Party Decor ideas for Diwali

Diwali is a festival of love and warmth that gets even more sparkling with the magic of diyas that light up the horizon. Diwali also brings together family and friends for celebration, cards parties and dinner. So this Diwali indulge yourself further by turning your diwali into a special decor moment.


Table SettingFor colours we recommend you either stick to traditional hues of sindoor red, haldi yellow and rani pink but in a complete modern avatar, keeping the prints simple and classy. Reflect the festive spirit on your dinner table as well. Go in for dinner ware that reflects the oriental sensibility, blend the two traditional hues of gold and silver to add panache to the celebratory meal…..Like making the tone on tone flower setting in a precious silver vase, a treat for the eye. Also set a colour coded card table infused with the sheen of silver. Strew an array of rich, colourful cushions to sink in and enjoy the gambling. Serve smartly in crystal and silver bowls.

Indian mithais are so integral to the Diwali experience. Set the spread well. Cover the table with a rich textile that you fetch from your treasure trove…A brocade silk throw will work as well. Spread small, silver foiled pieces of mithais made of dry fruits—they look the prettiest on a precious silver platter or brass platters. Add marigolds, the most auspicious flowers to lend a sense of vibrancy to this yummy setting.

Femina 2012
Femina 2012

Not all the décor changes need to be expensive. As much as we discourage bursting of fire-crackers, we love using them in décor. Stack a bunch of silver ‘phooljaris’ in flower vases along with actual flowers. Use old Diwali cards for a collage and place them on cards tables with lamination on top. This looks festive and is cheaper than more expensive table cloths. Don’t just use fairy lights for windows, use them is vases to create inexpensive lamps, use them along the table runner to give a Diwali effect. Be careful though, they get hot so use the ones with fabric coverings.

Mostly be safe and have fun. A very Happy and Prosperous Diwali to you!

By Kashvi Mahajan

Mirror Magic

Mirrors can be used for a lot of significant roles in the home. It is not vanity alone, mirrors make for great statement pieces and are a great decor accessory which can add flair to any room. There are tons of ways you can use mirrors to enhance your space, here are a few.

Create Illusion– Yup! Mirrors are a great way to create illusion of space or make a dark room seem brighter. Have an entire wall cladded with mirror if you have a small space and want to create illusion of space. To increase brightness, go in for a large decorative mirror on the wall opposite the light source. It will reflect the light and add brightness to the room.
Wall Art– If your budget does not allow you to invest in expensive art work, mirrors work as great statement pieces. Get a large mirror with an elaborate frame and place it above a console in the living room or hall. Another idea is to put mirrors of different sizes in different shaped frames on a wall in either of the two rooms. Another way, create an antiqued mirror wall and then hang smaller mirrors in various frames on the wall.
Dramatic Statement– Instead of hanging the mirror or mirrors on a wall, you can also place a large mirror with a carved frame on the floor. This is perfect for the Dining room and Living room. But be careful while angling the mirror so it shows only the best reflection in the room. If you really want to experiment you can also have the ceiling covered in mirrors or mirror mosaics. In the bathroom, why not have a dramtic mirror placed above the Bathtub instead of just the washbasin.
Out of the Box– Besides the wall mirrors can also be used as accessories. Create a tray out of an old mirror, or use mirror to clad old furniture, for instance the top of a coffee table or side table. Think convex mirrors in various sizes instead of usual flat ones to give the space an attractive appeal.
DIY Ideas– To give an old mirror a new lease to life, you can do some stencil work and paint a border around the mirror. Or wrap a ribbon around the frame. Another suggestion, stick small mirror pieces or shells on the frame.More ideas here

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Even though I am not superstitious, atleast no more than the average person, I still feel there is no harm in listening to what Feng Shui has got to say about the placement of mirrors. Since mirrors play a large part in Feng Shui “cure”. (Inputs courtesy

  • Choose clear, non-distorted mirrors (no ripples) and no mirror tiles.  Tiled mirrors break up energy and add confusion to the reflected image.
  • Clean your mirrors frequently to ensure a clear image.
  • Make sure that your mirrors reflect beautiful surroundings.   Position mirrors to pick up pleasing views of the outdoors whenever possible.
  • Place a Foyer Mirror to the side of the Front Door – never directly across from the Front Door. A mirror placed across from the Front Door represents strong repelling energy and can push anyone entering there right back out the door!
  • Place square & rectangle shapes for balance; Octagonal shapes for power; Circular shapes for unity.
  • Hang high enough to see your entire head; no chopped heads or  the viewer may be challenged with a negative self-image.
  • Place behind the Kitchen stove.  A mirror hung behind the stove top burners magnifies Wealth.
  • While working in the Kitchen, the cook should be in the Command Position, that is, able to see all entrances.  If the cook’s back is to a Kitchen door, hang a mirror over the cook’s workspace so that anyone coming through the door can be seen right away.
  • Use sparingly in the Bedroom for better sleeping; cover at night if the mirror is large or placed on your path to the bathroom.
  • Avoid hanging mirrors directly across from each other.
  • Hang above your desk or computer if your back is facing a door.
  • Decorative mirrors are most effective when placed in a positiion to capture the reflection of a beautiful scene or object.  With careful Bagua irror placement, you can enjoy a  lovely view twice – the actual image and its framed reflection

Recycle, Revamp and Reuse Decor Products

Each time we think organic and eco-friendly we instantly think recycled paper, natural fibre like jute and other such material which is branded eco-friendly.All of which sounds good on paper but feels like a very tedious task to actually go ahead and incorporate in our lives. But, doing our bit for nature in terms of recycle and reuse may not necessarily be a tedious task or involve a major change in our lifestyle. Even small things can be done to recycle and revamp our space.

Here are a few examples of how you can reuse and recycle normal household items to revamp your space:

1.Left with single pieces of crockery and cutlery?

  • Fill the soup bowls and cups with wax to make your own candle’s, which can be remade anytime the was gets over. They make great display pieces and can be used on consoles/dining tables. To learn how check here.
  • Single left over forks can make for great note holders. Just hang them in the kitchen wall upside down to make note displays.
  • Left with single pieces of plates, convert them into wall art. Pick a wall in your house to display all these plate


2. Want to revamp your furniture?It does not have to be a long and expensive process, a few tricks and you can revamp it on your own

  • To change your headboard, you can use leftover fabric swatches to make a cushioned fabric panel. To see how click here.
  • You can also add fabric or paper at the back of shelves to give a new look to old cupboards and shelves. The same can be done on drawers
  • Cover your side-table top with a coloured mirror, this will instantly make the piece look new and good.
  • Have an old shed door lying around? Use it as a mirror frame and have a beautiful mirror as your living room center piece.


3. Other ideas to recycle, reuse and revamp your space

  • Left over wine bottles-Use them as planters and hang them on your balcony (you can do the same with old light bulbs). Else put fairy lights in them and make them a light display in your living room. Finally, you can also coat them with bright paint and use them as a cluster of vases in different colours
  • Make memory jars– You don’t have to spend a bomb to buy expensive accessories for your home. Simple food jars can be filled with momentos of your travels and places together to make interesting accessories, they make for great conversation starters as well
  • Handpainted ceramic tiles-All you need to do is add felt to the bottom and you have beautiful coasters ready for use.
  • Old car tyres– These can be used as base for your patio tables.Place two tyres on each other and keep two such sets at a distance. Simply place a sheet of acrylic on them and you have an outdoor table
  • Art work– This does not have to be an expensive investment, one idea is make panels of various sizes and cover them in fabric them place them on a wall. Else use old greeting cards in floating frames and place them on the wall.



The Candle Store

Diwali is around the corner and being that it is the festival of lights, here we have selected a bunch of candles and holders for your to choose from..


blue-dove-candle-ivoryoct-goodearth-2200 pillar-candle-bergamotoct-1100


twilight-votive-nicobar-750 zile-votive-950-nicobar


ceramic-wooden-pillar-fabindia-890 fragrance-pillar-candle-fabindia-460




Sanskriti Lifestyle



Stunning Blue Pottery 

Blue Pottery is one traditional indian craft that looks extremely elegant. Room Therapy has its latest collection of Blue Pottery. This collection of vases and jars is made of the finest quality porcelain and is available in a plethora of contemporary styles with each piece being an embodiment of elegance and perfection, with patterns and designs so unique and fresh.

Room Therapy’s blue pottery collection is designed to make you happier and inspire your own creativity — whether you fill a room with bunches of flowers, put a single bloom in a vase, or let the jars and vases stand on their own. Enhance your decor with stylish handcrafted pieces of pottery to make your home look spectacular. 


The flip side of Dusshera

Dusshera is a Hindu festival which as per the most popular folk lore symbolises the destruction of demon God Ravana, by the diety Rama. However, not all of India celebrates the festival by burning the effigy of Ravana. In fact a lot of the country worships him on this day.

Ravana was the greatest follower of Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a master musician. His ten heads represent his knowledge of the six shastras and the four Vedas. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Siddha,”The Oldest traditional treatment system” and political science. On his deathbed Ravana taught Politics lessons to Laxamana, the brother of Rama who had defeated him. He shared experiences from his own life and guided him to have always good relations with charioteer, cook, gatekeeper and his brothers, because those are the persons who can harm you most.He advised Lakshmana never to underestimate strength of his enemy.He asked Lakshmana to always believe in astrology and movement of stars which can never be wrong.He told him to trust a minister who criticizes,a mistake he made in case of his brother Vibhishan.Ravana was a great musician, who designed his own string instrument calledRavana Veena.He also invented the bow of the violin. He also narrated very first Ragas. He composed Shiv Tandav, most valuable work on praise of Lord Shiva.

The Hindu

Which is why in a lot of parts of Madhya Pradesh, Himachal and Maharashtra he is worshipped. One of my personal experiences of Ravana Pooja include Beer, Red meat and wine. Oh, we also worship the instrument which is most representative of your work ie calculator for an accountant, measuring tape for a designer, pen for a writer etc. It is one of the most fun puja’s I have ever attended and definitely a must for once in a lifetime experience.

Bath delights

Each time I am travelling I try to have a bath drawn out for me atleast one of the nights in my stay. It is the most relaxing feeling in the world, especially after a day of hectic meetings. I would so love to be able to do the same at my own home, don’t you? The Small Luxury hotels of the World (SLH) team has gotten us tips on just how we can do that

Chateau Mcely, Czech Republic

Hana Schwanzerbachova , Spa Manager, Chateau Mcley

“At Chateau Mcley, we have developed a range of organic products to showcasetraditional Bohemian herbal remedies, and Mcely Bouquet elixirs can be added to the bath for guests each night. At home, create a honey bath by dissolving one cup of honey, three spoons of virgin olive oil, two litres of unskimmed milk and one litre buttermilk into warm running bath water. Light candles and an aroma burner and relax in the bath for atleast 20mins. It was melt away your stress and leave your skin beautifully soft.”

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

Jennie Teo, Spa village Manager, Pangkor Laut Resort

“We offer a bath menu is all the rooms at Pangkor Laut Resort, and the Spa therapists draw them  out for our guests. At home I recommend “Lovers dip”-a sensuous milk bath scented by fresh rose petals, kaffir lime and stimulating essential oils:

Mix fresh pandan leaf juice with kaffir lime juice in the tub and pour milk (about 3 ltrs). Pandan leaves are very beneficial for health, they are even used to treat several skin disorders. Kaffir lime acts as a great rejuvenator, alleviates colds and helps restore energy. Its also an excellent astringent and has anti-bacterial ingredients. Fresh milk helps hydrate, alleviate redness and prevent irritated skin.”

Well fresh milk is what kept Cleopatra look stunning all those many years ago so who are we to argue

Romantic Evening

This one is a sure winner. Besides the comfort and luxury of a hotel we do like to go for meals for our special occasions. And ofcourse all of us know that besides the expense sometime after a tiring day at work you just don’t want to get out of your home. Here Small Luxury Hotels of the World(SLH) help us to create a romantic meal for two at home complete with serving wine like a Sommelier

The Arch, London, UK 

Gemma Dean, F&B Manager, The ArchLondon

“It’s all about first impressions, get your table set correctly and have a wow factor element – whether it be a pot of fresh herbs on the table, a personal name card with secret message or a special bottle of well selected wine ready. Match it with soft background music and candlelight and you’re on to a winner!”

Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, USA

Mark Severs, Restaurant Manager,WentworthMansion

“I have many guests order a bottle of wine that they are familiar with and have enjoyed at home.  It is amazing how many times the guest will comment how much more pleasing the wine was here at the restaurant.  There is infinitely more that goes into the tasting of wine than just the actual flavour – it’s the temperature, the stemware that it is served in and the feel it has on your hand, the visual presentation of the wine, the food you are enjoying with the wine, the surroundings in which the wine is being consumed, and the company that you are sharing.

The first step in wine presentation is making sure your bottle of wine is at the correct temperature.  The temperature will be different for whites and reds, as well as for wines with different weights. Once the bottle is selected and you have the correct temperature, I like to present the bottle of wine.  Tell your guest which wine you are serving, including the year. When pouring, twist the bottle about 180 degrees and wipe against a napkin so that no wine is spilled.  For white wines I will typically ask whether they would like the bottle kept on ice or on the table.  Some of your heavier whites (chardonnay) will benefit from a little warmer temperature. Make sure you top up your guests’ glasses throughout the evening.”

To check out more tips on How to Create Hotel style in your home click here

Spa Magic at Home

Spas have become a big rage and trend around the world. Especially since our hectic lifestyles and travels leave our skins dehyderated and bodies absolutely tired. I for one try to fit in a Spa appointment atleast once a month, and especially if I am travelling I try to take time out to visit the hotel spa atleast for a massage if nothing else. I know alot of people who do the same and I am sure none of us would mind having such handy tips at home to soothe our senses once in a while. Here again the Small luxury Hotels of the Worl (SLH) team has put together a few tips on how we can create a Spa at Home.

Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France

Delphine Duffours, Spa Manager, Les Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa

“Relaxation is a question of atmosphere – even in the most ordinary bathroom, you can recreate the atmosphere of a luxury spa, thanks to some accessories and products. Here are my 4 tips to spa bliss in your own home – firstly put some scented candles around your bath. A soft light and fragrance will fill your bathroom, for an immediate sensation of well-being. Secondly, put on some soothing music. Classical, background music or natural sounds, choose what has the most relaxing effect on you. Then – take your time. Be sure that you won’t be interrupted during this “spa session”, give yourself some time to focus on your well being. Prepare yourself a cup of green tea and a plate of fresh fruits high in potassium, like banana, kiwi, or avocado, to help relieve stress and anxiety.Finally, choose new beauty products, with soft textures and delicate fragrances. Take care of your body with a scrub, take time for a facial mask, massage and moisturize your body and your face.”

 Huvafen Fushi, NIYAMA and Desert Palm, Per AQUUM Retreats, Maldives – 

Jason Sloan, Group Director of Spa, Per AQUUM Retreats

Home scrub for skin like velvet, it works! Mix up some medium coarse salt or sugar (sugar is milder in texture and better for sensitive skin), cover the sugar/salt in grape-seed oil and some lavender essential oil. After being in the warm to hot bath for five minutes the skin has softened enough for you to scrub your legs arms and body as you bathe, the scrubbing circular action will remove dead skin and the oils will nourish, soothe and heal. Use with a loofah or exfoliating gloves if you wish. After the bath, shower with warm water to remove excess oils and pat dry, moisturise if necessary.

For a very gentle effective face peel; wash your face with a mild PH balanced cleanser. Mix fresh lemon juice with live natural unsweetened yoghurt leave on your face for 15 minutes (avoid eye area) and gently wash your face. Use a gentle toner and apply moisturiser. Very deep cleansing – try this regime 3 times a week and see the difference.Bring your spa to your bed – try adding lavender/rosewood to the final rinse in your wash cycle for your sheets!”

To check out more tips on how to create Hotel style at your home click here

Choose your Art

Choosing Art work for the house can seem like a very daunting experience. Especially since art is an expensive investment and a very impactful one at that. Noone wants to make the wrong desicion. Here we have a few people from the team of Small luxury hotels of the World (SLH) give us tips on how we can choose the right art work for our house, particularly the living and bedroom.

Pudi Boutique Hotel, Shanghai, China

Janet Bao, General Manager, Pudi Boutique Hotel

“The moment they step into the lobby here at Pudi Boutique Hotel, guests feel as if they are staying in an art gallery. We mix oil paintings and sculpture from young Chinese artists with a modern style. Guests may purchase these art works and take them home to add to their own collection. A few tips I’d offer when choosing art for your own home – choose a painting the width of your mattress to hang over your bed for dramatic effect in the bedroom – pick out colours from the painting in your cushions and bedding too. It is well worth investing in special lighting to highlight your artwork. And I like to choose one colour as a central theme and select pieces incorporating this colour to draw my whole art collection together – at Pudi Boutique Hotel red copper is featured in most of our artwork to add a strongShanghai feel.”

The George, Christchurch, New Zealand

Bruce Garrett, General Manager, The George

“In the bedroom you can use symmetry for maximum impact with matching lamps and cushions and a bigger bed head or panel with a horizontal frame to create a dramatic and stylish effect. Use neutral colours throughout with a pop of colour in each piece of artwork to make it stand out. It’s also effective to use one theme (like a region, or era – here at The George our themes include iconic images of our city in the guest rooms and NZ artists throughout the hotel) and then have different types of artwork based on the same theme including photography and pieces from different artists throughout your home. Choose matching frames in a row to pull your artwork together and use spotlighting to highlight each piece.”

To check out more tips on how to create hotel style at your home click here