours and types may also be combined to give an item a unique look. And the best part is that regardless of what one chooses, the furniture is versatile enough to match with virtually any and everything.

Of course, there is much more to wooden furniture than just aesthetic prowess. Wood isn’t better only in terms of beauty and versatility but also longevity, especially when compared to wrought-iron which can corrode, become dented or lose its shine with age. Indeed, some wood is vulnerable to fungus, termites and general deterioration but good quality wooden furniture will pose no such problem. It may be placed outdoors in the form of patio furniture but will rarely ever go bad, even in poor weather conditions. Many designers also feel that age, cuts, dents and scratches on wood can actually add to its natural artistry. And should one grow bored of the surrounding theme, wooden furniture can easily be re-painted, re-designed, re-sold and replaced on a very economic budget. In fact, the resale value of high-quality wood is quite high and increases with age. Therefore, for those who like to re-do their homes frequently, wooden furniture can fetch a great price.

However, one must remember that simply opting for expensive items does not guarantee the quality of wood that was used to construct it. Adequate research and sampling must be undertaken to ensure that the furniture they are investing in is pure and sturdy. Lifestyle and decorating magazines, as well as interior decorators, can be a great source of information and help to achieve the style one is hoping for accurately.

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, January 18th, 2015.


Parvez | 9 years ago | Reply

Wrought-iron or wood ?........would depend on the house, the person, the size of the room, the rooms usage, the budget......there's no one answer.

Stranger | 9 years ago | Reply


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