All posts filed under: design

My top three picks at Index Dubai 2018

INDEX Dubai started back in 1990 and is one of the key events in the calendar to stay abreast of what is happening in the interior procurement world.  This year the team behind INDEX decided to include a September show into their schedule and I wanted to share my top three picks: Number 1  – Stephanie Design – Firstly Stephanie Ng is fantastic, she loves what she does, she loves the products she makes and every collection has a story.  From the aunties at Kuala Lumpur that now do her knitting to the automotive interior company that does her leather work.  I have to say I am racking my brain where I can have them in my home and I recommend that you check them out by clicking here. Number 2 – Maison du Monde and Crate & Barrel – I have to confess I am a big MDM fan as we have  store ten minutes from our French home so it is very much my go to for bits and pieces.  Both brands are …

What does it take to be a good client?

I have lost count of the number of architects, engineers and designers that I have worked with over the last 20 years in my professional life but for the first time ever we have worked with an interior architect on a project for us. I take my role in hotel development advisory seriously, I have a strong eye for detail and I am very conscious that we are often custodians of clients funds and how they are spent.  They lean on us for advice to make sure it is spent well, fairly and will deliver hotels or restaurants back to them which maximise their revenue stream.  The advantage of hotels is that very early in the timeline we build a guestroom and take time to get it right so that when the other 300+ of them are built the expectations are clear.  This leaves more time for the bespoke elements within the hotel. Of course when you start to renovate or build your own home you become the client, you rely on others to spend …

Who to call on to add life into your interiors

Whilst pinterest is a rabbit hole of inspiration that you may or may not return from taking those ideas and turning them into reality can be a challenge.  Not only do we need the time to make it happen but having someone with a talented design eye help you do it can often mean the difference between like and love. There are three great layers of support that you can call upon to bring those pinterest images to life in your own spaces.  The first being a friend who has a great eye, the second is an Interior Designer (called Interior Architect in some countries) and the third is an Interior Stylist.  When is it a good idea to reach out to each of these? My thoughts are: A friend who has a great eye – you definitely don’t have to be trained to have style.  If you have an idea of what you want and just want some advice on where to source particular things then asking a friend who has a similar aesthetic …

Feature walls – our last four homes and my top tips

Coming from a hotel design/development background the feature wall is a favourite amongst designers to add instant (and permanent) interest to a room. I can remember choosing the interior for our first home almost 20 years ago.  The house was a modern brick and tile and we went for a deep aubergine on a niche wall in our dining area and a paprika red one in the lounge area.  They were painted and an easy way to add depth to the space when most of our furniture was hand me downs from family.  When we moved to our next house, a 100 year old villa, the previous owner had painted every room a different colour so we just updated a couple to our preferred colours but hadn’t got around to repainting the house before we moved to Dubai although the end of our kitchen/dining room was anchored with a fab dark blue.  Of course these homes were before digital cameras so photos are all stored back in New Zealand in a shed in Hakaru! Once …

Lighting up a little girls world

In the adventure of renovating a house by remote control one of the things I have had a lot of fun looking for online is wall lights for the girls rooms.  Here was my shortlist. Super cute bunny ears from Atelier Pierre Lightbox with super cute lettering from Maisons du Monde Opalescence from Cecile Chareyron AM.PM’s Fifi Box from La Redoute Ferm’s Living Cactus spotted at Amara Living Standout copper pineapple from Jasmine Living Haya wall light from La Redoute Seletti’s Hanging Monkey spotted at the Bowery Company Origami from Tedzukuri Atelier What was I looking for in the wall lights? something that could take my littlest girl from 2 to 6 years old and another light that would be good for Miss 4 and 6 until they are about 10 years old.  Which ones did I end up picking? well watch this space as we put the rooms together and share the spoils of all our hard work. Photo credits: the feature image is from Ekaterina Galera, the individual products are from the websites …

The trifecta of comfort that helps you have a great sleep experience?

This is where my blog started – a simple question of why someone can sleep well in hotel rooms but not in their own room.  My response was that we have 1,000s of rooms so have worked out what works best, you just have one.  So I thought it was about time that I shared some of my top tips for your bedroom that we apply in hotels: 1. Air-conditioning or heating – if you live in a country that requires you to control the climate in your bedroom the ideal position of your bed is so that the air does not blow across the top of your bed where your head is as the airflow can be disruptive to your sleep.  Similarly putting the head of the bed on the wall opposite the outtake vent also can cause unsettled sleep as the airflow deflects down the wall and onto your face.  If you have the airflow coming across the head of your bed and can’t practically move your bed look at the vents and …

Backyard inspiration – 5 great ideas to create shade

In Dubai we have scorching sun for about four months of the year and whilst it doesn’t burn as easily as in other parts of the world it is still too uncomfortable to be out in it for too long.  The other thing we have in Dubai is great resorts so I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration on how to get shade into your backyard.  Here are five ideas for you to consider. 1. The Traditional – get an umbrella, the bigger the better and square ones tend to give you better coverage.  Think about what is most practical for your yard – a central support pole or one that is on an arm to keep the area below barrier free.  When looking at the colour coordinate with your existing furniture but don’t feel compelled to make it match.  Don’t be afraid to have a couple in your yard to give a wider coverage, check out the ones at the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa for this approach. 2. The …

Warming up the industrial look at Arrows & Sparrows

Having been to Arrows and Sparrows before for a lovely breakfast to celebrate a dear friends birthday we decided to head back and try it out again.  The café is tucked away at Emaar Business Park down at the Greens with easy parking and both indoor and outdoor eating. As soon as you walk in you get this feeling of how casual and comfortable the café is.  Very industrial with lots of greenery makes the air feel fresher straight away. The space is anchored by concrete – blockwork on the walls, polished concrete floors and walls and a large slab bench for the coffee machine.  It sounds all a bit much but the way it has been fitted out softens and warms the space so it feels like a spot you wish was in your neighbourhood. I am currently loving the use of black framed glazing to create room dividers and it is done really nicely here.  If you are keen to try this in your home I would suggest using smaller window panes as …

Design Notes …….. the smallest room in the house

From time to time I am planning on sharing with you some technical information about the rooms in your home and how we address them in hotels.  The biggest thing with hotels is getting the rooms that you have lots of right as a single mistake can be repeated 500+ times easily.  So I decided to start with the toilet, this guidance applies irrespective of whether it is within the bathroom or in a standalone room. 

Pots, pots and more pots

Gardens and yards are one of those areas where you can spend a lot of time to get them just right and are not really able to take it with you if you move.  We are always looking for ways to personalise our home with moveable artefacts and for the outdoors one of the most powerful options, undoubtedly, is to use large oversized pots to create impact.