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‘The Charpai’ makeover and going back in time

It’s almost spring and we are all looking forward to longer, brighter days and hours and hours of sunshine. What better way to celebrate the last few days of winter sun other than sitting perhaps on a traditional ‘charpai or charpoy‘ sipping a cup of ‘chai’! Of course, I am remembering my childhood days spent at my grandparents home. Endless cups of ‘chai’ for the elders sitting on a ‘charpai’ in the verandah and peanuts for children! Be it the summer or the winter months.…it was always beautiful…In the summer evenings, the breeze cooled by the water sprayed floors would make it lovely and in the winter months, the sun shone directly on our faces but nothing could ever move us away from the comforts of the ‘charpai’. So what exactly is the ‘charpoy’ or ‘charpai’?

The ‘charpai’, literally means ‘four feet’, and is a bed with a simple wooden frame onto which ropes are woven tightly. It was an age-old and indispensable piece of furniture in most Indian households as people used it for every other activity – from sleeping on it at night to welcoming guests, eating a meal, reading and even spreading vegetables and spices out to dry.

Now, how about giving this ‘charpai‘ a much needed makeover and return into your homes? Would it get a place in a sun facing room in your home at all? Or, perhaps if you are really lucky and blessed with a large garden and are lucky enough to have a ‘pipal’ tree, then your ‘charpai’ would find its happy home right there! Wherever it is, the way you dress up this ‘charpoy’ could potentially lift your room to the next level.

I would love a bohemian inspired room in my home, complete with beautiful plants (to make up for the lack of ‘pipal’ tree), a ‘charpai‘ and lots of colourful cushions.  There is always of course place for a separate ‘living room’ that would look just lovely with good quality wooden sofas, nice cushions, beautiful paintings and with lovely floor cushions thrown around!

Colourful charpai, floor cushions, flowers and some plants too…via

I also remember my grandparents kitchens strewn with brass cooking dishes, ‘surahi’ and I would absolutely love those in my home too, wouldn’t you? …. Takes you back in time, like nothing else would.

So, here are some suggestions for adding  little details to your home to reflect your love for simplicity and tradition and essentially to take you back to your roots! 

The ‘Charpai’ Indoors

Charpai - a perfect day bed via
Charpai – a perfect day bed via
Another Charpai - another day bed or maybe in your living room? via
Another Charpai – another day bed or maybe in your living room? via
Shades of Blue transform the charpai via
A Charpai, colourful cushions, rustic mud-like finish on walls …serenity via

The ‘Charpai’ Outdoors

Colourful throws, maybe even durries and cushions take the charpai to the next level via
This space is perfect for reading a book via
Charpai in your verandah or perhaps in your balcony? via
Charpai in your verandah or perhaps in your balcony? via
Charpai transformed into lounge cots via

Have you been transported back in time and have I managed to inspire you enough to transform your space with the humble ‘charpai’? It is earthy, it is a part of your history and it’s so you…

Happy week, people!



Cover image: via

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