Ever walked into a room and instantly got a good vibe? A room that’s well put together is no accident. While the contents of any room are unique to each person, at its core, home décor is based on a set of sensible guidelines, if not rules. Here are some of them.
1. Give your rooms a green upgrade
In this era of apartment living, gardens are the stuff of dreams or nostalgia. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring home a splash of green. Think balcony garden or if not that, then easy-maintenance indoor plants like peace lilies, ferns, and succulents.
If you want something more than ornamentation, make an herb garden with plants that grow easily in small pots. For instance, methi, coriander, curry leaves, basil, and green chilies. A window sill, a wall shelf by a sunny window, or even the balcony are great places to grow these.
You don’t have to restrict plants to your living spaces: add some to the bedroom, study, or even the loo – they do plenty to purify the air. The tall and spiky snake plant is a natural air purifier and it grows to fit the space it has. This makes them the perfect fit for any awkward-to-fill spots. You could also consider making your own terrarium and using it as a centerpiece for your coffee table.
2. To make room, make adjustments
Outsized furniture is a thing in most Indian homes. That large, plush, faded sofa is probably taking up half the living room, but it’s so comfortable and houses so many lovely memories, you don’t want to let it go.
This is where thinking out of the box will help. Keep that can-never-part-with-it piece as a permanent fixture and plan the rest of the room around it. In the case of the overstuffed sofa that leaves no room for a proper coffee table, consider alternative interior décor ideas. For instance, a set of nested side tables that can be brought out at will. Ottomans with firm cushions can also double as coffee tables.
Or if there’s a large double bed that leaves little room in the room, add storage drawer’s underneath to get some extra storage space.
3. Balance the elements – dark with bright, heavy with light
We often find ourselves with dark wood furniture that has been in the family for generations. A great way to infuse them into your current décor is to furnish the rest of the space with upbeat, light colors to diffuse the heaviness. Bright linens, rugs, and upholstery work well for this arrangement. If you have a set of antiques– separate and place them in different rooms. This way you don’t have to alter the antique to fit into your current décor.
4. Prepare for the inevitable – guests
Visitors tend to catch you off guard because ‘they were in the neighborhood’. Instead of succumbing to mad panic when the doorbell rings, keep things in their place and be prepared for surprise visits. Here are some tips that always work:
- Have an entryway rack or chest for keys, wallets, bills, and other things you have in your pockets on your way in and out.
- Invest in furniture with secret storage compartments where you can put away things in a hurry.
- Create a 5-minute tidy up routine and go through it every night before turning in
- A sofa bed is a great choice for those whose friends stay over often. If you have elders or relatives staying over, have a guest room at the ready – don’t use it as a place to dump the laundry you were too lazy to fold.
5. Choose a design style
It’s easy to find home decor inspiration online – and it’s just as easy to get carried away by these. A common problem in many Indian homes is that the decor is a perplexing mix of styles, inconsistent from one room to the next. It simply doesn’t ‘flow’.
Start by deciding what look you’re going for and identify room decoration pieces that match that look. For instance, if you want an ethnic Indian feel, pepper your spaces with quintessentially Indian artifacts. Solid wood sofas or dining sets, colorful cushions, ethnic rugs, brass or copper planters, and handmade toys like those from Channapatna or Rajasthan.
If you can’t zero in on one specific theme, try choosing a color palette instead, like pastels. The rule of thumb is 60:30:10. 60% of a primary color (wall paint, for instance), 30% of a secondary color (upholstery), and 10% of an accent color (cushion covers, curtains, etc.)