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For most of us, our very first drawing in life starts with two pointed peaks with the sun peeking out, a house with a triangle roof and maybe a river passing by. There’s something about the simple geometry of lines, angles and triangles that appeal to us and within these lines lies a wealth of meaning, just like the pointy lines of our first drawing depicting lofty mountains and the triangle and square put together encompassing a child’s entire world.
In design, every few seasons, it’s said that chevrons have made a comeback. I for example, first had to set out to first find out what chevrons really mean, and discovered that the pointed mountains I drew as a kid, with the help of a ruler, was repeated in parallel and extended. Trying to make sense of herringbone, chevron and other design – speak sometimes deters us from using these elements.
But if you look around us, these patterns are used a lot by us. In traditional Indian fabrics like Ajrakh and Ikat, chevrons and other symmetrical designs are used liberally. For centuries the north Indian dwellings, right from Rajasthan to Chattisgarh, the mud walls of the houses were spruced up using Mandana or Warli. It’s totally fascinating to see how, with very rudimentary geometrical figures, entire stories were communicated and passed down generations. The colourful beaded jewelry and distinct attire with repetitive geometrical designs used by the tribes from the north- east of India have a universal appeal. And how can I not mention the magic that happens when the lady of the house, connects the dots every morning to bring to life intricate kollams in South India.
There’s a certain timelessness about simple repetitive patterns or shapes used to decorate our home. So let me decode the use of geometrical patterns around our homes to make an appealing and modern space.
Firstly, I find that for chevrons, or any kind of geometrical pattern when used for a major chunk of the room, is best used as a base. Use this provide the foundation for decorating the entire room. That’s why these prints are an excellent choice for wall papers. The colour palette of such a wall can set the tone for the entire room. Similarly using such patterns for your upholstery and curtains also serves the same purpose.
Alternatively, you can use ikats, chevrons or even katha fabrics to provide that pop of colour or a contrast your main theme. Using traditional dhurries to dress your floor or a chevron or ikat cushion adds a lovely dimension to your living space.
Thirdly, consider using a modern version of these timeless designs. Look for designs that takes inspiration from shared history and takes it up a notch, whether it in the complexity or layering of the design or the blend of colours.
And finally and most importantly, use the basic pattern of the wallpaper or upholstery to customise your space. Your home should tell your story. Using art that you have found or better yet done by you, family photographs or souvenirs from your travels, your mother’s saree pallu framed are all highlighted when you use a good base to showcase them. That’s the key an appealing and attractive space. And don’t forget to frame and give a prime spot to your child’s first drawing. Those squiggly lines are your best story.
Come and visit Idecorwala to browse through an excellent collection of wallpaper, upholstery and curtain materials, a starting point to tell your own story and express yourself through your beautiful home.