Diwali Drama

Everyone who has walked through the bright blue door of the Hyderabad-based lifestyle store Room Therapy would agree that the space and its carefully curated line-up of furniture, accessories and furnishings leave a lasting impression. So, we invited the brain behind the store, interior designer Sona Reddy, to share her unique decor and styling ideas for the festival of lights. Here, she creates five settings for the more public areas of the house — the entryway, lobby and living room — each with a strong personality, and most definitely visually impressive.


Sona 13 copySetting the scene
In keeping with a growing trend that Sona absolutely feel in sync with — introducing Indian elements into a modern decor would be the perfect choice for this Diwali. The palette used for the entryway is a combination of blue, green and grey with lots of gold. The flower-shaped ornaments on the wall and blue and white pottery brighten up the space and make for a lively yet simple setting for the daytime. Come evening, the entryway can be further decorated with well-placed festive accessories such as lanterns, diyas, t-lights and candle stands, which are both functional and pretty even when not lit.

The antique wooden seating completes the entryway and would make a fabulous space for some family photo-ops. The designer has complemented this with a few garden stools that can be used as additional seating or storage space. As always, cushions add character and colour to any setting, and Sona suggests adding a rug as well. While fewer accessories can be incorporated during the day, once the area needs to be party-ready, flowers can be used to adorn the life-size birdcage and partitions behind.

The main thing about outdoor decor is to have weather safe products that can be cleaned easily. The idea is to enhance the space keeping in mind that the surrounding greenery is going to be the primary element — anything added will be a bonus and has to be in a complementary colour.

A warm welcome
The designer has used two design styles to decorate the lobby or foyer — one is contemporary and modern, while the other leans towards the traditional.  The image seen on the left is a modern, rustic look best described as shabby-chic. Accessories include a mirrored clock with a transitional console table enhanced with crystal candle stands and lidded jars that bring in colour. This setting puts a great twist on modern design and is a grand way to welcome guests — it screams festive cheer! Flowers can always be added if the need be. The idea here was to have elements that are festive but which could also be used all year long.

In the second setting (image seen above), Sona has provided for both seating and storage. The design concept extends to the choice of furniture and upholstery. The main feature in this setting is a traditional bone inlay chest of drawers with a royal blue pigment and Indian motifs, while the two-seater is antique Victorian with ikat fabric. The designer further enhanced the space with rugs that have been layered on top of each other and lanterns in varying designs. These can be used in one specific area or can be spread out. The predominant colours used here are pinks, blues
and purple.

It is important to keep in mind that foyers should not be too cluttered, regardless of their size. Keep it clean and simple by judiciously adding few key pieces, and of course, make it look welcoming.

Centre of attention
Earthy tones and natural elements have always been Sona’s favourites to work with. Here, the mirror on the wall and the lamp add touches of drama. They are complemented with the Victorian couch and a shabby chic bone inlay centre table — a good example of how to marry traditional Indian elements with contemporary decor. While the upholstery of the couch is monochromatic, the designer has placed cushions that add plenty of character to the setting. Further, Sona dressed the table with a gold runner to add to the vibrant mood. The accessories are also Diwali-inspired, with t-lights, lanterns and candle stands, with flowers that would elevate the mood and add fragrance to the room.

The living room is one of the easiest spaces to decorate. Unlike a bedroom or dining room, it is a versatile space whose function is fluid — it can be a conversation space, a place to serve food or a space to just feel good and relax. If a large number of guests are expected, it may be a better option to swap the couch for chairs, which will enable you to comfortably accommodate more people.