Decorate your home, your way

Ms Paula Sousa, of Porto-based furniture brand Munna, sees a return of minimalism in terms of design, softer colours, smoothness and a closer relationship with nature.
Ms Paula Sousa, of Porto-based furniture brand Munna, sees a return of minimalism in terms of design, softer colours, smoothness and a closer relationship with nature.

Porto-based Portuguese furniture brand Munna is known for its handmade, luxuriously upholstered collections of sofas, chairs, stools, tables and folding screens, which pay tribute to age-old craftsmanship, timeless design and the finest materials.

High-quality fabrics such as velvet, leather and silk, and exquisite wood veneers like ebony, walnut and rosewood, rub shoulders with gold, silver and copper leaf, as well as plating in brass, nickel and copper, and first-rate lacquers.

Munna's founder, chief executive and creative director Paula Sousa discusses evolving furniture trends and home owners' pursuit of design.

What decoration advice would you give to home owners?

Never trade in your uniqueness. Your home is your sanctuary where you spend most of your time; you have to feel connected with the special objects surrounding you that mean something to you.

Don't let someone else tell you that it is not stylish. It's important to have your own style and not to follow trends.

What are the biggest differences between home owners in Europe and in Asia?

Firstly, the space. In Asia, space is tighter, so in terms of deciding what you want to place in your house, you have to decide it well, maybe with fewer pieces.

In Europe, you can mix more because houses are bigger and property is less expensive.

Secondly, in terms of taste, among the home owners in Asia, the classic style prevails and also gold, even though there is space for minimalism.

In Europe, the style is more minimal, less opulent.

What trends have you observed in the furniture industry over the past decade?

I think trends are not linear; they are cyclical. There is always less and more. I think you can liken it to when the world is in crisis - you see more opulent furniture to compensate - and when the world is in a better situation with less poverty and fewer wars, you see less opulence because you don't need more.

Colours evolve as well, going from a soft to a strong palette. Also, you have gold and silver and then they disappear and go to neutrals. Now you see a lot of silver and gold, but it's always a cycle.

What developments do you foresee in the year ahead?

I see the return of minimalism in terms of design, softer colours, smoothness and a closer relationship with nature.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2018, with the headline 'Decorate your home, your way'. Print Edition | Subscribe