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Bring in some desi swag

Indian style interior design is among the most exotic, interesting and complex decor styles to work with. Due to the differences in the culture, history and art across the country,  Indian interior design has many variants. Nonetheless, here are 8 elements that capture the essence of this enchanting style.

Indian Interior Design Essential #1. Vibrant Colors
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A splash of warm colours

Bright and varied colors are the hallmark of Indian interior design. While it’s hugely tempting to go crazy with such a vast palette, too much color can create visual chaos. Opt for earthy tones – ochre yellows, rich browns and burnt oranges for your walls and floors. Yellows and pinks on the fluorescent side of the spectrum and startling blues and greens can be used for smaller elements such as pillowcases or chairs.

You can also opt for a safe, bicolor theme – using a neutral shade as a base color and bursts of a peppy primary color for accents.

Indian Interior Design Essential #2. Solid Wood Furniture
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Set in wood

Solid wood furniture is an important element in Indian interior design. For an authentic look, make the most of stunning Indian craftsmanship and choose traditional pieces with curved armrests and legs, carvings and inlay work in metal or ivory.

Get some ornate centrepieces and complement them with other more understated furniture. There’s a vast variety of distinctively Indian pieces to choose from such as wooden chests, footstools, jharokas and bird cages.

Indian Interior Design Essential #3. Decorative Cabinets
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Cabinets with an ethnic touch

Traditional Indian cabinets are a great combination of functionality and aesthetics. Brightly painted and embellished with inlay work using mirrors, stones, ivory, or metal, they can serve as storage units too. Use them as accents alongside solid wood pieces to lighten the mood of your spaces.

Indian Interior Design Essential #4. Informal ‘People’ Spaces
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Cosy seating spaces

Indian homes also include versatile, informal spaces that allow relaxed interaction. Create different levels of seating using high chairs, sofas, diwans and footstools.

Rugs and floor cushions lend warmth and comfort to decor and can be used liberally. Traditional Indian pieces such as the swing, or jhoola, can bring a playful and decadent vibe to your spaces.

Indian Interior Design Essential #5. Curios and Knick-knacks
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A collection of curious curios

Since India has a large and exciting variety of handicrafts, there are a ton of artifacts to choose from to decorate your home.

Popular choices include masks, clay pottery, diyas, leather puppets, crockery, decorative boxes in sandalwood, metal or marble. You can also use brass lamps and pots as functional metallic accents.

Indian Interior Design Essential #6. Handspun Fabrics
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Hand-spun art

India is historically famous for its beautifully made fabrics. Fabrics can be used in a number of creative ways in our homes – long, flowing drapes for windows, simple sheets thrown over a divan, to carpets and dhurries.

Use fine fabrics like silk or ikat for upholstering your centrepieces or for your cushions. Cotton and khadi can be used for side chairs while simpler fabrics like jute can be used for smaller foot stools.

Indian Interior Design Essential #7: Patterns and Motifs
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Patterns and motifs are a vital part of desi design. These include the Indianised version of the paisley pattern, intricate mandala motifs and nature-inspired themes with flowers, birds, animals.

Several of these carry deep religious and cultural symbolism. Simply add them to your interiors through tapestries and inlaid tables. You can also introduce them in patchwork quilts, wallpaper and patterned flooring.

Indian Interior Design Essential #8: Artwork
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Indian folk art

From the gold-leafed paintings of Tanjore and the painstaking detail of the Rajasthani miniature paintings to the ever popular Madhubani paintings, India has a wonderful variety of artistic styles. You can also put up the works of some of the contemporary painters. Their artwork depicts Indian themes with a distinctly modern touch.

Large paintings can serve as centrepieces. If you have a number of smaller pieces, you can also create a gallery wall. Indian home design is also incomplete without the use of statues. While the most common pieces are religious idols of Ganesha or Buddha statues, elephants, camels and turtles are other popular choices. Additionally, terracotta, stone and metal figurines can also be used as accent pieces.

As you can see, desi decor offers so many exciting decorative choices! Choose colours and furnishings that are practical and reflect your personality. Also read Flaunt Your Heritage with Desi Prints for ideas on what prints and fabrics to use in your home.

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— editor@livspace.com