We associate tropical decor with cheerful energy. However, interior designer Aakriti Saraf turns out three variations on the theme that put serenity first.
A cup of quiet cheer: For a nice outdoor spot, Saraf used pristine white hues, with a dash of cream and silver in the tea set, linens, upholstery, flowers, a bird garden ornament, glass jars, votive holders and a lantern. A basket, rattan chair and wooden folding table anchor the “sunny climes” mood, with artefacts from a flea market in Puducherry.
Fresh beauty: Lavender hues brighten the morning. Photographs by Roshna Chandra and Aparna Jayakumar
Tip: Look for inspiration in small knick-knacks picked up while travelling.
By the cool water: A quiet evening with a glass of wine calls for a laid-back space. With a champa tree as backdrop, Saraf used blues and silvers to suggest natural surroundings. A silver planter has a pattern of interlaced leaves. Tall, blue votive holders echo wine goblets. A wooden boat is filled with water and white flowers. Throws and cushions make up informal, floor-level seating. Ceramic birds, plants and cut flowers set the mood.
Tip: Introduce a water body for calming effect and use natural materials for a meditative space.
Relaxation is fun: In a space designed for comfy reading, luxurious pale leather upholstery and shag rug complement the shimmering wallpaper. But relaxation need not necessarily come draped in white and blue, says Saraf, who introduced colourful, funky elements in green (a large planter, glass vases, cushions), adding tropical flowers (real and decorative motifs) and Warhol-esque art in blue, brown, pink and orange.
Tip: Bring in the outdoors with natural objects and add other elements in the colours of nature.
Inspired by the scents and hues of vanilla, lavender and lemon grass, architect Annkur Khosla styled three urban settings to soothe the senses.
Vanilla vista: Clutter free and cocooned in white fabric, Khosla’s personal workspace is a spiritual space, focused on that quintessential symbol of meditation: the Buddha. She added other elements to symbolize calm too, such as a cool marble bowl, an incense holder, and a blown-glass lotus.
Tip: Choose smooth-grained furniture, soothing spiritual motifs such as the lotus, and calming materials such as marble and soft linen.
Different strokes: Blue and silver and a water element add to the serenity.
Lavender morning: How invigorating it would be to start the day in the lap of nature. In an urban set-up, the fresh face of nature is suggested by soft hues of lavender, white and pink in real and artificial flowers. A white leather chair, brown pouffe and wooden stools complement the scheme. Soft cushions, blown glass, a silver shell and candles add comfort and beauty.
Tip: Assign a refreshing space for introspection.
Lemon grass musings: Order in chaos—that’s what Khosla tried to achieve, a living area done up entirely in shades of green and white. A white sofa is enlivened with gold and green cushions, the soft comfort emphasized by a furry footstool. The shelving unit holds a variety of items—cushions, trays, planters, candle stands, photo frames, vases, plates, even bathroom accessories in lemon grass hues—neatly in white niches.
Tip: Why should a space have a single function? Add pots and pans to a bookshelf. Cover books in coloured paper. Unify variety with colour.
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