A typical decor for typical homes

A typical decor for typical homes

Decorating your home is truly an art. You need to carefully hand pick the furniture, choose the material and make sure they all are unique, while still forming a harmonious unit. What has suddenly caught trend among do-it-yourself (DIY) and home decor enthusiasts, is the use of uncommonly used materials in decorating homes,” explains Veena Mathur, an interior designer specialising in design and merchandising.

She stated that velvet, coir, wicker and cane are the different materials that are beginning to interest many designers, as an interesting and sometimes cheaper alternative to the commonly used wood or ceramic.

There are different functional and aesthetic purposes for these materials and one needs to choose, depending on what works for the home. While bamboo and coir are the widely explored materials, with bamboo and coir chairs and shelves often being used in traditional set ups, the recent use of these materials adds a contemporary and modern touch to homes.


Cynthia D’costa, a freelance interior designer says bamboo has a lot of potential and is already gathering much attention for interior decoration. “It is a versatile and environment-friendly alternative for homeowners. There are many ways to use bamboo. While bamboo flooring and ceiling are options for many interior decorators, the material is preferred more as a decorative element rather than as the base of the home itself,” she opines.

Sticks: Readily available bamboo sticks are used as dividers in homes, to create interesting barriers that have a specific function. Being an unorthodox element of decoration, it instantly adds an artistic touch to the space. Bamboo sticks can also be placed in huge vases or pots, preferably in silver or black to add contrast, to look beautiful, Cynthia states. This is something she has done in her own house and vouches for it. But make sure to use it in a minimal setting and not overdo it, she advises. Bamboo poles are merely to accentuate the interiors and not to overcrowd the space.

Lamps: Bamboo lampshades are now available along with hanging lamps. They are highly sought after as they are unique and most often used to illuminate dining tables and study tables. This manner of usage in home decor makes the home look chic and modern. They can also be used in bedrooms. They create beautiful silhouettes and break the monotony of the room.

Photo frames: These unconventional photo frames are total showstoppers. For small homes where playing with furnitures is not possible, you can have an empty wall with bamboo photo frames and colourful art creating a pattern on the wall.


Cane furniture is most often used to decorate the patio. It is very easy to tend to, carry around, and is also cheaper than wood. Veena states from experience that cane furniture is very durable and lasts for 15 to 20 years. Comparing it with wood, she states that it is heavy on the pocket and needs to be polished occasionally, while that is not the case with cane. However, choosing between the two is wholly subjective and depends on the house owner and the finish s/he wants for the home.

Since bamboo is easily available, Veena does not recommend buying it and trying to create these elements unless you are trained and possess the dexterity. Because, sometimes, it can lead to splitting of the tubes and can be expensive in comparison with buying it ready-made.

Our very own coir

Everyone is familiar with coir, used mainly for ropes and doormats. “Coir is nothing but coconut husk, with which several home decor products are being manufactured. This too is an unconventional material for home decor. While it has been used in the kitchens of many homes in South India, to use it in a totally new way to decorate a posh living room or a bedroom is fresh concept all together, but interior designers will agree that monotony is one word we don’t want to have in our dictionaries,” Cynthia chuckles.

Traditional doormats: Coir door mats are now available online and can be purchased. The beauty of this is that it is durable, water-resistant and easy to clean. It comes in varying shapes and sizes and is sometimes is teamed with other products to create lovely looking doormats.

Floor furnishings: Many designs and colours are now available in coir mats, that can be used as carpets. Veena prefers buying these as they not only look beautiful, but help the small industries that do this business. Coir rugs are also available and can be used. Patterned ones are better than block colours, but in a minimal setting with not many overpowering colour or elements. If the house already has attractive colourful decor, she suggests going for subtle colours like beige, light brown etc. Ones with borders are fast selling these days, she states.

Pots: “For those with balcony gardens coir pots are a beautiful options that can be painted on if need be. It is a total fun element as it is not too heavy on the pocket, extremely eco-friendly and can be used to test your artistic skills,” says Cynthia who owns about 15 of these pots herself.


An expensive material, if used well and mixed with other fabrics, this can be a total delight to look at. Veena states that many of her clients ask for the complete sofa to be of velvet and she most often suggests a mixture of linen with velvet. Pairing them up and carefully selecting the colours is the way forward. Some people like the velvet upholstered on their walls, but that is high maintenance and should be avoided if you cannot take care of it regularly, she advises. It gives a personal touch to the space as it is not commonly used and it looks royal as well. If that is something that you prefer, velvet is what you must choose. You can buy cushion covers or have velvet upholstery done for old furniture as well.

Interior decoration is not about bringing a trend home, but creating a trend in your own space, irrespective of what is fad and currently selling. It is important to understand your space and how it can be propped up to look elegant.

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