My inspiration for this space comes from childhood memories of my father’s amazing cushy corner. It was furnished with large cushions, lush ruby fabrics, tall dark bookshelves filled with hardback books, a velvet-covered table where his speeches were prepared and a globe lamp of the world resting atop. The room was out-of-bounds when we were young or unsupervised. As we entered our teens, our visits to the room became more fruitful and we would read for hours, sunk into those cushions. With intricately detailed Persian rugs spread on the floor and covering the walls, and foreign Arabian ouds sprinkled in the room, it felt like we had drifted into faraway Eastern lands with all their mystical charms every time we entered it for study.
Each of us can create our own inspirational study space within our homes. The idea is to take a study area or a spare or cluttered corner of the room, de-clutter it and re-organise using various household fabrics and furniture to build the perfect creative corner for yourself or the entire family.
Build your corner for Allah (SWT). You could read to attain knowledge, teach your siblings or children something new, or even hold circles with friends.
2. Size and space
Dependent on how you use your corner, size will matter. You may create your cushy corner on the floor, therefore ensure there is enough space to curl up or stretch your legs. For desks, ensure you have enough leg room. For work tables, you might decide that you will need enough space to walk around the table or even push your desk against one wall. Consider a window an opportunity to make your space brighter and keep you wide awake. Ensure you are not blocking any heating or vents in the room.
3. Colour it
You will want to think about blending your special corner with the room it is in and yet ensuring it has its own personality. If your room is a neutral colour, your corner may contain splashes of one bold colour. Try earthy colours and greens for a forest look, reds and maroons for a Persian/Arab look, creams and neutrals with splashes of colour for a more conventional look or even various blues to create an aquatic feel.
4. Embellish it
For desks and work tables, consider covering the table with fabric or even laminate plastic. If you are one who enjoys working on the floor then floor-cushions or even a chaise lounge will work well. You could even drape your own select fabrics over a deck chair. Spread a soft rug or even make your own patchwork rug out of leftover fabrics.
5. Bookshelf it
Add your existing bookcase to this corner or add a shelf for easy access to books you read daily. There are a number of space-saving methods worth looking into such as horizontal and vertical shelving or overhead shelving.
6. Create a poster board
Put together a poster board using a large flattened-out cardboard box. Cut to the size you want, back it with wrapping paper or embellished cloth and stick on quotes, notes and pictures to inspire you. Avoid sticking your posters and notes all over the walls to refine the area and keep it less cluttered.
Soothing calming scents of vanilla and lavender can be placed in little tea light pots on shelves or use potpourri sachets. Fresh lavender picked from the garden is even better. Incense sticks and air fresheners can also help set the mood for building the perfect atmosphere.
Do you like to work under bright light or low light? Keep a balance between the two to prevent eyestrain, especially if you know you may snuggle up in your corner into the late hours.
May your cushy corner help you think up wonderful ideas, carry out good deeds and implement beautiful actions for Allah’s (SWT) sake. Ameen.
Aisha Abbasi is a mum of one little froggie, with a spark in her eye for all things creative. She also teaches English at secondary schools in and around London.