Everywhere we look, design is all around us. It’s difficult to avoid all these amazing design trends, and we automatically get drawn into this world of design. One thing that I, as an Interior Designer get asked often is; are we as Muslims allowed to indulge in the art of Interior Design? Should we keep up to date with the latest trends? Should we decorate our homes and spend money on furniture and accessories?
My response to these people is the same, yes we are allowed to decorate and beautify our homes and spaces. Our homes are an extension of our identities; they reflect who we are as people, as families. We use our homes to reflect our beautiful cultures and lifestyles. For all of us, our homes are a sense of great happiness and pleasure. We’ve worked hard to earn our homes, and we should take pride in designing them.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of the phrase, ‘less is more’. It’s been used numerous times by designers and artists the past few years to describe the Minimalist movement. But the phrase’ less is more’ beautifully describes the Modern Islamic Interior Design Trend.
We as Muslims are encouraged to show humility in our actions, our clothing and our lifestyle. Over-indulgence is frowned upon. We are advised to live within our means, to be humble in our show of wealth. Our elders preach to us the importance of staying away from gross shows of extravagance and consumerism. However, being humble doesn’t necessarily mean that our homes have to be boring and tasteless. We as Muslims want our homes to reflect peace, cleanliness, and warmth. We want to create loving spaces to raise our children in. We want inviting homes that spread love and happiness. And in order to achieve that our spaces need to be beautifully designed and decorated.
We now live in a society where design is everywhere. Through the introduction of social media, we can easily see images of gorgeous living spaces and interiors. And truth be told, it is very difficult to not get drawn into all of this. So let it draw us in, let’s get inspired and decorate our homes. Just remember to keep one word in mind, humility.
We all want what is best for us, with exceptional quality and craftsmanship. However, humility in design is difficult to achieve. So to make things easier, I have a few questions that I answer first when I sit down to design a space. These are specifically curated for people wanting a Modern Islamic Interior Design theme.
First up, is what we are looking at well within our means? Are we able to afford what we desire, without taking out a loan? Or putting a strain on our finances? In Islam, we are discouraged from taking out unnecessary loans from banks and lending agencies. Before anything is decided, fix a budget, from the money we have in our ownership. Whether that is a huge amount or small, it doesn’t matter. In the world of Interior Design you can find amazing products to suit any price range and budget. Just don’t take on what you can’t afford, and keep within your means.
Next up, is the intention to beautify the spaces for the family and to create clean and peaceful environment to practice Islam? Or is it to show off to the world how extravagant and luxurious we can afford to be? Egotism is something we should avoid. By all means we should decorate our homes, but not to show off and feed our pride and ego. Keep it humble, design and decorate for ourselves and our families.
Is the chosen design scheme ideal for an Islamic home? Our homes are where we pray and worship daily. Therefore, our spaces should be decorated in a respectful manner. The spaces where we pray in should be devoid of any distractions or anything that voids our prayer. So things like TV’s and computers, and other forms of worldly distractions, should be placed in spaces where we don’t pray.
Do we have spaces of privacy? Privacy is important in a Muslim household. Open plan spaces are beautiful and they allow us to create fluid design spaces that merge into each other seamlessly. However, for those of us who observe hijab, these spaces can be unaccommodating when we are entertaining. So before we go ahead and design these rooms, we need to make sure we have privacy
Islamic inspired Interior Design is not difficult to understand and create. We do have a few specific requirements; however I believe the above questions cover those. Once we have these four questions answered, we can then move onto the designing and decorating. Which to be honest is the best part. Let your creativity loose and go ahead and design the home of your dreams!
About the Author
Shahina is a UK based Interior Designer and Interiors writer, specialising in residential design. She is also the founder of Style & Form, the Interior Design Blog. For inspiration on to create gorgeous interiors visit www.styleandform.design