Tuesday, August 28, 2007


At times it can be overwhelming when deciding where to start during a home design project. We may see the big picture in our mind of the ‘overall’ look of our future home. Some people might save clippings from magazines of images that appeal to their particular taste and decorating style. Pinpointing the beginning stages is as simple as finding an inspiration example that grabs the heart.

A sample of fabric in a combination of colours or patterns can be applied like a paint-by-numbers kit. In India, I am creatively motivated by the abundance of great ideas inspired by this culture. Forget boring beige, black or white, these folks really adore splashes of colour everywhere. Textiles like scarves and sari fabrics are vibrant in dazzling contrasts and pleasing combinations.

If the thought of decorating your home in a carnival of colours and patterns alarms you, try small accents that can be played in and out on a whim. Silk toss cushions and throws in bright colours, patterns and jewels can bring an element of personality to any room. Turquoise, chartreuse, amethyst and carroty orange; the colours are stunning! For the bedroom, my tailor fashioned six meters of silk sari fabric into a king sized duvet cover with two matching pillow cases. To tie the look together, painting walls an ambient colour drawn from the fabric pattern, will easily transform the space.

There are more colour and pattern ideas from various cultures that can be prescribed for an interesting home update. I had my feet decorated with the traditional Indian wedding “Mahendi”, or henna design, in its rich paprika opulence. This pattern would be charming painted on a feature wall as a mural, wall tattoo or on a stretch canvas as a piece of art.

Colour is very symbolic in the Indian lifestyle. New Year’s day, everyone awakens to find all of the sacred cows wandering the streets painted yellow. The people collectively use turmeric spice and its strong yellow dying intensity, to decorate the cows to look attractive for their mates! Holy Day, is another celebration where the Natives throw colourful powder into the air and on each other. Street vendors can be found with mountains of the vibrant powder in giant bowls. Dazzling and energetic colours, perfect for decorating kids rooms.

One of the most significant colour insights can come from the Indian spice box on every kitchen counter. The “Masala Daba”, is filled with turmeric, cayenne, fenugreek, cumin, mustard seed and cilantro seed. It is so vital, that people turn to their spice box before going to the Doctor, to heal their ailments naturally. Using these spice colours as a bright idea, especially with our upcoming fall season, will warm up a space and bring colourful spice to a bland room. Paint colours in these zesty tones, will enrich your home appreciably.

Other Indian food inspiring colours to use in decorating your home are natural lime, ginger and aubergine. Just a trip down the multihued streets of India with the vivid fruit and vegetable stands, can spur more colour ideas.

Along the way, one will also find the beautifully fragrant “Pushpamala” flower garlands sold along the streets and offered to the religious deities. Vibrant fuchsias, jasmine, tangerine and lemon yellow, all bring life to any room. Used in a fuller scope or in small doses, cultural inspiration dishes up energy, flavour and personality.

No comments: