Punjab is well known for its vibrant and colourful culture. Traditionally, the homes in the state have always reflected an earthy and vibrant vibe. Today, even though families may prefer contemporary or modern décor, they tend to infuse it with a few traditional elements.
It is interesting to note the evolution of architecture and home design in Punjab. It carries influences of the Indo-Aryan and Vedic eras, the period of Maurya, Gupta, Pala and other empires, as well as the Shahi kingdoms, the Muslim invasion, the Sikh rule, and the British colonial era.
Let’s look deeper at the different home designs in Punjab – from the old to the new, from rural to urban homes. We’ll also look at how to incorporate traditional Punjabi interior elements into your home today.
Traditional Punjabi Architecture
A traditional Punjabi kothi or haveli is a house built with a blend of Punjabi vernacular and colonial design elements. The typical construction materials were bricks, lime, mud, surkhi (powdered broken brick) and timber.
There was a central courtyard around which all the rooms were built. This courtyard acted as the common living area or the baithak and would be the centre of family gatherings. It also trapped air during summers, making sure the indoors are cool.
Rooms typically had curved arches, carved wooden doors and fireplaces. They also opened out to balconies and the garden outside. The windows had shutters and latticework. Balconies had intricately carved wood railings and ceilings. The outer façade of the house would have beautifully carved jharokhas – overhanging enclosed balconies that jut out from the wall. Some houses used to have big stoves on the rooftop for cooking on pleasant evenings.
Furniture in Punjabi Home Interiors
Rural Punjabi homes had simple furniture such as beds woven from jute husk. Low seating on the ground used to be quite popular in the living rooms.
How do you adapt these to your contemporary home today? Get solid wood furniture made of timber. Get a few elegantly carved accent pieces. You could get a stylish woven charpoy as a day bed for your living room or your balcony. Or design a low seating area in the living room, a low dining area, or a low seating area in the verandah.
Traditional Punjabi Textiles
Punjabi villagers used to make the famous Phulkari – colourful embroidery using thick cotton thread. Another traditional product is the ‘durrie’ – a simple mat made of coarse cotton. It is a rustic, long-lasting, versatile material.
Get Phulkari bedspreads or duvet covers to incorporate these traditional textiles in your bedroom. Use decorative Phulkari cushion covers in your living room, or get Phulkari tea-cozies, table covers and mats for your dining room.
Get a dhurrie as a floor rug. You can even mount one on the wall to make it attractive wall art. Use it as bedding, or under mattresses to avoid slipping of the bed cover.
Dining Room Décor
As far as utensils are concerned, steel has been the most popular in Punjab. You must have come across the large steel glasses that hold nearly a litre of ‘lassi’ or buttermilk.
In your home, get these tall steel or copper glasses to add quirk to your dining table décor. On a lighter note, you could even offer water and milk to your guests in these huge glasses and challenge them to finish the entire glass!
Home Entrance Décor the Punjab Way
Traditional Punjabi village homes used to decorate the entrance or the main arch of their homes with colourful ceramic tiles. You could emulate the look with a large ceramic-tiled mirror in the foyer area, or a ceramic-tile frame for your main door.
All rural Punjabi homes would have shaped water tanks. Your take on this could be to have a small fish pond in your balcony or living area if space allows. Decorate around it with pebbles, rock features, and plants to complete the outdoor look.
Using Natural Materials
Try to recreate the vibe of mud-floored, brick-coloured havelis using terracotta sculptures and terracotta tiles in your balcony or patio. You could even try a terracotta tiled kitchen backsplash.
Use stylish cane and wicker accent pieces of furniture in your living room, bedroom, or the balconies. Or build wall cladding in your balcony using thin cane sticks that are tightly woven together. Use raw cement or stone tiles in your kitchen or patio.
Even if your home has a neutral base, bring in a few pops of vibrant colours to create an atmosphere of joy. Opt for earthy tones like ochre yellow, crimson, brick red, and oranges. Offset it with pinks and blues.
It is fascinating to see how traditional and modern elements co-exist in interior and architecture home designs in Punjab home, isn’t it? Want to incorporate these traditional elements while designing a home that is modern and functional? Contact the expert designers at HomeLane today to start planning right away.