Bollywood! The word itself conjures up an ethos of glitz and over-the-top glamour – beautiful people living in lavish homes! Bollywood has always been a huge source of inspiration and aspiration to the rest of us mere mortals! We want to ape our favourite stars in every way we can – the way they look, the latest hairstyle, the fashion, the cars, the parties! It is no surprise then that we are aspiring to live like them too! All of us want that lavish, plush feel of a ‘Bollywood’ home and I’m here to tell you that you can get it without spending Bollywood-style megabucks!
In this day and age of boutiques, customization and online shopping, it is relatively easy to source material for adding a Bollywood touch to your home. Whether you choose a particular ‘theme’ based on your favourite movie or star and assign a dedicated space to your display/collection; or choose to go with a more general style throughout your home, is purely a matter of personal taste.
Practical Style Tips
First Time Decorators!!!
If you’re venturing into the Bollywood style of décor for the first time, you may want to take small steps to ascertain whether this is the style for you. Keep it simple and give yourself a trial period before you go all out! A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is – bright colours, mirrors, a lot of plush fabrics, and brass and marble accessories woven into an ethnic theme make for a good beginning!
- Decide if you want to do up your entire home or a specific area. It might be better to start small and live with the design for a while before going all out!
- Do discuss with family members! Bollywood isn’t for everyone and it would be better to get inputs from your spouse and kids before you make major changes.
- Start small – use cushions, coasters, and posters placed in your space to get the flavour of the Bollywood style. These are relatively inexpensive, customisable and replaceable items that are easily available online. Digital cushions of your favourite stars, coasters with your favourite dialogues, posters of your favourite stars can all be used to decorate your space at a cheaper price than investing in a grandiose piece of furniture or chandelier a.k.a Sanjay Leela Bhansali!
- Another fun way to add the ‘filmy’ touch is through crockery. Get a quirky set of coffee mugs or plates that are printed with dialogue from your favourite movies and/or pictures of your favourite stars.
If you’re a die-hard Bollywood fan and are certain you won’t be bored of the style in a few months, you may want to consider bigger changes.
- Every movie has its own style and aesthetic sensibilities – from the grand opulence of Karan Johar films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham to the more quirkily appealing middle-class sensibilities in Wake Up Sid, PK, 2 States and several others. Choose what you feel will work best for your family.
- Re-watch your favourite movies from a design point of view and find things to incorporate into your home, being mindful that they should fit in with your lifestyle and daily routine. For example, although whites and pastels may work in a bachelor pad, they may not be very practical in a busy household with toddlers and/or pets.
- Always keep in mind the scale of your home when buying large pieces of furniture and light fixtures. Remember that what looks grand and stunning on a large Bollywood set can easily overwhelm and drown your smaller space. Be sensible & practical when making major decisions.
- If you are a collector of Bollywood memorabilia – you can customise a nook in your home to display your collection effectively.
- Wallpaper one wall with a full-blow picture of your favourite star or you can make a collage of your favourite movie posters. Digital prints can be customised to whatever size you need on a variety of materials like canvas, vinyl etc.
- Invest in one show-stopping piece of furniture – a four-poster bed perhaps, an ornate coffee table, an ethnic trunk – something that will serve as a centrepiece that you can accessorise in whatever style catches your fancy.
- Plush fabric is a hallmark of many lavish Bollywood mansions – velvet, brocade and other textured fabrics are commonly used as drapes, bed linen and upholstery. They look grand, but keep in mind that they require extra care and regular maintenance.
- If you live in a high-ceilinged home, a chandelier will add that touch of grandeur! Alternatively, a cluster of ethnic style hanging lamps can also have a pleasing effect.
- Marble and mirrors are also used liberally in Bollywood movies along with carved wood pieces and bronze, silver and gold accessories like photo frames and lamps. These materials add a luxurious feeling to any home.
- For those lucky enough to have gardens – landscaping and exotic plants like orchids add that glamorous look. All-weather patio furniture makes it easy to entertain and relax outdoors.
The possibilities are endless – the only limits being your imagination and your budget! Bollywood remains an evergreen source of inspiration in fashion and interior décor and it is up to us consumers to pick and choose the style elements that we like best, that can jazz up our homes, add that touch of Bollywood pizzazz and still keep our spaces cosy and comfortable.