What better way to bring in the festive look and feel into our homes other than add diverse elements and the colours that represent the festivals. Yellow and orange hues dominate and so do candles and other forms of lighting. Simple traditional décor surrounding us during the festive seasons are popular and always in vogue. Be it Diwali or Dussehra, marigold floral designs are an obvious favourite. Rangoli for the floor, the doorway to welcome guests or artistic renditions of table décor all add to the merriment.
One can go for an elaborate arrangement, or opt for simplicity – each have their charm and exude the warmth which greets us all.
Doorways announce the celebrations with strings of marigold with tassels that add flourish- as seen below
In keeping with the theme, the corridors and the hallways bear the same look with a difference. Here white and coloured chalk has been used to create the paisley designs. In an adjacent area, brass lanterns have been placed over discs of mirror, for an added glow when candles are lit.
If it is Diwali, the Festival of Lights, earthen Diyas or oil lamps painted in bright colours are usually placed in select locations both inside the house as also at the entrance. Again, chalk rangolis have been used here to create borders as part of the overall design. Use of earthen Diyas assumes significance because they are eco-friendly as also support artisans and make their businesses sustainable.
(L – An earthen Diya has been used in the centre, with a ring of marigold and mango leaves adding a religious element) (R – A white garland winds its way around lit earthen lamps gives a different look)
More elaborate lighting can be arranged easily at home by using a salver or tray and keeping a collection of different sized candles, coloured glass candle votives, amongst other household effects. (R – Glass jars have been stuffed with marigold flowers. Stoneware Diyas have found a place in the décor; tealights sit on the upturned mason jars; The use of a cotton brick-red table runner adds warmth and vibrancy.)
The buffet is served on a side-board table with cotton mats bearing festive colours mainly of red, orange and yellow. Paper napkins for the stacked-up plates are red adding to the brightness. The wall decorated with an assortment of plaques with myriad colours and design add to the festive cheer!
Importantly, the living / drawing rooms where guests are welcomed can easily be transformed by changing cushion covers with brocade or silk trimmings. An existing silk or brocade stole can be used as a throw over a neutral hued sofa, and bring alive a rich, vibrant festive look.
Coloured cushions with brocade trimming Brocade Stole
India’s uniqueness is Unity in Diversity, and what better way to bring this to the fore, than in the colours and designs and craft showcased during festivals. The ‘Aalpona’ are intricate designs from the eastern region of India, created by hand using a mix of rice powder and water. These appear on the floor and are displayed during festivals or Pujas and any auspicious occasion. Light, white Shola decorations intricately hand-wrought by skilful artisans offer a traditional festive look. These are made from the pith of the Shola plant, is eco-friendly, light and easily lends itself to beautiful carvings, and can be painted on.
(top left to right – Shola Decoration; Handmade Aalpona; bottom left – Handmade Aalpona; right -Shola bauble)
For our fast-paced world, where there is a paucity of time, readymade Aalponas and Rangolis are easily available. Seen below is a sticker Aalpona all white(left), and a Rangoli cut out from plywood (right).
Aalpona Sticker Cut-out wooden Rangoli
Come December and the season of giving is upon us. Shopping for Christmas gifts, treats and decorations reach a frenetic pace. Decorative lights and candles, Christmas trees and other elements colour-coded in red, green, silver and gold collectively create an atmosphere of good cheer in the homes where Christmas is celebrated.
Candles planted in earthen flower pots containing mistletoe, are placed in a wrought- iron cup holder for a charming rustic look. Fairy lights placed inside brass candleholders create an almost mystical aura when they shine through the trellis work, as seen in the image in the centre above. Red and Green are the traditional all-pervading colours of Christmas, and the use of a cutwork table runner (image on left) seems to set the tone for merriment and festivities.
The central piece of Christmas decoration is the Christmas Tree, bedecked in all its finery, with stacks of attractively packed gifts lying around the base. Well, why not try different renditions of the old favourite? Below are some designs that are fun, simple and easy to put together, and something kids can participate in while fabricating.
Each of these Christmas Trees have a different look and are made from items that are easily available in our homes, or at best one would need a carpenter’s assistance. Strings, Macrame ropes, planks of wood, sticks and even books that can be stacked up and covered green! These could be in addition to one traditional tree, but feel free to decorate the ‘new look’ trees with tinsels, shimmering stars, baubles and other decorations.
So much happens around a Christmas lunch, and so the dinning/buffet table could have these brightly coloured, innovative decorations too.
Well then, Bon Appetit!
punemirror.indiatimes.com; desertcart.in; domesticallyblissful.com; istockphoto.com; Pinterest; bengalinterior.co.in; oswalgroup, net; in.pintrest.com/withasmita; shaadidukaan; 123RF.com; bengalonline.in; swayamassorted; depositphotos.com; fabriclore.com; newsmeter.in; Michael Johnson; Lia Griffith; tohoku-morinagamilk.co.jp; livinglocurto.com
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