Colourful coasters

Amrita Prasad
Saturday, 29 July 2017

Coasters nowadays come in a wide range of shapes and materials, and are an inexpensive way to add fun and creativity to your home, along with protecting the furniture from marks and stains

You may undermine the significance of these small décor items but coasters play an important role in enhancing the look of your living or dining room. Quirky, fun and vibrant coasters can add a touch of colour or complement your home decor, besides of course protecting your table from scratches, stains or damage. 

“You get hundreds of designs in both coasters and placemats but not necessarily they have to match. These days people aim for quirky decor and aim to create a fun and informal environment, be it at home or their work desk, and what better way than using offbeat coasters! From cartoon themes to superheroes, desi flavour, Bollywood, animals, dialogues and even nature are available in a variety of materials and can add a lot of colour and personality to your table tops,” says Vibha Bharati, Chandigarh-based interior designer. 

If you have a creative steak in you, you can also upcycle materials like old CDs, vinyl records, old wood barks, cardboards and create different designs depending on your personal taste and home décor. Coasters come in many shapes and materials like plastic, glass, wood, metal, foam, cardboard, melamine, tile, leather, faux leather, etc. Ideally, a coaster should be waterproof and have a wipe-clean surface. 

Kolkata-based interior designer Sujata Sinha feels that placemats and coasters are a valuable addition to the home decor, offering a great combination of practicality and decoration. 

“With people getting more and more creative with coasters, there are multiple options available now. Using beer mats (which you can buy from a bar or brewery selling them) as coasters adds a quirky touch to the home décor,” explains Sinha. 

- If you are using a lot of colour and patterns on the coaster, choose a table cloth (if using) in soft undertones of whites and pinks, else there will be an overdose of colour. On a coffee table, you can skip a tablecloth and simply lay multiple coasters not only to use them and save the glass top from stains, but to add some fun factor as well. 
- It is not always necessary for coasters and placemats to match. Let them stand out, either choose them in contrast colours or simply pick one colour from the coaster and buy placemats in that colour. If you are using a plastic cover on the dining table, you can ditch placemats and only accessorise with quirky coasters. 

- Handmade:  Buying handcrafted coasters means that each one will be unique. Handmade coasters can be knitted, quilted, crocheted or stitched on plastic canvas. At times, rural Indian themes with a touch of satire can be great décor pieces. However, care must be taken not to stain coasters made from soft, absorbent materials.
- DIY:  For something more offbeat put on your thinking cap and make vinyl coasters designed to look like miniature records. Coasters made from recycled material demonstrate an interest in environmental issues and yet manage to add fun factor to your home.   
- Personalise it: If you want to add a personal touch, you can go for blank coasters, which come in two halves so that you can add your favourite picture in between them and secure the halves.  
- Play with designs and shapes: Choosing abstract designs and shapes can make your simple table look attractive. You can go for coasters with famous paintings, funny slogans, favourite animals, or football team emblems, abstract patterns and images. Round, square, or rectangular coasters are the most common types, however, shapes like hearts, triangles, and so on will be a fun element.  
- Go vintage: Coasters inspired from the ’60s in bright colours and eye-catching patterns in plastic material will enhance the look of your table and ’40s coasters in wood or papier-mâché  in traditional imagery showing the pop culture or cartoons will be an interesting element to add. 

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