It's kitsch time, big time

It's kitsch time, big time

It's kitsch time, big time

Take the kitschy road and decorate your homes with some fun and interesting ideas, writes Bindu Gopal Rao.

D oing up your home is like an extension of your personality.  A recent trend that has caught on in a big way is to add a touch of kitsch to home décor. However, kitsch elements must be added suitably so that they do not seem out of place and still add a touch like no other.

Joining the dots

Once the domain of street artists, radical designers and graffiti, it is now nudging its way into the mainstream. Not content with an object’s original form, hack design or hacktivism takes an existing piece and redesigns it to look more individual or to meet a totally different function.

“If you want to try out kitsch without committing to a permanent or expensive change, one can go for a cushion cover, or a funky offset to the otherwise contemporary home decoration can be tea costers, mirrors, etc. There is a plethora of options available when it comes to kitsch. Decorative furniture right from couches and armchairs to wall decorations can be used to add the much-needed kitschy effect with its trendy designs. Wall colours and specific stencils can give your room the kitschy element,” says Manish Bhatia, General Manager, Marketing Decorative Paints AkzoNobel India.
Kitsch lends a sense of unconventionality to the home, as it helps to achieve the right balance between something that is repellant yet fascinating in its crudity while maintaining an overall sophistication.

It is important to remember that your home décor should make you feel comfortable because you have to live with it everyday. “If the colour of your wall is simple and light you can go ahead with kitsch i.e. bright coloured furniture or furnishings by mix and match. For example, pink in amalgamation with purple in cushion covers and curtains is a good way to start,” says Ravi Mittal, CEO, Shourya Group.

Kitsch motifs, bold colours and eclectic designs combined with a riot of pop and print can spruce up your home. A wall hanging with Egyptian images, clocks which reflect the Venetian gondolas, trays with a print of colourful pencils, cushion covers with postcard motifs will add that stroke of effervescence to your home.

“You can incorporate the kitsch factor in your home decor by using quirky and colourful products and utility products in unique shapes, sizes and colours. Creative usage of old, surplus and unconventional material also helps,” says Suminder Pal Singh, GM - Sales and Sourcing,

Regular portraits are now being digitally enhanced with chandeliers in the backdrop with warmer colours than the original pictures’ colours, thereby eventually getting a personalised portrait with a kitschy twist. Says Gitanjali Maini, Founder, Gallery-g, “Another new trend is gods or destinations being delivered with a new twist. Unique colours giving a message through the destination as speech bubbles is something new. I recently also saw an artist do a fully fledged growth of plant (like wheatgrass) on a broken tree that had fallen down. He found a spot on the tree and made a live plant grow on a dead object, giving it a theme of life after death. It was a stunning addition to the garden and also promoted recycling.”

The new trends seen in 2014 are globally-inspired prints which come in an array of colours and patterns. “Curtain rods in brass tend to give an elegant look, or if you want a shimmery look, go for gold; rags of multiple prints can add zing to your room. For walls, one can opt for wall papers on one of the walls and keeping other sides simple in one colour,” says Mittal.

The kitsch factor in home decor can be incorporated by giving a bright, flashy look and feel. “Innovative combinations like a mixture of different materials, and the effective utilisation of space is in vogue right now,” says D Jairath, Deputy Managing Director, Style Spa.

Balancing aesthetics

Make sure that you do not do kitsch on all elements of a room. Use some artefacts that are kitschy on a rug or like a wall décor. Then balance it off with a plain one-coloured sofa or wall texture and paint. Some other ideas include using coasters, vases, photo frames and painting doors of a powder room with one theme.

Aesthetic appeal can be well-balanced if you keep a combination of subtle and kitsch in your home décor. In typical home décor terminology, ‘kitsch’ factor refers to using vintage pieces in brighter colours. These are popular cultural icons, art or design trends of a particular era which stand for their different appeal.

“For example, many of us have framed posters of popular Bollywood movies from the 70s as wall art. Using cultural icons in décor elements is still popular, but it only works if it truly belongs to your taste. One may want a splash of colour without really adopting true kitsch styles,” says Ashish Shah, COO and Founder,

Don’t go overboard with one specific style. Balance your room with classic picks like a stack of books, photo frames, wooden masks etc. Go ahead and have fun experimenting with kitsch.