The Idealist

Indian Summer: Sunshine + Eastern influences make a great look

If you take a look outside, you’ll find that summertime’s in full bloom. As the weather makes a shift towards warmer climes, we similarly turn our gaze eastward, looking to the cultural splendour of India as inspiration to breath new life into your home. It’s difficult not to fall in love with India. It’s a nation with a history traceable to antiquity, and over the millennia of its existence, it has witnessed the rise and fall of countless empires. Its cultural diversity means that a population of roughly 1.3 billion worship almost every major world-religion and tell the country’s story in over a thousand different languages. A melting pot of countless ideas and identities, what emerges is a vibrant and robust culture, inexhaustible in its capacity to inspire. If you’re unable to make the trip, then fear not. The Indian Summer theme seeks out cool design pieces and colours inspired by the enchanting nation, developing a relaxed, breezy ambience for your home, ready for the summer.

India at your doorstep: How to Get the Look

To achieve an India-inspired, summery lightness, the look is chiefly centred on a light, rustic colour palette – a plethora of ash notes, ochre yellows and deep browns with touches of bold colour such as blues and magenta. Light fabrics also provide movement and a breezy openness to the your living space, perfectly suited for the seasonal warmth. Matched with this, late colonial and traditional, ornate design pieces serve as focal points to the space, adding a historical weight and air of timeless sophistication to complete the space.

The look’s neutral colour palette means that it works with a variety of styles. Homes already styled in the modern industrial vein can capitalise on the late colonial-dimension that can also be pulled off through blending these styles. Nevertheless, any neutrally coloured, open-planned space with exposed wood flooring is plenty for your home to truly set sail.

Keeping structural statements understated

Like the other countries of the region, ornate, artisan-carved wood design pieces form a part of India’s artistic heritage. Large and intricate, these pieces make a statement. Both Lombok and Maisons Du Monde offer design pieces reminiscent of this artistic tradition. Washed in light ashen tones and antiqued, these pieces subtly infuse an oriental exoticism to your home without being overbearing and taking from the room’s lightness.


The Mille Et Une Nuit Folding Screen from Maisons Du Monde is gorgeously ornate, and is also a brilliant way of managing space. Its design retains a notably eastern feel, whilst its lacy grey patina retains your room’s relaxed, open feel. £240.

The Inti Design Wall Art from Lombok follows in this vein.  Handcrafted in India by skilled artisans, its screen-like design flows with the Mille Et Une Nuit Folding Screen, neatly tying the room together. Its distressed and earthy greyed mango wood finish imparts a relaxed feel in the way it plays against the dulled white of the wall. £225.

These Paillettes Linen Curtains introduces a rustic touch to the space. Finished in a light Ecru dye, these curtains diffuse and soften sunlight, making way for gentler hues within the room. The light, breezy qualities of linen mean the curtain’s movement gorgeously complementing the muted, structural statement pieces. £ 47.99.

Antiqued wooden hues

Antiqued woods are a fantastic way of dressing down a space. Musky grey-brown notes infuse a rustic and earthy quality to your home, carrying its essence as a light and casual space. Nonetheless, incorporated tastefully, antiqued woods also flirt with history, delivering a depth and timeless sophistication to your home.

Lombok’s Baxter Wide Ladder Book Case exudes this dressed-down elegance. Its form conjures romanticised images of emporiums of eastern spice merchants of times gone by. Simple and pragmatic, its reclaimed pine racks pair beautifully with its dulled steel frame, finished in a silhouette-like grey. If space permits, matching this with the Baxter Narrow Ladder Book Case would do wonders in binding the room together. £695. The Baxter Narrow Ladder Book Case can be bought from Lombok for £525.

The Maharani Solid Mango Wood Indian Chest is a piece we’re all slightly in love with. Painted a brilliant turquoise-blue, the colour is reminiscent to the royal courts of bygone times. This nostalgia is intensified by the chest’s antiqued finish. The exposed mango wood infuses a historical depth into the piece, whilst also marrying the piece with the rest of the space. £ 363.

The Saranya Side Table follows suit. It’s antiqued black finish foils the exposed wood whilst also making the beautifully ornate design all the more striking. £103.50.

Textiles, textures- to taste

Being adventurous with textile choices is a fantastic way of developing character whilst retaining a colour scheme or theme. A somewhat salt-and-pepper of the design world, they provide the finishing touches in perfecting a desired look and ambience for a space.

In this sense, the Bengali Coir Cushion Set further develops our scheme’s exotic air. These wicker cushions conjure images of the great marketplaces of the distant past, greatly complementing the theme’s relaxed and rustic feel. Set on the floor, they’d make a great counterpoint to the Saranya Side Table. £140.50.

The Lazy Occasional Chair heavily features woven rattan, a staple of traditional furniture all over Asia.  Set in a classically formed solid teak frame, the chair epitomises a very oriental-inspired reimagining of the classic armchair. £595.

With summer upon us, a light, rustic colour scheme opens up your living space to make the most of the season’s warmth. Paired with Indian-inspired design elements, the Indian Summers theme capture a small part of the region’s infinite charm and history, and is sure to inspire new life into any home.

You May Also Like

  • Nigel is a writer and journalist living in London. He loves music, literature and architecture. Since moving to London to study, he’s yet to kick his honeymoon phase with the city, and when not working, can consequently be found making the most of what London has to offer. He maintains that Billy Joel is one of the greatest and most critically misunderstood singer-songwriters of our time. So far, he has found 3 other people that agree with him.

  • Comments

You May Also Like

Modern colour scheme: yellow and concrete in the dining room

Modern colour scheme: yellow and concrete in the dining room

Shades of grey and concrete combined with yellows ranging from creams and lemons to buttercup, citrine and sunshine yellow make a great combination. We ...

Light Up Your Summer

With the summer season well and truly upon us, many of you will be making the most of any outdoor space you have. To ...