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A Home is... Decorating one’s house is not an easy task. From finding the right paint colour to the perfect curtains, the journey is a long one. Perhaps, the first thing to remember is that ‘you’ are the essential ingredient in the recipe that will help you add those special touches to your house and give it a distinct identity. Secondly, involve your family in all the decisions you make and thirdly, when in doubt, do not hesitate to seek professional help.

your house into your comfort zone. We bring you latest developments in the world of interior design, through a number of experts and specialists in this area. You can either choose from a wide variety of furniture for living rooms, bedrooms and children’s rooms, kitchens and bathrooms from well known brands that are featured in these pages or use them as blue prints to create and customise your own designs.

Also, decorating does not always mean buying new things. You can create the same impact by simply reshuffling your existing furniture. You can dig out your old clothing and design innovative cushion covers, bedsheets and curtains. Move your couch, add a new chairs at the corner of your bedroom, or simply get your children to add that personal touch to their rooms by drawing and hanging up their creations on the walls. Even a dramatic carpet is enough to change the entire look of the place you live in.

But, most importantly remember if you don’t feel at home within the four walls of your house, trendy accessories, designer furniture and the newest lifestyle trends can’t do much to help. A wise man once said, “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”

ADVERTISING & MARKETING BUSINESS HEAD Mimi Deb ASSISTANT ADVERTISING MANAGER Fareeda Sulaiman Al Balushi MEDIA EXECUTIVE Benaifer CORPORATE CHIEF EXECUTIVE Sandeep Sehgal EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Alpana Roy VICE PRESIDENT Ravi Raman SENIOR BUSINESS SUPPORT EXECUTIVE Radha Kumar DISTRIBUTION United Media Services LLC Published by United Press & Publishing LLC A Renaissance Services Company P.O. Box 3305, Ruwi, Postal Code 112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Tel: 00 968 24700896 Fax: 00 968 24707939 e-mail: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express permission of the publishers. Copyright © 2010 United Press & Publishing LLC Printed in the Sultanate of Oman at Oman Printers & Stationers

Of course, we at Al Mar’a Zawaya are always there to help you as well. As you flip through these pages, you will find enough information and innovative ideas to turn

So, do fill your house with the colours of love and accessories of your dreams and see it transform into a home.

Team Al Mar’a

CONTENTS CLASSIC HOMES A tour of Laila Al Darai’s beautiful home...


TRENDS Tips to convert your house into a cosy home...


WALLPAPER & PAINTS Add the right colour to your walls...


ACCESSORIES Why stainless steel is the best bet...


WELLNESS Create a spa, right in your home...


GARDENS Maha Al Lamki tells you how to plan a conservatory...


KITCHENS Some top-of-the-line modern kitchens...


GREAT IDEAS Furniture and accessories for every room...

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Beauty in diversity Different concepts come together to create unique and unusual touches to interior designer Laila Al Darai’s home… nterior designer Laila Al Darai’s home is a fusion of Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish styles with a few elements of her native Oman also thrown in for some special effect. The beauty in fact, comes from the diversity of concepts influenced by different countries of the world.


the national carrier took her to different countries and satiated her latent interest in interior designing.

Laila has had an illustrious career graph. She did her Bachelor’s in Social Science in International Business from the UK and worked as branch manager at the National Bank of Oman (NBO) before moving to Finance, Marketing and Revenue Departments at Oman Air. Her job with

And thus the big business idea was born. Laila left the rigours of a professional career to start something on her own, in an area that not only caught her fancy but brought out her innate talents. She opened the Arabic House, a company that provided consultancy in interior


During these travels, she also brought back mementoes and artistic symbols of the places visited… to add to the beauty of her own home.

“I see a lot of beautiful homes in terms of design, but they are empty and contains no furniture or accessories which can give a personal touch and a unique appearance to the house.�


decoration. Besides this, she also imported curtains, carpets and table cloths from countries like France, Italy, Spain and Turkey. To understand the interior designer in Laila, a visit to her sprawling home was a must. The sight that greeted us on arrival was one of a green canopy. Rows and rows of plants across the corridor led to the main door. At first glance, the door appeared to be made of wood and glass, but on closer inspection we found that it was of glass and steel and painted to give a ‘wood-like’ finish. It was patterned on traditional Omani doors, especially with round gold bolts on them. On the left side of the entrance is a console with a large mirror. On the right, there are two chairs and a round table. As you look up at the ceiling, you will see a lining of ceramic sheets with inscriptions matching the ones seen on the walls of the house. The ceiling is huge and sports Spanish chandeliers that reflects its light on balconies built on an Eastern Arab design. It overlooks the broad stairway leading to the second floor. There are four majlises in Laila’s home, but these are not divided in any way. “There are some women


who do not like to mix with men and vice versa hence the separate majlises. I avoided dividers to make movement between the majlises easier during special events,” explains Laila. The first majlis is for the menfolk. A maroon and gold sofa matches the inscriptions on the ceiling. The side lights are also in gold. The second majlis brings about an antique feel and is designed in the French style. A huge French sofa and Spanish console lend an air of European elegance. Adding to the aesthetic feel is a beautiful bouquet of roses that are in harmony with the chandeliers handing from the ceiling. The third majlis is on the opposite side. It is designed to receive friends very close to the family. In the interior design of this chamber, Laila has succeeded in synthesising Spanish and Arab elements. She has also used handmade French ornaments such as carpets and wall decoration. The fourth majlis is almost similar to an Arab majlis style with ground seating. Laila has added some fine Turkish touches like carpets and a Turkish lantern hanging from the ceiling. Laila has used light bronze paint on the wall so that the rooms appear more spacious. Gold inscriptions on the wall and the ceiling add a touch of luxury. In the dining room, Laila has arranged a Spanish dining table. Fabrics with Italian Versace design have been used for the chair and curtains. The room also has a cupboard with a very large mirror. “People like to see themselves when they move in the dining room; they

feel comfortable,” says Laila. On the other side of the room there are glass cabinets that contain distinct pieces of cutlery, which are used only during formal occasions. And there are table cloths embroidered with French handicraft beads, with its colour matching that of the entire furniture. The room contains a sofa which separates the dining room from the rest of the house. This sofa is meant for those who finish their food early and wish to remain there sipping a little water or coffee and talking to those who are still sitting at the table. Laila has not forgotten to set up a dedicated place for washing hands near the dining room. This place is decorated

with a mirror and other accessories such as handkerchiefs and some perfumes. “I see a lot of beautiful homes in terms of design, but they are empty and contain no furniture or accessories which can give a personal touch and a unique appearance to the house,” says Laila. At the end of the short tour, we were certainly impressed not only by the ingenuity of the design but also the creativity gone into making the house a real home. And that’s why Laila a most soughtafter interior designer in the city today. (For more information on Laila Al Darai’s work, visit her wesbite,


Oasis Life Style, Markaz Al Bahja Tel: (+968) 24545658 Sat-Thurs: 10 am - 10 pm Fri: 2 pm - 10 pm

Oasis Life Style, Markaz Al Bahja Tel: (+968) 24545658 Sat-Thurs: 10 am - 10 pm Fri: 2 pm - 10 pm



he first thing to keep in mind while deciding to add a few touches to the interior of your home is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. All it takes is a little imagination, some ingenuity and proper planning. Home is where the heart is… And it’s where you’d like to relax at the end of a long day. If your home looks good and is comfortable, the cosiness relaxes your mind and body as well. The beauty of any home is incomplete without proper furnishing. A well-planned furnishing design can multiply the existing beauty of the home. And nowadays, the options in home furnishing are endless. Furnishing the home is not only about following the latest trends in furniture design. Some homes may have expensive furnishing but the ‘at home’ feeling simply does not click. Why? The answer is simple. You need to be creative in all aspects, whether it is choosing your furniture and accessories or creating harmony with colours. Even a trinket out of place can make a big difference to how a room looks!

Home Ideas Designing and furnishing a home is not easy... Interior design experts provide some invaluable tips to convert your house into a cosy home, room by room... 12

You can begin by keeping in mind some basic ideas. First of all, select basic furniture for the living room, dining room and the bedrooms. Then, select secondary furniture such as the television for the living room, mattresses for the dining room and curtains for the bedroom. The final phase will include selection of accessories to give your rooms an aesthetic finish such as paintings, cushions, antiques and others. This will help ensure

a harmony of all components while designing a room. Designing a home is not easy. It involves a lot of planning, creativity and effort. Here, interior design experts tell us how to furnish your home room by room…

LIVING ROOM The living room, more than any other room, speaks volumes about your taste and your personal style. So choosing your living room furniture can be a daunting task. Aarthi Raghavan of Home House LLC talks of the art of choosing furniture to make that living room perfect in every way… “The 21st century saw the entry of designer elements into the field of furniture and homes were never to be the same again. Furniture was no longer about just a chair, table, sofa or beds. Designers started to play with various elements creating sofas with day beds, large poufs that also served as coffee tables, and also elements of style, colour, material, comfort, space and art entered the arena of furniture. The use of high technology replaced the old saw and blade with dye-cast upholstery and high quality fabrics taking the art of interiors into the museums of the world and the catwalks of Milan.” “While over the last century most people designed beautiful homes and selected their furniture just before they moved in, the entry of designer furniture changed the whole perspective of furniture selection.”


“Furniture is today becoming the starting point of most designer driven homes. Spaces are designed keeping special furniture elements in mind and the colours and fabrics are selected alongside walls paints and wooden panels.” While the art of selecting furniture largely depends on an individual’s tastes, the colour scheme and layouts of

a space, the following would be some of the basic things to look for in any piece of furniture •Ask for the material used for the frame. Most soft woods or ply woods will break easily with usage. The arm rests are usually the first to either wobble or snap off completely. •Metal frames are always the highest in terms of quality along with solid wooden frames. Soft woods are not very safe especially in households with children where the frames are likely to snap easily. •Foam Density: In simple terms foam density is how tightly the foam is packed. A simple cross section of a foam cushion under a microscope will show many bubbles. The smaller the size of these bubbles the higher the quality of the foam. High Density foams have the longest life spans and retain their shape through extensive use.

that variations and modifications can be made over time. “The most important aspect in the design of a child’s room is the position of the bed. The bed should be neither near the window, facing it nor below it. As for the colour, light and pleasant colours such as green and yellow and soft pastel shades are recommended to relieve the child’s mind and keep him away from aggressive behaviour and hyperactivity. The graphics in the room is also important. Since pictures will help broaden the imagination of the child, we must try some pictures depicting the outside world like wallpapers of green grass, balloons and aircraft, or the ceiling of blues sky with

•Upholstery: While the most preferred covers are always in leather or artificial leather due to its ease of maintenance, fabrics which are pre-treated and can be cleaned easily are also a good option. If you are going with a leather sofa, try breaking the monotony with contrasting cushions and throws in fabric.”

KIDS’ ROOM The kids’ room will be one of the most colourful rooms in the house. It is your kid’s own private space. Every child is a unique individual and one who’s constantly evolving. So care should be taken that the room is designed in a way


some bright stars,” says Pero Kibranian of Samahram Furnishing. Teenagers however will prefer radical elements and colours. “During this period, we have to switch to darker colours. The use of red or pink will help adolescents strengthen their determination and resolve,” she added. As for the materials used, leading manufacturers accord priority to the safety factor. They prefer circular edges to sharp ones and avoid the use of glass. As an effective alternative they use acrylic, a transparent material which looks almost like glass but is not fragile like glass. The materials made of acrylic will help the child see the outside clearly. Lighting is also very important. Visibility should remain good throughout the day either through the windows or artificial lights. The ventilation should be good, especially when the carpet can cause allergies. Wood floors are a better option for children’s rooms because they do not cause allergies and are easy for cleaning and give a modern outlook to the place.

KITCHEN In the modern world, a kitchen has come to mean much more than a place where you cook food. It is a special place you would love to come home to, a place

that reflects your tastes, fits your lifestyle and unleashes an emotion of a beautiful ambience. A modern kitchen features wide, open, functional spaces, innovative materials and state-of-the-art technology. An expert of Royal Kitchens explains the various options available in the local market. ”Aluminum kitchens have become hot favourites in the market because of the multiplicity of colours, high-quality designs and water resistance. It is easy to clean and lasts longer. A lot of people use aluminum kitchens either as the main kitchen or as a secondary one. It is available at affordable prices and accessible to everyone.” Another favourite alternative is the PVC kitchen. “Made of MDF wood and coated with a plastic layer, these kitchens are beautiful and elegant and available in multiple colours and designs. They are also long-lasting if used properly. It can be installed easily. They are available in many designs and at reasonable prices,” he added. Last but not the least, the expert also recommends the wood kitchen. “It is beautiful and classy and available in a variety of designs and colours. It is also long-lasting.”

Wood floors are a better option for children’s rooms because they do not cause allergies and are easy for cleaning and give a modern outlook to the place.


BEDROOMS Vinod Mohan from Home Centre, Centrepoint tells us how to choose the right furnishing and accessories for your bedroom... “There are many factors to be taken into consideration while designing a bedroom. We suggest a few of the following: • Space. • Whether the type of interior you plan will fit in with the home décor. • A theme. • Whether you want the collection that fits in with the living room and dining room theme. • The size of the bed whether super king, king, queen, single, etc. • A price that fits your budget. • Furniture for the bedroom.

the type of furniture you opt for, whether modern, transitional and traditional. If it’s modern then you can accessorise it with modern paintings /picture frames, etc over the head board and a matching lamps on the night stands with a photo frame of your loved ones and a carpet at the foot board and a tea set (that is 1+2 chair) optional. You can mix and match according to the style you wish for.”

Home Centre sells modern, transitional and traditional type of furniture across all categories whether they be bedroom, living room, dining room, etc.” “Care should also be taken about the type of materials used. The popular ones used for bedroom furniture are solid wood, compressed wood, MDF and particle board. MDF is majorly used in the Middle East because of the weather conditions and the variety of designs available.” “While choosing the colours for the furniture, you must take into account the latest trends.The current favourites are white and red and also white and black.” “Finally, what kind of accessories you use also add to the beauty of the bedroom and the home. This again depends on



Quality Speaks


hen it comes to furnishing, Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam has become a name to reckon with in the market, not just because of the mind-boggling variety of furniture and accessories on display there, but also due to its efficient network of showrooms and accent on high quality and affordable prices. What makes Bait Al Ahlam different and how does it reach out to discerning customers? Praveen Kapoor, Head, Furniture Division, Khimji Ramdas speaks to Al Mar’a Zawaya on all these and more... Adapting to the needs of discerning and demanding customers... “Yes, the market is indeed demanding and challenging. But we have been very successful in meeting the needs of discerning customers. Our endeavour has always been to foresee changing trends and take advantage of them. Our client base includes all segments of the society be it Omanis or expatriates. Our USP is our adherence to high quality standards. I could say that our quality is incomparable in the market and our prices are very affordable.” Gauging customer trends... “We visit many exhibitions and thus come to understand what different trends are. Then, we dovetail these trends to the Oman market, according to the tastes of the people here. We also do a lot of market research, meet different types of people and understand what their needs are. Based on the collected data, we decide the suitability of the designs. An


important fact that we keep in mind is that we have to keep up with the changing trends and that’s why you will find only limited pieces of items here. We can also claim to be the leaders in children’s furniture. And during a festive period like Ramadan, collections are updated once every few days.” Trends of the season... “Flashy colours are back with a bang. The ‘in’ colours are red, white and black. Gone are the days when people wanted brown coloured sofas. White leather is very much in vogue. As far as procurement is concerned, we have moved westwards and source high quality furniture from countries like Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Turkey.” Season’s specials... “Our Ramadan sale offers a ‘up to 65 per cent off’ for the first time in this market. Earlier too, we were the trendsetters; offering up to 60 per cent and that prompted others to join the bandwagon. But the best part about our sale is that it is genuine in every way. All the products are ‘new arrivals’ and people can take advantage of discounted prices on the latest collections too.”



Life’s a canvas Splash some colour into your life; bring some life into your walls. We tell you how…


ou have fabulous furniture and gorgeous upholstery that have you receiving compliments galore, except for those dull, drab walls that feel like an eyesore. Well, it’s time to change all that and how! Paint and wallpapers are two of the simplest ways to spruce up any area of your home. If you are the type of person that desires change more frequently, paint may be your best option. Of course, paints are available in every hue possible, nowadays. There is a paint colour for every area of your home, and your local paint store can whip up your dream colour, should you desire. If your walls are uneven, wallpaper can be one of the easiest ways to deceive the eye. The colours, patterns, and designs are numerous. If you can imagine the design, you will find it in wallpaper. Wallpaper can be purchased at local design stores, as well as online. Moreover, they are easy to replace. Painting is usually less time consuming than wallpapering. Paint, roller, and a paint brush are all that you will need to slap up that fresh coat of paint. A few old sheets to cover the furniture in the room

and you are set to go! Wallpapering can be time consuming, but can provide an awesome look when completed. When installing wallpaper make sure you use hot water and book the paper before you hang it. It’s usually a good idea to remove any pre-existing wallpaper, should you need to! Wallpapering or paint; the choice is ultimately up to you! It’s your life after all!

THE EXPERT VIEW According to Narjis Al Lawati, interior designer and owner of Swan for Interior Design, wallpapers are back in fashion; especially with manufacturers developing new and innovative styles to lure the trendy and savvy customer. You can find a lot to choose from. Some give the same impact as a painted wall, while others use images and forms to give your room the desired look. The wall paper patterns can also be used to coordinate your curtains, bed linens, tables and pillows to give the room a unique identity along with consistency. You can choose from various patterns, ranging from large dramatic motifs to floral elegance. Embossed papers can cover a blemish in the walls, and can be painted


over at a later stage. Vinyl paper is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms and can also be used in children’s bedrooms. From Prints to Plains, Stripes to Sponge Effects, Vinyl to Wood Chip, Wallpapers offer plenty of design scope. You can cover the walls of the entire room with bright wallpapers with small designs so that the room looks more spacious. You must always cover one of the walls in a room, which has no windows; try covering the wall behind your bed or the television. Bordered wall paper can be used around the perimetre of the roof or at the centre of the wall to separate two colours. When used between two co-ordinating wallpapers a uniform effect can be achieved.

DIFFERENT STROKES When it comes to paints, a simple touch makes a big difference. You can take one basic colour and add an extra splash of another colour/s to it. A nice mix of colours, some dramatic touches and voila! You have a sparkling new wall. With the advent of technology, one has many more choices. Manufacturers not only provide a wide range of colours and new application techniques, they also provide personalised service to help you right from choosing the colour to applying it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while choosing the right paint: •Coordinate decorating samples. When you go shopping, always refer to your


fabric, carpet, tile, wallpaper, and trim samples constantly. •If you’re working with a print fabric, you’ll probably be happier if you select the coordinating wall paint colour from the background of the print. Use the deeper or brighter tones for accents throughout the room or adjacent spaces. •Don’t be afraid to think out of the box. Consider the palest shade of colour to coordinate with the walls. For a really striking look, try lighter walls and dark tones or bright colour for trim. •Consider which paint finish might be best for your wall. Matte or flat finishes hide wall imperfections, but glossier finishes will reflect more light. •Colours are often referred to as ‘warm’ and ‘cool’. Orange, red, and pink are considered ‘warm’, while blues, greens, and violet are thought to be ‘cool’. Knowing the theory behind colour can help you select the right tone for the feel you’re trying to achieve. The best way to get a true view of a paint colour is to look at it in many lights. Take the paint chip outside to see it in natural light. Look at in under an incandescent and fluorescent light. Best yet, take the paint chip, fabrics, and accessories to the room in which they’ll live. Check out the colours there. Take your room measurements with you to the paint store or home centre. The professional at the store will help you determine the correct quantity of paint to buy for your job.

Hot colour trends for 2010 Jotun, a leading name in the paints business presents some interesting colour trends for the year. These include: MYSTIC ELEGANCE  Brought to life based on the values of traditional Middle Eastern interiors, Mystic Elegance

introduces an alluring palette of rich, luxurious colours. A classic trend favoured by sophisticated individuals as well as those who find immense pleasure in surrounding themselves with the finer things in life. PURE NATURE  Inspired by Mother

Nature, this trend presents you with the perfect opportunity to invite the splendour of the great outdoors into your home. Refreshing and ever so tranquil, Pure Nature is ideal for nature lovers and those who believe in making this world a better place for the future generation.

JAZZ UP  Designed to reflect your true colours, the dynamic trend is charged with fresh ideas and ever-flowing energy. Irresistible to high-spirited, creative individuals who believe that space is a canvas for signature style, Jazz Up presents you with a fantastic opportunity to unleash the possibilities.



Steeling It!

Stainless steel now finds a place of pride in every kitchen… whether it is in the form of utensils, cookware or entire kitchen surfaces… Here experts talk about the varied use of stainless steel…


STAINLESS STEEL  GREAT CHOICE FOR YOUR KITCHEN Vaidehi Kothari of Tavola gives us the lowdown on why steel is a hot choice… WHAT IS STAINLESS STEEL? Stainless Steel is a common name for metal alloys that consist of 10.5 per cent or more Chromium and more than 50 per cent Iron. Although it is called

‘stainless’, a better term for it is ‘highly stain resistant’. A somewhat dark metal, it looks bright because it reflects light. WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF STAINLESS STEEL IN KITCHEN UTENSILS? •It is one of the most hygienic surfaces for the preparation of foods and very easy to clean, as its unique surface

has no pores or cracks to harbor dirt, grime or bacteria. •It is very attractive and requires minimal care, since it won’t chip or easily rust and it takes little seasoning. •It will not affect flavour, as it does not react with acidic foods during food preparation or cooking. •With proper care, it has a useful life expectancy of over 100 years, and it is totally recyclable.

HOW DO I CLEAN STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE? •To remove manufacturer or price stickers from cookware, soak the area with warm water, then scrape off with your fingernail or with a hard-plastic spatula. A bit of rubbing alcohol, or citrus oil based cleaner, will remove any remaining glue. •When using a pan for the first time wash well with soapy warm water and dry thoroughly. We recommend washing by hand. •Remove calcium deposits by boiling water with some white vinegar, allowing your pan to cool, then washing it with warm, soapy water. Help prevent white spots and pitting by adding salt to your cookware only after the water has reached a boil. •If burnt food is stuck in the pan, allow to soak in water for some time, then boil for 10 minutes, allow it to cool, then use a soft cloth, or a nylon scourer if stubborn, and warm, soapy water. •If it is not clean out of the dishwasher, you might select a pre-wash cycle if your pan’s instructions indicate it is safe to clean in the dishwasher. •If something spills or overflows from the pan, wash or clean the exterior before placing it again over heat. •If you left the filled pan to cool on the stove and the lid won’t come off, warm the pan, then twist the lid to remove it. •If you left a stainless steel utensil empty on a heated surface, allow to cool slowly and do not immerse in cold water. •If your stainless steel cookware has scratches on

the surface even after washing repeatedly, change your cleaning product to a gentler kind. •Make sure that bleach or ammonia is not used on stainless steel. WHAT IS 18/10 STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE? If you browse through any display of fine cookware, you’re likely to see “18/10 Stainless Steel” advertised as if it’s a benefit for the cook. However, most people have no idea what this designation actually means. Learn what 18/10 stainless cookware is so that you can decide for yourself if it’s a priority for your home cookware. WHAT MAKES STEEL STAINLESS? Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials for cookware because it is smooth, doesn’t stick easily, is resistant to corrosion, and its natural gleam is very attractive. BUT WHAT MAKES STAINLESS STEEL DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR STEEL? Steel itself is an alloy, or combination of different metals, that is made up mostly of iron. Steel is made harder and more durable than iron by adding other metals such as carbon. However, steel remains prone to corrosion, rusting and pitting easily – which is far from ideal in cookware. In order to make steel more suitable for use in the kitchen, another metal is added to the alloy – chromium. Chromium


your first choice for your kitchen… Stainless Steel makes a remarkable kitchen, pleasing to the eye, functional, totally recyclable, and extremely easy to keep sparkling and aseptic clean.

has a chemical property that causes the steel to react with elements in the atmosphere, forming a protective layer over its surface. This protective layer resists corrosion, far removing the chance of stains and rust marring the surface of your pans.

Stainless steel is the epitome of antibacterial as there are no known bacteria that can live in stainless steel, so as long as the surfaces are kept aseptically clean then there is no danger to the users.

The first number in 18/10 stainless steel refers to the percentage of the alloy that is made up of chromium. In order to be considered stainless steel at all, that number must be at least 10.5 per cent. A higher value of chromium means that the protective layer will be thicker and will repair itself more quickly if damaged. Therefore, 18/10 stainless steel has a high level of chromium, and will be more resistant to staining and corrosion. WHAT MAKES STAINLESS STEEL BRIGHT? Chromium alone is not enough to create the most durable and beautiful stainless steel cookware possible. The addition of another element to the alloy increases the effectiveness of the protective layer that forms over the steel surface, and also makes the cookware gleam more brightly. That element is nickel. The second number in 18/10 stainless steel refers to the percentage of nickel in the cookware, the higher both numbers are, the better the cookware. In conclusion, the number 18/10 in stainless steel cookware indicates a very high-quality, durable construction that will be highly resistant to stains, rust, and corrosion while maintaining a bright, attractive shine.


Stainless steel does not leak formaldehyde into the atmosphere, unlike MDF or Chipboard kitchens, as it does not use any solvents or glues. This means no formaldehyde in the kitchen from the stainless steel kitchen cabinets, which has to be good news. THE BEST WAY TO CARE FOR STAINLESS STEEL The best bet for everyday cleaning is handwashing your cookware in hot, soapy water and drying it thoroughly with a soft cloth before storing. Using a dishwasher is controversial; experts are divided on the effect the detergents have on stainless steel

finishes. If you do use the dishwasher, remove your cookware after the wash cycle and dry it by hand to avoid spotting. PLEASING, STYLISH AND FUNCTIONAL Redha Al Matwani of Quality Furnitures LLC tells us why stainless steel should be

The initial view of the kitchen has to be pleasing to the eye and show that it has been designed and not just put there and this pleasing designed look can be achieved with modern technology and responsible manufacturers who can use different

materials for the doors. Stainless steel is also more versatile due to the flexibility of steel, it can be bent into beautiful curves, it can be lacquered and it can have sinks and backsplashes welded to it. With stainless steel, one can eliminate the joints on work surfaces or on backsplashes or round sinks as stainless steel can be welded and made smooth so the joints cannot be seen. The doors may be wood or lacquered a pleasing colour or a laminate finish, but with an ARCA Cucine kitchen you have a stainless steel frame behind the doors. And behind the doors there is more. There are pull-outs for dry food storage, making the food easier to get to; there are draining racks built into cabinets over the sink or drainer; there are deep drawers on silent runners to store large pots and pans; there are Magic Corners to get to the near unusable spaces in the corners (known as the Lost World), there are Carousels for the same purpose, there are garbage disposal units hidden away from view below the sink; there are pull-outs for storage of loose vegetables, there are inserts for cutlery, for spices, etc, and many more clever ideas for kitchen functionality. In fact there are hidden features that can be fitted behind all doors, all for the user’s benefit, to make their work a little easier. It is possible to have built-in appliances behind stainless steel doors like refrigerators, freezers, washing machines,

bottle coolers, dishwashers, etc. So you see, there is more to a stainless steel kitchen than meets the eye. A WIDE RANGE OF APPLIANCES Sam Cherian from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam presents some fine options in built-in appliances… A smart kitchen solution is only complete with specialty built in appliances. At KR’s Bait Al Ahlam, while deciding on their kitchen, customers can choose built in appliances from the formidable range of SIEMENS or from the luxurious range of GAGGENAU. These brands offer every conceivable built-in appliance that is used in modular kitchens such as hobs, hoods, built in ovens, built in dishwashers, built in refrigerators built in coffee machines, steamers, built in microwaves, warming drawers, etc. Any discerning consumer will realise that with modular kitchens from Germany and Italy, appliance solutions that meet every conceivable culinary need, and other elements such as kitchen sinks and taps, are part of the offering from Khimji’s Bait Al Ahlam. That truly makes it a convenient one-stop shop arrangement for the buyer. This enables a consumer or a developer to negotiate both position and costs comprehensively.



Serene Sanctuary Get the spa feeling right into your home, by following a few simple rules and taking advantage of what the top brands in this sector have to oer‌ 28


t’s a stressed-out world and sometimes you want to retreat into the sanctuary of your bathroom to unwind.

So why not convert your bathroom into a spa… A place where you can find the peace and quiet you need after a hard days’ work! It doesn’t take much to convert your bathroom into a spa-like setting. Here are some tips that’ll do the conversion easily. •Alternate between bright and dim lighting. When you feel the need to relax, switch on the dim lights. This will create a cooling and soothing effect. •To invigorate your mind, try connecting with nature. Arrange small potted plants in your bathroom to show off a ‘natural’ look. Besides, the green would do a

lot to bring in the sense of calmness you need. •Keep a mat large enough to cover a big area of your bathroom, in front of a tub. After a relaxing spa bath, you should not step onto the cold floor. •Use neutral or earthy paints. White could be a good choice. To make your bathroom look bigger, hang large mirrors on the walls. •Add a small water feature or music to your bathroom. An indoor water fountain will also add to the serene atmosphere. If a music system does not fit into your décor, hide a small radio in a cabinet or put it behind a plant. •Dot your bathroom with candles and light them while you relax in your bath. Besides these, experts from leading brands also tell you what they have to offer to turn your bathroom into a spa.


IQBAL ARIWALA, FROM BAGNO SAYS: Unlike the past when one had to visit health clubs or spas to avail of a sauna or steam bath facility, today, we can recreate the same in our own homes. EFFEGIBI (Italy) have the tools available to design, furnish or supply readymade saunas in various sizes which can be placed anywhere in the house, even under the staircase, so that you can enjoy the feeling of relaxation in the intimacy of your own home. Ready-made dry saunas come in Finnish wood, Canadian Hemlock staves, Abaca benches, oak exteriors, etc. with a capacity to accommodate from 1-2 persons up to 4-5 persons; hence one has a wide range and variety choose from. Hamman or Turkish Bath or Steam Room can be created in whatever space is available. A normal Steam Bath or Steam Room only requires a steam generator, water tight door, fountain (wash basin) and seat. EFFEGIBI also offers light fixtures with LED RGB colour therapy. What’s more, if you have space constraints you can also convert your existing shower enclosure into steam room by just replacing the shower door which comes equipped with built in sauna.

THORSTEN BIES, FROM VILLEROY & BOCH MIDDLE EAST BATH, WELLNESS + TILES SAYS: With the pressures of busy modern lives we see more and more homeowners creating their own wellness zone to optimise their wellness potential. The bathroom has become a place where we can rejuvenate mind and body after a stressful day at work. The


modern bathroom is a room for living and relaxation. Nowadays technical innovations play just as important a role as the design, which accentuates the overall atmosphere to create very special effects. Baths and showers in particular are no longer positioned simply as fixed units in the room. They are increasingly being regarded and used as creative design elements. This means, for example, modern shower solutions can be installed flush with the ground, frameless and with transparent doors. Baths are presented in a prominent position or as corner solution. Successful product ranges illustrating these trends are our Aveo and Squaro ranges. The focal point of Squaro is a Walk-In shower with pedestal element and two integrated glass elements. Depending on the level of comfort required and room layout it offers individual applications for both the shower and bath. Added to this is the Squaro super flat shower tray which, together with the shower solution, has already been awarded the high-profile IF Product Design Award. AVEO features the natural form of an egg. The free-standing, uniquely spacious and comfortable bath of that product range offers protection, shelter, room for development, relaxation. Performing one’s ablutions in the morning against a background of the rounded organic form or unwinding in the pleasure-giving bath in the evening provides the active, modern and design-conscious person with an environment that is in line with his lifestyle and style of furnishing. S. KARNAKAR FROM BAIT AL AHLAM ROCA SAYS: Roca brings to their clients a whole


To invigorate your mind, try connecting with nature. Arrange small potted plants in your bathroom to show off a ‘natural’ look.

range of beautiful and sleek home spa models. Be it indoors or outdoors, you can now enjoy therapeutic hydromassages anywhere in your home. Try the Home Beach range with its differentiated bathtubs providing stimulating massages or the Broadway Range which may be considered a virtual entertainment centre with capacities of up to seven people. Roca’s hydrotherapy cabins are designed to be true sources of health and beauty. They offer the benefits of hydromassage and sauna in the same space. With state-ofthe-art technology and chic designs, these units are a must for every home. The Advant Range provides a combination of hydromassage, steam bath, aromatherapy and gives your body a relaxing treatment like no other. If you’re looking for something more advanced then the extensive range of Aquatech cubicles offers you the most advanced specifications and the most luxurious models with hydrotherapy and steam bath. They are Aquatech Club models 1200, 1000 and 900. Relax in a double space designed especially for your hydromassage sessions with the Aurum model. Designed to suit contemporary homes, Aurum Frontal and Corner is the solution for zones delimited by three walls; a cabin of maximum transparency that integrates into modern bathrooms and makes


optimal use of space. P.K.S. DASS FROM BEST GULF TRADING DURAVIT SAYS: Leave stress behind and peacefully unwind in the new multi-functional showers from Duravit. A revolution in form and function, the multifunctional shower looks rather like a luxury sailing yacht. Navigated by remote control with touch displays these shower cubicles are the ultimate in luxury. You can choose from five massage programmes using combination of five jet pairs. The Kneipp hose produces a high pressure laser-like jet providing the ultimate hydrotherapy. Additional comfort features are overhead and hand-gushing and side showers, water hose, functional modules for coloured lighting and fragrances. You can also have an optional sound system. Two removable fold out wooden chairs enables you to lie comfortably and relax either alone or à deux. The positions have been selected in such a way that it is ideal for you to relax and enjoy the optional coloured lighting. At the press of a button the steam generator produces beneficial steam. Fragrance essences can be added to the steam if required. Five programmes control the duration and temperature giving you the spa experience of a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Make your bathroom a relaxing, luxurious haven… An in-home retreat like no other!



Green Haven Add a huge splash of green to your home by creating a conservatory just right for this climate, says Maha Al Lamki from Decor Bait Al Dhahir.


f you have enough space, you can create a green canopy inside your home. Garden rooms also called conservatories are usually set between the house and the terrace or attached to it. Normally, conservatories are popular in countries that experience a cold climate. But if you are itching to put that ‘green thumb’ to good use and have the required space for an indoor garden, it is possible here, even in Oman. Most homes in Oman have big and airy living rooms and lots of wide windows. This is as close as to an orangery as you can get, which is also another kind of conservatory. What furniture you use in this space is very important. The most convenient

would be wicker furniture. Remember, comfort is the main key here. Most orangeries or conservatories are furnished with a contemporary style of furniture. You can go even very English if you like or even try out a country look. You can achieve this by having the fabrics on your wicker furniture stating what style you have. An easy way to get the original conservatory style would be to go for striped fabrics. Make a combination of colours and textures with your striped fabric, for example, bold stripes, thin stripes and a vibrant colour give you the perfect combination to make your orangery look right. Once you have decided what style you like best, you can then start choosing the kind of containers or pots you will need to put in your plants. Plants are the essential ingredients inside the



conservatory, contributing to its unique style, and this remains true through any kind of weather. So conservatory gardening means selecting plants that grow comfortably all year round in indoor space and that can be cultivated successfully in an environment also suitable for people. A good choice in this regard would be Mediterranean plants. Also keep in mind that plants set against furniture need to look good throughout the year. Most are evergreen and should be selected for good foliage regardless of their bloom. Containers too make a big difference; just removing a plant from a cheap plastic container into a attractive one like a clay or terra-cotta pot will be a huge improvement. If you go for the country look then wood-like pots would be great or even clay, terracotta and ceramic pots. For a contemporary classic look, you can go for the chines or English ceramic look, and play around your with pots as long as you have harmony between them. An easy way to know what plants will last long is to ask the nurseries you frequent. Indoor plants are expensive so you need to be careful in choosing those that will last for a long time. When it is hot, you need to have the air-conditioner on. Some plants need to have a lot of sun and some need to be away from direct sun‌ these are all the things that need to be taken into consideration. Some of the plants you could keep in your conservatory are plumeria, bougain villea, citrus

reticulate, jasmine polyanhum, howea forsteriana and others. You could also look up books that talk of indoor plants for this particular climate. However, success is not always easy to achieve. I’m sure that most conservatory or orangery owners could admit to failed attempts with plants requiring more water or better light or even greater humidity. From season to season the requirements of your plants will change, so probably you will have to move your plants around the room to cater to their need. In winter, they will grow well by the window and in summer they need the shade

because it is too hot. The key is to be realistic in the kind of plants you choose and be imaginative in your selection. Make sure that the type of plants also blend with the design of the room and balances the overall look. Sufficient ventilation is also a must. Plan well, put your imagination and creativity to good use and bring nature right into your living room. (The indoor plants mentioned in the feature are available at The Flower Shop, Sabco Centre.)



Smart & Functional A modern kitchen is functional, ergonomical and beautifully designed. It reects your attitudes, tastes and makes life easier for you... in every sense.



he kitchen is increasingly becoming the epicentre of most homes. It is a place where you love to come home to... and spend some wonderful moments whipping up food for your family. A modern kitchen is functional, ergonomical and beautifully designed. It reflects your attitudes, tastes and makes life easier for you... in every sense. Here are some elements that you should keep in mind before planning that perfect kitchen... These are also some of the hottest trends for 2010. •Choose neutral colours. All-white, cream or pale grey are design classics. Dark tones do create an impact but cramp small kitchens. Bursts of colours on certain spots is an innovative trend to play with in modern kitchens. •Make the best use of space available. Cupboards should reach the ceiling; bench-tops should be streamlined with few visible joints and you can opt for under-bench sinks. •A functional kitchen uses space-saving pieces like a corner kitchen cabinet or a hanging pot-rack. Corner furniture is also very much in vogue. Corner cabinets can be a good idea if you have a small kitchen or if you’d like to rearrange your kitchen once in a while. •An island bench is a must in a modern kitchen especially when one cooks informal meals a lot these days. Fit the bench with a sink, cooktop or chopping boards, so you can enjoy cooking in front of friends. •Choosing the right layout makes

optimum use of space available in the house for the kitchen. Every kitchen should be designed around what experts call the ‘Golden Triangle’. This involves placing the main work areas – refrigerator, sink and oven/cooktop close to each other positioned at three sides of a triangle. •The lighting also must be just right. Use pendants or halogens and over-bench lights for brighter work spaces. If you want to add to the ambience, fit ceiling lights with dimmers. •Choose a simple design for cabinetry so that they last long. Avoid too many decorative pieces or embellishments as they may quickly go out of fashion. •If you are planning on an open kitchen, take into account the colours, finishes and materials in other rooms and plan a consistent look. Here’s presenting some of the coolest custom kitchens available in town… Take your pick!

VARIETY, THE SPICE OF LIFE Nolte Küchen brings to you a beautiful variety of kitchens that cater to every taste and mood. Famous for their high quality and flawless German designs, and with a history spanning over 50 years, Nolte Küchen will undoubtedly continue to give you pleasure for many years to come. The Matrix150 range is the first and only one to have an innovative grid dimension system that makes kitchen design beautifully simple and practical. MatrixLine 150 is an intelligent kitchen solution with generous storage space and an enormous variety of planning options for design-oriented customers.


No matter how big or small your kitchen, Nolte K端chen has something for everyone: The Manhattan 492 and Nova Lack 732 combine homeliness, convenience and ergonomic designs to create timeless kitchens. The high-gloss, magnolia coloured base units produce plenty of space, while the interesting grain of Noce Amador creates an interesting atmosphere. Kitchens in white are always topical, because they never go out of fashion. And with Star, kitchen range you will always be in step with the times. Whichever Nolte kitchen you choose from, every individual kitchen has consistent quality features that you can rely on. And, because they have to take most of the punishment in daily use, all the worktops have a heat, impact and scratch resistant surface which is also resistant to all conventional domestic acids and solutions, is easy to clean and perfectly hygienic. Allow yourself to be inspired by Nolte K端chen, for a better quality of life! (Nolte Kitchens are available at Ahmed Mohsin Trading LLC, Wadi Kabir.)

COSY KITCHENS Vabene Kitchens along with Vitali Cucine brings classic and contemporary Italian kitchens into your homes. Vabene kitchens provide clients with a seamless balance between functionality and aesthetics. The kitchen units have been especially designed to suit the needs of clients and are all tailor-made. The products have a long life and the characteristics to endure the weather in Oman. Perhaps one of the most valuable characteristic of the kitchen units is that


Exciting new range of kitchen solutions that marry stunning styling with robust functionality and perfect customization with precise appliances. Made In Italy Built In Kitchen Appliance

For us, the PRODUCT, its QUALITY, its MONETARY VALUE and RELIABILITY as well as our CREDIBILITY constitute the essence of our business policy. We aim at timelessness. Our furniture’s come from the past and we are projected towards the future. Be it MODERN, NATURAL, CLASSICAL, we offer cutting edge appearances for every taste and budget. Our “Design Offensive” is accompanied by innovative ideas in the areas of function, ergonomics, and color.

Showroom Timings: Sat – Wed: 8 am to 1 pm, 4 pm to 8 pm, Thu: 8 am to 1 pm, Friday : Closed Building No.9244, Way No.4052, North Al Ghubra Tel:+968 24498993, +968 24494127, Fax: +968 24498839 Email: / Website :

If you are planning on an open kitchen, take into account the colours, ďŹ nishes and materials in other rooms and plan a consistent look. they are water repellent. All the structures and tops are made in compliance with European norms using non-toxic ecological panels in E1 class which are all waterproof; thanks to a special coating that guarantees total impermeability. Also the structures are provided with PVC edges, 1mm thick in the front. Not only are the kitchen structures beautiful to look at, but they also ensure total safety in the kitchen area. The inner shelves are equipped with spring brackets that prevents them from slipping and ensuring maximum safety of use. The glass display panels are made of tempered glass - all in compliance with European standards - which ensures the glass breaks into small pieces and prevents any further accidents or injury. The heights and depths of the shelves are adjustable and are able to stand loads of up to 70kg each. No matter what design, contemporary or classic, Vabene Kitchens ensure the best of quality to suit all your needs. (Vabene Kitchens and Vitali Cucine are available at Vabene showrooms, Markaz Al Bahja.)

WHERE COOKING IS PURE PLEASURE Bought a new home and looking for a one- stop shop for setting up a smart



kitchen? Visit Khimji’s Appliances and Kitchens Division. Under the Bait-Al Ahlam banner, you can pick and choose from the large variety of kitchen solutions displayed at the showroom. It represents top of the range international brands that specialise in modular and state-of-the-art ‘smart kitchen’ designs. The kitchen division team at Bait Al Ahlam can help you in creating your ideal kitchen space along with commercial cutting edge fit-outs. To address the growing modular kitchen market in Oman, Bait Al Ahlam provides modular kitchens solutions from two internationally renowned brands; SieMatic from Germany and Aran Cucine from Italy. SieMatic, a German premium modular kitchen company, prides in offering more than 4000 different combinations for a defined kitchen space to suit any specification, and represents products from classical to contemporary taste, suitable for modern kitchens. It offers innovative designs, the latest in the line being SieMatic S1.

An island bench is a must in a modern kitchen especially when one cooks informal meals a lot these days. Fit the bench with a sink, cooktop or chopping boards, so you can enjoy cooking in front of friends.


ARAN Cucine, one of the leading Italian modular kitchen manufacturers offer the latest in design trends and continually renews its lines to reflect changing lifestyle needs with chic, modern classics, and futuristic modular kitchens. Customers can select options from a plethora of finishes, colors and fittings to design a kitchen that reflect their personal style. (SieMatic kitchens and ARAN Cucine are available at Bait Al Ahlam in Ruwi, Ghubra, Al Khuwair and MBD area)



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Table Talk

From a simple cup of tea to a casual brunch or a high-profile dinner party, here’s exquisite tableware to suit every occasion... 1,2,3, - Villeroy & Boch -18th Nov Street 4,5,9 Capital Store - Qurum 6,7,8 - EasyLife - Bareeq Al Shatti 10,11 Khimji Luxury & Lifestyle 46






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1,2,3, - ID Design - Markaz Al Bahja 4 Home House - Bareeq Al Shatti 5 Easylife - Bareeq Al Shatti 6,7,8, - Lumen Zone - Ruwi


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Snazzy trends Give a contemporary look and feel to your homes with these simple stand-alone pieces. Mix-n-match for best results. 02 06

1, - Home Centre- Al Khuwair & MCC 3,4, - Khimji Furniture - Al Khuwair 2,6 - HomeHouse - Bareeq Al Shatti


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A slice of tradition Give a traditional makeover to your home with these elegant antique pieces made of (sheesham wood) rosewood. They are trendy and fashionable as well! 1, 2, 3, - Iben Majid TradingAl Araimi Complex


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Ramadan Special display in Bareeq Al Shatti

Arabian House Beauty Contact: Phone: +968 99447475 email:, Website: Facebook:

A one-stop shop for all your furniture and interior decoration needs. Table lounges, dining tables, sofas, consoles, commandos, bed sets and elegant accessories. To make a completely attractive home.

ZAWAYA - August 2010  

ZAWAYA - August 2010 - English

ZAWAYA - August 2010  

ZAWAYA - August 2010 - English