Here’s a bit of design history for you: Mysore wood inlay has been around for a good century now. This art form originated in then Mysore State, and one of the first pieces was made in 1914 when a casket and a photo frame of rosewood inlaid with ivory was sent for display at the British Empire Exhibition and bagged the gold medal. After which the art form flourished under the various Mysore kings. It is commonly seen in the form of wall hangings, jewellery boxes, small tables, and animals— mostly elephants.


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Over time, this beautiful art form has been taken and carefully remodelled to increase its functionality and now you can find tables, chairs, cupboards, mirrors, and all sorts of different furniture that uses this art form.


What has changed?

Not only have artisans moved on from wall hangings, but they have also begun using materials that are more convenient in terms of furniture. Rosewood has been replaced by teak, or oak wood and what used to be ivory is now different coloured wood, plastic, and sometimes even stone! These alternatives are definitely a lot easier on the pocket and are easier to acquire.

Home of Anjalee Wakankar, designed by Kaaru

Mysore wood inlay is not cheap, and rightly so. There are broadly six steps in making a single piece of this art form and each step is performed by an artisan who is highly experienced in his/her field. This helps retain the quality and authenticity of the art form. Mysore wood inlay is a great design choice. Depending on where you buy it and who designs it, it can be subtle and effortlessly beautiful. Large mirrors with inlayed frames and coffee tables with gorgeous woodwork, you can’t possibly go wrong!

Home of Anjalee Wakankar, design by Kaaru

It doesn’t matter if your home is contemporary, vintage, modern, or even ethnic. You can be sure that Mysore wood inlay will only add to your home. Besides, who wouldn’t want a rich part of Indian art and culture gracing in their home? Watch this space for more design ideas!