Festive décor tips from Lakshmi Nagarajan of Dress Your Homes
Festive decorating has been the theme of the month at Décor Chutney. We went through a lot of art, craft, cleaning, painting, and DIYs. A lot of DIYs. Since there’s so much to do and the festivities are approaching in full swing, we got an expert to give you the best of tips.
Lakshmi Nagarajan of Dress Your Home gives her favorite festive décor tips and DIYs to make this Navratri and Diwali a bit more colourful and ravishing. Pick up a pen and notepad and start taking notes as Lakshmi shares her décor wisdom.
What is your favorite part about decorating spaces for festivals?
Indulgence and illumination. Festivals give us an opportunity to let our hair down and indulge ourselves sensually. My favorite part about the festivals is the preparatory bit: how decorating and getting our homes festival ready appeals to all the five senses. The colourful assault from the flowers, the opulence of the silver and brassware, the shimmer from diyas and candles, the heavenly aromas wafting from the kitchen, the fragrance of the potpourri, the sequined cushions, and the gilded vases are all delight to see, feel, and experience.
How are you decorating your home or work space for the upcoming festive season?
M&M: torans made of alternating marigold and mango leaves for the foyer. A group of 3 pillar candles on a bed of apple-cinnamon scented potpourri on a silver tray. Tall brass lamps lining the stairway, and fresh flowers all around the home.
What decor element according to you screams festivals and should be a part of every Indian home this Navratri/Diwali?
Fresh flowers, mango leaves, polished brass and silverware.
Please share one of your favourite festive decor DIY
Check your kitchen shelves. You may find empty pickle and jam glass bottles. Choose similar sized ones. You can upcycle them in a couple of interesting ways:
- Wrap a leaf around them, fill it with water, and float a tea light candle.
- Colour them with glass paint and use it as an outdoor lantern with led tea lights inside them. These will look beautiful in the night and you don’t have to worry even if it rains.
- Wrap half of it with coloured wool, fill it inside with small pebbles and place a diya on top. Will give it a rustic look.
Can you share a few ideas on how one can create eco-friendly diyas, lanterns or candles?
- Use a muffin pan to make tart shells. Instead of the tart dough, use atta dough. Bake at 180 deg F for 30 minutes, or until it is hard. If you don’t have a muffin pan, use a clay diya as a mould to shape the atta dough before baking.
- Make small paper lanterns in different coloured paper and hang them in a line using a string. Or if you have a yard with a tree, you can hang them on the branches.
This is also the time for the pre-Diwali deep cleaning at home. Any last moment quick cleaning hacks for our readers?
Pre-diwali is also the time for spring cleaning for me. But, if one is short on time for cleaning out the closets, then it is best to focus on the surfaces that are visible such as console tables, TV units, dining table, coffee table, side table, sofa, kitchen countertops, fans etc. Keep these surfaces free of clutter, dust and wipe them clean with a cloth. This may seem like a lot but it can be done in a day tackling one room at a time starting with the high traffic zones such as living, dining, powder room and kitchen. Change the cushion covers and hand towels. This will ensure clean spaces ready to receive guests.