Look at the image below. What comes to your mind seeing it? Old Indian movies? The flashback sequence etc. etc.
This kind of setup was pretty common in the old movies. When the filmmakers today try to recreate the same era, they have generally this image in their minds. The dark (mostly black or charcoal) coloured furniture and the light pale painted walls. So, we think that this is the India from the 19th century. It indeed is, but it is not Indian style of decor. It is actually the British colonial style of interior. The British colony was at its zenith in the 19th and 20th centuries. And it made sure to leave its decor impact all across the world when the Britishers travelled to do business, to set the colonies or to explore.Yes, the style evolved and changed dress up over the period of time but underlying hallmarks are still visible.
So, let us see what are the visible elements of English decor in the Indian houses.
1. Contrast furniture, and walls and floor
The furniture made of dark wood, and the dark wooden floors are the British influence on our decor. While the designs are still the adoption of the Indian art, the dark furniture went well with the light coloured walls. We all know that white means peace and it keeps the mind happy by giving the feeling of lightness. Similarly, the light coloured paints on the walls gave the illusion of space and kept the room aerated.
2. High ceilings in the houses
Do not confuse the concept with the magnificent ceilings of the palaces. While there always had been the custom of mirrored and artistic ceilings in the palaces, temples and public places, the Indian houses got the high ceilings during the British reign. The concept was scientific, though. The idea was to keep the room cool since when the heat rises to the ceilings, the fresh air got circulated.
3. Hanging ceiling lights and Punkha
We are not talking about the lanterns, but the bell jar lights that got quite the rave during the British rule in India. These lights on the high ceilings illuminated the room dimly (like the moonlight) and gave the illusion of bigger space too. The reflective paint also made the room brighter with these Hundi bell jar lanterns.
By pankha, we are not talking about the electric fans of today, these were the big bulky fibre cloth expanded with the wooden base tied with the rope. They were swung by the servants.
It is quite surprising to accredit such an invaluable style of Indian architecture to the English. But it is true. The verandas at the entrance or at the back of the house are actually the gift of the English. These are the places with the sofa and the table where people meet and greet in the mornings with the newspapers and a cup of tea. They offer the fresh air without having to bear the scorching Sun over your head. Some houses also added the swings or the plants in the Verandas for the added beauty.
5. Rounded Windows
These kind of windows are still quite popular. The tall windows with the rounded top marked the British excellence. We can see many popular Indian architectures with such adoption of the rounded windows. They did not have any use in particular but added an elegance to the rooms.
It is the best quality about India, she embraces different cultures and makes like her own. Many times, it becomes impossible to differentiate the host and the guest architectural and decor styles from the Indian houses. We thought these were the native decor styles but turned out to be not. Well, if you want the modern houses with all the basic amenities in the well-connected city Jaipur, browse our catalogue of luxury apartments in Jaipur and choose your dream house.