Leading interior designers tell us how to make your Diwali décor stand out. And also how they are decorating their own homes
Diwali is just around the corner, and this year is all the more special with things slowly going back to normal after two years of the COVID-19 ordeal. Our homes are starting to once again welcome our near and dear ones for a much-needed celebration. And nothing elevates the festive cheer than your home’s décor. With house parties being big this Diwali, we asked interior designers to shell out quick ways to turn different corners of our homes into beautiful, photo-ready spaces.
If you are lucky to have a balcony, terrace or a lawn in your home, make complete use of your outdoor space to host your Diwali party. “As COVID-19 forced people to stay indoors for over two years, an outdoor space will provide a pleasant break from our usual surroundings. We can decorate it using plants, lanterns, fairy lights and chandeliers. One can also experiment with table setups using candles, floral arrangements and sculptural decorations,” says Smitha Zachariah, Creative Head, ZxP Design.
With more people coming in for a get-together, it is essential that you have enough seating space to accommodate everyone comfortably. Says Sarabjit Singh, Founder and Architectural Designer, Villa Ortiga, “A lot of our celebratory activity is still restricted to homes and therefore, it is important to make the interiors count. Consider adding new and sophisticated pieces of furniture, especially in the living area. These can include small eclectic sofas that act as statement pieces, moveable pouffes and ottomans for added flexibility in the seating arrangement, and stylish peg tables to display your showpieces.”
Diwali is incomplete without lights and there is no dearth of options to choose from these days. Here’s what designers recommend. “The use of geometric pendant lights and accent lamps are on-trend in 2021 with homeowners seeking unique lighting to add to their homes,” says Nikhil Agrawal, Founder and Architect, Design Atelier; while Varun Baweja, Founder and Interior Designer, Varun Baweja Designs, recommends opting for layered illumination. He says, “When done right, it amplifies the warm and comfortable festive atmosphere, so mix and match every lighting option that you can. Make sure dark corners are illuminated with soft accents or candles.” Hanging illumination such as chandeliers and string lights are great options to illuminate your room corners according to Singh. “You may also use rechargeable decorative battery lamps for side tables and other tabletops with no plug points in their vicinity. Dazzle the outdoor spaces using starry string lights. You may also drape string lights over large plants, hedges and trees,” he adds.
Baweja suggests using dry florals along with marigolds and jasmine against a neutral wall. “To amp up the look, plants surrounded with evergreen florals, fairy lights, wood accessories and shimmering gold garlands will look luxurious when paired together.
Instead of buying brand new things, you also create a festive look by using what’s available at home. “Use old sarees, shawls and dupattas innovatively and recycle them for upholstery like cushions, throws and curtains,” says Devika Khosla, Creative Director, The Works Interiors.
The right hues can uplift any space and highlight the right elements in the best way possible. We asked the experts the trending colours for the festive season. Baweja recommends, “For Indian festivals, I love picking colors from our traditions like the red gulaal as deep red creates a mesmerising vibe.
My favourite colour this season is burnt orange which makes a statement in Indian rituals—the holy fire of havans, the marigold flowers for puja decorations, the linen used in shrines—choose this colour to inject brightness and cheer into your interiors.”
“Mustard, vermillion, royal blue and purple are the colours that will most certainly add spark to the space,” says Khosla. “Mix and match bright and bold colours and include them as visually-pleasing highlight elements in your décor, such as cushion covers, decorative accessories, and wall décor,” opines Singh.
While Agrawal suggests an eco-friendly yet luxurious Diwali celebration with a monochromatic colour scheme enhanced with contrasting décor products to create a festive vibe, Zachariah recommends wallpapers to perk up your space. “Incorporating some distinct and tasteful wall art and prints can help you stay inspired through the year. Finally, add decorative LED lights to brighten up the evenings.” Since festivities involve entertaining and hosting, Khosla advises investing in good crockery, cutlery and tableware. “Add a traditional touch with brass lamps and urlis to make your space more beautiful.”
Though the tips shared above can be easily incorporated in our décor, we asked our experts to spill how they are decorating their homes for Diwali to get more ideas. Here’s what they had to say.
“I will be focusing on my outdoor spaces, making them feel cosy and festive using low lighting, diyas, candle-stands and a variety of plants,” says Zachariah
“For a festive makeover, I choose roses and candles and use them liberally in my décor. I prefer using traditional colours like sindoor red, fuschia pink, beautiful marigold yellow paired with classic white and gold. Entrances create the first impression on guests, so adding an exclusive arrangement of flowers in the foyer with a crystal vase is a great idea,” says Baweja.
Agarwal plans to design his space with earthy and sustainable products this Diwali while giving it a luxurious touch with rich colours and brass accents. Adds Khosla, “Our home styling is all grey and subtle, so I will use some of my ‘Phulkari’ and ‘Jamavar’ shawls as throws to add that festive touch and colour. I love candles and incense sticks, so a lot of those will be used to tickle the olfactory senses. Some of my priced rugs in bright colours will be put to use to add the pop of colour this festive season. For lighting, we will illuminate our spaces by adding fairy lights and lamps strewn across the house.”
Reveals Singh, “We are celebrating this Diwali at our home and hope to invite close family and friends. We are adding new and delectable pieces of furniture, especially lots of cosy and comfortable seating for our guests.
To imbibe warmth and a joyous feel into our space, we are using festive lights and decorative lamps. We will be revamping our home décor by using classy and eclectic wallpapers to transform some of the walls into accent walls. In addition, we are bringing in nature by adding potted plants in the interior spaces, in line with the spirit of celebrating a green and peaceful Diwali.”
Sitting together, playing cards, nibbling on tidbits and having a gala time with your loved ones is a great way to celebrate Diwali. To create a lovely seating arrangement at home, we asked Taral Jadhav, interior designer, event decorator and founder of Do It Up, to share a quick tutorial.
If you have an open space, you can replicate the look there, or else, in any other part of your home. She suggests using easily-available décor items from home to create this look, such as cushions, old wooden crates, candles, string lights, urlis and flowers. Watch the video above to learn how to create a festive seating arrangement at home in a quick way.