The Influence of Islamic Art on Modern Home Décor

November 15, 2018

The Influence of Islamic Art on Modern Home Décor

Throughout the world, art scholars of all fields have recognised the beauty inherent in Islamic art. The uniqueness of the art form, especially when compared to what Western scholars would consider “traditional” art, is the very thing that pulls people towards the Islamic tendency towards abstract forms and shapes.

The most interesting thing about Islamic art is that it utterly rejects the idea that living forms are the true source of artistic beauty. This idea of life, or man, as the ultimate form of creative expression derives from the Ancient Greek culture. But it stands at odds with Islamic values as it represents man as the most magnificent creature in all of existence.

Islamic art follows the idea that man is but an instrument created by the divine being Allah (SWT). As such, art produced under Islamic concepts tends to take on a more abstract form that values concepts such as symmetry and subtlety over painstaking depictions of the human form. In doing so, Islamic art has a much deeper meaning in terms of communicating the artist’s message of Islam, rather than attempting to create the most accurate or realistic interpretation of non-divine beings.

This complete difference in artistic expression has led to some Western scholars rejecting Islamic art as somehow inferior to that inspired by the Ancient Greeks’ concept of man as the most ultimate form. However, the key expressions of Islamic art – namely calligraphy, geometrical patterns, and floral patterns – transcend this idea entirely.

Rather interestingly, these same expressions have also had an enormous influence on modern home décor, whether people realise it or not.

Influence on Modern Décor

The key behind Islamic art’s influence on modern décor lies in the signature language of the art itself. Both recognisable and abstract, it is a form of artistic expression that trends towards symmetry and order.

It is perhaps these two key qualities that have made it so influential on modern décor. Both symmetry and order are essential aspects of designing a room. It can even come down to as simple a concept of nobody wanting a messy room that has no sense of gravitas or purpose.

The trend towards order is something that is key in modern décor. Everything has its place and all of the different components of the room link together to create a more cohesive whole. This is something that’s regularly seen in the geometrical patterns employed in Islamic art. Many shapes, lines, and patterns are used in the making of a piece. Individually, these elements may not inspire and enchant those who see them. But when combined, they create a much greater whole that has a deeper meaning that the individual parts.

In that way, modern home décor mirrors some of the core tenets of Islamic art. Moving elements out of their place leads to a disorderly image, whether that is in the art or a room. Symmetry and order are the keys to unlocking a room’s potential, much like they are the core tenets of a piece of Islamic art.

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