There are many ways in which home owners can quickly get their homes ready for the festive season, with designer accessories that are readily available. Here’s a guide on how to use these, to spruce up your home for Dussehra

The festive season is a time, when many home owners decorate their homes to make it colourful and bright. This often extends to the temple area, where attractive puja accessories are used. For those who lack the time to make elaborate preparations, designer accessories for festivals are now easily available in stores. From bandhanwars, decorative kalash and chowkis, to instant rangolis and thalis, these accessories can be used to add a festive look to the home, quickly.

“Nowadays, people are increasingly opting for readymade puja accessories and decorative embellishments, to create a divine aura at home during festivals. These accessories can also be customised, according to one’s requirements, the theme of decoration and price. Readymade accessories are available for decorating the home’s entrance, temple area, floor and corners,” explains Khushboo Jain, founder, Urban Haveli – The Home Décor Studio, Mumbai.

Sprucing up the main entrance, to make it welcoming
The main entrance provides the first impression of any home. It is also the entry point for positive energies into the house. Hence, this area should be vibrant and welcoming, especially during festivals.

You can decorate the entrance with auspicious symbols like a swastika, shubh labh, om and Laxmi feet. “These days, one gets fancy torans made from terracotta, fabrics like bandhini and even wooden cutouts and papier mâché. Along with fresh flowers like lotus, one can use Ashoka leaves, as they are considered auspicious and combine it with colourful pompoms.

“Embellishments such as tiny bells, beads, stones, pearls, tiny mirrors sequins, silk and tissue flowers, can also be used to add some glitter,” states Mital Surendira, CEO of Sanskrriti, a gift store in Chennai.

Rangoli is considered auspicious at the main entrance of the house. Readymade rangolis save time and are smudge-free, unlike powder. These are available in various shapes, such as floral and geometric shapes, in acrylic and even plywood. “Portable rangolis are quite popular. They are a perfect fusion of contemporary and tradition designs, We make them on ply and they are light in weight,” adds Surendira. When it comes to serving guests, prasad trays and boxes exquisitely crafted using velvet and gota, are also available.

Decorating the temple area for festivals
To decorate the temple, one can use a variety of fresh floral garlands that can be custom-made from a florist. One can customise them, according to a theme or colour. For example, use orchids for a blue and purple theme, or rose and tuberose if you prefer a red and white colour theme.

The puja thali is an important accessory and there are plenty of options to choose from.

“Puja thalis, decorated with kundan, gemstones, laces and metal motifs can add a glamorous touch. Try and colour-coordinate the thali, with the garlands and coconut (festooned with fabric) for a stunning effect. For the festive season, colours like red, yellow, orange, gold and silver are ideal. Accordingly, matching clothes and fabric for the deities, decoration and other puja accessories should be picked, to celebrate events like Dussehra,” suggests Neelam Lahoti of Neelam Arts and Crafts, Mumbai.

Puja thalis made with a wooden base or MDF (medium density fibre board) or papier mâché with kundan studded on them, are easy to maintain. “Apart from this, marble puja thalis with attractive meenakari hand painting work are also becoming popular,” says Jain.

Ways to brighten up the home
To brighten up the home, a variety of diyas and candles stands, in different colours, sizes and materials, can be used. Simple, hand-painted diyas or even ornate silver ones can add radiance to the temple. Even lanterns have undergone a transformation. Today, one can choose from earthen lanterns or metal lanterns made from copper, brass, or silver in various colours. Dress up the floor with bright rugs and dhurries. Most importantly, ensure that there is ample seating space available for the family around the temple, to sit together and pray during the festival.

Tips to decorate your home quickly, for Dussehra
Shades of red, orange, green, etc., are ideal colours for decorating the temple area during festivals. Place red rose petals or marigold in the corners near the temple, to add a festive touch.
Brighten up the home’s entrance, with spotlights and a toran. Strings of colourful LED lights at the entrance, can add to the festive look.
Arrange tiny twinkling lights around the temple or stuff fairy lights in see-through jars and place them near the temple area.
If you prefer eco-friendly décor, opt for products like fresh or dried colourful flowers and leaves, jute flowers, bamboo and recycled paper.
Fragrance plays an important role in infusing a festive feel. So, light incense sticks, fragrant candles, or dhoop near the temple. Alternatively, you can use diffusers with camphor, sandalwood, rose or any other oil.

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