It starts with “Where do I begin?” and ends with “I’ll think about it tomorrow”, until tomorrow becomes the day when India celebrates the festival of lights and the home you need to be bright and sparkling is still its ordinary self.
Diwali – that time of year when you know your home should be clean and all decked up – is only a weekend away. And whether you do it for religious reasons (the Gods will only bless a clean and well-kept house), because you’re expecting company or only because everyone else does – if you really want to do it, you’ve got to do it now.
1 The Mop is Your Magic Wand
If time is still a challenge – because, you know, work, meetings, family, shopping, travelling, and the maids need too much supervision – try a professional cleaning service. In the NCR, Broomberg promises to get your house ‘deep’ cleaned, all within six to eight hours, for a few thousand bucks.
If, however, you want to do it all by yourself, Samrat Goyal, CEO of Broomberg, has a few suggestions. "Always start cleaning from top to bottom and use a multi-purpose cleaner to wipe down each surface," he says.
"Clean out your cabinets and dispose of all the junk that you tend to accumulate. Also, vacuum your upholstery, wash the curtains, and put your mattresses out in the sun and get them sanitised by professionals. These tend to gather maximum dust and deserve a thorough cleaning at least once a year."
2Fix Them Little Things
Throw out or repair everything that’s broken, advises socialite Tanisha Mohan, as damaged stuff at home is considered inauspicious. "Sort out all your crockery, cutlery and glassware, throw out the pieces that are broken or cracked, and clean the rest," she says.
"Get all your bulbs and lights checked by an electrician so you don’t have dark corners in the house on Diwali. Do all this at least a week before Diwali, so you don’t have any last-minute worries."
3 It’s All In the Theme
Now that your house is fresh and sparkling, let’s beautify it a bit for the festivities. Interior designer Rubina Chadha suggests that you settle on a theme first.
"It could be anything from a flower theme to a colour or a nature theme," she says. "I am doing up my house in white and gold this Diwali and will have a lot of tissue fabrics as tablecloths and napkins, and spirals in gold hanging from the windows instead of curtains."
Also read:The great Diwali shopping
Other ideas for such a theme could be glass vases filled with water and white roses and floating candles placed on the surface. “I have also replaced the glass on my tables with mirrors. I’ll place the vases on them, put some more flowers around and place tea lights amongst them, so that the entire decoration is reflected in the glass,” she says.
4 Enter Here
When you’re welcoming gods and guests, remember: the entrance is the most important part of your house. That’s where they get the first impression of your home.
"You can have earthen urlis at the entrance, fill them with water and aromatic oils, and place some floating candles and flowers, for a simple understated festive look," says interior designer Charu Gupta. "Hang torans at the door and kandils along the hallway, if you have one, from the entrance to the main room. A birdcage wrapped with decorative lights is also a nice prop as Diwali décor for the entrance."
Your main room is the control area where you can place idols of Ganesh or Laxmi or even the Buddha. "Place flowers around the idols and scatter little mirrors, which are easily available in the market in all shapes and sizes, amongst the flowers," she says. For a more chic look, hang or drape chiffon dupattas in two contrasting colours around the idol.
5 Bold and Beautiful
Let’s enter your living spaces now – the drawing room and yes, even the bedrooms that are seldom given the privilege of a makeover. This festive season, interior design trends are about taking risks with colours and going bold.
"In terms of fabrics and textiles for upholstery, leave behind blends and embrace luxurious silks, embellished velvets and textured cottons," says Sharika Bhan, business head of lifestyle at FabIndia. "These fabrics are stylish yet natural and can hold up the deeper colour schemes trending this Diwali, like burgundy and aubergine."
"In India, most people do not really pay much attention to the bedrooms," says Nikita Desai, head of business excellence, D’Décor. "But the largest canvas in a room is your bed. So just by changing the way you dress your bed – say a nice little rug below or a lush bedcover on it – can actually change the way your room looks."
She also suggests that you experiment with in-trend colours like lime green or coral, and use them as accents. "Put them on cushions. If you have four curtains on your windows, arrange two of them in accent colours and two in a classic, neutral colour." It will give a contemporary touch to your house.
6. Quick Updates
If you don’t want to go for a complete festive makeover, one of the easiest ways to update your rooms is through the use of cushions.
Beenu Bawa, director of Good Earth, says, “Just by changing your cushions or adding a few more, you can immediately give a very fresh look to your room and in a way that’s very easy to incorporate.” Other little things that you can invest in for this Diwali are décor items like candle holders and lanterns, which are a quick way to give your home a festive feel.
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From HT Brunch, October 12
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