Holi was my favourite festival as a child. And that was because of all the colours, the water guns, the food the music, and all that dancing. We ran in and out of the house, never once giving a thought to all the colours spilled on the floor, on the furniture, sprayed on the walls, and splattered on the doors. My mother spent several days ahead of Holi preparing the house, putting away the good cushion covers, removing the expensive crystal bowls away from our reach, and generally making the house “Holi-proof”. It’s only when I grew up that I realized that a fun filled holiday for us must have been hard labour for her.
Years have passed since then, and I have the next generation of children, my nieces and nephews, all set for the festival, shopping for their water guns and colours just like I had done all those years ago. It’s now our turn as adults to ensure that the joyous spirit of the festival is retained, for us and the children.
I like to bring in this beautiful spring festival the way it should be welcomed – with lots of flowers and vibrant colours in my house. At the same time, I don’t want to ruin the excitement of the festival by worrying too much about the damage that might happen to the house. Use these simple tips to decorate and protect your interiors for one of the most colourful festivals in the world.
Holi is an outdoor festival. Decorate your doors, balconies, and staircases with garlands of Marigolds. I like to add some roses to the décor as well. You can also hang colourful paper buntings and as part of your decorations.
Cover your dining table with a disposable, colourful tablecloth, before laying out the festive feasts for your family and guests. Make sure that there are some bright flower arrangements at the table as well. Make a stunning coffee table centerpiece with an earthen bowl filled with water and seasonal flowers. Use disposable plates and cutlery.
Clear the side consoles, expensive wall décor that might get damaged, and anything in your living room that you want to protect. You can even replace your regular curtains with vibrant shower curtains for the day to add an extra element of colour to your interiors, while also protecting your precious drapes.
Leaving the heavy furniture where it is, push the moveable pieces of furniture against the wall, creating more space for movement, as well as making a clever barrier between the walls and the hyperactive little ones running in and out of the house.
Change at least some of the cushion covers to vibrant colours, adding to the festive ambience of the house. Cover your couches, upholstered chairs and settees with colourful sheets that would also protect them.
On the morning of the festival, protect your door knobs by applying some turpentine or mustard oil on them. This will later make the removal of those inevitable colour stains easier.
After Holi, use a paste of baking soda and water to remove any stains that you might find on your floor and bathroom tiles. Apply the paste on the stained area, leave it for some time and then brush it off. Since all the post-Holi baths can leave you with colour stained bathroom fixtures, just apply some petroleum jelly on them before the family steps out to play Holi.
I do hope you don’t have to deal with it, but synthetic colours can leave stubborn stains on the walls. Avoid rubbing the walls too hard, and instead, use light dabbing with soft cotton towels to avoid further damage to wall colour.
Last, but not the least, please use toxin-free, organic colours for Holi. Not just to protect your home, but more importantly, to stay away from the harmful effects the synthetic colours can have on your loved ones.