In our homes, we have spaces for activities that are not only important to us, but sustain us. We have the dining room, living room, bedrooms, kitchen and wash rooms. Some house owners also include a house office and a gym. However, it is on rare occasions that architects and house owners include a prayer room on the blue print.
Rashid Ssenyonjo of HIL-Consult construction, says the outbreak of Covid-19 has affected all aspects of life, including our religious life, yet not many had planned for space to commune with the creator in their homes.
“When drafting house plans, few people give priority to a prayer room and for those I have worked with, I think it is five to 10 per cent that have thought of having a prayer room.”
Micheal Ssozi, an interior designer, says although one should be able to pray from anywhere, having a special room in your home devoted to prayer makes you feel peaceful and eager to talk to God.
Understand the purpose
Ssenyonjo says you need to understand why you are putting up a prayer room.
Before you add this sacred space to your home design, know how you would like to use the space. Is it for personal use or will you share it with others such as visitors. Knowing this will help you determine the best location for your prayer room.
When considering the location of your prayer room, keep in mind that it should be in a location that allows you to rest your mind and be peaceful.
He says it is advisable to choose an area that will help you concentrate on worship and not on what is around you.
You may not want to have your prayer room next to the kitchen, dining room nor next to the living rooms. It should also be separated from your home office; it should be in a less used area of your home.
“Depending on the available space, you can decide to have a separate room constructed within a few metres from the main house. This will help your cut off noise from the TV set in the living room and the aroma of food from your kitchen.”
If you are planning on building a storeyed house, you can decide to have your prayer room and the master bedroom on the same floor.
For a bungalow, this can still be next or opposite the master bedroom, but away from the dining, living room and kitchen.
Having decided where you want your prayer room set, David Ssemakula, a civil engineer, says knowing the size of the prayer room is also important.
“When it comes to size, you must consider the size of your family and number of visitors you are most likely to host. Some people host prayer groups of about 10 people, so during construction or as you decide to declutter, one of the rooms in house to work as a prayer room, keep in mind the number of people it is most likely to accommodate and how comfortable they will be.”
For instance, if you are looking at putting up something similar to a mosque in your homestead, then you have to consider the aspects of males and female space thus planning for two separate chambers.
Walls, colour and floor
Ssozi says the colour choice for your prayer room sets the mood of the room. Consider whether you prefer vibrant colours that you find uplifting and energising, or soft and neutral tones that create a more peaceful, calm atmosphere.
He advises people setting up prayer rooms to turn to their religion for colour and symbolism to see if there is a particular colour they would like to feature.
“Make the whole room that colour, or just paint the focal wall. The right colour choice makes the room peaceful and attractive thus feeling the difference. To make it more comfortable and from all kinds of distractions, you can decide to make the walls, windows and doors sound proof.
He says a nice wall paper and plush carpeting will also add beauty to the room. The carpet will muffle the sounds in the room especially when someone is either walking in or out.
Select a place
Ssozi suggests that for those that have already constructed their houses, depending on the number of rooms you have, you can decide to renovate one and turn it into a prayer room. However, he says in case there is no extra room, you can as well choose a corner and dedicate it as a prayer spot.
“If you select a corner, try and give it a different look from the rest of the house. In it put all prayer items such as the Bible, Quran, prayer mats, among other items,” he says.
Having your own prayer room where you can go to pray and meditate can be a spiritual sanctuary for a religious person. Your prayer room should reflect both your faith and your own spirituality. When you are designing your prayer room, make it comfortable and functional, but be careful not to clutter it or put things in it that will distract you from its purpose.