Monsoon Designs

Still thinking of pepping the decor of your homes to suit the moods of the rain gods? The design, decor and some maintenance tips from the brands Baaya Design, Atisuto and Kanchi by Shobhna and Kunal Mehta will definitely come handy. Read on...

duo pic
Shobhna and Kunal Mehta

Kanchi By Shobhna and Kunal Mehta

Fabric selection and care
The rain gods have been showing up, without much notice. Hence, to keep your home looking pretty select fabrics that are lightweight. This will help the fabric dry faster if at all it gets wet. Fabrics like pure cotton, mulmul and lightweight silk are best preferred. You could also opt for fabrics like polyester cotton, and a few other silicone-washed fabrics, as they tend to be stain-proof to quite an extent.  Delicate fabrics can be sprayed with an anti-stain or water-repellent spray that also increases the durability of the surface textures. 3M Scotchlite Reflective is a brilliant product that can be used by anyone at home. No need for professionals.

MANDAPClouds coupled with continuous rain tend to dampen the spirits. Hence, let your colours be bright and lively to lift the spirits on a gloomy rainy-day. Let your curtains, cushions, throws and rugs bring a splash of colours to your home decor as well as your life. Go for leaf green, aqua, turquoise, scarlet and corn yellow to brighten up your drowsy mood. Thin cotton curtains are great home decorating ideas for this season as they dry quickly and are easy to wash. Natural fibers especially silks must be purchased with caution during Monsoon. One needs to know exactly, how to handle these fabrics to preserve their elegance for long. Avoid linen as it tends to get wet and crushed easily. Strictly avoid fabrics which absorb water as they will tend to get wet easily and take longer to dry.

Among curtains, the silk ones are, no doubt, the most gorgeous. But, these beauties have to be maintained to stay that way. Silk curtains are very delicate and needs to be handled carefully. Where most of the silk can be hand-washed without the fear of shrinkage, some silk curtain that aren’t pre-washed before garment construction and have chances of shrinkage. This season, however, it’s best to put away silk curtains. Silk attracts moth and mildew growth normally and the chances of mildew and mold growth soar in monsoon. Velvets are also avoidable in this climate as drapes have to be dry-cleaned only!

IMG_0019Say bye to rugs
Rugs are first thing in the house to get dirty during this season. As they are always thicker, they get humid. It can cause bad smell in the house. Also it can be a good platform for germ manifestation. So pack your rugs in air tight bags and keep them in some dry place till the next season. If you do not like the feel of hard floors then you can replace your rugs with thinner carpets which are easy to wipe and clean.

Elegant changes
Move your wooden furniture away from doors and windows where it can’t come in contact with raindrops or leakages. Garden chairs that are nylon webbed or painted metal should be kept indoors during the monsoons to prevent them from cracking or from chipping off paint.

Keeping the house clean will help ensure that you have the right moisture level that’s conducive to the wooden furniture in your house. Also, air conditioners can be of great help here since they can prevent rise of humidity levels by keeping the air in your home fresh and cool.

Kanchi - April3C7A6220Don’t initiate any renovation or beautification work during the monsoon because activities like painting and polishing might not give the best output when done in an environment with high moisture levels and may even spoil your wooden furniture. Instead, just stick to maintenance and cleaning.

Camphor or naphthalene balls are great moisture absorbers. They’ll also help protect the clothes as well as the wardrobes from termites and other pests. In case you want to go for something more natural, neem leaves or cloves will serve the same purpose.

(Kanchi By Shobhna and Kunal Mehta was established in 1999, as part of a larger manufacturing base.  Kanchi was founded by the mother and son duo, Shobhna and Kunal Mehta, as an experiment to create a destination for extreme design. Today the company has garnered repute and experience in the textile, furnishings and furniture industry. Having marked its presence across global stores in select cities from India, Europe, USA, and the Middle East, Kanchi recently launched their flagship store at Mahalaxmi in Mumbai.)

Sabah Sheikh (2)
Sabah Sheikh


Dump the drapes
Although heavy drapes would look perfect on a hot, sunny day, they would make your home appear darker during the monsoon. So replace them with curtains made of light fabrics like cotton. Colours like aqua, scarlet, leaf green, corn yellow and turquoise would look great on the windows and brighten up the space immediately. Opt for sheer or lace curtains that would let as much light into the rooms as possible in addition to letting in some much needed breeze as well. Another highlight of opting for light fabric curtains during the monsoon season is that they dry pretty quickly.

Siporex Planter (L, M, S)Bring your greens indoors
Your plants would be overwhelmed with all the water that falls on them during the rainy season. So bring them inside for a change. You will be amazed at how these plants would brighten up a space instantly. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of getting the plants indoors and then keeping them insect free, choose artificial plants with bright colored foliage that would provide the same effect  as natural plants in making the indoor space look warm and inviting on a really gloomy day.

Quick fixes
The monsoon season is when you need to bring out all those water absorbent mats and place them at strategic places to prevent water from entering your home. Go for neutral-hued door mats which would effectively camouflage the rain sludge and mud that falls on them. You can also opt for natural alternatives like jute and bamboo carpets that are also water-resistant and durable enough to sustain the wet, monsoon weather.

Wet umbrellas are essentially left outdoors, or place a tall basket near the front door where your guests can keep their umbrellas in when visiting you. You can also place a coat hanger near the front entrance for your guests to hang their raincoats on when entering your home. This would offer a fail proof way to keep your house water free and your guest’s belongings safe during the monsoon season.

ELVY  (5)Aroma therapy
The damp weather can create a musty smell inside the home. You can curb this by simply placing some scented, essential oil lamps indoors. You can choose a specific fragrance and place these lamps in all the rooms of your home to avoid that damp, musty smell. The monsoons bring with it both the cheerful aroma of wet mud and the depressing smell of moisture and closed rooms. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to experiment with scented candles and oils, use this season as your reason. Make sure you place some scented candles and mild fragrances to evade the moist smell away from your home, and to keep your home fragrant and fresh.

(Sabah Sheikh is the founder of Ātisuto. The company specializes in styling weddings, home and interiors particularly; as also brand collaborations, product styling, visual merchandising, commercial styling and more.)

Shibani Jain

Baaya Design

We spend much of our time indoors, during the monsoon season. And the humidity can really creep up on us. So we have to make sure that our home is cheerful, dry and warm. Some necessary changes can be made to welcome the monsoon and keep our interiors in step with the season. It would be a good idea to change the colour of your home and add some warmth and brightness as monsoon is considered to be a season when you can play with colours to liven up your mood at home. Or perhaps, you can colour up just one wall in each room with a bright, warm shade. If painting is not an option, then invest in some colourful cushion covers and bed spreads that bring cheer.

DSC_1621 aaaaGet some good doormats to keep yourself dry every time you walk in from outside. Ensure you have enough to change and rotate across the monsoon period. Chindi mats made with recycled fabric are inexpensive and aesthetic options. Since it gets gloomy outside, whatever light comes in should be maximized. Use sheer curtains — they keep the light coming in and you can also enjoy the drizzling rain. Use some nice decorative lamps instead of flat LEDs to add character in dark corners.

Acceliya Kale IT 1Furniture needs special care during the monsoon as it can be affected by moisture and fungus. Use of leather protectors which are easily available in the market is an ideal option, also by cleaning your furniture with a dry and soft cloth and avoid placing damp clothes or towels on the furniture. Furniture should be kept away from windows, balcony doors and other damp places as it could cause wood expansion during monsoon. You can run your AC in a dehumidifier mode everyday for about one hour to keep your paintings, baskets and other natural fiber products from catching fungus.

final gond nesting tableeeThe monsoon brings with the fresh aroma of wet mud and also the depressing smell of moisture and closed rooms. Use of aroma oil burners with fragrances like citrus, lemongrass and forest dew will keep your home smelling good and refreshing. Use wind chimes to bring in a tinkling soud as it captures the sweet mosnon breeze. You may want to invest in a beautiful umbrella hanger in your lobby to add a touch of quaint charm.

(Shibani Jain is the CEO of Mumbai-based Baaya Designs. The store brings you the best in Indian Tribal art and craft which combines paintings with textiles and other craft forms to make each piece unique. Baaya Design aims to showcase the natural beauty and workmanship in tribal art by presenting them in contemporary colors, style and form.)