Designs from India Into Your Decor

I have never been to India, but I have always been drawn to Indian design. I adore the textiles — everything from brilliant saris to dull block prints — and the colours. I love the classical architecture, the garish billboards, the woodwork and the religious iconography.

Because India has been crisscrossed by so many people across the years, Indian design has components from the Middle East, China and Europe. It is a rich tapestry that has taken thousands of years to grow.

However, as with almost any modern design based in a place or a culture, you need to proceed with care, using the components of Indian design as inspiration or as a launch pad. To acquire an Indian appearance that is not overly “India World USA! ,” go less literal, more suggestive. Kind of like flirting.

All these 14 rooms are extremely different from one another, but all of them use India as their starting point. Some are diverse modern, while some are more overtly cultural motivated. All of these are beautiful.

Marie Burgos Design

Ornate Carvings

The ornately carved classic doors include thickness and a tiny grandeur to this plain space.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

The carved doors leading to this breezeway are in abundant contrast with the modern building. To me they feel like a hot invitation to enter.

Horchow

Indian Antique Damachiya – $1,095

If you can’t swing a large, classic architectural element, furniture can add the same richness and texture. A bit such as this could be the inspiration for an entire room.

Burnham Design

Cosmetic Furniture

This amazing inlaid dresser is at home in this modern eclectic room. The space is not obviously Indian, but this piece adds a little hint of spice.

Elte

Bone Inlay Chest

An ornate piece such as this could live comfortably into a white, modern room in addition to in a richly coloured, layered room filled with texture.

Chakki Dark Walnut – $450

This ottoman is a beautiful mixture of subtle, modern fabric and traditional Indian design. It may work almost everywhere.

Mac Free

Arches and Architecture

The corbel arch is one of the very telltale Indian architectural components. This chamber uses that shape, in addition to screened panels, intricate textiles and traditional furnishings to bring India to mind in a modern, Western room.

Louie Leu Architect, Inc..

White corbel arches and filigreed panels. It’s almost like the Taj Majal.

Textiles

India is renowned for its textiles. Many modern designers (Madeline Weinrib, John Robshaw) and even firms like Herm├Ęs have turned to Indian textiles, in all their patterned, sequined, metallic-trimmed glory, for inspiration.

Horchow

Blue Sari Tapestry – $860

A tapestry created from bits of vintage saris. Drool.

Etsy

Indian Cotton Pillow Cover by ChezVies – $15

A block print in indigo. Simple, modern, Indian.

One Kings Lane

Kantha Handstitched Pouf, Patriot

A pouf created from bits of Indian madras and hand-stitched kantha cloth.

Calypso St. Barth

Elephant Tablecloth – $165

Metallics, either printed or woven, are common in India textiles, as are block prints of iconic Indian pictures, such as these elephant riders.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

Color

Just look at this blue. And ceiling! Swoon. So much of India is all about color — bold, vivid, mixed up-color. Oh, and a bit of bling too.

The Loaded Trunk

Indian Gujarati Bolster Pillows – $80

If you are not ready to go for full-on painted ceilings with glowing blue walls, then you can at least add a little shade with some throw pillows, right? India “lite.”

Trinetra Candleholder – $99.95

Elegant bling — it’s every woman’s dream.

TILTON FENWICK

Pattern

Not all Indian textiles are glowing or blingy. This chamber is lively, airy, modern and definitely motivated by India. That is what judicious but still exuberant use of pattern can perform. I love this room.

Hand-Blocked Leaf Quilt + Shams, West Elm

A simple block-print bed set can add texture and pattern without adding more color than you’re comfortable with.

West Elm

Hand-Blocked Diamond Pillow Cover – $39

Modern, geometric pillows with block prints from India. They’ve an cultural vibe, but they’re still quite laid back.

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