You can transform a room into a simulation of an Arabian tent in a few hours. By recreating the lush and private feel of the Arabian tent, you will ensure that your guests will not forget their visit. The key to making a room into an Arabian tent is to understand the richness of the colours, the lushness of the fabrics chosen and that the main part of the tent, the walls, is not Arabian, but Indian. Arabian ceremonial tents are traditionally decorated with Rajasthani mirrored hangings, a habit that grew out of the trading and exchange between the two countries that has gone on for centuries.
Empty the room you want to make into an Arabian tent of all furnishings. Close any blinds that may be on the windows to block natural light from entering the room.
Use a stud finder and pencil to mark the locations of the studs in the walls and ceiling of the room. You do not need to mark every stud; every other one will be sufficient.
Set up your ladder in the centre of the room. Stretch out the material that you want to make the "roof" of your tent so it lays from wall to wall on the floor. Lift the centre of the fabric up to the centre of the ceiling and staple it to the studs in the ceiling. Spread the fabric over the ceiling towards the wall, stapling it into the ceiling as you go. Arabian tents traditionally have rectangular and slightly flat (not peaked) roofs, so you only have to let the fabric drape a little bit to achieve a tent-like feel. Use fabric that is solid in colour for the roof. Traditionally the colours will be a deep red, black, gold or deep blue.
Hang the fabric for your walls. Use a Rajasthani hanging or a similar style of fabric hanging for an authentic look. Rajathani hangings are tie-dyed with different colours, and they have embroidered patterns and small mirrors (like sequins) worked into the fabric. Anything similar will give you the right ambience. Hang the fabric from the walls, attaching it to the studs so it is flat. Traditional Arabic tent walls are flat, not sloped like a camping tent wall.
Lay down the floor of your tent. Use plush area carpets with Oriental or Middle Eastern designs. It will look more authentic if you use several different sized carpets that overlap, rather than one big carpet.
Furnish your Arabian tent with fringed throw pillows in similar colours to the roof. Pile them around low tables to create comfortable places for your guests to recline and dine.
- Use upholstery tacks with decorative bronzed heads to attach your fabric to the walls. This will add an elegant touch to the wall coverings.
- Never use candles or any other open flame in a room that has been decorated as an Arabian tent. The chance of the fabric catching fire is too great for such items to be considered safe to use.
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