Sneha Divias shares her biggest interior design trends for 2018
Bring the outdoors in and the indoors out
Gone are the days of cookie dark thick frames and inward living. Seamlessly connecting the interior with the landscaping and even having a juxtaposition is a must in contemporary interior architecture. This allows light to flow in adding brightness and freshness to the spaces and advanced glass specifications allow us to select a finish that is energy efficient and eco-friendly. We have recently completed a full architecture and interiors renovation in the villa in Palm Jumeira where we opened up most of the walls on the ground floor to create a connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. The large windows completely transformed the spaces and added a lot more emphasis in making the most of the privileged view and the selection of materials has this vision in mind - natural, light and texture. In the same way, the outdoor living spaces have an indoor feel in terms of furniture and fabrics.
Automation and digital technology allow us to track and control the use of AC, light, water, shades, entertainment, and electricity smartly. To be aware of what we are consuming is the key as without these mechanisms we can't fully understand what is using energy in the residential environment. There is an increasing concern about the environment, ways to optimize DEWA bills and make good use of the devices available. Automation doesn't have to be the complicated process that people sometimes think it is and is the next frontier for sustainable living. We liaise with automation experts and advise the most suitable solutions for individual needs for each type of project. Opening a window can automatically turn off the air conditioning in that particular area and shades are lowered during the peak of sunlight to keep the space cooler. Users can also monitor the power consumption of all the devices which is crucial in identifying what is increasing the bills without awareness. As our lives revolve around devices, so we incorporate charging docks creatively. We are working on executive offices for Dubai Holding in which we are following the WELL Building Standard, which implies research on the specifications of the finishes and materials that impact human health and well-being, through the air, water, nourishment, light, comfort, and mind.
Differentiation and investment in regional design
Dubai is creating a design economy that’s driven by a rapid expansion of start-ups and entrepreneurs. With entities such as Dubai Design District, Dubai Design and Fashion Council and Tejar being set up as a platform to encourage creative business, there are constant opportunities waiting to be tapped into that will help emphasize and promote a creative boom.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are the largest design markets in MENA and this promotes a regional design community that is pushing the creative frontiers with local experience, a fresh contextualized approach and solid know how. We are blending the regional vernacular and the environment through design that is focused on site, culture and context rather that based on pre-conceived imported imagery and concepts. Designers like Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah, and Ayah Al Bitar have set the tone for the regional scene with their unique combinations of traditional elements of regional culture and contemporary product design.