Pooja is the means for man to communicate with God. Therefore, it is important to create a pleasant, cool and clutter free space in the pooja room. It is much easier to plan a pooja room at the time of designing the house. That does not mean that we cannot create it later. But it might sometimes require changes in civil work, like knocking down some walls or erecting some. Keeping vaastu aside, a good pooja room should be designed as per the requirement, i.e., number of persons performing pooja at a time, system followed while performing the pooja i.e., either standing or sitting, provision for any mass gathering on special occasions, if so, the space should be designed to accommodate the gathering, and above all the space available.
Considering all these factors before designing saves a lot of time and tensions.
The design elements like - floor patterns, wall treatment, lighting, door design and window treatment, have to be selected with great care.
Natural stones like Indian Makrana, White Marble or Greek-Thasos (Pure white) is an ideal material for flooring of a pooja room as it gives a very pleasant look.
Border designs or patterns, of colours like green and yellow marble give a good colour contrast on whitebased marble. Even granite is a good option but there may be some restrictions as per vaastu. Granite is less porous, very hard and maintenance free material when compared to marble. It is available in different design patterns like Swastika, Lotus or Geometrical. Different floral and geometrical patterns made of marble are readily available in the market. Proportion, balance and alignment of border designs should be taken care of.
Using natural stone gives a traditional look. It is better to avoid ceramic tiles, vitrified tiles with natural patterns may look better. When it comes to colour schemes, pastels or neutrals would be a better option than dark ones. Pastels give a pleasant, soothing and soft effect, whereas dark colours give a heavy look, and bright colours have a distracting or disturbing effect, which is not preferred in a pooja room.
A combination of general and task lighting may be used. Up lighters will give a dramatic effect.
Pendants or ceiling mounted (surface mounted) fixtures are a good option for ceiling lighting. Gold platted or antique finished fixtures with frosted glass is definitely a good choice.
Door frame and shutters with floral or geometrical patterns give a traditional look. Religious motifs are mostly used. The wood and the workmanship (carpentry and polishing) have to be of good quality. Double shutters with panels for a small and folding shutters for a large opening is a better choice. Hardware like aldrops, handles (not less than 6”) brass or silver bells of good quality and make would be a perfect match.
A simple checklist given below would be helpful:
* Placement of Pooja Room: If Vaastu is a consideration, then take the advice of a good consultant. Usually Pooja is done facing East.
* Size: A 20 sq.ft. space is comfortable for a small pooja room, 40 sq.ft. for a medium room and 100 sq.ft. or more for a large pooja room.
* Civil work: If any civil work is required for platform and storage etc.
* Water Proofing: Leaks or seepage in the ceiling or walls should be repaired before colouring.
* Flooring: Maintenance free, smooth and polished material is advisable.
* Wall treatment: Dadoing (wall cladding) should be done either fully or partially.
* Ceiling: Incase you are opting for a false ceiling or any decoration on the ceiling.
* Electrical layout: Lighting, provision for fresh air, fan, sockets and light points for false ceiling, etc.
* Colouring: Ensure that all the electrical and civil works are done as per the requirement and make sure that no civil work is done at the time of, or after colouring.
* Plumbing: In case water supply is required.
* Pooja Mandir or Platform to place deities or photographs.