Interiors & Furniture Tips


1. Making wooden furniture last

Making wooden furniture last

Constant care extends longevity and improves appearance.

We have a beautiful selection of wooden furniture in our own furniture ranges, here are a few simple ways you can extend the lifespan of your wooden furniture. 

The UAE climate, with its high temperature and humidity, can prove testing to wooden furniture. Wood is an organic material and the shrinkage and expansion of certain furniture is considered normal depending on the climate. But with the right kind of care, you can improve its appearance and extend longevity.

Waxing is one way of preserving the life of your furniture. It can be done within 30 days from the day you purchased it. Simply rub wax onto the wood with a consistent stroke then buff it with a soft dry cloth. Avoid oily wax as this may leave streaks. It is recommended to use a paste or crème wax.

Teak is one of the most durable types of wood used in making furniture. It has the ability to adjust to different climates, but without proper care, it will also deteriorate. Occasionally rubbing linseed oil will keep the wood healthy, although a natural aging process will occur with teak.

Furniture with leather elements requires special attention. Any spills on the leather can be cleaned with an absorbent sponge and dried with cloth. For other forms of wooden furniture, damage from spills can be avoided by blotting rather than wiping the spill away. To remove candle wax, apply an ice cube to the spot, remove the hardened wax and apply a fresh coat of furniture wax.

A little bit of effort put into caring for your wooden furniture will ensure that it not only looks better, but also lasts longer.

2. Feng Shui

An increasing number of customers are asking designers to prepare their home in line with the principles of FengShui.  So what is FengShui?  In short, it is an ancient Chinese system of architecture and design that promotes the free flowing of ch’i- universal life energy. A few of the main principles are listed below:

The main entrance to your home is very significant; it must be welcoming and allow the flow of energy to enter the home.  Depending on the size of the entry, try putting in a side table and mirror or even just a floor rug.  Don’t put a mirror facing the door, as this is considered a no-no in Feng Shui.

For the living room, make sure that the furniture arrangement will allow for the free flow of energy.  Be sure to allow a lot of light into this area and don’t have any sharp ends pointing in the direction of the seating area.  This room is particularly important for the Feng Shui principles as it’s where most of the family will be spending time together.

The bedroom is a place of calm so televisions, stereos and game consoles should be avoided.   Make sure there is plenty of room if possible on each side of the bed, and if you have any plants in the bedroom ensure they are a good distance from the bed. Make sure lots of fresh air gets into the bedroom; this time of year is perfect to open the windows.

But the main thing to remember is to design and furnish your rooms so that you’re happy with them; Feng Shui alone can't create a home you'd like to live in, your personal style and a quality design also play key roles.

3. Furnishing a property to sell it

Selling an apartment or a villa in the current property market is already tricky, especially when you have new towers coming online and there are dozens of other identical properties that make it more competitive.  It’s the small things that make the difference to some buyers.

This has led to an increasing number of investors, landlords and sellers to furnish their properties in order to sell and rent them.  Their investment is returned not only in shifting the property faster and passing the cost of the furniture to the buyer.

In one recent case, the buyer had failed to sell his property for some time so decided to rent it out furnished. Once the furniture was installed it was sold within a few days.

The kind of buyer who is looking to buy a furnished property is often somebody who is new to Dubai and doesn’t have the time or motivation to do it themselves. Given the transient nature of Dubai, this can apply to a large section of the market.

There are many things to consider when deciding on how you are going to furnish the property.  Firstly you will have to keep the colour as neutral as possible so it appeals to a wide range of viewers. Most apartments in Dubai Marina can be regarded as quite modern, and the furniture inside should reflect this too.  Perhaps try some white lacquer furniture in the bedrooms which has clean, straight lines.

One of the biggest benefits to furnishing an apartment to sell is that it allows the potential buyer to gauge the sizes of the rooms.  Similarly, if the apartment is particularly small, some carefully placed mirrors and wallpaper can make the rooms appear larger.

So if you’re looking to sell or rent your property but you’re struggling against an ever demanding market, one of our furniture solutions may just be your best option. 

4. High quality furniture

High-end furniture – is it worth the cost?

Buying your apartment or villa is only the first step: once you have the keys, you have to fill it with something.  Furniture is often an afterthought, but it is a vitally important tool that adds not only an emotional value to your home but a financial one too.  To use an old cliché, ‘it turns a house into a home’ and allows you to put your own stamp on the property to make it truly yours.

It goes without saying that the furniture chosen for the property should have some sort of resemblance to the value of the property. The more prestigious the property, the more it deserves an interior that reflects the financial and emotional value to its new owner.

With the resurgence of the Dubai property market, more people are asking about the type of furniture they should fill their home with. For the properties at the higher end of the scale, such as on the Palm Jumeirah, Al Barari, Arabian Ranches Burj Khalifa apartments, there is an increasing desire for branded furniture.

So what is branded furniture? Simply put, it is furniture made by well-known and highly-regarded design company made from the highest standard of material available in designs that are unique and often recognisable.  It goes without say that this furniture is at the top-end of the price range.

But what value is there in paying such high money for a branded piece of furniture?

Some of the most prominent names in furniture have a long history of designing and producing furniture, meaning that these pieces have in some cases gone through decades of fine tuning to their current catalogue of products.  Some of the modern furniture brands today are using the same styles that came from the 1940s birth of modern design; there is timelessness in some of the furniture pieces from this era and they will undoubtedly remain in fashion for many years to come.

When you are paying top-dollar for a piece of furniture, there is also a certain level of workmanship that you can expect to be put into it.  Whilst all furniture is made with a certain degree of technology, most pieces will have extensive care and attention paid to it by a skilled craftsman.  This can be seen in the immense fine-detail that you will find in each piece, whether it is the stitching in the cushions for a sofa or the carvings in the headboard of a bed.  When timber is being used to assemble the furniture, the subtle variations in colour and texture that occur in wood should not be frowned upon, but rather celebrated as it makes each piece of furniture unique in their own special way.

It is not always necessary to use a branded piece of furniture for every part of the house, as in some cases it just takes one piece to become the feature of the room.  For instance, in a living area you can put more towards the highest quality sofa, and make sure that the rest of the pieces complement each other and that everything flows.  Not only is this method a little easier on the wallet, but this method will make the pieces stand-out more and become more recognisable.

However, there are other options available.  Perhaps spending AED 50,000 on a sofa is not quite for you, in which case there are many medium-range furniture companies that carry similar designs and quality which are more competitively priced.  A bit of research is recommended to find out where the furniture is made and what materials are used, but you may just find that some of them are made in the same factories as the high-end ones.

Ultimately the decision lies with the owner of the property who will be paying for this. There are many factors to consider such as how long they plan owning the property, what will it will be used for and the style they are trying to achieve.   The value of branded furniture can be seen in the quality and design of the furniture, but the ultimate decision should always be based on the budget before the property is even bought.

 


 

 

5. How to furnish your holiday home in Dubai

You’ve done the house-hunting, found your apartment with a sea view and the keys are in your hand. You finally have your holiday home in Dubai that will allow you to escape the northern hemisphere winter and get some sunshine for a few days.  Now for the small matter of furnishing it!

Most people who own a holiday home in Dubai have been here many times before and stayed in one of the many hotels in Dubai. This is one reason why the ‘hotel look’ for a holiday home is so popular at the moment.   Small things like bed runners, matching curtains and wallpapers, and balcony furniture are all essential ingredients to make your apartment look like a hotel room.

As most of the apartments in Dubai – especially in Dubai Marina and JBR – are quite modern, the furniture design should be too.  If you’re not using the apartment all year around, then you can get away with a minimum amount of furniture to maximise the space.  Fill the blank walls with artwork and pictures of your family and friends to give the apartment a more personal feeling.

Picking the colour scheme is the most important part.  If you have a sea view, then bring in the colours to your wallpaper, bed runner and cushions.  Similarly, if the bedroom has a view of the sunset then tries and brings in some of the rich orange colours to compliment the room.  Make use of the abundance of natural light – that’s why you came to Dubai – so use a sheer with a dress curtain in the living room.

Finally, keep the general design simply, fun and fresh and you’ll always feel like you’re on holiday from the moment you walk in.

6. How to prepare a budget for furnishing your home

When buying a house, one of the most important factors is how much you are prepared to spend. Your budget will determine the size, location and quality of the property.  When you are taking the next step which is furnishing your property, you should also have a number in mind.  Similarly, this budget will determine the style and quality of the furniture.

A useful guideline for determining your budget would be to look at the value of the property.  Typical turnkey furniture solutions in the prime areas of Dubai are currently selling for about 5% of the total value of the property, but this figure depends on a large set of variables.

The purpose of the property is a significant determinant of the budget. Landlords are increasingly looking to rent outtheir properties furnished, but the return on investment determines the amount spent on furniture,making it relatively low.  End users will typically spend the most on furniture as they will be getting maximum use of the property.

The most cost-effective style to furnish a home is modern. Not only because it has a minimalist design meaning that ‘less is more’, but there are some great deals in the market currently. Many of the best European designs are being made in China and sold at very good prices.

Contemporary and classic designs are more expensive, with high quality brands being made in Indonesia and Turkey. This type of furniture tends to be made from a higher quality of timber and the price and longevity will reflect this.

By having an idea of your budget and market prices, you will ultimately save yourself a lot of time, as well as avoiding any nasty surprises when it comes time to start shopping.

7. How to choose wallpaper

  1. Variety – there is a huge selection of wallpaper depending on the style of your home and budget.
  2. Touch – some wallpapers have texture to them, which can bring more depth to the wall or room.
  3. Light – make sure you are viewing the catalogue in good light, so that you can get a full appreciation for the design. Wallpapers take on different qualities when viewed in natural daylight and by artificial light from lamps. Ensure that before buying you have seen the paper in both contexts.
  4. Choice – sometimes too much isn’t a good thing. If you have a designer helping you, perhaps ask for three options and pick one.
  5. Design – It is important that your wallpaper choice complements your entire colour scheme, so accent colours present in the paper can be picked up in soft furnishings and the room's accessories.