This month an absolute classic gets a 21st century update when the new version of The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, is released. Set in Rajasthan, the timeless story may not seem an obvious place to seek out interiors inspiration – but this area of India is in fact one of the most beautiful and inspiring places, influencing generations of interior designers looking for something exotic and out-of-the-ordinary for their schemes.
It’s home to two incredibly colourful and famously beautiful cities – Jodhpur is know as The Blue City after the city’s founder’s 15th century decree that houses must be painted blue. Elsewhere in Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as The Pink City. The distinctive terracotta pink of its buildings was chosen as a sign of welcome – it was painted totally pink in 1876 to impress Prince Albert when he visited the city.
These two landmark spots alone indicate that any design scheme inspired by Rajasthan must be colourful! Taking inspiration from either of these cities is a great start, but for an authentic look think about mottled, dusty paint effects rather than solid blocks of colour. Rich, warm pigments that have red as the base will work wonderfully well for this, and even the ombre-style painting technique that has been in vogue for the last year or so.
Wallpaper is perhaps an even better way to bring some Indian style inspiration to your room. For centuries artists and designers have been inspired by the culture and architecture of the country, bringing back the intricate patterns and vibrant colours found on buildings in the area. Floral motifs feature heavily in these buildings, as do complex geometric patterns.
Add some opulence
The splendour of India is very much a feature of this look – you want your room to feel luxurious and opulent. Adding accent details in gold and bronze – an intricate geometric mirror surround for example – will bring just that feeling.
Likewise think carefully about the floor – comfort and luxury should be the watchwords here, with layered rugs or super-soft carpets adding warmth and making everything soft underfoot.
Once you have settled on your walls and floors, it’s time to flood your space with prints. Luxurious and beautiful textiles are a huge part of India’s design culture, so adding nods to this will help complete the look.
Indian floral patterns and of course the classic – though not necessarily that authentic – Paisley prints look great layered up one on top of the other. And of course take more tips from The Jungle Book by selecting cushions featuring motifs of tigers and elephants – currently a mini-trend themselves on the high-street.
To bring these diverse patterns together make sure you mix up embroidery, prints and woven fabrics to create a luxurious, comfy jumble on the sofa.
If you are inspired by Rajasthan then visit your nearest store using our store locator and find carpets or rugs that add opulence to your home.