Make a cozy space that transports you to another era as you step inside the Sukkah.
Last year, up until erev Sukkot, I still didn’t know if I’d have a sukkah. My back porch is uniquely shaped, requiring a few custom cut sukkah walls at different heights and lengths.
The custom sukkah we had ordered? The company didn’t know if they’d be able to come through in time. It was busy season, after all, and ours was just more complicated than the typical. I’d be away for the first days of Sukkot, but my second half plans were up in the air…pending the sukkah.
The sukkah arrived in time, on erev Sukkot. And in less than an hour, it was suddenly standing. It was surreal. The sukkah was beautiful and modern, and it encompassed by entire pack porch.
But I could only dream about how I would have decorated it.
This year is different. On Tzom Gedaliah, the whole family spent the day on the back porch, assembling our sukkah. All that’s left to do is to add the schach…which will go on on motzei Yom Kippur.
Oh, yes…and this year I can decorate.
Last year, when decorations were only in my dreams, I saw this photo of a Moroccan-themed sukkah on Pinterest and was very inspired…and surprised when I saw how affordable the accessories could be.
Start with a Cluster of Lanterns
You don’t need to hang stuff everywhere and all over. One cluster of different lanterns (use an odd-numbered amount) should do the trick. Here’s a few, including a blue one for $8 and a purple one that’s $15. I like that these have colored glass because you won’t have to put anything inside. You can probably find a nice assortment of lanterns in home discount stores too. Mix and match, be eclectic.
Note: Hanging decorations should be less than 4 tefachim (about 12 inches) from the schach if they’re in an area where you plan to sit (i.e. chandeliers over a table are not in an area where one will sit). (The linked items are less than the 4 tefachim).
Bring your outdoor furniture inside the sukkah and change the look with lots of throw pillows. You can get a pack of 10 Moroccan-styled pillows for $25! (Note you will need pillow inserts, but it’s still a deal…borrow inserts from other household pillows for the week!).
Cozy up the space with an outdoor rug
I think that people underestimate the impact that an area rug brings to a space. It focuses an area and adds coziness and, in this case, that pop of color. I like this bright blue Moroccan-inspired style rug that’s meant for outdoors (+ easy to wash).
I’m thinking that I’ll make an wall display of different picture frames with photo prints of Sukkot-related scenes and gedolim. (My local dollar store has a great selection and I’m thinking I’ll spray paint them to match the color scheme I want). Other accents, like this tapestry which mimics the tiled look, is another affordable decor element (look for other tapestry options for under $15).
These curtains, which look like the doors of a palace, aren’t relatively cheap but they’re really interesting. I think that other accents, like the glassware on the table, can also contribute to the decor. It doesn’t have to all be on the walls!
What else inspires you from the photo above? How would you add to the look and feel?