I have some faults (surprise!), one of which is my weakness for interior design magazines. Being a stay at home mom with no incoming income to speak of, I feel the need to justify this expenditure to the good man who brings home the paycheck each week.
1. They’re like textbooks. The more I study, the better I’ll do in my courses, right?
2. Momma deserves a relaxing read in a bubble bath at the end of the day.
3. My daughter likes to “read” them too, it’s good educational material. Some parents want their kids to grow up to be doctors…me…well you can guess.
4. The advertisements are geared towards housewives so there are lots of animals and SUVs to cut out and glue during craft time. Not to mention all the flowers in Spring and Summer issues.
5. By spending money on magazines I’m saving money on decor purchases. Those high-low pages are useful you know!
6. They’re like self-help books. I read them and my worries fade to be replaced by beautiful ideas.
7. It’s a bonding activity. My husband likes to guess the high-low rooms in the Style at Home magazine too.
Ten sound reasons I say. My favorite guilty pleasures: Style at Home, House Beautiful, and HGTV magazine.
When we first started talking about moving to Queensborough we had mixed reviews from our family. Our parents’ generation have a saying that the Queensborough bridge is the longest bridge in the world because it goes all the way to India. Yes, kinda racist. But like most stereotypes, there is some truth in this one. Queenborough has a large Indian population and this is one of the things I love about it. I have always been fascinated by Indian culture. I love the food, the music, the dance and the clothes. I love smelling the scent of Indian food wafting from houses, admiring beautiful women dressed in their saris, and being invited to partake in local festivities celebrating Sikh holidays at the park.
All this led me to ponder what the interior design world might be like in India. Does the liveliness, the colour, the general extreme beauty of the culture translate to uniquely Indian interior design or is it just the same as what we see on HGTV at home? I decided to investigate. My investigation started with pictures of Bollywood dancing through my mind, and my expectations were aligned with this colourful, gaudy, fantastically beautiful image:
Bollywood at its best
I was sadly disappointed. Not by the quality, the decor is beautiful and the architecture stunning, but by the western-ness of it. It wasn’t the bright colours, silken fabric, and sequins that I was hoping to find. I was expecting more of this:
Bright bollywood style Indian design.
What I found, however different from expectations, is well worth sharing. Here are some pictures of rooms decorated by two design groups in India who I have narrowed down as my favourites.
Design by Sunita Kohli
Design by Aamir and Hameeda
Taking a second look at these pictures, a day after having first found them, I see that there are certain elements of the design which were likely, at some point, uniquely Indian. They did not originally seem unique to me because I have seen similar things in western design magazines. This made me realize that it is not so much that the design in India is westernized, but that in North America we have adopted a global approach to design which includes elements from around the world.