You personal decor trait

1:29 PM

Those following me on Facebook know it already. I have been sick last week and that kept me away from the blogosphere…among other things.
I had plans to blog about a specific topic after someone in one of the online communities I belong to asked the rather cliché question : “Do you have an Indian Theme going in your home decor?”

A lot of the women in the “ gori community” are married to Indian but live outside India. So, the question comes up regularly. Most say that if it were up to their husbands there would be no desi touch in their home and that they are the one introducing it themselves. That part usually makes me smile because having worked in a Interior decorator’s workshop, about 99% of our clients were women, and the few men that came to us usually came with their wife. Men do not really care about the pattern on the curtains and the “theme” of a decor or whether they need to have desi accents in their American home because of their origins. There are men who care about the decor, they are usually artists, or love art too, but the average man is happy as long as their basics are covered, it it looks pretty on top of being practical and functional it’s a bonus.
But I am getting away from the topic at hand here, sorry. The truth is each time that particular question about the “Desi factor” pops in one of the group I belong to, I find myself thinking where I stand there. Most ladies will tell about the Saree they converted into curtains, the wood carvings they picked from their last trip to India, putting Hindi alphabet in their baby’s nursery room, arranging peacock feathers in a vase. I would probably do things that way too outside India, but then not even sure. But I am in the reverse situation, I am the Swiss living outside her native culture in India, so it would only be logical that my decor would have Swiss touches in a predominantly Indian decor. Except that I looked all around my place and don’t see that either. There is a undeniable European touch to how I furnished the place, with basic line furniture and that hint of practical design made popular by a certain Swedish Home solution mega store (despite not owning a single thing from them at the moment), but the defining factor in my home is colour and art.
I think we all have a personal style, a thing the define us, a comfort zone when it comes to interior decor, and for as long as I can remember mine has always been about home made decor and bright splashes of colour. Furniture have always been basic in my life. They need to be functional, practical, and movable from one room to another should our living arrangement change (and we can all agree it did change a lot in the past few years).
I’m not Indian, I’m Swiss but don’t let it define me to the point of going Alpine Ethnic, but I know a home without quirky, colourful or even kitchy accents is not going to happen so things that define my style would be like that:

colorful decor
It’s cheerful, it’s me deciding to pain boring planters in bright hues, take pebbles from the sea front and paint them in quirky designs…just because it’s fun and then leave them around the house, it’s having funky clock in my kitchen (Indian theme…see yes a store bought Indian accent…not the traditional thing though), or my deciding to paint a groovy fairly Indian design inspired strip on my balcony.
Because yes, another thing that truly define my personal decor style is that I paint and craft and like having a lot of unique accent in my surrounding things that I know will be really made just to my taste, my personal work is all over the place.

Most of the paintings on the walls in my flat are painted by me, but when it comes to something like drinking glasses, i could have bought ones already decorated from a lifestyle store…sure, and then curse myself each time one broke because of the money spent on them. Instead it’s more fun buying Nutella in the small “drinking glass jars” paint the glass in a pattern I fancy and enjoy them while they last knowing that by the time I get bored of their design half of them would have broken due to clumsiness, but making place for more Nutella glasses painted in other colours. Then there is the fact I could have of course bought a poster with the days of the week for Ishita to learn them, but making a tool for her to learn it myself was far more fun and would ensure I would get exactly what I envisioned in my head instead of settling for a store bought second best that would match my creative idea. And beside as you noticed, that door is full of craft projects, what you can’t see is that it’s my kitchen door and brighten the space a lot (Since I am stuck with dull grey as the predominant colour in that room).

crafty home decor
As this collage just above prove even further, I do a lot of craft project, now with a craft supply store in the neighbourhood, and a kid I have even more of an excuse to do it, I use things that are around me, make paper projects, stick project, and even turn old rickety, half broken cheap laminate cabinets into something more pleasant to the eye…I could have trashed that thing 3 moves ago, because one glass door broke, the other one is barely standing, the plastic laminate is bubbling and the packers of movers in one of the move used their harsh tape on it living a lot of tape glue mark that aren’t really fading. But then that would mean making a harsh decision to find a replacement for that cabinet that as old and ugly it is is still practical enough…a little 3D pain, patience to doodle and its presence in my living room is far more bearable (if you want to learn about that cabinet’s history in our homes…head to my FB page and check the picture section).

light and candles
I always liked candles and small light fixtures…I bought that big white lantern which has an Indian feel. But I made tea light holders out of coconuts, and turned a jam jar into a “Moroccan” lantern flowing a pinterest pin using glass paint and a gold 3D liner, and when our old bedside table lamps looked really too old and didn’t fit right on our new bedside tables, I couldn’t throw them, I painted one for Ishita’s room instead and use the second one in the living room.
I still have quite a few projects in the pipeline, but they all go along these line, these pictures define my personal touch to my decor. It’s not chosen of created to make a point about my or DH’s heritage. You could say there is an Indian influence to it, India is all around me, so it’s not like it would not influence some, but it’s definitely not the most prevalent thing about the decor. The Nutella glasses are a remake of the wine glasses I had in Switzerland and were IKEA and painted in a similar pattern by me using one different colour per glass. I always had candles around, had gold coconuts in Geneva too, as well as many assorted holders, made at home or bought in local markets across Europe.
The kitchen clock (which was actually a desk clock I modified for it to be wall mounted) is in our home not because it is Indian, but because we thought it was cute, and we wanted a splash of colours in the kitchen.
I think the only thing we bought with the conscience that we were buying something with an “ethnic feel” is this one :

om carving
And the reason we actually bought it was because we were playing the typical tourist on Elephanta Island where the stairs that lead all the way to the caves entrance  are lined with trinket stalls of all kind and that one really caught both my and DH’s eye with it’s bright colour and it would look great in our place.

In the end we all have a very very personal thing with our own decor, when you plan to renovate your home, or hire professional to help you with the decor, you will need to know what it is and what your deal breakers are. For me a monochromatic interior is a big fat no no, I can’t imagine living in one.

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  1. I love the lanterns. I think it's wonderful how you combine the cultures and don't disregard your own.


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