Mar 26, 2013

Emerald Green, Color of the Year 2013

I've promised myself and many of my Facebook page fans to write about how to make the best of Emerald Green being the color of the year this year, but hey! It's the perfect time to write about that now as Spring sprung around us...feels more like the summer in Doha one day now and more fall like the other but it truly is as Spring-ish as it could get in Doha. Scroll down for more about how to Incorporate the color of the year into your homes, offices, and gardens

So Emerald Green is the color of the year for 2013, what does that mean to you as a decorator, home owner/renter?

Well, more green products in the market for you! I'd only expect that to be good news to you if you were big on green.

More advice on incorporating greens into your interiors, specifically, emerald green- which you are about to hear more about once you scroll down.

In some cases Emerald green products for home, garden, and fashion might be more available and affordable this year but in many others it might actually be more expensive than the same exact product displayed in a different color just because it's in the color of the year 2013.

Green has a restful psychological effect that touches us as humans on a primative level as humans associate it with fertility and plenty of vegetation which in turn means plenty of water and food which indicate no famish approaching and thus relaxation and restfulness.

This beautiful pictured credenza is by Graham & Green
The credenza is very modern in terms of colors but the application of bone in-lay is quiet ethnic and traditional in Syria, Turkey, India, and China, showing you that your favorite traditional classical pieces could be modernized to step out into the 21st century.

A great way of using the color of the year this particular season this year is by getting landscape seating in green, whether it's; a metal powder coated set, a rattan set, or a wooden traditional Qatari style exterior seating style sets.

The weather is absolutely beautiful in Doha right now and the planting season is still ongoing, so if you are thinking of doing a little bit of gardening in your backyard, add a little punch of color with green garden seating and accessories. For some contrast surround such seating with planters and pots full of colorful flowers and say Helloooo to Spring!

I came across these beautiful nest tables which look like floating lotus leafs, a great product to use indoor or outdoor in your garden.

If you are home is styled in a formal/classical way and you think that Emerald Green might clash with that style then think again, because you can most definitely add little punches of emerald green to a room with an almost all neutral color scheme and classical furniture pieces, like this great room featured in Elle Decor magazine.

Want to submerge fully in green and keep the formal classical look going on? you can do that if you can do with being surrounded with shades and shades of the same hue, best place to apply such a color scheme would be in a bedroom, garden, bathroom, or a room were you don't seek a lot of activities due to the color's relaxing effects. You would need to change values and shades otherwise the room will feel too bland, try to stay away from greens with a grey undertone as they have a depressing psychological effect and mix it up with blue greens and yellowish greens for added depth and variety.

again Emerald green curtains in a formal clean dining room with greyscale and beige shades for the main color scheme.

play up Emerald green in an eclectic modern fun room by adding more solid green objects and mix them up with wood, whites, and metallic.

Want the modern eclectic look to be more sophisticated and "grown-up" like? Go for deeper emerald greens and more classical furniture shapes

for an ultra modern look go for a B&W color scheme with pops of emerald, but be very careful as this might be too jarring if done wrong.

This porch might seem too jarring but a person sitting in here will be facing out and not actually starring at those black and white striped walls all day, I would go crazy!

another beautiful living space done right (greyscale + monochromatic brown scale + pops of emerald green) Don't you just love the chevron curtains and those cushions?

If buying furniture in a strong color such as emerald green isn't your thing and you don't want to splurge on getting new accessories every time pantone announces the new Color of the Year, then consider adding a splash of paint in your space that is in the Color of the Year, only if it works with your existing color scheme. You don't have to paint an entire room; one wall, the back of your cupboards, or a niche in your home will do.

Are you Mid-Century Modern crazy like I am? then an emerald green will add to the earthy-ness of an all the walnuts and oaks in your flooring, paneling, and furniture.

Want to break up the Green-i-ness add on some blues, in white/woods interiors for an instant fresh/costal look.

By adding a multitude of blues, greens, and purples you can get an instant wild garden feel in your interiors.

For a dramatic look, mix up Emerald green with other jewel tones like purple, and get an instant mysterious/sophisticated looks for your interiors, in which you'd need to use ocassional warm tone lighting fixtures and avoid all over head blue/white lights like fluorescents

So what about you? did you decide to embrace the Color of the Year in your homes/offices/gardens? are you going to consider using it the next time you redecorate or redo a room in your house? I'd love to hear about it!


Mar 25, 2013

Vintage Doll House Gets a Renovation

This must be the coolest project I've ever came across online. An Interior Designer in Finland renovated a vintage doll house for her daughter with the help of her father, the grandfather, as a Christmas gift! She ripped off the old finishes in the house, wallpapered and painted the house and completed it with mini furniture, lights, and accessories.
She states on her blog, you will need Google Chrome to be able to translate her blog as it's in Finnish, that the windows wooden frames and windows treatments are being made currently- hence why the windows are bare, as to apologize for the house not being 100% completed! That’s a perfectionist at work for ya!
I will leave you with the pictures and say no more till after you've seen them and let you submerge yourself in all the mini details she has added to this house.

I hope you've enjoyed the pictures as much as I did, I had a doll house growing up, it was a plastic mass produced off-the shelf store bought doll house but I was still crazy about it nonetheless, I got it as a gift from my grandparents when I turned 5 and I actually have pictures of myself receiving that doll house from my grandma as my birthday party at kindergarten, I should pull that out and share it with you. I don't have the house anymore though, all my siblings had their fair amount of fun times with it but my mom gave it away at some point when we were "older kids".

Doesn't it just amaze you how interior designers can actually be put to work in fields no one thinks of when choosing a major and applying for university? how about a "doll house" designer for a career, would you like to pursue that?

Did you have a dollhouse that you were crazy about? share the pictures with me and I will share them here.
I've been obsessing over Mid-Century modern furniture lately that I've actually dreamt last night that I found 2 authentic mid-century armchairs, similar to the one pictured below,

 but in orangey upholstered cushions, on the side of the road in the ya...rd of an old house when someone was moving houses and it seemed like this person was willing to sell them, I stopped by to ask how much they cost and was thinking of salvaging the brilliant pieces, and yes then I woke up obviously. I personally don’t think that any of the world's mid century European and American design influence has reached Doha at the time, I know it did reach Kuwait for sure just not quite sure about the rest of the region. If it did, then I highly suspect anyone still have their authentic mid-century pieces here in Doha. If you know of any let me know please!
Here's Wikipedia's explanation of the term Mid-Century Modern: Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style which is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement
So who else is a sucker for Mid-Century Modern furniture?

Mar 14, 2013

Cabana Nights

I've participated in a design competition last November. The competition was hosted by W Hotel in Doha, Qatar. 5 Designers were selected to redesign the Wahm Bar Lounge Terrace Cabanas in their own style. I was one of the 5 designers selected amongst the applicants to participate in this competition and although I didn't win, the winner was selected via facebook likes, the experience was amazing. I started scribbling on a sheet of paper, sketching, adding colors, and then editing my sketch digitally until I was happy with my initial concept. Once I got to go to the W Wahm Lounge Bar I took some measurments and altered the design slightly. Some items were to be especially manufactured, and some were off-the shelf items. I contacted a contractor and submitted a whole lot of details to him and then went shopping for cabana accessories! Below are pictures of the design development process, sketches, setting up images, completed cabana, and some pictures of the 5 competing designers from the opening event.

Competition Poster

Wahm Bar Lounge Terrace

Doha, Qatar

This was my concept sketch for the cabana, which had to get a little less creative due to the many restrains we had such as nothing should be permenant or glued or nailed in everything should be removable and not alter the structure of the cabana in any way.

So once I actually went and saw the cabana again and took some measurements I realized many things can't be done like the chandelier for example due to the low ceiling of the cabana.   I started doing more detailed sketches and contacted a friend of mine who's a contractor and some other furniture suppliers in Doha to figure out the details of what is to be made, what is to be borrowed and what is to be purchased for the cabana.
my sketches which went to the contractor
Unfortunately the sub-contractor of my contractor was super late on supplying the curtain and the roof quilted braid shown in the two sketches above, too late as in they never arrived untill after the reception of the competition where the cabanas were displayed begun so I had to pull the plug on them obviously.   I went on and I purchased all that fabric from a local big upholstery company, the existing seat cushions on the cabana were upholstered in beige leather which was worn out and dirty and didn't go in with my concept of dark wood, shiny chrome, white and pops of color celebrations concept that I had going on. I thought of just making slip covers for the seat cushions but they were too long and wouldn't work with the concept of adding corner tables as I planned- the cushions go all the way into the corner forming a U shaped seating area- and there were no back cushions anyway so I thought heck I will get new custom white natural fabric weave upholstered seat and back cushions and take them home after the event, which I did!.    So I gave my sketches to the contractor and another contractor who was making my giant L shaped acrylic tables- sofa protectors- which rest on the sofa and kind of look like an acrylic neat throw placed on the sofa in the first sketch.   I chose the acrylic colors, got the fabric to my contractor, and went out shopping!    I called my good friends at Kare at Lagoona Mall and Bombay at The Mall  and asked if I can come by and shop for some items to go in my cabana for the competition- to be borrowed for the length of the event basically- and they said YES! they gave me a whole bunch of items to display for free, aren't they the greatest!   I had to go around to Home Center at City Center and ID Design at The Mall and buy a whole bunch of other thigns to go in my cabana too and then went up to set-up my cabana on the 7th of November, and no I didn't leave it till the last minute, we actually were only given the same day as the competition reception and display day to set-up the entire cabana which was like 2-3 weeks after we started designing anyway.   So here are pictures of me setting up my cabana, well more like pictures of the cabana as I was setting it up.    

This beautiful LOVE sign was borrowed from my friends at KARE, isn't it beautiful, it has little perforations with beads in them and it's back lit!
 We had to name our Cabanas and write a brief that will be present at the Cabana during the reception for people to check out and ofcourse mine had to be

"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress...." sorry can't help it! that song was my inspiration for the design of this cabana after all!
 Since I don't think any normal human can read the design brief in the picture above, you can read it right here;     This is the brief design Q&A interview about my cabana that I had with GLAM Magazine Qatar during the reception.  
Nada transformed her Cabana into a space of youth, sassiness and colour, inspired after listening to Barry Manilow’s “Coco cabana”.
Indulging in perfect materials Nada compliments the tactile and flirty nature of her cushions next to gorgeous lanterns to create an ambiance perfect for many occasions including (but not limited to) a girls night, romantic evening or to relax with one’s own company.
Concept for design: Modern with an electric feel
Your work:
Best advice given: break it down into parts and don’t leave anything until the last minute
The best compliment: That’s its ‘me’
Philosophy on perfect Interior Design: Atheistically pleasing but fit for purpose!
Favourite element of this design: There are so many layers, texture, very tactile
Most important aspect of interior design: Going back to basics.

Without further due I finally present to you Miss Lola;


And there we are! the 5 participants in the W Hotel Design competition, I'm the one in the middle :D

And that would be my brief on the competition, now I didn't end up winning but it was quiet the event to participate in.

*winner was chosen via facebook picture likes

I thought maybe everyone would like a little break down of all the items in the cabana so here you go;

- The 3 decorative patterened pillows, LOVE sign, and glassware accessories, modern chrome Lanterns all came from KARE.
- The 2 yellow glass topped chrome based side tables( forming a coffee table when pushed together), purple cushions and the little candle holders, not sure if they are showing in any of the pictures are all from ID Design.
- The Egyptian perforated lanterns are from Bombay at The Mall.
- All the other cushions, they are actually seat cushions) and the pretty bowl on the table are all from Home Center.
- The seat and back big cushions in white were custom made for me by the Lebanese Carpentry.
- Acrylic dark blue and emerald green, color of the year! ;), were custom made for me by a small shop called Al Shorooq which creates signs.

The very most expensive thing I spent on in this design was the white natural 100% cotton upholstery fabric.

So what do you think of the design of my cabana? do you think you would like that if you had a gazebo or a pool side cabana yourself? and what would you do different if it was up to you to design this cabana?

Let me hear your thoughts.


Mar 1, 2013

IKEA Opening in Doha Soon!

For a person like me who's engaged to get married, the opening of IKEA in Doha can't come soon enough!

I'll be starting a family; getting my own place and furnishing it as a bride-to-be and an interior designer. If you thought it was hard for you, think again! it's super hard when a designer is designing for themselves...on a budget.

IKEA is opening on the 11th of March in Doha as the first shop to open in the Doha Festival City project on North Road.

For all of you planning to remodel or furnish a new home, you should wait until IKEA opens and definitely check it out.

IKEA is well known for its affordable prices, beautiful designs which are highly customizable, and brilliant services.

Also a really nice in-house restaurant which serves mouth watering dishes.

I will leave you with the link of the IKEA current catalog and the announcement of the opening as it showed on Doha News.

Ikea Catalog Page

Doha News, IKEA Opening 11th March in Qatar


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