Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 10 October 2022: There’s simply no better time to turn a house into a home and explore the latest trends in interior products, designs, and limited-edition furniture collections to suit every style, with the return of the fourth edition of Dubai Home Festival which runs until 13 October.
Furnishing and decorating a home and putting your personal stamp on your surroundings can be an incredibly enjoyable process – but also a daunting one. From choosing the colours of the walls, selecting the hardware, picking the décor and deciding on the upholstery and accents – there are countless decisions to make. How do you even begin to navigate your home décor project?
Jon Spurlock, VP of Global Creative Design and Development for Christopher Guy, a renowned international luxury furnishing brand located at the Dubai Design District (d3), said the number one decoration tip is to shirk ‘trends’ and choose what you love.
“We all at some point follow the trend on what is hot and new, but start where you are at in your journey in life. In an era of media and marketing, we all get told what to buy and how to style but start with what you love – not with what anyone tells you to do.” Should it be a striking piece of art, a passed-down-from-generation piece, or a statement wall, said Spurlock, it should be built around pieces or design elements that you will never tire of.
“If you think it is fabulous – use it,” he advises. “While it is a cliché, your home is your castle. The home is where we hang our hats, it is where we raise families and create memories. Everything you choose in your home ends up in your photographs. Therefore, why not put outlandish fabric on the sofa, or have a statement wall? Be it a small studio apartment in JLT or a mansion on the Palm Jumeirah, the home is where you will spend most of your life.”
Spurlock said – even if you don’t know what you do love, you often know what you don’t love. “I don’t like oranges or light-coloured furniture, for example,” he said. “Don’t be tempted to surround yourselves with something you don’t love.” When it comes to getting started, Spurlock said designers shouldn’t be daunted. “A room generally has four walls,” he said. “So first you want to start with the palette – is it going to have contrast or one colour palette? Is it going to be contemporary or monochronic? Will it have window dressings and if so, will that be soft or hard? Will you choose modern and contemporary or traditional?”
And also don’t stick with the expected. “Don’t stick with the staid,” he said. “We can get ‘beiged-out’. Do something unexpected. Go with a hot pink statement wall or the stand-out fabric.” Once designers make these all-too-important decisions, they should begin to incorporate the accents that can transform a room, said Spurlock. “Start from the ground up and pick a fun rug. Get small accents – go to an art fair and choose something from new and upcoming designers. You will transform your home as you collect. Also, small sculptures, artwork, and abstract pieces are all accents that can make your home stand out.”
Diala Al Moussawi, Head of Design/ co partner at collide, said when it comes to the ultimate styling tips everyone should know, whether it comes to a full-blown renovation or a quick makeover, there are timeless pointers to remember.
“Focusing on design is nice but comfort is always essential - so know how to choose the right furniture items,” she said. Choosing the right accents is also key, pointing out that coloured pillows, sculptures and vases can brighten and add warmth to rooms. Statement-making pieces can transform a home from simple to striking, she said. “Oversized chandeliers are also a timeless tip – and a big trend in 2023 – and also consider old vintage pieces to add depth to the room.”
No room is complete without the right light feature, said Al Moussawi, pointing out many people don’t pay enough attention to their lighting. She advises choosing inner lights with dimmers to give the right ambience day and night. When it comes to furniture, Al Moussawi said to play with different proportions and choose items that have “perfect imperfections”, such as natural curved shapes for furniture and accessories.
Becki Willis, the founder of Studio Van Oliver, a UAE-based interior design studio, specialising in residential design, home renovation and styling, said the first step in any design project is to get comfortable with your style direction.
“Search for inspiration on social media (Pinterest and Instagram are my go-tos), save everything to a board and once you have a collection of images, stand back and evaluate.
Why do you like a particular image? How does it make you feel? What common threads can you see amongst your images? This will help you define a style that you can work towards.
Think about what materials and colours you want to use. Try to stick to using two or three colours, and two to three materials or finishes in your room that are reflective of the look you are trying to achieve.”
Willis said the little details add up to make the biggest difference. “So put just as much time and effort into choosing your accessories as you would for your main furniture,” she advises. “You can completely change the look and feel of a space just by changing the accessories. Imagine two living rooms with the same white sofa. Pair one with black and tan leather cushions and oversized geometric artwork. Add oatmeal and blue striped cushions and a jute rug to the other. Two totally different spaces. It’s much more affordable to change your cushions every year or so than your sofa, so have fun with it.”
Ultimately, Willis said, when it comes to styling a home, choose pieces that make you happy.
“There is nothing better than walking into a room and seeing a collection of your favourite things, beautifully styled, to nourish your soul. That’s what ‘home’ should be.”
For shoppers keen on grabbing amazing deals and offers on homeware and furniture and being inspired by expert-led home design events -