Desi Aunty Decor Fails and what to do instead

Have you ever walked into a room that screams desi aunty? I’m talking matching furniture, heavy lace-trimmed drapes, awkward artwork hung at an even more awkward height, and so on. Chances are you have. Hell, I’ve even made desi aunty decor fails myself!

Don’t blame the aunty, blame the zamana.

In today’s world of Pinterest and Instagram, everyone pulls ideas from all over the place, without giving the process much thought. So your home might end up looking like a traditional glam meets mid-century modern meets boho-chic meets Apa Rashida’s antiques disaster. And that’s not cool. It’s more like taking a bad, bad tour of 10 different Pinterest boards. What we want is a cohesive look throughout your home that doesn’t make it look like a mix mithai ka dabba to an unassuming visitor.

So let’s take a look at some common desi aunty decor fails and what we can do to fix them:

Buying furniture in sets:

Guys, repeat after me: no more buying furniture in sets! I know it’s super easy to walk into a store, pick a bed and get all the other matching furniture pieces too; no brainer, right? But that leaves your bedroom looking boring and lacking personality. What you can do instead is mix and match pieces from different collections or stores and keep some element(s) constant. For example, you can keep a similar colour palette, same style of furniture, or, if you’re really confident in your stylistic choices, you could even play around with contrast. This is when pinterest boards come in handy for inspiration. Here’s a great example of 3 different pieces of furniture in the bedroom that go together really well:

Image Courtesy: Pinterest
Image Courtesy: Pinterest

Awkward throw pillows on sofas:

Let’s assess your throw pillow situation for a minute. Do you have two, tiny, matching, sad looking cushions on your sofa? Let’s fix that. Stick to a color theme and add a mix of textures and patterns to go with the upholstery. Make sure the cushions are a good size and not dinky looking in comparison to the scale of the furniture. 18”x18” is always a safe bet. And please, ladies, we do not want to make that dated diamond shape with our cushions! Place them on their sides and maybe karate chop them down the middle if that’s your thing. Let’s leave the diamonds for rings (although that’s also debatable – diamonds are not *actually* worth anything, did you know that? It’s just a stupid corporate smoke-and-mirrors thing, but I digress). Now let’s all drool at this gorgeous living room and the on-point throw pillow arrangement.

Image Courtesy: Pinterest
Image Courtesy: Pinterest

Artwork hung weird:

Two big no-nos when it comes to hanging artwork are hanging it too high, and choosing a small piece for a large blank wall. A safe bet is to hang art at eye-level and try to find a frame that works with the scale of the wall. If you’re trying to create a gallery wall and don’t know where to start, here’s a really good guide by one of my favorite home stylists. Also, pleeease don’t buy your art from IKEA! Frames, sure! But please, ladies, no more IKEA art prints which five people in the khandaan already have. There are so many budget friendly options out there like visiting local thrift stores, art markets, buying from art students and framing vintage posters. You could even go beyond traditional art and frame fabric instead! Aaand, artwork doesn’t always have to be hung on the wall either! You can simply lean it against the wall for a more relaxed look and accessorize with a few simple objects.

Image Courtesy: Pinterest
Image Courtesy: Pinterest

I think I’ve done quite a bit of desi aunty decor bashing in this post and I think I should put a lid on it for now, lest I get banned from Soul Sisters altogether. I’d love to hear from you guys about your design fails and successes! Let me start by admitting that in the past, I have made terrible choices involving the ugliest faux flowers ever in my home. Let’s just leave it at that.
Until next time!

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