Of Lovely Yellow Walls and Eccentric DIY

By Rashmi Joshi

Who doesn’t remember the black birds and polaroid pictures on the yellow wall, the ‘artsy’ second hand collection from Chor Bazaar and vintage cabinets that unleashed the essence of the characters through the creatively arranged DIY studio apartment from the much revered movie “Wake Up Sid?” The happiness of being able to create a space that describes one’s allegiance or whims and fancies; the satisfaction of breaking away from a traditional sense of living, is slowly yet significantly redefining cultural norms celebrating individuality in its foremost sense.

A sense of quirkiness linked with DIY or Do It Yourself is becoming the need of the hour especially when it comes to arranging and setting up homes. DIY implies making something on your own even though the product itself is available in the market. From simple arts and crafts (think Diwali lamps and lanterns,) this spectrum goes on to include everyday décor items too.

It all started from the notion of decorating a house with a pocket friendly stipend budget, a scenario accustomed to many in this day and age. This monetary aspect put their creativity to use, thereby giving rise to personalized and funky home spaces. The use of ferry lights wrapped around bird cages instead of fancy chandeliers, bulletin boards with motivating quotes instead of boring calendars and movie posters with quirky frames instead of rich paintings – all of which reflects the restless young energy trying to break away from ‘old and boring’.

This has been observed with outstation students and working professionals in the city who try to decorate their rented spaces with tiny artefacts that remind them of their homes, traditions and memories of where they come from. In a time and age where people are too busy to know and understand the others in daily life let alone in a working space, the quirky and DIY aspect of living reflects their personalities and helps them express them without any explanation. Be it arranging beach shells on the wall or hanging concert ID cards in a corner of the room; classification and arrangement of books and CDs or personalized sign boards – anything that provides a sense of belonging and an identity to reckon with occupies a place in the room.

From 2009 to now, there has been a rise in the need for quirky interiors and DIY décor which can be seen through the increasing startups offering the same at every other flea festival in the city! They’re banking on this current ‘fad’ and providing personalized and quirky décor packages, further reducing the extra effort on our part. Pocket friendly or not, this funky aspect is redefining cultural outlook and represents the young, wild and free spirit of the youth. In a bid to attract that attention, new restaurants as well as offices with maximum youth crowd have encouraged a quirky interior set up to keep the youth quotient alive. It’s an added attraction and incentive, rightly capitalized by businesses today. There are many new age cafes leaving an empty wall for customers to doodle or scribble on. Out-of-the-box bill collecting methods like steel tiffin boxes and cane baskets, serving tea in hand painted “cutting” glasses or creating your own meal plan are a few of the quirky methods being included in eateries today to simply attract the likes of the anti-traditional crowd. Offices too are involving the quirkiness to maintain the young and creative outlook of the organization with bright interiors, doodle friendly glass walls, personalized stationary and bizarre visiting cards.

This anti-norm and normal quirkiness has invaded every other cultural space including pop up festivals and weddings too. It isn’t fun if it isn’t quirky and DIY. It’s the new requirement that aims to leave a mark on its revelers, but in a race to be different and in an effort to stand out from the crowd, the innate quirkiness is in fact creating a common thread to describe the Youth of today.

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