Tips for Designing an Indian-Inspired Home / by Margaret Chambers

Recently we published a blog about Chinese and Japanese influence on interior design. This follow-up blog covers the unique ways Indian design has also inspired Dallas interior designers. If you've ever wanted to incorporate the beauty of Indian patterns and furnishings into your home, here are a few suggestions.

When you think of India, certain colors probably come to mind. India has culturally embraced an abundance of colors, including both jewel and burnt tones. Burnt oranges, terracotta reds, and ochres can all be main colors. If you prefer something more understated, warm neutrals like taupe and sand will work too. Pure white is a color associated with mourning in India, so you will not see cool whites in traditional Indian homes; however, westernized homes will often incorporate warm and creamy whites. 

As for jewel colors like turquoise, green, purple, and magenta, these colors are usually reserved for accents. Common Indian accessories include statues of Buddha or Hindu gods, mirrors with carved or forged frames, and ornaments covered with small pieces of mirror or tile. Don't forget to fill your sofas and beds with lots of colorful embroidered pillows. For a truly traditional Indian look, you should use lamps, sconces, and lanterns for lighting rather than chandeliers.

An Indian room isn't complete without furniture made of exotic woods such as ebony, rosewood, and teak. Antique pieces will feature beautifully intricate carvings, but Indian furniture is not dainty-- these are sturdy pieces meant to last a long time. Seating tends to be low, and a sitting area will often feature an ottoman or pouf. That said, you don't need to buy a whole new set of furniture to get an Indian look.

You can also layer Indian throws, rugs, and textiles over what you already have. Consider using silks or even a sari as a sofa throw. Tablecloths patterned with woodblock prints and bedspreads with beading or metallic thread will immediately bring India to mind. Common Indian patterns for wallpaper and textiles include paisley, floral, swirls, birds, and elephants. As seen in the picture below, even a simple bedspread with Indian-styled fabric can make an impact in a classic room.