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How to liven up your living room

Colours, lighting, scents—expert tips on giving your home that feeling of good cheer

Not just traditional colours
Not just traditional colours (Gowri Adappa)

Planning to do up your home for the season? Our experts offer some tips

Also read: Give your home a festive makeover with bespoke lighting


Gowri Adappa, partner and co-founder, A Design Co., Chennai, doesn’t believe that the festive season warrants sticking to traditional Christmas colours like red, green and white. “I play with tones that are neutral and tonal,” she says. The Christmas feel comes with the embellishments: the tree, the candles and table settings—think a white table, napkins with Christmas patterns, pine cones, sprigs of green leaves and red roses. Soft furnishings, of course, can coat you in the season’s feel, adding both character and ambience. “Throw cushions are something you can change up seasonally and it absolutely transforms the space,” says Adappa. So does lighting—table lamps and candles can create a cosy vibe during the festive season and beyond.

Gowri Adappa
Gowri Adappa


Smitha Zachariah, creative director, ZachariahxPiers, Bengaluru, believes the Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments that trigger happy memories, should become the centre stage of your dining and living area. She suggests using an attractive ceramic pot to hold the tree, many ribbons, and exciting gift arrangements. Add to the festive look with throw cushions on sofas, corners with fairy lights and lanterns, bells and mantlepieces with greenery. “Give a little sparkle to everything,” she says, suggesting table settings layered with objects of different heights and the season’s flowers—poinsettias. “Throw in a surprising colour, maybe a sky blue, to add to the existing traditional colours.”

Smitha Zachariah
Smitha Zachariah


Krish Kothari, founder and creative head, KKD . Studio, Mumbai, suggests a minimalist, classy approach. “Keep the space clutter-free so that there is enough space to welcome your guests,” he says. Red and green may be the colours of the season but he suggests leaning on tones that complement your décor with warm pinks, creams and oranges. “Throw in a white fur rug if you want to enjoy a white Christmas,” he says.

A large central piece could become the room’s focal point with lighting. Add glamour with scented candles along the centrepiece. Accessorise the space with ultra-luxurious décor—a gold wreath, cushions in seasonal colours, decorating a large tree with pearls and crystals reflecting Christmas lights, with a star or Santa on top. Mix in the scents with the best candles for a Christmassy feel. “Choose candles that smell as good as they look.”

Also read: Decided what you’re wearing to the party?




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