Unplugged | Designing without flowers

Every Sunday, Devika writes about ideas that inspire and things close to her heart,Unplugged! 

Big news: We’ve finally moved into our new office. I have a proper space and if you thought that would be the end of what seems to be the greatest project of my life, you’re mistaken. Tiny details emerge. A doorbell needs to be installed coz people just come walking in. We need mousepads, boards and pens every day because they are missing (I’m certain someone is hiding these in a corner as a joke!) and we’re already running out of space as ribbons and fabrics and bought on a whim. To top it all, it’s super-hot outside and even though it threatens to rain every day, the weather is good enough to melt any half-decent soul. And between all of that, we’re in the process of conceptualising and planning for the coming season. *makes a zen face!

Having said that it’s great to finally have a space of your own. I get a warm fuzzy feeling every morning when I walk in the door and enter this place that is bursting with creative energy. The wedding season will be upon us soon and I am thankful to get home each day, put my feet up and watch a movie till I fall off the couch in my sleep.

I digress, we’re here to talk about designing without flowers. Below are my ideas for things that won’t die in this weather and will make any space look cheery in this heat:

Origami

I love paper and there are some unique things you can do with it. Read: origami. For a recent wedding, I partnered with an NGO and had some wonderful kids make birds and boats for me. Not only did it make my décor feel purposeful, it added a super fun detail to the Sangeet. For the not-so-adventurous ones, I recommend large paper flowers as a backdrop or paper art in cream and gold- elegant, yet fun!

Play with light

I love chandeliers, bulbs and lamps. I love draping bulbs and fairy lights, they instantly make a setting more intimate and cozy. In February, Suryagarh, brought out these gorgeous green glass lamps to create an interesting buffet display for dinner- I have never seen something as stunning! A good lighting system just takes care of everything!

Fabrics

Oversized / Embellished / Fun cushions and beautiful drapes can make anything look pretty. The wispier the material of the drapes, the better it looks because it accentuates the space and the decor. Cushions always add character to the setting, make them to match your theme in terms of colour and texture and you’re set. Layering and working with textures and prints to create a dramatic setting always works.

Go local

I love walking around the local market outside my house, when I am feeling uninspired. I find the most interesting things there and love to add them as details in décor. They could be household items or even fashion accessories, everything can become something, if used right. So my weddings were peppered with tambourines, pinwheels, bangles, pickle jars, pompoms, trunks and even fruits. Dilli Haat, Janpath and Kinari Bazaar in Delhi are heaven for quirky things- Crawford and Chor Bazaar in Bombay are great too!

Simple as these ideas sound, they make any special event even more gorgeous. So go out and try these ideas today. In my opinion, they’re not just great decor for weddings but wonderful ideas for home decor as well. 

So anyone can try their hand at them. As for me, I’m going to spend the day pottering about in my small garden and picking out flowers to take to my new and improved office tomorrow.

Vasudha + Pankaj | Summer

The theme for this Puja was ‘lotus’- I’ll be honest here, despite being a beautiful flower and I’m fighting my patriotic gene while saying this- it is, very unimaginative. So I sought to create something spectacular and re-imagined the theme, keeping the elements to where the flower is found, its colour and texture as the predominant feature.

The result was a fabulous contemporary take on the ‘lotus’- in the form of a pink and white space, with clean lines and lots of beautiful details.

The biggest challenge in the space was creating something fantastic in the large pre function areas of the Hyatt in Delhi. We treated each one as a prelude to the main space, and worked with water-bodies (we had four of them!), jaalis and installations to make them as spectacular as the spaces they were leading to.

Unaffected by the oval shape of the main ballroom, we created semi-circular fabric draped walls which naturally culminated into the gorgeous stage- inspired by the Puttaparthi temple in Andra Pradesh.

In an attempt to create something different, we completely did away with banquet tables. Layers of metal were beaten to create the shape of a lotus leaf from which rose tinted chrome lotuses ‘grew’ to form the centerpiece. The long tables were made of jaalis that created a beautiful lotus pattern on the floor. All set against the gorgeous mogra covered walls which not only looked beautiful, but also smelled divine.

Venue: Grand Hyatt, Delhi

Furniture and Rentals: Rama Tent House.

Structure and Technicals: Scoop

Florals: Saini Flora

Photo: Humayun Khan