Using Jali Furniture as a Centrepiece

The Indian Rosewood is an elegant and handsome tree.  It is native to the Indian subcontinent, where it is of equal value and significance as a living specimen as it is a resource.  It grows incredibly quickly for a tree that is also considered a hardwood and is surprisingly easy to work with as a material.  And if that isn’t enough, once it’s been processed into timber it also happens to be easily one of the most attractive woods out there, too.

So, what’s not to love?  In all honesty: not a lot… Let’s take a look at what makes this wood such a growing force in the world of interior design – and how to bring that touch of striking elegance in to your home.

A Tradition of Care

The Sheesham tree is not only prized for its timber in Indian society; for many, it is also of spiritual significance.  It is believed to be associated with good fortune, vitality and strength.  When a material is valued so highly in terms that are beyond financial, it produces experts who treat the wood with respect and care, through every part of its life-cycle, from seed to seat.

When you find a place in your home for a piece of Jali furniture, this culture of care is plain to see in every item – an attitude and ethos as visible as the style.

Jali Furniture Features

A common trait in conversations about Jali furniture is that they tend to be full of seeming contradictions.  It’s aesthetics are incredibly varied yet instantly identifiable; it’s considered a hardwood yet it’s easy to work with; it grows quickly but requires little from the land to do so… 

So adaptable and versatile is Sheesham wood that it can easily fit into any interior design scheme with just a little forethought.  These are some of the more notable features worth considering, to make the job that much easier.


The flesh of the Indian Rosewood varies in colour substantially.  It can range from lighter, sandy tones to much darker ones with deep, brick-red shades.  Sometimes, these variations can occur in the same length of timber.

This broad spectrum of colour makes Jali furniture an extremely versatile choice for your home.  Whereas items made from pine or oak tend to suit certain types of colour scheme, Sheesham pieces offer a degree of flexibility and will look great in most setups.


One of the truly wonderful things about wood as a material is the inherent uniqueness of the patterns in the grain.  No two lengths of timber will ever be exactly alike, so even if you were to buy two items that were sold as the same thing, each will have very slight differences.

The grain of Sheesham wood takes this individuality to whole new levels.  Its patterns are mesmerizingly intricate and ornate, ensuring that every piece of Jali furniture is beautiful to look at, even with pieces with simplistic designs.

Latticework and Carving

Despite the fact that timber from the Indian Rosewood is considered a hardwood, craftspeople find it surprisingly easy to work with.  For this reason, it is common to find pieces of Jali furniture adorned with ornate lattice accents and carvings.

Centuries of master woodworkers have added to this tradition of sophisticated elegance, creating an industry that has grown to be respected and admired in equal measure across the globe.

Shape and Design

Sheesham wood being easy to work with also allows for a great degree of flexibility in the overall design of the eventual piece.  From simple shapes, straight lines and bold designs to gentle curves, intricate detailing and complex patterns, it can all be done with Indian Rosewood.


A big part of furniture design is the concept of counterpoint.  The fact that Sheesham wood is naturally so intricate and detailed makes it the perfect match for the clean, simple profile of metal.

Several pieces in our Jali range showcase this tradition.  Sometimes, the use of metal in the design is functional, other times it’s decorative – but whatever the reason, it always looks stunning.

Room Guide: Making the Most of Jali Furniture

Once you’ve settled on an item for your home, you’ll naturally want to make it fit the space.  One of the truly great things about working with a material as diverse as Sheesham wood is that it will look great in almost any design scheme.  Different aspects of its aesthetics will be highlighted in different environments, so you don’t need to worry about redesigning the whole room to accommodate the addition.

Having said that, there are still some things worth bearing in mind to really make the most of the investment:


  • Utility – What you intend to use the furniture for will to a large extent determine what is relevant and what isn’t.  If the piece is for a particular space, measure it up and try to visualise the piece there.
  • Colour – Given that Sheesham wood has such a distinct variation in its colouring, Jali furniture will fluctuate according to the colour scheme it is a part of.  It will stand out more in paler, more simplistic designs and will blend in to busier, darker ones.
  • Shape – Thanks to its versatility as a material, Jali furniture can be worked in to all sorts of shapes.  Straight lines or curves; simple or ornate design, it’s all there.  The effect you want it to have on the space it inhabits is the important consideration here.
  • Materials – The marriage of wood and metal is a classic one in furniture design – and never has it looked better than when used in the Jali tradition.  A room with heavy use of natural materials will be an obvious match, but even in more industrial designs, Sheesham offers a pleasing counterpoint.


Jali Sheesham Furniture: Where Modernity Meets Tradition

It’s rare to find a material that surprises you.  From the first time you see a piece of Sheesham wood, however, you’ll notice that it doesn’t look like any other timber.  And the best thing about Jali furniture is that the closer you look, the more surprised you’ll be.