As Eid rolls closer, and your shopping spree reaches its zenith, it's time to take stock of the situation. Knockout outfit to wow everyone? Check. Killer menu to have them coming back for seconds and thirds? Check. What about a completely new look for your home? No, really…you don't have to go for a major overhaul to make your home look totally and wonderfully different. Let's look at how a little accessorising can make magic.
First things first. We'll be concentrating on how accessories can transform the appearance of a setting, but there are some issues that need to be addressed. As with any makeover, it's important to begin with a clean canvas, so give all your existing structures a rigorous clean. Get those carpets washed, the furniture and metal-ware polished, and give the ceiling fans a good wiping to get the grime out. Giving your walls a fresh paint job is also an exciting option, but don't sweat it if you can't fit it Once everything is spick-and-span and gleaming, you can get ready for the big transformation.
Welcome to my world
The entrance to your home is the first place that visitors get to see, so make that first impression count. Change your welcome mat. There are some really sweet jute ones in the market that would brighten up any doorstep. Arrange a clay bowl near the door, and put some floating candles on it to create that festive feel; alternatively, you could display your money-plant/cactus collection.
If your entrance leads to a staircase, jazz up the walls with art; pretty watercolours, or framed displays of your kid's finger-painting projects, or even masks, this is a good place to let your personality show.
Place a big bouquet of flowers on your foyer table, and start things on a fresh and vibrant note. Leave a small bowl of candy in front of it, and your visitors will love you for it. The foyer table is also a great place to display your haul of Eid cards.
Living it up
The next place you want to focus on is obviously the living room or the drawing room, where you will be entertaining your guests. This being the most public space in the house/flat, it won't need much work. Rearrange the furniture to make the layout look different. Throw in some bright new cushions, or just change the covers on the ones you already have, and notice the difference. Most local handicrafts stores and décor outlets have their special Eid array out, and you're spoiled for choices; from appliqué to mirror-work, to kooky embellishments like faux-leather, shells and coins, cushions and their covers come in all shapes, colours and textures.
If you have a lot of artwork, try refreshing your walls. Match or contrast with your new cushions. You can even have a colour theme going.
Lighting is an important consideration for interior décor, and you can create instant ambience with a jazzy new lamp or some candles. Candle art is all the rage in the city, and these waxy wonders come in amazing forms, scents and colours.
Dining in style
Entertainment is synonymous with food in our country, and if you've got a mouth-watering menu lined up for your loved ones, you want to present it in style. Deck out your dining table in brand new table runners and matching place mats. This year, Lifestyle recommends jute runners; they're pretty, trendy, and natural. Express your playful side with cute coasters for the glasses, and serve the spread in brand-new crockery.
If you've got a formal dinner planned, add a classy touch with some pretty napkin holders, and place some candles and a small no-fuss floral arrangement at the centre of the table. Remember that the small extras are what make the most impact.
Fresh and fabulous
Change the towels in your bathroom and guest washroom. Just for the big day, you can place a small vase of flowers to brighten it up. You could also consider buying scented soap in cute, fun shapes.
After a hectic day of partying, eating and socialising, coming home to a beautiful bedroom is like heaven on Earth. The best part is, it doesn't take much. Just change the bedcover and pile up some cushions. You can also team them up with some brand-new curtains. You don't even need to go through the hassle of buying fabric and getting new curtains made; ready-made hang-and-go ones are now available in lovely colours and delicate textures. We're loving the muslin sheers!
For the kids' room, you can opt for displaying soft toys, or you can get them new cushions in fun shapes. Throw on a colourful patchwork quilt on the bed; no fancy cut-work or embroidery for children.
You can make your teen feel like a queen by getting some ornate Benarasi cushions for her bed; paired with Oriental-style paper lanterns, these can create a fairytale effect she's bound to love.
Embrace the elements
The front lawn, the veranda, and the rooftop garden are all nice outdoorsy retreats you can retire to if you want a bit of fresh air. Keep the decorating simple and natural. Get some pretty clay planters to keep your potted plants in, and you can create a nice elemental corner by placing a large earthenware pot with floating candles in it. Team it with a terracotta night-queen stand and tiny diya lamps.
While this option works really with the lawns and rooftop gardens, with your veranda, you have the added option of experimenting with wind-chimes, lamps and lanterns.
If you want to implement this quick and easy home makeover for Eid, it's best to get started right away. Don't go overboard, though. You don't necessarily have to buy all these accessories; use your creativity and work with what you have, and you could give your interiors a personal touch.
Sabrina F Ahmad
Photo: Amirul Rajiv and munem wasif
Special thanks to Aarong, Jatra and Melange for arranging the photo shoot.