Doing up Homes with Traditional Artefacts

Chettinad chest
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With India’s rich cultural history, there is never a dull moment when it comes to doing up home with traditional architects.

Doing up a home with traditional artefacts has got a fillip with a return of all things vintage. Consequently today there are more options than ever before to add a desi touch to your home.

Tea planters
Tea planters

Décor Talk

Every house has a character of its own and artefacts can bring alive some cherished memories. However, it is crucial to recreate one place at a time, could be as simple as starting from an entrance lobby to a living hall to bedrooms. The addition of traditional artefacts into home décor creates a focal point in a space. These can be inclusions of art pieces, sculptures, ornamentation or traditional building components. “Some artefacts are perennial in nature and therefore fall under the category of must have such as animal figurines, Buddha, Nataraj statue or antique look table clocks and traditional candleholders which can go with all kind of modern interiors giving it a Midas touch,” says Nitin Jain, Managing Director, INV Home.

Goa bed
Goa bed

Do it Right

It is essential to understand the character of a space whilst doing the interior design. Traditional artefacts such as brass lamps, portraits and heavy silks can be used in a space, creating an exotic ambience. “Traditional homes, crafted through local workmanship can be decorated with these artefacts that can elevate the cultural emphasis of the setting they are placed in. Apart from this, inclusion of traditional elements in apartments and residences placed in an urban scenario can uplift the cultural roots of the space,” says Himani Jain, Interior Stylist & Designer & Director – Space Talk Designs. Artefacts can be used in their original form or cleverly adapted to make them functional as well. “India has a treasure of traditional artefacts, which are either in their original form or clever copies. They can be imaginatively adapted to a variety of uses such as furniture, wall decorations, doors and vertical panels, gazebos and lamp bases. The challenge is to know when to stop overdoing it and making the space look like a museum,” says Aahana Miller, ABM Architects, Mumbai.

Oil measure
Oil measure

India Inspired

You can add traditional artifacts to your home is to create collections of one artefact you enjoy collecting. “You could dedicate a corner of your home to them or install a beautifully designed cabinet that can hold the entire collection. Brass and copper artefacts are a good way to bring in ethnic décor touches into a modern home. Brass or copper sculptures, such as Bastar sculptures, can be placed on a shelf or on a table as a showstopper statement piece,” says Bobby Mukherji, Chairman and Founder, Bobby Mukherji and Associates. The key to achieving this look is balance and to think contextually or rather out of context. “Can your traditional temple statues and statuettes be put to more practical use as a bookend? Or an interesting coffee table display along with a hardbound copy of a bestselling graphic novel? Why not? Can an antique deewan that been languishing at home since the late 80’s be given a new life not by just a coat of polish, but chintzy print upholstery,” says Deena Rodrigues, Founder, Chairs & Company.

Upcycled sofa
Upcycled sofa

Design Mantras

While designing and incorporating your personal spaces with antique home décor elements, you must not just keep your décor limited to only using traditional artefacts and figurines. “A good amalgamation of the old along with the new will lend your abodes a contemporary look yet maintaining its antique charm. For example, adding an 18th century old-style floral painting can look absolutely outstanding next to a modern artist’s creation,” says Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes. Traditional artifacts are a perfect way in which one can not only pep up their space but give true character to it as well. “One should never be too impressed or over enamored with things that you might like elsewhere and would like to incorporate in your space, which sometimes makes it lose the character of your space,” concludes Ankur Shingal, Managing Partner, Ansavv Inc.

Chettinad chest
Chettinad chest

Handy Tips

  • If you opt for large paintings or vintage art works, place it strategically over the bed or sofa to make an impact in your entire room.
  • Parakh Jindal, Interior Designer, Ayushi Kanodia Designs says, “do not overpower a certain space with traditional artefacts. Let the space breathe as well. Have traditional artifacts placed when you want to highlight a certain space in your home.”
  • Artist Manisha Gawade says, “maintaining stylistic continuity is important and by mixing too many diverse elements can spoil the strength of a traditional look.”

This story first appeared in Deccan Chronicle, Bengaluru dated 3rd Sep, 2018 here: All pics in this post are courtesy Chairs & Company

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