Spice Up Your DéCor With A Dash Of Indian Summer Flair

17/09/2010 18:24 | Updated 22 May 2015

Don't wait for good weather to bring a touch of sunshine to your home, India's design tradition can bring a year-long summer vibe that's as good as any shot of vitamin D!

Exuberance, intricacy, colour and craftsmanship are watchwords for the look, with no surface left unadorned. Take your pick from punched metal lanterns to carved filigree screens, from vivid-coloured textiles to furniture inlaid with bone or mother-of-pearl.

"Don't be put off mixing ethnic-inspired designs with your existing interior scheme," says Lucinda Waterhouse, co-founder of design company OKA. "Look for hand-blocked prints in muted colour tones: the hand-carved wooden blocks are brushed with dye, pressed onto the fabric by hand and colour is built up a shade at a time to create incredibly intricate designs." Savour the little imperfections that arise when something is handmade, because it can bring instant warmth and personality to your interior.

If we are blessed with an Indian summer, extend the look into your garden with printed parasols and pretty metal lanterns. The ultimate indulgence is a traditional canvas tent with a hand-blocked patterned lining, perfect for a romantic supper and waterproof too - we may be spared the monsoon in Britain, but we're very familiar with a bit of drizzle!,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=920906&pid=920905&uts=1281509637

Indian summer

Handmade furniture, like this silver embossed eight-drawer chest, has tiny imperfections that only add to the personality of the piece.

Indian summer

Delicate, nature-inspired prints offer a muted alternative to the eye-popping bright shades more usually associated with Indian design.

Narlai (left) and Desuri (right) hand-blocked tablecloths, £39 each,

Indian summer

A bold shot of colour, like these side-tables in lip-smacking pink or lime-green, can create a focal point in a room.

Raj tables painted with trailing flowers, £59 each,

Indian summer

Photographer and artist Henry Wilson is the UK's foremost authority on Indian design: he's teamed up with Osborne & Little to create Sariskar, a range of wallpapers inspired by his travels.

Kishangargh wallpaper by Osborne & Little, £49.35 per roll from

Indian summer

BTC by Design sells striking Indian-inspired furniture that looks great together or as single pieces.

Items shown: bone inlay coffee table, £498; matching side table, £298; bone inlay chair, £215; paisley wool throw, £86.84; paisley cotton cushion covers, £11 each. All from

Indian summer

Have a picnic the colonial way, with a tiffin box: these stainless steel ones are hand-painted in the Kashmir region of India.

Tiffin box (includes four metal plates inside), £65,

Indian summer

Gorgeously romantic, a traditional canvas tent from the Indian Garden Company is a push-the-boat-out indulgence for lovers of the eastern look.

Haveli Jaipur tent, £4,000 from

Indian summer

If you're looking for an investment piece to love forever, consider a beautifully intricate wool rug.

Tabriz P-Lawar rug, £2,980 from

Indian summer

This elegant lantern is handmade in India – and gets bonus green points for being made from recycled iron.

£44.99 from

Indian summer

John Lewis captures the vibrancy of Indian design with its new Roshni embroidered bedlinen.

Double bedlinen set, £70, and mohair throws, £50 each, from

Indian summer


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