Diwali Special: Hashtags for the home
Handmade to perfection
For that warm glow this festive season, opt for handmade lanterns and akash kandils. “Their colour, shape and texture sets off the decor during the day, while at night they bring the space alive with their radiant hues,” says Sharon Colaco D’Souza, a Pune-based decor blogger. Her Instagram and blog have DIY tutorials on how to make a kandil, using supplies such as coloured paper and stationery. To make things easier, there’s also a ready template, with measurements, that you can download.
There’s no greater joy than stumbling upon unique finds while scouring flea markets and junkyards. “Bring a new twist to your Diwali tablescape by adding vintage miniature glass hobnail oil lamps, discovered at one such market,” suggests Sruthi Singh, whose Instagram page and blog are popular for their easy and exquisite decor ideas. And, if you like a fusion look, then you can bring together inspirations from countries that have a rich craft culture. “I have put together a look inspired by Morocco and India, in which kundan rangolis, bangles and Moroccan tea glasses help create the perfect backdrop to good food and the company of loved ones,” says Singh.
Inspiration can strike anywhere—at a market, a café, or in Hemal Paliwal’s case, while sitting in a friend’s garden. It’s difficult to take one’s eyes off the images of a palm-tree bark that she has fashioned into a tea light-holder. “I immediately fell in love with the bark’s shape and texture,” says Nairobi-based Paliwal, who brings together Indian, Oriental and African sensibilities in the decor looks that she has put up on Instagram and her blog, Villa Marigold.
Think out of the box
This festive season, it’s all about giving rein to your imagination and unleashing your creativity. “Here is an amber glass candlestand, which I have paired with my grandmother’s vintage silver anklets for a nostalgic touch,” says Anuradha Varma of My Dream Canvas.
Breaking set notions
This Diwali, opt for “Indian” decor, but without adhering to any of the colour conventions. Rukmini Ray Kadam, who runs more than one blog and Instagram account on decor, offers the example of the taash table look that has been inspired by kesar-pista. “The tablecloth is in pistachio while the main table decor is in orange/saffron, interrupted with a blob of blue. Instead of adding vases, runners and candles, she has used fresh and fake fruits as the centrepiece, along with mismatched lighting like a tiny lantern, a votive and a battery-operated LED candle.
Who says you need to splurge on festive decor. Instead, bring out your silverware and polish it to perfection. “Add in bright flowers and put it against a dark background. And look closely, the container behind Buddha is an empty candy tin,” says Paliwal. You could impart a global touch by adding African and Oriental crafts such as a Maasai-themed lamp along with a planter made of hardshell gourd, or a set of Balinese puppets to add a quirky touch to your brass collection.
Instead of rangoli, decorate your walls. Kadam suggests taking the chosen theme colours to at least three spaces within your room. “For instance, I have taken my kesar-pista theme to my tables, walls and accessories,” says Kadam, who is a huge fan of coastal decor—full of whites and neutrals. She wanted wall art that was both Indian and in sync with her sense of aesthetic. “So, I opted for rustic Indian-meets-Scandi wall art for Diwali,” she says. A wooden branch, plastic marigold and handmade clay stars with vintage twine make for the perfect look.
Show your metal
Sruthi Singh of The East Coast Desi suggests giving the antique brass puja basket a makeover by filling it with statuettes and flowers. “Think outside the box this Diwali. Ever wondered what to do with your grandmother’s antique creamer or jug? A bunch of roses casually placed in one of them would look great when mixed with a few gold votive holders,” she says. Or you could stretch the envelope further by creating a tablescape around vintage lassi glasses as vases and colour-coordinated votive holders with a couple of terracotta diyas thrown in.