By: Nada Swelam - Architect & interior designer Co-founder of Zillij designs

Ramadan is a very special time of the year during which family and friends meet up and connect. If you are getting ready to host your loved ones this Ramadan, this article can help provide you with some low budget interior design tips on how to make your home more welcoming and comfortable during the blessed month.

Since interior design is largely based on human psychology, a survey was first conducted to understand peoples’ perception of what makes this month so special for them.

The four main keywords; spirituality, unique nostalgic atmosphere, massive gatherings and delicious food were concluded and provided the basis for our home décor tips.

Reorganizing your home for big gatherings

Whether you have your friends, family, or workmates over for Iftar, you may need to reorganize the space to accommodate them all.

Start by adding some group arrangements, reorganize the seats to create multiple group options, add a comfortable floor seating area using cushions, small tables, colorful fabrics, and some Moroccan inspired lanterns. Warm Ramadan colors such as red, yellow and green can add a nice comfy feeling to space.

These can be incorporated in your seating cushions or home accessories. Why not add some nostalgic quotes as well? A fun idea would be to print out some traditional Ramadan quotes from your favorite shows ‘Boogi & Tamtam’, ‘Amo Fouad’, ‘Bakar’, or anything else you can think of.

You can print out quotes or pictures, put them in frames and either hang them as part of your wall décor or place them on side tables. A little fun memento to get everyone in the spirit of things.

You can also create your own Ramadan photo album planter. If you have a Polaroid camera at home, start taking some pictures during your gatherings throughout the holy month and hang them using wooden clips or strings to any tall planter at home.

You can later place this planter in your entrance or main gathering space, creating your own Ramadan photo album as the month progresses.

A welcoming entrance is all you need

The entrance is a key place that can give that warm welcoming impression you want your home to conjure. It is the first place to decorate to set the Ramadan mood and greet your guests with. First, lighting can totally change the mood of your entrance space.

Add some bronze Moroccan inspired lighting units. These are usually perforated, allowing light to reflect on the walls and floor with beautiful Arabian patterns. You can find these traditional lights in Khan el Khalili bazaar where various shapes and sizes are sold.

Add them either as floor lamps, a ceiling lamp, or some candle lights. Complement it with some floor cushions, a matching rug, and a tall planter to add color and bring it all together.

You can also hang some Islamic wall art that symbolizes the Ramadan ethos. Choose your favorite Quranic verses written in a nice calligraphic font; print it out and hang it in a simple wall mounted frame.

The key to your spiritual space

Spirituality and prayer are the most important aspects that define the holy month of Ramadan; it’s all about connection. You can have a calm spiritual corner that puts you at ease and encourages you to meditate, pray, and connect.

We advise you to choose your prayer corner close to a window or an open-air area, where natural light can easily enter the space. Natural daylight can help put you in a state of peace, comfort and tranquility; this link with the outdoor world creates a more spiritual mood.

Place planters and blue colored elements to create a calming space, and light a ‘Bukhour’ rod to engage your sense of smell. You can also hang some ‘Thikr’ and ‘Zakah’ reminders on the walls.

Food is a significant element; serve it right!

Since food is a very important aspect of Ramadan gatherings, you need to pay attention to the décor of your food serving corner. Start by organizing the space to have different appetizers, beverages, and dessert corners, and make it so that the circulation and flow is easy all around them.

Colours also have a great impact on human psychology and appetite. Add some hints of blue if you want to create a calming effect, orange if you want a color that stimulates the appetite, or yellow for a happy welcoming impression.

These colors can be added through coloured napkins, flowers, home accessories, or table cloths. Another easy decorating idea is to hang the ‘Iftar Doaa’ in a frame in your dining area or print it and place it next to the plates set. A lovely gesture to remind your guests to give thanks and Doaa while breaking their fast.