Tips for styling a minimalist Ramadan tablescape. Less is more when creating a tablescape for your dinner gathering with family or friends.
I think this might be the first time that I’ve ever shared anything about my faith on here . . .
It was always something I felt you, my reader, wouldn’t be too interested in reading about given that you mainly come here for the DIYs and interior inspiration. You see, when I first started blogging, the advice from other gurus and social media experts at the time was to niche down as much as possible and to never share anything outside of whatever your niche was.
Good advice (at the time). I mean it got me this far didn’t it?
However, as I’m sure you’ll agree, content and the way we consume it has changed so much in the last couple of years. Like SO much. Honestly, at times, it’s a little hard to keep up!
We now see more than just glimpses of the creators behind the smiling, if not sometimes, staged photos. #Instareality is now a thing (and a legit hashtag might I add), as we are given the opportunity to connect with our favourites on a much deeper level and gain more of an insight into things that are important to them ( I think features like Instagram stories and now TikTok has helped with this)
Sometimes on Instagram, I’ll share certain practices that I do as a Muslim, and the general response from my following who aren’t Muslim is usually ‘Share more, please! We find it really helpful!’.
I must admit, I feel the same whenever a creator I follow does this too.
Not the best example, but last year I remember watching a show on Netflix called My Un-orthodox life (granted it probably wasn’t the most accurate representation of how Orthodox Jews lived) and it encouraged me to go off and do more reading, as well as seek out content from creators online who were practicing this religion to learn from.
Right, back to the subject at hand . . Ramadan.
WHAT IS RAMADAN?
Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Calendar and it’s a pretty sacred month for Muslims all over the world. During this holy month, we fast (abstain from food and drink) from sunrise to sunset for up to 30 days (Important to note here that there are some groups of people who are exempt from fasting including children, the elderly, and those on medication, who are sick, traveling, pregnant, and/or breastfeeding)
We use this month to try to be better versions of ourselves and get closer to God by praying, being kinder, avoiding gossip, cursing, giving to charity, etc. It’s a healthy reset, not just physically but mentally and spiritually too.
WHAT IS IFTAR?
The first meal we eat at the end of the day to break our fast is called Iftar. Literally, it means “breakfast.” FYI The other meal during Ramadan, which is taken in the morning (pre-dawn), to start our fast is called suhoor.
This meal usually starts off with dates (to get the blood sugar back up) and water. We then pause to pray, and after that there is a further main meal (foods served vary by country/ or culture, but we as a family like to eat things like pancakes, spring rolls, soups, etc). In some cultures, this main meal is delayed into later in the evening or even early morning.
Sometimes Iftar is just an immediate family affair and other times it can be quite social and involve hosting large groups of friends and/or family who have been fasting too.
I don’t want this to turn into a lecture where I’m just talking at you, so please feel free to drop any questions you might have in the comment section below. I’m always happy to answer!
Now moving on.
Hosting dinner usually means pretty tablescapes right? And that’s actually what I wanted to share with you today. A simple minimalist Ramadan tablescape I created on the floor of my dining room (with spring vibes as its kind of that time of the year)
Heads up, I styled this Ramadan tablescape in collaboration with IKEA UK (who has just launched a Ramadan-inspired dining ware collection called HEMBJUDEN) for an Instagram post, however, this blog post is not a part of that campaign. I just wanted to share some of our family traditions with those of you who don’t follow me on social media.
Tips for Styling a Ramadan Tablescape
1. Find Your Inspiration
The first step is to find your inspiration. I like to look on Pinterest for ideas, but keep in mind that anything or anywhere can be used for inspiration. Sometimes one simple item or material can be the catalyst that inspires an entire tablescape.
2. Simplicity is key for a Ramadan tablescape
Since the focus of your meal should be giving thanks and appreciating what you have, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t overdo it. Instead, let your dinnerware do the talking with a mix of colors and motifs that add cheer to the table.
I know gold accents are quite traditional for Ramadan tablescape setups however, I like the idea of silver accents with a monochrome look for a more minimal paired back look as seen in my pictures. A white or neutral linen table cloth is all you really need to add a little depth and texture. And don’t forget the napkins. How you choose to style them will set the mood for the entire tablescape.
Just in case this is your first time styling a table, let’s take it back to the basic of basics, nothing too formal of course because that’s not me, but just enough to make people think you know what you’re doing. You’ll need dishes (dinner plates and side plates), silverware and glasses (make sure they are large ones as people will be thirsty!) napkins, and a runner or tablecloth.
You don’t need a large dining table. Eating on the floor will do just fine. In some cultures actually, it’s quite common practice to do this. Just grab some comfy floor cushions for guests to relax on, pull together a make-shift low table, and style everything as though you’re sitting at the dining table. If you want to take the relaxed feel even further, you could set up the table as a vignette buffet so it doesn’t feel as stiff or structured.
3. A pretty backdrop
Although not essential, it definitely helps to have a styled feature wall or corner for wherever you plan to host your guests. It’s just an additional way you can add a little more interest to your table. Don’t be afraid to move tables or furniture around for the occasion in order to achieve the look you want. I styled my faux fireplace with a Ramadan banner and flowers in glass vases to complete the modern simplistic look.
4. Don’t forget a table centerpiece
Flowers (can be faux or real), candles, and vases are all excellent items to use as centerpieces for your Ramadan table decor. When using these, try to stick to odd numbers. This is more pleasing to the eye and helps create a sense of balance.
Using varying heights can work well too. For example, using shorter flowers contrasted with taller branches. I used a mix of candles and small flower stems in glass bottles for my centerpiece. Check out my DIY candle light holder tutorial for a large centerpiece idea..
Another great tip to help achieve a balanced centerpiece is to have the tallest element in the center of your dining table, and gradually utilize lower and shorter items as you work toward the edges. You can also layer up your centerpiece with branches, or linen/woven runners to add additional texture
5. Good lighting for a Ramadan tablescape
As this meal happens at sunset (unless you live somewhere like Greenland) it’s important that you have the right lighting to set the ambiance for the meal ahead. You can use battery operated lights like the ones I used on our kitchen makeover, hung vertically against your feature wall.
Add candles or task lighting to darkened corners, or work with overhead lighting you already have over the dining space. I used a large wicker lampshade for my Ramadan tablescape. I also like the idea of adding a floral ceiling display like this to your pendant lighting for more impact.
6. Embellishments and Personalization
It’s always a nice touch to include something to make the night feel a little more memorable, like a personalized name card or some other token. I used handmade Ramdan Muburak from @letteringandtea for mine. They make a great memento for guests to take with them or you can reuse them again next year.
I hope these Ramadan tablescape tips help you the next time you are putting together a dinner party for family and friends. Simplicity is key to setting a beautiful tablescape and less is more if you are wanting a minimalist look and feel like what I was going for. And Ramadan Muburak to all my Muslim readers!