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The Magic of Majlis: Making Time for Intentional Connection Through the Art of Interior Design

Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)

In the fast-paced world we live in, finding time for intentional connections with family and friends can be challenging. However, the Middle Eastern tradition of the Majlis offers a beautiful blueprint for creating a space dedicated to building community and fostering loving relationships.

This age-old practice involves designing a comfortable, inviting area within the home specifically for social gatherings, embodying the essence of hospitality and connection.

Majlis Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)
Majlis Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)

The Majlis, a term rooted in Arab culture, represents a space where people come together to share stories, laughter and moments of genuine connection. It is more than just a room; it is a sanctuary that nurtures relationships and strengthens community bonds. By incorporating elements of this tradition into our own homes, we can create environments that not only carry on tradition but also deeply enrich our lives.

MAJLIS AND HOLISTIC INTERIOR DESIGN

Holistic interior design is about creating spaces that connect you to the truest parts of yourself and the people you love. It emphasizes the importance of intentional design choices that promote well-being, comfort and connection. A Majlis is a perfect example of holistic design in action. With its low seating, natural materials and warm, inviting atmosphere, it provides a space where people can relax, unwind and engage in meaningful interactions.

To create a Majlis-inspired space in your own home, start by setting aside a large area that can comfortably accommodate all of your guests. Low seating is a hallmark of the Majlis, so consider incorporating floor cushions, poufs and oversized pillows to create a cozy, intimate setting where everyone can sit comfortably. Arrange the seating in a circular or semi-circular layout to encourage conversation and interaction.

Holistic interior design is about creating spaces that connect you to the truest parts of yourself and the people you love.

Natural materials are another key element of the Majlis. Use wood, stone and natural fabrics to design the space, as these materials promote a grounding energy and create a warm, inviting environment. Think wooden coffee tables, stone accents and linen or cotton textiles. These elements not only add to the aesthetic appeal of the space but also contribute to a sense of calm and tranquility.

MAJLIS AND INCENSE

An essential aspect of the Majlis is the use of incense, traditionally burned in a mabhkara.

Incense helps to diffuse stagnant or stale air and creates a pleasant, aromatic environment.

Choose scents that resonate with you and your guests, whether it’s the rich, woody aroma of oud or the soothing fragrance of lavender. The act of lighting incense can become a ritual that signifies the start of a gathering, adding a layer of intention and mindfulness to your time together.

Majlis for Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)
Majlis for Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)

MAJLIS INTERIOR DESIGN SUITABLE FOR ANY CULTURE

While the Majlis is rooted in Middle Eastern culture, its principles can be adapted to suit any cultural background. The idea is to create a space that reflects your heritage and personal style while fostering connection and community.

For example, if you have a Scandinavian background, you might incorporate elements of hygge, with soft lighting, cozy blankets and a minimalist aesthetic. If you’re from the Caribbean, you might infuse the space with vibrant colors, tropical plants and natural textures that evoke the warmth and beauty of the islands.

One way to bring the spirit of the Majlis into your home is by hosting a dinner party with a Majlis-inspired theme.

Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)
Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)

Create a fun and inviting tablescape that encourages guests to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Use low seating arrangements with colorful cushions, natural materials like wooden serving boards and stoneware dishes as well as an incense burner to set the mood.

This not only pays homage to the Majlis tradition but also offers a unique and memorable experience for your guests.

INTERIOR DESIGN OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Incorporating elements of the Majlis into your home requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing new design practices. However, the benefits are well worth the effort.

By creating a space dedicated to intentional connection, you enrich your life and the lives of those around you. You build a sanctuary where relationships can flourish, memories can be made, and true connection can take root.

Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)
Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)

So, ask yourself: How can you bring the energy of the Majlis into your own home? Start by creating a space that invites relaxation and connection. Use natural materials, low seating and incense to set the stage for meaningful interactions. Infuse the space with elements of your own cultural background to make it uniquely yours.

By creating a space dedicated to intentional connection, you enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

By doing so, you not only honor the tradition of the Majlis but also create a home that nurtures your soul and strengthens your bonds with loved ones.

In conclusion, the Majlis offers a timeless lesson in the art of intentional connection through interior design. By incorporating its principles into our own homes, we can create spaces that support our well-being, celebrate our heritage and deepen our relationships.

Whether or not you have Middle Eastern roots, the spirit of the Majlis can inspire us all to make time for what truly matters: the people we love.

Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)
Majlis and Interior Design (Photo courtesy Kadija Taylor)
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