Decorating a Room Inspired by Indian Spices


The Indian Spice style of decorating intends to be as colorful and interesting as the many varieties of spices used in Indian cuisine. Influence directly comes from the many wonderful and diverse regions of India: the Himalayas, Great Plains, busy cities, and river valleys. The result is a kaleidoscope of cheery colors, interesting patterns, sheen silks, and comfortable settings.

With the busy-ness of prints and multiple colors, the Indian Spice style might be too distracting in a home office or bedroom. It's optimal for gathering rooms such as the living room, kitchen, and dining room where the completed look urges guests to lounge longer and mingle. These gathering rooms done in Indian Spice style offer excellent opportunities to take decorating to the next level by incorporating elements for each of the five senses, something we'll discuss the Style Lesson section.

In this article you'll learn:

  • Top color choices for achieving a style inspired by Indian Spices
  • Textures and fabrics most aligned with the decorating theme
  • Finishing touches to consider utilizing
  • Decorating for the senses
  • Developing a Chic Indian Spice styled room


For an Indian Spice style room, the more colors, the better. Thus the reigning challenge in terms of color is deciding between a muted or brighter color palette. A muted palette conjures a softer, more formal room while brighter tones will energize and feel slightly more casual. With this in mind, it's important to know the desired mood for the room as well as families of color you'd like to steer towards, per color psychology.

Also keep in mind that although the style welcomes a multitude of colors, a conceptualized scheme is beneficial when choosing fitting decor elements. Utilizing a favorite Indian print centers the design and eliminates the need for decision making, simply pull colors from the print and identify complementary additions.


Indian Spice style exudes most of its interest from fabrics. There is a variety of Indian prints and fabrics on the market, enough for every personalized design preference. Consider hanging wedding awnings, or ras mandels, pictorial fabrics, and Kasmir crewel work, among other embroideries and patterns.

Utilize various methods of incorporating the fabrics to keep things interesting and the bright colors and patterns scattered throughout the room. Using ras mandels on the ceiling creates a festive, party tent element, and turning a smaller wall into a showcased accent wall is easily accomplished with the right sized banner or pictorial fabric. Framing a particularly beautiful scarf or embroidery will make it sturdier and dust-proof, while adding color to the decor. Consider doing a painting technique inspirited by a favorite fabric pattern using methods such as stamping or rolling a motif. It's not necessarily a different texture, but will add dimension to the walls.

With so many colorful, relatively smooth textures there needs to be some sort of structural texture. Consider metal, carved wood, and wicker elements in both furniture and adornment pieces such as a boxes for trinkets and candlestick holders.


Traditionally, Indians don't use very much furniture. Seating was often on the rug covered floor or perched on a pillow. With this in mind, go for lower sitting furniture when choosing seating and coffee tables. For a unique and traditional route, place a mattress topped with silk pillows on the floor as a main sitting area in a living room. If going a more modernized version with couches, opt for comfortable, plush, with deep cushions. This is an excellent style to utilize a generous slipcover. The extra fabric will make the seating more inviting and cozy.

Indian Spice's heavy reliance on fabric makes decorating on a budget easy. Use existing furniture that is either covered by slip covers or tablecloths for quick transformations. For tables, dressers, and shelves, if the lines are right, but the color doesn't fit, go ahead and paint. Great furniture paint options are neutral colors which serve to balance the variety of colors. Another option for added interest is to stamp or stencil a motif directly onto the furniture.

Finally, work in a few wicker chairs and turn of the century wooden shelves to evoke a British colonial style. Of course if you can find any beautifully carved chairs or tables in the likeness of Indian style, then go for those. Steer clear of iron wrought furniture as it adds too much heaviness in an already weighed down, due to numerous patterns and fabrics, room.


The last touches of Indian Spice decor should emphasize a friendly, welcome atmosphere. Begin with plenty of pillows and fabric then add a few Indian inspired accessories. Here are some ideas:

- Pile large, Euro-style pillows on the floor for additional seating.

- Place a few Indian style tea pots on shelves or side tables. There are many beautifully painted or etched metal options available.

- Infuse a bit of whimsy with an elephant statue or two.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online How to Decorate a Room course?
- Look for colorful Hindi artwork and sculptures to display.

- Ensure the lighting works with other design components such as a simple lamp base to offset a room teeming with patterns and votive candles scattered around a living room for calming ambient light.

- Look for colorful glassware such as votive holders, glass coasters, and drinking glasses.

Keep in mind with all the patterns and fabrics at work within the Indian Spice room that it won't need too many additional elements. In fact, too many things can lead to a undesired cluttered effect. Stick to a few items just for a final polish.

*LEARN MORE The Hindu religion has an estimated 330 million deities. Find one who represents something that resonates with you, then use that deity's statue or picture in the Indian Spice room. It'll give meaning to the artwork.


Paying attention to each of the five senses will turn a nicely decorated room into a well-rounded experience. Satisfying all the senses isn't too difficult to achieve, either, but adds substantial impact to a design.


The best way to incorporate sound is by playing background music. Music helps create the mood of a room or gathering. Keep a good speaker system hooked up, or an instrument ready for playing. Try matching the music to the room such as upbeat Indian music in an Indian Spice decorated room, or classical piano melodies in an Aristocratic Romance room. Of course moving away from a room's style is perfectly acceptable as well. Music can stand on its own in creating a mood, simply determine appropriate songs for a gathering, or even during alone time.


Scent can by energizing, calming, and even healing, turning a room into some place truly special. Infuse scent into a room through various means to determine what functions best for the room and lifestyle. Candles are an obvious choice, but what kind of wick? Options include traditional thread or wooden wick for the crackling effect. The kind of wax also factors in to the scent strength and burn time. Try out a few kinds and brands of candles to identify the best options. Oils and incense are also great scent mediums. Oils can easily be mixed for custom scents and incense diffuses the scent without an actual flame (though the burning tip is hot and flammable). Reed diffusers and potent flowers provide scent without any flame or heat, excellent options for those prone to forget a candle is lit, or a home with small children.


It might sound silly to consider taste when decorating, but in an effort to create a warm space, offering a bowl of salty or sweet treats takes welcoming guests step further. A bowl of candy, nuts, and chocolates can look pretty and replicate the decor. Put out some Indian Mukhwas for an Indian Spice room, or sea salt caramels for a Beachside Chic room. The concept also works well for seasonal decor such as candy canes for Christmas and candy corn for Halloween. A final idea suitable for an unveiling party to share a newly decorated room is a cocktail or dinner party inspired by the room's theme. That means naan and plenty of samosas for an Indian Spice room.

By paying attention to all five senses, not just sight and touch, a well-styled room becomes a wholly satisfying, welcoming space. The additions are simple and customizable enough to be done in any room, instantly sprucing up the most mundane space.

*LEARN MORE: Attend a wine tasting class to better decipher tastes and scents. This article will help in choosing both scents and flavor components.


Indian Spice by nature is comfortable and very casual, even when done elegantly with richer tones and beautifully carved furniture. Adding a Chic factor to the style formalizes it a bit more, making it optimal for a dining room or more formal living room. A bedroom would also benefit from the look.

As always, begin with the color palette and primary fabric patterns. Steer towards blocks of color and smaller motifs when choosing fabric. It'll be easier to maintain sophistication within the look by cutting out the busy, large patterns. Aim for silkier and sheer fabrics, edged with jeweled and beaded trim. The sparkle factor further elevates the fabric and resulting look.

For furniture, look for the same pieces mentioned previously for Indian Spice: low sitting, plush, and comfortable. Take the look a step further by keeping the couches neutral then draping saris over the backs and arms. The look should be effortless and give off a feeling of luxury.

Aim for gold metals for finishing touches. Gold evokes a richer look than any other metal choice, perfect for creating a Chic theme. Keep lamps either sleek in shiny gold, or artisanal in hammered gold bulbous bases. Ambient light from an arrangement of pillared candles looks great when lit and unlit. Additional elements should retain an Indian feel, but also a level of sophistication, remaining on the Chic avenue.

Finally, place some Mukhwas in a gold bowl to satisfy the taste element, and a vase of fresh cut, scented flowers, helping to round out a fully sensual experience. The end result is still very Indian Spice inspired, but raised to a more sophisticated level, perfect for creating a formal yet welcoming look.


The Indian Spice styled room can take numerous routes of looks: a richer toned color palette keeps the look subdued and even slightly elegant, while brighter patterns and fabrics can be more casual and energizing. Choosing a few patterns that work well is an easy solution for settling on a color scheme. Avoid getting too overwhelmed with patterns by opting for single colored crewel work and embroideries which add texture and interests without color.

Indian Spice is about comfort, so plush, deep seating is key. Traditionally Indians use very few furniture pieces, so placing a mattress on the floor, covered with silk pillows and saris works as a comfortable, traditional seating area. If a couch is preferable, add a few oversized pillows on the floor for additional seating. Counter all the plush fabrics with sturdy wicker or wooden furniture.

Complete the look with Indian inspired elements such as carved wooden or steel boxes, colored glass votive candle holders, and Indian tea pots. Add whimsy with carved elephant statues or even draping a wall with saris.

Round out any decor by appealing to all five senses. Most design schemes cater to only sight and touch, but including elements to appease taste, hearing, and smell make a room even more welcoming. Include bowls of nuts, chocolates, or seeds for taste samplings. Play background music to set a mood, and use various candles, oils, diffusers, and even flowers to add scent. All these components can be directly inspired by the room's decor, a particular mood for a gathering, or seasonal influences.

Finally, combining comfortable Indian Spice with a Chic style results in a comfortable yet more formally inclined room. Opt for more colors over patterns to avoid a casual look. Choose fabrics edged with beading for that extra bit of sparkle. Look for cleaner furniture pieces, then drape saris for an effortless hint of luxury. Finishing touches should steer towards gold metals and sophisticated elements. The final look is put together, sophisticated, but comfortable, like a well-fitting formal dress or suit.

Designing a room inspired by Indian Spice involves plenty of colors and fabrics, but that makes it a wonderfully customizable room. Feel free to scale back on colors and patterns by balancing with neutral colors, it'll still achieve the same welcoming Indian Spice outcome.

Key elements for achieving an Indian Spice inspired style:

- Theme: Indian Spice should be colorful, cheery, and welcoming. Using various patterns adds interest and energy while comfortable seating and plush pillows helps guests relax.

- Color: Aim for either a bright toned array of colors, or a richer, deeper palette. This is an optimal style to pull colors directly from a few favorite fabric patterns.

- Textures and fabrics: Indian Spice thrives off silks, pictorial fabrics, and Kasmir crewel work, among other embroideries and patterns. Look for a few complementary fabrics to hang on the walls, cover furniture, or make pillow cases.

- Furniture style: Fill an Indian Spice room with low lying furniture and plush seating, staying aligned with the Indian tradition of no furniture. Generously slip cover plush couches allowing the pooling fabric to increase a comforting effect. A pile of large Euro style pillows make additional seeing on the floor. If Indian style carved seating or tables are affordable, choose one of two to pull the look together.

- Objects to pull it together: With all the patterns and colors at work in Indian Spice, keep finishing touches to a minimum. Choose votive candles for their ambient light, carved steel tea pots, and statues of elephants for a bit of whimsy.

Words of caution:

- Be sure all the patterns chosen work well together. Add neutral colored (or one of the color scheme's colors) embroidery or crewel work cloth for added texture without introducing additional color.

- Functionality always wins, so if a mattress in the middle of the room for a seating area doesn't work for your family, break tradition and choose couches.

- Don't forget to dust hung fabrics. A dusty awning or sari isn't colorful and chic, it's just dusty and dull.

- When decorating with scents remember that sometimes lit candles need to be repositioned if normally arranged within a foot of flammable objects. Longer wicks also produce bigger flames with more smoke, so keep them trimmed per the candle manufacturer's instructions.