The Diwali home redress


“I have been cheating on fashion with furniture,” says Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and The City 2′. The 2010 movie says fashion maven and author Bradshaw, married to Mr. Big, living in a plush Manhattan apartment. Her outlook on spending had changed. This Diwali it feels as though I am cheating on fashion.

Since I can remember Diwali preparations started with a spring clean of my cupboard— finding another home for things I had outgrown, or no longer wore. Shopping for a new wardrobe of clothes for Diwali day was also a ritual. Every item in my outfit for the day was new, from my nightdress, the kurta for the Lakshmi Pooja, to something dressier for the night— worn as we party hopped from one festive soiree to another. It all added to the feeling of celebration.

Last year I opted for a #NobuyDiwali— in the spirit of conscious consumption, I made no new purchases but “shopped my closet”. For Diwali night I found a new yellow Tarun Tahiliani sari bought six months earlier and pulled out one of my mother’s Vintage Judith Leiber bags to wear with it. Diwali is now around the corner, and I am yet to start my seasonal cupboard clearance. My home has kept me so busy there has been no time to think about clothes.

The lockdown has made us relook at our own personal space, I have always been house proud, but during these months my home has become my top priority. My definition of a ‘style buys’ has been affected. Whether it’s arranging fresh flowers or table-scaping before meals, details have mattered. Most of my soft furnishings have been reupholstered, art reorganized (I indulged in one new buy, ‘jewelry for my home’—I usually buy a piece of fine jewelry during the festive season), and a few other items. Making the process pandemic friendly has been Dubai-based interior designer, Sameera Ameer of Wild Child Designz, who during the lockdown, started a home styling service. Investing in your home at these times makes sense.

A trained interior designer with a decade-old Dubai based studio, Ameer helps you restyle your home. Suggesting easy ways to upgrade after doing a quick review of your home, she then sends you website links to pieces you can buy online and will curate a list of décor shops according to your needs and budget. She helped me update my living room in time for Diwali. From a much-needed uplighter from Ikea to The Designer Guild’s fine silk upholstery fabrics, the room I have been spending the most time in while home sheltering has a fresh look. I now look forward to hosting a small Diwali celebration for family in this space.

If you are looking at upping the style quotient of your home, there are of course candles but Ameer suggests a couple of more permanent changes. “Look at your lighting fixtures, and easy update, since this is the festival of lights it also has a connection,” she says. It could be as simple as new lampshades on your table or adding some sculptural floor lamps to your home décor. Ameer also recommends reupholstering all the cushions in your home. As Ameer says, “Since it is likely to travel will remain restricted, it really is a good idea to spend on your house,”

This Diwali I suggest instead of buying yourself a new outfit, look at dressing up your home.

(The writer Sujata Assomull is an IANSlife columnist. Assomull is the author of “100 Iconic Bollywood Costumes” and was the Founding Editor In Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, India.)


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