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February 4, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Be Inspired by India in Your Next Home Decor Adventure! – Part 2

When it comes to Indian art and design, it really isn’t possible to discuss everything in a few hundred words! So, in continuation to the previous post on this topic where we discussed bandhini, ikat, kantha, batik and kilim, let’s take a look at some of the other incredible textile styles that the country has to offer!

Of course, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, since the variety of beautiful fabrics and textile treatments that have become synonymous with India would take up a whole book. Still, there are a few that deserve a mention, especially since they are perfectly suited for home and interior decor.

1. Warli – This art form that originated in Maharashtra is becoming a major player in the textile design game today, for apparel as well as interiors. The ‘stick-figure’ styled representations of village life and everyday activities are presented with a simplicity that is childlike and endearing. Usually painted with light colors on a darker background, Warli painting has captured the hearts of design enthusiasts in a big way!

The childlike appeal of Warli painting makes it ideal for adorning your home! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

The childlike appeal of Warli painting makes it ideal for adorning your home!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

There is no shortage of applications for this beautiful textile treatment, since you can use it for pillows, bed linen, lamps and much more. You can even paint these lovely designs on walls outside or inside the house. If you want to capture the effect, try a hand-painted Warli border on a mirror frame, fabric lamps or even table linen!

2. Zari – This is possibly one of the most famous textile embellishment styles associated with India. Gorgeous designs created with metallic thread form breath-taking borders for saris, accessories and now, home decor too. The opulence and beauty that zari defines is making it the textile treatment of choice for luxury home decor and interiors!

The metallic embroidery in zari-work adds subtle shimmer to home decor! (Image Courtesy: indianroots.in)

The metallic embroidery in zari-work adds subtle shimmer to home decor!
(Image Courtesy: indianroots.in)

Fashion and interiors design gurus all over the world have been using zari-adorned fabric in heavily embellished clothing, bags, shoes and home decor accessories for years now. In India, zari was traditionally reserved for bridal and festive clothing, but you can make a statement by using it in the home too. Handmade book covers or folders with zari on the spines can create a beautiful effect for your book shelves!

3. Kalamkari – The art of kalamkari (kalam – pen, kari – craft) is one of the oldest forms of textile treatment that exists even today. The practice of telling a story by painting it on cloth with vegetable dyes and makeshift tools is one that has fascinated the whole world for decades now.

A kalamkari piece displayed as wall art is an undeniable conversation piece! (CC Image Courtesy: Anuradha Sengupta on Flickr)

A kalamkari piece displayed as wall art is an undeniable conversation piece!
(CC Image Courtesy: Anuradha Sengupta on Flickr)

Indian kalamkari artists in Andhra Pradesh still practice the original technique, immersing the textile in resin and milk to create an extra-shiny effect. The revival of this beautiful and intricate art form has seen it being used in high-fashion clothing and home decor. Add a touch of old-world charm to your bedroom or living room with framed kalamkari panels!

4. Patchwork – The gorgeous patchwork quilts that we see at any handicraft exhibition are probably the most famous examples of this textile design technique. While patchwork masterpieces can be created with any fabric at all, the most popular ones are those made with recycled silk saris.

Patchwork quilts and other home decor accessories are quirky, colorful and 100% Indian! (CC Image Courtesy: Lokesh Dhakar on Flickr)

Patchwork quilts and other home decor accessories are quirky, colorful and 100% Indian!
(CC Image Courtesy: Lokesh Dhakar on Flickr)

Whether they are embellished with beads, sequins and embroidery, or simply coordinating pieces stitched together, patchwork accessories are definitely attention-grabbing. A plain couch with a selection of colorful patchwork cushions would liven up your home in an instant!

Of course, there are many other beautiful textiles that are unique to India, which you can use as design inspiration for interiors. Block-printed animals, paisleys or floral designs, intricate wool embroidery, beadwork and Shisha mirror-work are some examples of breath-taking craftsmanship that have the whole world going ga-ga.

The variety and vibrant options in Indian textiles make them perfect for interior decor (CC Image Courtesy: rajkumar1220 on Flickr)

The variety and vibrant options in Indian textiles make them perfect for interior decor
(CC Image Courtesy: rajkumar1220 on Flickr)

When you use Indian textiles to adorn your home, make sure you pick the right furniture and accessories too. Balance them with natural wood furnishings, like carved wooden swings, low seating and plenty of pillows. Lamps, decorative figurines, wall art and fixtures should all complement these fabric choices that are rich in color, pattern and texture!

CC Header Image Courtesy: Shashwat Nagpal on Flickr

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January 30, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Be Inspired by India in Your Next Home Decor Adventure!

Indian art and design have a huge role to play in today’s creative world, with a vibrant and exotic appeal that simply cannot be denied. At the root of it all is the simplicity and inherent charm that is evident in everything from ancient carvings to modern paintings.

The use of colorful and eco-friendly Indian textiles for fashion and decor has become a huge trend, both within the country and internationally. Top designers everywhere are falling in love with the versatility and visual appeal of Indian fabrics. Interior design trends are also incorporating the incredible range of textiles that reflect ‘Incredible India’.

Let’s take a fresh look at these gorgeous materials, the way the world does!

1. Bandhini – Known to the world as tie-dye, this art form has roots in India, Japan and other South Asian countries. Tying off areas of the fabric before dyeing them creates unique and beautiful designs on the surface. Traditionally used for creating colorful scarves and clothing, bandhini can now be seen everywhere!

Bandhini is colorful, appealing and versatile, so you can use it anywhere in your home! (Image Courtesy: limeroad.com)

Bandhini is colorful, appealing and versatile, so you can use it anywhere in your home!
(Image Courtesy: limeroad.com)

The variety of colors and patterns that you can find with this beautiful textile is practically unbeatable. This makes it ideal for pretty curtains, cushions, clothing and many more fashion or home design accessories. Pick up a gorgeous tie die cloth and use it as a table runner, or ask the local framer to mount it on canvas for a new piece of art for your living room!

2. Ikat – Like tie-dying, ikat is a technique that uses resist dyeing to create patterns and designs on fabric. The difference is that the fabric for tie-dye or bandhini is treated to resist color after it is already woven, while ikat uses dye resist on the threads themselves, before they are woven into the desired pattern.

The elegant and colorful designs of ikat fabric can brighten up any space in your home! (Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

The elegant and colorful designs of ikat fabric can brighten up any space in your home!
(Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

This is an extremely precise art, since the thread needs to be colored and woven perfectly to ensure the final design emerges. The gorgeous textile can be used for bed sheets, pillow covers, clothing, bags and just about anything else you’d like. In fact, a colorful ikat table cover or lamp might be just the pretty accent your home needs!

3. Kantha – This embroidery and textile treatment is unique to West Bengal and Odisha, with layers of silk or cotton stitched together using a simple running stitch. The beauty of kantha-work lies in the fact that it is one of the oldest techniques of re-using old fabric like quilts, clothing or linen to create new ones.

Kantha is one of the most beautiful forms of recycling old fabric to create works of art! (Image Courtesy: houseproud.in)

Kantha is one of the most beautiful forms of recycling old fabric to create works of art!
(Image Courtesy: houseproud.in)

Repurposed clothing and home decor is a huge winner in today’s eco-friendly and carbon-footprint-conscious world, so kantha embroidery is definitely a winner. In fact, you can display a gorgeous kantha-work quilt on the wall for a really unique piece of art!

4. Batik – Created using a precise technique that uses wax to create ‘color-resist’ areas on fabric during the dyeing process, batik is one of the most popular Indian textiles in the world. Designs can be simple or intricate, but they all have one thing in common – it takes a lot of effort to bring them to life!

The allure of batik has made it incredibly popular for home and wall decor! (Image Courtesy: exoticindiaart.com)

The allure of batik has made it incredibly popular for home and wall decor!
(Image Courtesy: exoticindiaart.com)

Since the batik technique is usually performed on fine cotton, you can use this fabric on everything from pillow covers to wall hangings. Add a classy touch to your home with a large batik painting on the wall, or even a cluster of smaller ones in similar colors or styles!

5. Kilim – This gorgeous woven textile is usually created on a tapestry loom and features geometric designs in bold colors. Traditionally used to create rugs and tapestries, the revival of kilim has seen this material being used in a variety of products, from fashion accessories to upholstery.

Colorful and vibrant kilim home accessories are ideal for a touch of sophisticated style! (Image Courtesy: designemporia.in)

Colorful and vibrant kilim home accessories are ideal for a touch of sophisticated style!
(Image Courtesy: designemporia.in)

It can be difficult to find hand woven kilim in most areas, but you can usually get printed fabric with designs inspired by the art form or machine woven variants. Use the fabric for cushions or bolsters on your favorite couch, or even to add a pop of color to an indoor ‘jhoola’!

With the rest of the world being enamored by India’s colorful history and culture, it’s surprising that a lot of us automatically turn to the West for design inspiration. The variety of traditional design elements found in the country have served as a base for countless projects across the globe. It’s time we look at our motherland with fresh eyes!

(Header CC Image Courtesy - proxyindian on Flickr)

January 18, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Wall Decoration Ideas that can Brighten Up any House in a Day!

Wall decoration is the easiest way to brighten up your home (Image Courtesy: Melissa Girard on Pinterest)

Wall decoration is the easiest way to brighten up your home
(Image Courtesy: Melissa Girard on Pinterest)

Most people think that adding a touch of style to their home is a long-term process, one that will take them days, weeks or even months to accomplish. The fact is, a bit of creativity and effort can help you turn around your home in just one day. All you need to do is let your inner artist out to play, and each of us has one of those, even if we don’t think so!

Walls are the easiest part of the house to start decorating, since they are essentially blank canvases just begging for some attention. When you’ve been staring at the same walls for even a few days, you get used to the way they look and it becomes a little difficult to come up with ideas, doesn’t it?

Easy and Quick Ideas for Wall Decoration

Luckily, you don’t have to strain yourself too much! We’ve collected some great wall decoration ideas here, with the intent to start you off on your creative journey. Use these as they are, or let them inspire you to revamp your home:

1. Display Jewelry on Them – Cheap beaded jewelry, single earrings (for which you’ve lost the partner), old pendants and chains – these don’t need to be hidden away in a box under your cupboard! Instead, install a few hooks at a strategic height and hang these little baubles from them. You can place them in a straight line across the wall, inside an empty frame or pick a random display, whatever you prefer.

Who says only museums can display jewelry on their walls? (Image Courtesy: itsaluvthing.typepad.com)

Who says only museums can display jewelry on their walls?
(Image Courtesy: itsaluvthing.typepad.com)

2. Books as Shelves – No, we don’t mean bookshelves, but old books use as interesting alternatives to traditional display shelves. Head to your nearest used book store and pick up a bunch of large and sturdy hardcovers (if you don’t have any lying around at home). Install the same wall brackets that you would use for regular shelves and screw on a single book, spine facing out. Then, use it to store more books, collectibles or anything else you would place on a regular shelf! Detailed instructions here and a simpler version here.

Create a shelf made from books, instead of just for books! (Image Courtesy: utterlysmitten.com)

Create a shelf made from books, instead of just for books!
(Image Courtesy: utterlysmitten.com)

3. Empty Picture Frames – These are literally the most versatile bits of wall decor you could imagine. You can paint them all the same color and hang them up as is, add a picture, painting or even a mirror inside. Here’s an unusual way to use picture frames – Mount them on the wall and install a hook in the center of each one. Then, use these hooks to display jewelry, pretty plates, dreamcatchers, crochet doilies or just about any other knick-knacks!

Picture frames are versatile and affordable, so you can keep playing with them! (Image Courtesy: handmadeology.com)

Picture frames are versatile and affordable, so you can keep playing with them!
(Image Courtesy: handmadeology.com)

4. Art Prints and Paintings – When you don’t have time to DIY your wall decoration, just pick out a gorgeous print and display it in a prominent space. There is a huge range of amazing prints available online, so you can choose one that fits your sense of style and aesthetics. You could also get a painting to fill out a blank space, if you can find one that fits your budget (they tend to be a bit on the pricey side).

A gorgeous art print can take your wall from drab to fab right away!

A gorgeous art print can take your wall from drab to fab right away!

5. Newspaper Art – Even if you’ve never tried making paper collages before, a newspaper collage is simple to make and super-elegant too. The best part is that you can find all the materials you need lying around your house, so just get some friends together or ask your family to join in and create some eye-catching pieces of art in no time! Instructions here.

Newspaper art is easy to make and looks amazing when it’s complete! (Image Courtesy: craftedlove.com)

Newspaper art is easy to make and looks amazing when it’s complete!
(Image Courtesy: craftedlove.com)

You could also decorate your walls with colorful tiles (as a collage or single pieces), create paper collages and frame them, or even hang unusual objects like kites from them. If you have some spare time, try painting one wall in a room with a vibrant and eye-catching color, letting that form the center of interest!