The best way to enjoy the festival is to do up your homes. Since the festival is all about new beginnings, doing a home makeover is definitely a great way to celebrate.
First impressions are game changers.Choose a suitable niche somewhere near the entrance and create something eye-catching using a water body or a statue or a painting on the wall as the centre piece and build layers around it using potted flowers and plants. Add candles, preferably the perfumed ones.
Nothing dresses up the house like plants and flowers. If you have balconies give them a multidimensional look by placing plants asymmetrically – at different heights using earthen stands or bases which are reasonably priced and easily available with local potters. Baskets with hanging foliage are winners. Add a statue or two. Light up the balconies with hanging lamps and metal tea light holders which can be dug into the pots.
Food and dining is an integral if not the key part of a celebration. So dress up the dining table. A traditionally embellished runner topped with low stemmed and full floral arrangements, glass tea light holders and coordinated cutlery and crockery will work beautifully. The centre table can have decorative pieces, an interesting coffee table book and beautiful bowls filled with nuts and other small eats to ensure that you do not run to the kitchen every time you receive guests
Do not ignore any part of your house. Dress up the beds with neutral coloured but texturally rich bedspreads and embellish them with attractive cushions. Again work hard to create the layered look with different sized cushions stacked in rows. A runner across the bed and rugs on either side are details worth focusing on.
Diwali is just the time to scratch your head hard and figure out where you had stowed away your precious heirloom pieces. Take out the silver and polish it till you can see your joy reflected in its gleam. Then line the ornate silver tray with kaju katli, badam barfi and sandesh and be ready to soak in the Diwali spirit. Also decorate the three layered cake stand with muffins, doughnuts and éclairs. Tradition and modernity go hand in hand.
Do not ignore the floor. Dress it up with colourful rugs and carpets and add oodles of warmth to the ambience. Neither should you ignore the bathrooms. Placing a little floral arrangement along with some candles on the bathroom counters will add a new design dimension to your beautiful abode.
Nicely rolled up hand towels and coordinated bath linen in solid colours will take your bath décor to a new level.
“You are never fully dressed without perfume.” So use a combination of fresh flowers, perfumed candles and fragrances to create the aroma magic.
A joyous occasion cannot be complete without soft instrumental music wafting through the air, so spend some time in making a suitable play list and believe me it will be worth its while.
And splurge if you must this Diwali, do so on acquiring a little water body that can be suitably placed in the house. Nothing to beat the sound of water flowing through the house!
The author is the design head at Locus Design Arbeit, an architecture and interior design firm