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.


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