For quite some time, the main focus of modesty for me was the way I dressed. In fact, many of us as modest consumers put emphasis on the way we present ourselves to the outside world and if it adheres with the modest concept. For woman for example, the hijab and overall coverage plays an essential role in staying modest. However, when we think about it, modesty reaches much deeper than the superficial presentation: it is a way of thinking, consuming and interacting. It wasn’t until I began to show interest in interior design that I wondered how and if modesty should be incorporated in the way I decide to decorate my interior space. Seeing that modesty originates from within ourselves, it naturally projects itself outwards into the way we use the space in our homes. Just as the fashion industry is beginning to target the modest consumer as its newest niche, the industry of architecture and interior design are also starting to show interest in what a Muslim consumer wants. As some literature has shown, there are three main concepts that Muslims look for concerning home designs. Privacy, modesty and hospitality are what influence Muslims when defining their living spaces. As a consumer, I want the ability to put together modern decor that fits my taste, all the while keeping in mind some modest concepts.
MATERIALS Those who studied modest interior design suggest using materials that are local instead of imported, or have caused less impact on the environment. This ties in to the ideology that the modest consumer has a role to play in the conservation of the natural environment, respecting the fact that everything we take has an impact somewhere. Unique and beautiful decors can be created used sustainable and economical materials as to maintain a level of humility known to the modest consumer. SPACE Modesty is comfort; whether it’s in the way you dress or how you feel in your home. The spacing in a modest home should allow families to unwind and be comfortable in privacy from the outside world. Architects have been attempting to provide such privacy in things such as the distance between neighboring homes, the way the walls are built, all the way down to window placements. They are beginning to recognize the importance of the middle ground between interaction with the outside world and the comfort of privacy for the modest consumer. Within the home, space and what it is used for also has great importance. We use our space for religious devotion, for family gatherings, and to shelter those who visit, allowing for hospitality.
DECORATIONS What I love about modest decor is the subtlety of it. Often the fabrics, patterns or pictures one decides to assimilate into their design act as little reminders of their modesty. For example, many Muslim homes showcase floral patterns, either in throw pillows or incorporated into their rugs, which is a symbolism of modesty in Islamic culture. Additionally, to add depth and intricacy in any design, calligraphy is always a go to! Often, choosing how to dress a wall or how to find the perfect statement piece can be a challenge. This mostly being because the modest consumer is unlikely to choose any painting or picture that depicts human or ‘idol’-like forms. An alternate choice – and a personal favorite – is the bold letter superimposed with a beautiful background. One clothing company that has extended its designs to home decor has perfected the use of space with modest decor. Going by the name 5ive Pillars, the company has recently release posters that can be framed and placed in any room to add vibrancy and a modest vibe. Below is one of their ‘Bismillah’ posters available for purchase on their website. Whether it is on a large architectural scale, or the simple use of patters and pictures, the modest consumer does have various options to create a space that allows for the extension of their modesty from their clothing to the way they interact with their space. By finding just the right pieces, every room in your home can become beautifully modest! Source of article: Hanna Sow