I’ve noticed a particular decor style that’s popular in many Indian homes – I like to call it the ‘modern-traditional’. This is a style that stems from the homeowners’ love for their roots, mixed with their aspirations to live in chic contemporary spaces. That’s why many Indian homes with a modern layout can be seen dotted with ethnic finds, furniture or prints – a perfect blend of the old and the new, traditional and modern styles. Fascinating as it is, I decided to compile a list of homes that display this design style well. You could borrow an idea or two, or simply spend a coffee break marvelling at these wonderful spaces.
Inside this woody bedroom by Culturals Interior Designers, a marriage of the modern and the traditional is clearly visible. While the low bed, chairs, wooden flooring and layout speak volumes about contemporary design, the panel running from behind the bed and along the ceiling overhead to the front wall, accentuated with ethnic motifs, points to a traditional look. A perfect marriage? I think so.
Knock, knock, who’s there? A lovely melange of styles. A modern sofa and chandelier are complemented by a haveli-style door and earthen pot filled with water and flowers (usually a staple in old homes). The textural yellow paint adds another layer of interest in this home by Richa Bahl.
Mathew & Ghosh Architects show how a single contrasting element can change the look and feel of a room. The bright red paint on the double-height wall creates a stark effect, and the dark flooring and the sculptures imbue the space with a modern, quirky vibe. Bringing a slice of the traditional, however, is the vintage mirrored window frame in distressed green. A nice transitional style, this.
This living room with a jhoola inside takes me back to my grandparents’ home in the hills. Studio Lagom adds a bit of throwback character to the room with the modern sofas and table, dark flooring and geometric patterned rug all on one side, and a swing added as extra seating and a traditional element, on the other side. The two contrasting styles balance and harmonise.
A little bit of modern and plenty of traditional … this brick home by Gaurav Roy Choudhury Architects mixes two styles seamlessly. The smart, sleek staircase points to a more modern approach in design while the exposed cement ceiling gives the home an earthy appeal. Finally, who can ignore the lovely Indian classical music instrument, the sitar, in the foreground that seals tradition inside the fusion interior.
In this home by Yellow Door Architects, just four elements are able to create a charming, subtle mixed scheme. The smart yellow sofa and the modish teal lamp are set against a smart grey wall. To inject just a hint of the Indian traditional is the painting behind, of a village woman fetching water from a baoli (step well).
An unusual union – this living room by Artisan shows two diversely different styles brought together with the use of bold colours. Take the seating and the flooring, for instance: dark wood dominates the floor and the modern sectional of brightly coloured seats takes up major space. Behind the sofa are wall hangings that imitate the jharokha (traditional window), draped with curtains hung canopy-style.
This Shantanu Garg Design bedroom is teaming with several dominating and a few subtle details, all of which combine to create a modern yet traditional scape. Notice the bed, the table in front and the headboard, all examples of a fairly contemporary look. The decorative arch behind the bed, the vintage chandelier, the lamps next to the bed and the ethnic printed pouffe lend an old, historical fort-like feel to the room.
A coral pink wall brightens up this interior furnished by The Raj Company. The modern wooden cabinet and clean-lined glass shelves are both contrasted by the columns on either side, reminiscent of palace-style architecture.
Set against a modern staircase design is a space that sings of Indian traditions … who wouldn’t be at home here? Studio Lagom have created a courtyard-inspired area accentuated with a tree – pointing to the age-old practice of Indian homes sporting an inner atrium with a tree for worship. Right next to it is a wooden column of the sort usually seen in old mansions or palaces. The wall along the very contemporary stairs displays intricate traditional drawings of elephants and trees.
All things are bright and beautiful inside this dining room by The Orange Lane. The space’s design merges clean straight lines, deep colours and traditional motifs. The smart modern dining table and chairs stand out on an earthy yellow flooring accentuated with delicate motifs. Also, an ethnic painting takes over the wall behind the dining table