Ethnic Indian vibes: Ways you can incorporate traditional art and craft in home décor

Rashmi Gopal Rao
Wednesday, 18 March 2020

It’s often said that handcrafted objects never go out of style. And when it comes to Indian handicrafts, this statement could not be truer. 

It is often said that handcrafted objects never go out of style and when it comes to Indian handicrafts, this statement could not be more true. The diverse repository of our craftwork ranges from painstakingly moulded clay statuettes, jewel encrusted murals, handwoven embroidery, exquisite mirror work, wooden toys, gold-leaf paintings and block printed fabrics, to name a few. Each style is deeply rooted and native to a region and is symbolic of local traditions and customs.

“In India, handicrafts depict community life, flora and fauna and other elements intrinsic to that geography. Handicrafts displayed at home incorporate prosperity, religion, protection and good health,” says Manjari Upadhye, CEO, Domestic Business, Welspun India Limited.

Unique décor style
When it comes to planning a decor style for your home, it is always a good idea to incorporate a few elements from our history, culture or even family traditions to make your home a true reflection of your personality. “The warm colours and expansive range of designs and crafts can effortlessly transform a mundane space into a lively and flamboyant setting. Indian traditional art and crafts are sure to fuel any space with an alluring vibe and plethora of colour,” says Saloni Khosla, Head of Bespoke, Pepperfry.

Indian style home design is one of the most interesting and exotic styles as this includes tribal crafts as well as handmade artefacts, all of which lend your home a warm and vibrant vibe. “Most traditional forms of craft use indigenous materials which are sustainable and organic; all the more reason to use them today,” says Dipti Das, AVP – Design, HomeLane. 

So, here are some of the ways to fill up your home with ethnic elements from different nooks and corners of India.

Upholstery and furnishings
Indian handloom fabrics are well known all over the world for their rich designs, indigenous prints and intricate embroidery. Choose fabrics like Kalamkari and Ikkat in your upholstery to give your seating area an elegant look. “Rajasthani block prints can be used for tablecloths, table runners, bedcovers or even as curtains for your windows. They are a budget friendly and simple way to liven up your home. You could also opt for wallpapers with an ethnic print. They help add a touch of tradition to modern houses. For smaller decor elements such as cushions, you could use fabrics that are elaborately embroidered or even Kutch mirror worked fabric,” says Gita Ramanan, CEO & Co-founder, Design Café.
Kashmiri carpets and rugs are another popular choice for Indian style home décor. You can choose to transform the plain walls of your bedroom by hanging an embroidered tapestry or you could even opt for a rug or a dhurrie with traditional motifs. “Infuse a stunning contrast in your living room by adding an exquisite multicolour patchwork wingchair. 

You can also opt for an aesthetically appealing Ottoman or bench draped in colourful paisley design to add an authentic Indian folk touch to your living room,” adds Khosla.

Dress your walls
Spruce up your family room with traditional wall art and create a stunning focal point that can be a great conversation starter. The Kutch region is famous for its plaster murals aka Kutchi lippan clay art on walls that are embellished with tiny mirrors. Or go in for traditional Indian art like Warli, Madhubani and Pichwai. “Warli paintings, which originated in the state of Maharashtra, are now one of the most famous artworks of India. Adding a few Warli inspired elements (paintings or fabrics) will give your home a sense of simplicity and style that transcends generations. Also, Pattachitra, one of the oldest forms of painting in India depicts Hindu mythology on canvas. This style of painting has evolved through the ages and is used on silk cloth and other similar materials to create spectacular wall hangings and other forms of decor pieces,” adds Ramanan. 

Tanjore and Mysore paintings of the South typically depict Hindu deities and are intricately done using rich bright colours as well as gold foil.

Furniture and artefacts galore
Every state and region in India has its own exclusive woodwork techniques and designs. Add a piece of heritage from your state to your décor. You could use carved stools from Saharanpur, enamel-inlaid table tops from Dehradun, or even lovely teak wood partitions from Kashmir. “Statues and sculptures have always been an integral part of Indian culture. You can add small statuettes to liven up your décor, like sandalwood sculptures from Karnataka, Kathakali dolls from Kerala or brass statuettes from Madhya Pradesh,” adds Dipti Das.

Similarly, Rajasthan’s blue pottery, wooden toys of Channapatna (Karnataka) and Kondepalli (Andhra Pradesh) are sure to add life to plain corners.

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