Imagine relishing a delightful feast with family and friends, playing a game of Backgammon and squeezing in a predawn meal, all amidst a cosy and casual setting that reminds you to slow down the pace and spend more time at home. It’s this sense of fulfilment and familial connection that comes to mind when you view home-grown furniture store Marina Home Interiors’s The Majlis: Reimagined concept, which revisits what lies at the core of the Arabian family experience – the majlis. But how do you give something so deeply entrenched in Arabic tradition a face-lift replete with modern touches?
“We’d love to see more casual seating coming into the majlis as it has always been very formal,” says Sahar Vakil, Head of Brand Development at Marina Home Interiors. “There should also be space division so that if you have formal, low-seating arrangements in a certain area, adding elements such as ottomans and poufs can create a circular environment to have more fun."Sahar shares how The Majlis Reimagined is a movement, a storytelling technique that tells people how they can be bold and creative with redecorating their majlis, putting together pieces from the brand’s curated selection for Ramadan. But she says that while the brand calls for an update to the conventional majlis, it looks back to the origin of the tradition and minimalism of Bedouin life for inspiration. “Some of the older majlises were open-air, closed or with a thatched roof. It’s beautiful to look back and see where this heritage started from,” she notes.
Play with textures and mix-and-match cushions for a refreshing update to your majlis
For Ramadan, Marina Home brings forth two variedly showcased collections: where a more rustic approach and earthy colours sets the tone for the majlis in one, the other boasts a glamorous, classy appeal with lush fabrics and dark hues. “We shot the first line in Al Bastakiya, Dubai amid its organic architecture that embodies this part of the world,” explains Sahar. The showcase features light grey and blue tones, paired with the richness of worn-away gold of brass, weathered wood and artificial trees that the brand refers to as ‘forever trees’.
In contrast, “The glam look we’ve created is different as compared to Khaleeji creations, but the pieces are more in line with Moorish, Turkish influences,” explains Sahar. “There’s a lot of Islamic architecture that comes from the Levantine period, where Turkish motifs were readily used on wall tiles. So, we’ve used that as a backdrop to create the richness and regality that come with that look.” The idea behind this majlis makeover curation is to create drama using a monochromatic palette, with dapples of golden elements such as lanterns, which you can round off with royal blue so that the gold stands out against the black and white.
Marina Home Interiors lanterns, set of three
The brand also plays with new materials such as silk, brocade, chenille, jacquard and acrylic, which aren’t traditionally used in a majlis. “We’ve tried to offer our individual take on a particular look. That meant exploring high quality materials and beautiful structures, and we’ve been innovative with layering to show customers how they can really create the look of the majlis with some of our more modern pieces,” notes Sahar.
Marina Home Ramadan campaign
Things to consider when redecorating your majlis? Play with textures and layers, mix-and-match tables and cushions featuring local culture-based pop art for a funky flair, and enliven sectional sofas in solid colours with ambient lighting using non-traditional lanterns. “The collection is a playful coming together of different textures and materials as we believe today’s generation, whether they’re Emirati or come from other countries in the Gulf, is a bit more experimental and creative in how they put things together in their homes,” comments Sahar. Marina Home also gives a nod to incorporate more floor-standing accessories into your home with a special focus on LED lights to illuminate the space and create a festive mood for the holy month. Marina Home also brings the idea of reinventing the majlis to life through its luscious window displays at all its stores. Take note and be inspired to reinvent your space this Ramadan.