By Nada Swelam
Interior & Furniture Designer & Co-Founder of Zillion Designs, Instagram: @Zillijdesigns
In Egypt, Ramadan has its own taste. It is not only a religious month, it is a month of many cultural traditions and customs that we love. Gathering loved ones at home is something that we look forward to from year to year, so why not get inspired from this multisensory Ramadan street experience and use it to decorate your own home. Here are a few ideas on what you could do to your home this Ramadan.
1. Lanterns and Lighting
The lantern or “Fanous” is an integral part of Ramadan traditions. You can place a big colored Fanous at the entrance, and use other small lanterns to decorate your table and main seating areas.
Some of these lanterns could also have candleholders. Another idea inspired from Caireene Ramadan street traditions is using string lights. These could be used indoors to decorate the walls or could be placed outdoors above your roof or garden seating area. These subtle lights are perfect for setting a relaxed cozy mood particularly in gardens and terraces.
2. Create a Unique Entrance Corner
You can get started with creating your own ‘Ramadany’ entrance corner, something nice to greet your visitors with. Add an exciting small console table at the entrance and decorate it with lanterns, string lights or some candles. Add a Quran holder, some Islamic paintings or art, or even your own homemade banners. You can add a tall planter or two to frame your corner.
3. Tableware Decoration
Dress your dinner table with Islamic motifs, Arabian themed napkins and placemats. Use many small candles and place them all over the table. You can also create your own printable Iftar duaa and zikr paper and place it with your tableware for people to read before Iftar. Furthermore, you could create a “break the fast” corner, which would have food and drinks for visitors. Decorate it with lanterns and banners as well. Place some moon or star shaped plates for nuts and dates.
The sense of smell can also be activated through the use of “Bukhoor”. Bukhoor rods are burned in charcoal burners, and used to perfume houses, and clothes. It is a traditional item in many Arab countries and is a symbol of hospitality. Bukhoor also has many benefits; it calms the nervous system and allows people to be focused and alert.
5. A Prayer Corner
Ramadan is all about long nights of prayers. You can create a designated space or a room in your home as a praying corner. Decorate it with some floor pillows, for extra seating, your favorite praying mats, and some lanterns. This could be the corner where you pray and read Quran.
6. Outdoor Seating Area
If you have an outdoor space; garden, roof or terrace, you can create a modern Arabian seating area with some simple lights hanging from trees and some colorful floor cushions. Add a low table for outdoor eating and some floor cushion seats. These are the perfect seating areas for friend gatherings and rounds of backgammon games!
7. Fabrics and Traditional Pillows
When it comes to fabrics, there are many traditional fabric prints and patterns that could be used in various ways throughout your space. For example, traditional ‘khayamia’ fabrics can be used on outdoor tables, placed on the floor or hanged at your entrance corner. These are also present in many pillow covers. You can also add some more throw pillows and poufs with Arabian designed covers.
8. Warm Colour Schemes
Ramadan is a time of warmth, so the colour scheme for your home decorations should be all about festive warm colours. This includes shades of reds, oranges, purples and greens. Gold is also a colour you should add as an accent colour in accessories and lanterns, banners, or even the planters.