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At first glance, the Asian Paints Colour of the Year 2020 – Curiosity – comes across as a bold, striking hue, which it is. However, the beauty of the colour also lies in its adaptability; it can be both the hero of a look and a sophisticated background colour. Our guest stylist Keshav Murugesh explains, “In this look, in spite of the blue being so bold, your eye goes directly to the artwork first. Even though your initial thought is that the colour will overwhelm the look, it actually works as a great canvas for whatever you want to put in front of it. It just goes to show you shouldn’t worry about using a brilliant colour like Curiosity because it actually helps the rest of your decor to stand out.”

Keshav paired up with Mumbai-based interior and product designer Pooja Bhandary to style this shade in a range of wall treatments. “This look works well for a passage, a corner in the living room, a transitional space or an entrance. The idea behind was to showcase the colour in its entirety; we didn’t want to hide from it, we wanted it to be the focus. We also chose traditional and antique elements to offset the contemporary wall treatment,” says Pooja.

Here are their easy tips to recreate this look:

Keeping in mind the contemporary wall treatment, the stylists chose to decorate the space with vintage elements. This elegant Indian styling adds enough drama to the room while still being fairly simple.

For the wall treatment
For this look, they went with just a few vertical and horizontal stripes of varying widths in a vibrant Roasted Orange that intersect at one point. Says Pooja, “We wanted to showcase the beauty of a solid wall, not distracted by too many other elements. We have added stark lines in a contrasting orange that builds on the blue. The wall in itself is a very styled element of the look.”

For the styling
Keeping in mind the contemporary wall treatment, the duo chose to decorate the space with vintage elements. “We wanted a clean look but catered to the Indian context,” says Keshav. “Usually when you think Indian décor, your mind immediately goes to dramatic, colourful and over the top styling. We’ve tried to keep the look relatively simple. Even though the space is filled with antiques from different areas and eras, the look isn’t over-crowed.” This elegant Indian styling adds enough drama to a room while still being fairly simple.

For the material and colour palette
“Dark colours will stand out here. We added vibrant orange, striking black and pockets of green. We also used textured jute furnishings with sleek wood furniture in black, and metal objects. To offset the solids, we brought in a hint of patterns through the rug and artwork,” says Pooja.  

For the visual balance
Says Keshav, “Symmetry is a key factor of this look. We have placed the bands, furniture and decor in a way that creates a visual balance.” The wall treatment is the dictating factor from which they worked the balance. “Positioning is very important,” adds Pooja, “so, we worked the horizontal stripes at the same level as the bench. On one side we have created bold orange vertical stripes which pull the eye upward. To balance the vignette, we added height to the other side with large Burmese urns placed on tall wrought iron stands.”

For the elements
“We didn’t want to clutter this look with objects and decor items,” Keshav explains. “We’ve used sleek pieces like the black, wooden bench. The custom-designed piece from Souk showcases a combination of Oriental and Western silhouettes and has been dyed using natural pigments.” Pooja adds, “The fabric artwork draws the eye to this space and perfectly complements the patterned rug. On the side tables are beautiful metal Alams and wooden Javanese spinning tops. We placed antique Burmese jars on stands on the other side and draped creepers from Fishtail Palm trees.” A smattering of floor ferns and throw pillows completes the look.

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