We are all drawn to spaces designed with care, spaces that balance art and paint to appeal to the senses. When it comes to striking this balance, modern Indian homes tend to stand out even more spectacularly due to our diverse ethnicities. As ‘a people’ who have previously lived in affluent Mahals throughout centuries, we now aspire to recreate a part of that cultural beauty in our own contemporary homes – all with Indian Modernism. So let’s look at what modern Indian home interiors are all about!


Influenced by global art deco movements, modernism entered India in the 20th century. This style of home design calls for straight-line spaces deliberately adorned with bright hues and contrast patterns. Straight lined areas are simply horizontal and vertical lined patterns on paints, wallpaper, and tiles that give a sense of tranquillity to your home. 

While horizontal lined spaces and beams give the impression of a larger space, vertical lines on walls draw the human eye to appreciate the beauty of specific décor and carved ceilings. Besides a conscious use of lines, the style further brought with it a celebration of natural materials and use of sunlight in home design. 

We in turn infused it with our cultural roots and vibrant colours to bring out a unique marriage of the traditional and the modern in our homes. And haven’t most of us experienced this vibe while growing up? If you think about it, you’ll find instances of this style imprinted in the Warli print art or the old “jhoola” that is often found in our otherwise modern style living rooms.

Importance of Colours

The artful use of earthy and bold colours, albeit with some careful consideration is an important aspect of Indian Modernism. It is generally advisable to use complementary colours and tones together rather than jarring colours like yellow and pink. 

If you’re new to this style, stick to one or two colours at the most in one space. If necessary, you can always use a neutral colour like grey to tone things down! The idea here is for your space to portray your vibrant soul but not go overboard as to give a Holi festival vibe. 

3 ways to imbibe Indian Modernism in your home.

We at Ashwin Sheth Group, give you beautiful ways and home décor ideas to recreate this style and give a brand new makeover to your abode. Remember that ‘less is more’ and these design elements need to be used in moderation to give a striking balance to your home.

1. Use Indian arts and antiques.

Ensure to keep a modern layout with proportionate spaces that allow for lots of natural light. Then compliment this layout with a balance of vibrant colours and handcrafted antiques. 

We all know how a simple art painting magically transforms a room if balanced well with the interiors. Whether it is an elaborate painting of Rajput queens in palanquins or a simple one of a lone sari-clad woman carrying water in a clay pot – you can’t go wrong with this winning home decor. A popular choice is to go for folk art like the tribal Warli or Gond paintings. 

Handcrafted materials made with care and a beautiful finish, are also in demand. Think about wicker chairs, cane baskets, vintage mirrors, Kashmiri rugs, clay urns, and more. It’s time to go handicraft hunting and get a perfect find for your home! 

Don’t forget the allure of fabrics! Play with lots of cotton and Khadi textures to decide what suits you best. It is time to refashion those well-preserved silk sarees into rich upholstery for your sofas and cushion covers. From using colourful jute blinds to hand-printed quilts and embroidered tableclothsfabrics are a sure shot way to make your spaces stand out. 

Choice of furniture, too, plays a huge role when it comes to designing the perfect modern Indian home interiors. Buy teak wood or rosewood pieces to bring a rustic quality to your interiors. Place a vintage centre table or opt for a traditional swing to bring life to your living room. In the bedroom, place an old rocking chair, bring back the old four-poster bed, or even add a carved headboard. Further, adorn any of your furniture with colourful linen and you are now good to go! 

Lastly, refrain from going overboard with antiques or cluttering your house with too much furniture. Even if you add one piece of art or antique well to a completely modern setting, it will breathe fresh life into your spaces.

2. Go for a traditional Indian layout and elements.

Another way to amp up your home spaces is to stick to an Indian layout. Go back to the time of building high ceilings and traditional courtyards! If designed well, your home will still develop a sleek and modern quality that gives a welcoming vibe. 

Further, add an Indian element to your space that speaks volumes like a decorative fountain, a buddha statue, a shimmering chandelier, or even an old haveli door! The possibilities are endless. 

Style your walls with ethnic wallpaper or paint only one section of the wall with a tribal print that stands out. If you’re looking to upgrade the flooring, go for coloured ceramic tiles or Indian patterns that stand out when contrasted with modern furniture and interiors.

Indian spiritual elements like a temple, Kalash, Shankh, even a simple Tulsi plant already exist in the quintessential Indian home. Place these wisely to complement the modern interiors. You can also add a vintage separator to highlight the worship area and complete the entire look of your temple. 

3. Bring in your unique lifestyle and personality.

Modern Indian home decor strikes a balance between functionality and aestheticism to create a space that talks about your lifestyle and personality. Take it a step further with the following home decor ideas:

Blend the traditional and modern to build a comfort corner for yourself where you can indulge in all your hobbies. Add a fat pouffe or lots of cushions and then start building up your personal space. Use stained glass lamps that not only give an ethnic vibe but also ensure natural mood lighting to soothe your nerves.

Pepper your house with old memorabilia like family photos in vintage frames or flaunt an old heirloom piece on your plain desk. When contrasted with neutral hues and wooden furniture, these items give a beautiful vibe to your home. 

Most of all, style it all the way you want. It should be a space that gives a sense of ‘Hygge’ and happiness that always makes you want to come home.

These are perfect ways to keep your modern Indian home interiors minimal, yet impactful! While we can’t bring back our lost palaces, Indian modernism is a beautiful attempt to bridge the gap between the old and new. It harks back to archaic times and strives bold with them in the modern world of interior design.

Looking for more home décor ideas to style your home? Click here for our guide to popular home design trends in 2020.



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