In honour of the Indian festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, we asked global designer Shalini Misra to share her go-to tips for chic Diwali decor
A symbol of light vanquishing darkness, of good triumphing over evil, Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated Indian festivals in world. It is also a very delicate fusion of tradition and modernity as people celebrate the occasion in myriad ways. To help you get your home ready to welcome friends and family this Diwali, designer Shalini Mirsa offers her expert styling tips to scatter the magic of the festival throughout your home.
“Patterned textiles, gleaming tableware, eye-catching goblets and a little imagination is all you need to capture the occasion's spirit,” says the designer whose online platform Curio spotlights out-of-the-ordinary makers and objects from India.
Create the Ultimate Candlelit Display
“Take a series of tall glass vases and fill them with water to create a mesmerising display of floating candles and tea-lights. Intersperse with floral arrangements in bright festive hues – I chose orange to intensify warmth in my home and contrasted them with uplifting fuchsia and pink tones.”
Decorate Every Corner of Your Home
“A welcoming entrance for guests is key. Form a cluster of candles in every nook and cranny, drawing the eye to console tables and shelves or intertwine flowers and fronds along the banisters. I like to add in sentimental touches, featuring figurines and traditional Indian metal oil lamps, known as diyas as they symbolise prosperity for the upcoming year.”
A Chance To Showcase Keepsakes
"For 30 years, I've enjoyed decorating my home for Diwali, earning me title 'Diwali Aunty' by the children in my family. The festival provides the perfect opportunity to dust off cherished heirlooms – use a good polish to revive your silverware and gold-plated objects. Or, invest in future heirlooms like brass platters, etched silver bowls and crystal trays. These sculptural, eye-catching pieces add instant intrigue and elevate your table setting."
This Diwali Get Playful With Glassware
“I’m always on the hunt for unusual glassware, especially for characterful and vibrant occasions, like Diwali. The Cloisonne Crystal Goblets are not only a treat for the eyes, but also incredibly versatile – ideal for serving beverages. Each one is mouth-blown with intricately enamelled cloisonné stems.”
Invest in a Patterned Tablecloth
“Lay out an interesting tablecloth, preferably one with deep hues to reflect the Diwali's cultural richness. I opted for a beautiful hand-embroidered patchwork and mirrored fabric as the perfect canvas for a festive feast. I love the enchanting way each of the mirrored discs reflect candlelight."
Seek Out Intriguing Conversation Pieces
“Every table should have a decorative showstopper, whether that be a vase or ceramic bowl. For this setting, I chose the Landes Candlesticks by Tom Palmer Studio. The branch-like configuration and plain plaster offers textural contrast against the lustrous gold and bronze accents.”
Extend the Atmosphere Outside
“Set up statement lamps and trickle fairy lights through outdoor settings to extend the mesmerising ambience outdoors. I love spending this holiday with family and friends surrounded by candlelight – a soft, warm glow always creates a cosy mood. Decorative lanterns, flickering candles and twinkling votives are a must for a magical alfresco experience. Diwali for me is all about lights, I like to use fairy lights on the outdoor table in a linear manner with a floral display, floating candles in varied sized glasses and scatter diyas everywhere.”
This story originally appeared on Architectural Digest Middle East