Indian interior design is fast becoming one of the most popular international themes in British homes. The highly decorative and opulent nature of Indian style means it offers the very unique opportunity to add both glamour and timeless tradition to a room. A very definite and clearly defined style, it is also a very straight forward and easy style to adopt. Above all else, the mainstay in Indian décor is imagery of the Sun, which has been worshipped by Hindus for many years.
Doors, window dressings, ceilings, and fabric patterns all contain many elements that symbolize the sun. Circles that symbolize the heavenly body itself are prevalent, as are radiating lines that stand for its rays and areas of great colour which symbolize the sun’s light. Incorporate this important element through soft furnishings and fabrics, or if your room is large enough, design a simple abstract mural for your wall for a modern twist. Use light and airy shades of lemon and off white- which will prevent the mural form overpowering the space.
A more traditional way to include such imagery is through the other constant in Indian interiors, the beautifully carved wooden decoration. Carved columns and plate traceries are common, as are figurines of respected animals such as cows, horses and antelopes. Lacquered furniture is hugely popular in India due to its richness of resins of all types. Furniture is typically low in stature and made of Indian Oak, nut wood or pink wood and has a real solid functionality about it. Unusually, Indian furniture frequently has a double use.
A former saddle or cart might be used as a coffee table or an elegantly carved door may be used as a table top in the dining room, such is the whimsical nature of Indian style. Not only does this give a real opportunity to add great character to a room when recreating the look, it could also save a lot of money as you may already own old items that could be reused. If not a trip to an old junk yard or salvage shop is sure to inspire some creative thought. A common feature of Indian design that we have already adopted is the nest of tables.
Available in most furniture shops, a nest of three wooden tables which fit together like a Russian doll, would add a really typical feature to a room. Other items of furniture to look out for are delicately carved and encrusted cabinets used to store bed linen called “damchis” and maharajas style wardrobes made of Indian oak with fortress gate style doors. Finally, soften the look with silk curtains and window dressings. India is famous for its silk saris which are used regularly to not only create beautiful clothing but also to add sumptuousness and decadence to homes. Colours to look out for are turquoise, burnt orange and raspberry. For added spice, use beaded tie-backs and tassels to draw back your curtains into an effortlessly elegant arch that will really show of the sheen of the silk to its full potential.