Play by the rules when experimenting with trends, but stay focused on creating a space that’s uniquely you.
Interior designer and decorator Albert Hadley once said, “The essence of interior design will always be about people and their way of life. It’s about the realities of what makes an environment appealing, civilized and meaningful, not fashion or what’s trendy or what’s not. It’s not an easy job.” And we couldn’t help but agree. Yes, trends rule our choices, but basic design rules shouldn’t be overlooked when furnishing a a space to live in. Experts from the United Arab Emirates have shed some light on the subject.
The rule of seven
An aesthetically appointed room has seven elements: balance, unity, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, scale, proportion, and detail. What is the most important according to the experts? “Each element plays a crucial role in decorating an indoor/outdoor space. However, “balance” and “details” are the most important elements. Balance creates unity and details personalize the space. Often, aesthetically finished spaces are built with three things in mind: balance, proportion of furniture, and appropriate scale of products. This is especially evident in large rooms when the selection of products, colors and finishes is not balanced,” said Luiza Jodziewicz, regional interior design manager, Al-Futtaim IKEA. “The answer to that can be very subjective. Weighing all the options, the most important next to scale would be the details. Adding accents and small details brings personality and life to your room. The beauty of this is the story behind each carefully selected object in its given space. Details play a role in design repetition, such as textures, colors, shapes and finishes, creating harmony in any room,” said Rhena Ahmadie, Senior Visual Merchandiser, Crate and Barrel, UAE.
“Room aesthetics, much like most things, needs a balance that engenders positivity, translating into comfort and contentment. The most important element is visual balance, adorned with punchy details. Balance provides a soothing aura and is easy on the eyes. Overly detailed and unbalanced pieces often tend to be shocking and create a frustrating environment to enter,” said Richard Snowball, Managing Director, Royal Furniture, UAE “Contrast stands out the most for us. The contrast of textures, shapes and colors is what brings dimension and points of interest to a room. Brought together in a skillful and tasteful way, these dimensions create a real sense of depth, balance and warmth in an interior space,” said Amy Durnford, founder of Custom No. 9, a Dubai-based bespoke furniture and interiors brand. dimension one can be achieved through contrasting elements via deep pile carpet textures combined with coffee tables with a clean and minimalist design, “Scalloped or rounded shapes can contrast nicely with straight lines to add visual depth, while textured fabric cushions are again layered on linen sofas. provide a dimension level. The skill is in making sure these textures match and complement each other rather than clash. Luiza added how important the quality of the finish is, which is also considered a detail: “Even a well-designed space with poorly finished interiors will detract from the final look and effect of the space.”
Dubai, watch out for these trends and tips
Soft curves and rounded edges are the most notable trends to watch in Dubai. Richard shared how experts believe curved furniture can enhance well-being and also evoke emotional calm and happiness: “Smoother curves often speak of a warm and comfortable environment giving a sense of ‘home’ to those in the room.” Rhena explained how, when dressing a room, one should choose a central piece as a focal point and then use design to frame and enhance that room: “That central element can be a sofa, a chair accent, a wall decoration, an item you brought back from your travels or a coffee table.This again touches on the detail element because with a modern or eclectic design, each piece is carefully thought out and has its own space. like having your own little art gallery, where furniture becomes the centrepiece. Amy added: “We definitely follow global trends in interiors and furniture, but there is an emerging scene here of amazing designers who are making a name for themselves by setting their own trends.” Rhena added, “There are three trends to watch: mid-century modern, eclectic and minimalist design. playful lines, neutral hues and two-tone statements.
In Dubai, are we more inclined to follow global or Middle Eastern trends?
“Dubai’s creative scene is thriving as it becomes a more established city, and the creative community is starting to believe in itself/pushing itself to come up with bolder designs. Dubai as a city is increasingly encouraging plus local creativity, and the ripple effect of that will see growth as we set our own trends here,” Amy said. At Al-Futtaim IKEA, they refer to global trends while maintaining the style of the brand across product lines, “Dubai is a multicultural city associated with cultural diversity. Although a large majority of Dubai residents tend to prefer the more glamorous lifestyle, more and more communities are now seeking products and finishes that create soft, neutral, dessert-inspired spaces,” said Luiza.
“Simply put, access to social media impacts what gets created; and it works in favor of brands, where they can take an idea that works elsewhere in the world, add a localization twist and share it with their audience,” added Richard. Rhena has noticed how Middle Eastern or Arabesque geometric shapes are finding their way into modern design and even architecture in so many beautiful ways, but Dubai continues to root itself in the design community, developing its own distinct imprint. as East meets West, “Dubai is such an eclectic city. With that comes the opportunity for great creativity and inspiration from many cultures and influences. It is an incubation of innovation and modernization.
Last word to remember
“Although we love to relax in beautiful hotels, we strive every day to ensure that our interiors match our preferences and reflect our character. Out of habit, we like to collect small decorations, sculptures and souvenirs. In reality, minimalist interiors are not devoid of it. Details such as a picture frame, a sculpture or even an ordinary flower can complement an interior, making the space exceptional and unique,” Luiza added.