Often, when I go to people’s houses I get the sense that they feel like a copy paste formula of the same materials— stone, wood, glass, and neutral colours. Perfect, yet impersonal, and not cosy and inviting as a home should be.

Here are a few tips to warm up your space and make it truly feel like your own.

Lighting Is Key


I personally love track lights—they also work great as focused lighting for artworks. You can find these in the many lighting stores in Lok Nayak Bhavan—I recommend checking out Decon. Add as many lamps as possible for a dimmer, cosier feel. Check out Fabindia for some great earthy floor lamps or Lightbox for imported options. If you’re feeling a little experimental, get inspired by Brancusi’s work and team up with your local carpenter and electrician to transform a good block of solid wood into a one-of-a-kind lamp.

Where: For a complete list of Fabindia outlets, click here; Lok Nayak Bhawan, Prithviraj Lane, Sujan Singh Park; Lightbox, 3rd Floor, 356-357 MG Road, Sultanpur, Mehrauli

Check out lights at Fabindia online here and find out more about Lightbox here.

Candid Photographs And Prints

Ishrat candid photos

With the help of smartphones with HD cameras, Instagram, and photo editing apps, being an amateur candid photographer has never been easier! Frame some candid, natural photos in black and white and place them around the house in clusters or on a ledge. Having only posed, professional photographs gives homes a colder, more formal look. Prints from your travels work great too.

Bansals in Defence Colony can print these for you within the hour. Super Art Gallery in Lajpat Nagar does simple, affordable frames as an alternate to Picturesque in Khan Market. And they deliver!

Where: Bansal Printing Press, Shop No. 13, Defence Colony; Super Art Gallery, Block C, Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar; Picturesque,  5A, Ground Floor, Khan Market

Contact: 011 41001167 {Bansal}; 011 29833484 {Super Art Gallery}; 011 41757016 {Picturesque}

Potted Plants, Everywhere!

Ishrat plants

There’s nothing quite like indoor greenery. Get some cool planters in fun shapes that are available in any nursery and repaint them with a fun finish. Oikos does a great concrete finish. I love different kinds of cactus. Oversized palms, ferns, and exotic anthuriums make for great indoor plants as well. As does aloe vera—for its many benefits, especially in this heat!

Where: Oikos India, No. 29, Unit 3, Tribhuvan Complex, Ishwar Nagar, Mathura Road; Khan Market Nursery

Find out more about Oikos here.

Embrace Your Inner Quirky

Ishrat inner quirky

Think about what you like doing and find a way to bring that into your space. My brother plays polo and was struggling to find a space to put his huge mallets. Finally we made a beautiful stand for them in the hallway outside his room, where they are displayed in multiples along the entire wall, and look great.

Any tokens that evoke a memory and have a story attached to them make for great conversation starters to have around your home.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Colour!

Ishrat colorPeople are afraid of using colour and thus recede to their safe zone; I call it a case of the neutrals. Fight this urge and enhance your space by matching Sarita Handa throw pillows to a soft vibrant rug you can lounge on- —in colours you love. Check out Mishcat Co—I’ve heard good things!

Where: Sarita Handa, 356-357, Second floor, Sultanpur, MG Road; Mischcat Co., K-15, Jangpura Extension, Jangpura

Contact: +91 9555733344 {Sarita Handa}; +91 9810083554 {Mishcat Co.}

Follow Mishcat Co on Instagram here and on Facebook here.

This is a part of our Makers for Makers series, where awesome folks from Delhi share what makes it to their Little Black Book.