Did you know that many of the words that we speak of in home design originate from India? “Chintz” and “calico” both have their origins in Southern Asia so we owe a lot of our classic country style to Indian influence in our Western designs.
When we think of Indian styling today, we think of bright colours and bold, larger than life patterns – albeit gaudy but also expensive looking. Traditionally however, it was only the wealthy families who could afford to recreate the rich look achieved by expensive materials and expert craftsmen.
Up until the early 90’s, the interior design process was driven by a utilitarian way of thinking. If it was functional and simplistic it was appealing, so stone and mosaic flooring, old fashioned hand-me-down furniture and local arts and crafts prints could be found in homes countrywide.
Over the last decade, the pale, understated tones and plain, unadorned interiors have been replaced by heavily embellished chandeliers, cutwork jail screens and bold patterns. Homes have traces of baroque with their love of the ornate and decorative plant motifs. While the colours come to life in paint and furnishings, they’re toned down (if only slightly!) by darker shades of walnut and teak furniture. You’ll also find accents of darker indigo, khaki, beige and black sitting alongside lighter stonework.
Now that Indian style has changed so dramatically, it’s interesting to see just how much of an influence the new decor trend has had. When we think of our own homes, ‘Indian’ doesn’t exactly jump out. We don’t all have statues of saintly figures and heavily embrace gold ornamentation – in contemporary homes or otherwise.
But… look at our latest colour choices. With each new season, we get bolder with colour and our interior design ambassador Abigail Ahern isn’t shy to couple bright accents with a dark wall. Last year it was tangerine tango and this year it’s been all about the greens from pea green to emerald green. Everything’s so full of life!
We’ve also borrowed from the Indian love of latticed jali screens, now that we’re favouring open plan living. To section off our living room from our study, we’re investing in dividers – and last year we grew ever closer to the trend as we embraced lace across home and fashion. The intricacy of the lace meant that any ornamental lattice work was a given.
The Indian inspiration doesn’t stop there either. We’re paying more attention to our lighting choices and investing in either bigger or more statement lights to perfect a style. If we’re not dreaming about a single chandelier over the dining room table, we’re installing three or four hanging downlights to create the right mood in our kitchens.
While we might not describe our homes as ‘Indian’ in style, one thing’s for sure – we’ve definitely been inspired by India!