This year, instead of using the predictable streamers and balloons to decorate your home for ‘Eid, why not get creative and try a fresh, contemporary approach to traditional ‘Eid festivities and decor? Whether you’re hosting a casual or formal affair, the table, theme and decor can instantly transform the space and set the mood for your guests. Setting a beautiful table and entertaining guests for your ‘Eid celebration is easier than you may think. Here are some stylish, non-traditional alternatives for creating the perfect setting this ‘Eid.
Create a dramatic and elegant effect using shimmering metallic hues. Purchase enough chipboard letters from your local craft store to spell out “‘Eid Mubarak.” Give the letters a glamorous makeover by spray painting them with metallic spray paint. Place the letters along the length of the table. Surround the letters with tea lights in varying sized metallic holders. Add another layer of sophistication by putting place cards or simple menu cards made with metallic cardstock at each place setting for your guests.
Instead of all the fussy decor, create a more organic, down–to-earth feel by using elements from nature to emphasise the beauty of simplicity. Shop in your own backyard or local park for pinecones, berries, twigs, or greenery to serve as decorative table accents. Cover your tables with fresh white linen tablecloths. Then use a piece of burlap fabric (now available in several different hues) cut to the length of the table, as a table runner. To continue the appreciation for nature vibe, look for ayat in the Qur’an that relate to Allah’s creation and nature, print them on decorative cardstock and put them in simple frames. Place the frames near and around the buffet for guests to read and reflect upon.
Give your ‘Eid celebration a theme
Make the festivities more interactive by creating a theme. For example, try hosting an “Around the World in 80 days” ‘Eid Celebration. Select 5 or more countries that will interest your guests. Grab an international cookbook or find recipes online, and prepare dishes and desserts that represent the countries you’ve selected. The food should be served buffet style to allow guests to sample dishes at their leisure. Place index cards in front of each food station or tray with the dish’s name and key ingredients, the country’s local customs and how ‘Eid is celebrated in that country. Finally, use colourful cardstock and scrapbook paper to create faux passports for guests. Hand out passports to each guest as they arrive. Be sure to place a stamp or stickers at each station that guests can use to update their “passports” as they “travel” along the culinary journey from country to country. Your guests will enjoy learning how ‘Eid is celebrated in various countries as well as dining on exotic cuisine.
Add a designer touch with a lavish dessert table
Decide on a theme or colour scheme; use fabric that coordinates with your chosen theme or colour to create a backdrop and tablecloth for your dessert display. Place a nicely decorated cake on a cake stand or use a tower of cupcakes to serve as your centerpiece. Surround the centerpiece with a combination of clear containers, trays and dishes of your favorite sweets and desserts. Then use cardstock to make hand written labels to place in front of each dish. Sprinkle the table with confetti, rose petals or glitter to continue the festive feel.
Give them a proper send off
Continue the ‘Eid spirit when your guests leave. Providing a treat for guests to take home is a thoughtful touch and can be put together in advance of the party. Whether wrapped in simple craft paper with vintage ribbon or packaged in shiny gift bags, party favours are the perfect opportunity to keep guests thinking about the celebration even after the party is over. Items like henna, dates, pocket sized Qur’ans or du’a books make ideal gifts for this occasion.
Take the party outside
With Ramadhan ending in the summer months this year, why not turn your ‘Eid celebration into a Backyard Soirée? Clean your yard and use candles, lanterns and outdoor string lights to create a festive night under the stars for guests. Plan outdoor games and use skewers to serve grilled vegetables and fruit.
Saudah Saleem enjoys the challenge of creating a beautiful space on a budget. Using unexpected colour schemes, pairing new and vintage pieces, layering modern and traditional style, Saudah prides herself on her ability to effortlessly create beautiful spaces within any budget. She is passionate about interior design and has been featured on and consulted by MSN.com as an Interior Design expert. Her work has been recognized by fellow interior designers and featured in a selection of interior design publications in the U.S. View her portfolio, design inspiration and tips at www.saudahsaleem.com