A living space is a culmination of the tastes, ideas and preferences of all the people in that household. From the colors of the walls to how you choose to style your sofa cushions, it’s all about making a statement. However, most of us opt for something modern and western, perhaps things we have seen in films and media to style our abode. If we look at our own traditions and culture, the aesthetics are one of the finest in the world. Incorporating traditional artworks, crafts, or sculptures in your decor can help give your living space a kind of charm that’s true to your culture and essence. Here’s how you can add some much-needed Nepalipan to your home.
Yellow for the floor
We seem to have left the ‘gundris’ and ‘piras’ behind and have instead accepted carpets, sofas, and divans as our primary furniture. No, we are not asking you to get rid off your couches and spread out ‘pirkas’ as living room furniture but it looks great when these local elements are added into a modern styled living space. They also look great when hung on the walls (if they are small in size) and also work as floor mats, especially in spaces with wooden flooring. Plus they are eco-friendly as they are made from natural fibers. So along with making your floor look resplendently golden, a ‘gundri’ will make you feel like you are doing your bit to conserve the environment as well. One can find such decor items around several custom stores around Kathmandu, one being the Nepal Knotcraft Centre located in the Patan Industrial Estate in Lagankhel. Or you can visit their showroom in Kupondole, Lalitpur too.
Let copper shine
Almost all of us have traditional bowls, ‘karuwas’, vases made of copper, silver or brass, neatly packed away and stored in cupboards or maybe pushed aside in the ‘puja’ room waiting for a festival. However, they make for a great catchall (you can keep it on a shelf in your living room or on a table at the entryway). ‘Karuwas’, ‘antis’ and ‘amkhoras’ can be used as flower vases. It can also be a good option for a centerpiece on your dining or coffee table. If you have large copper or brass bowls, you can use them to display fruits, flowers and even place floating candles or ‘diyos’ in them and light them up when you have guests over for dinner. It makes for a very romantic and serene ambience, one your guests will definitely appreciate.
Go local for light aesthetics
The use of ‘lalteens’ or oil lamps have become almost obsolete, especially in urban areas like Kathmandu. As we have round the lock electricity, it would be difficult to use a traditional ‘lalteen’ mainly because it works on kerosene or gasoline. But nowadays, LED or filament lamps designed in the shape of a ‘lalteen’ are easily available in the market. The design is the same but the lanterns are fitted with electrical bulbs. They make for a great aesthetic indoors as well as outdoors, giving one’s home a traditional yet artistic vibe. Similarly, there are several copper and brass styled lamps available at various furniture stores in Nepal. One can find various options for such lightings at furniture/decor stores like Metalwood Nepal. It might feel like quite an investment because these lamps definitely don’t come cheap but you will be glad you decided to spend the money once you incorporate this décor element in your house.
Recognize the glory of wood
According to the ‘alleged’ words of Arniko, Nepal’s first recorded architecture, in the world of aluminum windows, is an ‘akhi jhyal’. As Nepalis, we have only started to recognize the beauty of woodcrafts and handicrafts when it comes to decor. It is a sad fact that most of our woodcrafts are exported and sold elsewhere in other countries rather than being used while building or designing our own homes. Wooden sculptures of deities, crafted windows and doors give the living space an extremely solemn and warm feel. This way, you will be promoting local sculptors who are extremely talented and meticulous in their crafts and you also get to be a part of a legacy to preserve our art and tradition.
Promote Nepali art
Sure, having a copy or perhaps an original of a Jackson Pollock in your bedroom looks great but, as an art enthusiast living in Nepal, it would be simply wrong to not own a thangka or have a mithila painting in your art collection. The details as well as the hard work that goes into making these artworks alone are worthy of being appreciated. They can be considered visual masterpieces reflective of the diverse culture of Nepal. There are plenty of thangka painting studios in Nepal. You can simply go to one and pick your favorite or have them commissioned according to taste. Similarly, for mithila chitrakala, it may be a little tricky to get hold of a genuine one. So if you ever find yourself in Janakpur, don’t forget to look for it. You can have a feature wall that combines wooden sculptures, a thangka or two as well as something authentic made from bamboo or hemp, all styled together and it’s definitely going to be one of the ‘eye-catching’ sites in your home.
The alleys of Ason and Bhaktapur are places where you can find some great décor items, and at reasonable prices to boot. This weekend we recommend you stroll through these narrow but fascinating lanes and pick up some crafts that you think would be great décor additions at home. Also, always be on the lookout for nifty items that you can incorporate in your living space. Buy ‘dhaka’ fabric and fashion them into cushion covers or pillowcases. You can also use the fabric to make table runners or placemats. Nepalis are skilled artisans and you will find a lot of metal, wood, and paper crafts at various stores around town.