A serving platter in chunky marble with gold leaf handles. A mabkhara burner with a crescent moon topper. A home fountain with water cascading down varying sizes of Arabian vases.
Home decor stores are pulling out all stops when it comes to furniture and accessories for Ramadan this year, as Covid-19 restrictions ease and socialising plans are in full swing.
Fahed Ghanim, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim — Lifestyle, goes so far as to say the holy month is gearing up to be “one of the busiest sections for our homeware category”.
Scroll through the gallery above to see decor options for Ramadan from stores across the UAE.
“Home decor has a major impact on one’s mood,” says Adel Sajan, managing director, Danube Group. “Your home is a safe haven, a place where you feel like you belong, and one that reflects your personality and style. When you decorate your home for the holy month, the same feelings apply. The right furniture and accessories can create a sense of peace and invoke the spirit of the season.”
Hridesh Methwani, marketing head of Pan Emirates Home Furnishings, says that decorating is an emotional process that can bring the family together and infuse a sense of festivity. “It also makes you feel nostalgic, bringing back beautiful memories and leaving you with the hope of making new memories together with family and friends.”
Accordingly, Ramadan furniture collections often comprise traditional designs and patterns, albeit with some contemporary tweaks.
Trends for the season
Moroccan motifs are all the rage this season, with tile, ogee and latticework patterns spotted in various collections. We love the black-and-white rug from Ikea’s Hembjuden Ramadan collection, designed by British artist Jennifer Idrizi; and the Marrakesh cushion from Pan Emirates.
Islamic-themed accessories are another popular category at this time of year. “Creating prayer nooks and hanging Islamic decor is a great way to prepare for the holy month. Islamic-themed wall art and lanterns can be used to create a spiritual atmosphere,” says Sajan.
Racha Elabbas Studio offers wall art with pleasing geometric patterns that feel at once conservative and contemporary. These are available from Bloomingdale’s, Crate & Barrel and Ounass.
Serveware is perhaps one of the most effective additions to your iftar and suhoor table, with most home decor brands offering artisanal dinnerware, centrepieces and tea sets. We love the Calligraffiti tissue box by Kashida and dinner napkins by Racha Elabbas Studio, both stocked at Crate & Barrel; the Mazz decor tray and Asra placemats from Pan Emirates; and Ikea’s traditional cups and teapot decorated with a Moroccan flower pattern.
Contemporary accessories can make your space feel modern and lively — just ensure they are tasteful. Crescent moon trees, which were all the rage last year, are back in stores (Crate & Barrel does one with green LED lights) and we’re also loving the “Ramadan Mubarak” pop art cushions from Pan Emirates and colourful Moroccan tile-inspired cushion covers from Ikea; and indoor and outdoor home fountains from Danube.
When it comes to gifting options, home decor items are a good choice in addition to dates and sweets. Think wall clocks with Islamic elements, fragrance oils and diffusers, bedding sets, vases, candleholders and figurines.
Secure your investment
As for how to make more expensive furniture work even after the holy month is over, Sajan says: “Investing in good furniture, like a couch or dining set, will not go to waste just because Ramadan is over. You can simply add different cushions or other accessories to make the space work throughout the year.
“When shopping for Ramadan, it is a good idea to think long-term and select pieces that can be modified for future use. For example, if you want more seating space in your home for Ramadan, you can buy ottomans, bean bags or single seaters that do not take up too much space while also serving the purpose. In terms of dining furniture, an extendable table is a good investment as it can host all your guests for iftar and then be folded back to regular size on other days.”
Methwani reiterates the sense in choosing versatile pieces. “Gold, silver and other metallic accents will work perfectly all year round. You can also infuse accents such as marble, acrylic and glass, as they are trending now.”
Dos and don’ts
Sajan shares his top yays and nays when it comes to tweaking your decor during the holy month.
- Do create a dedicated space in your home for prayer, and adorn it with Islamic art, rugs and shelves to stack Islamic books.
- Do organise your pantry and decide in advance what you’ll be cooking each day. Arrange cooking equipment for ease of use and make sure they’re all in working condition. If not, invest in good-quality kitchen appliances, cutlery and dinnerware.
- Do ensure you have enough seating to accommodate all your guests if you plan on hosting a lot of get-togethers. Invest in a majlis or a large dining set to meet your requirements.
- Do burn bakhoor in your home to ensure it smells appealing. Bakhoor burners are available in a host of stunning designs that add to your interior’s visual appeal.
- Do keep bar cabinets unlit in order to not draw attention.
- Don’t display obscene or vulgar decor or wall art, nor depictions of living objects as these are against the rules of Islam.
- Don't keep ashtrays on the coffee table.
- Don’t display fruits or sweets on the dining table during fasting hours.