It’s time to bring home Diwali festivities

A festival of sparkling lights, lively colours, delightful feasts and celebratory parties, Diwali is the perfect time to spruce up your home and give it a dose of elegance and opulence. As a tradition, houses are decorated to welcome Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. Around this time every year, Indian homes undergo a glamourous makeover where usually women of the house take the painstaking responsibility of refurbishing and decorating, especially if they are planning to host a big Diwali party.

“The festival is also regarded as the mark of a new year according to the Hindu calendar, hence it is the best time to change the environment and decor of the house,” informs Poonam Gupta, CEO, Alchemy Deluxe.

“Every year, I and my mother take up this enormous task of cleaning the house, getting the paint done and buying new furniture and other decor items for Diwali,” says 26 years old banker Pooja Dutt. However, experts believe that impressive decorations do not have to take as long as a month, little thoughtful changes here and there can instantly glam up the luxury quotient in time for your soiree.

Designer duo Gauri & Nainika Karan love decorating their house with lots of diyas to welcome the festive cheer
Agrees ace interior designer, Sunita Kohli of K2 India studios, “Our house is timelessly styled, so there is no crazy upheaval around Diwali. We put away summer dhurries and chattais and bring out winter carpets and kilims, in deeper tones. We re-upholster some items of our freshly painted rooms and move around the art work. These small pre-Diwali activities usually result in what many perceive as design changes.”A few strategic shifts in the existing setting complimented by some exquisite yet affordable decor pieces, creatively arranged flowers, candles and diyas are enough to give your humble abode a tres chic festive makeover.

Cozy glow

“A generous coat of paint isn’t the only way to bring colour into your space. Warmth can also be injected with uber luxe floor-to ceiling curtains and cozy cushions,” says PR professional Nikky Gupta, who has bought curtains and cushion covers in bright colours for her dazzling ‘Bollywood night’ themed party. Cheery and playful, curtains have a big impact and change the room instantly, inspiring people to celebrate and linger for long intervals of time. “The colours in vogue are fuchsia, burnt orange, taupe and cinnamon,” adds Kohli.

When it comes to the ideal fabrics for Diwali, the designers vote unanimously goes to silk. “It’s a royal fabric which has a highly posh impact. You can also switch over to faux silk curtains (artificial silk fabrics) that are affordable and classic looking,” advises Vandana Khosla, founder director of premium decor brand Elvy Lifestyle.

One can even go the eco-friendly route when it comes to curtains. “Old silk sarees or suits that you do not intend to wear are an ideal choice for shiny fabrics for both cushions and curtains. You can also embellish them by adding lace or readily available motifs from the market,” suggests Sapna Aggarwal, creative director, Ansa Interiors. According to renowned interior designer Sarita Handa, “Silk cushions with Ikat work and abstract geometrical designs are the season’s hottest trend.”

Light up
“Light bring a festive cheer to both your inside spaces and outdoors,” states Archana Kumari Singh, president of Frazer & Haws. From regular lamps to energy efficient LED bulbs and traditional diyas and candles, you can light up your interior spaces in many beautiful ways. “Nainika and I simply love decorating the house with lots of diyas. It glamourises the whole ambience instantly,” states fashion designer Gauri Karan of label Gauri & Nainika.

Khosla advises, “You can adorn your home with gorgeous t-lite holders, statement candelabras and luxurious chandeliers. String lights, brass lanterns, mashal torches, paper lanterns and floating candles are great for the outdoors.” Hand-painted diyas and aromatic candles can be used to infuse a sense of festivity and freshness into the ambience. “I have picked candle stands of different heights and vibrant votive to glam up the centre table for my elaborate dinner party,” shares Swati Bagga, marketing director of a Delhi based medical firm.

There are loads of ways to get design inspiration, even in your own backyard. For example, a large branch from a tree, spray painted in fuchsia pink and then pressed into a Styrofoam filled silver pot covered with dazzling tinsel. Polish it with glittery ornaments and golden LED string lights and you have your very own chic and striking centerpiece.
Blooming fresh
Traditional yet contemporary, flowers add beauty and colour to any decor. Suggests Handa, “Decorating the staircase of the house with fresh flowers is a beautiful idea to lighten up the place. Adding candles to it is is even merrier.

A unique vase filled with exotic flowers is another option. Use Indian favourites for traditional decor and lilies or orchids for a contemporary twist.”

“Urlis in brass or bronze are best to create an impressive flower decoration,” believes delhi based artist Anju Kumar.

Ideal for gardens, the entrance and corners of big rooms, urlis can be filled with water, fresh flowers and floating diyas.”

A puja thali is incomplete without flowers. I will also use flower petals and leaves to make traditional Rangoli for Diwali” claims Sonam Choudhary, an accountant.
High on creativity
The festival also gives you an opportunity to unleash your creativity and give a personal touch to your interiors. Agrees Khosla, “You may be amazed by the items you already have around the house that can be used for a makeover. A little creativity goes a long way in pulling together a new look without burning a hole in your pocket or renovations.”

For instance, you can paint a couple of old light bulbs to your fancy and tie them together with artificial flowers, twigs and dry leaves to make beautiful bandhanwars and hangings.

“Easy on the eye, abstract artwork bursting with vibrant colours is the best way to beautify your walls” claims Anju Kumar. “Painting is my hobby. Every Diwali I paint a Ganesha and get it framed for my hall. I also gift my paintings to loved ones as festive greetings,” shares Dutt.

Adding to it Bagga says, “Don’t throw away cards from friends and family members, instead, tape them onto a wide satin ribbon and hang them on your front door.”

Casino night

Besides decoration, Diwali is also celebrated amongst friends and family with great fervour and revelry. From card parties to grand family dinners, hosting your loved ones is customary during the season.

Suggests Handa, “Keeping in mind the number of guests, a low sitting arrangement like a ‘dewan’ with few cushions should be arranged. It is an ideal seating arrangement for card parties.” Also, oversized floor pillows provide comfortable additional seating options to any living room.

“What is Diwali without a game of teen-patti,” asks Bagga, who hosts a card party at her place every year. “Transform your house into a casino with our new casino collections which has decorative items like casino table covers, centerpieces, serving trays and more. To double the fun this year we have launched drinking games like roulette drinking game, shoots and ladders, boozeball, etc., which keep your guest engaged and entertained” says Shivani Kapur Chandhok from Party Hunterz, New Delhi.

Quirky decor ideas

Here are season’s hottest picks to glamorise your abode

1. Beat the festive rush by buying stuff online.

This Metal Glass Painted Oval Hanging Lamp available at 9rasa. com is perfect to spice up your usual decorating scheme for terrace and garden parties.

Price: Rs.1,199

2. For a decoration that looks good enough to eat, fill these deluxe tumblers by Tupperware with dried fruits in interesting shapes and textures, such as orange slices, cranberries and walnuts.

Arrange these in a grid on pretty wooden tray.

Price: Rs.1,000 for a set of 4

3. Trading in old furniture for a new one is not mandatory anymore.

An upbeat piece of artwork like this exquisitely carved center table (designed by artist Anju Kumar) is enough to add elegance to the living area.

Price: Rs.30,000



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