Traditional South Indian homes are known for their simplicity, just like their dwellers. Under the sloping terracotta-laden roofs, what stands out is the elegance of heavy wooden furniture carved with unbelievable intricacy, and exquisite, antique brass figurines and oil lamps adding tons of charm to this quaint elegance.
If the understated beauty of the South has left an impact on you, and you are seeking to lend some of that charm to your modern interiors, look no further. Here are a few simple ways to recreate the magic of the South in your home.
Add a stunningly South Indian touch to your abode with a beautifully carved teakwood door, right at your entrance. If you aren’t able to make changes to your front door, think of adding one to your pooja room entrance to give it a traditional touch. You can find these doors with dealers of antiques and artefacts. You will need to have them polished and custom-fitted to suit your needs.
Statues And Images Of Deities
Other than the Pooja room, brass idols play an important role in South Indian décor. You will find statues of lord Ganesha adding to the aesthetics of many a household, especially near the entrance of the house.
You can place finely crafted brass statues of lord Ganesha, Nandi, lord Krishna or even Nataraj, the dancing avatar of lord Shiva, as part of vignettes around your living room and find your modern interiors quietly lending themselves to a stunning transformation.
Stunning South Indian Furniture
South India is known for its exquisite carvings and woodwork. And you’ll find most homes using solid teak or rosewood in their furniture, pillars and doors with carvings telling ancient stories from mythology and folklore. Incorporating any of these elements into your home would bring in an authentic South Indian feel to your home.
What needs a special mention is the traditional South Indian swing seat that is very common in South Indian households, hung using intricately done brass chains. This swing can replace your existing sofa or be a welcome addition to your modern living room as an elegant, fun and ornate divider.
This is quite a well-known and easy way to lend a South Indian flavor to your home. From the traditional tabletop lamps to ones suspended on chains and hung off ornate wall brackets or the ceiling, these lamps are not hard to spot, in any handicrafts store. Hang one above a carved traditional wooden bench for a beautiful seating arrangement in an odd corner of your home. Don’t forget to light these lamps on festivals and special occasions. You can even use tea lights if you find using oil too messy.
Antique Brass Vessels
Traditional South Indian homes use a variety of brass vessels and articles, handed down to them over generations, and displaying a few these will give your home a touch of the South. You could choose to use an ‘uruli’ – a flat brass pot used to keep water and fresh flowers in, on special occasions. You could also use traditional brass boxes to store your medicines in, and display them on a side table. Or create a stunning vignette on your coffee table with brass vessels using them as vases to keep fresh flowers in.
A Pooja Unit
No South Indian home is complete without a space dedicated solely to a beautiful collection of Images or Idols of Deities. Instead of hiding this Pooja space away, it is given a prominent space in the living room décor. You can choose to have a carved Pooja shelf fixed on a wall or get an intricately crafted Mandir to house all of the idols in.
Complement all the richly carved wood with traditional temple artwork framed in rich, bright silk fabrics that lends them a contemporary look, perfect for modern interiors.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to make a traditional rice-flour ‘kolam’ (Rangoli) in front of your house for that truly South Indian feel!