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May/June 2021

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The magazine of Betterhomes

RENOVATION

AN AMERICAN-STYLE HOME IN MIRA

ON TREND

BATHRO LOOKSOM

PROJECT INSPIRATION

Interesting ways to utilise your empty maid's room

DUBAI’S

STYLE ADVICE

PARISIAN CHIC INTERIORS

DESIGN DUO The brains behind Smart Renovation, Marco and Cinzia Tedeschi on creating dream homes


Welcome to the issue

The summer season has arrived and - while the pandemic continues to alter our reality - we’re finding colourful ways to bring joy into our home as we retreat indoors. Whether that’s embracing our inner granny with the grandmillennial trend (page 22), purchasing some funky tableware (page 6), or by following Jennifer Black’s style notes on using eyecatching hues (page 28), it’s all about mood-boosting design here at Better Living’s HQ. This issue, two Dubai-residents that share our colourful sentiments, Wim and Greit show us around their fun garden in Falcon City of Wonders (page 42) and interior designer Nadia Sallustio relays her thoughts on crafting a Parisian style home in the UAE (page 16). Encouraging homeowners to follow their renovation dreams, Marco and Cinzia of Smart Renovation tell a design story through an elegant family home they crafted inJumeirah Park (page 30) and we take a look at a bachelor pad in Mira received an American style upgrade. Get inspired, and don’t forget to join us online for exclusive interiors' content and exciting competitions. Sophia Dyer Deputy Editor Visit us at blivinguae.com and follow us on Instagram at @blivinguae

Jennifer Black in her home (p28)

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welcome | CONTENTS

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Mizanna Designs renovation

Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Chief Creative Officer John Thatcher General Manager David Wade Deputy Editor Sophia Dyer sophia@hotmedia.me Art Director Kerri Bennett Digital Media Manager Muthu Kumar To contact any of the above people, email firstname@hotmedia.me

CONTENTS SHOP

using colour in the home; dreamy pantry tips from organisation expert Shelina Jokhiya; a peek inside All the latest design news, including local brands the minds of the designers behind Smart Renovation; that should be on your radar and a round-up of creative inspiration for your empty maid's room and a cute tableware that’s currently on the shelves. bachelor pad gets an all-American makeover.

Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media is strictly prohibited. HOT Media does not accept liability for omissions or errors in Better Living magazine.

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Tel: +971 4 364 2876 Fax: +971 4 369 7494

INSPIRE

bhomes.com

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MOVE

Expert advice on choosing a rug for your home; 54-59 the bathroom trends we're going to seeing a lot Estate agents show you their top properties on the more of this year; why 'Granny' is cool; advice on market. Plus, our guide to the Emirates Living areas.

facebook.com/betterhomesuae @betterhomesuae @betterhomesuae linkedin.com/company/better-homes-llc

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This issue’s

Pinboard Our round-up of the latest in homeware news and interior’s trends

Flower-power

Italian fashion house, Etro Home has just launched their Spring-Summer 2021 collection - and its psychedelic design is an eclectic design lovers midsummer night’s dream. Inspired by floral print, oriental design and the brand’s iconic Paisley motifs, the unusual colour combinations make it particularly stylish. Split into three sub-categories Camargue, Goa and Harrison, each of the high-quality geometric, ethnic and ornamental prints are crafted with luxury materials. Purchase via MatchesFashion (matchesfashion.com) in the UAE, or visit etro.com.

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ARTISANAL HOMEWARE CREATED IN 2017, THE ART TROVE IS A COLLECTION OF ARTISANAL PRODUCTS FROM JORDAN AND PALESTINE. FOUNDER AYA TOUKAN SHARES A CURATION OF UNIQUE HANDMADE PRODUCTS ON THEARTTROVE.COM


trending | UPDATES

Kind By Design

FOUNDED IN 2020 BY SOPHIA SHEIKH AND LALE FAHEEM, THIS HOMEGROWN CANDLE BUSINESS PROMISES MORE THAN JUST A LONG BURNING TIME (70-80 HOURS). EACH CANDLE IS HANDMADE USING NATURAL BEESWAX AND ESSENTIAL OILS, TO CREATE DELICIOUS PARABEN-FREE SCENTS SUCH AS PEONY AND JASMINE. KINDBYDESIGN.CO

BeauVamp X Blackpop

Sweetness and light

The grand millennial trend – or Granny Chic, as it’s commonly referred to – is here to stay (turn to page 22 to learn more). Curating eclectic items and styling them in a marriage of hodgepodge delight is not for everyone, but if it’s for you, these BeauVamp lamps should be on your radar. An independent British lighting brand, BeauVamp was set up in 2006 by Alice Moylan after she up-cycled a lamp that she’d bought in a charity shop. “I became fascinated with how the fabric had been stitched to the frame. It became my mission to embark on reviving those old traditional sewing techniques.” Inspired by ‘roaring’ Art Deco design, each lamp stitches traditional sewing techniques with a modern style, using locally sourced high-quality silk. The brand has most recently collaborated with Blackpop, who create handcrafted silk. Find them online at beauvamp.com blivinguae.com | 7


UPDATES | trending

GREEN THUMB

A new venture for ACE, their Festival Plaza store has just launched the brand’s first greenhouse. Maintained at 30 degrees, the indoor garden is home to both perennial and seasonal plants such as fruit trees, flowers, succulents and cacti. Along with plants the garden-centric space also stocks lawn tools, watering products and decorative pieces such as bird baths. And coming later this year, there will be an on-site potting station and Plant Hotel where customers can leave their plants while they travel. aceuae.com

FABULOUS FABRICS TEXTILE LOVER? SOL & ART GALLERY CURATES GORGEOUS HANDMADE ART FROM AROUND THE WORLD, AND THEY SHIP TO THE UAE. SOLANDART.COM 8 | blivinguae.com

Recycle for reward

UAE-residents can be rewarded for recycling plasticbottles with the ZeLoop eco-reward app. Choose from a variety of rewards such as mall gift cards or keep it eco by getting a Lumen At Work (lumenat-work.com) LED module spotlight for your home. zeloop.net


S SCEEN O C EF SOI FM SP IL M A X OARX O O RN EO N — ET H— E T EHSES EE N I CPI LTI YC I T Y D ENSEI D GN B YR BBEAR R O B ES RG O DESIG B YE DB A E RSBGY E R B Y


trending | UPDATES

Bathroom news

Sinks, bath tubs and everything in between

INSIDE IDEAL STANDARD’S TOGETHER WORLD TOUR Heritage bathroom brand Ideal Standard on digitally unveiling their new Linda-X collection in Milan

Unveiling their new products for 2021 in a series of six online events, Ideal Standard kicked off the tour in Milan, showcasing the sleek Lina-X collection. Post-event we caught up with Marketing and Innovation Director, Frederick Trzcisnki to find out what consumers can expect from the Together World Tour. What is the Together World Tour? Each destination of the Together World Tour provides a unique visual and cultural backdrop for the launch of a new product collection from the brand. Six iconic cities, six new products!

Why did you choose the Linda-X collection in Milan? Since the ‘50s, Ideal Standard has been ingrained in Milanese design heritage, and this is reflected in its relationships with Master Architects such as Gio Ponti and Achille Castiglioni. Linda-X, designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, proudly takes inspiration from the original Linda collection created in 1977 by Achille Castiglioni, celebrating the brand’s cultural heritage, while incorporating modern influences to create a contemporary collection, which reflects the future of bathroom design.

Can you tell us a bit about the collection? Comprising of a range of basins and an elegant bathtub, the Linda-X collection stands out for its super-light design, which is minimalist and clean. One of the key visual elements is the ultra-thin edges of the basin. The platform on which the basin stands is a key part of the design, which gives the visual impression the basin is almost weightless and ‘floating’, whilst also creating a space-conscious solution for the needs of modern lifestyles, as you can place the basin on narrow furniture. Which kind of home does the Linda-X collection suit? Architecture, design, technology, and environmental awareness are the guiding principles of this collection. We strongly believe that the foundation for timeless design is grounded in values, rather than trends. Products in this collection are suited for demanding environments such as hotels and residential apartments, where an effective combination of good aesthetics and durability is important. The next stop of the tour is in Berlin on June 16, you can sign up for the digital event at togetherworldtour.com

AWARD-WINNING DESIGN

ITALIAN BATHROOM COMPANY, SCARABEO WAS PRESENTED WITH TWO ‘IF DESIGN AWARDS’ FOR TWO OF THEIR ECOCONSCIOUS COLLECTIONS. THE CROSS AND SOLID RANGES EACH WON FOR THEIR UNIQUE DESIGNS. THE CROSS COLLECTION COMBINES WOOD AND CERAMIC FOR A FUNCTIONAL, YET HIGHLY STYLISED LOOK. WHILE THE SOLID COLLECTION (PICTURED) IS VERSATILE AND CUSTOMISABLE, IDEAL FOR THE MODERN BATHROOM. @SCARABEO_CERAMICHE

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UPDATES | trending

Kitchen news

The latest inspiration for the heart of your home

PURPOSE MEETS DESIGN: How to select items for the kitchen that look as good as they function, according to Quooker’s Managing Director, Philipe van der Loo

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Invest in multi-purpose appliances This allows you to free your kitchen of single-function appliances and helps achieve a minimal, clutter-free aesthetic while still being able to meet your daily needs. A great example of a multi-purpose appliance is a Quooker, which allows you to get 100°C boiling, cold, chilled, still and sparkling water directly from the tap. With a Quooker tap, you no longer need a kettle, nor do you need to have multiple water bottles stacked up over the kitchen counter.

2 Welcoming Williams Sonoma

It’s been an exciting month for fans of high-end cookware since Williams Sonoma launched its first store in the UAE, at The Dubai Mall. The iconic kitchenware brand - as referenced in Sex and the City and Friends - has peaked the interest of the market with its ultra-stylish crockery, utensils and bakeware. And with a number of new collections for spring, there’s never been a better time to invest in something new. Their new store is currently running cooking lessons using Williams Sonoma food and utensils. Follow them on Instagram (@williamssonomadubai) to find out when the next class is. williams-sonoma.com

KITCHEN MAKEOVER

FOR AN AFFORDABLE AND QUICK KITCHEN RENOVATION, THE TILE & WRAP SOCIETY OFFER 3D PEEL & STICK TILES, ARCHITECTURAL VINYL WRAPPING AND PRESSURE GUN PAINTING. THE SERVICES COMPLETELY TRANSFORM A SPACE WITHIN A FEW HOURS. THE-TILE-SOCIETY.COM 12 | blivinguae.com

Look for items that reduce plastic waste. Today, there are many smart appliances to help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle. All-in-one taps, for instance, allow you to minimize your plastic consumption by forgoing your weekly plastic bottle purchases. Instead allowing you to access safe, filtered water from the kitchen sink.

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Favour items with clean lines My advice would be to follow a Scandinavian approach to design, which preferences a reduction in decoration and clutter. Taking Quooker as an example – regardless of its smart edge – it has a simple design, which allows it to integrate itself within several kitchen layouts, while still mastering a clean aesthetic.


wishlist | INSPIRATION

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We loveYvonne Ellen quirky illustrations

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On-our radar....

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DELIGHTFUL TABLEWARE

If you’re in the market to level up your serveware, these are some of cutest options on the market at the moment. Their colourful designs are perfect for the summer season, upping the style factor of your lunch and dinner spreads.

This eclectic mix of patterns work in harmony with each other

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1 Mixed Animal Dinner Set, Dhs168, Yvonne Ellen at Namshi; 2 Watermelon cake stand 21’, EUR38.70 (approx Dhs172), Bordallo Pinheiro; 3 Citron Dinnerware Collection, Various prices, Williams Sonoma; 4 Set of 4 Jungle Cereal Bowls, Dhs110, Marks and Spencer; 5 Set of four Rainbow Picnic Side Plates, Dhs110, Marks and Spencer; 6 Set of two Sarb Espresso Cups Bulbul, Dhs179, Silsal; 7 Sadie set of four pasta bowls, Dhs96, Next; 8 Matilda Goad Lunch Set, Dhs2,435, Matches Fashion; 9 Reine Platter, Dhs39, Homecentre; 10 Reine Rice Bowl, Dhs15, Homecentre

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A home of your own

How Williams Sonoma Home is revolutionising the way we shop interiors in the UAE

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hen you think of Williams Sonoma it’s likely that its famous high end kitchenware springs to mind. But since its Dubai flagship store opened, it’s their equally as luxurious brand, Williams Sonoma Home that has the attention of Middle Eastern interior mavens – and for good reason. The furniture is eclectic in style, drawing its inspiration from a variety of global sources. Each of the pieces has been crafted from high-quality fabrics, and using traditional techniques they each have a timeless feel. The brand’s luxury answer to craftsmanship ensures longevity and a level of style that’s

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Better Living x WILLIAMS SONOMA

hard to replicate. With everything from elegant crystal chandeliers, to large, accommodating dining tables, a home that’s had the Sonoma touch is one that can both comfort and impress. Knowing that bespoke furniture is the currency of a well-designed home, Williams Sonoma Home has brought its renowned tailor-made service with it to Dubai. It’s here that customers are really able to elevate their home’s style, as in-house designers, known as The Design Crew, can advise on fabric, design and layout. Sitting down to a private meeting with a member of the crew, customers are able to create bespoke items drawing inspiration from the range,

meaning that complete customisation is both possible, and encouraged. Passionate about illustrating individual stories through objects, and providing a unique service when it comes to homeware shopping, The Design Crew also advise customers on how to dress and arrange the items at home. The team of interior stylists are on hand to help you select the right style, item and finish for your home. It’s with this unique approach to furnishing and styling that Williams Sonoma Home has already become a staple for those in the know. Visit Williams Sonoma Home in The Dubai Mall or follow @williamssonomahomemena

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Rug addict

How to lay the foundation for good design, according to style specialists

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onsider a rug as the glue that binds a room. It’s the difference between an average, nicely designed home and one that has wow factor. A well-chosen rug should become the design anchor of a space, providing the base style and colour inspiration for you to work around. But, as such an important component in the recipe for an aesthetically considered home, how do

you pick the right one? Three rug experts share their trend forecasts and advice: What are the trends for 2021? WARM TONES “Rugs with warm tones are definitely huge for this year,” says Carina Ferreira from The Rug Society (rugsociety. eu). “Colour is more important than ever, given the comfortable and

cosy environment they bring,” she adds. Comforting earthy hues are popular as “a response to our need for feeling grounded and safe,” suggests Alina Bokhari from Alina Bokhari Interiors (@alinabokhari_interiors). DARING PATTERN After spending so much time at home, many of us have been reevaluating our design choices. As such, “we’re seeing bold colours and patterns becoming very trendy,” says Carina. “It’s all about adding a vibrant and happy feeling to a place.” “As hardwood floors become more popular, complementing chevron and herringbone-patterned rugs are ruling the roost,” advises Alina. PANTONE SHADES “This summer, the Pantone colours of the year are influencing our collection of machine-woven rugs,” says Sharon O’Keeffee from The Design House (thedesignhousedubai.com). “With one of the Pantone colours of the year being ‘Illuminating’ – a vibrant golden yellow hue – it’s perfect for the season because it adds freshness and vibrancy into your home.” GO VINTAGE “For Spring/Summer 2021, we will continue to see an increasing demand for handmade, handwoven, genuine vintage rugs,” says Alina. “The colours of the moment are rich but muted tones, like subtle sepias, washedout greys, and beiges with hints of maroon, pale blues, pinks and shades of peach,” adds the interior designer.

How do you choose the right rug? FORMING THE BASE If you’re starting with a blank canvas, “You want to begin with a gorgeous rug as the base for a room,” says Alina. “Once you’ve found the perfect rug you can always work your way up by adding the right pieces at a pace that you’re comfortable with.”

The Design House, (thedesignhousedubai.com)

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CONSIDER WHO USES THE ROOM “Before investing in a rug because you like how it looks, make sure you think practically. If you have kids, go for synthetic fibres, as spills won’t penetrate as easily and it reacts very well to Scotchgard, making it even more stain resistant. For people with


rugs | INSPIRATION

Home and Soul, (homeandsouldubai.com)

reduced mobility, make sure the pile is not so shaggy that it may become a tripping hazard,” advises Sharon. MATERIAL “The type of rug that works best will ultimately depend on the foot traffic in that area. Wool rugs work very well in high traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms, as they are durable and long lasting. Outdoor rugs used indoors can also be a great option in the spaces that receive a lot of tread,” advises Sharon.

Jaipur with Love, (fromjaipurwithloverugs.com)

SIZE “Size really matters when choosing your rug,” says Sharon, “Choosing the wrong dimension can really throw off the feel of the room. In order to get it right for your room, consider the layout of furniture, and if you plan to separate an open-plan living area. Any place you put a rug, “it should fill the space quite solidly,” says Carina. You want to avoid a small size mat ‘floating’ in a room that’s too big.

GO CLASSIC “Certain colours and patterns are called classic for a reason – they never go out of style,” says Alina. “Genuine handwoven pure wool rugs have been around for centuries and will always look good in your space if chosen correctly,” she adds. “Styles such as Persian, Scandinavian and Moroccan are all timeless, but consideration must also be given to the pattern, colour and material,” says Sharon. COLOUR If you’re starting out with furniture and accessories you plan on keeping, the colour palette is important – stick within the tones you already have. “But if you’re starting afresh, choose a rug you like the colour of, then you can add complementary pieces whenever suits,” says Alina. SEEK ADVICE If you’re considering making a big investment in a rug, “it’s best to seek advice (from a professional) before you purchase, so that you don’t make a mistake,” suggests Sharon. “We are always happy to give advice if anyone is unsure. “If your budget is tight and you want to start with a gorgeous rug as the base for a room, I am happy to do that for my clients,” says Alina. “I develop a plan for you that allows you to build from the ground up.”

Oslo Rug, Rug Society (rugsociety.eu)

WHEN IS IT TIME TO REPLACE A RUG? “There are a few telltale signs that it’s time to replace your rug,” says Sharon, “Matting is one of the first signs that your rug needs to be replaced. Stains are another indicator – if you’re finding yourself moving furniture to cover stains, it’s most likely time to part ways. And lastly, if it smells bad even after it’s been cleaned, that should be the last straw for any rug.” HOW LONG SHOULD A RUG LAST? “This depends on foot traffic in that area and the composition of the rug you choose,” says Sharon. “If you have the right guidance and select the correct rug, it can last you anywhere from 5 to 15 years.” A handmade, handwoven rug can last many years: “It might even become your heirloom piece if you take good care of it,” adds Alina.

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A 21 century bathroom st

The bathroom is the new living room, and this is how to style yours

RAK-DES, RAK Ceramics (rakceramics.com)

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he modern bathroom has quickly become one of the most important rooms of the home. With hygiene practices more important than ever, and the need for at-home relaxation becoming a non-negotiable, many of us are in the market to create our own spalike sanctuaries. But before you decide on the style you’re going to choose, these are the bathroom trends that are going to see us through 2021 and beyond. Flow space As the bathroom becomes a more integral part of the home, interior designers have been crafting multi-use spaces that encapsulate the shower and bath. “Recently we’ve been designing the master bathroom and walk-in closet as one single environment which flows seamlessly together, says Marco Tedeschi, fit-out consultant and co-owner of Smart Renovation (smartrenovation.ae).

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Hygiene first Coming as no surprise, “antibacterial products have been the protagonist of this last year,” says Marco Borghi, head of marketing at RAK Ceramics (rakceramics.com). “It’s important for bathroom items to perform technically well and to play a role in keeping bad bacteria at bay. There’s a need for both function and aesthetic innovation.” The RAK Ceramics, RAK-Sanit collection has tiles and sanitaryware made from glazes that prevent the growth of bacteria, reducing the possibility of contagion in the home. Statement walls Gone are the days of uniform walls made from rows of ye old white tile. “Bold colours and patterns are big this year, whether that be in colourful tiles or patterned wallpaper,” says Anam Clarke, interior designer and founder of The Designers Studio

Preziosi tiles, RAK Ceramics


bathroom trends | INSPIRATION

(thedesigners-studio.com). “The bathroom is the new living room,” says Cinzia Tedeschi, interior designer at Smart Renovation, “decorate it the same way you would any other room. Play with the wallpaper, try floral, or marble,” says adds. “But make sure it doesn’t clash with anything else – as you don’t want to make a salad!” Sophisticated shapes “Elongated and thin shapes are in,” says Marco from RAK Ceramics. Moving away from the clunky built-in units often found in UAE properties, “The market has seen an increase in demand for sophisticated and distinctive design, like those from the RAK-Valet collection.” And while a sleek design is key, “It’s important that you don’t lose functionality, which will always remain an essential element in the bathroom,” he adds. Floating vanities Giving you ample opportunity for customisation, the floating vanity and sink is having a strong moment. Allowing a bathroom space to breathe, the wall-mounted counter is a stylish choice. “What is great about floating vanities is that they can be made to any shape, size, or style,” says Anam. “You can even integrate sinks into them to give a high-end aesthetic or, if you’ve got a lot of stuff, you can add storage underneath.” Consider hanging shelves (that you can neatly decorate) or cabinets for a practical, yet modern finish. The options are endless. Midas touches While making a design statement in your bathroom, metallic finishing is a popular choice because, according to Anam, “Luxurious lighting and chandeliers are in. With the latest innovations in lighting, you can go bold with crystal accents or oversized chandeliers to make a massive impact,” she recommends. Bathroom manufacturers are reacting to the need for more stylized bathrooms. “The RAK-Des and RAK-Valet have metallic detailing on the legs and shelving units,” says Marco from RAK Ceramics.

Mojave Glaze Terracotta Tumbler, Dhs41, Sass & Belle at Namshi

Pearly finish bathroom set, Dhs89 Zara Home Abu Dhabi

Plants “We’re going to be seeing a lot of flora in the bathroom. It’s definitely in vogue to bring the natural world inside,” says Anam. “It’s a cool idea to have plants in the washroom,” adds Cinzia. “A lot of plants do well with the humidity of the shower so they’re easy to maintain. They really help to bring ambience and a spa-element to the space.” Aloe Vera and Spider Plants like the humidity caused by a shower and are particularly easy to look after.

Set of two Rex zigzag cotton-terry towels, Dhs315, Missoni Home

Camden Ceramic Soap Pump, Dhs69, Crate and Barrel

Matalan bathroom accessories (matalan.co.uk)

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INSPIRATION | design workshop

Nest (nest.co.uk)

How to master...

Parisian chic Nadia Sallustio, interior designer from Ma Cabane Concept (ma-cabane-concept. com)

ABOUT THE STYLE When we talk about a ‘Parisian style’ we’re naming that je ne sais quoi which comes from mixing antique and contemporary. It’s a look that is not found in many other places. Parisian design is a mélange of Haussmann and Bauhaus styles, which means you’ll probably associate it with very high ceilings, elongated doors, velvet drapes and long, elaborate corridors which lead into open rooms. THE OVERALL LOOK A Parisian home should tell a story: regardless of where you look, there should be sentimental objects, family pictures, and distinct colours that stir the imagination. While setting an overall stylish tone, the space should have a calm and soft feeling that’s comfortable to live in.

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The Bowery Company

HOW TO NAIL IT Colour equations To cite a famous French saying, ‘There aren’t any good or bad colour palettes’, it’s the equation of colours that’s most important. You’ll often be surprised by the power of certain hues and their ability to transform a room. Shop French brands Chic, ‘à la Française’ brands will instantly transform you home into a domestic Parisian heaven. You can shop them here in Dubai, as I represent renowned labels such as Ressource and Maison Sarah Lavoine that bring that French touch home. Be bold There are no rules but it’s important to be bold in your choices. Go with what stirs you, while keeping in mind that a Parisian style should both remind you of the past and have a modern twist. If I had to say anything about a potential faux pas, I’d say don’t be afraid of clutter.

Ma Cabane (macabane-concept.com)

Accessorise Use mirrors, plants, antique furniture, scented candles, framed kids drawings; basically anything that tells the narrative of who you are. And for the final touch, I always suggest a beautiful bouquet of flowers. From top: Old white small counter glass stand, Dhs1890, Antika Dubai; Black & Gold Plated Lineate Candle Holder, Dhs135, Present Time at Namshi; Ornamental ‘Bajot’ table, Dhs1090, Antika Home; Finchley 3 seater deluxe sofabed, GBR1199 (approx Dhs6,150); Sofology; Small velvet jewellery box, Dhs295, Sophie Bille Brahe at Matchesfashion; Babe in wax, EUR250 (approx Dhs1,112), La Double J


Grandma cool

Move over millennial minimalism, Gen Z are bringing ‘granny chic’ back in fashion

From dated to chic, your grandma’s clashing prints, lace curtains, and ornaments are seeing a style revival. Waving goodbye to stark minimalism, the grandmillennial trend confirms that more is more when it comes to drawing inspiration from the past. Bringing new life to ruffles, fringe, and scallop edges, the look is all about evoking nostalgia for yesteryear through playful combinations. Whether you want to go all out, or simply wish to dip your toes, Designer and Founder of Koncept Gray (konceptgray.com), Kerrie Gray talks us through the farmhousemeets-maximalist style.

Old meets new

Picture the nostalgic comfort of granny’s house, with all its decorative fabrics, chandeliers, scalloped lampshades, and vintage collections. Then pair this with carefully layered contemporary colours, abstract art, and modern furniture of the 21st century. You’ll end up with a look that marries institution and innovation.

Wonderful wallpaper

When using floral chintz or classical pattern wallpapers, those who want to err on the side of caution should try using them within panelling or on a feature wall. But for maximalist fans, continuing the paper across each of the walls gives a full theatrical effect. Tareen Interiors (@ tareen_ interiors) has beautiful wallpapers in a range of traditional and modern colourways which create the perfect grandmillennial backdrop to a room.

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trends | INSPIRATION

Embrace pattern Pattern is king when it comes to getting this look right – particularly traditional plaid, chintz and toile. The trick to marrying patterns is to pick them in similar colour palettes, so that when they’re paired together they clash somewhat harmoniously. Alternatively, try dividing your prints by introducing geometrics in one colour, alongside a complementing-coloured floral design.

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It’s in the details

Gone are the days of tassels, fringe, and ruffles being old hat! With an injection of fresh fun patterns and colours, these are the details you need to inject into your space for that modern-vintage look. Don’t shy away from your grandma’s beloved pleat curtains; instead, pair them with your 21st furniture for an updated look.

Metallics

Modern needlework

Cross-stitch, embroidery and knitting have grown in popularity as a hobby among millennials, which is being reflected in homeware. Add a vintage look to your home with woven cushions that have been created with traditional techniques. A fun way to modernise this is to use cushions that have fun phrases or designs embroidered across their front.

Collectors items

Thinking back to your grandparent’s house, it’s likely they had a collection of some sort. Whether that was decorative glassware, china plates, ceramic figurines or traditional candlesticks, displaying items was all the rage. Bring back this attitude to collecting and showcasing by grouping similar items together. Candlesticks or ornaments work well and can achieve a funky look. Use a neutral colour palette for a stylish feel, or opt for a technicolour array for an eclectic finish.

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Images in order of appearance: Cuckooland (cuckooland.com); Joe Browns (joebrowns.co.uk); DFS (dfs.co.uk)

Look to the warm metallics – like brass and gold – when picking your accessories. Items such as floor lamps, candlesticks, sculptures, and ornate picture frames work well in warm metal shades. To add a modern twist, pick a contemporary-shaped piece of furniture in a brassy finish.


trends | INSPIRATION

Think vintage

Go both authentic and green by repurposing furniture from moons past. Load up on wood in its original finish – dark shades such as mahogany, walnut, and cherry work best. Then, on a smaller scale, add original decorative glassware and traditional objet d’arts from thrift shops or secondhand boutiques like Antika Dubai (@antika_dubai) or French Treasure (@frenchtreasure).

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Chrome

Silver Storm

Brushed Gold

CONCA Basin mixer chrome finish

Brassware finishes Magnetic Grey

CONCA solid surface free-standing bathtub

CONCA basin 80x45cm

CONCA COLLECTION Sensual and minimal. The new Conca is a contemporary design interpretation of an icon. Like natural basins carved by water, Conca‘s organic curves combine deep geometric and sensual details, reaching a new level of purity. Conca merges tactile beauty and function.


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expert advice | INSPIRATION

A SK THE EXPERT

How do I bring colour into my home? Designer and artist Jennifer Black from Wear The House (wearthehouse.com) shares her fashion-conscious tips for embracing rainbow hues It’s important to have colour around you. Every time I walk into my home, my mood is immediately uplifted. When I walk into the hallway and I see the pops of yellow and pinks and the oranges, it just makes me feel happy. You don’t necessarily have to have colourful walls - which can be a bit over intimidating - but I think those pops of colour just make you happy. Paint one piece of furniture in a daring shade it can be a fun project as well. If you’ve got a vintage piece of furniture, sand it down and paint that pop of colour. I have the dresser in the hallway, which adds a really daring pop of yellow that I wouldn’t want on the walls. If you love a colour but wouldn’t necessarily paint a whole wall in that shade, an accent piece of furniture is a great idea. Use bright accessories. Framing is an easy way to add a splash of fun. Take a simple print and add a colourful frame, if you’re feeling bold you can also add an inner frame as well, just to give it an additional pop of colour. Or use a colourful print in a neutral frame. If you have a piece of art that you really love the colours in or that is going to be a main feature in the room, use it to select shades from. For example, if your picture has a lot of pinks and greens, you can get throw pillows in the same colours or choose to bring out a small accent tone within your furnishings. Create a colour palette for your home using magazines. I like to flick through a magazine, and tear out the colours that look cool, or

that speak to me before sticking them into a book. I try to merchandise within shades of the palette. Once you’ve come up with a palette that you like, take the book with you when you’re shopping, it will help you to choose items that work well together, rather than clash. You learn through experimentation. It’s fine to make mistakes when it comes to using colour. I have painted a wall in a colour and then realised I have made mistake when I see it with all my things, but that’s how you find and develop your colour style. Too much colour can be overwhelming, and it can cause a negative feeling when you walk into a room. You might end up feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed if there are too many clashing tones within the space. If you already love colour but don’t want to overwhelm yourself with busy design, I suggest keeping the walls white. White space is just as important as the colour itself. Colourful furniture and artwork needs space to breathe. I recently felt the need to strip back my home by painting the walls white, the absence of colour really allows the artwork to pop and stand out. It’s also useful if you’re renting to let the accessories do the talking rather than painting your walls. Add a dark element for balance. It’s a good idea to keep a dark colour running throughout the house in order to balance it out. I use black frames and my staircase is black which helps to ground the space. Mixing up your colourful tones with dark hues will make sure your home is anchored.

If you already love colour but don’t want to overwhelm yourself with busy design, I suggest keeping the walls white

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A Perfect Pantry Shelina Jokhiya from Declutter Me (declutterme.com) shares her tips for creating a dreamy storage system that’s both pretty, and functional

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pantry organisation | INSPIRATION

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CATEGORISE AND GROUP TOGETHER ITEMS SUCH AS PASTA, NOODLES, PULSES AND THEN STORE THEM IN CLEAR OR WHITE BOXES. LABEL THE BOXES SO THAT YOU CAN FIND THE ITEMS YOU WANT IN LESS THAN 5 SECONDS.

Left: Next (next.co.uk); right: Unsplash

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WHEN CREATING AN INSTA-WORTHY PANTRY IT’S BEST IF YOU CAN DO SO IN A STOREROOM, OR PERHAPS UNDER THE STAIRS. THAT WAY, YOU’VE GOT SPACE TO PLAY WITH. BUT IF THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE, CONSIDER REPURPOSING A BEAUTIFUL CUPBOARD TO STORE YOUR PANTRY ITEMS WITHIN YOUR KITCHEN.

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The Label Souq (thelabelsouq.com)

IKEA (ikea.com/ae)

Whether you want to keep it behind closed doors, or go for an open shelving unit, make sure you’ve got plenty of space to separate between food and other kitchen items. blivinguae.com | 31


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ADD AN EXTRA LAYER OF FUNCTION TO YOUR PANTRY DOOR WITH A CHALK OR WHITE BOARD SO THAT YOU CAN WRITE DOWN REMINDERS, GROCERY LISTS, AND NOTES FOR YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS.

Getting Personal (gettingpersonal.co.uk)

The Label Souq (thelabelsouq.com)

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PUT THE ITEMS THAT YOU DO NOT USE OFTEN – AND ARE NOT HEAVY – AT THE TOP OF THE PANTRY. THEN LABEL THE SHELVING AREA.

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Zone your food items on different shelves and create boxes for snacks, sweet items (including honey and jam), pasta, grains, baking items, savoury tins, nuts and pickled vegetables.

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pantry organisation | INSPIRATION

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Cubifresh storage pro canister, Dhs29, Homecentre

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When decanting food items, you want to make sure you don’t forget when you bought them. Consider using a dry eraser marker to write the sell by date on the bottom of the container or cut out the best before date from the packets and stick it at the bottom of the container.

IKEA 365+ jar with glass lid, Dhs25, IKEA

TRANSFER YOUR STAPLE FOODS – SUCH AS FLOUR, SUGAR, PASTA, LENTILS – INTO AIR-TIGHT CLEAR CONTAINERS. THIS IS NOT ONLY VERY HOME EDIT-ESQUE, BUT IT ALSO HELPS TO KEEP YOU ORGANISED AND ON TOP OF THE FOOD SHOPPING. IT’S A CLEAR VISUAL REMINDER FOR WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING LOW ON YOUR STAPLES.

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The Label Souq (thelabelsouq.com)

Dunelm, (dunelm.co.uk)

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ALTHOUGH WICKER BASKETS LOOK GOOD AND HELP GIVE A RUSTIC FEEL TO YOUR PANTRY, THEY’RE NOT THE MOST HYGIENIC OPTION. REDUCE THE CHANCE OF BUGS AND FUNGUS BREEDING BY PICKING A MORE DURABLE MATERIAL THAT CAN BE EASILY WIPED DOWN, SUCH AS PLASTIC OR WIRE.

Blair 3-tier storage trolley, Dhs149, Homecentre (homecentre.com)

IF YOU’RE LOW ON SPACE, OR A SAUCE AFICIONADO WITH LOTS TO ORGANISE, A LAZY SUSAN IS A GREAT WAY TO MAXIMISE THE AREA YOU HAVE. THEY ARE ALSO IDEAL TO STORE LESS USED SPICES AS THE SPIN MECHANISM MEANS THAT NONE WILL BE FORGOTTEN AT THE BACK OF THE CUPBOARD.

IKEA (ikea.com/ae)

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Marco and Cinzia Tedeschi

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dreamy design | INSPIRATION

How designers Marco and Cinzia Tedeschi from Smart Renovation crafted an elegant family home in Jumeirah Park

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alking up to Chirine and Abdelamir’s fourbedroom villa in Jumeirah Park, it’s instantly clear that something is different. Unlike its neighbouring houses, the steps drawing up to the modern front door are elongated and spacious, while the porch itself is punctuated by two large vases. Once inside, it becomes obvious that the villa has received a professional touch. It’s a touch that has come from the expert hands of Marco and Cinzia Tedeschi from Smart Renovation (smartrenovation. ae). Originally from Italy, their company was spawned from a 50-year-old family business for luxury interior design, Superior Living. The couple’s current success comes partly from this intergenerational design knowledge, and the fact that they’ve crafted the Dubai offshoot business around their individual strengths. Marco is the practical brain behind each of the designs, meticulously creating floor plans and installations to improve the everyday nature of a home. While Cinzia uses her eye for style to add personal touches and unique design flair. This home project was completed during the lockdown of last year. It has a modern yet Arabesque feel, not too

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dissimilar from that of its Lebanese owners. “In our designs we like to express the character of the homeowners, and even the history of where they come from,” says Marco, who has used clean lines and high-end materials in the design, which is interspersed with elegant furniture. “We used classic Arabic style furniture with modern, fresh finishing, making sure that everything is perfectly integrated,” he explains. It’s not often we get an intimate look at the relationship between interior designer and client. So, meeting the homeowners and parents of three, Abdelamir and Chirine, alongside their interior designers Marco and Cinzia helps to get a deeper understanding of the design process. The first thing that’s obvious (aside from the beautifully finished home) is the rapport between the two couples. Ciniza and Chirine sip espressos while discussing this season’s must-have bag, while Marco assesses his handywork and makes design recommendations to the couple, throwing in familiar jokes. “It’s important for us to enter into the family’s mind,” says Marco, explaining the way he and Cinzia approach their projects. “We assess the way (our clients) think and live, along with their personal taste.”

“We assess the way our clients think and live, along with their personal taste”


dreamy design | INSPIRATION

SLEEK ARABESQUE DESIGN MEETS MODERN FINISHING - PERFECT FOR CONTEMPORARY FAMILY LIVING IN DUBAI

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INSPIRATION | dreamy design

Starting with the floor plan, Marco created a large kitchen island that unites the kitchen and living space. “This is one of our kitchens,” the fit-out expert explains. Smart Kitchens was set-up two years ago as a branch of Smart Renovation, “because we were fed up with going around Dubai and spending Dhs120,000 on a kitchen for our clients,” says Marco. It goes deeper than just dirhams, however. “The process of choosing a kitchen should be more than just selecting cabinets from a man behind a desk who hasn’t seen your home and who knows nothing about your life,” he explains. “For us, it’s less about the cabinets and more about the design and how it relates to the family. “Here,” he says, looking around the open-plan kitchen and living room, “we wanted to make the kitchen seamless with the living space, so we put in a huge island.” Another layout change the fit-out company made was to put in a wall between the stairs and the living room to separate the space, “this created more intimacy in the dining room, and the mirror opposite the window helps to add more light and reflects the view.” The living room was extended and the patio created to join the pool to the

THE MARBLE WALL IS A FOCAL POINT OF THE SLEEK LIVING ROOM

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At home with | INSPIRATION

MARCO AND CINZIA COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER’S SKILL SET

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extension, with bi-folding doors, meaning during the cooler months a free-flow between the garden is effortless. “Everyone talks about healthy food, but nobody thinks about a healthy environment,” says Marco. “You can have the perfect diet, but if you have a sad house it will really affect your mood. Here, the family is always together because of the floor plan, those watching TV are able to converse with those in the kitchen,” he explains. Upstairs, the home remains family orientated yet sophisticated. Cinzia and Marco creatively designed Chirine’s dream walk-in closet/master bathroom from the previous kitchenette. And the bedroom, designed by Cinzia, is calm and spacious with thick, luxurious carpet setting a comfortable tone. It’s evident that each decision in the home has been carefully considered, from simple structural changes like extending the porch steps, to the metallic finish of the wardrobes, Marco and Cinzia have brought this young family’s aspirational home to life. What’s particularly noticeable about the pair of creatives is their united passion. A balancing act, Marco’s brain quickly assesses and notices where ‘smart’ structural changes can be made, while Cinzia uses her innate style and Italian flare to craft beautiful spaces, that feel good to be in. But perhaps even more interesting is their ability to read people. It’s in watching them interact with their clients that the way they work becomes apparent. As a pair, they’re able to get into the minds of their clients and, putting personal preference aside, they naturally create dream homes.

Chirine in her dream walk-in closet

THE BATHROOM USES A STONE COLOUR PALETTE FOR AN ELEGANT LOOK THAT WORKS SEAMLESSLY WITH THE REST OF THE VILLA

Abdelamir in his home office

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dreamy design | INSPIRATION

WHAT DO THEIR CLIENTS THINK? After living in Jumeirah Park since 2013, Chirine and Abdelamir, with three daughters and two dogs in tow, purchased their dream home in the same neighbourhood. “As our first owned home, we knew that this time we wanted to call in professionals to make it a real home,” explains Abdelamir. Following countless hours of research, Chirine, a marketing manager at a regional brokerage firm, settled on Smart Renovation. “When we started, our thoughts were all over the place,” Chirine explains, “we had a vision but didn’t know how to get there.” Starting in April 2020, during the lockdown, the project was finished on schedule in September. “Communication was very important to the process with Marco and Cinzia,” says Chirine, “but we didn’t have to go back and forth with ideas – from our clothes and lifestyle (Smart Renovation) were able to understand the kind of house we were after.” Abdelamir, who works as a banker in Kuwait, impressed at the way the team handled the process. “It’s difficult to find someone who will seek perfection in the same way that you do, because they’re not going to be living there. But with Smart Renovation, even the smallest details were important to them and you can see their attention to detail in the rooms. It really is their passion.”

Abdelamir and Chirine on their sofa

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INSPIRATION | home renovation

Our true colours

A look inside creative couple Wim and Griet’s vibrant Falcon City of Wonders garden

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garden | INSPIRATION

THREE FLYING SCULPTURES BY BELIGAN ARTIST JAN VERSCHUEREN LINE THE POOL’S EDGE

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INSPIRATION | outdoor space

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omeowners Wim Bonjean and Griet Van Den Auwelant share a passion for colour. This is evident upon meeting the Belgian couple, and even more so once you step inside their Falcon City of Wonders villa. Creatives by day, the husband and wife have a distinct style that echoes through their clothes, home, and now out into their newly renovated garden. “We used to go to our boat every weekend, but since we’ve redone the garden, we haven’t been on it in two months!” laughs Wim as we chat about his bright alfresco space. Starting in November of 2020, the project was finished by February of this year and the fun-loving couple haven’t looked back since. The initial idea to renovate came after they purchased their rented villa in Falcon City during September of 2020. “The moment we actually bought the house, we immediately wanted to do the garden up,” the couple explain. “We dug out the whole place,” says Wim, who runs the Dubai branch of media production company B.U.T. Hiring a landscaper to help with the renovation process, the parents of two raised half the garden up for a swimming pool and extended the terrace outwards. “The terrace was so small that you couldn’t even fit two people on it before,” says Griet, “There was a huge water tank in the way, so we removed that and extended it.” Giving the space a complete overhaul, the trendy couple were worried it would look too clinical, as while they were renting the home they had used the outside space to create an at-home beach. With sand and surfboards, the garden reflected the couple’s creative personality but, “after a while the sand started to go hard and it wasn’t very nice,” says Wim. So, stripping back to plain grey slabs was a big change. “I was a bit scared that it was going to look too polished and grown up, but then you throw in like a pink chair or whatever, and then you’re just like, ‘okay, it is mine’”, says Griet, who is a ceramic sculptor and artist (@ceramic_by_griet) by profession. Using her artistic talent, Griet and her daughter painted a bold mandala mural on the wall which forms a colour palette base for the space. And

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accessorising with a mix of her own sculptures, plus those of a favourite Belgian artist, the minimal garden was injected with personality. “I tell stories with clay,” says the artist, whose current charity exhibition in collaboration with 30 local women, titled XLIX, is displaying at City Walk (xlix.auction). “I make characters and then tell their story to the world.” Naturally, Griet’s garden tells the tale of an art loving family who like to spend time under the sun. Separating the garden into sections, Wim built a palette sofa and the pair opted for a large dining table to take centre stage in the space, a favourite for the family as, “we eat dinner outside for most of the year,” says Griet. Another highlight of their new space is the low maintenance, “I don’t understand how people keep grass green year-round here, we never could. So, this is perfect for us, as it doesn’t require much work but it still it feels naturey,” says Wim – and he’s right. The garden has a verdant feeling even though it might be lacking in traditional turf and trees. The pool’s lining of shrubs and the array of potted plants add to the garden’s vibrant feel, that is oh so reflective of its effervescent owners.

PUTTING THE TABLE IN THE CENTRE OF THE SPACE MAKES IT A FOCAL POINT FOR DINING AND HOSTING FRIENDS


garden | INSPIRATION

“I was a bit scared that it was going to look too polished and grown up...”

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INSPIRATION | home renovation

Vox Concept Small Double bed (cuckooland.com)

Maid to measure Interesting ways to use small spaces

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maid’s room | INSPIRATION

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or those of us who don’t have a live-in maid, the box room that comes as part of most properties here is often un-used, or at best, a junk room. But how do you make the most of a room with such little square footage? And what exactly should you do with the space? We caught up with three UAE-residents to find out how they transformed their maid’s room into a practical area that works for their needs. THE HOME OFFICE Interior designer, Lindsay Crafts (@loveinahome) transformed her Al Zeina maid’s room into a home office during the pandemic. Working from home during the last year has been tough for us all. My husband and I needed somewhere other than the dining table or spare room that we could work quietly and leave our work out without constantly tidying it up. We also needed a quiet and zen like space to think productively and hold zoom calls. The room is an L shape so I had a wardrobe placed in the narrowest part, to hold the items that were stored in the room when we used it as a store space. I had a desk made that was smaller but still allowed ample working space and I put in a comfy chair for when we are able to sit and have phone calls. It has become very versatile and great for us as a family as we continue to work from home.

Lindsay Craft’s home office in Al Zeina, Abu Dhabi

STORAGE Think about how much can you get out of the space. There are storage options that are practical and don’t compromise the design. I have a glass cabinet from JYSK that holds pretty things, but practically has storage for stationery and books. Clever storage, like stackable crates, are great for storing pens and pencils.

when visitors come to stay. If you have a chair in the room, look at getting a bed chair or one that has built-in storage so that you can hide bits inside.

DOUBLE FUNCTION The desk legs are removable, they just pop out, which means if we did require it for anything else we could fold the desk up and the room will be pretty versatile again. Having the ability to have a guest bed in the room helps

LIGHTING Lighting is key. Our space doesn’t have a window, which is often the case with these rooms. So I have a daylight bulb that I keep on at all times. When I’m focusing at the desk, I like to use my task lamps for extra support. blivinguae.com | 47


THE SANCTUARY Interior designer and full-time mum, Ildiko Takacs created a ‘happy place’ within her Arabian Ranches 2 villa, in which to unwind. As with most villas, our maid’s room was quite small, but I decided to maximise the area by turning it into a happy place. I’ve always wanted a space where I can hide and escape – a place that I can get some alone time - so I decided to transform the maid’s room into my happy place. The room size is 6m2, which is pretty small, so I had to use the space wisely. I knew I wanted a bed, a desk and a little chest of drawers. In order to make the room feel more spacious, I decided to put up some wallpaper which opened up the space with a refreshing forest pattern giving the room a bit of depth .

BRING NATURE IN Green, leafy and refreshing nature helps to bring a relaxing feel. The living plants help to create an inviting and relaxing hideaway. There is a small connecting bathroom, where I used matching green colours for the shower mat and towels. USE LIGHT FABRICS AND COLOURS Bright shades and natural fabrics are key elements in small rooms, but do have fun as your home is a reflection of you.

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THE HOME GYM Dubai Hills residents, Jonathan and Samantha Njenje turned their maid’s room into a home gym. By creating a small home gym, we can exercise whenever we want. As parents, it is convenient, cost effective and practical. Plus, walking past a treadmill when we enter the house is great motivation! We placed the treadmill against the back wall and fitted in a weights rack, gym rings and boxing man punch bag, enabling us to have a mix of cardio and weight training. ADD MIRRORS My main advice is to put mirrors in front

Samantha and Jonathan Njenje’s home gym

PROPORTION Small space is all about getting the furniture sizing right, so avoid using heavy and weighty furniture. Pieces with skinny legs work well, as they allow light to get in underneath them. I found all the furniture at IKEA – the small bamboo desk is the perfect dimension for the small space.


maid’s room | INSPIRATION

HOW CAN I MAKE THE POST OF MY SMALL SPACE? Tara Sampson, interior designer from T Inspires (t-inspires.com) shares her tips for styling little spaces: SPACE PLANNING In a smaller room, scale and space are the two main factors to consider. It’s important to select furniture which is proportionate to the room, so double check chairs, desks and wall storage sizes as they vary a lot and can make a big difference.

Ildiko Takacs’ zen room

of, and behind, any gym equipment. That way, when you’re working out you won’t be looking directly at a wall and it makes the space feel larger than it is. Mirrors are also useful when checking form so it’s a win-win! GO BASIC You don’t need to spend a huge amount to create a fitness area in your home. The padded wall and gym flooring are both Dragon Mart bargains, and the storage is from IKEA. It’s about finding the right size products for your space. KEEP IT SIMPLE With the decoration, go for minimal yet effective designs. Black and white photos are elegant without drawing too much attention so that it makes the small space look too busy.

STORAGE IS KEY Having ample room to put things is essential when you’re working in compact spaces. Clever solutions, such as beds with underbelly storage and ottomans that open up are always a good idea. Don’t forget to make the most of your wall space with overhead cupboards or shelving. DO USE COLOUR Don’t be afraid of colour in a little room. You can use colour blocking to zone areas; such as where the bed goes. This way the shades are controlled and don’t become overwhelming. ALL-IMPORTANT LIGHTING Good lighting makes all the difference. Many maids’ rooms have very small windows with minimal natural light. Try using lamps and warm colour temperature bulbs to make the room feel spacious and comfortable.

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renovation | INSPIRATION

Crafting an American dream

How this bachelor’s new pad in Mira was turned into a stylish home by Mizanna Designs

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efore George Feliciano was about to move into his dream home among the leafy greenery of Mira Community in Al Qudra, he contacted Natalia from Mizanna Designs (@mizannadesigns) to help bring his aspirational American bachelor pad to life. “The brief was to create an American-inspired home in light and neutral colours,” explains Natalia, who has been an interior designer for two years. Starting with a blank canvas before he moved in, she was able to design a home that speaks to the owner in form and function. “I came up with names for each space,” Natalia says, “the ground floor area is ‘a paradise of neutrals’ and each of the 50 neutral shades were well thought out to work together.” Adding a masculine element to the bachelor's villa, Natalia then added black accents, metal details and heavy solid wood “to add depth without spoiling the lightweight feel”. Local brand, Wood & Steel, manufactured the coffee and console table while the TV bench and resin dining table were customised at The Table House. Shiplap panelling was installed on the walls for double purpose, both hiding unsightly DP boxes and crafting that all-important American feel. While a clear standout feature has to be the custom storage for bottles, which was one of the client’s few requests. “I enjoyed designing and customising the built-in unit with plenty of wine racks, storage cabinetry and two wine chillers,” says Natalia. Two olive trees frame the sofa to give “a sense of peace and tranquillity,” while the large TV and built-in bar are signposts as to how leisure time will be spent in this villa. Adding a personal touch, Natalia drew inspiration from her client, who is a keen biker, by adding Harley Davidson styling elements into the calm space.

Before If you love Natalia's approach to design, turn the page for her renovation tips blivinguae.com | 51


INSPIRATION | renovation

Achieve a polished look Natalia Contova talks shop on creating a detail orientated home

Creating cohesion from the downstairs up, white and cream hues were used as a base in the master and guest bedroom. “I wanted the bedrooms to become a relaxing oasis after a long working day,” explains Natalia. “I named the colour palette ‘a cup of mocha’ and used warm shades of taupe in the textiles and soft furnishings as well as on the wallpaper.” A large

THE VERDICT "Natalia was great to work with. She took the time to understand me and to help me express my personality in my home. I love the final outcome!" Says homeowner George Felician.w

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element of crafting the warm feel upstairs was the choice of fabrics, “using different textures and layers was instrumental in creating a cosy room,” the designer explains. The master has a striking four poster bed that commands the space, while the guest bedroom has a subtle bohemian feel with a range of locally-sourced accessories. “The most important aspect of this project was in the attention to the detail,” says Natalia. “Every single aspect, even the smallest ones, were considered. The placement of books, accessories and cushions, all helped to achieve the overall look.”

1. Think monochromatic. Don’t be afraid of neutral colours and use plenty of shades within a simple palette. White walls doesn’t mean boring or incomplete, instead it leaves space for creativity in your decorations. I advise you to choose pieces for your walls that have plenty of personality. 2. Go heavy on the wooden elements for that allAmerican feel. Use a combination of different types and colours of wood with similar undertones. And don’t forget about wooden flooring – nothing can compare to the warmth that it creates. 3. Textures, textures, textures. Layers of different fabrics add comfort and warmth to a space. Feel free to use lots of cushions, throws, poufs, and rugs in order to add a homely touch. 4. Invest in high-quality and timeless furniture items. Be it a custom-made table or a bed bought from a big chain supplier, your key pieces need to be able to withstand the test of time and the change of trends. 5. Don’t neglect the final accessories and decorative objects. No matter how beautiful and expensive your furniture, if you don’t invest in accessories your space will feel incomplete. So always go for items that speak to you.


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HOT

Three leading agents at Betterhomes give us an exclusive look at a selection of the best homes for sale in the neighbourhoods they know and love

PROPERTIES Meet the agents Jason Farr

Arabian Ranches “I hope my clients

would describe me as professional,

knowledgeable and

trustworthy, but I’m sure

there’s a few other great words people would

use to describe me! I’m always up front honest

and you can be sure that I have your best interests at heart, so they’ll be no messing around. I have

been known to throw in

a wild card option, which has paid off in the past!”

Kelly Trochez Downtown Dubai

“I’m a ‘matchmaker’ who

loves working with people to

find them their dream home.

Priding myself on my listening skills, I’m able to pair you with your ideal match. I know that moving can be a stressful

time, but with my knowledge of Downtown Dubai, you’ll be

saving lots of time and hassle. I’m here to make your life easier.”

Sebastian Maamari Palm Jumeirah

“As a highly committed agent, I am very determined when it comes to getting you the best possible price for your

sale, purchase or rental. For me, it’s all about arranging a great deal that you’ll be happy with. I would say that

I’m particularly ‘service-minded’ and as such, my goal is

always the same - to leave you with a smile on your face after every interaction we share.”

54 | blivinguae.com


View more listings at bhomes.com

My top picks in

Arabian Ranches

Looking for a place to call ‘home sweet home’? Call me on 054 364 2228

AED9.2million

HATTAN, ARABIAN RANCHES

I predict this bargain of a villa is going to be snatched up in a flash by someone clever. A three-storey home with five

bedrooms, it’s an exceptional home for exceptional family living. To find out

more, call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-175630 RERA Permit No. 6510205000 Bed: 5 Bath: 6

Parking: 3 Size: 5,000sqft EXCLUSIVE TO BETTERHOMES

AED5.7million

AL MAHRA, ARABIAN RANCHES

I love the double height of the living room

in this property, it’s different to most other villas and it works really well. With one-

bedroom downstairs for guests, a closed kitchen and the rest of the bedrooms

upstairs, it’s great for families. The garden is a great size too. To find out more,

call me quoting the reference code

BHM-S-175749 RERA Permit No. 6599520000

Bed: 5 Bath: 5 Parking: 2 Size: 4,559sqft

It’s different to most other villas and it works really well

AED2.97million

CASA, ARABIAN RANCHES 2

The quintessential family home, the massive living area with semi open

kitchen opens out onto a decent sized private garden. The bedrooms are all of a good square foot so it’s an ideal place to raise children. To find out

more, call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-175285 RERA Permit No.

6590292170 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.5 Parking: 2

Size: 4,360sqft

blivinguae.com | 55


AED14million

THE ADDRESS BLVD, DOWNTOWN DUBAI

This huge apartment boasts stunning city views that come as a result of

its high floor. An elegant home with

wow-factor, its floor to ceiling windows making waking up that bit easier. To find out more, call me quoting the

reference code BHM-S-146631 RERA

Permit No. 7117460182 Bed: 4 Bath: 6

Parking: 2 Size: 3,337sqft

My top picks in

Business Bay & Downtown Dubai To view one of these city-scape homes call me on 055 553 9008

AED4million

THE ADDRESS RESIDENCE FOUNTAIN VIEWS 2, DOWNTOWN DUBAI

This gorgeous home has Burj Khalifa views from every room! It’s bright and spacious - being the largest layout option of the

building. To find out more, call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-170655 RERA Permit No. 0828065183 Bed: 2 Bath: 2

Parking: 1 Size: 1,506sqft

AED3.950million

THE RESIDENCES 1, DOWNTOWN DUBAI

This fully upgraded apartment has a

stunning Italian kitchen complete with wine cooler. Coming fully furnished it’s easy to slip into high-end luxury Downtown living. To find out more,

call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-176226 RERA Permit No. 7116503400 Bed: 2 Bath: 3

Size: 1,452sqft

56 | blivinguae.com


View more listings at bhomes.com

My top picks on

Palm Jumeirah

To look around these holiday-vibe apartments, call me on 058 552 3942

AED2.2million

SERENIA RESIDENCES NORTH, PALM JUMEIRAH Serenia is an award-winning project - and for good reason. The fantastic

facilities include three pools, a tennis

court, private beach access, a state-of-

the-art gym and a putting green. To find

out more, call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-146686 RERA Permit No. 6720023130 Bed: 1 Bath: 2 Parking: 1

Size: 935sqft

AED2.35million

GOLDEN MILE 9, PALM JUMEIRAH Situated right next to Nakheel Mall

and the newly opened West Beach

this upgraded triplex is truly one-ofa-kind. Furnished with Italian and German furniture, and a cinema

room in the basement, this is modern

beachside living redefined. To find out more, call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-175249 RERA Permit No.

6716895977 Bed: 1 Bath: 1 Parking: 2 Size:

This is modern beachside living redefined

AED1.9million

MINA BY AZIZI, PALM JUMEIRAH A perfectly sized sea-view apartment with style, it’s modern and full of light. Ideal for those who like to entertain,

the balcony has plenty of space for

evening sundowners and the kitchen is open plan so you’re able to attend to guests while cooking. To find out

more, call me quoting the reference code BHM-S-176446 RERA Permit No.

7133052547 Bed: 1 Bath: 2 Parking: 1 Size:

961sqft

blivinguae.com | 57


THE PLACE TO MOVE TO

EMIRATES LIVING Five green communities within the centre of the city

The Lakes

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD IN A NUTSHELL

This master development by Emaar Properties is made up of five residential communities, each with a different entry point. The Springs and The Greens are lower end with townhouses and apartments. The

58 | blivinguae.com

Meadows and The Lakes sit in the middle with family-friendly villas. While Emirates Hills is your ultra-top end properties with 632 luxury villas.

THE COMMUNITIES

For quintessential suburban living, The Springs, The Meadows and The Lakes are particularly family orientated, with picturesque lakes and green spaces in which to unwind. The Greens is a collection of 40 low-rise residential apartment buildings. With one to four-bedroom apartments the area attracts young families and professionals. Dubbed as the Beverly Hills of Dubai, Emirates Hills luxury gated community made up of five to

eight-bedroom houses surrounding the Montgomerie Golf Club.

SHOPS

You’re never short of shopping opportunities in Emirates Living. The Meadows Souk serves both The Meadows and Emirates Hills with a number of essential shops including Spinney’s supermarket. Newly opened, The Meadows Village is easily accessible for each of the communities and has a large Waitrose, The Clinic by Medcare and a Fitness First. The Lakes Club has a Choitrams, and The Greens and The Springs each have a Souk with supermarkets and other outlets.

*For a two-bedroom apartment

A collection of five modern communities that were designed with family living in mind. Each area promotes a unique lifestyle, with a distinct emphasis on Arabesque design and outdoor living. Encapsulating a range of neighbourhoods, the Emirates Living group appeals to a wide range of people and budgets.


area guide | PROPERTY

LET’S CRUNCH THE NUMBERS

6%

Increase in rental leads (2020 to 2021)

Emirates Hills

THINGS TO DO

The location of each of these wellplaced communities means that you’re never too far away from the action of the city, while inside each there are parks, communal swimming pools and basketball courts.

AVERAGE COST TO RENT A VILLA

SCHOOLS

British curriculum, Regent International Private School is within The Greens, Emirates Hills is home to IB following Dubai International Academy and Dubai British School is in The Springs. For little ones, there’s a Raffles Nursery and Jebel Ali Village Nursery within The Lakes.

TRANSPORT LINKS

The Meadows

Each of the communities are well placed, connecting to mains roads like Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Khail and Al Khalima Street. Those who rely on public transport have DAMAC Properties Metro Station within a 10-15 minute drive and there are a few bus stops throughout the communities.

Meet the neighbours

Rimpy Gupta (@momofteenandbabyindxb) has lived in The Meadows for five years. “It’s an oasis among the desert with lush greenery, lakes and never ending rows of trees. I like that it’s a family-friendly community, with kids play areas and regular neighbourhood fairs. Plus, we have supermarkets and malls with many restaurants and shops which makes the weekends fun!”

2 BED AED 85,892 3 BED AED 127,808 4 BED AED 180,772

3.04% Increase in villa house prices (2020 to 2021) HIGHEST APARTMENT PRICED SALE

AED 4M (3 BEDROOMS)

MEDIAN APARTMENT PRICE* AED 1.2 MILLION DECREASE IN PRICE SINCE 2020 - O.9% blivinguae.com | 59


DIGITAL | blivinguae.com

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